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September 13, 2014

How fish sticks are made

Caution: if you like fish sticks you might want to move on right about now....

[via Doobybrain]

September 13, 2014 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Google Glass for everyone


Why pay $1,500 when you can get one of these for $25?

[via No Puedo Creer]

September 13, 2014 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Margaret Atwood's new work will remain unseen for a century"


Now there's a headline that really does justify the description "Good news bad news."

Below, excerpts from Alison Flood's September 5 Guardian story.


Depending on perspective, it is an author's dream — or nightmare: Margaret Atwood [above] will never know what readers think of the piece of fiction she is currently working on, because the unpublished, unread manuscript from the Man Booker prize-winning novelist will be locked away for the next 100 years.

Atwood has just been named as the first contributor to an astonishing new public artwork. The Future Library project, conceived by the award-winning young Scottish artist Katie Paterson, began, quietly, this summer, with the planting of a forest of 1,000 trees in Nordmarka, just outside Oslo. It will slowly unfold over the next century. Every year until 2114, one writer will be invited to contribute a new text to the collection, and in 2114, the trees will be cut down to provide the paper for the texts to be printed — and, finally, read.

"It is the kind of thing you either immediately say yes or no to. You don't think about it for very long," said Atwood, speaking from Copenhagen. "I think it goes right back to that phase of our childhood when we used to bury little things in the backyard, hoping that someone would dig them up, long in the future, and say, 'How interesting, this rusty old piece of tin, this little sack of marbles is. I wonder who put it there?'"

The award-winning author said she was unbothered by the fact that, during her lifetime at least, no one but her will ever read the story she has already started writing. "What a pleasure," she said. "You don't have to be around for the part when if it's a good review the publisher takes credit for it and if it's a bad review it's all your fault. And why would I believe them anyway?"

Author of novels including "The Handmaid's Tale" and "The Blind Assassin," Atwood said "when you write any book you do not know who's going to read it, and you do not know when they're going to read it. You don't know who they will be, you don't know their age, or gender, or nationality, or anything else about them. So books, anyway, really are like the message in the bottle."

She predicted that the readers of 2114 might need "a paleo-anthropologist to translate some of it for them", because "language of course will have changed over those 100 years. Maybe not so much as it changed between say 1400 and now, but it will have changed somewhat".

Paterson said Atwood was her "dream" author with whom to kick off the project. "I imagine her words growing through the trees, an unseen energy, activated and materialised, the tree rings becoming chapters in a book," said the artist, who won the visual arts category of the 2014 South Bank Sky Arts awards.

Atwood's work will be stored in a specially designed room in the Deichmanske public library, opening in 2018 in Bjørvika, Oslo. The room will be lined with wood from the forest, with the names of the authors and the titles of their work on display — but none of the manuscripts available to read.

Each year, the Future Library trust, made up of literary experts — and Paterson, while she's alive — will name another "outstanding" writer who will be contributing to the artwork. The trust is also responsible for the maintenance of the forest, and for ensuring the books are printed in a century's time. A printing press will be placed in the library to make sure those in charge in 2114 have the capability of printing books on paper.

"For some writers I think it could be an incredible freedom — they can write whatever they like," said Paterson, "from a short story to a novel, in any language and any context … We're just asking that it be on the theme of imagination and time, which they can take in so many directions. I think it's important that the writing reflects maybe something of this moment in time, so when future readers open the book, they will have some kind of reflection of how we were living in this moment."

Paterson said that Future Library "has nature, the environment at its core — and involves ecology, the interconnectedness of things, those living now and still to come. It questions the present tendency to think in short bursts of time, making decisions only for us living now."

The 100-year timescale is "not vast in cosmic terms", said the artist. "However, in many ways, the human timescale of 100 years is more confronting. It is beyond many of our current lifespans, but close enough to come face to face with it, to comprehend and relativise."

Atwood refused to reveal anything about what she's writing. "Wild horses would not drag it out of me. It's part of the contract you can't tell anybody what you're writing. I'm finding it very delicious, because I get to say to people like you [the Guardian], I'm not telling," said the Canadian writer. "But I will say that I've bought some special archival paper, which will not decay in its sealed box over 100 years."

September 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jedi Raincoat



[via No Puedo Creer]

September 13, 2014 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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