The People Down There

"The People Down There."

Yet another generalized group of individuals criticized for being simple, closed-minded, uneducated, and stubborn. It appears that some friends making up part of this group are disappointed in their people, often separating themselves by saying, “The People Down Here.” I’m also disappointed by a few of the individuals that make up this group, but I’m not about to separate myself from the pack.

So, let me tell you about "The People Down There” by doing a little generalization myself.

"The People Down There" are resilient, honest, loyal, hospitable, dependable, energetic, determined, authentic, and, yes, they are definitely stubborn in the best ways possible.

I love “The People Down There,” and I’m proud to be part of such a terrific group.






Listen to Lore

Podcasts are a great way to get away from reality while still participating in reality. My favorite time to listen to a podcast is in my vehicle. Because I have a 30-minute commute to and from work, I can listen to a good bit of material per day. The perfect podcast for this trip is Lore.

Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true-life scary stories. Each episode examines a new dark tale from history, and presents it in a style that's been compared to a campfire experience. With over 3,300 5-star reviews and 2 million monthly listens, that's clearly a good thing.

Aaron Mahnke's content gives listeners the best kind of creepy feelings there are to experience.

Go and give it a listen. You'll thank me later. 

Lance Miyamoto's Space/Library Image

  Science Magazine illustration by Lance Miyamoto from 1981.

Science Magazine illustration by Lance Miyamoto from 1981.

Every now and then, I come across an image that fascinates me. My love for books/libraries and science fiction portrayed in this single image makes me giddy. I saw this comic-bookish illustration for the first time today from a post by NPR Books which sent me to Smithsonian's article discussing the Library of Babel. I would really like to find out what article in Science Magazine references this illustration. I haven't truly started a search (I'm sure it won't be so difficult), but I was too excited not to share. I'll update my new findings later. Let me know if you make the discovery first!   

What to do when you haven't found more information? You color the image in photoshop! Keeping that 80s vibe with the color palette thank']s to Tim Leong's Super Graphic book cover pictured below. 

All New Pottermore

The all new Pottermore rolled out today! It's striking (but looks like every other website today) and is rather easy to navigate. The site appears to be geared toward die-hard HP fans with loads of additions (canon) and organized collections from all seven books (for example Pearls of Wisdom from Professor Dumbledore). I'll admit, I miss features of the "old" Pottermore, like the sorting hat and HP moments. The beautiful artwork from the "old" Pottermore has transferred to the new one (nice touch). According to J.K. Rowling's message, such features will be added in the future.

The best improvement to the website, however, is the logo transformation - if we can call it that. There were all kinds of kerning issues with the old logo (below; left). Do you see where the "o" and "r" almost meet? Yeah, that's too close for comfort. The new one (below; right) features J.K. Rowling's own handwriting - with much help from a graphic designer. I'm digging it.

Overall at first glance, it looks like the new Pottermore will be a success. Dang, Rowling is still making that money - genius woman, she is (my best Yoda impression). 

Check it out for yourself! 

Curse Your Books!

Louisiana State University's Libraries Special Collections posted an article titled “Curses! Foiled again!” How To Keep Your Books Safe, 18th-Century Style During the medieval period, many book owners and library facilities used curses (yes, like Harry Potter world kind of curses) in order to dissuade people from stealing materials. Mind blown. This, of course, led my circus brain into a search frenzy, stumbling upon old protection strategies for library books. We have come a long way. From chaining books to shelves to inserting RFID chips into book covers, these library security techniques are nothing short of fascinating. I'm glad the library has eased up quite a bit in the 21st century, practically giving books away to those who appear slightly interested. 

The image above is a 1616 copy of Erasmus's Adagiorum printed in Wittenberg, Germany. LSU has owned it since 1871.

The curse reads: 

Gerard Cooper his Book,
God give him grace therein to look.
Not only look, but Understand,
For Learning is better than House & Land.
When House & Land is gone & spent,
Then Learning is most excellent.
Steal not this Book, my honest Friend,
For fear the Gallows will be your end.
Steal not this Book for fear of Shame,
For underneath stands the owner’s Name.

Gerard Cooper his Book
November the 4th, 1704

  Chained library in Hereford Cathedral (

Chained library in Hereford Cathedral (

And then, there are the chains. To this day, there are few libraries with chains on their books (for history purposes). It's apparent that this system worked for the time. I mean, I doubt people carried bolt cutters in their back pockets (impossible). This is far from today's collections, where librarians are encouraged to promote their materials, leaving them in areas easily accessible to patrons of all ages. The written word is not quite as valuable today as it was in centuries past. I'd say we've become spoiled to the ease of access to materials and taken for granted the numerous copies available of a single title.  

Maybe I'll add a curse or two to my favorite titles for good measure. Though, it's more likely that I'll lose my books than have them stolen.

Nevermind, if my books are stolen, I'll just get new ones (you see what I did there?).

Harry Potter Picture Books?!

It's absolutely no secret that I'm a big kid. I love Legos, comic books, and all things Harry Potter. That being said, I am ecstatic about the much anticipated illustrated Harry Potter books being released in the United States October 6th. The talented illustrator Jim Kay brings J.K. Rowling's text to life. I'm certain that the visually stunning renderings of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will delight any fan - which is why at 29, I will buy this picture book (And I mean, all of the picture books!). Check out the sneak peeks from BuzzFeed