Posts by: Zach Koehn

On DVD: 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless

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“The best journeys answer questions that, in the beginning, you didn’t even think to ask.” Questions are both asked and acted upon in Chris Malloy’s 180° South. The documentary is a cautionary tale of adventure in a decaying world, following the footsteps and thoughts of writer Jeff Johnson as he dirt-bags his way to Chilean […]

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Libraries Are Going to Get (Even More) Popular

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Now, I spent a relatively sizable portion of my youth wandering the dust-infected and narrow corridors of the public library. Other people called it bookish, I called it discovery. Therefore, I was all too happy when I read NPR’s points of argument in support of libraries. It gives an account of a librarical ascent to […]

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Some Books Are Good, Some Books Are Bad…

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But recommending a good book depends on who you are and who the recommendation is meant for. We all know Amazon’s machinated recommendations and the like are bogus. Only people can really valuate books that are written by people. When we ask for a good book, our answer falls inside a spectrum from opinionated gut-feelings […]

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Kids Love New Things… And Paper is Not New.

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Children’s books can help us to understand the brave new world of electronic media. PW on what challenges the future holds for writers, publishers and booksellers alike, but also how this new interactive art form could make kids care about reading again.

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Books Still Make Us Smarter

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Recent University of Tennessee research showed that books still increase the reading scores of under-privileged youths. The Internet, other research shows, does not. If you want to be smart in an intellectual sense, read this NYT column but then drop your computer and pick up a book. At least that is what the columnist believes […]

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For Us, the Daydreamers. From Science.

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It just keeps progressing. Now scientific study is getting to the useful stuff, like re-inventing use into useless everyday things like daydreaming. Creativity depends on wandering. We all know it, that horizontal drift the mind takes away from whatever it is that we are supposed to be thinking about. And its a good thing we […]

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Children’s Books Destroy Rainforests?

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“Most of the top 10 children’s publishers have released at least one picture book containing paper fiber linked to the destruction of Indonesian rainforests.” Karen Springen has much to say about children’s books publishers and their efforts to go green. Check it.

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Renaissance Amateur

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“He has painted over 2,500 works and is a published novelist and poet. Billy Childish is creativity personified.” Billy Childish has the punk teenage heart of a fifty-year old. He spurns professionalism by embracing amateurism. The choice to remain amateur gives his creative life clear and simple meaning. Rather than focusing on a quota, he focuses […]

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Finding God with a Point of View

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We all learned about the various sorts of PoV in middle school. Yet third person omniscient stood out as odd and unachievable without the genius of God. Our teachers assuaged doubt with some abstract definition. The search through the genealogy of the novel begs the question, “where is today’s omniscience-seeking reader to turn?” Has anyone […]

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Aqueous/Artistic/Inspiration

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Thomas Campbell is a self-described stuff maker, creating clean sloping lines and eccentricities through mostly any medium. The Gregory Lind Gallery recently held his exhibition, which housed bronze sculptures, paintings on wood, gourds, paper and canvas. He paints, sprays and sews his creations together into a telltale study of color. Campbell also makes surf films […]

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The Spill and Melville

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“But much like the modern petroleum industry — which began in the late 1850s, making it only slightly younger than Melville’s novel — whaling quickly came up against the limits of its resources.” The spill in the Gulf, the here and now, is played against the backdrop of Melville’s Moby Dick, the there and then, […]

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