14 December 2018

Roy's bookshelf

"I do about two-thirds of my reading electronically or through using books on audio (nothing is better than going on a long bike ride while enjoying a good book). Over the last couple years, I have assimilated a rather odd collection of books. About half of these came from garage, library, or bookstore clearance sales.

 My favorite book on here is The Princess Bride. I loved the movie, but had no idea that the book existed at all. As in most cases, the book is far superior to the movie. It is both excellent to read to children, and delightful to read as an adult.

The far left shows my recent selection which I read to my two boys. I had to purchase new copies, as those that I devoured during my childhood were completely tattered. We're about halfway into the Fellowship of the Ring.

The far right shows my push to develop a little more self-sufficiency. We're in an area that I can do a bit of gardening, and we tend to lose power due to winter storms, wind damage, and tornadoes Much like myself, the book selection is a tad eclectic."

Capewood's bookcase

"I actually built this beast myself about 30 years ago to consolidate my books. Some of the dimensions were specifically for my Encyclopedia Britannica. Since then I've also added Encyclopedia Britannica year books, I have most of them back to my birth year in 1951.It now contains most of my hardback collection and odd-sized books. Lots of atlases, a shelf of religious books, my leather bound Lord of the Rings, and Science Fiction Book Club of the month selections from the late 1960s. Plus knick-knacks. This lot represents a bit less than half of the books I currently own."

Steve Miller's bookcases

"I build book cases, but I can't keep up with the books. This one in the kitchen holds the "more-frequently referred-to" cookbooks. There are five shelves' worth elsewhere. I started cooking (and collecting) seriously after designing several cookbooks. I didn't know then I'd start designing furniture. Yes, the legs do curve on both outer surfaces."
"Nope, not more cookbooks. Not too sure what's in the boxes... This case is based closely on a Stickley D-handle bookcase, so it holds woodworking books. Occasionally, it's unloaded and hauled out for demos, since I now teach woodworking."
[Blogger's note:  I Googled Stickley + bookcases and found them being auctioned by Sotheby's !]

13 December 2018

Stan B's bookcases

Except for the books on the floor and the last shelf, bottom right (the wife's interior design books), this is my collection of photography books (mostly monographs) that I've purchased since the late '70s. They're basically like poetry books that can be repeatedly seen and contemplated depending on mood- glean what you will. I buy only those of photographers whose various styles appeal to me, not because of potential value.

All the stuffed stuff and other crap "art objects" are also the wife's. The three and one half legged cat's name is Flynn- Nelson, our one eyed cat would not participate. The Hank Hill action figure on the upper right is mine...

Phone photo by: Lisa Wood (aka- "The Wife")

Nolandda's bookcases

Right bookshelf - more "serious" (i.e. pretentious) stuff
  • Right bookcase, top shelf right : Only surviving photo of my maternal grandparent's wedding.
  • Right bookcase, top shelf left : A photo of my paternal grandparent's wedding.
  • Right bookcase, 2nd shelf from the top : literature. Here some mingling of my lovely and brilliant wife's books is evident.
  • Right bookcase, 3nd shelf from the top : Philosophy, religion, etc
  • Right bookcase, 4th shelf from the top : Languages (German, Spanish, Latin), travel guides, photo of vacation in Puerto Vallarta
  • Right bookcase, 5th shelf from the top : Some non-fiction and Tolkien for some reason. A telegraph sounder I picked up at an antique store for 20 USD. Photo of wife's grandfather.
  • Right bookcase, 2nd shelf from bottom : photos of wife's family, fossilized trilobite.
  • Right bookcase, bottom shelf : Textbooks that might be useful as reference some day. Here the wife's neurology / psychology books have begun to creep in from the right.
·  Left shelf - More guilty pleasures:
  • Left bookcase, top shelf : Mostly general si-fi. Other misc stuff. Notebook used to record borrowing from my shelves.
  • Left bookcase, 2nd shelf from top : Marcus Didius Falco series (Lindsey Davis), Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
  • Left bookcase, 2nd shelf from bottom : Misc books, stack of dense European Literature left by Dutch exchange student
  • Left bookcase, bottom shelf : Graphic novels / comics
·  Of course the Dungeons & Dragons stuff has its own bookcase in the back (with the board games) where it isn't immediately visible to visitors as these shelves in the parlor are.

Canada is sparsely populated

This visualization may be slightly distorted by the projection for the map, but the point would still be valid.  Canada has about the same area as the United States, but only 1/10 the population.  And "Toronto is not a particularly dense city. A study released earlier this year ranked Toronto 19th out of 30 major cities in high-income countries in terms of density. It's not even the densest city in Canada, with Vancouver and Montreal both packing more people in per square mile."

Map via the dataisbeautiful subreddit.

Not as robust as you might think

This photo of "a dog who just had a cast removed" was posted to start a" Photoshop battle."  There were some clever creations, but I'm posting the photo as a reminder to myself and others that animals are not always as sturdy as they might appear.  Anyone who has seen a sheep sheared (or a wet cat or bird) knows that underneath all that fur or feathers or fat are some remarkably gracile bones.

Seismic change in college curricula

As an English major, I found this story in The Atlantic a bit unnerving:
...in 2015, when Governor Scott Walker released his administration’s budget proposal, which included a change to the university’s mission. The Wisconsin Idea would be tweaked. The “search for truth” would be cut in favor of a charge to “meet the state’s workforce needs.”

To those outside Wisconsin, the proposed change might have seemed small. After all, what’s so bad about an educational system that propels people into a high-tech economy?...

And one of the state’s institutions, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, is the epicenter of that change. In mid-November, the university announced its plans to stop offering six liberal-arts majors, including geography, geology, French, German, two- and three-dimensional art, and history. The plan stunned observers, many of whom argued that at a time when Nazism is resurgent, society needs for people to know history, even if the economy might not. But the university said it just was not possible: After decades of budget cuts, the most extreme of which came under Walker, Stevens Point no longer had the resources to sustain these six majors...

The proposal planned to add majors in chemical engineering, computer-information systems, conservation-law enforcement, finance, fire science, graphic design, management, and marketing. By focusing more on fields that led directly to careers, the school could better provide what businesses wanted—and students, in theory, would have an easier time finding jobs and career success...

By the time the final proposal was released in mid-November 2018, it was less expansive, though still forceful. Six programs would be cut, including the history major...

One thing is sure, however: Financial realities such as those facing Stevens Point are not far off for many regional institutions. “The reality is that we just can’t be everything to everyone, regardless of the public-good value of some of the coursework,” Summers said. “Those constraints are very real.” There are few encouraging signs—if any—that states will once again pump dollars into state colleges to get them back to 2008 levels...

... our role here in central Wisconsin is to anticipate what jobs are going to be needed and to develop programs accordingly." The problem, he fears, is that that alone will never be enough.
The national conversation around higher education is shifting, raising doubts about whether the liberal arts—as we have come to know them—are built to survive a tech-hungry economy.
More in the longread at the link.

12 December 2018

Zoomorphic weight

"Zoomorphic weights were widespread in the ancient world. Weights in the shape of frogs and toads were rare in the Near East, but they do occur in Egypt. This frog weight is dated to the second millennium B.C. on the basis of the four line Akkadian inscription under its throat: "a frog [weighing] 10 minas, a legitimate weight of the god Shamash, belonging to Iddin-Nergal, son of Arkat-ili-damqa." The mina was the Mesopotamian unit of measure, weighing about 500 grams (18 ounces)."
Carved from diorite or andesite in Mesopotamia ca 2000-1600 B.C. From the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, via Uncertain Times.

Adrian's bookcase

"Just showing what's on my main bookshelf at the end of 2012. Not every title is legible, but it's the best of several takes. There's one more shelf underneath (containing textbooks and magazines) which I chose not to include.
Happy to answer any questions."
p.s. - a video like this is a quick way to create documentation for insurance purposes in case of fire, flood, tornado, or other biblioholocaust.

Professor Batty's bookcase

"This is my personal shelf, my wife has her own. The top row are all Icelandic books, with many of the sagas and all of the translated work of Halldór Laxness. This is an active reference for my Laxness in Translation site. There is a fair amount of modern Icelandic fiction on the second row as well; the Arnaldur Indriason mysteries, Sjón's strange novels, along with the late Minnesota author Bill Holm's evocative essay collections. The rest of the case holds music-related books (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Björk), mythology (Robert Graves, Joesph Campbell), folktales, some modern fiction (Douglas Coupland, Jeffery Eugenides, Charles Portis), a variety of art books and some miscellany. Some of the more interesting titles:
Songs of a Sourdough, by Robert W. Service (1907)
The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire, by Charles Morris
The Art Journal Volume XVIII, (1879)
After 1903—What?, by Robert Benchley (1938)
California and the West, by Edward Weston (1940)
Growing Pains, by Wanda Gág (1939) 
Most of these books I look at or read fairly often, I don't keep books I won't read again."

Rob's bookcase in Amersfoort

"I didn't do any tidying up, it's always a bit messy. A bookcase is a window in one's soul - I always look at them when I visit somebody. You can spot lots of atlases and historical books, a.o. about NY, Berlin. There are some photo books, books about science, travel, etymology, and even the Von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu I still have to read.

At the top there are two dinosaurs I made when I was (very) young."

11 December 2018

Dora's rainbow bookcase

"This picture was taken a couple of years ago when my husband and I had just moved into our first home together and merged our books collections. Not knowing how best to organize them, I went for visual appeal. So it ends up being a mix of my favorite novels (best is the Dark Tower series), his technical and 'geek' reads (tons of Make magazines on lower shelves not shown because it didn't fit the rainbow effect I was going for), and baby books since we were new parents. As you said in your post, the rest of our lives are delineated by other bookshelves in other rooms."

David's bookshelves

I have one entire bedroom plus my dining area dedicated to some fifteen bookshelves. My large library has always been an integral and important part of my life and identity.

Instead of wide photos of lots of shelves, here are some pics of my “Special Bookshelf” containing books I’ve had the privilege of having signed by the authors. Most of these are science-fiction novels and some are from famous authors that have now passed on, including L. Sprague de Camp, Roger Zelazny, and Jack Williamson, or from once obscure but now well-known guys like George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones). I interviewed most of these folks back in the ‘80s for a nationally syndicated radio show I co-produced, so most of these were personal signatures.

I also treasure several signed books on shamanism, alternative history, and visionary art from my friends, author Graham Hancock and artist Alex Grey. I’m including a pic of one of the books signed by Golden Age science-fiction author, L. Sprague de Camp and his wife Catherine. At the time I met them, he owned the Conan the Barbarian stories of Robert E. Howard and I got to go along to Cross Plains, Texas while they interviewed people who knew Howard back in the ‘30s.

 Of all my possessions, I think I’d grab these signed books right after rescuing the family photos if there was some disaster.

Zhoen's bookcases

"These are our bookshelves. Best part about our house over the last year and a half we've lived here, is not needing our old make-shift bookcases. So nice to think, "hey, maybe we need more books!"

"As for the books, I'll let them speak for themselves."
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