Monday, September 10, 2007

News Bits, In Brief

They say 'Write what you know,' and then they go and punish you when you do. A Polish pulp fiction writer was sentenced to 25 years in jail yesterday for his role in a grisly case of abduction, torture and murder, a crime that he then used for the plot of a bestselling thriller, Amok. The dirty, no good snitches over at The Guardian UK tell all.

Two Nebraska teens were busted this past May after repeatedly breaking into their public library to download internet porn. The library responded by installing software that blocks access to adult content, only to outrage free speech advocates in the area. Here's my two step, First Amendment friendly, encourage-the-kids-to-read suggestion: 1. Reinstate the unfiltered internet access. 2. Make a bigger, brighter sign for the erotica section.

Trailing a trend that has been going strong in Japan for years, comic books are now available via cellphone in the USA. For $4.49 a month on Verizon, or $3.99 a month for AT&T and Sprint, subscribers can view nearly a dozen different traditional comic books. There's also a separate subscription service for manga.The books range from well-known names like Bone and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to up-and-coming books, such as crime noirish Umbra and Hindu folklore-inspired Devi. The comics site uClick adds new chapters and/or issues for each title every week. Click here for their catalog of available comics.

Via NPR: "A couple of years ago, British author Ian McEwan conducted an admittedly unscientific experiment. He and his son waded into the lunch-time crowds at a London park and began handing out free books. Within a few minutes, they had given away 30 novels. Nearly all of the takers were women, who were 'eager and grateful' for the freebies while the men 'frowned in suspicion, or distaste.' The inevitable conclusion, wrote McEwan in The Guardian newspaper: 'When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.'"
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