Newsletter 148 – January 2009
——– MANTEX NEWSLETTER ——–
Number 148 – January 2009 – ISSN 1470-1863
Music, Arts, Culture, and Technology
as seen from digital hub Manchester UK
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0— ‘Writing for Scholars’ – new book
If you are a post-graduate researcher or a
university teacher without a permanent contract,
this book has been written for you.
It’s a guide to writing scholarly papers, research
reports, and books which will be submitted for
Lynn Nygaard writes as an editor working at a
research institute, and her guidance takes readers
from original conception, through data gathering and
structuring, through to final presentation.
0— Pub Quiz Question #1
What kind of animal is a Wessex Saddleback?
0— ‘The Platform of Time’ – Virginia Woolf
This is a collection of essays, sketches, and
memoirs in the new elegant paperback versions
coming from Hesperus Press.
It includes the first ever publication of Woolf’s
long sought-after and newly recovered talk on her
role in the famous (and infamously silly) Dreadnought
Hoax, as well as the complete version of her memoir
of her nephew Julian Bell, who was killed in the
Spanish Civil War in 1937.
One of the longest pieces is her account of attending
a meeting of the Women’s Co-Operative Guild. It’s a
thoughtful and reflective meditation on the women of
the co-operative movement in the 1930’s, a very
practical piece of feminist sympathising, and a
paean for social-democratic values which foreshadows
the arguments she was to develop in Three Guineas
a few years later.
0— Pub quiz – Question #2
Which giant supported the heavens on his shoulders?
0— ‘Blogging and Other Social Media’ – new book
This is a guide to blogging and social media with
a difference. It’s aimed at professionals in business
who might not have thought of using such communication
The advantages for the business user are potentially
enormous – because if you’re writing about something
you already know well, blogging is fairly easy. It’s
free, and you can write new material whenever you
feel like it.
There’s also an excellent chapter on podcasts, giving
instructions on how to make them and examples of how
they might be useful in business.
Full details are given of all the free software you
might need, and where to go to get it.
0— Pub quiz – Question #3
In the film ‘Casablanca’, who played Sam, the pianist?
0— ‘Universal Design’ – new book
This is a book on good modern web design principles.
The term ‘Universal’ in the title signifies that
the information on the site should be designed in
such a way that it’s viewable on any device.
That means a desktop computer, a laptop, a PDA,
and even on a mobile phone.
It should also be possible to navigate through the
information using a mouse, key strokes, or even
the tiny buttons on a phone.
That’s quite a design challenge if what’s viewable
isn’t going to look a mess. But this book shows
you how to do it.
0— Pub quiz – Question #4
How many of Henry VIII’s wives were beheaded?
0— ‘Damp Squid’ – new book on language
Despite its apparently frivolous title, this is quite
a serious book on the state of English language today.
It’s written by someone working on what’s called the
Oxford Corpus of English. This is a huge database of
contemporary texts which is analysed scientifically
to reveal how English is actually being used today.
This in turn is used as the basis for compiling
dictionaries that reflect the way that meanings
change in words.
It has a particularly good chapter on irregularities
of spelling and pronunciation, culminating in a review
of ‘eggcorns’. These are understandable mistakes such
as ‘just desserts’, ‘free-reign’, and ‘baited breath’ –
many of which are so widespread they might eventually
0— Pub quiz – Question #5
What head is on the Sphinx?
0— ‘A Smile of Fortune’ – Joseph Conrad
This is one of Conrad’s lesser-known long stories.
It concerns a young sea captain who puts ashore to
do business on an island in the Indian Ocean.
He’s confronted by a puzzling dilemma which pits
his professional honour against the strange allure
of a mysterious woman. [Common problem?]
He decides to act, and ends up losing the woman
and investing in a cargo of potatoes he doesn’t
really want. It’s been described as a ‘study in
failure’ – yet there’s still an ironic twist to
the end of the book.
0— Pub quiz – Question #6
Which sea does not have any coastline?
0— F.r.e.e fonts – available here
I spotted this handwriting font by Kimberley Geswein
used on a web design blog – and noticed that several
people had asked for details in the comments.
It turns out to be buck-shee for personal use.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #7
What is a zarzuela?
0— Cartoons and Comic Strip Art
Smashing Magazine has just come up with another
of its excellent compilations of the art of
They’re from the USA and Europe, Britain,
Russia, China, Latin-America, and Japan.
Interesting to note that the Chinese and Japanese
characters are both given European features.
Single page with good graphics, and all examples
carry links back to the original sources.
0— Pub quiz – Question #8
Which novel is set in the seventh century AF?
0— WebUrbanist – great site
WebUrbanist is about urban design, culture,
travel, architecture and alternative art.
It features photographic studies of weird and
wacky objects – ranging from the smallest
houses, via the strangest hotel rooms, to
tilt-shift photography and Banksy graffiti.
’15 Ridiculous Jet-Powered Vehicles’
’10 Great Geek Gadgets Now and Future’
‘Food Art: Incredible Art Made from Food’
’15 Must-See Post-Modern Museum Designs’
’24 Gripping Ghost Tows and Abandoned Cities’
It’s one of those compilations of oddities which
once you start viewing, you’ll find it difficult
to stop. Mainly because it’s so well done.
0— Pub quiz – Question #9
What is a gallivat?
0— Rupert Brooke – biographical notes
Rupert Brooke is one of Britain’s best known poets.
You’ve no doubt come across his famous lines:
IF I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.
He is often (wrongly) celebrated as a ‘war poet’ –
because he never saw military action, and he died of
nothing more heroic than a mosquito bite.
We have a new set of guidance notes on him, relating
him to the Bloomsbury Group, with which he was
0— Pub quiz – Question #10
Who executed Mata Hari?
0— Music History – major resource
I was listening to Conlan Nancarrow and Henry Cowell
on my Asus netbook the other night, when I stumbled
across this amazing site which has background notes
and musical samples on an amazing variety of music.
It’s compiled very lovingly by American composer
and teacher Mark Alburger. Almost every entry is
beautifully illustrated with photographs and
paintings, musical scores, and audio clips
Even more amazing is that despite its huge scope,
it’s only one of many sites he runs. Others list
his complete works, an almost daily photo-blog.
I don’t know how he gets round copyright restrictions,
but there are full length tracks from everyone
from Jimi Hendrix to Benjamin Britten.
You don’t need to download anything: just click and listen!
0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS
#1 What kind of animal is a Wessex Saddleback?
ANSWER: A pig
#2 Which giant supported the heavens on his shoulders?
#3 In the film ‘Casablanca’, who played Sam, the pianist?
ANSWER: Dooley Wilson
#4 How many of Henry VIII’s wives were beheaded?
#5 What head is on the Sphinx?
#6 Which sea does not have any coastline?
ANSWER: Sargasso sea
#7 What is a zarzuela?
ANSWER: A Spanish light opera – or a fish stew.
#8 Which novel is set in the seventh century AF?
ANSWER: Aldus Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’
#9 What is a gallivat?
ANSWER: A boat
#10 Who executed Mata Hari?
ANSWER: The French
0— Coming soon
‘Memoirs of a Novelist’
Josef Albers on Colour Theory
‘Painting the Web’
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