Newsletter 160 – June 2010
——– MANTEX NEWSLETTER ——–
Number 160 – June 2010 – ISSN 1470-1863
Arts, Culture, and Technology as seen from
the digital hub of Media city Manchester UK
** 13,000+ subscribers will see your AD **
0— Dictionary of Modern Slang – new edition
Do you know what ‘copacetic’ or ‘gamahuche’ mean?
No – neither did I until I read this latest edition
of OUP’s slang dictionary.
Or how about ‘carpet-muncher’? That’s a bit easier.
These dictionaries need to be updated regularly,
because new slag terms are being coined all the
time – and old slang goes out of fashion.
0— Pub Quiz Question #1
Where in your body is there an anvil, a hammer, and a stirrup?
0— Literature and Revolution
Victor Serge was one of the most accomplished
but little-known novelists of the early twentieth
century. he was a revolutionary who became one of
the first to oppose Stalin – and suffer the consequences.
His writing is intensely political, and yet it is
imbued with a passionate humanism which he sustained
throughout his life, until he dies in exile in Mexico.
This is a collection of his writing on the relationship
between literature and politics. Many of the essays
are focused on Russian writers of the 1920s.
His life story is almost like an adventure novel
in itself. For a glimpse into another world, see
0— Pub quiz – Question #2
‘Singhalese’ refers to which country?
0— Language, Technology, & Society
Most people think that writing and speaking a
language are more or less the same thing – that
writing is speech transcribed onto paper.
The fact is that they are two different (though
closely related) systems, and writing is an abstract
system of symbols for representing the spoken language.
There are some languages that are spoken but
which have no written equivalents, and there are
some languages (computer code for instance) that
are never likely to be spoken.
Richard Sproat, in this wide-ranging study,
emphasises from the start that the most important
connection between speech and the written language
is the technological invention of writing.
0— Pub quiz – Question #3
What is the state capital of Georgia USA?
0— Vladimir Nabokov – ‘Collected Stories’
Nabokov is best known for his novel ‘Lolita’ of course.
But he was also a master of the modern short story.
This is a collection of his complete works – including
some that have not generally been available before.
If you are a fan of the short story, this is not to
be missed – and if you want some fascinating reading
for a forthcoming holiday, I guarantee this will
leave you impressed long after your sun tan has faded.
0— Pub quiz – Question #4
How many minutes is a golfer allowed to find a lost ball?
0— ‘Charleston Saved 1979-1989’ – new book
This one for Bloomsbury fans, for interior design
enthusiasts, or for anyone who want s to know how
a run down country house can be fully restored.
[The answer is – secure rich American backers.]
Charleston was the home of Vanessa Bell, her husband
Clive Bell, and her lover Duncan Grant. Yes, that’s
how Bloomsbury worked.
She and Grant painted the whole house – even fireplaces
cupboards, tables, and walls – with their art works.
By 1979 it was a dilapidated wreck – but huge efforts
were made to save every last detail – including even
the hand-painted wallpaper.
0— Pub quiz – Question #5
In which country was the battle of El Alamein fought?
0— ‘Strangers on a Train’ – the original
I have always been a fan of Hitchcock’s classic
1951 film ‘Strangers on a Train’ – in which two
men meet and one persuades the other to ‘exchange
I recently thought I would read the original novel.
It was Patricia Highsmith’s first book – and I was
amazed how much darker and more complex it is than
The thriller plot is underpinned by two intense
psychological portraits – one of a louche social
psychopath and the other of a guilt-ridden
I won’t give away the ending, but I can tell you
that it’s not a happy one. Full review here:
0— Pub quiz – Question #6
In which year was Nelson Mandela released from prison?
0— ‘Writing Successful Academic Books’ – new book
If you are a lecturer in further or higher education,
you’ll know that there is only really one way to get
promotion. That’s to publish.
But it’s not easy in today’s economic climate to even
land a contract. You need to know exactly how to pitch
a proposal that will be accepted.
Anthony Haynes shows you exactly how to do this – and
even produces the very proposal he submitted to Cambridge
University Press to produce this book.
Most importantly for any researcher, he shows how to
create a publishable book out of a dissertation or
thesis – which is the work most people will have
already done in order to get up the ladder.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #7
Tenon and cross are both kinds of what tool?
0— Literature and Technology
The Literary Platform is dedicated to showcasing
projects experimenting with literature and technology.
It brings together comment from industry figures and
key thinkers, and it encourages debate.
Items range from a showcase of iPhone apps to short
stories on vinyl records, f.r.e.e eBooks, poetry
competitions, and a f.r.e.e newsletter.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #8
Where would you find a companion set?
0— ‘David Gentleman: Design’
You’ll recognise David Gentleman’s design work
as soon as you see it. He’s famous for posters,
Penguin jacket covers, postage stamps, and views
of famous landmarks in Europe and abroad.
This beautifully designed monograph is one of
a news series from the Antique Collectors Club.
It’s a well illustrated portfolio of his work
from the 1950s to the present, with an introductory
biographical and critical essay that outlines the
wide range of his work.
0— Pub Quiz – Question 9#
Which school did Billy Bunter attend?
0— ‘Joseph Conrad’s ‘Chance’ – a study guide
‘Chance’ is not one of Conrad’s best-known novels, but it’s
the first one that made him famous and earned him money.
It’s also (maybe not coincidentally) the first of his
novels to have a female as a central figure. Flora de Barrall
is the daughter of a disgraced financier, who is mistreated
by just about everybody who is supposed to be looking after her.
On a momentary decision, she agrees to marry a chivalrous
sea captain. He’s so chivalrous, he voluntarily forgoes
his conjugal rights. All goes well until her father is
released from jail …
Our study guides include a plot summary, list of characters,
study notes, commentary, and further reading. This is one
for serious literary studies buffs, or for reading on
a long summer holiday.
0— Pub Quiz – Question #10
What does RDA mean on a bottle of medicine?
0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS
#1 Where in your body is there an anvil, a hammer, and a stirrup?
ANSWER: Your ear
#2 ‘Singhalese’ refers to which country?
ANSWER: Sri Lanka
#3 What is the state capital of Georgia USA?
#4 How many minutes is a golfer allowed to find a lost ball?
#5 In which country was the battle of El Alamein fought?
#6 In which year was Nelson Mandela released from prison?
#7 Tenon and cross are both kinds of what tool?
#8 Where would you find a companion set?
ANSWER: On a fire hearth
#9 Which school did Billy Bunter attend?
#10 What does RDA mean on a bottle of medicine?
ANSWER: Recommended daily allowance
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