Newsletter 162 – August 2010


Number 162 – August 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 **

*** *** Back to School Edition *** ***

[Pub Quiz – special EASY version – by demand]

Summer holidays coming to an end – oh dear!
Time for new schemes of work and lesson plans.

Don’t worry! We’ve got a whole bunch of products
and f.r.e.e downloadables to help students and
teachers cope in the classroom.

[Indulgence requested. It’s my birthday today.]

0— ‘Writing Essays’ – downloadable eBook

It doesn’t matter what the subject, all students
must learn how to write essays. And this book
covers every part of the process from A to Z.

Best-seller now in its sixth edition. It also
contains five sample essays. Download it now!

Mantex Newsletter Writing Essays – downloadable

0— Pub Quiz Question #1

What is the state capital of Massachusetts?

0— ‘I Write Like’ – novelty site

The recently launched I Write Like site has one
simple gimmick: You paste a few paragraphs that
exemplify your writing, then click “analyze” and
poof! you get a badge telling you that you write
like Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway or
Chuck Palahniuk. No – I hadn’t heard of him either.

I tried it. Charles Dickens writes like Arthur
Conan Doyle; Virginia Woolf writes like H.G. Wells;
and Henry James writes like H.P. Lovecraft.

I think the site owner needs to put some more
examples into his algorithm. As one commentator
observed “It’s completely idiotic, useless,
fallacious, ridiculous, meaningless – but fun.”

Mantex Newsletter I Write Like

0— Pub quiz – Question #2

What is the higest number in a Sudoku puzzle?

0— ‘Study Skills’ – downloadable eBook

Advice on reading and writing skills, time management,
and work planning. This book also includes organising
and writing essays, research skills, and an introduction
to the use of computer technology.

Mantex Newsletter Study Skills – downloadable

0— Pub quiz – Question #3

Which English queen has the same name as a type of plum?

0— ‘Virginia Woolf and the Arts’ – new book

This is a must for any Virginia Woolf or
Bloomsbury buffs – a huge compendium of
essays on Woolf and anything from interior
decor and enetertaining, to other women and
visits to museums, photography, journalism,
and even film and the theatre.

Two things of real interest are outstanding.
One is that Woolf was deeply embedded in the
very latest technologies of her time. She even
wrote about flying (though she had never been
up in an aeroplane).

The second is that (on the strength of this
collection and other recent publications) the
traditional ‘literary criticism’ essay seems
to be dying by self-inflicted wounds.

The best of the contributions look outwards
and make connections with the real world.

Mantex Newsletter Virginia Woolf and the Arts

0— Pub quiz – Question #4

How many dots are used for each character in Braille?

0— ‘Revision and Examinations’ – downloadable eBook

This is the third in our ‘traffic lights’ set of
study guides [covers in red, amber, and green].

It shows you how to prepare for exams, and how to
pass them successfully. It will help you to improve
your self-confidence and overcome any nerves and
anxiety, and it shows you how to guarantee your
best performance in the examination.

Mantex Newsletter Revision & Examinations – downloadable

0— Pub quiz – Question #5

How is the number 77 shown in Roman numerals?

0— eBook sales up! But what does this mean?

Amazon claims to have sold 143 digital books for its
e-reader, the Kindle, for every 100 hardback books
over the past three months.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said sales of the Kindle
and ebooks had reached a “tipping point”, with five
authors including Steig Larsson (‘Girl with a Dragon
Tattoo’) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight series) each
selling more than 500,000 digital books.

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of the Bookseller, said that
while ebooks had outnumbered hardbacks in volume, they
were likely to be some distance behind in value.

Some of the bestsellers listed on the Kindle top 10 list
today were retailing for as little as $1.16 (75p).

It does not appear that the growth of ebooks is damaging
sales of physical books. According to the Association of
American Publishers, hardback sales are still growing in
the US, up 22% this year.

Mantex Newsletter eBook Sales

0— Pub quiz – Question #6

Who is the patron saint of music?

0— ‘Privilege and Property’ – new book on copyright

This is the heavy-duty historical background
to the copyright wars that are raging today.

What do you mean – you’ve not noticed them!

The fact is that text, film, music, and just
about everything else except heavy wooden
furniture can be digitized and reproduced
easily these days.

This has led to arguments, lawsuits, and
multi-million pound settlements amongst
those people who think they control the
digital rights to something.

The problem is that it’s not always clear
who owns these rights.

Anyway, these are the conditions that
led up to the current mess – in medieval
Italy, France, and Britain – then the USA.

Mantex Newsletter Essays on the History of Copyright

0— Pub Quiz – Question #7

What is the only bird that can fly backwards?

0— F.r.e.e Yahoo Style Guide

Regular contributor Mike Unwalla writes:

This month Yahoo! published a style guide for
people who write online content

Mantex Newsletter Yahoo Style Guide

The book has much good content, but the American
centred writing decreases the book’s credibility.

(What is a tribble and why is a tribble difficult
to control?)

0— Pub Quiz – Question #8

What do the numbers add up to on the opposite sides of a dice?

[And yes, we know that technically ‘dice’ is plural.]

0— GCSE Coursework Handbook – new publication

Get ready for new GCSE and A level coursework over
the summer and in September.

Students and teachers can download a new handbook
which is a guide through GCSE coursework.

1. Download the book
2. Read the guidance
3. Fill in templates
4. Result – good coursework!

Can be used for any subject, and re-printed
as many times as you wish. Download it here:

Mantex Newsletter GCSE Coursework Handbook

0— Pub Quiz – Question 9#

In the signs of the Zodiac, what animal is associated with Capricorn?

0— Art, Puzzles, Jewellery – and Guns!

This guy has a simple idea – and lots of skill.
He makes interlocking puzzles out of metal.

But the metals are beautifully shaped and
coloured – so the finished product looks
like a work of art.

His web site is amazingly old-fashioned – but
the products are wonderful.

His latest puzzle also includes a working gun!

If you want to see how it’s done, here’s
the video

Mantex Newsletter Puzzle Sculpture

Shame they’re so expensive – but good luck to him.

0— Pub Quiz – Question #10

How many edges has a 20 pence piece? [Don’t look]

0— F.r.e.e book – ‘Dot.Font: Talking about Design’

John Berry is a respected writer on typography
and design. He used to be an editor and wrote a
regular column for U&lc – an influential journal.

The articles were packaged into two very stylish
print publications some years ago. Now he’s giving
them a second life by giving away the PDF version.

This is the full review of his design articles –

Mantex Newsletter dot-font: talking about design

And here’s the download at dot-font –

Mantex Newsletter Free download

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 What is the state capital of Massachusetts?
ANSWER: Boston

#2 What is the higest number in a Sudoku puzzle?

#3 Which English queen has the same name as a type of plum?
ANSWER: Victoria

#4 How many dots are used for each character in Braille?

#5 How is the number 77 shown in Roman numerals?

#6 Who is the patron saint of music?
ANSWER: St Cecilia

#7 What is the only bird that can fly backwards?
ANSWER: Hummingbird

#8 What do the numbers add up to on the opposite sides of a dice?

#9 In the signs of the Zodiac, what animal is associated with Capricorn?

#10 How many edges has a 20 pence piece?

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ISSN 1470-1863
The British Library

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