Newsletter 164 – November 2010


Number 164 – November 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 **

No – you didn’t miss the October newsletter.
There wasn’t one. Pressure of work. Sorry.

0— ‘Here Comes Everybody’

This is without doubt my outstanding reading experience
of the last few weeks. Clay Shirky is what some people
are now calling a ‘futurologist’.

He analyses the latest developments in computer technology
and uncovers new shifts in social and economic forces.

His prime target is the newspaper industry, which used to
have what seemed like a monopoly on the distribution of
information about current events.

That has now been completely undermined by something as
apparently innocuous as personal blogs.

He also shows *why* Wikipedia has become the greatest
encyclopedia the world has ever seen – even though nobody
gets paid for writing it.

His study is a very engaging mixture of technology, sociology,
politics, and anthropology. Full review here –

Mantex Newsletter Here Comes Everybody

0— Pub Quiz Question #1

What part of the body suffers from glaucoma?

0— Language Skills

Amusing YouTube video of a young kid speaking
English in 24 different accents.

Warning! It’s not safe for work (NSFW) or for
showing your maiden aunt.

What’s even more remarkable is the fact that
he nails so many UK dialects – which as all
good linguists know is not the same thing as
regional accent.

Mantex Newsletter Language Skills

0— Pub quiz – Question #2

How many Nobel prizes are awarded annually?

0— How to write the minutes of meetings

I have never met anybody who enjoyed writing up
the minutes of meetings. When your turn comes in
a staff meeting, don’t you start shuffling papers
and hope somebody else will volunteer?

Help is at hand! A full set of guidance notes on
how to do it. These should be useful if you are
secretary of a departmental committee, or chairman
of your local gardening club.

Mantex Newsletter How to write the minutes of meetings

0— Pub quiz – Question #3

What was Bing Crosby’s signature tune?

0— ‘The Ambassadors’ – a study guide

This is the latest in our series of literary
mashups – study guides for the classics of English

They include a plot summary, a list of characters,
video clips, a commentary, links to study resources,
and lists of all the further reading you will need.

‘The Ambassadors’ was one of the late, great novels
of Henry James. In other words, it’s very long, and
not much happens. But it’s a classic.

Mantex Newsletter The Ambassadors

0— Pub quiz – Question #4

Homer’s Iliad tells the story of the siege of which city?

0– Digital Publishing

Interesting if short article on a recent development
in the world of books. Publishers are so anxious about
the decline in sales that they are looking into the
world of digital publishing.

But how do you market a book app when you’re in
competition with the other 250,000 released apps?

Mantex Newsletter Digital Publishing

0— Pub quiz – Question #5

A tidal bore occurs on which two English rivers?

0— Samuel Becket – his greatest works

Nobel prize winner Samuel Barclay Beckett
was a master of the short story, the novel,
and of course was probably the most
influential dramatist of the twentieth century.

This is an introduction to his greatest works,
laid out in chronological order – from the
1930’s novel ‘Murphy’ through to his last
piece which appeared in the Guardian the
same week he died.

Mantex Newsletter Samuel Beckett – greatest works

0— Pub quiz – Question #6

What name is given to the fruit of the Blackthorn?

0— People and their favourite desks

Enjoy this great short film about people and their
love affairs with the office desk.

Mantex Newsletter People’s favourite desks

0— Pub Quiz – Question #7

Which port used to be the capital of Egypt?

0— ‘Lord Jim’ – a study guide

I have slightly mixed feelings about Joseph Conrad,
but he is undoubtedly a great modern novelist.

This is one of his most popular books – the story
of a young man with high ambitions as a seaman who
flounders when he is confronted with a moral dilemma.

He is disgraced, and embarks on the long road to
redemption and regaining his self respect.

He does this in a remote region of the East Indies,
and even wins the love of a Good Woman.

But evil returns to put him to the test again, and
he is obliged to face the biggest challenge of all.

The guidance notes include a plot summary, a list
of characters, study resources, video clips, and
pictures of his work.

Mantex Newsletter Lord Jim – a study guide

0— Pub Quiz – Question #8

Which planet is named after the god of commerce?

0— Pencil Fans – Great News!!

Writing implement anoraks (like me) will welcome
the recent announcement that the Blackwing pencil
is about to go back into production.

What! You’ve never heard of it?

‘Better than the iPad’ is an interesting video
showing the devotion some writers have to their kit.

Mantex Newsletter Blackwing Pencils

0— Pub Quiz – Question 9#

Who was known as the ‘Warrior Queen’?

0— ‘The Art of SEO’ – new book reviewed

Search Engine Optimisation is a jargonised way of
saying ‘getting more people to visit your web site’.

It involves tweaking just about every important
detail of a web page to make it ‘friendly to Google’.

This huge guidance manual covers every single aspect
of this process – and in doing so shows you both how
Google works and what constitutes a quality web page.

OK – this is one for specialists. But it’s very good.

Mantex Newsletter The Art of SEO

0— Pub Quiz – Question #10

Who wrote ‘New Grub Street’?

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 What part of the body suffers from glaucoma?
ANSWER: The eye

#2 How many Nobel prizes are awarded annually?

#3 What was Bing Crosby’s signature tune?
ANSWER: ‘Where the blue of the night meets the gold of the day’

#4 Homer’s Iliad tells the story of the siege of which city?

#5 A tidal bore occurs on which two English rivers?
ANSWER: Trent and Severn

#6 What name is given to the fruit of the Blackthorn?

#7 Which port used to be the capital of Egypt?
ANSWER: Alexandria

#8 Which planet is named after the god of commerce?
ANSWER: Mercury

#9 Who was known as the ‘Warrior Queen’?
ANSWER: Boadicea

#10 Who wrote ‘New Grub Street’?
ANSWER: George Gissing

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ISSN 1470-1863
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