Newsletter 166 – January 2011


Number 166 – January 2011 – 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— ‘Mediactive’ – new book

Dan Gillmor is a blogger who back in 2004
launched the notion of the ‘citizen journalist’.
Since that time, blogging has gone mainstream
and is even big business for a few.

This is his latest polemic in which he argues
that everyday folk have a golden opportunity
to fill the gap left by major news providers
as they slide into financial deficit.

His key point is that you no longer need
capital or a big organisation to start a
business. ‘The barriers to entry are virtually

Basically he wants us all to become more vigilant
and active participants in using the new media
tools at our disposal. And his other telling
argument is that we have two incredibly powerful
advantages over traditional journalism and the
broadcast media – these are the hyperlink and
the comment.

If television news reports an event, we have no
way of clicking through to check the source of
the information or any alternatives, and we
have no way of offering corrective feedback
or criticism.

Mantex Newsletter Dan Gillmor’s “Mediactive”

0— Pub Quiz Question #1

Who was the treacherous knight of the round table?

0— ‘Listen to This’ – new book

Alex Ross is music critic for The New Yorker.
Last year he had a smash hit with his major
survey of twentieth century composition.

On the strength of this, he’s dug out a
collection of articles from the last decade
or more. They range from analyses of musical
cadences to a portrait of Bob Dylan.

His main argument is that we ought to give
equal attention to all musical genres – and
in this collection, which includes essays on
Brahms, Bjork, Mozart, and Radiohead, he
certainly puts his own principles into practice.

redbtn “Listen to This”

And if you missed his first book, it’s here:

redbtn “The Rest is Noise”

0— Pub Quiz Question #2

In which ocean are the Canary Islands?

0— ‘Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes’ – new edition

You can use the book to look up rhymes for
specific words; browse sets of words for
inspiration; use the tips in marginal notes
to create extra sets of rhymes; or learn
from examples given throughout the book
how other writers past and present have
used rhyme.

redbtn “Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes”

0— Pub Quiz Question #3

Of which Canadian province is Regina the capital?

0— Can it be True?

“Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,
it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a
wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist
and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed
it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid
deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod
as a wlohe.”


0— Pub Quiz Question #4

Which two countries border Tunisia?

0— New eBooks arrive!

We’ve just launched a new range of eBooks.
These are in the ePUB format – which means
you can read them using most devices, including
your eBook reader, your web browser, or a
f.r.e.e reader from Adobe.

The first three titles are best-sellers:

redbtn ‘Improve your Writing Skills’

redbtn ‘Writing Essays’

redbtn ‘Marking Essays’

redbtn Adobe Digital Editions is available f.r.e.e

0— Pub Quiz Question #5

Who or what was the Empress of Blandings?

0— The Great Wall of Murdoch

Everybody knows that the major newspapers
are making huge losses in the face of
competition from the Internet. But Rupert
Murdoch took a big gamble when he decided
to charge visitors to his ‘Times’ web site.

The results of his experiment are just
starting to come in – and less than one half
of one percent of the Times readership has
been willing to spend a quid to access the site.


And just in case you think that the other
papers have got it right, the Guardian
manages to lose nearly 50 million a year.

0— Pub Quiz Question #6

What are UK military policemen called?

0— Jorge Luis Borges – a biography

This is the start of a new site devoted to the work
of the great Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges.

He is one of the few writers (along with Katherine
Mansfield) to establish a major international
reputation on the strength of only short stories.

redbtn Jorge Luis Borges

0— Pub Quiz Question #7

Which language does the word ‘Gymnasium’ come from?

0— Word Lens – new app

You’re in a foreign country. There’s text in
front of you – on a sign, on a menu – that you
don’t quite understand. What do you do?

If you own an iPhone, you can just start up
“Word Lens,” a hot new app which translates
words in front of you instantly. The app
processes the words in image format and
nearly immediately puts them in the
language of your choice. Watch it here

redbtn Word Lens

0— Pub Quiz Question #8

Which is Uruguay’s chief port?

0—– Online Writing Systems

Omniglot is a resource containing over 200
alphabets, syllaberies, logographics, and
other writing systems.

The site offers free foreign font downloads.
Under links, you can find your name written
in various languages, and there are listings
of online dictionaries and courses, foreign
language software, puzzles, and online
translation. Go to –


0— Pub Quiz Question #9

Who was the Greek goddess of Retribution?

0— Completely f.r.e.e foreign language courses

This guy used to charge for his excellent course,
but he seems to have done a deal with –
so now you can do it at zero cost Muy bien!


And here are one or two more. I have chosen
Spanish, but there are plenty of other choices.

redbtn Spanish Tips

redbtn Study Spanish

redbtn BBC Learn Spanish

0— Pub Quiz Question #10

Who wrote ‘The Egoist’?

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 Who was the treacherous knight of the round table?
ANSWER: Mordred

#2 In which ocean are the Canary Islands?
ANSWER: Atlantic

#3 Of which Canadian province is Regina the capital?
ANSWER: Saskatchewan

#4 Which two countries border Tunisia?
ANSWER: Algeria and Libya

#5 Who or what was the Empress of Blandings?

#6 What are UK military policemen called?
ANSWER: Red Caps

#7 Which language does the word ‘Gymnasium’ come from?

#8 Which is Uruguay’s chief port?
ANSWER: Montevideo

#9 Who was the Greek goddess of Retribution?
ANSWER: Nemesis

#10 Who wrote ‘The Egoist’?
ANSWER: George Meredith

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ISSN 1470-1863
The British Library

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