Archive for books

Mathematics Theme A Big Hit For New Graphic Novel

Posted in Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

Logicomix“Logicomix” was a best seller in the author’s, Apostolos Doxiadis, native Greece when it was released last year and now number-fiends in the U.S. can get their hands on this book that combines mathematical theories and philosophy within a film-noir-esque comic.

“Improbable material for comic-book treatment? Not really. The principals in this intellectual drama are superheroes of a sort. They go up against a powerful nemesis, who might be called Dark Antinomy. Each is haunted by an inner demon, the Specter of Madness. Their quest has a tragic arc, not unlike that of Superman or Donald Duck.” Link!


LeVar Burton And His Living Hell With Reading Rainbow

Posted in Entertainment, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

LeVarBurtonI’d thought I had a childhood-bubble-popping-clutch-the-pearls moment when I clicked on a link from actor LeVar Burton’s Twitter page where he writes a confessional article. In it, he states how much he hated the beloved children’s show, that ran for 26 years, Reading Rainbow.

“Hoping to escape Reading Rainbow’s clutches, I started taking any role I could get. I’m proud of some of them: I played Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Martin Luther King in Ali. But you know what the most challenging role of my career was? Hosting Reading Rainbow and acting like I gave a shit about getting kids interested in books.

Fact is, I couldn’t care less whether kids learn to read. There, I said it.”

As a kid who grew up loving this show since, pretty much, its inception way back in 1983 my mouth was agape at reading on his reflections. My reaction was, almost, akin to when I saw Wayne Brady doing that now infamous Dave Chappelle skit. Mr. Burton seems like such a nice guy, who was one of the few POC role models back in the day, and here he was, basically, saying, “F*** those kids!”

But, I laughed my butt off and re-read his article after realizing that it wasn’t to be taken seriously. You see, unbeknownst to my dingy self I neglected to see who he’d written the article for – The Onion.

Thanks for the belly laughs, LeVar Burton. Now I can go back to reading Abiyoyo. Link!

(Image courtesy of Flickr user library_mistress)

UPDATE! It turns out LeVar Burton didn’t write The Onion article after all. From his Twitter: “Attention all un-believers THE ONION is satirical parody of news events and meant to be enjoyed as such! No I did not write it! Relax, OK?”


Comic Book Displays Nelson Mandela’s Life

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

NelsonMandelaA graphic novel entitled Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book tells the story of the former South African President’s life. It shows in vivid color his beginnings being raised in a Thembu village to his recent years of helping youth through his Mandela Foundation.

With input from the Nobel Peace Prize winner, the comic also showcases childhood moments in Mandela’s life which have never been told before.

“Rendered in rich golds and browns, the comic book’s art — by a Johannesburg-based collective called Umlando Wezithombe — really lets us feel the gorgeous South African landscape and Mandela’s famous warmth. Against this backdrop, the narrative does fine work of making sense of decades of drawn-out political struggle and linking the African National Congress’ philosophies to its actions.” (via NPR)

(Image courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co.)



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Amy Sedaris Walk Through For Feminine Hygiene

Posted in Entertainment, Television, Videos, WTF?! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

ilikeyouHere’s funny lady Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) on Chelsea Lately recently promoting her new book “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence”. She teaches us about vaginal cleansing with a felt-like prop which is absolutely hilarious.

Both women crack me up, but I’m not sure about THIS SHIT HERE. Should we let this bitch slide because she has a screw loose? Why, Amy, why?Vodpod videos no longer available.


10 Stories Behind Dr. Seuss Stories

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 23, 2009 by TheDiversePurse

Mental Floss has uncovered some of the stories behind some of your favorite Dr. Seuss tales. Who knew he was incorporating adult issues of the time, like environmentalism, corruption, and race relations, into his books for children.

1. In case you haven’t read “The Lorax,” it’s widely recognized as Dr. Seuss’ take on environmentalism and how humans are destroying nature. Loggers were so upset about the book that some groups within the industry sponsored “The Truax,” a similar book — but from the logging point of view.
Another interesting fact: the book used to contain the line, “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie,” but 14 years after the book was published, the Ohio Sea Grant Program wrote to Seuss creator. Theodore Geisel, and told him how much the conditions had improved and implored him to take the line out. Geisel agreed and said that it wouldn’t be in future editions.

2. Somehow, Geisel’s books find themselves in the middle of controversy. The line “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” from “Horton Hears a Who!,” has been used as a slogan for pro-life organizations. It’s often questioned whether that was Seuss’ intent in the first place, but when he was still alive, he threatened to sue a anti-abortion group unless they removed his words from their letterhead.
Karl ZoBell, the attorney for Dr. Seuss’ interests and for his widow, Audrey Geisel, says that she doesn’t like people to “hijack Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view.
3. “If I Ran the Zoo,” published in 1950, is the first recorded instance of the word “nerd.”

4. “The Cat in the Hat” was written because Dr. Seuss thought the famous Dick and Jane primers were insanely boring. Because kids weren’t interested in the material, they weren’t exactly compelled to use it repeatedly in their efforts to learn to read. So, “The Cat in the Hat” was born.
5. Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss’ editor, bet him that he couldn’t write a book using 50 words or less. “The Cat in the Hat” was pretty simple, after all, and it used 225 words. Not one to back down from a challenge, Mr. Geisel started writing and came up with “Green Eggs and Ham” — which uses exactly 50 words.
The 50 words, by the way, are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

6. It’s often alleged that “Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!” was written specifically about Richard Nixon, but the book came out only two months after the whole Watergate scandal. It’s unlikely that the book could have been conceived of, written, edited and mass produced in such a short time.
Also, Seuss never admitted that the story was originally about Nixon. That’s not to say he didn’t understand how well the two flowed together. In 1974, he sent a copy of Marvin K. Mooney to his friend Art Buchwald at the Washington Post. In it, he crossed out “Marvin K. Mooney” and replaced it with “Richard M. Nixon,” which Buchwald reprinted in its entirety.

7. “Yertle the Turtle” = Hitler? Yep. If you haven’t read the story, here’s a little overview: Yertle is the king of the pond, but he wants more. He demands that other turtles stack themselves up so he can sit on top of them to survey the land. Mack, the turtle at the bottom, is exhausted. He asks Yertle for a rest; Yertle ignores him and demands more turtles for a better view.
Eventually, Yertle notices the moon and is furious that anything dare be higher than himself, and is about ready to call for more turtles when Mack burps. This sudden movement topples the whole stack, sends Yertle flying into the mud, and frees the rest of the turtles from their stacking duty.
Dr. Seuss actually said Yertle was a representation of Hitler. Despite the political nature of the book, none of that was disputed at Random House — what was disputed was Mack’s burp. No one had ever let a burp loose in a children’s book before, so it was a little dicey. In the end, obviously, Mack burped.

8. “The Butter Battle Book” is one I had never heard of, perhaps with good reason: it was pulled from the shelves of libraries for a while because of the reference to the Cold War and the arms race.
Yooks and Zooks are societies who do everything differently. The Yooks eat their bread with the butter-side up and the Zooks eat their bread with the butter-side down. Obviously, one of them must be wrong, so they start building weapons to outdo each other: the “Tough-Tufted Prickly Snick-Berry Switch,” the “Triple-Sling Jigger,” the “Jigger-Rock Snatchem,” the “Kick-A-Poo Kid”, the “Eight-Nozzled Elephant-Toted Boom Blitz,” the “Utterly Sputter” and the “Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroo.”
The book concludes with each side ready to drop their ultimate bombs on each other, but the reader doesn’t know how it actually turns out.

9. “Oh The Places You’ll Go” is the final Seuss book published before he passed away. Published in 1990, it sells about 300,000 copies every year because so many people give it to college and high school grads.

10. No Dr. Seuss post would be complete without a mention of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Frankenstein’s Monster himself, Boris Karloff, provided the voice of the Grinch and the narration for the movie. Seuss was a little wary of casting him because he thought his voice would be too scary for kids. If you’re wondering why they sound a bit different, it’s because the sound people went back to the Grinch’s parts and removed all of the high tones in Karloff’s voice. That’s why the Grinch sounds so gravelly.
Tony the Tiger, AKA Thurl Ravenscroft, is the voice behind “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” He received no credit on screen, so Dr. Seuss wrote to columnists in every major U.S. newspaper to tell them exactly who had sung the song.



George Hamilton Screwed His Stepmother

Posted in Entertainment, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2008 by TheDiversePurse

georgehamiltonIn his new book Don’t Mind If I Do: A Memoir, leathery tanorexic George Hamilton revealed that he’d had a relationship with his stepmother when he was 12 years old.

While on The View, he dismissed remarks of being abused by his stepmother, who was around 28 or 30 at the time, saying laughingly that he was a very willing partner. “The bottom line is it didn’t feel abnormal. From my point of view it wasn’t something so crazy – I don’t think it warped me in my life.” Link! (via Daily Mail)


Mafia On The Hunt For Author

Posted in International with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by TheDiversePurse
(image courtesy of gioiadelcolle)

(image courtesy of gioiadelcolle)

For some writers, there’s should be feelings of accomplishment and pride when your book is a bestseller, has been translated into 42 languages, and is a hit movie. But, not so for 29-year-old Italian author Roberto Saviano. Apparently his book, “Gomorra”, has hit a nerve with the very mafia for which it is based on. They feel readers and movie-goers are too aware of how they are involved in the underground crime scene. There has been rumors the mafia want Saviano killed by Christmas.

Because of the threats by the Casalesi clan of Naples Italy, Saviano has been in hiding under police protection for nearly two years now. Link! (via Reuters)