Just in case you didn't know--godknows I didn't--this is TV Turnoff Week. And while I'm all for it, I'm afraid that it's a proven fact that depriving your wee one of her daily dose of Boobahs can cause irreparable damage. If you don't believe me, I can provide video evidence of her face when I cut off the Boobahs while explaining to her that the tele is rotting her developing brain. Of course, you'll have to wait until next week to watch it.
According to this story in The Columbus Dispatch, nonfiction is kicking fiction's arse in Ohio schools. Teachers teaching toward the No Child Left Behind exams is given as a major reason, but I'm willing to bet that part of it is that nonfiction is much easier to teach and much easier to find teachers able to teach it.
Reason Magazine takes a look at the online audiobook service, LibriVox:
On LibriVox, the fact the recordings are free is but a fortunate by-product of a larger process with broader economic and philosophical implications. LibriVox is an example of what the Yale legal scholar Yochai Benkler—author of The Wealth of Networks, an influential analysis of “open source” economic networks—calls “commons-based peer production.” It’s a commons because it has no links to the marketplace in which goods and services are exchanged for money and because nothing is proprietary. It’s peer production because its volunteers coordinate their activities themselves without a traditional workplace hierarchy.
A quote to help you with your morning coffee: "The entire poem [50 Cent's "Ghetto Qu'ran"], we can agree, never quite reaches the heights of Notorious BIG's "Somebody's Gotta Die" - but surely beats anything by Keats." From this New Statesman article judging the growing brawl, not between East Coast/West Coast, but between Rap itself and some of the big boys of the literary canon.
Taking its cue from that article, Guardian Book blogger Miles Johnson believes that today's poets can learn a thing or two from the rappers:
Of course, some learnt this lesson 200-odd years back. Lord Byron was the Original Gangster of English poetry. As the first "celebrity poet" he had a notorious string of hos and always kept some duelling pistols handy in case some playa hater started mouthing off about his mama. In Don Juan's notoriously scornful dedication, he also successfully merked his rivals in the poetry game: Bob Southey, Coleridge and Wordsworth. Just as rappers thrive off having tiffs, Byron was famously enraged with the Lake Poets going soft whilst he remained authentically gangsta.
The winner of Britain's National Short Story prize has been announced.