A Book Before Its Time

The art of the Selfie isn’t exactly a new invention. Self-portraits have been traced back to Ancient Egypt and became a fixture of Renaissance art in the mid 15th century. But it was in the early 2000s that the Selfie entered an era of unprecedented innovation. It began with the infamous Myspace angles and blossomed into ‘Look at my Happy Life’ Facebook albums which were a crucial asset in maintaining market dominance against Google Plus. Now with Facebook’s $1 Billion dollar purchase of the auto-hipster photo app Instagram and expansion of it to be a more widely accessible website, the Selfie has broadened from a presentation of oneself in the best light, to a personal expression of the self as a series of meaningful moments and briefly held artifacts.

And although the very funny Text-Only Instagram Twitter account hits the nail right on the head, and the Normalize app magically returns photos to their pre-filtered states,  this outpouring of carefully crafted, public images shows no sign of slowing.

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The Photoguide to Portraits, written in 1976, gives in-depth and easy to read guides on how to photograph oneself and the people in the world around you. This ancient text surely holds secret wisdom that may bolster the craft of self-portraiture in the digital age.

Available in store for the navel gazing price of $4

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Lost Hemingway Short Story Found


The Shot, a short story written in Hemingway’s later life and published in True Magazine in April 1951, was all but lost to history. That is until a determined teacher, after an exhaustive search, found it on eBay.

He has transcribed the text and made it available free on his blog.

Another blogger discusses the short story in a critical essay on the popular belief that Hemingway and Fidel Castro were friends.

The Hemingway story “The Shot[51],” as pointed out previously by others,[52] has hallmark descriptions of killings attributed to Fidel Castro.This short story seems to be amalgamation of several of these killings certainly including that of Manuel (Manolo) Castro del Campo, a government official unrelated to Fidel Castro Ruz, and probably that of Oscar Fernández Caral.[53] Fernández Caral, who had proclaimed himself as witness to the Manolo Castro murder was promptly murdered by Castro and his colleagues.[54] [55]

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Practice Safe Syntax


No one likes a hater, but we all like to poke fun at the Twilight series.

This has left a lot of fans wondering why some critics are so hostile in their appraisal of Stephenie Meyer’s oeuvre.

The author of the blog Reasoning with Vampires has taken the admiral step of putting her preconceived notions to the test by reading the full series.

As she does so she has been applying her substantial knowledge and understanding of literature to detail precisely why it is that critics of the series fear that it has a negative impact on suggestible readers and literature as a whole.


Pedantic? Proudly.

Worth doing? Someone has to.

Worth reading? Still a better love story than Twilight.



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50 Robots to Draw and Paint

This book presents 50 robot designs for artists to copy, and then embellish with their own creative flourishes. Each design features step-by-step constructional drawings, with instructions for shading and coloring.

  • Basic robots, easy-to-create “starter” models
  • Wizards and alchemists
  • Clockwork robots, constructed from gears, cogs, and mechanical parts
  • Bipedal anti-tank robots engaging in future wars
  • Insect-like robots with computer brains
  • Robotic shock-troops for interstellar warfare
  • Readers will also find advice on effective storytelling, avoiding simplistic cliches, seeking out constructive criticism, and maintaining productive work habits.
  • More than 200 instructive color illustrations.

Available in store for the Gundam price of $10

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The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Written by the aptly named Francis Grose, a survey of the lively, traditional slang of the English Navy. Widely popular at its publishing and finding resurgence at its digitisation earlier this year, the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue is timeless.

Wherein to ‘fib the cove’s quarron in the rumpad for the lour in his bung’ is to ‘beat the fellow in the highway for the money in his purse‘.

Or one might “…have the preacher’s oven fill your jolly with fee, faw, fum at the gospel shop and lose a few king’s pictures”.

The preface describes some of the purpose of the dictionary:

“By an occasional reference to our pages, they [young men of fashion] may be initiated into all the peculiarities of language by which the man of spirit is distinguished from the man of worth.”

“They may now talk bawdy before their papas, without the fear of detection, and abuse their less spirited companions, who prefer a good dinner at home to a glorious UP-SHOT in the highway, without the hazard of a cudgelling.”

Now if only someone would donate a copy. wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

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Kim Kardashian and the existentialists

Kim Kierkegaardashian (@KimKierkegaard) is a mash-up of Kim Kardashian’s tweets and select excerpts of the father of existentialism, Soren Kierkegaard. And it is perfect.

And then there’s Justin Buber (@Justin_Buber), pairing the words of another great existentialist, Martin Buber, with those of Justin Bieber.

Or better yet Kantye West (@Kantye_West), spinning the thoughts of Immanuel Kant and Kanye West.

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The future’s not what it used to be

It is really only the past 200 years that humanity has been able to track its ever changing vision of the future. And it is equal parts insightful and hilarious

Exhibit A.


We take our readers across space to meet the man from Mars. Alighting from our space ship, wearing a space suit, we greet the Martian who approaches. He is a strange looking individual. He has been evolved much differently than we because Mars is a smaller planet, has less gravity, a thin atmosphere, and extremes of heat and cold. He has large ears to catch sounds weakened by rarefied air. He communicates with his fellows by telepathy, using natural antenna. He is tall, walking with the aid of natural suction-type feet. He has magnificent lung development, and narrow, light body. He has retractable eyes and nose, to protect against freezing. His body, besides being protected by scientific garments, is covered with warm fur. Being the most advanced creature in the solar system, he carries an atomic rifle, the result of greater science knowledge. [via ubersuper.com/retro-futurism]

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