Poetry Archive Celebrates First Anniversary

The Guardian has a story about the Poetry Archive and the rare and growing list of recordings of poets reading their work (everyone from Siegfried Sassoon to Langston Hughes to Margaret Atwood). This is a very cool and fascinating project that can be found here. But you need RealAudio to listen to the recordings. If you don’t have RealAudio, then it is of course a royal pain to get the free player.

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More About the Web Killing Bricks and Mortar

Here’s a story about how the internet is putting second-hand bookstores out of business in the U.K. I thought I had seen the last of these types of articles. There were so many during the dot-com boom and the dot-com bust, that this kind of thing seems rather dated.

I love to wander through bookstores (new and second-hand) looking for books I did not know existed or wanted. As much as I hate to see any bookstore go out of business, the internet has made it very easy to track down just about any book. For books that are out-of-print, it’s often the only way to find them.

Sites that sell used books like Alibris, Bookfinder, Powell’s, and even Amazon have helped me feed my book habit. They have fed my habit so much that I recently increased my To Read pile high enough that I won’t allow myself to buy any books in the near future until that pile has shrunk a bit. No matter how enticing a title might look to me whether it’s on a store shelf, in a book review, or in an online bookstore.

Iraq in a Civil war

NBC News has officially deemed the conflict a “civil war.” You can read about it here.
I’m still not sure why most of the MSM refuse to call it what it clearly is. Over 600,000 civilian deaths in three and a half years (according to a study at Johns Hopkins University) during which time our soldiers are less and less the target of violence, and Sunnis and Shiites most often are, sounds like a civil war to me.
That the Bush Administration continues to attempt to define and control reality by insisting on the use of certain terminology that bears no relation to reality is pathetic at best and madness at worst.