Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Links: London, Sex and Origami

At the NYTimes Sarah Lyall takes a literary tour of London in 36hrs. She missed Dickens' house. And if you are there for 48hrs visit Sir John Soane's house (it's free) and it is an incredible house and collection. He was an architect by profession but a patron, etc.
From Lyall's article:

But it is better to visit, if only for the joy of seeing the landscape of your imagination come to life. How thrilling to happen upon Pudding Lane, where a bakery mishap led to the Great Fire of 1666, after reading Pepys’s account in his diaries. Or to wander along Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes once fictionally solved the unsolvable. Walk across London Bridge and gaze down, toward Southwark Bridge: this is the stretch of the Thames where Dickens’s sinister characters dredged up corpses in “Our Mutual Friend.”

In my early fun-filled days at Bowker (contrasted with the later years) we used to joke about publishing a BIP/sex & erotica edition since a) there were many titles in the database under those subjects and b) we knew it would sell. It's probably a good idea it remained a joke but Rupert Smith in the LATimes reflects on his experience writing and selling titles in this active publishing segment.
The fact that erotica sells so much, and so widely, suggests that it's really just like any other type of genre fiction -- doing a job for an audience that knows what it wants and where to get it. Crime, horror, sci-fi and romance authors set out their stalls in very similar fashions, offering a mystery, or a fright or a flight into fantasy. The porn writer's offer is just as simple: I'll deliver two good orgasms per chapter (or one, for readers over 40), along with a rattling good plot that will get you to the next sex scene, some likable characters and a big dollop of humor.
I found it interesting that two traditional print based travel map publishers are battling over who owns the rights to maps that use the ancient art of Origami. Am I going to have to consider how I fold my mapquest printout? Link.
Compass, which produced the official map for the Athens Olympics and is hoping to produce the official one for Beijing, was recently granted European patents for the maps. The case comes amid concerns about the growing cost of commercial litigation.
So, Compass (who are fighting Langensheidt) got a patent for an origami technique...?

Things aren't going so well for the owner of Harlequin. Torstar announces they are cutting 160 jobs and taking a restructuring charge of $21mm. These reductions will all be in the newspaper division (as you might expect). Link

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the patent that Compass have been granted is upheld, maybe I could get a patent for my 11 year olds sons' water bomb - that is probably from the same ancient origami stable.