Sunday, May 12, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N20) Dan Brown's Inferno, a Parody, Coursera, + More

The Telegraph reviews the new Dan Brown book (in a way):
The Inspector reluctantly passed a laptop to Langdon who could now sit up in bed. Dr d’Angelou smiled.

“I will leave you two gentlemen,” she said, because that was the sort of thing people said in novels.

Langdon pressed a few keys and on the laptop screen was a grey filtrated image of himself walking along a street he did not recognise. Across the road was a little old woman dressed as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, that deeply divisive saint of the Catholic Church and presumably head of the deeply sinister Salvation Army.

With a chill that aspirated his spine, Langdon watched as the diminutive saint beckoned to him across the road.

“What is she saying, laddie?” the Inspector asked.

Langdon shook his head.

“I don’t know,” he lied.

“You don’t know?” the Inspector asked. “Robert Langdon PFC etc etc doesn’t know something? No wonder you’ve gone as white as your sateen sheets.”

But it was the next frame in the CCTV footage that genuinely shocked him. Out of nowhere and without warning a yellow school bus appeared. It was going at least 30mph in a 20mph zone and its windows were crowded with faces cheering and waving, but that is not what caught Langdon’s attention. Down its side was written in large letters the word PEN.

Langdon froze the picture.

“What does PEN mean, do you think?”

Langdon wrote the word pen along one of the fine lines that demarked the sheet of foolscap in his firm yet carefree handwriting.
They over do it by trying the above again in a different section of the paper although this one may be better:(Telegraph)
“Thanks, John,” he thanked. Then he put down the telephone and perambulated on foot to the desk behind which he habitually sat on a chair to write his famous books on an Apple iMac MD093B/A computer. New book Inferno, the latest in his celebrated series about fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon, was inspired by top Italian poet Dante. It wouldn’t be the last in the lucrative sequence, either. He had all the sequels mapped out. The Mozart Acrostic. The Michelangelo Wordsearch. The Newton Sudoku.

The 190lb adult male human being nodded his head to indicate satisfaction and returned to his bedroom by walking there. Still asleep in the luxurious four-poster bed of the expensive $10 million house was beautiful wife Mrs Brown. Renowned author Dan Brown gazed admiringly at the pulchritudinous brunette’s blonde tresses, flowing from her head like a stream but made from hair instead of water and without any fish in. She was as majestic as the finest sculpture by Caravaggio or the most coveted portrait by Rodin. I like the attractive woman, thought the successful man.
As the book hits number one all around the world, literary smugness at its finest.

Is good grammar still important? (Observer):
The inaugural Bad Grammar award has gone to a group of academics for an open letter in which they criticised education secretary Michael Gove. Are we too hung up on the correct use of language?
Coursera adds Textbook content from Sage, Wiley, Oxford University Press and Macmillan Higher Education in partnership with Chegg (Blog):
Now, all classes need some additional learning materials – guides, lecture notes, and of course books. That’s where Chegg steps in. We’re serving as the platform on which Coursera students access their reading materials, all through our eTextbook reader.

“Student needs are evolving so it’s important that they continue to learn in and out of the classroom,” said Dan Rosensweig, President and CEO of Chegg. “It’s vital that we put students first. Digital courses allow the most sought-after classes, taught by the most knowledgeable educators to be accessible, even worldwide, helping students finish college quicker and with less debt. At Chegg, we are thrilled to partner with Coursera to expand and adapt our digital offerings – from textbooks to supplemental content – to enhance the way students are learning today.”
From Twitter this week:
Items from Hemingway's Cuba home go to JFK Library BusinessWeek
Ann Curry reportedly being courted for lucrative tell-all book deal Examiner - Didn't she get $10mm severance? Not enough?

And in Sport, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement this week and will be leaving the job on a high note: Guardian Supplement

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