Friday, January 7, 2011

Reading Classic Novels...Naughty or Nice?

Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and many other great novels have all been either "Banned" or "Challenged" as inappropriate reading according to the American Library Association (ALA).

Are they great works of literary art or inappropriate reading?
I can't believe they're both.

Mercy! Books Burning.

Read the ALA website's list of Banned and/or Challenged Classics to see if your favorites are on there and why.

Does my being a fan of most of the classics listed make me a naughty boy?

Photo by Catherine Jamieson

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Art of Running A Business

I came across a great article at The New York Times site.
It's one of the better pieces for the would-be entrepreneur.
There are a lot of crap-articles when it comes to business how-to; articles with more fluff than substance.
It was nice to find a good one.

In my experience as a business owner, the article's 10 reasons small businesses fail are spot-on.

  1. Not enough demand for the product
  2. Owners that can't get out of their own way
  3. Out-of-control growth
  4. Poor accounting
  5. Lack of cash cushion
  6. Operational mediocrity
  7. Operational inefficiencies
  8. Dysfunctional Management
  9. Lack of a succession plan
  10. A declining market

Read the whole article TOP 10 REASONS BUSINESSES FAIL to get an explanation for each of these pitfalls.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Censorship - Mark Twain

There was a recent report in Publishers Weekly regarding adjustments being made to the Mark Twain classic Huckleberry Finn.
It seems offensive words will now be omitted or replaced in order to make the book more acceptable to today's young and/or sensitive readers.  

Some folks were in an uproar.
Frankly, I'm not bothered by it.
The book was written 125 years ago.
I accept that some social views have changed.

I have read and love most of Twain's work including Huck Finn.
It's because I love his work so much that I encourage this "censorship".

People who found the original version of Huckleberry Finn offensive can now enjoy this alternative version.
And they in-turn will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
Anything that gets us to read more of the classics gets my thumbs-up.

Now, if ALL Huck Finn books were going to be published without the original text, then I would be furious.
The fact that, in addition to the publishing of books containing the original wording, there will also be tamer versions for younger or more sensitive readers is fine.

If you haven't read Huckleberry Finn, I encourage you to do so...and if you're old enough to buy the book without asking an adult's permission, I suggest you read the book in it's original untamed form. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Milk and Coffee

My favorite kind of photographs are those that show us the everyday world in ways we do not or can not see.
The routine nature of things can be so extraordinary.

Many of us put cream or milk in our tea and coffee.
But, I can assure you -- you've never seen it quite like this.

The photographs below are by Irene Muller.
Using only her hand/eye coordination to photograph the splash caused by dropping milk into a coffee cup she was able to capture these wonderful images.

Her full galleries with many of her fantastic photographs can be found HERE.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to school

Most parents can't wait for their kids to go back to school after the holidays.

I've never understood.

My kids just went back today after their 2 week December Holiday...and I miss them terribly already.

Guess I'm just not like most parents.......

Photo by em_deboer22