Round up #145: Vinepeek, Timbuktu

Round up #145: Vinepeek, Timbuktu

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Free today: John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood

Thanks to Andrys Basten of the

A Kindle World blog

for the heads-up on this one!

Free today is

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood

I was looking forward to the movie of John Carter last year. I wrote a post in another blog of mine, The Measured Circle, about some of the other fictional works which may have been inspired in part by Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Barsoom series.

It surprised me considerably when, short after the release, Disney treated it like a failure, and when people attributed the departure of Walt Disney Studio Chairman Rich Ross directly to this “flop”.

I wasn’t surprised because I thought the movie was good…I hadn’t seen it, and still haven’t (although I plan to at some point). It just seemed like there was still a reasonable chance that they could recoup the mighty budget (reported to be $250 million) over time, counting secondary video sales, and how it might be received in other theatrical markets (which wasn’t really established at that point).

This book is going to the top of my virtual TBR (To Be Read) pile…it’s well-reviewed on Amazon, and I’m intrigued to see what insight it has.

We’ve struck URL!

In researching my next article for The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing which should run as usual on the second Saturday (this Saturday) of the month, I ran across a new feature for authors at Amazon. You can make an easy to remember URL (Uniform or Universal Resource Locator) for your Amazon Author Central page! Mine is now

which is much easier than the weird driver’s license like number we used to have (that one still works, by the way). I checked it, and Stephen King does have it set up, but a few others I tried didn’t.

“Don’t cry for me, Barnes & Noble!” ♪ ♫

Hmm…do you think a musical about the changes in the publishing market could work? 😉

There have been many articles lately talking about the possible demise of Barnes & Noble, and what it would mean. As you know, it’s easy enough to find things on the internet that say that anything will lead to doom (gee…I wonder if that’s a law similar to Rule 34). It is…interesting to see people talk both positively and negatively about B&N. For some, the loss of those bookstores would be symbolic of the loss of all bookstores (and paperbooks, apparently)…for others, it’s justice for the problems it caused for smaller bookstores.

One note on that latter before I go ahead. A Barnes & Noble tended to seriously impact bookstores which hadn’t sufficiently created their own personalities. That’s not all that happened, of course, but many specialty bookstores, and bookstores with a reputation, survived it.

Here are a couple you might find interesting:

Look away! Look away!

I am warning you…this may be the most insanely addictive thing to come to your Kindle Fire HD! Do not blame me if you find yourself unable to tear your eyes away from it.

You’ve been warned.

There is a new website called

It shows you six second videos from the Vine app (not yet available in the Amazon Appstore), pretty much as they are posted. From around the world, you get these fascinating, weird little movies…yes, six seconds long. It’s not just an unedited six week single shot…each one may be made up of several jump cuts.

Vine did have a problem with porn at first, but I haven’t seen any (they did try and fix it). I have seen the “F word” written down once so far, but mostly, it’s head-spinning variety from around the world. “What did that guy just say?” “What is that cat doing?” “Is that baby afraid of that Spider-Man doll?”

I think it’s largely because you don’t get to figure it out that you can’t look away.

Unsurprisingly, some people also use it for advertising, but that’s tough to do in six seconds, and seems to be a pretty small percentage at this point.

I have to say, if I wasn’t a good multi-tasker (and a touch typist), I couldn’t have it on and write this at the same time. 😉

Jeffrey Archer wants to read your 100 word story

Want to be a novelist?

Sure, you could just publish the book yourself, but how about if Jeffrey Archer reads, selects it, and you have a chance to be published by a tradpub?

The Jeffrey Archer Short Story Contest

Write a one hundred word story and submit it there by February 15th, and it could happen.

This reminded me of the story which may or may not have been written by Ernest Hemingway to win a bet. It’s cited as a sad short story in just six words: “For Sale: baby shoes, never used”.

Once again, the most literate city in the USA is…

Washington, D.C.

This is an annual survey, and they do give you comparisons to last year.

USA Today: “Washington, D.C., tops ‘most literate city’ study”

Interestingly for my area, San Francisco dropped a couple of notches (to number 11).

I wonder if that is because we have moved more quickly than some of the rest of the country to something which is unmeasurable by the study? That might be just wishful thinking, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it later turned out to be true.

The Timbuktu Manuscripts…a new Alexandria?

This was a bizarre news story, that quickly flipped back and forth. Clearly, the mythology of the burning of the library at Alexandria resonates very strongly with people. By mythology, I don’t mean to say it didn’t happen (although it pretty clearly didn’t happen the way many people imagine it), just that there are a lot of beliefs around it.

Recently, in Mali, another library was burned, and it was feared that priceless manuscripts had been lost.

However, the story turned out to be a lot more complex. Apparently, the possibility had been anticipated, and heroic steps were taken to save them.

I thought this

Japan Times article

by Rukmini Callimachi did a great job with it.

It does appear that the intent of the people who burned the library was to destroy the works inside. According to the article,

“However, they did not bother searching the old building, where an elderly man named Abba Alhadi has spent 40 of his 72 years on Earth taking care of rare manuscripts. The illiterate old man, who walks with a cane and looks like a character from the Bible, was the perfect foil for the Islamists. They wrongly assumed that the city’s European-educated elite would be the ones trying to save the manuscripts, he said.”

I strongly recommend this short article (which I could even see being made into a movie) to see how 95% of the books were apparently saved through the actions of a booklover.

I’d ask you if you have any comments on these stories, but I figure you are too entranced by Vinepeek at this point to say anything. 😉 Just kidding…do you think the loss of Barnes & Noble (if it even happens) would be a good thing or a bad thing (or both) for readers? How literate is your city? Are you going to enter the Jeffrey Archer contest? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

2 Responses to “Round up #145: Vinepeek, Timbuktu”

  1. Bailey Says:

    Hey, on the city literacy survey, Minneapolis was in 3rd, and St. Paul was in 6th! Go Twin Cities! 🙂

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Bailey!

      Yep…after all, it’s too cold to go outside, so why not stay inside and read? 😉

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