Category Archives: Books & Reading

Books & Reading

Femme fatale: The images that reveal male fears – BBC Culture

Three new exhibitions explore how the femme fatale in art reflects evolving anxieties, writes Cath Pound.

By Cath Pound, 31st January 2023

(Image credit: Hamburger Kunsthalle, Photo: Elke Walford)

The figure of the femme fatale is one of the defining literary and artistic motifs of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Artists were drawn to historical archetypes of female seduction such as Cleopatra or Lucretia Borgia, characters from Old Testament stories including Salome, Judith and Delilah, or mythical figures such as Circe, Helen of Troy and Medea.

Others were conjured from their male author’s imagination – Prosper Mérimée’s Carmen, Émile Zola’s Nana and Frank Wedekind’s Lulu being some of the most notable.

Her emergence is frequently seen as a response to anxieties arising from profound social change as women pushed for greater economic, political and educational rights, challenging the established patriarchal order.

Middle-class women who sought education were, according to the British psychiatrist Henry Maudsley, likely to damage their reproductive organs, turning them into monstrosities who threatened the survival of the human race. Fear of contagious diseases such as syphilis was another factor, with working-class prostitutes being seen as contemporary femmes fatales who could lure their clients to their doom.

Continue reading Femme fatale: The images that reveal male fears – BBC Culture

Welcoming 1927 to the Public Domain – Internet Archive Blogs | Internet Archive

Welcoming 1927 to the Public Domain


Posted on January 1, 2023 by Alexis Rossi

From article…

This year we are welcoming works from 1927 into the public domain in the United States, including books, periodicals, sheet music, and movies.

Big events of 1927 include the first transatlantic phone call from New York to London, the formation of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first successful long distance demonstration of television, the release of the first popular “talkie,” The Jazz Singer, and the first nonstop transatlantic solo airplane flight, from New York to Paris, by Charles Lindbergh.

Source: Welcoming 1927 to the Public Domain – Internet Archive Blogs

Learning to Love Paper Books Again | Tor.com

By James Davis Nicoll, Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:00pm

Photo: Gülfer ERGİN [via Unsplash]

I was an early adopter of ebooks, in part because of my terrible eyesight, but mostly because I happened to break into reviewing just before the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Fear of contaminated packages increased shipping time for cases of manuscripts from four days to forty. Electronic books (which in those long-ago days were really just doc files) provided instant gratification.

At one point, I even considered ditching paper entirely in favor of electronic formats. In addition to the instant gratification angle, one does not have to worry about ebooks overloading the floors of one’s residence. One can carry a few thousand ebooks in one’s pocket. One can—and for me, this is the killer app—adjust font size. Ebooks are great, and I would defend them to your last breath.

Source: Learning to Love Paper Books Again | Tor.com

Artificial Intelligence and the Research Paper: A Librarian’s Perspective – News | SMU Libraries

By: Jonathan McMichael, Undergraduate Success Librarian
Screenshot…

AI writing can mimic style, but it cannot mimic substance yet. The release of a powerful, free and easy-to-use large language model platform, Open AI’s ChatGPT, raises interesting questions about the future of writing in higher education.

As the Undergraduate Success Librarian, I have a unique perspective on generative AI, like ChatGPT, that I want to share along with some advice for instructors and students on adapting to AI’s presence in higher education.

What is ChatGPT?

How does it work? ChatGPT is an interface that allows you to interact with artificial intelligence through text inputs and responses. The AI on the other side of the interface is a language model called GPT-3. It produces human-like text by parsing and analyzing the massive corpus of text information (large language) it has been trained on to predict what is likely to come next in a string of words. This makes GPT-3 a type of Generative AI because it uses machine learning to generate new content based on a given set of input data. So, when you give ChatGPT a prompt like “describe losing your sock in the dryer in the style of the declaration of independence” it (in simplified terms) identifies relevant data within its large language dataset, notices patterns within that dataset and then generates a set of text that seems most like the things it identified.*

Editor’s Note: Source was Library Link of the Day
http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/  (archive, rss, subscribe options)

Source: Artificial Intelligence and the Research Paper: A Librarian’s Perspective – News

Dan Levitt’s ‘What’s Gotten Into You’ traces atoms’ long trip from the big bang to the human body | CNN

By Bryn Nelson, CNN, Published 10:17 AM EST, Sun January 22, 2023

We are ever-changing and replacing old parts with new ones: our water, proteins and even cells.
Faisal/Adobe Stock

In its violent early years, Earth was a molten hellscape that ejected the moon after a fiery collision with another protoplanet, scientists now suspect.

Dan Levitt’s book, “What’s Gotten Into You,” reconstructs the journey of our atoms across billions of years.

Later, it morphed from a watery expanse to a giant snowball that nearly snuffed out all existing life.

Source: Dan Levitt’s ‘What’s Gotten Into You’ traces atoms’ long trip from the big bang to the human body | CNN

Banned and Challenged: Restricting access to books in the U.S. : NPR

A series on books that are facing challenges to their placement in libraries in some areas around the U.S.

Special Series

Banned and Challenged: Restricting access to books in the U.S.

First in series…

Author George M. Johnson: We must ensure access to those who need these stories most

All Boys Aren’t Blue, a memoir for teens and young adults about growing up Black and queer, appeared on many “best books” lists when published in 2020. It’s being challenged in some U.S. counties.

Source: Banned and Challenged: Restricting access to books in the U.S. : NPR