Posts tagged “national”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Summer Reading Programs Gain Momentum for Students About to Enter College – Nationwide, hundreds of colleges and universities, large and small, public and private, assign first-year students a book to read over the summer, hoping to create a sense of community and engage students intellectually.

    While there are no reliable statistics on summer reading programs, a recent survey of more than 100 programs by a student researcher at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., found that most had started in the last four years, although a few go back decades.

    The range of books colleges use is enormous, covering fiction and nonfiction. Classics are largely absent, with most of the works chosen falling closer to Oprah than academic.

    Still, a certain canon of summer reading is emerging: books that are readable, short, engaging, cheap. Often, it helps if the book is a best seller dealing with some aspect of diversity, some multicultural encounter — and if the author will come to speak on campus.

  • Canada Reads — CBC Radio – Canada Reads celebrates five Canadian books for three months online, on the air and at public events. It all leads up to a week-long show hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. In this annual title fight, five celebrity panelists defend their favourite work of Canadian fiction. One by one, books are voted off the list, until one panelist triumphs with the book for Canada to read this year.
  • Beyond the Book – Beyond the Book: Mass Reading Events and Contemporary Cultures of Reading in the UK, USA and Canada is a 3-year interdisciplinary research project.

    Our main objectives are to determine why and how people come together to share reading through a comparative study of selected mass reading events.

    The mass reading event is a new, proliferating literary phenomenon. Events typically focus on a work of literary fiction and employ the mass media as a means of promoting participation in the themed activities and discussions that take place around the selected book. Beyond the Book uses research methodologies drawn from both the humanities and social sciences to investigate whether mass reading events attract new readers and marginalized communities. We also wish to determine whether this contemporary version of shared reading fosters new reading practices and even whether it is capable of initiating social change.

  • "ONE BOOK" READING PROMOTION PROJECTS (Center for the Book: Library of Congress) – "One Book" projects (community-wide reading programs), initiated by the Washington Center for the Book in 1998, are being introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world. Here's lengthy list of authors, communities, and dates.
  • The Big Read – The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

    The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from American and world literature. This initiative supports innovative reading programs in selected communities, providing engaging educational resources for discussing outstanding literature and conducting expansive outreach and publicity campaigns, and a Web site offering comprehensive information about the authors and their works.

  • Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline, According to National Endowment for the Arts Survey – (July 8, 2004) Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts survey released today. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline – 28 percent – occurring in the youngest age groups. The study also documents an overall decline of 10 percentage points in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, representing a loss of 20 million potential readers. The rate of decline is increasing and, according to the survey, has nearly tripled in the last decade.
  • 15 Books That Have Stuck With You (yet another of those Facebook etc. "memes" that are more like chain letters than memes) – Pick 15 books that will always stick with you. Don't take more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose.
  • My pictures from Belgium 2009 (345 of 'em!) – Here's the whole set on Flickr. I'll continue to blog highlights from the trip.
  • Google book project far from settled – As the deadline draws near for authors and publishers to opt out of a proposed legal settlement allowing Google Inc. to forge ahead with plans to scan millions of books, more opponents of the landmark deal are stepping forward, and the local literary world is growing more perplexed.

    "Smart people, major players that are sophisticated in the ways of publishing, are still at loggerheads," said Ted Weinstein, a San Francisco literary agent. He said they're not just arguing whether the deal is good or bad, "but still expressing disagreement about what exactly it will do. That's a problem."

What’s in a name

As the SF Chron tells us

The cry will go out from city hall in every hamlet and metropolis in Mexico tonight — and will be re-enacted in San Francisco and several other major U.S. cities — “Mexicanos y Mexicanas, Viva la Independencia Nacional! Viva Mexico!”

It’s Mexico’s Fourth of July: A commemoration of the day, 196 years ago, when Father Miguel Hidalgo, a parish priest in the village of Dolores in the state of Guanajuato, rang the church bell to rally his congregation, then gave the grito, or yell, that sparked the war for Mexican independence from Spain.

Just as it took the American patriots eight years from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to win the Revolutionary War, so Mexico’s war of independence stretched on for 11 years. But Sept. 16, 1810, is the day Mexicans declared they would be free from colonial rule.

How lame is that! A “Fourth of July” that is celebrated in September…Does the US have some sort of branded monopoly on having a day of indpendence? I would think of the holiday as Mexican Independence Day, not “the 4th of July for those people.” I don’t want to throw the racist tag around too easily, but it smacks of something uncomfortable.

Elsewhere: Cinco de mayo is not the Mexican 4th of July

P.S. Hannukah is also not the “Jewish Christmas.”

National Post

According to a study of national personalities

which found that this time-honoured perception of our oh-so-unique Canadian psyche — and other cultures’ stereotypes of themselves — are in fact just so much hooey.

‘These stereotypes are as Canadians see themselves and Americans as they see themselves,’ said Robert McCrae of the U.S. National Institute on Aging, a principal investigator of the study on national personalities around the world.

‘Canadians think they’re extremely agreeable; the Americans think they’re very disagreeable,’ he said. ‘Canadians believe that they’re very calm and not irritable, very even-tempered, whereas Americans think they’re more anxious and hostile.

‘The fact is Canadians and Americans have almost identical average personality traits.’

In a measure of five main areas of personality, covering a total of 30 traits, Canadians and their U.S. cousins fell roughly in the middle. Not only that, but they weren’t all that different from other cultures around the globe, researchers found.

The study, published in the latest issue of Science, collected data through personality questionnaires given to thousands of people living in 49 countries.


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