Because the Night

h/t Todd Alcott


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This Is The Sign You Have Been Looking For

Word on the street Philadelphia:


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Anthony Bourdain : World Travel

Before his untimely death, Anthony Bourdain was working on a travel guide with his long-time assistant and coauthor Laurie Woolever. The guide was designed  to distill what he learned from his travels as a TV personality and celebrity chef. Based on their notes and conversations, Woolever is completing work on World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, which will be published in October.

In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places-in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable.

Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place.

Here’s a snippet from the book:

Skip the touristy spots, he said: “If you spend all that time waiting to get into the Eiffel Tower, you’ve completely wasted a day”; and forget the concierge: “They’re going to send you to the place with the clean bathroom. Some of the best meals I’ve had, you need a hazmat suit to go to the bathroom.”


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Gandalf has a blog

Starting in 1999 with his casting as Gandalf and continuing through 2003, Ian McKellan wrote a blog called The Grey Book about his experiences starring in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. If you are a fan, you’ll find the actor’s personal history of the process fascinating.

It bears repeating that, as with Richard III or James Whale or Magneto, I must discover Gandalf somewhere inside myself – and that process depends on absorbing the words of the script and its story, listening to the reactions of the director and responding to the performances of the rest of the cast. So now, still 3 months away from shooting (for me), my Gandalf doesn’t exist, not even in my mind. He will only come to life as the camera turns and discoveries are made in the very moment. Even when I am in the thick of it, in costume and make-up and speaking Tolkien’s words, I’m not sure I will be able to describe the character to you. Actors don’t describe – they inhabit.

So these Grey Book notes may be more about me than about Gandalf and may disappoint the experts who will have to be patient and wait for the finished movies. I’m sorry if 2001 seems a long way off.

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Booksellers Join The Fight

The wildfires currently raging in Australia have burned millions of acres and devastated the country’s wildlife. To date, twenty-five people have  also died as a result of the months-long blaze.Now, the book community is rallying around those working overtime to minimize the devastation.

One of the biggest literary support efforts is called Authors For Firey’s, a Twitter-based auction in which authors’ autographed copies, illustrations, hangouts, and workshop sessions are for sale to the highest bidder. Once a lucky winner is announced they are to donate their winning bid directly to Australian fire services, screenshotting their donation to claim their prize. You can learn more and get in the game here.

The industry, too, is doing its part:

Booksellers are also doing their part. In a letter to members, Australian Booksellers Association CEO Robbie Egan wrote: “The new year is upon us and we find much of our beautiful country suffering from unprecedented bushfires. I am south enough of the fires to escape danger, but today thick smoke hangs about South Gippsland like a fog. Most of us have family and friends impacted to some degree and many of us feel somewhat helpless despite the desire to help. Some members have pledged a percentage of takings. #AuthorsForFireys is a twitter auction of signed books, illustrations and writers’ services to raise funds for the CFA. The CBCA has partnered with GIVIT to raise donations for the purchase of books for fire affected families and communities. Using the ABA’s Find a Bookshop search GIVIT will make purchases from stores in these regions.


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Is it wrong to fly ?

Due to the constant horrific news about climate change, and the dramatic Extinction Rebellion movement, I have been reflecting more and more about my personal environmental impact and responsibilities. As an aging Boomer, I have to accept my role in creation of the slow-motion climate disaster. Don’t get me wrong, I was “Green” long before it was a thing. I have been a vegetarian for decades and was a re-use/recycle guy when few people cared. Although I drive a car, both of our family vehicles are gas/electric hybrids. Still, I can’t ignore the fact I have been flying both domestically and internationally for decades. In fact, in the last few months alone, I have flown more than 20,000 mile (32,200 kilometers). So, the very thought provoking video below struck a cord with me.


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Dracula 2020

To hype the new version of  Bram Stoker’s Dracula on BBC and Netflix , the team at BBC Creative has  designed some impressive billboards. The ads, which are currently up in London and Birmingham, use a brilliant combination of stakes and shadows to depict a haunting image of the gothic horror star.

During the day passers-by will notice that the billboards are stabbed with stakes – alluding to the action of vampire killers. Yet, at night a light at the side turns on, and viewers realize the stakes have been placed with the utmost intention so that their shadows recreate the face of the TV series’ blood-thirsty villain.

To heighten the spooky billboard, beneath stands a ‘break in case of vampires’ box that contains a pointed wooden stake, ready to stab with.


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The Life You Can Save

In 2009, philosopher Peter Singer wrote the first edition of The Life You Can Save to demonstrate why we should care about and help those living in global extreme poverty, and how easy it is to improve and even save lives by giving effectively. Peter then founded a nonprofit organization of the same name, The Life You Can Save, to advance the ideas in the book. Together, the book and organization have helped raise millions of dollars for effective charities, supporting work protecting people from diseases, restoring sight, avoiding unwanted pregnancies, ensuring that children get the nutrients they need, and providing opportunities to not only survive but thrive.

In the decade since the first book’s publication, dramatic progress has been made in reducing global extreme poverty. However, millions still live on less than $1.90 a day, and there is yet much to be done.

To address the continuing need, and to build on the success of the first edition, Singer acquired the book rights and updated the content to be current and even more relevant. With mission-aligned celebrity narrators and by giving away the audiobook and e-book for free (in addition to having it available for purchase through traditional e-commerce and retailers), the 10th-anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save aims to inform, inspire and empower as many people as possible to act now and save lives. Click here to get your free downloads.


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Older Than the Moon

“Before the moon I am, what a woman is, a woman of power, a woman’s power, deeper than the roots of trees, deeper than the roots of islands, older than the Making, older than the moon.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, from Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea.


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Joy Ride

Richard Brautigan


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