Making Great Books Even Better

In conjunction with the TV debut next month of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, the Folio Society has released a new edition of the novel with fantastic illustrations by Gaiman’s longtime collaborator Dave McKean. The beautiful edition includes 12 original illustrations and a decorative slipcase. The bad news is that the edition sells for $120. However, if you’re feeling lucky, the Folio Society is giving away signed copies here.

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Sunday Morning & Nico

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How Airlines Make Money

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How We Live Now

Yesterday morning, the Trump regime announced its first budget blueprint and as expected the plan aims to eviscerate programs that support the arts throughout the United States. The proposed budget, which requires Congressional approval, eliminates funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which supports local arts communities in every state, as well as funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

Together, these agencies combined amount to just 0.0015% of the Administration’s projected 2018 military spending, where the eliminated arts and education funds will be directed. In the 2017 federal budget, the NEA and NEH are receiving just $148 million each, while the CPB is getting $445 million for more than 350 stations, and the ILMS will get about $230 million. Support for the arts, museums, libraries, and public broadcasting for the entire nation amounts to less than $1 billion. In comparison, military spending this year will be $639 billion—not including hundreds of billions of dollars for “black ops” and intelligence agencies.

To put this in some perspective, the cost for public broadcasting amounts to just $1,35 per U.S. citizen annually.

I’m confident that much of this funding will be replaced by voluntary contributions from private citizens and companies. But we are clearly entering a dark age. Sad.

h/t Scott Listfield

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How To Design Book Covers

h/t Tom Gauld

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They had me at chocolate

New York chocolate guru Jacques Torres has just opened Manhattan’s first chocolate museum in Soho. The Chocolate Museum and Experience focuses on the origins, evolution and cultural significance of the food of the gods. The museum features relevant Mayan, Aztec, and European historical artifacts, chocolate making exhibitions, and multiple chocolate tasting opportunities. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Tickets are available online here.

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Love Is A Losing Game

As I get older, I feel the tragic lose of remarkable young artists even more than the greats who died young during my own youth. This is especially true when it comes to the amazingly talented Amy Winehouse. I still get teary when Valerie or Love Is A Losing Game comes on the radio. Still, I look forward to seeing the Jewish Museum of London’s new exhibition titled “Amy Winehouse: Family Portrait”. The two part show features personal memorabilia and a street art trail paying homage to her short and tragic life.

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On The Border

Customs forms at border point of entry (USA)

I recently had a message from a TBTP reader who is concerned about the privacy and security of his digital devices when passing through Customs and Immigration at U.S. airports. This has become an increasingly complex issue—both for visitors and U.S. citizens alike—since the recent change in government.

My response to the question was a referral to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which publishes a free “Guide to Digital Privacy At The U.S. Border”. The downloadable guide covers current U.S. law, administrative rules, technology suggestions, and risks for anyone entering the U.S.. You can get a PDF copy of the guide here.

If have have serious concerns about this issue, it may be worthwhile to invest in temporary or travel devices. Purchase an inexpensive smart phone and get a U.S, SIM card or an International SIM. Also consider purchasing a cheap Android or Amazon tablet for use in the U.S..

Most importantly, cooperate fully with U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers. The current political climate has made our airports and border crossing volatile and tense places.

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Fun With Books

It may not be an original idea, but the booksellers at Librairie Mollat in Bordeaux, France are having a lot of fun playing with book cover art. You can follow along on the bookstore’s Instagram page.

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Don’t Mention The War

Situated on the shores of the Laacher See near Andernach in Germany, Abbey Maria Laach is a handsome 800 year-old center of devotion and learning with a gorgeous 18th century library and a dark history. During the years leading up to World War II, the Abbey leadership chose to embrace the Nazi movement and to support the deplorable acts of the German government. However, today we are just exploring the spectacular library. And, I’m sure they’re really, really sorry about the Nazi bits. You won’t even find a single copy of Mein Kampf in the library.

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