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Posts Tagged ‘H.G. Wells

Pictures that *contain* a thousand words (and then some)…


 a 24 X 36 in.  poster composed of the text of EMMA; click here for a zoomable version

Artist Danny Fein loves books.  It drives him nuts that that 40% of all books printed are eventually destroyed by publishers, while developing nations face a book famine.  So Danny started Litographs

Litographs are prints that are created from the text of classic books. For most titles we are able to print the entire book on our 24×36″ paper. We offer designs in both color and black & white, and in two sizes.

In all cases, the text is sharp and fully legible. You can see the actual size of the text by viewing any of our designs and clicking on the boxes in the main image. Learn more about the process at our How it Works page…

Did you know that in 2008 publishers turned 77 million unsold books into pulp? At the same time, as education systems evolve in developing countries, students face a dire need for large quantities of new, high-quality books.

As book-lovers, we know how painful it can be to clean out bookshelves to make room for new titles. Like so many others, we have tried to donate our favorite books to good causes, only to learn that the texts they need are not what we have to offer.

We have worked closely with the International Book Bank to develop a strategy where we can breathe life into our old favorites while simultaneously providing new books where they are needed most. In the process, we also support independent booksellers by purchasing their old inventory.

Read more about how it works, and learn more about the IBB and their mission in this interview with their Executive Director, Kate Joyce.

See more litographs– from The Aeneid and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Works of Edgar Allan Poehere; and hear Joe Rotundi (to whom, TotH) interview Danny here.


As we curl up between the covers, we might send superlatively speculative birthday greetings to H.G. Wells; he was born on this date in 1866.  A prolific writer of novels, history, political and social commentary, textbooks, and rules for war games, Wells is best remembered (with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback) as “the father of science fiction” for his “scientific romances”– The War of the WorldsThe Time MachineThe Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, et al.

 Litograph of THE TIME MACHINE, click here for a zoomable version



Written by LW

September 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

By the numbers…

Mark Twain quotes Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics”;  H.G. Wells avers that “Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture”; but the remarkable Hans Rosling begs to differ…

Rosling, a physician and medical researcher who co-founded Médecins sans Frontièrs (Doctors without Borders) Sweden and the Gapminder Foundation (with his son and daughter-in-law), and developed the Trendalyzer software that represents national and global statistics as animated interactive graphics (e.g., here), ha become a superstar on the lecture circuit.  He brings his unique insight and approach to the BBC with The Joy of Stats

It’s above at full length, so takes a while to watch in toto— but odds are that one will enjoy it!  [UPDATE:  since this post was published, the full version has been rendered “private”; unless and until it’s reposted in full, the taste above will have to do. Readers in the UK (or readers with VPNs that terminate in the UK) can see the full show soon after it airs on BBC Four on Thursday the 13th on the BBC iPlayer.  As a further consolation, here is statistician Andrew Gelman’s “Five Books” interview– his choice of the five best books on statistics– for The Browser. ]

As we realize that sometimes we can, after all, count on it, we might recall that it was on this date in 1776 that Thomas Paine (originally anonymously) published his case for the independence of the American Colonies, “Common Sense”… and after all, as Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace pointed out (in 1820), “the theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus.”

source: University of Indiana


If yesterday’s missive was about headlines that amuse, today’s is corrective:  From the BBC (Friday the 13th, natch)…

Peru battles rabid vampire bats…

(TotH to The Rumpus)

As we adjust our necklaces of garlic, we might spare a memorial thought for Hugo Gernsback, a Luxemborgian-American inventor, broadcast pioneer, writer, and publisher; he died on this date in 1967 at the age of 83.

Gernsback held 80 patents at the time of his death; he founded radio station WRNY, was involved in the first television broadcasts and is considered a pioneer in amateur radio.  But it was a writer and publisher that he probably left his most lasting mark:  In 1926, as owner/publisher of the magazine Modern Electrics, he filled a blank spot in his publication by dashing off the first chapter of a series called “Ralph 124C 41+.” The twelve installments of “Ralph” were filled with inventions unknown in 1926, including “television” (Gernsback is credited with introducing the word), fluorescent lighting, juke boxes, solar energy, television, microfilm, vending machines, and the device we now call radar.

The “Ralph” series was an astounding success with readers; and later that year Gernsback founded the first magazine devoted to science fiction, Amazing Stories.  Believing that the perfect sci-fi story is “75 percent literature interwoven with 25 percent science,” he coined the term “science fiction.”

Gernsback was a “careful” businessman, who was tight with the fees that he paid his writers– so tight that H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith referred to him as “Hugo the Rat.”

Still, his contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, he is sometimes called “The Father of Science Fiction”; in his honor, the annual Science Fiction Achievement awards are called the “Hugos.”

(Coincidentally, today is also the birthday– in 1906– of Philo T. Farnsworth, the man who actually did invent television… and was thus the inspiration for the name “Philco.”)

Gernsback, wearing his invention, TV Glasses (source: Life)

You say tomAto, I say tomahto…

All one needs to know about why the Superbowl played out as it did…

Fritzcrate,” a Swedish music blogger, found himself with some down time, and then put it to good use:

Yesterday RyanAir changed my plans. Today I changed my plans, too. I did not feel fit enough to start building my SoundCloud / Echonest comment based remix machine and hacked around, but did nothing real this morning. After reading about the new Metreo Charts in last.fm’s API I finally built “My City vs. Your City“– a JavaScript based app that compares to what artists people listen to in different cities.

One can give it a whirl– comparing any two cities from a long and global list– here.

As we celebrate the rich and diverse pageant that is life, we might spare a grateful thought for the extraordinary Jules Verne– originator of last Thursday’s Almanac item and imaginative writer non pareil.  He was born in Nantes on this date in 1828.

Best known for his novels A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869–1870), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) and The Mysterious Island (1875), Verne is the second most translated (individual) author of all time, behind Agatha Christie.  He is considered, with H.G. Wells, the founder of science fiction.

Verne was startlingly prescient: Paris in the 20th Century, for example, describes air conditioning, automobiles, the Internet, television, even electricity, and other modern conveniences very similar to their real world counterparts, developed years– in many cases, decades– later.   From the Earth to the Moon, apart from using a space gun instead of a rocket, is uncannily similar to the real Apollo Program: three astronauts are launched from the Florida peninsula– from “Tampa Town” ( only 130 miles from NASA’s Cape Canaveral)– and recovered through a splash landing.  And in other works, he predicted helicopters, submarines, projectors, jukeboxes, and the existence of underwater hydrothermal vents that were not invented/discovered until long after he wrote about them.

Jules Verne

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