this is not your father’s library

Library bookshelvesWe’ve heard it so often, it seems like a truism: in this era of instant electronic information access, libraries are like dinosaurs that don’t know they’re already extinct.

Well, maybe not.

A new survey has found that Generation Wired uses libraries far more often than you might think. In fact, Internet-savvy youth between 18-30 are the largest user group for library research services and resources. Furthermore, the survey found that library usage actually declines with…


this is not your father’s library

Something to Tell You

Designer name to come

Briefly noted in the Guardian’s preview of upcoming fiction for 2008 is this: “Hanif Kureishi also returns to the 70s, and the territory of his enduringly lovable The Buddha of Suburbia, with a much-tipped new novel, Something to Tell You (Faber, March). His narrator is an analyst looking back on the violence, confusion and first love of his youth, while deeply engaged in contemporary politics and culture: Kureishi’s London landscape is a vivid kaleidoscope of…


Something to Tell You

Twenty Top 10's of 2007 [Best Of 2007]

When we launched our Lifehacker Top 10 series back in March we had no idea what a big hit it would be. That Letterman guy’s really onto something! While we’re milking this whole “best of 2007 list” thing, we compiled the top 20 most-viewed Lifehacker Top 10 lists of 2007.


Twenty Top 10’s of 2007 [Best Of 2007]

Reineke Fuchs

Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) Titlepage (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p9 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p30 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p19 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) 49 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p29 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p31 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p34 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p39 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p36 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p44 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p38 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p42 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p48 (coconino)


Wilhelm von Kaulbach - Reineke Fuchs, 1857 (Goethe) p45 (coconino)


With roots stretching back to Aesop’s Fables and the oral folk tradition, the allegorical tales of Reynard the Fox (‘Reineke Fuchs’) emerged in the 12th century as a storytelling convention, becoming conspicuously popular in Germany, France and Holland.

One of the common structural themes around which the assorted…
Reineke Fuchs

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 15

I can’t think of a better way to end 2007 than with this lovely drawing by our old friend Rembrandt.



This little drawing makes me wonder why Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell thought it was necessary to invent abstract expressionism.  

What an astonishing drawing and what a wonderful world we live in!

Happy new year to all of you!

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 15

Applied note-taking taken to a whole new level

Your faithful blogger has recently become obsessed with the New Yorker magazine complete archive that you can purchase on a single hard disk. (Why it’s not just up on the web as a subscription service I’m not quite sure, but to have instant access to every New Yorker article ever published, I’ll take it.)

As someone who regularly fades in and out of various note-taking modes, I enjoyed this segment from a 1934 profile of Hollywood producer Darryl Zanuck and his one-time boss H. C. Witwer:


Applied note-taking taken to a whole new level

Lustlab Ad of the Week: 12/27

This week’s issue of The Stranger is about the size of a pamphlet, so my cartoon is on a one-week hiatus. Instead, dear blog-reader, here is the back cover art for the book collection, featuring full-color versions of a few non-nudity ads. (In my original design, one of the ads showed a woman in a strap-on, to which my publisher said “Mm, nah.”)

backcoverfinallorez.gif

“Lustlab Ad of the Week” is a comic adaptation of one of the week’s kinky personal ads in Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger, and I post them…


Lustlab Ad of the Week: 12/27

Wrap Your Holiday Lights Tangle-Free [Holidays]

wrap-lights.png
The holidays are nearing an end, but this year instead of balling your holiday lights up into a unwrappable knot, give yourself a break for next year and put those lights away tangle-free. Reader Chad Bailey says that our previously posted figure-eight method for wrapping headphones works like a charm for storing your holiday lights, but since wrapping lights is a bit different from wrapping headphones, the instructions are a bit modified. Basically, it works like this:

Wrap your…


Wrap Your Holiday Lights Tangle-Free [Holidays]

Weekend Links: Don’t Love Your Work, Gain Weight, and Stop Multi-Tasking…

Interesting links from around the web to help you through your weekend Study Hacks withdrawal…

A Stocking Full of Holiday Productivity


Weekend Links: Don’t Love Your Work, Gain Weight, and Stop Multi-Tasking…

The Gimble

The Gimble is a nifty tool. It’s not the most versatile book holder (it won’t work with larger books), but it’s small, modestly priced, and cleverly designed and named. I like using it to hold books open while I’m typing out passages.

Why gimble? The OED definition of gimbal helps out:

A contrivance by means of which articles for use at sea (esp. the compass and the chronometer) are suspended so as to keep a horizontal position. It usually consists of a pair of rings moving on pivots…

The Gimble

Against Happiness

Design by Jennifer Carrow

A few weeks ago it was David Drummond week, featuring posts here and here. This week (well, OK, a little more than a week) seems to belong to Jennifer Carrow, who designed The Best Intentions as well as this smart and funny jacket for this study of the benefits of melancholy.


I love how the heavier title type introduces the smallest bit of asymmetry and makes the frown a little more droopy. Someone’s got their Occam’s razor nicely sharpened :-)


Against Happiness

Use an Exclude Dictionary to Master Your Typos [Spell Check]

excludedic_cropped.jpg
Typos are bad enough when they result in gibberish like “procedurw,” but words that are close together and technically correct—like “manager” and “manger"—will easily slip by Word’s spell check. If you find yourself making those kind of situational typos often, the Productivity Portfolio blog can walk you through creating an "Exclude Dictionary” to have Word’s checker prompt you whenever it finds certain words. That way, you’re the one who decides whether you meant the guy who deploys…


Use an Exclude Dictionary to Master Your Typos [Spell Check]

A simple theory of liberal arts education

At the margin, that is.

Information in the modern world is virtually free, and well-defined tasks can be outsourced very cheaply, if need be.  Don’t specialize in those.

Bias is everywhere, and overcoming bias yields great gains.  Empirically, our biases stem strongly from our nationality, our language, and our cultural background.  (It is, by the way, remarkable how much libertarianism is an Anglo-American phenomenon.)

To overcome those biases we should travel, spend some time living…


A simple theory of liberal arts education

Dutch Advertising Graphics

Wilhelmina Cycle 1897-1898

Wilhelmina Cycle & Co. Ltd. Zeist-Holland. rijwielen 1897-1898



Viskwekerijen (Arnhem) 1950-1975
Bezoekt onze Viskwekerijen - Koninklijke Nederlandsche
Heidemaatschappij (Arnhem) - 1950-1975



Ranja en Rojo 1925-1950
Drinkt èchte Ranja en Rojo 1925-1950



Pope globes 1939-1940
“In 1889, the light bulb factory Goosens, Pope & Co. was founded in Venlo. The driving force behind the enterprise was the English engineer Frederic Pope. In 1920, Philips acquired a controlling interest in the share capital of the factory….
Dutch Advertising Graphics

Tiny Business Card Calendar [Calendars]

Thumb-Calendar.pngWeighting in at the size of a business card, the tiny Thumb Calendar makes it possible to keep a calendar on you at all times. The Thumb Calendar is two sided and in order to use it, you must cover the dates that are not directly below the month header with your thumbs. The designer only has a PDF version for 2007 on his homepage, but you can grab a 2008 version from Flickr (linked below). The Thumb Calendar is a free download and makes a great addition to any purse or wallet.


Tiny Business Card Calendar [Calendars]