3-D Picture Books for Visually Impaired
A team from the University of Colorado at Boulder has developed a means of printing picture books using 3-D printers, so that visually impaired children can touch objects in the story. The goal, according to team leader Tom Yeh, is to represent 2D graphics in a tactile way that is appropriate for the abilities and interests of young children. In some cases, this means creating new illustrations specifically designed for 3D. However, Yeh notes, "Ideally, a parent could choose a book, take a picture of a page, send the picture to a 3D printer, which would result in a 3D tactile book." For more on this story, visit http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/06/23/picture-books-visually-impaired-kids-go-3d-thanks-cu-boulder-research-team
Millions of Copyright-Free Historic Images Posted to Flickr
If you like old books, the place to go has always been the Internet Archive. However, this isn't the place to go for high-quality illustrations from those books. (Don't even get me started on the lack of decent images in books scanned by Google...) Researcher Kalev Leetaru has developed a program that goes back to the original scans on the Internet Archive, extracts the images, and saves them in JPG format. The program also extracts text immediately preceding and following the image, to keep the image in context. As a result, millions of historic images have been extracted and are now available on Flickr. The good news is that you can find images going back to the 17th century; the bad news is that the program extracts anything that remotely LOOKS like an image, even if it isn't. The collection is searchable through the main Flickr search function. For more details, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28976849
Ursula Le Guin To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
This November, novelist Ursula Le Guin will receive the National Book Awards 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, to be given at the 65th National Book Awards Ceremony.
"For more than 40 years, Le Guin has defied conventions of narrative, language, character, and genre, as well as transcended the boundaries between fantasy and realism, to forge new paths for literary fiction," says Harold Augenbraum, executive director of
the foundation. "She has shown how great writing will obliterate the antiquated - and never really valid - line between popular and literary art."
The award will be presented by Neil Gaiman. For more on this story, visit
New York Times to Launch 12 Monthly Bestseller Lists
The New York Times will soon be featuring 12 monthly bestseller lists covering a range of topics and genres, including: politics, business, travel, humor, family, relationships, animals, religion, faith/spirituality, celebrities, food and fitness, science, and sports. Additional lists will be added in 2015. In addition, the NYT will be featuring, on a rotating basis, lists that were primarily available only online. For more details, visit