the kittens are getting better, thanks for asking.

79 – Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash killing an estimated 20,000 people.
1456 – The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.
1831 Charles Darwin is asked to travel on HMS Beagle.
1847 – Charlotte Brontë finishes Jane Eyre.
1967 – A group led by Abbie Hoffman temporarily disrupt trading at the NYSE by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing a cease in trading as the brokers scramble to grab them up.

1817 –
Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Russian writer (d. 1875)
1884 – Earl Derr Biggers, American author (d. 1933)
1890 Jean Rhys, Dominican writer (d. 1979)
1898 – Malcolm Cowley, American literary critic, writer, and editor (d. 1989)
1899 – Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer (d. 1986)
1915 – James Tiptree, Jr., American writer (d. 1987)
1936 – A. S. Byatt, English novelist
1951 – Orson Scott Card, American writer

banktoaster • Increase your online reading with Zap Reader, or Spreeder, both programs allow you read pasted text it at speeds as high as 300wpm, Zap Reeder limits one to 9 words per minute, Spreeder allows a lot more variety in settings.

site worth seeing • Author Rudy Rucker has started Flurb: a webzine of astonishing tales.

audio • NPR gives us a feature about 20th-anniversary edition of Ted Harrison’s childrens book version of Robert Service’s the Cremation of Sam McGee.

something to watch • Bookforum has a review of the DVD, The Writer Of O – Directed By Pola Rapaport. New York: Zeitgeist Films. 80 Min. $23. A 2005 documentary about the anonymously written erotic novel the Story of O published in 1954, the writer remained a mystery until 1994.

good question • The Times Online mulls over whether the much reprinted Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is still relevant today.

worth reading • Art News Online has an extensive profile of Rembrandt on the occasion of his 400th birthday.

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