Philobiblon: Science imitating art

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Science imitating art

A new invention has caught up with Harry Potter - paper on which you can (quite cheaply) print moving images. This is really what you call media convergence - a book can do everything a screen can, or to put it around the other way, a screen can become a book.

Then a book professional, The Grumpy Old Bookman (he's not that bad really!), finds a print on demand publisher who can handle coffeetable books and, he suggests, presents lots of new cultural possibilities.

Finally in the science roundup, the glorious saga of Homo floriensis (universally known to newspapers around the world as "the Hobbitt"). For the detailed professional view, I'd recommend the blogger Johan Hawks, parts one and two. The short answer is to the puzzle, it seems, is "more data needed". But that's never stopped the popular media reporting a story at length and with "definitive answers".

No, I'm not including bird flu in my science/technology round-up - the whole thing is just one enormous beat-up. The risk of a flu pandemic now is probably lower than for the past century, because we're far better prepared to meet it. But I bet there're plenty of internet fraudsters selling all sort of junk out there, profiting from the scare stories.


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