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February 17, 2009

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j

great book & movie. there's an article just today on the struggles of public libraries - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/books/16libr.html?em
i never really put together that small book stores fading makes the product itself less diverse, hmm.
we used to hit flea markets & buy books for pennies, nothing like a used philosophy book that some maniac underlined/highlighted or wrote in the margins.

Dale

This, 1984, Things to Come and Metropolis are some of my favorite films about a future gone awry (I'd add Planet of the Apes and Logan's Run, but hey look too Hollywood). I rented this years ago and found the art direction almost comical (not in a bad way). The fireman wear Flash Gordon-like helmets, the firetrucks look like airport baggage vehicles on steroids, the apartment interior looks like it prefaced a mod Space 1999, the idea of a monorail even existing in this bleak town is odd. It doesn't detract from the story, but it almost adds to the absurdity of the premise that firemen make fires, and the government wants to destroy knowledge to eliminate free-thinking individualism. But the movie is very compelling, and Montag's escape from this world is as exciting as any chase scene ever filmed.

My library story: I am not allowed to withdraw material from the local libraries because my township refused to chip in to the county-wide library system. Ah, my taxes and government officials at work.

jeff

i referenced this film this weekend as it pertained to this: http://overlawyered.com/2009/02/cpsia-and-vintage-books/

trouble

OUCH! check out the above link! what jeff is referring to is the consumer "protections" that have recently gone into effect that would ban all children's reading material published before 1985, due to possible lead content. In addition we will no longer see any children's toys, clothes, sports equipment, bikes, etc for sale at thrift stores, or salvation armies for the same reason. Parents get ready to spend a lot more dough on your kids. And there goes our childhood, and any visual memories of a Fonzie lunchbox.

bartleby

There are a number of reprint publishers of children's books of the previous decades. Many if not all of the Little Golden books also have returned to print.

Rockford John

The local thrifts no longer have computers. I stream 'FMU on a $10 thrift machine no problem. Now it would be "hazardous waste" so it cannot be sold, instead shipped to China where workers remove useable materials exposing them to bad fumes amid rivers of poisonous gunk for pennies a day. (I've seen the news reports). I suspect backroom collusion between the EPA and the big computer companies to sell more "lead free" units. Off topic I know but big-brother related.

Fatherflot

Just tried to watch this film recently and (outside of some of the gripping visuals) found it awfully dull, chilly, fussy, self-important stuff. Way to go out on a limb and oppose jackbooted fascist book burners!

Vincent Canby got it right:

Holy smoke! What a pretentious and pedantic production he has made of Ray Bradbury's futuristic story of a fireman in a hypothetical state where all reading matter is forbidden and the fire department's job is to police the citizens who try to keep books in hiding! It burns books instead of putting out fires.

And, furthermore, what a dismal fellow Oskar Werner manages to make this solemnly regimented fireman who finally gets a hankering for books and becomes a fire-department dropout when he falls for a schoolteacher who owns a secret copy of the Memoirs of Saint-Simon.

I can only suggest to you how dismal and unexciting he is—and by this demonstration show you how bloodless and pompous is the film—by telling you that the schoolteacher for whom he conceives a high regard is a bleakly defeminized version of his elegant, sexy wife who doesn't care beans for reading and gets all her information from watching the wall-to-wall television screen.

Now, I do not suggest for one moment that the idea elucidated here is not fundamentally wholesome. A woman who bravely reads books is more likely to be socially constructive than one who is hung on TV. And the contrast arranged by Mr. Truffaut—a homely bookworm versus a beauteous TV fan—is a suitable one for illustrating the austerity of dedication to books.

But it makes for pretty dreary entertainment when you have to sit there and watch a frozen-faced Mr. Werner piously turn away from a long-haired, voluptuous Julie Christie and go marching off down the railway tracks in quest of the bleak, bobbed-haired Miss Christie who has gone to the land where the book-people are.

toober

Cripes - why do people still believe all the crap about how computer recycling in China is pure evil? It WAS pure evil, maybe 25 or 30 years ago, but in 2009 the Chinese scrappers are very effective recyclers. Something like 99-plus percent by weight gets back into the market as metal. Is that bad? And the Chinese that get "pennies a day" are the lazy ones that do not work. Most of the young men that work in the scrap yards work their asses off, because the system is based on merit - the more they scrap, the more they earn. Open an ISO shipping container of scrap, and watch the guys rip thru it. The work actually pays well, and most of these young guys work for two or three years, save a bunch of money, then leave so they can start a family or business in the big city. Bad fumes? The Chinese stopped burning stuff 15 or 20 years ago, as they figured out that industrial shredders are far more effective, and do not burn up the metal they are trying to reclaim. Yes, scrap yards are ugly, but they all are.

So, please stop listening to all the politically motivated propaganda that portrays e-scrap and the Chinese scrap industry as pure evil. It is not nearly as horrid as you think, or that the 20 year old "file footage" shows.

And yes, computers have mostly gone away from the thrift stores, as the scrappers often get them first. Many have contracts to scoop up all the old PeeCees.

Sorry to add to the OTness, but Rockford John is just plain wrong.

Will, with his fingers in the scrap business.

Steve

The only person "wrong" is toober. The reason people still believe computer recycling in China is pure evil is because it is pure evil. Pure evil to the workers in China and pure evil to the environment.

China *did not* stop burning computer scrap 15 - 20 years ago. Rather, China still burns this material today. Don't believe it? See it with your own eyes.

http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/136155/detail/

And ignore corporate-minded propaganda from folks like toober who is "just plain wrong."

bartleby

Um, most recycling of electronics within the U.S. is done by UNICOR i.e. federal prisoners with no safety equipment. Every now and again an old monitor in direct sunlight focuses heat and sets the whole pile o' computers on fire.

Dale

What I saw on computer recycling was that scrap was being bought by an epa certified recycler who then secretly stashed the stuff in containers and shipped it to China. There the stuff was taken apart in a small village in the open air, and metals were melted out of computer boards over open fires in 55 gallon drums. It wasn't a fantasy, and the US recycler who they caught couldn't tap dance fast enough to cover his ass.

My local salvation army will not accept computer equipment. I guess in the beginning people dumped too much broken crap on their doorstep and they were left paying to dispose of it as hazardous waste.

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