One in four Americans read no books last year

“One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday [August 21 2007 ed.]. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices. […] In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled “Reading at Risk” found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet. Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn’t read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.”

This downward trend is not a new one. The decline in book reading has been set ever since the introduction of television. The question is, is it a necessarily bad trend? What does it show? Can television and internet replace the functions books have? Is this trend globally visible, are there exceptions?

Our fierce warrior has started to gather some information on this topic and will be back shortly with the results…

In the mean time you can check the full article:
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/08/21/reading.ap/index.html

And the original Ipsos poll results:
http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/client/act_dsp_pdf.cfm?name=mr070821-4topline.pdf&id=3613

To Punish Thai Police, a Hello Kitty Armband

BANGKOK, It is the pink armband of shame for wayward police officers, as cute as can be with a Hello Kitty face and a pair of linked hearts.

07kitty.jpg
No matter how many ribbons for valor a Thai officer may wear, if he parks in the wrong place, or shows up late for work, or is seen dropping a bit of litter on the sidewalk, he can be ordered to wear the insignia.

“Simple warnings no longer work,” said Pongpat Chayaphan, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, who instituted the new humiliation this week. […]

Mr. Pongpat, who has trained with the American Secret Service and the Canadian police, was promoted to head the division three months ago and says he wants to modernize his force, “even though we lack the highest technology, equipment and mind-set.” […]

An early experiment using armbands was not encouraging. Mr. Pongpat first tried using plaid ones. But instead of feeling shame, Major Weeraprach said, the officers took them home as souvenirs. The force still has only one of the ten it originally issued.

Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/world/asia/07cnd-thai.html?ex=1187409600&en=6139cfd6c732e7da&ei=5070

[thanks Maaike for alerting me!]

1,500 Philipino inmates performing ‘Thriller’: looks professional!!!

They do have the time to practice of course…

Check it out: inmates of a Philipino Correctional Facility (CPDRC) doing their practice run some 2 weeks ago….

And their final performance last Wednesday for a real audience and Philipino media…

They also did Queen’s ‘Radio Gaga’ and several other songs. There are YouTube posts dating till as early as October last year of different performances by inmates of the same prison! They actually seem to like this dancing and synchronized marching, even when it seems very un-tough (i.e. like almost classical ballet type of movements in their Sister Act performance). Interesting…it does have a bit of positive vibe…Would this also work in other countries???

p.s. Thanks Perez H. for posting this video!

Moving into the house, a picture:

Of course it is still a mess, but at least it is OUR mess…Yes, we are living here for almost a week now, but most stuff still needs to be put in its proper place. I found a non-too messy angle of the living room, and maybe I’ll add some reality pictures later 😉

before:
verhuisdozen.jpg

after:
hoek-woonkamer.jpg

kasten.jpg