2012's Giants Beware
introduced Claudette and her adventuring pals in one of the strongest, funniest YA graphic novels I've ever enjoyed; the followup, Dragons Beware
keeps all the charm and excitement while advancing the story.Read the rest
Dan Spalding's How to Teach Adults
) is an extraordinary document that mixes the practical and the philosophical, a book that explains how to be a better teacher, and how better teachers make a better world. Read the rest
Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone
does for the phone phreaks what Steven Levy's Hackers
did for computer pioneers, capturing the anarchic move-fast-break-stuff pioneers who went to war against Ma Bell.
Read the rest
There’s a new smartwatch that lets you make phone calls right from your wrist. No, not that
one.Read the rest
Lastman, the revolutionary, bestselling French comic created by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville and Balak, arrives in the Anglosphere today
, thanks to Firstsecond's English language edition of volume 1: The Stranger
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James Kochalka's The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza
was the funniest kids' graphic novel of 2014; now, with today's release of The Glorkian Warrior Eats Adventure Pie
, the adventure continues. Read the rest
David Nickle's horror novel Eutopia
confronts the racial overtones of Lovecraftian fiction head on, revealing a terrifying story of the American eugenics movement and the brutality underbelly of utopianism.Read the rest
My parents just got back from a road-trip from Toronto to Florida, and used Dave Hunter's venerable Along Interstate-75 to find food and lodgings, pass the hours, and beat the speed-traps and civil forfeiture nightmares of America's great roadways.
Read the rest
Photographer David Hlynsky took more than 8,000 street photos in the Eastern Bloc, documenting the last days of ideological anti-consumer shopping before the end of the USSRRead the rest
The Reagan era kicked off a project to dismantle social mobility and equitable justice began. This trenchant, angry, gorgeous graphic zine launched in response.Read the rest
David K Randall's Dreamland
is a review of the best scientific thinking that illuminates and important subject: namely, why do we spend a third of our lives paralyzed, eyes closed, having vivid hallucinations?Read the rest
Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber follows up his magesterial Debt: The First 5000 Years
with a slim, sprightly, acerbic attack on capitalism's love affair with bureaucracy
, asking why the post-Soviet world has more paperwork, phone-trees and red-tape than ever, and why the Right are the only people who seem to notice or care.Read the rest
Phoebe and Her Unicorn
is the first collection of Dana Simpson's syndicated Heavenly Nostrils
cartoons -- it's a book that I insisted on reading to my kid, because I didn't want to miss a single strip.Read the rest
Over the past decade, pharma-fighting Dr Ben Goldacre has written more than 500,000 words of fearlessly combative science journalism.Read the rest
, a book about gender, war, identity, strategy and tactics, can be enjoyed without reading any of the other marvellous books in the Discworld series.
Read the rest
is an absolutely brilliant kids' book about computer science, and it never mentions computer science—it's a series of witty, charming, and educational parables about the fundamentals that underpin the discipline.Read the rest
I had to try this $5 knockoff of my favorite pen, the Parker 51.
The burgundy colored Parker 51 has been one of my go to pens for decades. Produced continually from 1941 to 1972, the Parker 51 launched with marketing declaring it "the World's best pen." Currently pens in good working order can command prices in excess of $100, so I had to try this $5 imitation, the Hero Extra Light.
Finish-wise the Hero is looks very similar to the Parker. The top of the cap is a bit more pointed and the Parker's translucent "jewel" is replaced with metal on the Hero. The band where the two halves of the pen fit together is also plastic on the Hero, rather than the metal ring on the Parker. The filling mechanism is nearly identical, as viewed. I have not disassembled the Hero, but likely will, at the very least it appears to be useful as replacement parts for the Parker.
In a writing test the Hero is most definitely not the Parker, however I've been writing with this nib for a long time. The Hero writes well enough, ink flows smoothly and I can certainly use the pen. I am not sure it'll ever acquire the same feeling in my hand as my authentic 51, even with years of use, but for $5 it is certainly close. The Hero strikes me more as a new pen rather than "just not a Parker 51."
If you want something super close to a Parker 51 but don't want to pay collectors prices, the Hero Extra Light is a good call.
Hero Extra Light Fountain Pen