Mein Kampf was about to enter the public domain in Germany, removing the country's preferred copyright-based method for keeping it away from readers' hearts and minds. There's no chance of them just letting it be available (as is done in the UK, US and Israel), but they didn't want to ban it outright, martyring Hitler afresh. Instead they favored what the BBC describes as "a heavily paternalistic approach": publishing a nigh-unreadable "critical edition" in the hopes that it would be too cumbersome to be popular. This not only failed, but ensured a constant stream of discussion and drama to keep it on the bestseller list.
[The publishers'] director, Andreas Wirsching, declared that it would be irresponsible to hand over Mein Kampf "free of copyright and commentary", because in that case everybody could do whatever they wanted with Hitler's book. ...
If anything public interest in the book was fanned unnecessarily by keeping the aura of the forbidden alive.
By mid-April, Mein Kampf had managed to move to the pole position of Germany's influential Spiegel bestseller list, where it remained for several weeks.
Even now it stands in 14th place, though many bookshops do not have the book on display and others only order the book on request.
This renewed calls to stop being so controlling and just let Hitler's long, boring rant die in the public domain.
The annual Germeval natural language processing event solicits German-language "shared tasks"; one of this year's proposed tasks from the University of Hamburg is Prediction of Intellectual Ability and Personality Traits from Text, which proposes to mine test subjects' essays as a predictor of IQ.
Hans Calmeyer was a left-wing German lawyer -- his law license was temporarily suspended when he was accused of being a Communist -- who was inducted into the German army under the Nazis, who put him in charge of an office that determined which Dutch people would be deported to Auschwitz during the Nazi occupation.
149 families' home movies are archived on Open Memory Box, a massive archive of 415 hours of footage from the former East German, shot from 1947-1990. The video is indexed and searchable by 2700 search-terms, and makes for fascinating browsing as well. (via Kottke)
So you missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well, there’s one more holiday milestone coming up: Green Monday, on Dec. 16. It’s one of the busiest online shopping days for the simple reason that it will be 10 days before Christmas, which is when last-minute shoppers start to stress. Our advice? Don’t wait for that […]
Weighted blankets are officially a thing. And if you’ve ever tried one, you know there’s a reason for the fuss. Parents have known for generations that swaddling a baby has a profound calming effect, and the gentle pressure that blanket weights provide can have the same effect on restless sleepers. Pretty much all parts of […]
Walk through any office, and you will likely spot a few bobbleheads. These wobbly figurines are great fun to have around, although most celebrate people we will never meet. For something a little more personal, try Handmade Custom Bobbleheads. These mini caricatures are sculpted and painted by skilled artisans, based on any photo you provide. […]