Preservation funding in peril

We're all tightening the screws on our budgets, watching our bank balances, and sitting on our wallets. Almost all of us would agree that the government has to do the same, and earlier this month, President Obama released his 2011 budget request. If passed it would eliminate funding for Save America's Treasures and Preserve America, and cut funding for National Heritage Areas by 50%.

Some would argue that if something has to go, this is it. We would argue that sacrificing the future for the present is never a good idea.

Is there a better way? Let us, and your elected officials, know.


A Person Dies. And with Her, a Language Disappears

BBC News reports that the last speaker of the language Bo has died at age 85.

Professor Abbi - who runs the Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese (Voga) website - explained: "After the death of her parents, Boa was the last Bo speaker for 30 to 40 years.

"She was often very lonely and had to learn an Andamanese version of Hindi in order to communicate with people.


The Lost Man Booker Prize Longlist

At long last, those authors who missed their chance when the Man Booker Prize's rules were changed in 1971 have a chance at glory. Via Shelf Awareness:

The Guardian reported that the new award "aims to commemorate the works that 'fell through the net' in 1970 after changes to the Booker rules. In 1971, two years after the prize was first given, it ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became, as it is now, a prize for the best novel in the year of publication. The date on which the award was given was also moved from April to November, creating a gap when a wealth of 1970 fiction could not be eligible."

The list is below. Based on just what I've read from this list, I'll be rooting for Master and Commander, though the prize might offer a chance for a lucky author lesser-known to get their name back out there.

The Hand Reared Boy by Brian Aldiss
A Little of What You Fancy? by H.E. Bates
The Birds on the Trees by Bawden
A Place in England by Melvyn Bragg
Down All the Days by Christy Brown
Bomber by Len Deighton
Troubles by J.G. Farrell
The Circle by Elaine Feinstein
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard
A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill
I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill
A Domestic Animal by Francis King
The Fire Dwellers by Margaret Laurence
Out of the Shelter by David Lodge
A Fairly Honourable Defeat by Iris Murdoch
Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
Head to Toe by Joe Orton
Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
A Guilty Thing Surprised by Ruth Rendell
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
The Vivisector by Patrick White


Is Indie Dead?

Paste magazine's February issue wondered whether indie music had gone the way of disco. Now, Flavorwire.com and a slew of music critics have responded here.

They're all good responses, but still unanswered definitively is another question: "What is Indie?"