A word for Wednesday: Mopsical (adjective), meaning mopey, spoiled or petulant. The word may have literally meant “mopey-eyed” (or shortsighted) originally.
Books and Writing:
Jonathan Swift said he wished to “vex the world, rather than divert it,” with his 1726 satire Gulliver’s Travels. He succeeded in his day, and in today’s world, he apparently vexed a few scientists, who correct his physiology in a good-natured way.
Crimereads has collected some stunning illustrations of Edgar Allen Poe’s work. The USA writer’s birthday was January 18, prompting several Poe-related articles. Here’s another; a discussion of Poe pop culture references. (Thanks to File 770.)
This item is about books – books I’ll never be able to afford. In February, Rare Books LA will be held in Pasadena, California. Over 100 hundred antiquarian deals will attend. (You can browse the exhibitors’ list.) What a perfect setting either 1) a murder mystery or 2) a fantasy tale or 3) both.
A librarian manifesto: in Publishers Weekly, Sari Feldman calls for the American Library Association to make 2019 The Year of the Book.
Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) has raised the per-word payment rate it considers for its “pro-rate,” from six cents per word to eight cents per word. Obviously, this affects who is considered a “pro market” for them, which may influence where writers choose to submit their work. This decision can affect membership qualification. You can read SWFA’s membership qualifications here. A lot of their excellent resources are available to everyone, member or not.
If you’re interested in writers communities, don’t forget Codex, which welcomes “neo-pros.”
Movies and TV:
Night Shyamalan’s film Glass opened this weekend. It did well at the box office according to Variety. The reviewer from Vulture didn’t like it, and this review is so specific that I am taking it seriously. SPOILER ALERT: Here is an interview with Shyamalan and Entertainment Weekly, which discusses the movie’s plot in detail.
This week, Season Four of Syfy’s The Magicians starts: tonight, in fact! Here, on a somewhat lighter note than their characters’ predicaments – memories blocked, magic rationed—the cast discusses which fandoms their characters would participate in.
This version of the Periodic Table of Elements is more than one hundred years old.
“Festively looping chains of bone are hung throughout like crepe paper at a birthday party.” Do “bone chapels” freak you out, fill you with awe or leave you unmoved? Whichever fits your response, here is one in the Czech Republic.
Hey! More Star Wars stuff, including a book-comic book crossover.
Opera and birds, an unusual combination!
This seven-minute video introduces several species of fox.