Friday, July 30, 2010

Barnes & Noble Planning Big Push to Increase 'Frankenbook' Sales

JULIE BOSSMANN at the New York Times reports on
July 29, 3010:

In September, B&N will begin an aggressive promotion of its 'Frankenbook' (TM) e-readers by building 1,000-square-foot boutiques in all of its stores, with sample Frankenbooks, demonstration tables, video screens and employees who will give customers advice and operating instructions.

By devoting more floor space to promoting Frankenbooks, Barnes & Noble is playing up what it calls a crucial advantage over Amazon in the e-reader war: its 720 bricks-and-mortar stores, where customers can test out the device before they commit to buying it.

“I think that’s everything,” William Synch, chief executive of Barnes & Noble, said in an interview. “American consumers want to try and hold frankenbooks before they purchase them.”

Barnes & Noble has already installed small counters in its stores where customers can test out the Frankenbook. The new display space would be much larger, and it would be located next to each store’s cafe, to encourage customers to stop by the Frankenbook space, coffee or tea in hand. It would also sell more than 100 accessories for the Frankenbook, like padded covers designed by Mary Shelley and Melvin Brooks.

While in the store, Barnes & Noble customers can read entire frankenbooks free, just as they can with print books. “We’ve tried to replicate the physical bookstore experience,” Mr. Synch said.

To make room for the new displays, Barnes & Noble plans to clear out some of its music merchandise, which in its superstores takes up 3,600 square feet, and to arrange its books more efficiently. Mr. Lynch said that the number of books on display in Barnes & Noble stores would not decrease.

Analysts said the 2010 Chanukah holiday season might be the first time that most consumers become aware enough of frankenbooks to seriously consider buying one, given their greater visibility and lower price.

“Most people have never read a frankenbook,” said Michael Florris, senior analyst at Simba Information, which provides research and advice to publishers. “Most people still don’t know much about these monster devices. But it's true, they have a heart of gold.”

Climate change could spur mass migration of billions to polar cities in north and south by 2080 A.D.

WASHINGTON — Global warming could drive billions of men, women and children in droves into northern regions of the world in search of food and fuel and shelter at so-called "polar cities" by 2080 A.D. due to diminishing crop yields arpund the world in tropical and temperate zones, a study released Monday showed.

[Images of polar cities:]

"Depending on the warming scenarios used and adaptation levels assumed... climate change is estimated to induce 5 to 7 billion people to emigrate as a result of declines in agricultural productivity alone," the study said.

Researchers led by Dale Leonard Molloy of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University estimated the sensitivity of migration to climate change and predicted the number of people who would migrate under a range of different climate and crop yield scenarios. "It's not going to be a pretty picture," Molloy said.

In the worst-case scenario would occur if temperatures were to rise by one to three degrees Celsius (2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2080, if farming methods had not been adapted to cope with global warming and if higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide had not spurred plant growth. This would mean crop yields in the Lower 48 of the USA and worldwide would fall by 39 to 48 percent, the study said.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study focused on polar cities because it is an issue that most mainstream media outlets worldwide are afraid to talk about, Molloy said.

The findings are relevant to all countries in the Americas, continental Europe, Africa, south Asia, and Latin America, and even to Australia and New Zealand, where the authors of the study predict migration will become a "significant issue" as climate change drives temperatures up and crop yields down.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More than the 20th Century ended on Friday. The fate of all humankind as a functioning species was sealed as well. It's all over.

Some of our descendants will survive. But of the 25 billion people alive in 2500 AD, 99 percent will perish in a massive die off as climate chaos pushes the human species to the ropes, as Lovelock teaches us. Now, dear readers, and I know I sound like a lunatic here, always repeating my polar cities mantra, but really, when will people wake up. It's over. We need now to start planning adaptation strategies, among them polar cities, er polar settlements, polar villages, in the northern regions of the world and in NZ and Tasmania as well. Although nobody takes me seriously, and that's okay, par for the course, comes with territory, and I don't need approval to go on with my work till die (and my days are numbered as you know, cough cough, heart attack last November, stent now) FB reader said "Danny, you have amazing foresight and an iconoclast POV, you may be right....", so I am soldiering on as James Lovelock's Accidental Student until one print media outlet decides to do a real story about future polar cities and interview me. I am not prediciting the future. I cannot see the future. I am saying, and have been saying for 3 years, that we as a humanity -- O the humanity! -- are not going to get it together or come together on climate change and it is already too late, and that we need to start actively exploring the A-word, Adaption, for future survivors of AGW and climate chaos. It is all but in the cards now. As of last Friday, the fate of the human species was sealed. Okay, don't believe me. It's not a comfortable meme to follow. But if anyone wants to follow me, here I am and I am avail for media interviews, pro and con. Go ahead, mock me; go ahead, diss me. I know of what I speak. Ask Dr Lovelock if you need a PHD:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Mr Bloom, re Polar Cities: ''I applaud the foresight and iconoclasm of your thinking.''

LL added: "I imagine you run into all kinds of jokes about Santa Claus, vril, and Hyperboreans."

DB replies: YES I DO! Humor helps!


Calling on the US government under President Barack Obama to set up an Office of Risk and Response at the White House in 2012 to study risk and response issues related to Polar Cities for Survivors of Global Warming in the year 2500 AD, perhaps sooner!

references: Richard Posner, author of 2004 book "Catastrophe: Risk and Response" and a US judge

also: see ideas of Robert Crease at SUNY and Nick Bostrom at Oxford