More news this week. Is this the start of a regular feature? Mmmmaybe…
Tour the Titanic site
- There are actually a couple of ways to visit the wreckage of the Titanic. The best one is to have $12,500 sitting around and schedule your deep-ocean sub excursion through Groupon. You also need a time machine to go back and beat the group who’s already booked it. It’s normally a $60,000 value though, so assuming you have a time machine, it’s totally worth it.
- Otherwise, you’re stuck with looking at these awesome sonar maps like the rest of us. The image above is from the ship’s intact bow, but check out the link for other sections as well as a map of the whole debris field. It’s amazing.
Private island for sale
- You know, if you’re rich, don’t have the time machine, and are looking for other things to spend your money on, you could just buy this $12 million island and its “rustic” house in the Florida Keys.
Penguins harness ocean energy
- I’m pretty sure that “rustic” includes electricity in those island digs, but if it didn’t, maybe you could power the place with this wave-energy converter (called the Penguin) that a Finnish company has created and is ready to deploy.
Jungle Book: The Musical
- People have been putting on musical productions of Disney’s Jungle Book since at least 2010 when that cast photo above was taken, but since Robert Sherman passed away last week it seems kind of appropriate to mention that there’s a new one. And this new production is bigger than the Jungle Book Kids shows that have been around for a while. It’s adapted by a Tony-winning writer/director and will open in Goodman’s Albert Theatre in Chicago at the end of June.
- If you’re in the mood for something jungle-themed, but aren’t planning on taking the kids and happen to be in Brooklyn, Jaguars 3 is a jungle-themed, Italian/seafood restaurant/nightclub with a cabaret and jungle girls.
Tarzan wants his animals back; needs to feed them correctly
- Last week we got the story of former Tarzan actor Steve Sipek who lost his private animal sanctuary. More details came out this week when Florida wildlife officials revealed that Sipek wasn’t feeding his animals the proper diet or keeping them in safe enclosures. When he was released from jail, Sipek held a fundraiser and raised nearly $7000 towards the $8100 he needs to upgrade his enclosures to state specifications. I hope he also has a plan and budget that includes red meat.
Tarzan: an adoptee’s perspective
- Adopto-snark has a fascinating perspective on the Tarzan story (particularly how Disney portrayed it) and what it says about adoption. It’s fascinating because it’s based on real pain and rejects the popular view that adoption is all warmth and hugs. “Tarzan narrates the adoption experience from the adoptee’s point of view more honestly than any Disney film to date,” she writes. “Despite itself, it addresses the unhealthy practice of denying rather than acknowledging or even celebrating differences…but it really fucks things up when it shows that this denial is the right thing to do, and that APs [Adoptive Parents] will be rewarded for it.”
Tarzan for the YA crowd
- I bristled when I read this interview with author Andy Briggs about his re-writing Tarzan for modern, YA readers. I love that he gave an encouraging talk to kids about the writing process; it’s just that Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels have always been discovered and enjoyed by young readers. I resent the suggestion that the current generation of kids “probably wouldn’t read a book that was 100 years old.” I argue that they will if it’s well-written and marketed towards them.
When I sighed about it on Google+ though, a YA lit educator questioned me about it and made me rethink my position. I still hate the suggestion that Briggs’ book is designed to replace Burroughs’ (though I probably inferred that, rather than Briggs’ actually implying it), but I agree with my Google+ friend that “we should be pushing for more ‘pairing’, e.g., ERB’s original writing with other interpretations of the character and then asking the reader to compare and contrast ideas, themes, etc.” I would totally love to spend an afternoon listening to kids talking about the similarities and differences between Burroughs’ original and Briggs’ take on it.
Speaking of new books…
I may have to spin this off into a separate feature if I can keep up with it, but here are a few ocean/jungle adventure books coming out soon.
- R Kikuo Johnson’s The Shark King presents Johnson’s take on the Hawaiian shape-shifting shark-god Kamohoalii by putting it in the context of a story about a young boy “who has to balance his yearning for Dad’s guidance with his desire for Mom’s nurture.” It’ll be published next month by TOON Books, which has some wonderful-looking sample pages.
- Archaia is teasing their 2012 lineup which includes appropriate-to-this blog books like the Cursed Pirate Girl collection and Hopeless, Maine: Personal Demons (about a demon-haunted, isolated, island community off the coast of some state or other), as well as other cool genre stuff like the next Mouse Guard collection and a Space: 1999 graphic novel.
- Finally, this isn’t a new book, but to celebrate next month’s Pirates! Band of Misfits movie, UK newspaper The Guardian is giving away a bunch of copies of the first book in the series tomorrow.