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    Those nice people at Open University Press have put together a mini Ultimate Survival Guide for University Students. Top tips on writing the perfect essay, finding part-time work, dealing with stress and much more including some puzzles to beef up your brain. You can also win £50 worth of books from our good selves if you solve one particularly fiendish puzzle (hint: it's on page 9). [Email your answer to]

    So download below for all the essentials for the coming academic year.

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  • The Empire of Death

    Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:56

    blog imageThames and Hudson have just published the wonderful The Empire of Death - A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses - "Takes the reader on an international tour of macabre and devotional architectural masterpieces in nearly 20 countries. This book brings together some of the world's most important charnel sites, ranging from the crypts of the Capuchin monasteries in Italy, to the strange tomb of a 1960s wealthy Peruvian nobleman."

    So what better time to revisit the wonderful Svankmajer film from 1970, The Ossuary, filmed in the old chapel of Sedlec, Czech Republic...

    Posted by Adam Adam


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  • Of Lice and Men

    Fri, 16 Sep 2011 15:02

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    My parents live in a very idyllic thatched cottage in Dorset on England's south coast. Recently, and at great expense and bother the thatch needed to be replaced, and a very professional job was done by the local thatchers.

    Only some days later did things start crawling from the roof. Actually just one type of thing - just thousands and thousands of them. Distressed by not being able to see much through the windows due to the bodies of crawling mites and concerned by the thought that they were devouring the new thatch, my father wrote to (as you would) the Science Advisor to the National Society of Master Thatchers. Some correspondence ensued and with some examples of dead mites sent through the post, the culprits were identified as booklice (Liposcelis bostrychophila). The science advisor reassured that they were not eating the thatch, indeed it was somewhat of a mystery as to how they got in the reed at all.

    He also supplied some fantastic pictures of the sample sent through - which I thought, given the name of the beast, might be of interest!

    (With many thanks to Dr Roger Angold)

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    For little boys around the age of six going to the movies can have a momentous impact. Those little boys will always remember the unbelievable excitement and the wonder of that early experience and often spend the rest of their lives, in vain, trying to find that feeling again.

    The first three Star Wars movies from 1977 to 1983 pretty much cover the age range of most of the men of a certain age in the Book Depository basement, we were all about six during those six years. So when Moleskine announced they were bringing out a special edition Star Wars notebook, that familiar twinge of excitement and anticipation was felt around the office.

    And then, when Moleskine made this promo video of a Star Wars origami battle... You can guess the rest.

    Let's hope these lovely new notebooks can provide some small condolence in our search for moments of lightness and joy on the long journey away from childhood... BECAUSE THEY'RE AWESOME!!!!!!!!

  • 1Q84

    Thu, 15 Sep 2011 15:33

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    Murakami's (clearly 'Haruki' not required any more. He's that big) eagerly anticipated new mahoosive novel (as big as him and requiring three parts and two books) is very nearly here. Publisher Harvill has released a not too bad book trailer (as book trailers go...) Click on the book jackets above to pre-order your must have copies!

    Posted by Adam Adam

    Categories: Murakami, 1Q84, new release

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