From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 03 Sep 02 - Ah Bartleby!
Today is the first day of school for my teenage daughters, which means I have the rare opportunity to use my computer for seven glorious hours in a row. It's amazing how quiet the neighborhood gets after the Big Yellow Vacuum Cleaner passes through. :-) In today's TOURBUS, we're going to visit Bartleby. If you read, write or research, you won't want to miss it.
I use the Norton tools every day and can't imagine going without them. With two kids, I need the Anti-Virus protection, and having the Norton Recycle Bin's "undelete" has helped me to recover from some major blunders.
After last week's article on Project Gutenberg, I was reminded by a couple of TOURBUS readers that I should also have mentioned Bartleby.com, a complementary site offering both contemporary and classic Reference works, along with a library of Verse, Fiction and Nonfiction. So let's dive right in...
* THE COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA (6th edition, 2001) purports to be the most up-to-date encyclopedia available. It contains over 50,000 articles, 40,000 bibliographic citations, and 80,000 cross- references. On the off chance that you were trying to remember the name of Michael Jackson's 1995 album that critics described as "petty, maudlin, and paranoid" -- it's in there. Use the alphabetic index or search for the object of your inquiring.
* THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY (4th edition, 2000) is not your
typical online dictionary. In addition to the 90,000 definitions
you'd expect, the AHD has 70,000 audio word pronunciations, and
900 full-page color illustrations.
* STRUNK'S ELEMENTS OF STYLE - In 1918, William Strunk became the Emily Post of English composition with the publication of "The Elements of Style". This guide focuses on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. Words Often Misspelled should be required reading, while the Words And Expressions Commonly Misused chapter explains why it's certainly very important for the student body to avoid a literal flood of words when less would oftentimes be as good or better. As to whether brevity is truly the soul of wit, many truly clever people claim this viewpoint, but others believe that long-winded exposition is an important factor in effective communication.
* THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD HISTORY (6th edition, 2001) compiled by renowned historian Peter Stearns is a comprehensive chronology spanning the millenia from prehistoric times to the year 2000. But what's this? No mention of Middle Earth, or the impact of Dwarves on modern mining technology. Hmmm...
* ROGETíS II: THE NEW THESAURUS (3rd edition, 1995) picks up where the 1922 edition left off. Search or browse over 35,000 synonyms with succinct word definitions.
* QUOTATIONS - Use this page at Bartleby to search Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, The Columbia World of Quotations, and Simpsonís Contemporary Quotations all at once!
* GRAY'S Anatomy of the Human Body (20th edition) featuring 1,247 vibrant engravings from the classic 1918 publication.
* ROBERTíS RULES OF ORDER contains the orderly rules of reason used by deliberative assemblies. Anyone second the motion?
* The VERSE section includes anthologies such as "The Oxford Book of English Verse" and "Yale Book of American Verse" as well as volumes of works by Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, John Keats, and many others.
* The FICTION section starts with The Harvard Classics and The Harvard Shelf of Fiction, which offer a combined 70 volumes that cover every major literary figure, philosopher, religion, folklore and historical subject through the twentieth century. You'll also find selected works of Aesop, Christie, Melville, Stevenson, Wells and many others. Top it off with The Oxford Shakespeare - 37 plays and 154 sonnets.
* The NON-FICTION section contains some of the seminal works in history, from John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" and Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" to Booker T. Washington's "Up from Slavery" and Albert Einstein's "Relativity." The nonfiction section also includes the complete inaugural addresses of every US President from George Washington onward.
That's all for now. Do feel free to pass along any issue of Tourbus, and tell your friends to visit the Tourbus website to see the archives, or play Warp the Busdriver (and his poor dog). --Bob Rankin