“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.”
So begins A Sand County Almanac from the writer that many describe as the father of the modern environmental movement. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic was simply, “When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
The award for the most entertaining government publication of the Year has to go to Senator Tom Coburn’s Wastebook 2010. It’s a guide to the 100 most wasteful federal spending projects of the year. Coburn, known as a champion of fiscal responsibility in his opposition to earmarks and unchecked government spending, identifies $11.5 billion worth of wasteful spending. The reports gives each target a humorous and engaging title such as “Carrousel Museum Takes Taxpayers for a Spin” and “Federal Study Investigates Cow Burps.”
Unnecessary office printing costs taxpayers $930 million in waste each year.
The Department of Defense (DOD) spends $1.4 billion on office printing, 34% of which, according to the 2009 Lexmark Government Printing Report, is unnecessary. The average federal employee costs their agency an average of $500 each year in office printing. This doesn’t even factor in the negative environmental impacts of the 6.5 billion pages of paper consumed annually.
Is the book really dead? I just heard about an adorable book by Lane Smith, called “It’s a Book.” There’s a donkey talking to a monkey who’s just sitting there reading a book. The donkey doesn’t get it. Does it tweet? Where’s your mouse? He goes on and on but then finally asks to see the book and gets all entwined in it.
It’s so hard to say how the book will evolve in the next few years. We’re more digital than ever before and I seem to push, teach to, speak about digital books a lot. I have several checked out right now on my ipod. But the next great novel comes along and I’m likely to get a hard copy that I can sit on the couch and read.
Check out this way-too-cute trailer of “It’s a Book.” You’ll want to read it for yourself.