6:30 p.m. CALS Main Library. Free.
The idea that a woman wouldn't be paid the same as a man for doing the same job is offensive to the basic sense of fairness most people would agree that society should aspire to. So it's logical then that a woman who was paid substantially less than her male colleagues for doing the same job as them for nearly two decades would seek relief from the courts.
That's what Alabaman Lilly Ledbetter did, and she was awarded $3.3 million (though according to an article in Time, that amount was later reduced to $300,000). The case made its way to the Supreme Court, where the conservative wing struck down the ruling in a 5-4 vote, stating that because Ledbetter did not complain about the discriminatory nature of her pay within 180 days of receiving her first paycheck, that she was not entitled to any judgment against her former employer, Goodyear.
Of course, compensation details are confidential at most corporations, and Ledbetter only learned of the pay disparity as she was preparing to retire, after a colleague slipped her a note anonymously. The Supreme Court's decision seems to ignore this important detail. Ledbetter was a guest on Stephen Colbert's show last fall. He summed up the court's decision thusly: "Their logic was, you should have known before you knew."
While Ledbetter undoubtedly received unjust treatment at the hands of her employer and, arguably, the nation's highest court, she did get some satisfaction when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, the first piece of legislation he signed into law. She'll be signing copies of her new book, "Grace & Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond."
If you care at all about the environment, you know that we can't go on like this forever. We're burning dead dinosaurs to go places, for chris'sakes, and that isn't going to last.
Enter former Arkansas Times editor Richard Martin's book "Super Fuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future." which is now out in paperback from Macmillan publishers.
In the book, which we profiled in a cover story in April 2012, just prior to Martin's appearance at that year's Arkansas Literary Festival, Martin discusses the new/old "green" nuclear fuel source Thorium, which can power reactors that produce just as much energy as conventional plutonium reactors, only with a fraction of the fuel, a fraction of the needed land area, and a fraction of the toxic waste (waste which degrades to a harmless state in decades, not centuries). They're already being built around the world.
Definitely a good read, especially if you want to know more about the politics of nuclear power.
"March," illustrated by North Little Rock native Nate Powell, is out today from Top Shelf. The graphic novel is the first in a trilogy telling the story of civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Powell worked closely with Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin. Don't miss Robert Bell's interview with Powell from a few weeks back.
The Central Arkansas Library System continues to expand its free digital offerings with the announcement this week that beginning Aug. 5, members will be able to choose from more than 60 magazine titles to peruse on their tablets, smartphones, laptops, desktops or just about any other screen.
Library members will access the magazines through an app called Zinio. From the CALS press release: "Zinio, named Best New Database of 2012 by Library Journal, creates better ways for people to discover published content, get more out of it, and do more with it. Zinio provides the ability to search inside, read, share, save, and purchase digital content to read on any screen. Readers can move within each publication page between text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, video, and more."
Once the service is up and running, you'll be able to set up your account here.
From a disparaging review of "The Lone Ranger" from my favorite critic, David Edelstein.
I’m sure Depp and director Gore Verbinski didn’t mean it to come out this way, but the combination of liberal politics and Pirates of the Caribbean slapstick spectacle plays like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee reconceived as a Disney theme-park ride.
Other reviewers strongly dislike the movie, too.
THE NEW 22'
6:30 p.m., MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Free.
Back in January, when the Arkansas Literary Festival slate of authors was announced, perhaps you scanned it and seized onto "The New 22," featuring hotshot novelists David Abrams ("Fobbit") and Ben Fountain ("Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk") and marked it as a "must-attend."
Then you noticed in the small print that, strangely, the event wasn't scheduled until two months after the literary festival. Well, two months has come and gone. The event's still a must-attend.
I haven't read "Fobbit," but it was one of the best-reviewed books of last year. It's set in a military base in Baghdad ("fobbit" is slang for a soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by hanging at the base). Abrams draws on his experience as an active-duty Army journalist.
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is one of the best books I've read. Lots of other people agree. It won this year's National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award last year. It's about the surviving members of a group of Iraq War soldiers who've become minor celebrities after video of them in a firefight with insurgents goes viral. They've been sent home for a Victory Tour that culminates with an appearance at a Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day. It's a darkly funny satire written with more style and insight than anything in recent memory.
6:30 p.m. Main Library. Free.
If your the typo person who gets P-O'd at the site of misused homophones, missspelings, creative abbrev., stray apostrophe's, Mysterious Capitalizations, "enthusiastic" and "seemingly random" usage of "quotation marks," or other such abuses of written language, you will likely sympathize with author Jeff Deck.
In 2007, Deck and his colleague Benjamin D. Herson decided they had finally had enough with the typos, particularly on signs. So they embarked on a 10-week voyage across the country, armed with sharpies, correction fluid, dry erase markers and all other manner of materials, in order to right the wrongs found on as many signs as possible. They documented their journey and the result was "The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time," which was published in 2011. Copy editors, English teachers, militant grammarians and their sympathizers should get a kick out of the book.
Deck will give a presentation and sign books as well.
Writer Pat Carr has won the 2013 Porter Fund Prize, an annual award presented to "an Arkansas writer who has accomplished a substantial and impressive body of work that merits enhanced recognition," according to a press release.
The $2,000 prize has previously been awarded to Kevin Brockmeier, Trenton Lee Stewart, Roy Reed and Michael Heffernan, among others. Last year's winner was Margaret Jones Bolsterli.
Bolsterli called Carr to notify her of the news, to which Carr said, "I had the same feeling I would have had if I'd won the Nobel Prize," according to the release. Carr, who has published 18 books, also won the Iowa Fiction Prize for "The Women in the Mirror." Her novel "If We Must Die," about the 1921 riots in Tulsa, was a finalist for the PEN Book Award.
Carr will be presented with the award at a ceremony Oct. 3 at CALS Main Library.
The book, by Brian Raftery, is largely an oral history with observations and remembrances from such UCB alums as Ed Helms, Rob Corddry, Aubrey Plaza and many others. It's sure to be a goldmine for comedy nerds. And check it, ol' Besser's wearing a Razorbacks T shirt on the book's cover. He's a bigtime Hogs fan.
The new issue of Fluke, the long-running fanzine published by former Dogtowner Matthew Thompson, is on the stands now.
Issue No. 11 (40 pages half-size, stapled, offset print) has a fascinating interview by Mark Lewis with railyard legend and renowned mail artist Buz Blurr, a.k.a. Russell Butler, native of Gurdon. Butler is responsible for the ubiquitous "Colossus of Roads" boxcar moniker, seen on the cover of the new issue of Fluke. For more about Butler and boxcar art, check this out. It looks fascinating.
Also included in this issue: an interview with hardcore legends Negative Approach, a personal appreciation of hardcore from Mark "Sledge" Howe, an interview with Little Rock punks The Bad Years and much more. It's $4 and you can get it by PayPal to flukezine at g mail dot com or send cash or money order to Fluke Fanzine, PO Box 1547, Phoenix AZ 85001.
7 p.m. South on Main. Free.
The Oxford American begins its programming at its new South on Main venue with a good'n: author Nathaniel Rich. His latest novel, "Odds Against Tomorrow," has been praised pretty much across the board.
It's about Mitchell Zukor, a young mathematician who takes a job that puts him at the forefront of corporate hedging, calculating the odds of various disasters that might befall society. But soon an actual catastrophe unfolds. It's sort of a comedy of manners/apocalypse thriller that Vanity Fair called "scarily prescient and wholly original."
Rich will read from the book, and if you have not yet secured a copy of it, WordsWorth Books & Co. will have some on hand, presumably so you can get him to sign his name on it. Little Rock-based writer Jay Jennings will emcee, and The John Burnette Duo will play music.
Here's a somewhat rare Sunday event at White Water Tavern: "No Place in Particular," a poetry and music event that promises to be a good time.
It starts at 5 p.m. with poetry readings, with music to follow. Check the flier right above for all the pertinent details. Looks like a very nice way to wind down the weekend.
If you can believe it, it's been 10 years since Yours Truly, David Koon, Arkansas Times reporter and definitely not the secret identity of The Plump Shadow, who strikes fear in the hearts of criminals by cover of night, beheaded my wife's coat rack, stuck a slanted board on top to turn it into a lectern and launched the Times bar reading, Pub or Perish, on the Saturday night of the first Arkansas Literary Festival, which is also celebrating its Tin Anniversary this year. I'm a little grayer and no wiser, but I'm smart enough to know our own 10th year will be a doozy.
After a sojourn to Sixth Street last year, Pub or Perish is coming back home to the River Market for two hours of poetry, fiction, memoir, drinking and fun in the big room at Stickyz. In addition to the great venue, this year looks to be yet another humdinger from the talent side of things as well, with a crew of excellent lit fest and local writers on the bill, including Kentucky "Affrilachian" poet Frank X. Walker, Amoja "MoMan" Sumler, Justin Booth, Sandy Longhorn, Holland Colclasure, Randi Romo, Deb Moore and others, and there will be drink specials all night long.
Best of all is: It's free. Pub or Perish is free, I mean. Not the drinks. Gotta pay for those. You can't win 'em all, my friend.
— David Koon
agree 100% with Cosmo. the movie experience was horrible there in every way imo
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