Thursday, June 21, 2007

So Cool!

Okay, the short version of the trip report was that the closing keynote at the conference was supplied by a witty lexicographer. I didn't make the connection until I got home that she was the author of two blogs I had encountered upon different occasions -- Dictionary Evangelist and A Dress A Day. She's fun, and you will likely enjoy her writing. That's the trivial aspect of the trip.

The real news -- the cool news -- was the presentation I heard by Manolis Kelaidis, a lecturer-artist-inventor from the UK who has developed a novel version of the electronic book. [Don't sneer at the pun, or at the idea.] Go read. (Wait, there's more. And more. Still more.) The live demo was actually *quite* impressive, although there were skeptics. Maybe we oughtn't to have given the man a standing ovation, but it was an amazing thing to see it work. It brought into reality that illustration from my childhood that showed sailing ships and dragons emerging from the pages of book held on a child's lap. It amplified the reader's experience of the text with additional digital content offered with the touch of a finger -- mp3s, images, background information, etc. -- without losing the archetypal experience of reading the bound volume. I wanted one and so did everyone else in the room.