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What makes a publishing house great? The easy answer is the consistency with which it produces books of value over a lengthy period of time. That would include in our day, beyond the obvious candidates, houses as unalike as Oxford University Press and New Directions. But thereʼs also the energy and flair with which it brings its books to the attention of the general reading public, so doing justice to its authors. And theres its loyalty to those authors. And its over-all conviction that books matter. And, of course, turning a profit.

A new book «Hothouse» (Simon & Schuster), by Boris Kachka takes as a given that its subject, Farrar, Straus&Giroux, has been and remains a great publisher, and without any question that’s the case. FSG, as it’s generally called, has brought us more than half a century of distinguished books, rarely slipping below the level of distinction it hoped to achieve. How it did so is certainly worth both parsing and paying tribute to, but a degree of disillusionment with this project sets in when we get past the cute title to the even cuter and more hyperbolic subtitle: «The Art

Continue reading What makes a publishing house great? The easy answer is the consistency with which it produces books of value over a lengthy period of time. That would include in our day, beyond the obvious candidates, houses as unalike as Oxford University Press and New Directions. But thereʼs also the energy and flair with which it brings its books to the attention of the general reading public, so doing justice to its authors. And theres its loyalty to those authors. And its over-all conviction that books matter. And, of course, turning a profit.

WHAT CAUSED THE GREAT WAR?

When Gavrilo Princip opened fire on Archduke Franz Ferdinand, he killed not just the heir to the Austrian throne, but sentenced to death over million people in four years. But if assassination was the excuse, it wasn’t the cause…

1 February 1864

PRINCE EDWARD NURSES A GRUDGE

British foreign policy is redefined after the Prussian invasion of Denmark

Prussia and Austria’s devastating seizure of the ethnically mixed territories of Schleswig and Holstein, which separated Denmark from what is now Germany, shocked the young British Prince Edward — the future King Edward VII — who was only months into his marriage

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Unforgettable sight

IT WAS WITH great sadness that I read your Editorial, concerning the Ministry of Defence’s attitude towards the last flying Vulcan (XH558).

Over a period of years attending many airshows around the United Kingdom, one of the highlights of every show has been the arrival and display of the mighty Vulcan.

On numerous occasions I have seen various Vulcans (when we had more than one) hold spectators spellbound.

But it was at RAF Mildenhall on Sunday May 24,1992 when I saw the Vulcan bring about 120,000 people to a standstill.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with very little cloud,

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THE LAST GREAT AIR RACE

On the afternoon of October 8, 1953, eight assorted aircraft came under starter’s orders at London Airport. As HRH The Duke of Gloucester waved his flag he would have witnessed a cornucopia of aircraft, including the latest military jets, an assortment of older machines and a smattering of airliners. Included in the latter was the pride of BEA — the latest Vickers Viscount turboprop.

Ancestry

Arrangements for the race began in 1948 and it had originally been planned to mark the centenary of the Province of Canterbury, NZ in 1950 but delays meant the race slipped until 1953. Modelled on

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THE GREAT NAIL TECH CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

Editor’s Note: In response to The Great Nail Tech Challenge that ran in last year’s Big Book, here’s a letter from one tech who accepted the challenge. Sara, what an awesome accomplishment! If you took the challenge to heart, we’d love to hear from you on which ones you tackled. E-mail Hannah.Lee@babbit.com.

BPA

Challenge #6: Suggest a service your client doesn’t normally get. I purchased a chemical heel peel product and when I see I won’t be able to remove a client’s heal callus «almost” completely, I suggest the peel. I apply it and it works while I’m doing her

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Stealing My Job

Entertainment Options Broaden

I’ve always been an entertainment fanatic. I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t mesmerized by the music on the stereo and radio, the TV shows on the television, the movies at the theater, or even the celebrities that appear across all those mediums.

It certainly wasn’t a surprise to anyone when I began writing and focused that attention on entertainment, writing reviews, interviews, commentaries, etc., all about that exciting entertainment that had fascinated me all my life. In fact one of the tasks I did for the past several years was writing a «What’s Hot

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SHORT AND SWEET

1. Greenhouses are great places to photograph flowers because the lighting is usually diffused and there is no wind. Wind is the enemy of macro photography. Most public greenhouses allow tripods, too, so you can have as much depth of field as you want.

2. Landscape photography requires complete depth of field virtually without exception. I recommend using f/22 or f/32 if foreground elements are close to the camera. If everything in the composition is far away, then you should use f/8 for maximum sharpness.

3. When traveling to another city, stay in a hotel with a great view. You

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PANASONIC TX-L50E6B

£850

Panasonic has won group tests and five-star reviews in almost every screen size we’ve tested so far in 2013. So we’re surprised that the TX-L50E6B doesn’t impress us in quite the same way.

The TX-L50E6B is one of Panasonic’s cheaper sets this year, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. It looks very similar to the rest of the LCD range, with its slim silver bezel and rectangular stand.

The stand doesn’t swivel, making it a little tricky to place. And it’s pretty much a no-go if you want to hang it on the wall, as all

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What do Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Peter the Great?

MODERN neuropsychiatrist would do anything to get rid of these great people from diseases that helped them go down in history

Disease prophets

Three great conqueror, by which (at least partly) developed by Time-Western culture and modern borders of Europe, had something in common. All three nature endowed disease, which in ancient times was considered sacred — epilepsy. «The Alexander the Great had epileptic seizures, likely as a result of injuries received in battle — says neurologist Alexander Himochko. — Uncontrollable rage into which he fell from time to time, apparently, was a consequence of the disease. In epilepsy sometimes

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LTD

EC-256 MGO

There’s a lot of competition at the budget end of the buying spectrum, especially when you’re looking at classic designs. Marcus Leadley samples a fine contender for you hard-earned cash

Back in 1996, Japanese guitar maker ESP decided to expand in a big way into the lower-cost end of the electric market. The company already had a profile as a supplier of serious thrash metal ordnance to the glitterati of the day – bands such as Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer – so a new brand, LTD, was launched as the home for these new, price-friendly models.

As

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