The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
by Moonbot Studios
Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is one of five animated short films that will be considered for outstanding film achievements of 2011 in the 84th Academy Awards ®.
Patrons will be able to print books on demand for a fee—in the range of about $8 to $12 for a 200-page book. The EBM’s database, EspressNet, currently includes some four million public-domain titles—including many from Google Books—as well as 2.8 million in-copyright works from publishers, with more on the way. (SPL licenses the database at a cost of $25,000.)
The EBM provides a way for library patrons to get print versions of these publishers’ selected backlist titles—providing that patrons are willing, and able, to pay for them. A few of the publishers that allow their titles to be printed on demand, including Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group, are notable for making their ebook titles unavailable for library lending. HarperCollins, which instituted a 26-loan cap on its lendable library ebooks in February, also reached an agreement with On Demand in September [PDF]. On Demand is currently in talks with additional publishers.
(Embarrassingly, I am still a little disappointed that at no point does the robot also make you a latte. Technological advancement is wasted on me.)
Spoiler alert: It’s “Microstructure-Property relationships in Ti2448 components produced by Selective Laser Melting: A Love Story.”
Joel Miller, a biomedical engineer at the University of Western Australia in Perth, has won the grand prize in Science’s fourth annual “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest, a competition that recognizes the best dance interpretations of scientific doctoral work. Miller’s entry (seen above), which also notched the top score in the physics category, was based on his Ph.D. research using lasers to create titanium alloys strong and flexible enough for long-lasting hip replacements. Science also crowned winners in three other categories—chemistry, biology, and social sciences—for dances based on x-ray crystallography, fruit fly sex, and pigeon courtship.
The rules of the contest were simple: Each dance had to be based on a scientist’s Ph.D. research, and that scientist had to be part of the dance. A record 55 dances were submitted to this year’s contest, covering everything from psychology to astrophysics. Last week, 16 finalists were chosen by six previous winners of the contest. The finalists were then scored by a panel of judges that included scientists from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston University, as well as choreographers from Pilobolus and the entire dance cast of Shadowland.