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Publishing Innovation Or Inanity? A Book With Disappearing Ink

EL DIA, INFORME 21 (Argentina)


BUENOS AIRES - We know that the news never waits, neither do trains nor time itself. But a good ol" fashioned book…well, we used to think that it could just sit up there forever on the bookshelf, gazing down, waiting until whenever to crack it open and devour what's inside.

But not so fast – or slow. The Argentinean publishing house Eterna Cadencia is challenging that treasured relationship, as a way to emphasize the urgency of new literature – and physical books themselves, in the face of the e-books of the digital revolution.

The publisher has launched "The Book That Can't Wait" (ironically, the name of the publisher of the ephemeral book contains the word "eternal"). As the Argentine El Dia newspaper reports, "El Libro que No Puede Esperar" is printed with disappearing ink that simply fades away in two months time. The books are sealed in a plastic wrapper, which once removed, sees the ink beginning to fade. Sixty days later, the reader remains with nothing but the covers and a bound bunch of blank pages.

Hey, why didn't Jeff Bezos think of that??

The Buenos Aires-based publishing house said that the aim of this project is to promote young authors, who have trouble selling their books. The Argentinean website Informe21 describes the project in a more dramatic way: "In order to force us to read, they created books with disappearing ink."

In just the first few months, the small publisher says it sold its entire batch of the intriguing books. This may be the ultimate proof that there is still life in the printed word, or perhaps a bizarre final gasp before Amazon and friends make it so literature is as eternal as it is unbounded.

Here's another recent twist on the tenuous state of the printed book. Courtesy of some wise guys from Spain:

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A Naturalist's Defense Of The Modern Zoo

Zoos are often associated with animal cruelty, or at the very least a general animal unhappiness. But on everything from research to education to biodiversity, there is a case to be made for the modern zoo.

Photograph of a brown monkey holding onto a wired fence

A brown monkey hangs off of mesh wire

Marina Chocobar/Pexels
Fran Sánchez Becerril


MADRID — Zoos — or at least something resembling the traditional idea of a zoo — date back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was around 3,500 BC when Babylonian kings housed wild animals such as lions and birds of prey in beautiful structures known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Ancient China also played a significant role in the history of zoos when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) created several parks which hosted an assortment of animals.

In Europe, it wouldn't be until 1664 when Louis XIV inaugurated the royal menagerie at Versailles. All these spaces shared the mission of showcasing the wealth and power of the ruler, or simply served as decorations. Furthermore, none of them were open to the general public; only a few fortunate individuals, usually the upper classes, had access.

The first modern zoo, conceived for educational purposes in Vienna, opened in 1765. Over time, the educational mission has become more prominent, as the exhibition of exotic animals has been complemented with scientific studies, conservation and the protection of threatened species.

For decades, zoos have been places of leisure, wonder, and discovery for both the young and the old. Despite their past success, in recent years, society's view of zoos has been changing due to increased awareness of animal welfare, shifting sensibilities and the possibility of learning about wild animals through screens. So, many people wonder: What is the purpose of a zoo in the 21st century?

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