A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

A Bear Called Paddington Book Cover A Bear Called Paddington
Paddington Bear
Michael Bond
Juvenile Fiction
Harper Collins
July 22, 2014; Original release in 1958

Paddington Bear had traveled all the way from darkest Peru when the Browns first met him in Paddington Station. Since then, their lives have never been quite the same . . . for ordinary things become extraordinary when a bear called Paddington is involved. First published in 1958, A Bear Called Paddington is the first novel by Michael Bond, chronicling the adventures of this lovable bear. Paddington has charmed readers for generations with his earnest good intentions and humorous misadventures. This brand-new edition of the classic novel contains the original text by Michael Bond and illustrations by Peggy Fortnum.

The beginning of the book felt like an uphill battle to read. Perhaps it was too much set up and not enough character? The character shines through more brightly later on in the stories toward the end. The opening was also a lot more initial set up and seemed to be a beginning of a larger plot which didn’t turn into anything while the final chapters were more or less stand-alone vignettes with their own internal mini three act structures. I think I preferred these smaller self-standing stories to the beginning. In form and structure, the book was more like a collection of short stories about Paddington than it was a novel with its own three act structure, which is what I had expected. As a result of this, I’m surprised that Paddington was made into a movie instead of a television show.

Paddington gets himself into the same types of trouble a typical 3-6 year old would in not understanding the culture, mores, and standards around him. In this sense the book falls into a category similar to Amelia Bedelia, who perennially doesn’t understand colloquialisms and other homophones. The difference is that, because he’s a cuddlier small bear, he’s cuter and thereby one is prone to be more forgiving than they would be of a child or of a grown woman who’s so dense that she apparently doesn’t have any linguistic intelligence at all.

Because Paddington is a bear and not a young child, the family also allows him to do things by himself that no sane parent would allow a young child to do: go to the market by themselves, wander around in a crowded theater unattended, float out into the ocean without a keen eye being kept on them. It’s this slight change which allows our young bear to get into far more trouble than a human youngster might.

Toward the end, I began to read using rapid serial visual presentation (with Spritz), and the language and quirks came through just as well as any other parts of the book. I did find myself picking up my Kindle Paperwhite to highlight a few choice passages and funny parts for later reflection though. There was a nice prologue with some interesting observations by the author several decades after he wrote the original. With a bit of thought, some of these make great advice for budding authors.

In sum, an entertaining an charming book whose self-contained chapters lend themselves well to bedtime stories.

Reading Progress
  • 05/27/16 marked as: want to read; “I’d watched the recent film version during the late Spring and thought I’d circle back around and read this again to see how closely the film followed the story. I haven’t read it since I was a child in maybe 3rd or 4th grade.”
  • 09/06/16 started reading
  • 09/08/16 ??.0% done;
  • 10/01/16 18.0% done;
  • 10/02/16 22.0% done;
  • 10/26/16 33.0% done; “The plot moves somewhat slowly and the action is mostly what one would expect from a 5 or 6 year old–except that it’s a bear–but the charming language and the way in which is told makes all the difference. Bacon in a suitcase–indeed!”
  • 10/28/16 47.0% done;
  • 10/30/16 70.0% done;
    Chapter 5: Paddington and the “Old Master”
    The pledge and the turn are reasonably well executed, but the prestige is lacking a bit.
    Chapter 6: A Visit to the Theater
    It’s episodes like this that make me wonder why they turned Paddington into a movie instead of a TV sitcom.”
  • 10/31/16 Finished book;
    Chapter Seven: Adventure at the Seaside
    The set up for this was short and sweet and the ending was what we’ve come to love in a Paddington story.
    Chapter Eight: A Disappearing Trick
    This is just hilariously charming. I do wish the uncivil neighbor had been better set up in a prior story, but the short treatment done here is sufficient for the hilarity that ensues with Paddington attempting a magic show.”

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapter One: Please Look After This Bear
Highlight (yellow) on page 4 | Location 53-53 | Added on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 10:45:06 PM
“You can’t just sit in Paddington Station waiting for something to happen.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 4 | Location 51-51 | Added on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 10:45:15 PM
“How’s that to be going on with?”
Highlight (yellow) on page 6 | Location 91-92 | Added on Thursday, September 8, 2016 12:44:27 AM

“Things are always happening to me. I’m that sort of bear.”

Highlight (blue) on page 9 | Location 127-127 | Added on Thursday, September 8, 2016 12:48:39 AM
Chapter Two: A Bear in Hot Water

“That’s the trouble with being small—no one ever expects you to want things.”

Highlight (blue) on page 13 | Location 194-194 | Added on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 7:48:41 PM

– Your Bookmark on page 16 | Location 231 | Added on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 10:43:26 PM
if the water didn’t get much less, at least it didn’t get any more.
Highlight (yellow) on page 18 | Location 265-265 | Added on Saturday, October 1, 2016 7:35:31 PM
“If Mrs. Bird sees this, I don’t know what she’ll say.”
“I do,” exclaimed Jonathan. “She says it to me sometimes.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 19 | Location 290-291 | Added on Sunday, October 2, 2016 3:49:58 PM

– Your Bookmark on page 19 | Location 288 | Added on Sunday, October 2, 2016 3:50:49 PM

– Your Bookmark on page 25 | Location 369 | Added on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:14:38 PM
Chapter Three: Paddington Goes Underground
The man sniffed suspiciously and called across to an inspector. “There’s a young bear ’ere, smelling of bacon. Says he made a mistake at the bottom.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 26 | Location 387-388 | Added on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 11:33:23 PM
Chapter Four: A Shopping Expedition
Highlight (orange) on page 31 | Location 465-465 | Added on Friday, October 28, 2016 1:35:17 AM
Don’t see this word often in America, much less the Anglicization Madam or Madame
“I’ll have one for worst if you like,” he said. “That’s my best one!”
Highlight (yellow) on page 31 | Location 468-469 | Added on Friday, October 28, 2016 1:36:00 AM
Paddington trying to keep his old hat.
Paddington had a very persistent stare when he cared to use it. It was a very powerful stare. One which his Aunt Lucy had taught him and which he kept for special occasions.
Highlight (yellow) on page 32 | Location 478-480 | Added on Friday, October 28, 2016 1:37:21 AM
Bears were rather unpredictable. You never quite knew what they were thinking, and this one in particular seemed to have a mind of his own.
Highlight (yellow) on page 33 | Location 492-493 | Added on Friday, October 28, 2016 1:38:59 AM

– Your Bookmark on page 33 | Location 491 | Added on Friday, October 28, 2016 1:41:19 AM

– Your Bookmark on page 34 | Location 517 | Added on Friday, October 28, 2016 7:58:30 PM

“I think,” said Paddington, “if you don’t mind, I’d rather use the stairs.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 41 | Location 616-617 | Added on Saturday, October 29, 2016 2:23:45 PM

– Your Bookmark on page 41 | Location 618 | Added on Saturday, October 29, 2016 2:24:05 PM
Chapter Five: Paddington and the “Old Master”
“That bear gets more for his ten pence than anyone I know,” said Mrs. Bird. “I don’t know how he gets away with it, really I don’t. It must be the mean streak in him.”
“I’m not mean,” said Paddington indignantly. “I’m just careful, that’s all.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 41 | Location 627-629 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:01:06 AM
“I don’t mind him just thinking,” said Mrs. Brown, with a worried expression on her face. “It’s when he actually thinks of something that the trouble starts.”
Highlight (blue) on page 45 | Location 679-680 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:05:41 AM
Originally it had been a painting of a lake, with a blue sky and several sailing boats dotted around. Now it looked like a storm at sea. All the boats had gone, the sky was a funny shade of gray, and half the lake had disappeared.
Highlight (yellow) on page 45 | Location 690-692 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:07:18 AM
Only Mrs. Bird had her suspicions when she found Paddington’s “spots” on his towel in the bathroom, but she kept her thoughts to herself.
Highlight (yellow) on page 48 | Location 722-723 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:09:32 AM
“I think,” said Paddington to the world in general, “they might have stood it the right way up. It’s not every day a bear wins first prize in a painting competition!”
Highlight (yellow) on page 50 | Location 752-753 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:12:52 AM
Chapter Six: A Visit to the Theater
But it’ll be an experience for him, and he does like experiences so.
Highlight (yellow) on page 50 | Location 767-767 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:14:52 AM
Highlight (orange) on page 51 | Location 772-772 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:15:18 AM
Judy started to help him off with it.
“Mind my marmalade sandwich!” cried Paddington as she placed it on the ledge in front of him. But it was too late. He looked round guiltily.
“Crikey!” said Jonathan. “It’s fallen on someone’s head!” He looked over the edge of the box. “It’s that man with the bald head. He looks jolly cross.”
“Oh, Paddington!” Mrs. Brown looked despairingly at him. “Do you have to bring marmalade sandwiches to the theater?”
Highlight (yellow) on page 52 | Location 792-797 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:18:24 AM

– Your Bookmark on page 60 | Location 916 | Added on Sunday, October 30, 2016 10:05:45 AM
Chapter Seven: Adventure at the Seaside
Paddington gave him a hard stare. “You said there was a bird,” he said. “And there wasn’t.”
“I expect it flew away when it saw your face,” said the man nastily. “Now, where’s my pound?” Paddington looked at him even harder for a moment. “Perhaps the bird took it when it flew away,” he said.
Highlight (yellow) on page 63 | Location 957-960 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:05:15 PM
The man looked serious. “And you say he can’t swim?” he asked.
“He doesn’t even like having a bath much,” said Judy. “So I’m sure he can’t swim.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 66 | Location 1011-1013 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:07:54 PM
The man looked at the picture. “We could send out a description,” he said dubiously. “But it’s a job to see what he looks like by that. It’s all hat and dark glasses.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 67 | Location 1015-1016 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:08:11 PM
This is hilarious thinking that people aren’t going to notice a small bear with such a costume amongst people.
“What’s going on at the pier, chum?”
Without stopping, the man looked back over his shoulder and shouted, “Chap just crossed the Atlantic all by ’isself on a raft. ’Undreds of days without food or water so they say!” He hurried on.
The lifesaving man looked disappointed. “Another of these publicity stunts,” he said. “We get ’em every year.”
Mr. Brown looked thoughtful. “I wonder,” he said, looking in the direction of the pier.
“It would be just like him,” said Mrs. Bird. “It’s the sort of thing that would happen to Paddington.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 68 | Location 1033-1038 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:12:23 PM
Chapter Eight: A Disappearing Trick
Paddington thought this was a good idea, especially when he was told that bears had two birthdays every year—one in the summer and one in the winter.
“Just like the Queen,” said Mrs. Bird. “So you ought to consider yourself very important.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 70 | Location 1072-1074 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:19:14 PM
“I shall have a lot of ‘thank-you’ letters to write.”
“Perhaps you’d better leave them until tomorrow,” said Mrs. Brown hastily. Whenever Paddington wrote any letters, he generally managed to get more ink on himself than on the paper, and he was looking so unusually smart, having had a bath the night before, that it seemed a pity to spoil it.
Highlight (yellow) on page 71 | Location 1082-1085 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:21:26 PM
“Well,” said Mr. Brown, “so long as you don’t try sawing anyone in half this evening, I don’t mind.”
“I was only joking,” he added hurriedly as Paddington turned an inquiring gaze on him.
Nevertheless, as soon as lunch was over, Mr. Brown hurried down the garden and locked up his tools. With Paddington there was no sense in taking chances.
Highlight (yellow) on page 73 | Location 1118-1121 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:26:30 PM
Mr. Curry had a reputation in the neighborhood for meanness and for poking his nose into other people’s business. He was also very bad tempered and was always complaining about the least little thing which met with his disapproval. In the past that had often included Paddington, which was why the Browns had not invited him to the party.
Highlight (yellow) on page 74 | Location 1127-1129 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:27:18 PM
“For this trick,” he said, “I shall require an egg.”
“Oh, dear,” said Mrs. Bird as she hurried out to the kitchen, “I know something dreadful is going to happen.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 75 | Location 1140-1141 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:30:10 PM
“For my next trick,” said Paddington, “I would like a watch.”
“Are you sure?” asked Mrs. Brown anxiously. “Wouldn’t anything else do?”
Paddington consulted his instruction book. “It says a watch,” he said firmly.
Mr. Brown hurriedly pulled his sleeve down over his left wrist. Unfortunately, Mr. Curry, who was in an unusually good mood after his free tea, stood up and offered his. Paddington took it gratefully and placed it on the table. “This is a jolly good trick,” he said, reaching down into his box and pulling out a small hammer.
Highlight (yellow) on page 76 | Location 1165-1169 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:33:51 PM
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, telling lies in front of a young bear!”
Highlight (yellow) on page 77 | Location 1178-1178 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:34:23 PM
“You know, Henry,” said Mrs. Brown as they watched Paddington go up the stairs to bed, looking rather sticky and more than a little sleepy, “it’s nice having a bear about the house.”
Highlight (yellow) on page 79 | Location 1212-1213 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:35:48 PM
Postscript (by Michael Bond)
I realized I had a book on my hands. It hadn’t been written with any particular age group in mind, which was fortunate, because until then I had always written for adults, and if I had consciously aimed at a young audience I might have “written down,” which is a bad idea. Anyway, I agree with Gertrude Stein: a book is a book is a book, and it should be enjoyable on all levels.
Highlight (yellow) on page 80 | Location 1225-1227 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:36:38 PM
This is a brilliant bit of advice to writers of all stripes, but particularly children’s writers. Most of the best YA and children’s literature I’ve read didn’t pander down to their audience.
you never know quite what bears are thinking, and he was right. You feel you can trust them with your secrets and they won’t pass them on.
Highlight (yellow) on page 81 | Location 1229-1230 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:37:10 PM
This is an interesting insight into Paddington’s character and is somewhat similar to my comments above about what makes having a talking bear that seems somewhat common interesting in these stories rather than just a young child which would have made the stories very bland and unbelievable.
Another thing about bears is that one perceives them in the wild lumbering around on two legs, so they are already halfway to being human.
Highlight (yellow) on page 81 | Location 1230-1231 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:37:20 PM
Another bit which makes the stories slightly more plausible psychologically.
The first book in a series is always the most fun to write. The world is your oyster, and you can go wherever your fancy takes you. However, at the same time you build in certain parameters which are there for all time.
Highlight (yellow) on page 81 | Location 1231-1233 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:40:16 PM
Again great advice for writers, particularly those writing a multi-part series.
Paddington was, and always will be, very real to me. He has his feet firmly on the ground, and he has a very strong sense of right and wrong. So much so that when I come up against a problem in my own life, I often ask myself what he would do.
Highlight (yellow) on page 81 | Location 1240-1241 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:40:38 PM
Each time I boarded a plane I knew it wouldn’t be long before he would be asked up to the flight deck. On one occasion I left him up there, strapped into a spare bucket seat while the crew explained the controls. A little later on, I received a second message asking if I would mind him staying up there because he wanted to practice landing the plane. I didn’t tell the other passengers!
Highlight (yellow) on page 82 | Location 1250-1253 | Added on Monday, October 31, 2016 11:41:38 PM
Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

Downloaded My TwitPic Archive

While I was updating Indieweb/site-deaths, I was reminded to download my TwitPic archive. It sold to Twitter almost two years ago this week and has been largely inactive since.

It includes some of the earliest photos I ever took and posted online via mobile phone. Looking at the quality, it’s interesting to see how far we’ve come. It’s also obvious why photo filters became so popular.

Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group: 2016-10-13: Dodging The Memory Hole 2016 Trip Report (#dtmh2016)

Liked 2016-10-13: Dodging The Memory Hole 2016 Trip Report (#dtmh2016) by John BerlinJohn Berlin (Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group: ws-dl.blogspot.com)
A summary/recap of the Dodging the Memory Hole 2016 conference held at UCLA's Charles Young Research Library in Los Angeles, California over two days in October to discuss and highlight potential solutions to the issue of preserving born-digital news.

#DTMH2016: Saving Online News | NPR RAD recap

Liked #DTMH2016: Saving Online News (RAD recap) (with images, tweets) by NPR Research, Archives, & Data StrategyNPR Research, Archives, & Data Strategy (Storify)
Dodging The Memory Hole is an action-oriented conference and event series that brings together journalists, technologists, and information specialists to strategize solutions for organizing and preserving born-digital news.

So, yeah, this happened today… 📖👓📚🎉🍾💯More details tomorrow.

So, yeah, this happened today... 📖👓📚🎉🍾💯 More details tomorrow.
So, yeah, this happened today… 📖👓📚🎉🍾💯 More details tomorrow.

Instagram filter used: Skyline

Photo taken at: Little Free Library

Statistical Physics, Information Processing, and Biology Workshop at Santa Fe Institute

Bookmarked Information Processing and Biology by John Carlos Baez (Azimuth)
The Santa Fe Institute, in New Mexico, is a place for studying complex systems. I’ve never been there! Next week I’ll go there to give a colloquium on network theory, and also to participate in this workshop.
I just found out about this from John Carlos Baez and wish I could go! How have I not managed to have heard about it?

Stastical Physics, Information Processing, and Biology


November 16, 2016 – November 18, 2016
9:00 AM
Noyce Conference Room

This workshop will address a fundamental question in theoretical biology: Does the relationship between statistical physics and the need of biological systems to process information underpin some of their deepest features? It recognizes that a core feature of biological systems is that they acquire, store and process information (i.e., perform computation). However to manipulate information in this way they require a steady flux of free energy from their environments. These two, inter-related attributes of biological systems are often taken for granted; they are not part of standard analyses of either the homeostasis or the evolution of biological systems. In this workshop we aim to fill in this major gap in our understanding of biological systems, by gaining deeper insight in the relation between the need for biological systems to process information and the free energy they need to pay for that processing.

The goal of this workshop is to address these issues by focusing on a set three specific question:

  1. How has the fraction of free energy flux on earth that is used by biological computation changed with time?;
  2. What is the free energy cost of biological computation / function?;
  3. What is the free energy cost of the evolution of biological computation / function.

In all of these cases we are interested in the fundamental limits that the laws of physics impose on various aspects of living systems as expressed by these three questions.

Purpose: Research Collaboration
SFI Host: David Krakauer, Michael Lachmann, Manfred Laubichler, Peter Stadler, and David Wolpert

I Voted 🇺🇸

I voted in the November 8th, 2016 Election! 🇺🇸


After having spent the weekend at IndieWebCamp Los Angeles, it somehow seems appropriate to have a “Voted post type” for the election today†. To do it I’m proposing the following microformats, an example of which can be found in the mark up of the post above. This post type is somewhat similar to both a note/status update and an RSVP post type with a soupçon of checkin.

  1. Basic markup

<div class="h-entry">
<span class="p-voted">I voted</span>
in the <a href="http://example.com/election" class="u-voted-in">November 8th, 2016 Election</a>

Possible Voted values: I voted, I didn’t vote, I was disenfranchised, I was intimidated, I was apathetic, I pathetically didn’t bother to register

  1. Send a Webmention to the election post of your municipality’s Registrar/Clerk/Records office as you would for a reply to any post.
  2. You should include author information in your Voted post so the registrar knows who voted (and then send another Webmention so the voting page gets the update).

Here’s another example with explicit author name and icon, in case your site or blog does not already provide that on the page.

<div class="h-entry">
<a class="p-author h-card" href="http://mysite.example.org">
<img alt="" src="http://mysite.example.org/icon.jpg"/>
Supercool Indiewebvoter</a>:
<span class="p-voted">I voted</span>
to <a href="http://example.com/election" class="u-voted-in">IndieWeb Election </a>

You can also use the data element to express the meaning behind the literal p-voted value while providing your own visible human readable language:

<data class="p-voted" value="I voted">I voted for the first female president today!

Finally, feel free to POSSE to multiple social media networks to encourage your friends and family to vote today.

† I’m being a bit facetious and doing this in fun. But it does invite some interesting speculation…

City of Los Angeles and Little Free Library Executive Director Honor Local Library Stewards

Little Free Library

About two years ago, I registered Little Free Library #8424 and a year and three months ago it opened up with a just a few books to serve the Adams Hill neighborhood in Glendale, CA. Along the way during the intervening time, we’ve had almost 500 donated books go through our humble metal doors. In addition to our local library, some of our donated books also go to help seed several dozen similar libraries in surrounding communities, many of which are considered book deserts, meaning that there are few outlets (public libraries, school libraries, or bookstores, etc.) for books or reading available to people in those communities. As a result, and unsurprisingly, the literacy rates in these neighborhoods are not as high as they should be.

A Surprise Invitation

Several weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation from Little Free Library stewards and founders of The Literacy Club, Doug and Jean Chadwick, who said they would be hosting a steward meet-up for people running Little Free Libraries in the Los Angeles area.

Little Free Library & The Literacy Club Presents:  An evening with Todd Bol

Come meet Todd and your fellow stewards for an evening of fun! You’ll get to talk Little Libraries and books, enjoy snacks, beer, wine and soft drinks, and swap stories with everyone in attendance.

Part of the motivation for the event was because Todd Bol, co-founder and executive director of the Little Free Library movement was coming to Los Angeles on Thursday, November 3rd.

The Little Free Library outside of the Chadwick's home with The Literacy Club's van behind it.
The Little Free Library outside of the Chadwick’s home with The Literacy Club’s van behind it.

It seemed like a great excuse to meet some of my fellow library stewards in the area and swap stories, and exchange advice.

Little Free Library #50,000

At the time I didn’t know that Todd was coming out to the West coast from Wisconsin in part to celebrate the unveiling of Little Free Library charter number 50,000 in Santa Ana, California, the day after he met with us. To help put the growth of the movement into perspective, remember that I registered library about two years ago.

Chris Aldrich, steward of LFL #8424, meets Todd Bol (right), steward of LFL #1.
Chris Aldrich, steward of LFL , meets Todd Bol (right), steward of LFL .

The Literacy Club

As I was to discover when I arrived, Todd came not only to meet several library stewards in the Los Angeles area but to help honor all our efforts. In particular to honor the efforts of the Literacy Club which has helped to set up and run over 50 Little Free Libraries in the Los Angeles area including in hospitals, various neighborhoods, and every police station in the city (except two, which are on their to-do list). They’ve also built and host libraries in Ohio and Wisconsin as well.

I was very impressed with their efforts and even a tad jealous that I hadn’t thought to set up dozens of libraries like this, though trust me, the amount of work involved is no small potatoes–it’s obviously a full time hobby and then some.

As a small comparison, I opened up Little Free Library charter #8424 a year and three months ago, and we’ve had almost 500 books move through our library; the Literacy Club is moving thousands of books a month!


Paul Krekorian, Councilmember of the Second District of the City of Los Angeles, had sent a Certificate of Appreciation to present to The Literacy Club for all of their fantastic work in the city. Our little soiree included a lovely presentation by Field Deputy Sahag Yedalian (who was representing Krekorian’s office) to the Chadwicks for their work on The Literacy Club’s behalf.

Sahag Yedalian representing Paul Krekorian's office presents a certificate of appreciation from the City of Los Angeles to Jean and Doug Chadwick for their work on The Literacy Club's behalf.
Sahag Yedalian representing Paul Krekorian’s office presents a certificate of appreciation from the City of Los Angeles to Jean and Doug Chadwick for their work on The Literacy Club’s behalf.

Shockingly to me, after a whirl-wind presentation, I too had such a lovely certificate in my hands!

20161103_210324 After catching my breath, I was a bit sad that the certificate wasn’t made out to the Little Free Library , which is really the true recipient of the honor. While I did do a good bit of work to put the library together and erect it in front of my house, it really is the neighborhood and community that do all of the work in supporting and using our Adams Hill treasure. So I’ll take a moment to say thank you to all my neighbors and friends in and beyond Adams Hill in Glendale for supporting our neighborhood Little Free Library.

Paul Krekorian, Councilmember, Second District, City of Los Angeles
in Certificate of Appreciation presented to Chris Aldrich on behalf of Little Free Library on November 3, 2016


Many other LFL stewards in attendance were also presented with certificates of appreciation for their help in seeding book deserts in the surrounding Los Angeles areas.

Sahag Yedalian representing Paul Krekorian's office (left) presents a certificate of appreciation from the City of Los Angeles to Executive Director Todd Bol on behalf of the Little Free Library organization.
Sahag Yedalian representing Paul Krekorian’s office (left) presents a certificate of appreciation from the City of Los Angeles to Executive Director Todd Bol on behalf of the Little Free Library organization.

Swapping stories

During the evening it was great hearing some stories and ideas from many in the room. In particular it was nice to hear the story of Little Free Library that Todd built and thereby started the growing movement of book exchanges.

It was also interesting to hear his philosophy of treating the Little Free Library organization as a “reverse franchise” set up. Most franchise operations perfect the concept of their business before spinning it out into thousands of locations. He prefers to have a few interesting ideas to put out into the community, which is likely to be wildly more creative and perfect those ideas or come up with incarnations and offshoots that the small staff at headquarters couldn’t have possibly created. Then, once perfected, headquarters can help disseminate the ideas to everyone and everywhere else. I though this was great advice for non-profit organizations like this.

Also at the party, I also got to meet the President of the Burbank noon Kiwanis Charles Chavoor  who was present to show support for The Literacy Club and their efforts. The Kiwanis there are funding a large Little Free Library to be dedicated shortly.

We also got to hear advance news about a major pending announcement for which we were all embargoed until November 14th, so you’ll have to wait until then for more details.

Todd also shared some of his work in growing the Little Free Library movement in Indonesia as well as several partnerships including the U.S. Army which is stewarding a large number of libraries.

Little Free Library Stewards from the Los Angeles area enjoy several stories at the party. (Photo courtesy of The Literacy Club.)
Little Free Library Stewards from the Los Angeles area enjoy several stories at the party. (Photo courtesy of The Literacy Club.)

Doug Chadwick shared a somewhat heartbreaking story based on his volunteer experience. He said that an unintended consequence and benefit of putting Little Free Libraries into police stations around the city is that police stations are often the site of court mandated child exchanges between divorced parents who don’t always get along or respect each other. At least while waiting during drop offs and pick ups, the children who are caught in the middle are able to sit down and not only read a book or two while they wait, but they can take them home with them as well.

Doug also shared a previous story of receiving the Little Free Library’s “Master Builder Award” and Todd indicated how rare these original Amish planes were to be able to establish such an award.

The Little Free Library Master Builder Award which had previously been presented to Doug Chadwick.
The Little Free Library Master Builder Award which had previously been presented to Doug Chadwick.

The Book Room

When I came to the party, I thought it would be a nice gesture to bring a book or two from my own library for the hosts or to swap with some of the other stewards. I noticed that a few other attendees did the same. Our gracious hosts also had the same idea, but, like the Literacy Club with its grand mission, they managed to pull their version off in even grander style.

As I was leaving, I was invited into The Book Room. Now, I’ll preface this with the fact that I’ve been into the offices and stock rooms over more than a dozen nice sized specialty book shops. The book room in the Chadwick’s home handily put most of them to shame. I was immediately surrounded by shelves with hundreds of stacks of books each with a dozen or more copies of the same book all waiting to be pulled off to create restocking boxes for any of the various Little Free Libraries around town that The Literacy Club stewards.

While I often try to have lightly worn or like new books in my library, every book in this room was brand new and sure to make a proud treasure for the thousands of children who were soon to receive them. It’s exactly the kind of room every library steward dreams of having in their own house.

I was thrilled to be sent home with not just one box full of books, but three boxes. Thus Little Free Library will soon have some new children’s selections, and, much like an early Santa Claus, I’ll be dropping off many books at some of the surrounding LFLs in the Eagle Rock, Glendale, South Pasadena, and Pasadena areas to spread the wealth and cheer and help continue seeding libraries nearby.

In the meanwhile, I’m dreaming about how I might be able to add on an additional room to the house for books…


Thanks again to The Literacy Club and to Doug and Jean Chadwick, who have impossibly edged me out as the most enthusiastic Little Free Library steward after Todd Bol. And thanks again for hosting such a lovely little party to bring us all closer together. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my love for what we’re all doing. I’ll be in touch shortly about volunteering some of my time to The Literacy Club’s efforts.

Thanks also to The Little Free Library organization which provided guests with lots of great items like The Little Free Library book, buttons, book marks and more.

And finally, thanks yet again to all my friends, family, and neighbors who help to support Little Free Library .

Would you like to help?

You can help in a variety of ways from donating your lightly used books, volunteering your time, starting your own library, or even making a financial contribution. We welcome your help and know that it will help make our communities better one book at a time. After seeing some of the excellent work that The Literacy Club is doing, you could also help support their GoFundMe campaign.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Department of Energy May Have Broken the Second Law of Thermodynamics”

Read Department of Energy May Have Broken the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Inverse)
“Quantum-based demons” sound like they'd be at home in 'Stranger Things.'

🔖 H-theorem in quantum physics by G. B. Lesovik, et al.

Bookmarked H-theorem in quantum physics (Nature.com)


Remarkable progress of quantum information theory (QIT) allowed to formulate mathematical theorems for conditions that data-transmitting or data-processing occurs with a non-negative entropy gain. However, relation of these results formulated in terms of entropy gain in quantum channels to temporal evolution of real physical systems is not thoroughly understood. Here we build on the mathematical formalism provided by QIT to formulate the quantum H-theorem in terms of physical observables. We discuss the manifestation of the second law of thermodynamics in quantum physics and uncover special situations where the second law can be violated. We further demonstrate that the typical evolution of energy-isolated quantum systems occurs with non-diminishing entropy. [1]


G. B. Lesovik, A. V. Lebedev, I. A. Sadovskyy, M. V. Suslov, and V. M. Vinokur, “H-theorem in quantum physics,” Scientific Reports, vol. 6. Springer Nature, p. 32815, 12-Sep-2016 [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep32815

Chris Aldrich is reading “How To Have Paragraph Commenting Just Like Medium”

Read How To Have Paragraph Commenting Just Like Medium by Chris Knowles (WPMU DEV Blog)
Paragraph commenting, or annotations is not exactly new. Readers have been scribbling in the margins of books, magazines and uni assignments for years. The online world has been slow to adopt this approach which is perhaps why Medium caused a stir and no shortage of admiring looks when it went the annotation route. Well, admire forlornly no more because I'm going to show you how to add paragraph commenting to your WordPress site. There are existing annotation solutions for WordPress but they are generally theme dependent, or in the case of CommentPress actually provide a theme.
This has some great advice and code for potentially adding marginalia.