universal publishing

How to tell fake news from real news

In November 2016, Stanford University researchers made an alarming discovery: across the US, many students can’t tell the difference between a reported news article, a persuasive opinion piece, and a corporate ad. This lack of media literacy makes young people vulnerable to getting duped by “fake news” — which can have real consequences.


Animation by Augenblick Studios


Want to strengthen your own ability to tell real news from fake news? Start by asking these five questions of any news item.


Animation by Patrick Smith

Who wrote it? Real news contains the real byline of a real journalist dedicated to the truth. Fake news (including “sponsored content” and traditional corporate ads) does not. Once you find the byline, look at the writer’s bio. This can help you identify whether the item you’re reading is a reported news article (written by a journalist with the intent to inform), a persuasive opinion piece (written by an industry expert with a point of view), or something else entirely.

Animation by Patrick Smith

What claims does it make? Real news — like these Pulitzer Prize winning articles — will include multiple primary sources when discussing a controversial claim. Fake news may include fake sources, false urls, and/or “alternative facts” that can be disproven through further research. When in doubt, dig deeper. Facts can be verified.

Animation by Martina Meštrović

When was it published? Look at the publication date. If it’s breaking news, be extra careful. Use this tipsheet to decode breaking news.

Animation by Augenblick Studios

Where was it published? Real news is published by trustworthy media outlets with a strong fact-checking record, such as the BBC, NPR, ProPublica, Mother Jones, and Wired. (To learn more about any media outlet, look at their About page and examine their published body of work.) If you get your news primarily via social media, try to verify that the information is accurate before you share it. (On Twitter, for example, you might look for the blue “verified” checkmark next to a media outlet name to double-check a publication source before sharing a link.)

Animation by Augenblick Studios

How does it make you feel? Fake news, like all propaganda, is designed to make you feel strong emotions. So if you read a news item that makes you feel super angry, pause and take a deep breath. Then, double-check the item’s claims by comparing it to the news on any three of the media outlets listed above — and decide for yourself if the item is real news or fake news. Bottom line: Don’t believe everything you read. There is no substitute for critical thinking.

Animation by TED-Ed

If you get in the habit of asking all 5 of these questions whenever you read a news article, then your basic news literacy skills will start to grow stronger. However, these are just the basics! To dive deeper into news and media literacy, watch the TED-Ed Lesson: How to choose your news. To find out more about what students need, read the Stanford University report, published here.

Animation by Augenblick Studios

Laura McClure is an award-winning journalist and the TED-Ed Editor. To learn something new every week, sign up here for the TED-Ed Newsletter.

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Giant squids might be even bigger than we realized

According to research from Charles Paxton, fisheries ecologist and statistician at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, published in the Journal of Zoology this month, the giant squid could grow to reach as much as 65 feet. But even that is a “conservative analysis,” as size could protect against their #1 predator.

Follow @the-future-now

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This is the edition where Victuuri and Otayuri appear, for those who were curious ♥

Steven Universe #4

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Melanie Gillman
Artist: Katy Farina
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Missy Peña
Subscription Cover: Rian Sygh
Variant Cover: Jenn St-Onge
Price: $3.99

Steven, Peridot and Amethyst go on their wildest adventure yet—a local Renaissance Faire! While the others enjoy fried food and theater, Peridot enters the joust, and is playing to win.

Artists Louis has worked with and/or acknowledged in 2017 (so far):

Worked with:

  • Steve Aoki: Dim Mak Records, Ultra Records (Sony), Warner Chappell Publishing
  • Jay Pryor: Future House Music 
  • “Sir” Nolan Lambroza: Warner Chappell Publishing
  • Digital Farm Animals: Syco/RCA (Sony)
  • Lunchmoney Lewis: Columbia (Sony)
  • Jason Evigan: EMI Publishing (Sony)
  • Matoma: Pulse Recordings (Independent)
  • Skylar Grey: Interscope Records (UMG), Universal Music Publishing Group
  • Rozes: Lost Colony Music (Independent), Warner Chappell Publishing Group
  • Jesse Thomas: Red Parade Music Group (Independent)
  • Nick Monson: Warner Chappell Publishing
  • Sasha Sloan: Warner Chappell Publishing
  • Eric Rosse: Capitol Records (UMG), Warner Chappell Publishing
  • Camille Purcell: Virgin EMI Records (UMG), Sony ATV Publishing
  • TMSLDN (production team of Tom Froe Barnes, Ben Kohn, Peter Merf Kelleher): Universal Music Publishing Group
  • Samuel Elliot Roman aka ROMANS: Roc Nation, Sony ATV Publishing
  • Sarah Blanchard: (no info, wrote with Clean Bandit)
  • Pablo Bowman: Universal Music Publishing Group (likely)
  • Richard Boardman: Band signed with Polydor (UMG), Universal Music Publishing Group

Twitter mention/recommendation:

  • Digital Farm Animals: Syco/RCA (Sony)
  • Hailee Steinfeld: Republic (UMG)
  • Devlin: Devlin Music, Island Records (UMG) 
  • Julia Michaels: Republic (UMG), Warner Chappell Publishing
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March 25th 1811: Shelley expelled from Oxford

On this day in 1811, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing a pamphlet entitled ‘The Necessity of Atheism’. Shelley is best known as a famous English poet, who was part of a group of fellow prominent writers including his wife Mary Shelley and Lord Byron. As well as being as being an author, Shelley was a radical political activist who advocated non-violent protest. Having begun study at Oxford in 1810, it is often said that he only attended one lecture during his time there. He published several works whilst at university, but it was his atheistic pamphlet which led to his appearance before the College fellows and his eventual expulsion as he refused to deny authorship. ‘The Necessity of Atheism’ argued that people do not choose their beliefs and thus atheists shouldn’t be persecuted. However it is unclear whether Shelley was personally an atheist; he may have instead been an agnostic or a pantheist. Either way, this document is an interesting insight into Shelley’s views and shows how atheism was stigmatised in the early nineteenth century.

“Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind. Every reflecting mind must allow that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity”

please tell me the girl genius universe contains a genre of overwrought not-quite-romance novels in which minions find their perfect masters and through various melodramatic and contrived situations fall in loyalty

i watched a bunch of the new SU episodes with my dad earlier today and here were some of his comments about them

“Has the animation of this show changed? It looks crisper” he meant that it looked less like it was hand drawn and more like it was digitally animated

“Steven fucked up again” his exact words when it was revealed that steven gave out the list of humans to peridot by aquamarine

“That was sad” at the ending of I Am My Mom

his thoughts on some of the characters

Aquamarine - annoying and creepy

Topaz - very butch and interesting (topaz is my dad’s birthstone btw)

The Diamonds - very intimidating villains (also since my dad is a musician and knows a ton about broadway i made sure to tell him that yellow diamond was voiced by patti lupone the moment she showed up, because i knew he would find that cool)

The Zircons - funny comic relief characters

i haven’t showed him Off Colors and Lars’ Head yet but when i do show them to him i’ll update this post with his thoughts on the those eps

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As of 2016, one in every 100 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. We, as Global Citizens, stand proudly with, and as supporters of, refugee communities and vulnerable populations, regardless of their religion or origin.

On 6/19, we’re hosting our first Issue Time conversation on our Tumblr page that will deal with how the global community can support, improve the position of and stand in solidarity with refugees, and communicate how and why refugees are human beings, just like us, first and foremost.

MEET OUR PANELISTS:

Madge Thomas, Deputy-Director of Global Policy and Advocacy, Global Citizen

Madge is the Deputy Director, Global Policy and Advocacy for Global Citizen and, together with the GPA Director, managers Global Citizen’s campaigning priorities in four countries. She also leads on Global Citizen’s campaigns on Global Education, including education in emergencies, basic education and girls’ education. Madge is a qualified lawyer with over ten years of experience in human rights, international affairs and development, including within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Piper Perabo; Actress, Activist, and IRC Voice; International Rescue Committee

Piper Perabo is a Golden Globe nominated actress. She can currently be seen opposite Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Lionsgate’s BLACK BUTTERFLY, a remake of French thriller PAPILLON NOIR by Herve Korian. She made her Broadway debut in Neil LaBute’s controversial play REASONS TO BE PRETTY, which was nominated for the Tony for Best Play. Outside of her work on screen and stage, Perabo became an IRC Voice to raise awareness of the refugee crisis in Europe and help those displaced by conflict, religious persecution and political oppression around the globe.

Elmo, Sesame Street Muppet

Elmo is a 3 ½-year-old furry red monster who lives on Sesame Street. Elmo loves making new friends and recently visited refugee children and families in Jordan.

Sherrie Westin, EVP for Global Impact and Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop

Sherrie Rollins Westin is EVP, Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. Westin oversees the Workshop’s programs addressing the needs of children from India to South Africa to the U.S., providing early education through mass media and targeted initiatives. Under Westin’s leadership, Sesame Workshop and IRC are partnering to bring vital early learning and nurturing care to children and families affected by the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait

Yasmine Sherif is the Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW). A lawyer specialized in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (LL.M), she has over 25 years of experience with the United Nations (UNHCR, UNDP, OCHA) and international NGOs. Her expertise stretches across the humanitarian, development and peacekeeping spectrum, having served in some of the most crisis affected countries and regions on the globe, including Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and across the Middle East, including Jordan (the Syria-crisis) and the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as in New York and Geneva. She has also worked as an Adjunct Professor responsible for the Masters Programme on the UN, humanitarian assistance and human rights at Long Island University (LIU), and has published extensively on international humanitarian and development issues, as well as international law. She is the author of the book, The Case for Humanity: An Extraordinary Session, which was launched at the United Nations in New York in 2015, a Huffington Post blogger, and has appeared in the media in Scandinavia, the US and Canada.

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Some more portfolio shots of my His Dark Materials trilogy book cover designs, including Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

pretty-love-ly  asked:

Isn't supporting bee keepers by buying honey kind of a good thing? Like its a double edged sword bc we shouldn't use animals as food and all but right now with the changing climate and GMO crops and colony collapse disorder it's killing off bees and we desperately need them, so isn't it a good thing that bee keepers are keeping bees alive?

Hi there pretty-love-ly!

We’ve been tricked into believing that honey is simply a byproduct of the essential pollination provided by farmed honeybees. Did you know though that the honeybee’s wild counterparts (such as bumblebees, carpenter and digger bees) are much better pollinators? They are also less likely than farmed honeybees to be affected by mites and Africanized bees. The issue is that these native bees can hibernate for up to 11 months out of the year and do not live in large colonies. Thus, they do not produce massive amounts of honey for a  $157 million dollar a year industry.

Honey and the Different Types of Bees

Honey bees: Honey bees make a large quantity of honey (possible due to the size of colonies – that is, many worker bees collecting nectar). Honey consists of nectar combined with a ‘bee enzyme’ that goes through a process of concentration in the honeycomb before it is capped by the bees.

Bumblebees: Bumblebees, in one sense, make a form of honey, which they collect in nectar pots to be eaten by the colony, including the newly hatched worker females. However, the process of concentrating, capping, and the making of honey combs does not happen in bumblebee colonies, nor is nectar stored over winter, since only the queen survives and hibernates, whilst the rest of the colony do not.

Solitary bees: Solitary bees do not make honeycombs. They construct egg cells which they provision with a ball of nectar and pollen that will be consumed by the new larvae.

Honey bees will pollinate many plant species that are not native to their natural habitat but are often inefficient pollinators of such plants.

The crops that can be only pollinated by honey bees are:

• Guar Bean
• Quince
• Lemon
• Lime
• Karite
• Tamarind

The crops that are pollinated by bees, in general, are:

• Apples
• Mangos
• Rambutan
• Kiwi Fruit
• Plums
• Peaches
• Nectarines
• Guava
• Rose Hips
• Pomegranites
• Pears
• Black and Red Currants
• Alfalfa
• Okra
• Strawberries
• Onions
• Cashews
• Cactus
• Prickly Pear
• Apricots
• Allspice
• Avocados
• Passion Fruit
• Lima Beans
• Kidney Beans
• Adzuki Beans
• Green Beans
• Orchid Plants
• Custard Apples
• Cherries
• Celery
• Coffee
• Walnut
• Cotton
• Lychee
• Flax
• Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements
• Macadamia Nuts
• Sunflower Oil
• Goa beans
• Lemons
• Buckwheat
• Figs
• Fennel
• Limes
• Quince
• Carrots
• Persimmons
• Palm Oil
• Loquat
• Durian
• Cucumber
• Hazelnut
• Cantaloupe
• Tangelos
• Coriander
• Caraway
• Chestnut
• Watermelon
• Star Apples
• Coconut
• Tangerines
• Boysenberries
• Starfruit
• Brazil Nuts
• Beets
• Mustard Seed
• Rapeseed
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Cabbage
• Brussels Sprouts
• Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
• Turnips
• Congo Beans
• Sword beans
• Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers
• Papaya
• Safflower
• Sesame
• Eggplant
• Raspberries
• Elderberries
• Blackberries
• Clover
• Tamarind
• Cocoa
• Black Eyed Peas
• Vanilla
• Cranberries
• Tomatoes
• Grapes

Check this chart to see which type of bees can pollinate those crops.

While you may spread a heaping tablespoon of honey on your morning toast without thinking, creating each drop is no small feat. To make one pound of honey, a colony must visit over two million flowers, flying over 55,000 miles, at up to 15 miles per hour to do so. During a bee’s lifetime, she will only make approximately one teaspoon of honey, which is essential to the hive for times when nectar is scarce, such as during winter. At times, there may be an excess in the hive, but this amount is difficult to determine and large-scale beekeepers often remove all or most of it and replace it with a sugar or corn syrup substitute. Can you imagine someone removing all the fruit juice from your house and replacing it with fruit-flavored soda? It may still give you energy, but eventually, it will probably make you sick.

BEES DIE FOR YOUR HONEY

Another thing to think about while you sit by your beeswax candle and contemplate the lives of these little fellows is that bees must consume approximately eight pounds of honey to produce each pound of wax! And the more we take from them (bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis) the harder these creatures must work and the more bees are needed, which isn’t good news for a population that is dwindling.

When you see a jar of honey, you may think of the sweet cartoon hives depicted in childhood stories such as Winnie the Pooh. But most hives are now confined to large boxes (a completely foreign shape to bees) that are jostled and shipped around the country to pollinate crops and produce honey. This is stressful and confusing to the bees’ natural navigation systems. Along the way, bees are lost and killed, and may spread diseases from one infected hive to another. The practice of bee farming often limits the bees’ diet to monoculture crops, introduces large amounts of pesticides into their systems and causes the farmed bees to crowd out the native wild pollinators that may have been otherwise present. Beekeepers (even small-scale backyard beekeepers) will also kill the queens if they feel the hive is in danger of swarming (fleeing their file cabinet shaped homes) or drones* that they deem unnecessary to honey production. * The drones’ main function is to fertilize the queen when needed.

We have got to the point where we mass exploit honeybees as pollinators to fix a problem that should be fixed from the roots and not partially.

“At certain times of the year, three or four trucks carrying beehives rumble along Highway 20 every week. Their destination: California, where the bees are required for pollination services. During my time in California researching dairy farms, I learned about an extraordinary consequence of intensive farming taken to extremes: industrialized pollination - a business that is rapidly expanding as the natural bee population collapses. In certain parts of the world, as a result of industrial farming, there are no longer enough bees to pollinate the crops. Farmers are forced to hire or rent them in”
— Farmagedon. The True Cost of Cheap Meat

The Case of the Disappearing Bees

The question of what will happen if bees disappear may not be far from being answered. Over the past couple of years, stories about bees disappearing and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) have been popping up in the The New York Times, Star Tribune, Huffington Post, PBS, Discovery News and more. If nothing else wakes us up, perhaps the fact that the disappearance of bees has become front page news will. Scientists are rushing to discover what’s causing this problem before it’s too late and before we lose the important environmental link created by bees.

Thus far, there are three main theories/contributing factors:

  • Pesticides

Pennsylvania State University published a study in 2010 that found “unprecedented levels” of pesticides in honeybees and hives in the United States. (If it’s in the bees and hives, what do you think is in your honey?) Some of these chemicals are killing bees, and guess what? The EPA knows about it.

“The EPA identifies two specific neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and clothianidin, as highly toxic to bees. Both chemicals cause symptoms in bees such as memory loss, navigation disruption, paralysis, and death.

Both chemicals have been linked to dramatic honeybee deaths and subsequent suspensions of their use in France and Germany. Several European countries have already suspended them. Last year Slovenia and Italy also suspended their use for what they consider a significant risk to honeybee populations.”

– Mother Earth News

This is old news; this story came out in 2009. But has anything changed here? Not as far as I can tell.

  • Mites and Viruses

With weakened immune systems (stress, inferior food sources, pesticides etc.) bees have become more susceptible to viruses, fungal infections, and mites. Many of these invasive bugs are spread as hives are moved around the country or transferred from country to country.

While there are a number of treatments on the market for the mites, viruses, fungus and other pests that are attacking our colonies, none have solved the problem completely. These treatments can also introduce antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals into the hives in an attempt to prevent or heal the infection. If these chemicals (often on strips) are not removed from the hive after they lose potency, they can, in fact, help the viruses or mites become resistant to treatment in the future.

  • Cell phones

This is one of the newest theories on CCD and may need further testing.

“According to a Swiss researcher who recently published a paper on the subject, the electromagnetic waves from mobile phones have a significant impact on the behavior of honeybees and could potentially be harming honeybees around the world.”

“To test the relationship between honeybees and buzzing cell phones, he placed phones inside bee hives and then monitored the bees’ reaction. He found that in the presence of actively communicating cellphones (those not in standby mode), bees produced the sounds known as “worker piping,” which tends to indicate disturbance in a bee colony.”

– ABC News

Cell phones, pesticides and viruses aside, commercial bee farming – whether organic (where bee deaths are fewer, but still occur) or conventional – does not provide bees with the opportunity to live out their normal life cycle. No matter how small the animal, farming is farming. Whether you choose to buy backyard honey or a large brand, eating honey and using other bee products encourages using bees for profit.

If you truly want to save bees as a whole and not only honey bees because is much more convenient.. then support bee sanctuaries, boycott the agribusiness and its use of chemicals everywhere. Here I leave some ideas and ways to help bees.

  • Sanctuaries
  1. Spikenard Farm  Honeybee Sanctuary | • Virginia, USA •
  2. New York Bee Sanctuary | • New York, USA •
  3. Native Bee Sanctuary | • Australia •
  4. Artemis Smiles - Honey Bee Sanctuary | • Hawaii, USA •
  5. Urban Evergreen Bee Sanctuary | • Washington, USA •
  6. The Honeybee Helpers | • North West, Ireland •
  7. Bee Sanctuary - The Bee School | • North Carolina, USA •
  8. Bellingen Bee Sanctuary | • Australia •
  9. Morgan Freeman Converted His 124 Acre Ranch Into A Bee Sanctuary To Help Save The Bees
  • Plant your garden with bee-friendly plants

In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers - asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good.

  • Encourage local authorities to use bee-friendly plants in public spaces

Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.

  • Weeds can be a good thing

Contrary to popular belief, a lawn full of clover and dandelions is not just a good thing—it’s a great thing! A haven for honeybees (and other native pollinators too). Don’t be so nervous about letting your lawn live a little. Wildflowers, many of which we might classify as weeds, are some of the most important food sources for native North American bees. If some of these are “weeds” you chose to get rid of (say you want to pull out that blackberry bush that’s taking over), let it bloom first for the bees and then before it goes to seed, pull it out or trim it back!

  • Don’t use chemicals or pesticides to treat your lawn or garden

Yes, they make your lawn look pristine and pretty, but they’re actually doing the opposite to the life in your biosphere. The chemicals and pest treatments you put on your lawn and garden can cause damage to the honeybees systems. These treatments are especially damaging if applied while the flowers are in bloom as they will get into the pollen and nectar and be taken back to the bee hive where they also get into the honey—which in turn means they can get into us. Pesticides, specifically neo-nicotinoid varieties have been one of the major culprits in Colony Collapse Disorder.

  • Bees are thirsty. Put a small basin of fresh water outside your home

You may not have known this one—but it’s easy and it’s true! If you have a lot of bees starting to come to your new garden of native plants, wildflowers, and flowering herbs, put a little water basin out (a bird bath with some stones in it for them to crawl on does a nice trick). They will appreciate it!

  • Let dandelions and clover grow in your yard.

Dandelions and clover are two of the bees’ favorite foods – they provide tons of nourishment and pollen for our pollinators to make honey and to feed their young (look at this bee frolicking in a dandelion below – like a pig in shit!) And these flowers could not be any easier to grow – all you have to do is not do anything.

I highly recommend also taking a look at this article too as honey is tested on animals, yes, as it says and the article explains honey is tested on dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, mice, rats…

As you can see, there is much more than saying “let’s help the bees by eating honey, vegans are dumb, they need to eat honey because what they eat relies on it”... We can save the bees without taking away the honey they produce, that’s a fact.

Honey is meant as a health food; a healthy food for bees. The more we interfere with their natural processes, both by relying on farmed bees as pollinators (rather than other native wild bees, insects or animals) and to feed our desires for “sweets,” the close we’re coming to agricultural disaster.

Sources

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Black history month day 12: economist and political philosopher Thomas Sowell

Sowell was born in Gastonia North Carolina on June 30, 1930. His father died shortly after his birth and his mother was a housemate who already had four children. So his great aunt and her two adult daughters adopted and raised him. When he was nine years old he moved from the Charlotte area to Harlem as his family sought better opportunities. He qualified for Stuyvesant High School, a prestigious academic high school in New York City, and he was the first in his family to study beyond the sixth grade. Unfortunately he had to drop out at 17 due to financial and home life difficulties. He was drafted into the Marine Corps during the Korean War and due to his photography experience, he became a Marine photographer.

After his discharge from military service, Sowell got a service job in Washington DC and took night classes at Howard University. His scores or so impressive that they gained him admission to Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1958 with a bachelors degree in economics. He earned his masters from Columbia the following year.

In his 20s Sowell considered himself a Marxist, but his experience working with the government as an intern in the 1960s changed his philosophy to more free market economic theory. His writing from then on has been from a libertarian conservative point of view. Sowell received a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, published numerous works on economic and political philosophy, and serve as a professor at many universities including Cornell. He is currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Alright, I had a post on Instagram displaying my treasure trove of Japanese language learning books. I wanted to show off a few of them and talk about all of them. The first photo displays them all (tumblr limited me to 10 photos only, so I’ll discuss some of them without photos, sorry!). Starting from the bottom of the pile:

1. Kanji Power by Tuttle. It’s what you think it is, a kanji workbook. It has a kanji, a mnemonic, some space to practice writing, on'yomi, kun'yomi, stroke order, and some vocabulary/phrases. It has some kanji not covered in my other kanji books.

2. If You Teach Me Japanese, I’ll Teach You English. It’s a strange little book and it’s taking me a while to get the hang of it, but this book was written specifically for language exchanges. Each lesson is done first in Japanese, then again in English. You and your partner serve as the “teacher” in your native language, while you practice that language. So I would read through as the instructor in the English lesson and guide my partner with the scripted dialogues, helping them along the way so that they learn English. They would do vice versa for me with the Japanese. I got this one specifically to aid me in exchanging my language with my partners. They do great with the Japanese and I needed guidance on how to help them with English. So this one isn’t really to learn Japanese, it’s to help me exchange with my Japanese friends.

3. Japanese Step by Step. This is one of the few books that focuses on teaching you SPEAKING Japanese. Most of my books help in reading, writing and I’m having to supplement with Memrise and YouTube for listening and speaking. This book has very easy to understand lessons, starting with syllables not syllabaries. Shows you in English what they’re trying to teach you in Japanese. So it’s almost like learning in parallel, I’m not explaining it well. It’s a really good book, you should just check it out.

4. Beginning Japanese by Yale University Press. This was originally my Dad’s book that he used to teach himself Japanese since he was being stationed there (way back in ye olden days). He very kindly gave it to me. This book also focuses on SPEAKING Japanese, not reading or writing in it. As such, it’s entirely in romaji! Not ideal, but if you just want to focus on speaking the language, this is a good place to start. Very thorough.

5. Reading Japanese by Yale University Press. Same authors as book #4, but not originally my Dad’s. Since this one is focused on READING (hence the title of the book), it is not in entirely in romaji. Whew! What a relief. I just got it today, so I have no feedback other than, I wanted both of these books together. It’s kind of like an entire course at your fingertips.

6. Japanese Kanji for Beginners by Tuttle. Covers JLPT N5 & N4. This is my primary Kanji workbook. I LOVE it. It’s set up pretty much the same as Kanji Power, it has exercises after each lesson so you can practice what you learned. The Kanji Power has the same things, but after a certain number of kanji have been introduced, instead of after each individual lesson. So they differ that way and in that they have different kanji. This book is specifically for JLPT N5/4 whereas Kanji Power is about expanding your kanji.

7. A Japanese Reader by Tuttle (notice the theme?). Pictures 2-4 are about this book. I cannot say enough nice things about this book! The book is split in two; open it like we open all books in the Western Hemisphere and it’s lessons starting with hiragana, open the book the other way and it’s all the reading lessons: from top to bottom and right to left! It’s so cool! The first few elementary readings aren’t actual sentences. They’re just to get you accustomed to the style of reading and the syllabaries (this is where I’m at). The readings get way more advanced though and are excerpts from Japanese literature, some fictional and some non-fictional.

8. A History of Japan. This is another one of Dad’s book that he is lending to me (sadly I don’t get to keep it). I haven’t read it yet but I’m looking forward to it. Granted, it has nothing to do with the language itself, but who here has learned a language without learning anything about the culture, history, and society of the country that speaks the language? Half the point of learning a language is to learn the history and culture of the target language’s country. So I have a book on Japan’s history to supplement the language learning.

9. A Dictionary of Japanese Food by Tuttle. Pictures 5 & 6 are of this book. Just as I stated in the above book, it’s important to know the culture and history of the place whose language you are learning. The “Japanese Kanji for Beginners” book had an exercise in the first lesson involving food. One of the dishes stood out to me because I had no clue what it was “shabu-shabu.” I still don’t know what it is, but now I have a dictionary so I can look it up! If ever I learn how to cook Japanese food, shabu-shabu will be very near the top of the list of things to make and try. The back of the book has some appendices on chopsticks, some ingredients of Japanese food, and food etiquette.

10. The Handbook of Japanese Verbs (picture 7). Verbs seem to be the guts of a sentence in Japanese so I figured it’d be important to learn them a little more in depth than my grammar book goes into. Besides explaining verbs, it has exercises to practice!

11. All About Particles (picture 8). Much like the verb book above, this is all about particles (another very important part of the Japanese language) and also has exercises to help you grasp the concepts. Goes in depth about the particles and actually has sentences in Japanese, literal translations, and English translations. It’s very thorough.

12. Japanese Coursebook by Living Language. Akin to the Yale University Press books that I covered earlier, this book is a complete course for learning how to SPEAK Japanese. As such, it is entirely in romaji but is set up different than the Yale books and has different vocabulary. I use them in conjunction with each other, so that I get the most vocabulary overall.

13. Japanese Grammar by Barron. Pictures 9 & 10 are of this book. This is my absolute favorite book out of them all. Besides being pocket-sized so I can take it just about anywhere with me, it’s a grammar book. I’m not a Grammar Nazi, I’m a Grammarian (one who studies grammar [on purpose]). I read grammar books for my native English and I greatly enjoy grammar for Ancient Greek too (my first foreign language and first true love). All the other books focus on a particular portion of grammar, or the writing system, or speaking. I wanted a book that focused entirely on grammar since I’ve heard it’s so vastly different from English (it’s not THAT different guys). As you can see in the very last picture, the book is printed in two colors. I cannot begin to express how wonderful this is for me. I have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS or 3S) and basically what that means is, my eyes don’t work right (duh). They don’t pick up all the wavelengths of light that they’re supposed to. So some colors (and light sources) are harder for me to see and make me very sick trying to look at them. It seems like I have dyslexia but it’s not my brain, it’s just my eyes suck. The added color is much easier on my eyes than all black print on white pages (college was nightmare, in case you wondered).

Last book,

14. Kanji Starter 1. Not a lesson book at all! It has 200 kanji and is essentially a book of mnemonics for them. I use it as a catalog and mark the kanji I’ve mastered from other sources in this book. I also use it as a quick reference when I get suddenly forget a kanji I’ve already learned. That way I don’t have to find the right lesson book and track it down. I got this kanji book before any of the others and it served as the introduction to what i was getting myself into. It made the kanji seem so not scary that by the time I picked up a workbook, kanji was beautiful, logical, and fun. No fear!

Sorry this was so long. I’m on a mobile device so I can’t do the nice “keep reading” breaks or formatting. So it’s just a really long, darn post. But now you know of 14 books you can use for Japanese learning! Also, quick note, all of the books with bar code stickers on them were all purchased form the same site.

ThriftBooks.com has so many books, including rare ones, old, ones, and textbooks, for a fraction of the price. I looked up some of my Tuttle books, one of them was like $19.95 normally (without shipping and tax). On ThriftBooks I got it for $3.50! If your total purchase is over $10 shipping is entirely free too. So if you’re looking for language resources, a new novel, or you’re in college and need textbooks, check the site out because it might save you a boat-load of money.