Thursday News: Mary Stewart dies, Jill Abramson leaves the New York Times, a real-life cross cultural love story, and a drinkable book

Thursday News: Mary Stewart dies, Jill Abramson leaves the New York...

Obituary – Mary Stewart – Romantic fiction legend Mary Stewart, whose work inspired novels in many genres, from historical Romance to Fantasy, has passed away. Unfortunately, this is the only obituary I could find online, and it requires a subscription to the times for a complete read. So if anyone else has a better source or can fill in some of the vital information missing from the snippet, please add a comment below. ETA: According to Library Addict below, this is a hoax. I don’t know who maintains her Wikipedia page, but it also lists her death as May 10, 2014. Okay, it seems the story is legit; just today the Guardian posted an obituary and a memorial piece, and now other outlets have picked up on it, as well.

From Stewart’s Wikipedia page:

Following the success of T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, and the connection of the Kennedy presidency with “Camelot”, Arthurian legends regained popularity. Mary Stewart added to this climate by publishing The Crystal Cave, the first in what was to become a five-book series later dubbed The Merlin Chronicles. It placed Lady Stewart on the best seller list many times throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In an interview in 1989, Lady Stewart discussed many aspects concerning her writing of these books.

In semi-retirement Stewart resided in Edinburgh, Scotland. She died on 10 May 2014. –The Times

Pay Gap Dispute Cited in Jill Abramson’s Split from The New York Times – So Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of The New York Times, has apparently been fired, and among the speculation regarding her dismissal is a dispute over her salary and benefits. Of course, the usual idiotic justifications about “brusqueness” and other characteristics that would be not only acceptable, but indeed lauded in a male, were cited, but money definitely seems to be an issue, underlining the persistent compensation inequities, even at the highest executive levels. According to The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta, Abramson did not know she was being paid less than her male peers, and her discovery catalyzed the chain of events leading to her ouster.

Auletta later updated his story to say that the discrepancy in pay was corrected only after Abramson complained, but the Times is pushing back on his characterization of events. “Jill’s total compensation as executive editor was not less than Bill Keller’s, so that is just incorrect,” New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Politico. Murphy also told Auletta that her “total compensation as executive editor ‘was directly comparable to Bill Keller’s’—though it was not actually the same.” Murphy told Business Insider that the pay “not meaningfully less” than Keller’s, but argues that seniority and other factors were at play. Keller has been at the Times longer than Abramson, and pension freezes were instituted in 2009. –The Wire

How A Persian-American Love Story Got Its Start In Harlem – Another lovely, rich, real-life love story that could easily serve as inspiration for a unique Romance novel. It is the story of Helen Jeffreys and Abol Ghassem Bakhtiar, the grandparents of NPR’s Senior Producer Iran Davar Ardalan, who received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 10th.

My family’s love affair with America blossomed at Harlem Hospital in 1927. That’s when my grandmother Helen Jeffreys first set eyes on my grandfather Abol Ghassem Bakhtiar. Helen was a nurse at the nursing school affiliated with Harlem Hospital, and Abol was a doctor on the surgical staff. –NPR

The Drinkable Book provides safe drinking water – This has to be one of the coolest things EVER. a book on drinkable water that serves to make water drinkable by purifying it through immersion. Water is Life co-created the concept, and there’s a super-cool video in the story that shows how the book works. Now, if we only had a book that provided nourishment through eating the pages.

Each page is impregnated with silver nanoparticles (which gives the paper its distinctive orange colouring). The nanoparticles don’t quite work like a traditional filter. Rather than providing a barrier, they actually kill the bacteria as they pass through the paper. As the water runs through, the bacteria absorb the silver ions, which kill the bacteria. The paper kills over 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria, which puts the resulting water on a par with tap water in the US. It has proven effective at destroying bacteria that cause diseases such as cholera, E.coli and typhoid. –CNET