Wednesday News: Marriage equality in Australia, top Kindle books ever, amazing new library, and protecting yourself online
Australia decides: Live coverage of same-sex marriage survey – Just in case you haven’t heard the happy news already, marriage equality won in a landslide Australian survey, representing at least 80% of Australian voters (more than 12 million eligible voters). I intentionally linked to news.com.au, in large part because it has been producing live coverage of the survey and its results, and you can follow along their news timeline. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists that such robust cross-national support for marriage equality will translate into easy parliamentary passage. In fact, Turnbull is looking to give Australian’s a very happy holiday season this year:
The national vote showed 61.6 per cent in favour of marriage equality while 38.4 per cent voted no.
Asked about when the legislation would be passed and the first weddings would be able to take place, Turnbull said it was “absolutely” his goal to have it passed by Christmas, but he was unable to provide a guarantee as it still had to go through parliament. – news.com.au
Amazon just revealed the most popular Kindle books of all time – The title of this piece is pretty ironic, since we’re only talking a decade, but in digital terms, I guess it feels like “all time” – to Amazon, at least. More than anything else, this list may speak to the power of marketing, of popularity boosting sales, and of the differences between digital and paper book reading demographics. I correctly guessed the Number 1 book (it wasn’t hard at all, folks), and can only say that if the mere mention of 50 Shades throws you into a rage, don’t click on the list. Otherwise, you probably won’t find many surprises, although I was happy to see that female authors and protagonists dominated the fiction list and made a strong showing on the non-fiction list, as well.
The only male writer on the fiction list is John Green for his novel The Fault In Our Stars. Also, for fiction, all of the most popular novels also have had movie adaptations (or have movie adaptations upcoming), and six of the 10 are entries in book trilogies. In other words, readers are finding characters they love and sticking with them. – Mashable
Spectacular Chinese Library Holds 1.2 Million Books within Its Curved Walls – Although there have been a number of articles on the AMAZING new Tianjin Binhai Library, this piece has pretty extensive coverage of the building and its truly breathtaking design. And when they say that the “entire project” was completed in three years, I assume that encompasses the process from design to opening. Even if it does not, though, the feat is impressive, and the results may be worth a pilgrimage.
Located in the Binhai Cultural District, and designed in collaboration with Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), the spectacular library houses up to 1.2 million books. Part of a larger “cultural complex master plan”—being carried out by GMP architekten—the library joins four other buildings through a series of “cultural corridors.”
The five-story, 34,200-square-meter glass structure features an oval opening onto the interior, with a large spherical auditorium dubbed “the eye” as its focal point. “The Eye is the centre of the library. It ‘hollows out’ the building and creates, out of bookshelves, an environment to sit, to read, [and] to hang out,” explains (Dutch architecture firm) MVRDV’s director Winy Maas. – My Modern Met
Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications – I hate to end this on a down note, but EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense portal is too important not to share with you all. With Overviews, Tutorials, and Briefings, the site provides a comprehensive index with topics ranging from reducing your risk on Facebook groups, to attending a protest, to tips and tools that LGBTQ youth can use to safely and privately navigating resources and social networks. – EFF
Lots of good links, thank you. And kudos to China (its other significant problems notwithstanding) or any country that invests in a library. What a concept: Infrastructure, literacy, human rights, art. What’s the world coming to and can I go, too?
It was a heartwarming day here in Australia. The result was exactly what every opinion poll of the last two years had predicted (we only had a postal vote at all because the Liberal-National coalition currently in government couldn’t convince its right wing nutter fringe to just legislate for marriage equality, and it couldn’t get the numbers in parliament to hold a formal plebiscite (which would have involved compulsory voting as is the case for all elections in Australia) because the opposition parties believed that the legitimacy of LGBTQI people’s relationships wasn’t an appropriate issue to be judged by a popular vote.
But since we had to have the voluntary survey instead it was wonderful to have such a high turnout (a higher proportion than voted in the Brexit referendum or US presidential election) and to see that every age group had a majority YES vote.
We may be almost the last Western nation to wake up to ourselves on this issue, but we got there in the end.
Congratulations Australia !
I didn’t read the article, but I’ve been seeing that library all over Pinterest. :-) It’s breathtaking, but also a bit overwhelming. While I can admire it for its esthetics, I don’t know if I’d actually enjoy using it. But Tianjin was the site of that horrific explosion several years ago, so it’s great to see them put back in the spotlight for something more uplifting.
I’m so happy with the Marriage Equality vote outcome. It was an unnecessary and wasteful and hurtful postal survey but at least it had the right outcome. Hooray! Many happy tears shed in Australia yesterday. (I’m also proud that every electorate in my state voted yes as well. In fact out of 150 electorates nationwide, only 17 didn’t have a Yes majority. Suck it haters!!