Rudyard Kipling and Kiddie Lit

Few authors have as tumultuous a relationship with modern India as Rudyard Kipling. His political views, expressed in poems such as The White Man’s
Burden led many to deride him as racist. Yet Kipling’s lush depictions of 19th-century India in works such as The Jungle Book also made him one of the best-selling authors in the country.

That’s proved one thing: despite his politics, there is always a market for new editions of Kipling. The latest offerings come from Ladybird, a division of Penguin books in India, which recently released four new adaptations of Kipling’s Just-So-Stories, and may consider publishing more in the future, said Heather Adams, an editor with the imprint.

Read the rest in the Times of India

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A Shebeen in Fort Greene

On a warm night in Fort Greene, people often sit at tables outside a bustling restaurant on DeKalb Avenue, just down the street from the park. Inside, patrons sit at tables or the bar, sometimes just chatting, other times listening to music or a reading from an author.

For a decade, Madiba restaurant has been a cultural center for South Africans in the city. Mark and Jenny Henegan, co-owners and spouses, modeled Madiba after a South African shebeen, where locals gather to drink, socialize and talk about politics. As a native of South Africa, Mark Henegan wanted to bring a taste of his homeland’s culture to his adopted hometown.

Read the rest here.

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Gearing up for new business, pedicab company will offer free rides

Pedicabs aren’t just for tourists anymore: Beginning next month, people in Harlem can come on and take a free ride. 

Amir Chizic, owner of BicyTaxi NYC, is sending 10 pedicabs uptown to offer free trips within 20 blocks of 125th St. 

Click to read the rest in the New York Daily News. 

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Advocating to be Public Advocate

Last night the Progressive Association for Political Action (PAPA) held a forum at South Oxford Space for four Democratic candidates for office of Public Advocate. Councilmembers Eric N. Gioia and Bill de Blasio, former public advocate Mark Green, and civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel each touted their backgrounds and ideas to say why they should get the job.

Read the rest in “The Local.”

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Celebrating St. Paddy's Day with Style and a Smile

Ava Brock, 4, and her sister Madeline, 2, ham it up for the camera as they watch the St. Patrick's Day parade on the corner of Madison Avenue.

Ava Brock, 4, and her sister Madeline, 2, ham it up for the camera as they watch the St. Patrick's Day parade today on the corner of Madison Avenue.

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Protected: Development in Brooklyn Remains Controversial

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Bomb Scare on 40th Street

Police blocked off 40th St, between 7th and 8th Avenue, after a suitcase was found near a synagogue this morning. The bomb squad later determined that the suitcase was harmless.

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Debate Over Copyright Remains Unresolved

Author’s note: this article was written in mid-November 2008. Readers may wish to check other news sites for updates. 

After five months, a battle between the Associated Press and bloggers over copyright issues remains in legal limbo.

The Associated Press (AP) ignited a firestorm of controversy last June, when the news organization proposed to charge bloggers for any use of articles over 5 words.

While the initial furor across the blogosphere has died down, an official fee chart remains posted on, a group that helps publishers protect their work against copyright violations. The AP licenses its materiel through the organization.

“There are no written guidelines,” said Jack Stokes, manager of Media Relations at the AP. “If you are looking to use content from the AP you would go through icopyright.”

Stokes declined to say if the AP planned to release guidelines in the future.

“If you are doing anything on intellectual property you should know that there are no yes or no answers,” said Stokes, when asked what the AP’s standards were for bloggers.

It remains unclear if the AP plans to pursue any further legal action against bloggers who post excerpts without payment. For now, however, there does not appear to be any current legal action. Stokes refused to say if the AP was involved in any legal disputes over copyright issues on the web. He did, however, confirm that if there were any such disputes, they would be listed on the website.

A careful review of the website did not turn up any current legal action.

The New York Times reported on June 16 that the AP planned to release guidelines for use of its materiel. However, nearly five months later, the AP has not posted any such guidelines.

Standard fees for licensing of AP articles, as listed on, start at $12.50 for 5-25 words, and $7.50 for educational purposes and nonprofit groups. The terms of the license also expressly prohibit the purchaser from using the article in any way that could damage the AP’s reputation.

The debate began back in June, when AP attorneys sent a letter to Rogers Cadenhead, owner of The Drudge Retort, with a request that he take down  six posts and a comment that contained excerpts from AP articles. The quotations ranged from 39 to 79 words.

The posts were not written by Cadenhead, but by a few of the approximately 8,500 members of the site. The site allows users to post blog entries, share web links, and comment on posts.

AP lawyers alleged that the six posts and comment violated provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Many bloggers were outraged by the AP’s stance and said that fair-use law permitted use of attributed AP materiel.

After a ten-day standoff, Cadenhead and the AP came to a terse agreement, in which Cadenhead removed down the questionable posts and the AP dropped legal action.

“I’m glad that my personal legal dispute with the AP is resolved…but it does nothing to resolve the larger conflict between how AP interprets fair use and how thousands of people are sharing news on the web,” Cadenhead said in an interview with the Washington Post. 

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The Subway Ride That Never Ends

Bay Ridge Affected by MTA Cutbacks

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has plans to make drastic cuts in subway service. Learn how one Brooklyn community will be affected by the changes.

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Drinking to Prohibition History in NYC

Old Man Prohibition never stood a chance that cold December night in 1933. He got lynched, strung up on a flagpole in the heart of Midtown, in front of hundreds of cheering witnesses.

Most New Yorkers probably aren’t planning to celebrate the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition by hanging an effigy, as the crowds did that night 75 years ago. But all the same, many folks will use the occasion as an excuse to raise a glass.

Click here to read the rest and see a slideshow on the New York City News Service website. Or just click below to see the slideshow of former speakeasies throughout the city.

Illegal booze was hidden under benches in the Old Town bar.

Illegal booze was hidden under benches in the Old Town bar. Click for a slideshow of former NYC speakeasies still in business.

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