Friday, April 8, 2011

Around the Word

Gaga-in-Chief: Of all the strange hats Lady Gaga has tried on and discarded, this may be the most unpredictable yet. The prime-cut-wearing pop star is slated to guest-edit the free subway daily, Metro, next month. Gaga will set up shop in Metro's London office to help with publication, including writing a feature, commenting on stories and contributing sidebars. Sign of the times -- or the apocalypse? Either way, the New York Observer writes, "Even the city's snobbiest subway commuters should consider leaving their Kindles at home on May 17."

Books back in Baghdad: Here's one of the most encouraging signs yet about post-war Iraq. Reuters reports that the landmark bookseller market on Mutanabi Street in Baghdad is reclaiming some of its old cultural spark, after laying deserted for years due to sectarian violence, with the Iraqi intellengensia coming back without a vengeance. "We have a saying: Cairo writes. Beirut prints. Baghdad reads," said Abdul-Wahab Mizher al-Radi, a Baghdad bookseller.

Freelancer frenemies: Self-employed writers may be tempted to give freebies to friends, but Men With Pens guest blogger Lisa Zahran says this will leave you overworked and underpaid -- without a boss to blame for it. Zahran offers five rules for standing your ground, saying "no" to mooching friends and making sure your time is valued.

You can say that again: Per the advice of David Murray at Vital Speeches, we encourage you to check out the Quote...Unquote website. Based on the eponymous BBC radio quiz show, the site is a source for all things quotable. Creator Nigel Rees searches for "lost" quotations and for the origins of phrases and sayings, then shares his findings on-air, on the web and in a free newsletter (which you can sign up for here).

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