Singer Una Healy of the band “The Saturdays” has partnered with the Disney Channel’s Club Penguin for a new anti-bullying ad campaign “It Starts With You,” promoting safer surfing and constructive communal behavior online.
In the ad, Ms. Healy poses as Alice, falling into an unknown digital Wonderland. Kudos to Disney and to Ms. Healy for doing their part for a very worthy cause.
Recent Carleton College graduate Lauren Millikan has created a web site called “Curiouser and Curiouser: The Evolution of Wonderland.” Here is a brief description of the site’s purpose, from the “About” page:
“The internet is a pretty crazy place. It’s very easy to get lost in it. Many of the people that you meet are very rude. Most of the things you see and read don’t make any sense. And even though it can’t make you grow taller or shorter, (except perhaps by spine compression if you sit in front of a computer for too long) the internet is a lot like Wonderland. This site is dedicated to exploring two questions: 1) how the experience of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Chapters 5, 6, and 7) changes when experienced through the medium of the internet and 2) how this medium can be used to track how Wonderland has evolved in readers’ imaginations.”
Today, we received this note and clever riff on Lewis Carroll’s famous poem Jabberwocky, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Thank you, Austin Dixon, for sharing this with everyone! Readers: if you enjoy it, please post a comment here to let Austin know you appreciate his efforts. Thanks! Now, we just need someone to write a version as a Monty Python script.
I would like to submit this Jabberwocky parody for your consideration. It’s what Jabberwocky would look like if it were a Python Script. I wrote this myself, and I give you the right to use it on your site if you wish. Just include my name if you do. Thanks.
When we are told something is “Alice in Wonderland inspired,” we all know it can mean many things. In the case of restaurants, for example, it may simply mean that the china doesn’t match. In the case of tennis dresses it can mean anything at all. Spotting the Alice in the “Alice-inspired” can sometimes be a tea-time riddle in itself.
Take the new WordPress website theme called Alice designed by Raygun (single site license $25) – what’s in the name? The design feels neatly combed and dressed, much like our very proper Victorian friend, and the sample color-scheme could definitely be described as “tea party” (with an emphasis on “cupcakes”*). The prominence of gallery and slide-show features in the demo shows that thought has been given to the proper balancing of conversation and pictures – very important, as we know – and Alice is surely an appropriate source of inspiration whenever anything needs to be both “flexible-width” and “responsive,” as the tag line highlights. But is the overall effect “Alice”? Who’s to say? The Caterpillar would probably have an opinion.
Alice WordPress theme by Raygun
A clearer case is made by Lith, a new typeface by Stefan Huebsch. Whenever we see the bold pairing of teapots and rabbit faces we know we are either in the inspirational realm of Alice in Wonderland or Beatrix Potter, but the addition of a single chess piece swings the dial. To be true, the Alice muse at work is strangely furry, and almost certainly mediated by Tim Burton, nevertheless Lith is a typeface that will say “Alice,” whatever else it might be saying at the time.
Lith, Copyright Typocalypse
*Not very Victorian, I’ll admit, but very Alice Moderne.
Avax News is a website for interesting photos. Their mission is clearly stated:
Every day, Lord Almighty is responsible for hundred thousands of fascinating and mysterious events in our earthly existence, which people gaze upon with wonder through the lenses of the camera. The most gripping of those images you can find within these pages. Nothing less, nothing more. It’s just you and the images you see.
Earlier this year they posted a nice collection of high-quality Carroll-related photos under the sub-heading “Appealing.” There are images of Carroll, by Carroll, and of various stage productions. If you are looking for high quality images of a decent size, it may prove very helpful indeed. I would only caution against venturing away from the Carroll images via other sub-headings such as “Sad” or “Disgusting.” You know the internet. You have been warned.
Baby Leroy as "Joker" in the Paramount production of “Alice in Wonderland” (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images). 1933
The British Library has a new project: high-definition images of their most precious manuscripts available for download by one and all. These eBook Treasures are viewed in a virtual “3D” environment where you can zoom in, turn pages, search content and generally do everything but smell the paper or spill your coffee on it.
This month, the featured eBook is the original handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Using the application you can see each page in full-screen high-definition, read a transcription or listen to a narration by Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout, O.B.E.). The download is free but only for the next two weeks. Go to eBook Treasures to get it for yourself.
eBook Treasure: Alice's Adventures Under Ground
The application has been developed with Armadillo Systems (not to be confused with Atomic Antelope, the developers of the revolutionary digital pop-up book of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the iPad). Over the next two years, 75 of the library’s most interesting or important manuscripts will be made available for download. Other titles available now include Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Arundel, William Blake’s Notebooks, and Geradus Mercator’s Atlas of Europe. Coming soon, the Tyndale Bible. This is the digital bibliophile’s promised land.
What’s the catch? It’s a big one. At the moment the whole kaboodle is only available for Apple devices, the iPad and iPod Touch. It’s a remarkably undemocratic move for a project designed to increase access to the treasures of a national institution, but hopefully they will find a way to expand this to the majority world of non-Mac users some day soon.
Here’s a promotional video showing the capabilities of the software. For some reason the sound isn’t working. I guess technology isn’t perfect yet.
RU ready? New York author Susan Crimp has written an updated version of Alice’s Adventures entirely in text-speak. Alice’s Adventures in NYC: The text generation is available for Kindle from Amazon with plans for a print edition “soon.” In addition Crimp is working on two similar books, Through The NYC Looking Glass and Great Textpectations, to be published later this year.
In Crimp’s story, a descendant of Alice falls down a rabbit hole near the Alice statue in Central Park, has an adventure in Wonderland and then records the story on her cellphone in between classes, with help from her BF. The book includes a glossary (“offered 4 u in case u r lost 4 words”), and a cast of characters. Here’s an extract from the latter:
Alice – The original Alice wz a 7- year old English school girl who talked like Harry Potter. She wz polite, kind + made people . Alice however didn’t always say th right things + stimes upset many of the people n Wonderland
Modern Day Alice – Our Alice n thz story while encountering th same Wonderland az the original character iz nt British bt American + uses modern + understandable language as opposed 2 long winded waffle…
Ok, but is this modern + understandable language all that it seems? I’m suspicious that Crimp has taken a few liberties with text speak. The phrase “as opposed 2 long winded waffle” doesn’t seem particularly thumb-friendly, and why is the word “the” sometimes abbreviated and sometimes not? Excerpts from the book’s glossary, also available on Amazon, suggest either that the text messages of 7 year olds have reached Byzantine maturity, or else that Crimp has made some judicious additions to the stock vocabulary: are the teenagers of Manhattan really texting each other “OBE” (overcome by events), “AWGTHTGTTAG” (are we going to have to go through this again?) or, my favorite, “BHA” (bring him Advil)? I hope so, I’m just not sure.
Reviews of the book can be read on The Village Voice and DNAinfo.com. Better still, we would love it if someone with a Kindle would buy the story (only $5.99!) and send us a review for this blog. We would be yr BFF.
On June 14, Electronic Arts will release American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns, the sequel to the 2000 computer game American McGee’s Alice. The new game will run on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as well as PC. Judging from one of the trailers, the graphics are luscious and the scenarios violent. A dark-haired adult Alice at a psychotic tea party rams a knife through the giant eye of a cycloptic monster. Blood splatters on her face – and, scene!
Here’s a newer more revealing trailer:
There’s a nice article interviewing American McGee at news.com.au here. American McGee is his real name; he is the legendary game designer famous for Doom and Quake.
“I can remember the copy of the book that I had,” he said of the classic he read many times as a child, and many more as an adult.
“The size and the feel of it. I know it made an impression on me as a child.
“I think Humpty Dumpty (from Through the Looking Glass) had a pretty significant impact on me. It was a pretty dark piece of the story — this character shattering and breaking.”
All the thrills of the LCSNA Spring 2011 Meeting in the privacy of your own home!
Thanks to our host Brewster Kahle and the magnificent Internet Archive, last month’s San Francisco/Petaluma meeting is now available online. If you missed the event, or would like to relive the highlights, you can download any or all of the meeting segments here.
The mission of the Internet Archive is to offer permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. We encourage you to watch founder Brewster Kahle’s address to the meeting to learn how the Lewis Carroll Society of North America could, like the Grateful Dead, be at the forefront of media preservation – ensuring the immortality of Alice for future generations.