Wednesday Choice Cuts

The success of books like Kate Grenville’s Secret River, Philip Jones' Ochre and Rust and Inga Clendinnen’s Dancing With Strangers shows how curious we are about that moment when vastly different civilisations meet for the first time. We call it ‘first contact’, and indeed there was a Star Trek film of the same name. This YouTube footage of a PNG tribe stumbling across some white people for the first time - in this case, anthropologists with a camera - was shot in 1976. A warning, however - the music is terrible.

The Huffington Post has announced it’s going global - and Australia is on its list of countries where it plans to establish a dedicated foothold.

Need some perspective? This graphic should help (if your brain doesn’t explode first).

The book signing is a common feature of modern publishing. But US publishers feeling the squeeze of lower profit margins are giving it a new twist - why not make people pay for their favourite author’s signature?

Last week we published a story about pseudonyms. Here’s a more detailed look at the ultimate literary disguise.

Finally, Victorians can now calculate their own ecological footprint, thanks to the EPA.