paper trail

May 11, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

The 48 Hour Magazine team is still a bit groggy from this weekend's editorial drag race, but the project has been deemed a success, though the WSJ blog wrinkles its brow in consternation at the thought: "Creating a magazine from start to finish in two days sounds like an insane, nearly impossible task." The end product, a sixty-page first issue called (what else?) Hustle, will soon be available for purchase on magcloud. The editors have posted a blog of inspiring YouTube clips that helped them along the way—certain to come in handy when you're up against a tight deadline—as well as a list of contributors and a wrap-up of the project. They've also shared their financial plan: 25% "Investment," 25% "Socialism," 25% "Meritocracy," and 25% "Crazy Stunt;" a model contemporary publishing may want to emulate.

Today's the birthday of the world's oldest book, the Diamond Sutra, a sixteen-foot Buddhist scroll published in the year 868. So far it has survived 1,142 years without a battery change or a firmware update, and its message of non-attachment to "this fleeting world" is perhaps the handiest app yet invented.

Philip Pullman, author of the The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christspeaks tonight at the NYPL. Pullman, who once said "My books are about killing God," has written a fable in which Mary gives birth to twins, one a Jesus you could bring home to Mom, the other, "Christ," who turns out to be a Judas figure. With such provocative subject matter, we hope the event's moderator Paul Holdengraber leaves plenty of time for audience questions.

The classic One Thousand and One Nights may soon be banned in Cairo. One of the foundations of Middle Eastern literature—certainly not without its share of naughty bits—the book was recently translated by Malcolm C. Lyons, who rendered this racy passage: "It is her custom, when heated by dance and wine, to undress naked and not to give herself to her lover until she has been able to examine his bare limbs, his rampant zabb, and the agility of his running."