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Berkshire Blog 2004-2023

Berkshire Blog 2004-20232024-03-06T12:38:51-05:00

This blog, mostly written by Karen Christensen but occasionally by Berkshire staffers, was started at the end of 2004. Over the years, it changed. Some of this informal notes moved to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter , and perhaps other now-forgotten platforms. Much moved into regular email newsletters. Some of those newsletters were also posted to the blog, conscious as we  have always been that online platforms change, and disappear. Karen is mostly to be found on Substack now, and at her own website, KarenChristensen.org. We’re preserving the 2004-2023 record here, and starting a new blog for current Berkshire news, in addition to our mailings for teachers and librarians, at Berkshire Bookworld. Karen’s blog was featured in the Washington Post in 2006: that story is here.

February 2005

Surviving Online

There's a section in The Armchair Environmentalist called "How to Survive the Online Life," covering Repetitive Strain Injury and offering some suggestions about exercise and positioning. But we also talk about the bigger question of

Environmentalism goes to hospice

I can't believe I missed this when it came out in October, and that I found it only because the lines were long at the food coop before the holiday weekend (today is Presidents' Day,

Green books

Publishing does a lot of good: promoting global understanding, sharing knowledge, providing low-impact entertainment, supporting education and lifelong learning. But it also requires a lot of paper, much of which is sourced from unsustainably managed

World History To Go

I've finally got back to our newsletters, an aspect of publishing that I really enjoy in spite of the detailed coding it requires. No matter how I try to hand it off to other people

Where everyone knows your name

We talk about community a lot, online and off, and created an award-winning reference on the subject, too, the Encyclopedia of Community. One of the things we had in mind was the TV show

March 2005

Green Premium

I'm an environmentalist, in case you don't know, and even have the embarrassing moniker 'the armchair environmentalist,' the title of my new book. (I'm not really an armchair kind of person, but the publisher had

Jesus in translation

After looking at one of the dilemmas of 20th century literary publishing in my article about the T. S. Eliot Letters, I’ve moved on to Armageddon: I’m studying up on apocalyptic and millennial literature. I’ve

Computer Help, or Computer, Help!

It’s one of those “Eats Shoots and Leaves” things. We talk about “Computer Help,” the good old F1, the very first Function key. But today it was “Computer, help!” for me in London. I was

International London

I take great pleasure in eavesdropping in the few languages I know a little of, and in identifying others. But I'm simply overwhelmed at the London (International) Book Fair. I especially enjoyed a Chinese

Old acquaintance

I have a feeling we'll miss the airy dome of the old Olympia hall, and the astonishingly crowded aisles, when we're in the distant reaches of Docklands next year. The new venue is called ExCeL,

Textbook insights

My daughter's taking a class in environmental management and I've learned two important things from her. First, Richard Nixon's looking better and better: he signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act in 1970. One

Easy recycling that really matters

My laptop battery died a few weeks ago and I have been using the old one as a paper weight--couldn't throw it away, but didn't know what to do with it. Then I saw an


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