© 2008 All Rights Reserved. Do not distribute or repurpose this work without written permission from the copyright holder(s).
Printed from https://www.damninteresting.com/some-damn-interesting-news/
On 25 January 2007, the Damn Interesting authors boldly— some might say prematurely— announced our intentions to expand our project into the medium of dead tree flesh. We writers are prone to episodes of optimistic whimsy, so we set out on the path of self-publication with fires in our bellies, springs in our steps, and other foreign objects inhabiting our bodies in ambitious configurations.
Unfortunately, we soon discovered that self-publication offered substandard products at superstandard prices. Undaunted by this development, we altered our approach to seek a direct relationship with a printing company, only to find that none of those options appealed to our penchant for perfection. Thenceforth, armed with the 2008 Writer’s Market, a yellow highlighter, and several spare minutes per day, I embarked upon a lengthy search for a suitable publisher; however these feeble tools proved to be no match for the awesome power of Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert.
It was a brisk and breezy afternoon in late autumn when Google’s daily “Damn Interesting” alert found its way into my inbox. Like every other such notice, it indicated linkage from a handful of very tasteful sites. On this occasion, one of the links was from the official Dilbert Blog, so I sent Mr. Adams a quick thank-you for his trouble. This innocent exchange of electrons rapidly developed into a full discourse, one thing led to another, and soon Scott was introducing me to his wonderful literary agent, Mr. Daniel Greenberg.
In the interest of brevity, I will omit the ensuing adventure, but suffice it to say that there was an exciting flurry of verbs, e-mails, proposals, and signatures. Today, after months of itching to share the news, we are delighted to announce that we have officially closed a deal with Workman Publishing. Consequently, the resulting bundles of paper joy will be shiny and delicious, and they’ll adorn the shelves of actual, legitimate bookstores. This also means that the done-date now resides much farther into the future than originally anticipated— the tentative release date is Spring ’09— but as they say, ’tis better to be great later than mediocre immediately. The book’s format and design are still evolving, but this development will certainly provide our gaggle of authors with more freedom to concentrate on Damn Interesting content, both online and on trees.
To those who donated to our book efforts, your generosity has provided immeasurable support to our project (unless of course you measure in dollars, in which case it is easily quantified). Those who donated $35 or more will still receive their free copy upon the book’s release, and those who sent $100 or more will enjoy a super-spiffy autographed version; but any such donors who are unwilling to endure this unexpectedly long wait are welcome to contact me, and I’ll refund your monetary kindness. Likewise, any donors who have relocated should remember to contact me to provide an updated address.
On an unrelated note, most of you have no doubt noticed our ongoing server woes, which have been plaguing the site with missing images and lackluster page-load times. We’re in the process of migrating Damn Interesting to a new, more efficient platform, and though the change won’t happen right away, its completion should make things run much smoother. As a side benefit, it’ll also add some nifty and long-overdue features, such as forums.
We’ll keep you abreast of our progress in both of these endeavors. Superthanks!
© 2008 All Rights Reserved. Do not distribute or repurpose this work without written permission from the copyright holder(s).
Printed from https://www.damninteresting.com/some-damn-interesting-news/
Since you enjoyed our work enough to print it out, and read it clear to the end, would you consider donating a few dollars at https://www.damninteresting.com/donate ?
Forums sound awesome. Maybe some community articles will turn up?
Congratulations!! I wish you the best success. The only downside is the comments won’t be in the book, which is half of the fun.
Well, I wish you the best of luck in this, your FIRST book deal.
Haha! Publishing, sweet, sweet victory!
I will deffinently be looking for the big book of DI on local book shelves.
Damn interesting, indeed. Congratulations!
I saw only 3 comments and knew it was to good to be true. Oh well this is pretty close to the top.
Wow, that’s fantastic news. Congratulations, and here’s to becoming a bestseller!
I love the idea of a book, and sorry I don’t have much of anything to donate. (I guess the time of my posting is a dead giveaway, but really I do have a job. They just wanted to give other grocery baggers a turn today.)
But I look forward to checking your book out of the libary. Hopfuly not after to long of a wait.(But I imagin your publisher hopes for a very long line of eager fans.)
Best wishes with the server switch, and I love you tech stuff. Even if I’m not as hot on articuls about soy versions of human flesh, snail slime or other grossouts, as I am about the tower of power, the UFO or the really cool stuff about fighting cancer with an infection or vaccine.
I hope you keep on publishing the odd sceince wonders of this world.
Question….I’ve missed some of the other ‘book talk’ on here. Will some of the web content be present in the book? If it’s available up here in the ‘Great White North’ (aka Canada) I’d love to pick it up, I was just curious if I would be getting some content in the book that I have already read online
Can’t wait for the web upgrades….forums should be nice. I’d think it would help create more Damn Interesting discussions and possibly even generate some ideas for articles.
#10 For the love of crumbcake
Awesome! I’ve just discovered this site last week and I’m not quite sure how I’ve survived without it. I love learning damn interesting things. I keep my eyes plastered to the History Channel for the same reason. But I like this site because there’s always something interesting.
Congrats on your book deal. I’d love to get my hands on a copy once it’s out so I can read some DI stuff everywhere I go. It would really help pass the time on the subway.
I promise to buy a DI book, if you promise to leave the word ‘FIRST!’ out of it.
Congrats gentlemen. Moving on up. (Insert theme to ‘The Jeffersons’ here)
well done sirs. your unrelentless persuit of knowledge has always inspired. can’t wait to read it. ps-don’t forget to put the gimli glider in there its one of my favourites.
Congrats on the “First”(!!!) DI book. I hope you will have many more.
As a huge fan of the site, I don’t mind the wait.
Bravo to all.
Due to the delay do you still accept donations at this point for anyone curious or are they on hold since it’s kicked back a year from now maybe more/less?
Either way great news on that. I was going to donate but was holding off on a solid date as I’ve enjoyed this place for 2 years now. This along with that fun place (backed by 2 books already) called museumofhoaxes.com both supply me with a readily updated supply of just damn interesting news and other oddities you can’t get elsewhere in such fine form.
I am sure the Spring ’09 book will be the first of many volumes – there’s just so much DI material out there.
I second the request to include the Gimli Glider.
What percentage of the book is going to be previously published articles, and how much will be new content?
P.S. Unrelentless? ;)
Awesome news!! I too eagerly await the publication… Is it too late for donations?
HA!! #20 =)
(Better than #140 like last time!!)
Looking forward to placing my personal copy of the book in the much-revered spot next to my porcelain throne… Uncle John will not be pleased.
Congratulations to all!
i would defiantly buy one of these also a form on this site would be the one of my most visited sites as it stands now its about a once a week look to read the newest article
Twentysecond! … Glad you’re getting the dead tree edition out! I will buy a copy when it hits the shelves. It’d also be neat to make a radio segment out of this like Paul Harvey or Stardate. Probably enough material by now… Though it’s interesting to observe that initially the rate of new articles was two or three per day when the site started and now we’re down to two or three per month. I assume it’s a matter of finding the damn content and the damn time to write, etc…. I’d take a crack at writing for DI myself if it weren’t for the damn time factor….
…well, now that you’ve found a DAMN PUBLISHER, you’ll be looking for a DAMN PRINTER. Afther that, your DAMN BOOK…your first literary adventure, can be shipped and eventually show up in some DAMN BOOKSTORES! As noted prevoiusly, too bad you can’t include some of the DAMN RESPONSES that show up after the DAMN INTERESTING articles!
Keep up the DAMN GOOD WORK! And remember, life is like a beaver colony…just one DAMN THING after another! :-o
It’s about DAMN time. At least we know the deal is made and a dead tree edition is in the mothers womb growing to be born into a Damn interesting world!
“… but as they say, ’tis better to be great later than mediocre immediately.”
I’ve never heard anybody say that. But if you say so, it must be true.
I can’t wait to see DAMN INTERESTING- *the movie*, screenplay by Allan Bellows. The lead role will be played by the Don, and the opening scene will involve some sort of pie…..
That is so cool! Go DI! Sorry I didn’t give anything, but I’ll certainly buy the book in 2009. It will go nicely on my coffee table.
It probly won’t be available in Australia, will it. At least until it becomes officially recognized as the GREATEST BOOK EVER, as I’m sure it will.
P.S. I had written “…Australia, will it?…” but it didn’t read good.
Forums can take a running jump. What does a forum offer that the comments area doesn’t already?
Yeah I’m a crusty old bugger who prefers mailing list to forums. Get off my lawn.
That’s fantastic news! Well done guys.
I’ll have to order my copy online since it may take a while to work its way all the way down to the southern tip of Africa.
Mind you, I’m sure by Spring next year I’ll be in the mood for an overseas holiday – better get saving.
Good news on the book, if you add forums please don’t remove these comments but moderation of “First” etc should be introduced asap, completely annoying, pointless and off topic.
Is there any detail about pages in the book, or entries etc?
Forums? I see it now: People starting new threads just to post ‘first’.
…Alan, consider this…have the article author post the “First” comment! The writer is entitled to toot his horn and use the “First” comment as an introduction for the comment threads! Your thoughts?
Great! I’ll definitely be buying the book to support this awesome site. :-)
I am happy for you guys. With Proper marketing, I truly believe your book would make an amazing “coffee-table” style or a great road trip book. (This is actually a sincere compliment for a book) I really see this making great profits. Get it in a Barnes and Noble or a Borders and I will tell everyone I can about it. This is really a gem in the internet, and would be the same for a book.
Today I planted 3 trees in anticipation of owning this book someday…
“Those who donated $35 or more will still receive their free copy upon the book’s release”
I must not know what “free” means. Maybe I should negotiate a deal with retailers where I give them “free” money in exchange for some “free” stuff. That way, I can avoid the sales tax.
Three trees for one book that will be printed on paper that’s made entirely of new growth forests that are in fact replenished (for profit, no less!) without you doing anything? Hrm… Are you one of these people who will plant a tree that takes 50 years to grow to compensate for carbon emissions made in less than a week…?
Not that I’m against planting trees – I’d just do it for real reasons like they look nice, stop erosion, are a good return on investment, etc….
So what are you saying? I should have planted four trees? Didn’t realize it was going to be that big of a book. And if I have to wait 50 years for a Damn Interesting book, now is that really so bad? I’m very patient. And new growth forest, for profit no less, no kidding.
Glad your not against planting trees, I’d suspect though that any reason is a ‘real’ reason and hey, I like your reasons too!
GO GO TEAM DI!
Congrats guys, long deserved!!! I can no longer get damn interesting content at work however, it seems the site has been given an “entertainment” label that our ITwits don’t like. :(
Never fear, I will continue to keep abreast with all of the damn interesing stuff from home…just not as often probably!
AWESOME! Can’t wait for the book.
I must apologise, as I work in the Hospitality Industry and therefore am actually payed peanut husks as the monkeys get the good pay, so unfortunatly I couldn’t donate either. Saving for the book though.
WOW! You really are Jaded.
Congratulations! All of the people who work on this site do an awesome job and deserve to get rich because of it
SELL OUTS!!! :)
Joining in the queue to congratulate all concerned. Hooray for Damn Interesting! Hooray for Dilbert!
Very interesting development Allan. Congratulations on putting all this together. Not as easy as it looks. The publishing world is in a state of extreme flux. Fortunately for the writer, there are many new ways of getting the information to the reader. Unfortunately, they do not all lead to success beyond getting the information out there. One of my many interests is in the state of medicine. Stunning miracles abound in the field. Yet my attention is drawn to the disasters, which are also stunning, and also seem to be multiplying.
In the past few decades, improvements in outcomes in surgical correction of certain virtually inevitable eye disorders have accelerated remarkably. Outcomes of surgical correction of senile cataract are very much improved over what they were, and the incidence of complications have been sharply reduced. This has led to what I will delicately refer to as — a certain excess of exuberance — on the part of surgeons when advising their patients. I will just cite one example of a remark by a doctor to his own colleagues at a symposium in Europe. He was enthusing about the current state of the art from the physician perspective.
“It is undoubtedly the final frontier of cataract and refractive surgery.
There is great interest and excitement in this field of research at the moment and we are seeing some very interesting approaches coming on stream which hold great promise for future treatment of presbyopia.” Dr. David Spalton
While the present state of the art is a sharp improvement over even recent decades, we have certainly not reached the final frontier as Spalton suggests. It is worthwhile to note that perspective is everything, and that the doctors perspective is far different from that of the patient. The doctor wants to give the impression that we are at the very apex of development. To do otherwise gives the patient good reason to delay the surgery as long as possible in hopes of new improvements developing, improvements which would usually be foreclosed if the present interventions were employed.
In time and money, a physician has made a great investment in his career. He wants it to pay off. To that end, he presents to the patient the image of the selfless healer whose only interest is the ultimate welfare of the patient.
Of course he wants outcomes to be good. If they are not good, he will not get other patients referred to him as frequently. He will be sued more often, and his own malpractice premiums will skyrocket, sharply reducing his income potential.
But when you go to an eye surgeon, you are an eye or a pair of eyes, not a person. Whatever his chair-side manner, that is the truth of it. If he does not do something to treat your condition, something expensive, he has gotten a fee for an office visit, nothing more. He may make a living. He will not get ahead.
When physicians are talking to one another, they talk of things like careful patient selection, reducing expectations, learning curves in surgical procedures, and so on. I have never heard of a physician discussing surgical learning curves to an actual patient. I doubt that doctors ever say, Oh, by the way, I just learned this particular procedure, so you are going to have the benefit of the latest techniques being taught. The truth is that doctors are consummate salesmen. It is obvious. But you cannot say it. If you do, you are a troublemaker, and they will drop you like a hot rock.
I am in my late sixties. Had a stroke a few years ago, Back in 1992 I had a rapidly growing — well, lets call it some sort of neoplasm, since I did not biopsy it and look at it under a microscope. With neither of these conditions did I go to a doctor. I am now imagining some gasps of horror as people read this. Until recently I had not seen a doctor for a few decades.
I did, over a year ago, go to an optometrist in Texas, who confirmed my notion (we can’t call it a diagnosis can we?) that I had a relatively advanced nuclear cataract in the right eye, and a less advanced one in the left eye. I got a prescription for a new set of glasses, which I didn’t get, and would have gotten a referral to a specific local ophthalmologist if I had lived in that state. You see, it is very difficult to get in to see an ophthalmologist without a referral.
When I got beck home, I was able to use that out of state optometrist as my referral without his selecting who my ophthalmologist would be. It was very, very difficult to get good comprehensive information about my local ophthalmologists however. When I finally chose one, it was really a bit of a pig in a poke.
She had technicians do the great bulk of the testing, some of which did not come out entirely satisfactorily. At the end of a few hours, of which the doctor was in attendance for perhaps fifteen minutes total, I was given some sparse information, in the name of informed consent, and the cataract operation on the right eye was scheduled for about a month later. Total costs for this workup were in the neighborhood of $400.00.
I went home and began compiling my questions, assuming that I could transmit them by Email directly to my doctor. I spoke rather succinctly about some of my concerns and wanted my comments to be discreet.
When I called the office to get her Email address, I was informed that the doctor did not receive any Email directly from her patients. The Email would have to be directed to one of the office workers, and then turned over to the doctor. So much for patient confidentiality. So I hastily revised my remarks and sent them off to her underling as directed. The body of that letter, with all of the questions it brought up are on my blog somewhere in the archives.
In any case, I anticipated a call from the doctor to discuss the details that I had brought up. No word as the weeks went by. I should say, this was not the only red flag.
On the intake form, the one that allows you to give an entire lifetime of health history with nothing but little checkmarks in little boxes, and then gives you half a dozen lines to put down any additional remarks you think might be relevant, I had written that I had engaged (and these are the precise words I used),
in some miscellaneous eye experiments involving the dark-adapted eye in the twilight between sleeping and waking.
I went into no further detail at all as to what I was trying to find out or why, or what exactly I did in the experiments, or what the fascinating results were.
The doctor had perused this form in full, in my presence, and asked me nothing whatsoever about what I was talking about. Eye experiments. No detail. And the woman who is going to do the slicing and dicing is not curious enough to ask what it was all about. Even a half blind man can see there is something wrong with this picture.
In any case, weeks went by without a phone call addressing the issues I had brought up. It was now the Friday before the Monday morning operation. I called her underling and cancelled the operation. Eleven or twelve minutes later the doctor called back asking what was wrong. We then discussed my letter in some detail and I refrained from rescheduling the operation, leaving the cancellation in effect.
But I am still slowly going blind. Question to all. What would you do? I know there are a lot of old goats out there who would benefit substantially by what I have managed to find out in the intervening year, since I canceled that operation. My ultimate prospects for seeing well are much greater now than they were. But that is another story.
I anticipate being able to read your book quite nicely even if it is not in a large print edition.
This has nothing to do with this, but I was just reading the Smoke Detectors and a Radioactive Boyscout article https://www.damninteresting.com/?p=340#more-340 from January 19, 2006. Somebody wrote a post on March 18, 2008 claiming to be David Hahn, the Radioactive Boyscout. He wants people to write him letters and ask him questions. He says he replies by physically mailed letters. He likes to write with radioactive ink so, watch out.
Several possibilities and observations occur to me.
1. Monstero))), David Hahn, and Thumper125 could all be one and the same person.
2. That someone can not spell the name Stephen Hawking.
3. That whatever the case, we have a young man of inordinate intelligence and imagination who never had good supervision at home or in school.
4. That the government was woefully ill-advised to allow this disturbed young man to serve in any capacity in the Navy, on the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Enterprise.
5. Two purposes are possibilities for the request for snail mail contact. Getting the exact physical location of the correspondent, or sending something physically by return mail. Would you want this individual to know where you are?
6. I can’t help but notice the odd juxtaposition of melanin, nuclear chemistry and outer space. I too am interested in a certain variety of eclectic subjects. But it is not just goofy aimless curiosity. Every subject I am interested in for any period of time has some sort of potential use or possible larger benefit to myself or to society. Aimless people rarely do anything worthwhile and are often destructive. For example, why would anyone use radioactive ink? And for that matter, how would you have found out that he writes with radioactive ink?
7. Do you have some sort of reasonable purpose for a thermite device?
8. Do the Boy Scouts have a Responsibility Merit Badge? If so, you need to put that on your To Do List.
Congratulations! I knew it was only a matter of time until this stuff ended up in physical ink.
Trees are just crops. Chop em down and get those books out. We’ll make more!
As I understand it, the book will be printed on paper made from killer trees that deserved to die.
Though that brings up the possibility of haunted books terrorizing their owners…
Can’t say I don’t blame you for not going through with the surgery. I liked the post, and it seems with your experience and knowledge, I won’t be able to offer much advice. If it were me though, I would try to get the surgery soon. I don’t know if you have grandchildren, but I have two little boys at home,3 and 1. I certainly would not want to miss seeing anything they will be a part of.
Thank you for your comment. I have only done a couple of eye operations on live subjects (under emergency field conditions) and the object of these was not to restore sight, but to increase the probability that the patients would survive. One of these cases was uncomplicated. Only the eye had been damaged. I did a straightforward partial removal.
In the other, the orbit and upper jaw had been fractured, and the eye was unblinkable, being in front of the orbit. The difficulty was, the patient was in critical condition and could not have survived a general anesthetic (even if one had been available at the time). So I had to treat the unblinking eye continuously for about ten days, allowing the patient to gain strength. During this time, the eye could have begun to deflate, which would have allowed me to try a more passive and natural approach. This is what I was hoping for.
But instead, the eyeball very slowly built up pressure, which was easy to monitor since I was applying coconut oil and lubricating drops day and night, every hour or so. The patient was refusing to eat, so I was forcing liquids and nutrition with a 30cc syringe. By the third or fourth day, the patient began to take clear water on his own. In another four or five days (I lost a little track of time. I had had only had short sleeps during this situation) the patient had good chances.
I removed the coconut oil from the eye surface, sterilized the field with a swab of 3% peroxide, immediately dusted the field with an air blast of finely powdered oxytetracycline, using an ordinary drinking straw. Then I took a #22 scalpel which I had previously prepared with a 20% benzocaine topical cream, smeared the cream across the cornea with the flat of the scalpel, waited fifteen seconds, made a fast single stroke incision of about half an inch across the middle of the cornea. As I had hoped, the pressurization had severely weakened the zonules or they had otherwise broken down. The lens, gelatinous and now somewhat opaque, along with some vitreous fluids popped out into the palm of my glove. Total time for the procedure, not more than five minutes, probably closer to three. It has been something like a year now. The patient is fully recovered. His nickname is now Popeye.
Fortunately my blindness is only currently affecting my right eye seriously. With a little ingenuity I am still able to see with my left, so I am able to see my grandchildren with one eye, and will probably be able to do so for another few years.
Great news! Not only will I buy myself a copy, but all my nerdy friends will get a copy under their Annual Non-Denominational Festive Illumination of Dead Coniferous Woody Perennial Plant.
I’ll have to start saving now, I fail at not spending money. With a $15 allowance per week, it goes quickly.
Congrats. Will there be any difference between the online content and the tree content?
[spammy link removed]
This is fantastic news!
As an avid reader of some 2 or so years, I feel the immediate need to congratulate you on your endeavour, and to tell you that I anticipate with almost baited breath, (it will be 2009 after all), to see the book on the book shop shelf.
I need to know of course if your publishing strategy will reach further than your illustrious shore, and might possibly … just possibly … reach Europe, or the small group of islands to the West of it, that holds the core of what once was a mighty empire.
All to be read in a Monty Python tone and accent if you please….
Perhaps comments from the book could be placed here according to article number so you can effectively link paper press with the internet.?… People wishing to particapte in this momentous endeavor would simply buy the book and interact with the brilliant minds of this site, providing you include the site in the book :).
Checking the book out from the library was omitted to discourage the cheapskates from participating and not to get too high of hopes as to the total copies printed… Hopefully the book is good, thereby no copies are donated, instead they are treasured as heirlooms; therefore, the cheap and libraries are forced to purchase their copy of the book, adding to sales and proving the Damm Interesting Vol.1 a successful first print. Good day to you all.
Looking forward to reading the book, found out about the website yesterday (From my wife reading it in People magazine; I think).
Any chances of the book making it to South Africa? If not hopefully it’s avaliable on Amazon.
How about an damn update on the book? It’s been a year and a half…. I know these things take time, but expiring minds want to know…..
I think that a lot of hopeful DI readers, myself included, would appreciate some new information about the DI book. Almost two years have past since the first info about a book emerged and roughly six months since the last comment of this article. How is this enterprise coming along?
Regardless of how the work with the book is going, I would like to say, to all of the DI writers and staff: Keep up the extremely good work!
I’ll agree with Governor Andy on that one. We’re anxious for at least a little bit of news!!
Or at least some articles … the last new article is 2 days away from being 3 months old …
The book is available for PRE-ORDER on amazon.com. The title is “Alien Hand Syndrome” and according to the publisher’s website it ships in April… Amazon says it goes on sale in May.
The book didn’t come up directly on an Amazon search for me. The direct link on the Amazon site is: http://tinyurl.com/bwlmeo I already pre-ordered it myself!
Over a year since this post went up … sigh, I really hope this isn’t a vapor book!
It is spring of ’09 (albeit barely) so hopefully we’ll start hearing some news again soon.
According to Amazon the book is called ‘Alien Hand Syndrome’ and is due to be released
July 8, 2009. Info found here: http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Hand-Syndrome-Alan-Bellows/dp/0761152253/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241499624&sr=1-1
Spring is gone … perhaps Alan meant Summer ’09.
Got my copy of “Alien Hand Syndrome” yesterday! Really fast shipping from Amazon, url above in my previous comment: https://www.damninteresting.com/?p=953#comment-24043