My Lincoln Movie Review–Worthy of praise. Not for the ’47 percent’

Nov 16, 2012 by

My Lincoln Movie Review

I just returned from the movie theater and feel obliged to share a few words about the Stephen Spielberg‘s Lincoln, of which I just spent the past 2.5 hours watching, enjoying and now sharing that it is indeed, worthy of praise.

Lincoln Movie Review

My Lincoln Movie Review–Worthy of Praise, will be lost on the “47 percent.”

Lincoln long has been one of my favorite presidents. Never will the barber my mom used to take us to on Route 51 in Hobart, IN, circa 1970 likely ever forget, nor shall my mother, the moment I asked if he could fashion my hair in such a way as to make the part go in the other direction so it would mirror that of our nation’s 16th president. (I was five at the time.)

In the 1990s, Gov. Fob James of Alabama, whom I had the privilege of working with, was a student of Lincoln and his ways.  Gov. James even used the theme of “A New Birth Of Freedom” from the Gettysburg Address, as the theme for his 1994 inaugural.

I say all that to suggest I know a little about Mr. Lincoln.

Lincoln–The Movie

Or so I thought until I saw him personified in this movie.

We never shall know how Mr. Lincoln’s voice truly sounded, but after seeing this movie, I should like for it to never have sounded any different than that of Daniel Day-Lewis‘. And to the credit of Spielberg, this isn’t one of those movies of the Civil War era where Hollywood theatrics have damaged the flow of the film with bad ridiculous Southern enunciation, and obviously glued on beards and such as that awful Gettysburg film Turner Productions did back in the 1990s.

No, this is the real deal.

Day-Lewis brings Lincoln back to life in a way that probably hasn’t been done since he walked this earth among our forefathers.  From the iconic hat where it is suggested Lincoln kept notes for speeches, to the tall stature, to the stoic poses and even sleeping in his chair while considering a message to telegraph to Gen. U.S. Grant, you feel like you’re getting to know the depth and weight of the troubles this president knew as he worked so hard to hold this nation together.

From the moment this film begins, you feel like you are in DC in the midst of Lincoln’s second term.

Sally Field plays Mary Lincoln so very well. She looks like every photo I’ve ever seen of her.  There’s one scene where she and Tommy Lee Jones go back and forth where I began to wonder what it was about, but it was to help add some strength to the story of the role this First Lady played in our nation’s history as well.

Jared Harris from Mad Men fame leaves me thinking I am watching Gen. Grant as he meets with the president, and as he bids farewell to Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.

The lighting, costuming, and mood are all right.

Go See This Film

  • If you’re a history buff.
  • If you want to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the spirit of what this nation was intended to be, and seems to have drifted so far afoul from.
  • If you want a taste for lobbying in the 1860s to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, around which most of the plot of the movie centers.
  • If you want to have a taste for what this country once endured so that we might all be here to celebrate it today.

This film isn’t going to keep up with Twilight Breaking Dawn, or the new Bond movie at the box office. No, those are films for the “47 percent.” This is a film for those who have a more mature understanding of what the American Dream once was; something worth fighting for, something worth risking everything to save it all. Teens won’t sit through this movie, and most likely, your date won’t either.  This is a movie where you need to take your brain, your love for America, and be proud to walk out of the theater at the end celebrating a the new birth of freedom we all were given because of a president like Abe Lincoln.

 

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iBooks 3 Adds Social Media

Nov 16, 2012 by

iBooks 3 books for iPad now includes a powerful Social Media component that allows a reader to share content with others via Twitter, Facebook, Message, and Email.

iBooks 3 Social Media tools

iBooks 3 Social Media tools

From an educational standpoint, this is significant.

The new “share” function from highlighting allows for the exchange of text within a book via Mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook or allows a reader to copy for pasting elsewhere. Because of this, the world’s classroom just got a lot bigger. And with the release of the iPad mini, it’s going to grow even faster.

As we’ve mentioned before, a superintendent with $1 million to spend on hardware before the iPad mini, could spend those funds and purchase 2,000 iPads. Because the iPad mini is priced lower, a superintendent can now buy 3,000 iPad mini units for roughly the same $1 million.  Apple‘s strategy clearly was to offer a lower-priced unit that could be smaller in size and not compromise usability–after all, elementary and middle school kid fingers are smaller, so it was a perfect fit.  And think about this, what demographic has the most growth potential in the use of social media?

Social Media In An iBooks 3 Book For iPad

We’ve said it before on this site, but it is worth repeating.  The Social Media component in a book for iPad means a reader now can ask a classmate, parent, teacher or maybe even the book’s author a question about something within the book. Think about the power of that development? Think about being a student and you get to a part in a book you don’t understand and you leave a note for a classmate, the teacher or even the author and ask for further explanation!  That’s mind boggling compared to what happened in education just 10-15 years ago, let alone a month ago before this capability was introduced.

Using the iBooks 3 Social Media Tools

As you might expect, using the iBooks 3 Social Media tools is easy.  A reader just highlights a portion of text they want to share by rubbing their finger over it. Up will pop a dialogue box to color it with a virtual highlighter or underline it, and then the reader has the option to click a MORE button that will lead to a SHARE button.  From there, up pops various Social Media icons.  From there, the reader picks which one to use and goes through necessary logins and addressing and sends the information along with any messages intended.

It’s that easy.  It’s that powerful.  It’s going to change how learning is done in the worldwide classroom.  And just think, if you don’t have an iPad or iPad mini, you’re missing it.

ClaxtonCreative.com

Thank you for reading our series of posts, What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad.  You’re welcome to download a free copy of it for your iPad or iPad Mini, or you can download a free .PDF version of the book so you can read more about these powerful developments in books for iPad. Our company is located in Dallas, Texas, USA, and we are a designer and publisher of these special books for iPad. Yes, the iBooks Author software is available free to use. And nowadays, most people can get their hands on a copy of Photoshop, but that doesn’t make a person an expert at Photoshop.  Likewise, we have found throughout 2012, that making books for iPad isn’t just something one plops down and does. There are tricks to the process.  An entirely different way of thinking is necessary in designing such a book.  This isn’t like a traditional book, and it’s not even like one you’d write for a Kindle or Nook.

That is why we continually offer our services and encourage you, our readers, who may be considering making a book for iPad, to contact us and let’s talk about how to build it for you.  You can reach us today by calling 972-863-8784 or by using the book submission form at the top of this page. Thank you.  More posts coming Monday!

 

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Books for iPad–Apple’s Push Into Education With Study Cards

Nov 15, 2012 by

Books for iPad–Apple’s Push Into Education With Study Cards

If you’re still walking around thinking that the iPad mini is something to go after the Kindle or Nook, maybe this will finally cure you of that misconception.  With the Study Card feature that now works in iBooks 2 and iBooks 3 for iPad and iPad mini, this clearly, maybe more so than anything else, marks the way for Apple’s big push into the education arena.

Study Cards for Books for iPad clearly mark Apple’s keen interest in the educational arena for iPad and iPad mini.

Now, within books for iPad made with iBooks Author, there is the inclusion of what Apple is calling “Study Cards.” This is probably one of the most un-marketed features of these books for iPad, but it is truly a helpful aspect.

Within each book for iPad, there now is the  “My Notes” section of the book, which includes a chapter-by-chapter listing of all notes taken within the book by a reader. That may not seem like a big deal, as surely, when you make a note in a book, you’d presume it’d go somewhere.  But it’s what happens to them that’s cool.  I should also point out that “My Notes” can be formatted within a book’s text in traditional highlighter colors.

Study Cards

As a book is being built with iBooks Author, the publisher/author has the ability to create an extensive glossary of key terms or words used throughout the work.  Those all populate in the glossary section, but it’s when the book is done, that they reappear in the “Study Cards” that can be generated from the notes made by the reader as well as through glossary terms within each chapter. Glossary terms also may include options for illustrations and index links to every use of the word in the text throughout the book.

Let me explain in simpler terms. If you’re reading a book for class, you come along a section you would have highlighted with a Sharpie in a traditional offline book, you can still highlight it in the same way.  Just rub your finger across the text in question, a dialogue box pops up and you can choose the color you want the text highlighted in.  But on that same menu bar is an option for making a note. When clicked, the on-screen keyboard pops up and the opportunity exists for the reader to add a commentary like, “I NEED TO REMEMBER THIS! THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST!”

When the reader is ready to review, they can follow to the My Notes section of the book and find all the notes and highlights they kept throughout their reading.  But they can also turn those notes into study cards that are going to feature their notes, as well as glossary terms so that as they are studying, they can be quizzing themselves about the definition of terms within each chapter.

And that, friends, is powerful when it comes to self-paced learning, and in Apple’s foray into the education arena with books for iPad and iPad mini.

 

 

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Books for iPad Now Have Puzzles!

Nov 14, 2012 by

It made me smile when I saw for the first time that books for iPad now can have puzzles.

In Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, we used the iBook-Widgets.com app to build one of Tortuguero Monument 6, one of the most important elements in all of Maya prophecy.  In the book we’re wrapping up, There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse, we’re including one of the book’s cover.  In What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books for iPad, we also included one of the cover.

They’re very easy to make and they’re even more fun to try to solve.

The good thing about them, is that they add interactivity to your book.  They’re also challenging, as you have to figure out the right pattern and movements to make the things all come back together.

And that’s part of what Apple likes most about them. They fit the requirement for what these books are all about–interactivity.

Want to see how one works?  Easy.  Just download What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad–it’s free here on ClaxtonCreative.com. Also check out the other cool aspects we’ve been featuring and highlighting here on the site.

Do you have a book you’re ready to submit? We invite you to fill out the submission form and let us take a look.

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Books for iPad–interactive images for iBooks Author

Nov 13, 2012 by

Books for iPad–interactive images for iBooks Author

Some call them “timelines” or “interactive images for iBooks Author.”  We say “scrubbers” or “sliders.” Apple says they’re “multi-touch images” for iPad.

How about we just call them cool graphics that tell a story you can’t tell in a traditional book?

What am I talking about? With books for iPad and widgets made for iBooks Author, you can now display multi-layered images, link them together in a squential form, and most importantly, require interactive particpation by the reader.

Typically these images feature a progressive series of photographs, drawings, images and illustrations that one rubs their finger on from left to right and that changes the image from one frame to the next.

One of the best things we found about “scrubber/slider” images was the amount of real-estate we saved on the pages of a “book.”  With maps of where Mesoamericans lived, Dr. Mark Van Stone’s print edition of 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya showed only four frames and took up two, entire printed pages to display his maps.  With the widget we created for his book for iPad, we included close to 20 different frames and it took up only one screen/page in the book.  Nearly five times as much material was presented in half the amount of space.

Earlier this year we began working with the founder of iBooks-Widgets.com from Belgium. He has a great widget-maker for these kinds of interactive images.  Another option is classwidgets.com, now being rebranded as bookry.com.

What is required to make these images is a graphics package that allows you to add levels to an image and turn them on and off accordingly, while also keeping the same registration for the image so as one scrubs from one image to the next, the image does not seem to “bounce” from frame to frame. The best thing we’ve used for this is the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite version of CS6’s Photoshop.

The great thing about “scrubbers” or “sliders” is that they require participation from the reader to change. They’re not going to loop or change on their own, which means a reader is going to interact, and hopefully, take a closer look at the evolving imagery unfolding before them.

And word of caution for those of you out there thinking about creating a book for iPad made with iBooks Author.

We’ve seen comments about Apple rejecting or sending books for iPad back to authors who aren’t adding this kind of thing into their work. The idea of a book for iPad, after all, is that it has interactivity.

If you don’t add anything that requires your reader to interact and thereby learn from it, you might as well still be making a book for Kindle or Nook.

See our point?!

Ready To Submit Your Work?

We’re a Dallas-based publishing company of books for iPad and would enjoy the opportunity to evaluate your next book and create a book for iPad. Just fill out of the form above on this site and we’ll be back in touch with you immediately to talk about the process of moving forward.

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Books for iPad and iBooks Author Video

Nov 12, 2012 by

Books for Ipad Now Can Include Video

Another one of the most amazing aspect of books for iPad s the capability brought about by the iBooks Author Video widget.

In our opinion, it’s really hard to decide if 3D animations or videos are the most compelling interactive feature of this new form of book.  Really, at this point, you don’t want to publish a book for iPad without them both.  On one hand you could say leaving out one of these ingredients would be like not putting icing on a cake, but really, it’d be more like trying to make a cake and not using flour or even sugar.

From The Opening Of A Book For Ipad You Know This Is Different

In iBooks Author, a publisher has the option to open a book with a video. The video is actually embedded in the opening trigger mechanism of the book and starts immediately. For Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, we even added TA-DA music for when the video cues up just to add to the surprise of someone not expecting it.

To play on iPad, videos within the book are specially formatted. In our 2012 book, that allowed for us to add as much as two hours worth of clips from 15 Maya scholars all adding to the value of the book in ways that words and pictures are not able.

Because of the Retina Screen, videos can be HD, but we found saving them at a lower bit rate makes the file size smaller and even on a Retina Screen, you really can’t tell the difference.

iBooks 3 Update

With the iBooks 3 update from October 2012, in the iBooks 3 app, controls have been added for video navigation for the opening video clip. This was a good update as the only way to get back to the beginning of the opening clip before was to either let it finish playing and start over, or exit the book in iBooks 2, then reopen it.  It was a pain and we heard complaints.

Having video in books for iPad shows that Apple has recognized that in our ever-increasingly visually oriented world, video in books is not only logical but also necessary and preferred.

Done right, readers can get more out of their books if they have video references to use.

Thinking Different

The inclusion of videos in a book for iPad requires a different thinking process in writing a digital book.

Before books for iPad, an author would have to focus on telling their story or providing all their information within the text of a book. Now, it’s necessary to understand a little about video production, visual locations, backdrops, ambient noise, lighting and more. And while an author can do these things on their own, this is why a publishing/production company like ours can save time and money, and ensure the product looks as professional as possible.

Ready To Submit Your Manuscript?

We are a publisher of books for iPad in Dallas, Texas, USA. But we can make these books for anyone in any country on the planet. If you’re ready to submit a manuscript for production, please go to the form link above and submit your book today. Yes, you can try to do this yourself, but we look at it like this.  With changes in software, most people now can get access to software like Photoshop, too, but you know what?  That doesn’t mean what’s going to get produced is going to be expert quality.

That’s what we provide at Claxton Creative.  We’ve done several of these books for iPad now, and we’ve worked with the traditional book publishing world.  Add to that our experience in video and audio production, graphics and now 3D animation.

Working with us frees up the opportunity for you as the author to concentrate on telling your story in a new way, and we work on the nitty gritty details and technical aspects.  Trust us, that’s a lot to figure out.

 

 

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Books for iPad, Submit Your Manuscript

Nov 10, 2012 by

We now are accepting submissions for manuscripts for books for iPad. Please complete the form on our site and we will be in touch with you promptly to discuss how to make these amazing new “books.”

German

Wir haben jetzt akzeptieren Einreichungen für Manuskripte für Bücher für iPad. Bitte füllen Sie das Formular auf unserer Seite und wir werden mit Ihnen in Verbindung sein, zeitnah zu diskutieren, wie diese erstaunliche neue machen “Bücher.”

Japanese

我々は今、iPadのための本のための原稿の提出を受け付けています。当社のサイト上のフォームに記入し、我々は速やかにこれらの素晴らしい新しいようにする方法を議論するためにあなたに連絡される “本を。”

French

Nous acceptons les soumissions de manuscrits de livres pour iPad. S’il vous plaît remplir le formulaire sur notre site et nous prendrons contact avec vous rapidement pour discuter de la façon de rendre ces étonnantes nouvelles «livres».

Spanish

Ahora estamos aceptando solicitudes para los manuscritos para libros para iPad. Por favor complete el formulario en nuestro sitio y nos pondremos en contacto con usted a la brevedad para discutir cómo hacer que estas nuevas y sorprendentes “libros.”

Italian

Ora sono, iscrizioni aperte per i manoscritti di libri per iPad. Si prega di compilare il modulo sul nostro sito e saremo in contatto con voi immediatamente per discutere su come rendere questi incredibili nuovi “libri.”

 

Three Books for iPad. Submit Yours

Our three books for iPad. Submit your manuscript solicitation in English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish and Italian. All countries that regularly visit our site.

 

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