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Oo thanks.. Now if only I could find some free promotional ebook of it! That's how I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Perhaps I will have to use my library card. Of course if I borrow all the vampire books at once I might get some looks. Not sure I want to borrow the Twilight books from a public place though. :lol: not sure I want to read them at all, but I know a couple people who like them and say I should read them before insulting them. Imagine that. =P

 

An O- (I think) aged 23 years, but not in an oak barrel....

-Jools

Interview with a Vampire is the first and best, IMHO. I'm sure your local library has that one. I doubt you'll find it free online—or if you do, it won't be legal. Anne Rice has to pay for her million-dollar estate in Louisiana—or did she just sell it? I forget.

 

On Orren's earlier point, yes, the new vampires don't follow the "rules" at all. Otherwise, how could they attend high school? :lol:

 

Your book concept sounds really interesting. Good luck finding a buyer!

Best,

M

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On Orren's earlier point, yes, the new vampires don't follow the "rules" at all. Otherwise, how could they attend high school? :lol:

The vampire as we know him began on a boring train trip on the Orient Express where theatrical agent Abraham Stoker started collecting the local folklore (including a little ritual about staking the dead so they won't rise from their graves to seek the blood of the living to sustain them). The trip peaked at the former castle of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, who was called as a child, affectionately, "Little Dragon" or "Dracula", and, less affectionately, "Vlad The Impaler". From that old "Bram" birthed an immortal bit of fiction.

 

That said (and I think origins are important) I suspect the transformation of the vampire began with the antihero movement in American film (e.g., Dirty Harry or the Death Wish series, possibly Easy Rider) and not in books. Exactly when did vampires become romantic leads? Detectives? Comic protagonists? This is really hard to pin down but I think it's worth investigating. Anyone have any ideas?

 

And why was Vlad Tepis demoted from Prince to Count?

 

Wearing a neck brace for no good reason.

- Thoth.

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On Orren's earlier point, yes, the new vampires don't follow the "rules" at all. Otherwise, how could they attend high school? :lol:

 

And to rant just a wee bit, why would these vamp kids be so angsty? What have they got to whine about? Drinking blood? Really, what is so bad about being a modern "hipster" vampire? The classic vampires had limitations that made their existence quite difficult:

  • Sunlight killed you. That's a doozy.
  • Couldn't enter a building without being invited in by the living dweller. Hell, even THE LOST BOYS in the 80s got that one right!
  • Had to sleep on the dirt of the earth in which you were initially buried—makes travel difficult.
  • Couldn't digest real food, so much for going to dinner parties.
  • Garlic could keep you away, as could crosses.
  • No reflection—a dead giveaway that you're not normal if you're trying to blend in.
  • A stake through the heart and you're gone forever.

 

Anne Rice (interview with a vampire) already removed a couple of those, but I'll give her this—her Vampires still had reason to be angsty, there were major parts of life that they missed out on, and they were extremely vulnerable in others. I've even removed a couple for Heinrich (garlic and crosses, for example). But these new vampires are immortal and pale and ready for sexy parties. Really, being a vampire doesn't seem so bad anymore. It's hardly a "curse" at all.

 

Sigh...

 

Your book concept sounds really interesting. Good luck finding a buyer!

 

Thanks! I've already got the second book in the series completely outlined (thanks to Storyist's plot sheets!) and there's a third as well!

 

Orren

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The vampire as we know him

 

Who do you mean by "we?" I would suggest that the beginning of the English literature tradition of the vampire began with Lord Byron's doctor, John Polidori called The Vampyre in 1819 (initially attributed to Lord Byron): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vampyre From that entry:

 

The work is described by Christopher Frayling [a famous English literature scholar] as "the first story successfully to fuse the disparate elements of vampirism into a coherent literary genre."[1]...The story was an immediate popular success, partly because of the Byron attribution and partly because it exploited the gothic horror predilections of the public. Polidori transformed the vampire from a character in folklore into the form that is recognized today—an aristocratic fiend who preys among high society.[2]

 

If you just mean you, M, JG, and the lurkers on the forum, that's a different story. :lol:

 

And why was Vlad Tepis demoted from Prince to Count?

 

My guess? Because the office of Prince of England was still held in esteem in 1897, and Stoker didn't want his audience to compare his villain to that post. Counts, however, were not as widely respected, and a reader would not associate a count with the State of England. One could make an argument that as an Irishman, Stoker had an innate dislike of the English ruling class, and found the symbolism of a "rotting" nobility "sucking dry the blood of the people" particularly appealing.

 

Most modern vampire movies miss the political symbolism of the aristocratic vampire living off the poor, although amusingly in the 1970s Andy Warhol funded a very cheesy movie, filmed in Italy called "Andy Warhol's Dracula" that managed to riff on that. The hero always goes off on Count Dracula with long socialist speeches, and in his quarters his wall is decorated with a huge Soviet flag. The plot, however, is beyond silly—Dracula has to live off "virgin blood" so the hero takes it upon himself to make sure none of the vulnerable ladies are virgins.

 

For those keeping score, my favorite vampire movie is the black and white silent film "Nosferatu," my second the Warner Herzog remake with Klaus Kinski called "Nosferatu the Vampyre." For those interested, there were two versions of Nosferatu the Vampyre filmed: every scene was filmed first in German, then in English. The German version is better, as the German actors didn't need to concentrate on speaking the dialog in a foreign language as well as performing the scene itself. Christopher Lee made a great vampire, too. I've heard the recent "Let The Right One In" from Sweden is wonderful, but I've not seen it yet. And I've a soft spot in my heart for The Lost Boys, cheesy as it was. It at least had a bit of a moral to it, the idea of "Vampirism as Addiction" felt right, and even had a decent moral to it, under the camp.

 

Orren

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The vampire as we know him began on a boring train trip on the Orient Express where theatrical agent Abraham Stoker started collecting the local folklore (including a little ritual about staking the dead so they won't rise from their graves to seek the blood of the living to sustain them). The trip peaked at the former castle of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, who was called as a child, affectionately, "Little Dragon" or "Dracula", and, less affectionately, "Vlad The Impaler". From that old "Bram" birthed an immortal bit of fiction.

 

That said (and I think origins are important) I suspect the transformation of the vampire began with the antihero movement in American film (e.g., Dirty Harry or the Death Wish series, possibly Easy Rider) and not in books. Exactly when did vampires become romantic leads? Detectives? Comic protagonists? This is really hard to pin down but I think it's worth investigating. Anyone have any ideas?

 

And why was Vlad Tepis demoted from Prince to Count?

 

Wearing a neck brace for no good reason.

- Thoth.

I think the Christopher Lee (it was Christopher Lee, wasn't it?) Dracula films in the 1970s mark the beginning of the shift. They really highlighted the Freudian symbolism: the victims swooned in Lee's arms, and all that. Then Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat took that to another level. There's even a ballet version of Dracula choreographed by Ben Stevenson, then at Houston Ballet, that takes the "romantic"/S&M symbolism to the extreme. (The ballet's not very good, in my view, but for reasons unrelated to the symbolism.) And then there was the Gary Oldman Dracula, which did make the count out to be rather romantic, dedicated to his beloved across centuries (some of that comes from Rice, too).

 

Vlad Tsepes, by contrast, was one nasty customer. Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian got that right, although I have some issues with her book otherwise. (She's a travel writer, and the scene settings are stunning; the characters' motivations rather less so.)

 

As to Vlad's demotion, maybe Stoker just liked saying "The co-o-o-ount." "The prince" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. :lol:

 

Three vampire books, Orren? Impressive! And on the rant, I agree. The modern vampire is just a date with a mild social disease, hardly interesting at all. He can even control whom and when he bites!

M

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Yes, Orren is right. No counts in England. Countesses, but their husbands are earls. So the new title fits into the "vile, lustful foreigner" script that was more prevalent in Stoker's book (and, probably, The Vampyre) than in later versions.

 

Stoker's book is also, at least potentially, disguised anti-Semitism. Makes you wonder how many Twilight readers are aware of that aspect.

M

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Who do you mean by "we?" I would suggest that the beginning of the English literature tradition of the vampire began with Lord Byron's doctor, John Polidori called The Vampyre in 1819 (initially attributed to Lord Byron).

Yes, you're right. 1819 versus 1897, a big difference. Strangely enough, I've read The Vampyre - A Tale by John William Polidori but I never considered the date. (BTW: It's a very quick read. My volume is 84 pages in very large print.)

 

If you just mean you, M, JG, and the lurkers on the forum, that's a different story. :lol:

Now, now. I said you were right. No one is questioning your expertise on vampire literature.

 

As for your answer to "And why was Vlad Tepis demoted from Prince to Count?" I think you're right yet again. Very good answer.

 

Klaus Kinski's vampire movie, as I understand it, was originally supposed to be a version of Stoker's book but the Stoker heirs refused to grant him the movie rights so he came up with something very different.

 

I have the (dubbed) Swedish version of "Let The Right One In" on DVD (from Amazon). The relationship between the little boy (Oskar) and the little vampire "girl" (Eli) is both touching and frightening. I don't want to give anything away but I loved the ending. One difference between the book and the DVD is that the movie only hints at the fact that Eli is really a castrated boy and never uses that information for plot purposes. Also, the movie eliminated the sexual relationship between Håkan (Eli's "helper") and Eli. And believe it or not, they have made an American version called Let Me In for release in October 2010. Enjoy.

 

- Thoth

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Now, now. I said you were right. No one is questioning your expertise on vampire literature.

 

Sorry, I wasn't meaning to sound testy, just silly. :lol:

 

Klaus Kinski's vampire movie, as I understand it, was originally supposed to be a version of Stoker's book but the Stoker heirs refused to grant him the movie rights so he came up with something very different.

 

You're right, but for the wrong version of Nosferatu. The original silent film version in 1922 was supposed to be a version of Stoker's book, but his wife wouldn't relinquish the rights. So he changed the name of the characters and released the film as Nosferatu, but was still sued. The Stoker estate won, and all prints of Nosferatu were supposed to have been destroyed...thankfully, some survived.

 

Werner Herzog thought the original 1922 movie was one of the best films ever out of Germany, and wanted to remake it with Kinski. By this time (late 1970s) the copyright had gone into the public domain, so he could have made it free and clear about Stoker, but he kept it a remake of the classic German film.

 

And speaking of classic German films, this time sci-fi, they have restored and added lost footage to Metropolis! This will be spectacular! :lol:

 

I have the (dubbed) Swedish version of "Let The Right One In" on DVD (from Amazon). The relationship between the little boy (Oskar) and the little girl vampire (Eli) is both touching and frightening. I don't want to give anything away but I loved the ending. One difference between the book and the DVD is that the movie only hints at the fact that Eli is really a castrated boy and never uses that information for plot purposes. Also, the movie eliminated the sexual relationship between Håkan (Eli's "helper") and Eli. And believe it or not, they have made an American version called Let Me In for release in October 2010. Enjoy.

 

Looking forward to it!

 

Orren

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Sorry, I wasn't meaning to sound testy, just silly. :lol:

Okay. No worries.

 

I did a little research (hardly any really, I just went to a link related to the one you provided: Vampire Literature) and found (are you ready?) one of the first bits of fiction about vampires: a short German poem The Vampire by Heinrich August Ossenfelder, 1748! Imagine.

 

And speaking of classic German films, this time sci-fi, they have restored and added lost footage to Metropolis! This will be spectacular! :)

More lost footage from Metropolis? Didn't they say this when they re-released it in 2003 (Restored Authorized Edition), 2007 and 2008 (Enhanced Edition)? Is this the same lost footage or new lost footage? Because if it's new lost footage, I'm in :lol:

 

- Thoth

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More lost footage from Metropolis? Didn't they say this when they re-released it in 2003 (Restored Authorized Edition), 2007 and 2008 (Enhanced Edition)? Is this the same lost footage or new lost footage? Because if it's new lost footage, I'm in :lol:

 

This has not been released yet. It is set for DVD/Blu-Ray release in November 2010.

http://www.kino.com/metropolis/

 

I believe it includes the 2008 footage, recut and restored. I don't think the movie has ever been released this way before.

http://www.kino.com/metropolis/main.html

 

Looking forward to the blu-ray! :)

 

(to sort of get back to topic, this isn't something I'll be reading, obviously :lol: )

Orren

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Twenty-five minutes not seen since the Berlin premiere! That will be spectacular.

 

Looking forward to the blu-ray! :lol:

I'm sure someone will complain about seeing the hairs in Rotwang's robot Maria 's nose.

 

(to sort of get back to topic, this isn't something I'll be reading, obviously :lol: )

Why "obviously"? The Thea von Harbou (Fritz Lang's wife from 1922-1933) book is available on Amazon.

- T

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Quite the interesting info on Vampires! I hadn't known about a couple of those things (namely the dirt & the being invited).

 

Here's a topic related question... Has anyone ever discovered a book or an author through it being mentioned in another book you're reading? Now, I'm not talking about Sequels and series, here's an example... I actually discovered Keats and Rilke through reading The Time Traveler's Wife. There was a lot of name dropping in that book and I decided to check some of the names out. That might say something about my lack of literature education :lol:, but it made me wonder if anyone else has discovered a book or an Author that way.

 

Another question would be, what's you're favorite/most used way to find books or authors that you think you'll like? Do you go into a book store and grab a book and read a bit? Get recommendations?

 

Curiosity hasn't killed me yet...

- Jools

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Here's a topic related question... Has anyone ever discovered a book or an author through it being mentioned in another book you're reading? Now, I'm not talking about Sequels and series, here's an example... I actually discovered Keats and Rilke through reading The Time Traveler's Wife. There was a lot of name dropping in that book and I decided to check some of the names out. That might say something about my lack of literature education :lol:, but it made me wonder if anyone else has discovered a book or an Author that way.

 

Another question would be, what's you're favorite/most used way to find books or authors that you think you'll like? Do you go into a book store and grab a book and read a bit? Get recommendations?

Top half-dozen ways Thoth discovers books and authors.

#1. "Here, read this, it's great!" I.e., the gift of a book.

#2. "That new book by Ms. Juliebear is terrific. You must read it." I.e., word of mouth.

#3. "Best book ever written!" I.e., reading a good review by a reviewer I trust.

#4. "IMHO this author is tolerable." I.e., browsing online.

#5. "Nice binding. Good heft. Legible font. Written in complete sentences." I.e., browsing in a book store.

#6. "Better than the book you're reading now!" I.e., seeing an ad or good blurbs for the book, especially if it's in a book I'm currently reading.

 

Reading of the existence of one novel in another novel usually doesn't make me curious since I would automatically assume the referenced book was fictitious (e.g., The Hive Queen, mentioned in the Ender Series).

 

Curiosity hasn't killed me yet...

- Jools

If you're careful, Jools, it isn't so much curiosity that will kill you as armed folks trying to protect their privacy. (Silly armed folk. Don't they know who you are?)

- Thoth.

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Agreed on #1-6. I have also bought books (or sought them out in libraries) through two other channels.

#7 After hearing an interview with the author on National Public Radio, usually Weekend Edition, where this is a regular feature. That's how I discovered Robert Goolrick's A Reliable Wife, for example.

#8 In response to Amazon.com's recommendations. Although many of these are mindless to the point of hilarious, once in a while they get it right. Amazon.com has also reminded me of books I enjoyed once upon a time—most notably, The Scarlet Pimpernel. I ordered it for $5 to top off an order and get free shipping and the rest, as they say, is history (pun intended).

Best,

M

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Quite the interesting info on Vampires! I hadn't known about a couple of those things (namely the dirt & the being invited).

 

I just remembered another decent vampire movie I saw years ago: Near Dark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_Dark). Directed by none other than Katherine Bigalow, whom I believe might then have been married to James Cameron, and last year won best director for The Hurt Locker. It was a bit more "horror" than some of the other films, but it got the daylight right, and was arguably the only "supernatural western" to be really compelling.

 

Here's a topic related question... Has anyone ever discovered a book or an author through it being mentioned in another book you're reading?

 

Sure. I've discovered quite a few books from reading album liner notes and lyrics in records as well. That only works if you listen to music written by people who read, of course. :P

 

Another question would be, what's you're favorite/most used way to find books or authors that you think you'll like?

 

First of all, I should say that I probably read far less than everyone else here. It takes me many months to read a book, and I don't usually read multiple books at the same time (maybe a book and a graphic novel, but not two books demanding of concentration). I would also rather spend my time writing than reading. But as far as reading goes, I get recommendations mostly from my wife, for whom reading is her #1 leisure activity. Some from friends. Sometimes I'll buy books because of recommendations on blogs, or because I find blogs that I really like, and I'll then pick up a book written by the author to see how they write. Two examples of this are John Scalzi and Charles Stross.

 

Orren

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#7 After hearing an interview with the author on National Public Radio, usually Weekend Edition, where this is a regular feature. That's how I discovered Robert Goolrick's A Reliable Wife, for example.

Yes. Right. That's how I discovered Clan Of The Cave Bear - A TV interview.

 

#8 In response to Amazon.com's recommendations. Although many of these are mindless to the point of hilarious, once in a while they get it right. ...

Sometimes browsing book reviews online is more entertaining (and enlightening) than browsing the actual books they're reviewing. :P

- Thoth

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I just remembered another decent vampire movie I saw years ago: Near Dark...

My DVR caught it on cable (channel IFC), Thursday 3am. (It's set to record horror and sci-fi genre.) I haven't seen it yet but if you're recommending it I'll move it to the top of the list.

 

UPDATE 1: Just saw it. It's no "Let The Right One In". And Western means "Old West" not "in and around 1987 Oklahoma" yet the ads do call it a vampire western. But I learned how to stop a semi properly (first apply the trailer brake then the cab brake or it'll jackknife) and I always like Lance Henriksen, so I'll give it a "C+" maybe a "B-".

 

UPDATE 2: Just for the heck of it, you might want to see Shadow Of The Vampire. This movie asks the question, "Is the reason Max Schreck's performance in Nosferatu so good because he really was a vampire?" Schreck is played by Willem Dafoe and the director F.W. Murnau is played by John Malkovich.

 

...But as far as reading goes, I get recommendations mostly from my wife, for whom reading is her #1 leisure activity....

That should be on the list.

#9. Recommendation by a spouse.

 

-T

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UPDATE 1: Just saw it. It's no "Let The Right One In". And Western means "Old West" not "in and around 1987 Oklahoma" yet the ads do call it a vampire western. But I learned how to stop a semi properly (first apply the trailer brake then the cab brake or it'll jackknife) and I always like Lance Henriksen, so I'll give it a "C+" maybe a "B-".

 

FWIW, it is on Rotten Tomatoes list of 50 best horror movies (at 34, I believe). I agree, it's not a classic, but I think the acting (I agree, Lance is great, but I also really enjoyed Bill Paxton) takes it up a notch.

 

UPDATE 2: Just for the heck of it, you might want to see Shadow Of The Vampire. This movie asks the question, "Is the reason Max Schreck's performance in Nosferatu so good because he really was a vampire?" Schreck is played by Willem Dafoe and the director F.W. Murnau is played by John Malkovich.

 

I saw that in the theaters when it came out. I felt it was...interesting. I enjoyed the philosophical question of the movie, and I really liked the acting. But it also managed to achieve something that is hard for an 80 minute movie: it felt very s l o o o o w to me. Normally shorter movies either move quickly or end up feeling like the left too much out. This one, to me, felt like it would have made an incredibly exciting and tense 60 minute movie, but went on a bit too long.

 

Orren

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I saw [shadow Of The Vampire] in the theaters when it came out. I felt it was...interesting. I enjoyed the philosophical question of the movie, and I really liked the acting. But it also managed to achieve something that is hard for an 80 minute movie: it felt very s l o o o o w to me. Normally shorter movies either move quickly or end up feeling like the left too much out. This one, to me, felt like it would have made an incredibly exciting and tense 60 minute movie, but went on a bit too long.

Yep. I agree. Slow. There were just too many long loving shots of John Malkovich cranking his camera. That could have been cut out almost entirely.

I found Willem Dafoe wonderfully creepy.

- Thoth

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I read an interesting novella last night: A Memory of Wind, by Rachel Swirsky. It's short (hard to say how short, in an e-book, but I would guess 25-30 pages of print) and currently free at Amazon.com for the Kindle/iPad edition linked here.

 

It's the story of Iphigenia and her sacrifice by her father, Agamemnon, to appease Artemis so that the Greek ships can leave for Troy. What makes it interesting is that it focuses not on the sacrifice itself but on the process by which Iphigenia turns into the wind. Some of the scenes struck me as extraneous or not completely developed, but a lot of the writing is gorgeous, it's an example of how much you can get away with in fiction, and you can't beat the price. Or the time investment—I finished it in an hour.

 

Kindle/iPad owners, check it out. It'll give you something to do besides watch vampire flicks. :P

Best,

M

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Kindle/iPad owners, check [A Memory of Wind] out. It'll give you something to do besides watch vampire flicks. :P

Will do. And if you'd like a little free sci-fi by the same author consider Eros, Philia, Agape also available on Kindle/iPad. It's Rachel Swirsky's contemporary tale of love in all its forms and of one robot's quest to know it all. It's a finalist for the 2010 Hugo Award and the 2010 Locus Award.

- Thoth

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Here's the A Memory of Wind Tor.com link that has HTML, PDF, Mobi, & ePUB formats for download, and here's the same type link for the Eros, Philia, Agape as well. Tor.com looks pretty interesting actually.

 

I got both and I will add them to my library! Thanks for the recommendations!

- Jools

ps. Speaking of the itunes library. I find it VERY odd that they don't have a separate folder for your ebooks to go in like they do your apps... instead all the books are mixed in with your music.. Personally I'd have a folder for each separate thing.... podcasts, books, apps, movies, ringtones, etc. Maybe I'm too much of an organization freak! :P

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Thanks for the link, Jules. Now I know where to find the ePub versions!

 

The new iBooks is out, with note taking. :P

Happy days,

M

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Agreed on iTunes organization: very odd. It actually does have subfolders for everything but books, which is even stranger. I think there may be a way to fix it, but I have to look it up. More later.

 

EDIT: I did look this up. You can tell iTunes that a file it considered to be a video should be a podcast, or vice versa. You cannot (yet) tell it to break out the books and keep them in their own folder. I back up the ePub files to a separate location on my hard drive, so I can track them down if needed....

M

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Awesome. I have a question about it, but I'm going to post it in the tablet topic. Feel free to wander on over there if you feel like answering.

- Jools

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