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What’s Going on with Singapore’s Robot Libraries?

In a world where every independent bookstore is at risk of shutting down, it feels almost impossible to accept that Singapore has nearly doubled the quantity and quality of its libraries over the past two decades.

Singapore’s National Library Board has been collaborating with the country’s Urban Redevelopment and Land authorities to ensure an information-first future for libraries, according to an exclusive interview with GovInsider. This top-to-bottom initiative aims to make Singapore a global leader in information technology while vastly improving the quality of life of inhabitants ranging from toddlers to retirees.


Via GovInsider


In other words, these aren’t your mother’s dusty stacks in some university basement.

These new user-friendly libraries speak a language of QR codes and automation rather than the Dewey Decimal System, but physical books are very much still present. Visitors can just scan their phones for easy access to hard-to-find items while behind-the-scenes robots sort returned books and process late fees, according to Asia One.

While readers might initially step into the libraries for free WiFi and air conditioning, futuristic amenities like 3D printing stations, augmented-reality storytelling rooms, and expansive waterfront views — like those available at library@harbourfront, a newly relocated and popular library branch — convince them to stay a little.


Via GovInsider


More and more libraries are popping up in densely commercial areas, like Harbourfront, but this doesn’t mean crowded browsing, necessarily. Singapore’s new libraries are meant for high-capacity, and the cozy lounge rooms and separate areas for supervised children make for an inviting and tranquil oasis.

Disclaimer: The NLB was the source of massive public backlash, and support, in 2014 when it chose to remove three books containing homosexual characters from the children’s section. After notable poets and writers withdrew from two prestigious literary ceremonies and a 4,000-signature petition reached the NLB offices, the board decided to relocate the books, including And Tango Makes Three, to the adult section instead.



Featured Image Via NLB.gov.sg.


'Fantastic Beasts'

Forget Pokemon Go, Catch Niffler in the New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Virtual Reality Experience

This news is just too much for me due to the fact that I love Niffler more than any little magical creature. He is the cutest little troublemaker. Does that drop a hint for you? If not, then the title Fantastic Beasts may excite you, especially when you hear that it’s joining the world of Virtual Reality… TODAY!


'Fantastic Beasts'

 Image Via CinemaBlend

Fans went crazy when they first found out the magical book and movie series would be joining Google’s Daydream VR world. This huge reveal is for those who are ready to enter a world not only of sight and sound, but of mind… Okay so it’s not the Twilight Zone, but it does sound cool. Pottermore has the scoop on what to expect:


Once again, you’ll find yourself inside Newt’s magical suitcase, able to move from his packed, curiosity-filled shed to the various areas which house his beasts. As you move from zone to zone, you can come face-to-face with Graphorns, Bowtruckles, Occamys, Nifflers and a truly spectacular Thunderbird. You’ll also be able to perform spells – spells that will let you actually interact with the creatures, adding a whole new layer of realism.


Although this movie’s VR experience originally came out in 2016, it is now back and better than ever… and more beastly. You can use your wand and listen to Newt Scamander guide you through the wizarding world. Get the hang of dealing with these magical little critters.


You’ll need VR glasses and headphones to hear Scamander’s voice. However, if you’re still not convinced, here’s Eddie Redmayne’s experience:


That’s it… I’m getting me a Niffler.


Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr 
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them VR Experience is released on Daydream, Vive, Gear, and Oculus today!


Feature Image Via Playbuzz

Pride and Prejudice

Become a Jane Austen Character in This Role-Playing Game!

If you ever find yourself longing for the good old days (namely, those of Regency-era England), then I have a delightful surprise for you that will make you happier than Elinor Dashwood at the end of Sense and Sensibility.


Elinor happy

Via Giphy


No, time travel still hasn’t been invented (we should probably stop holding our breath), but the next best thing has actually been lurking on the internet for over a year. Ever, Jane is the online virtual reality game you never knew you needed, in which players get to create their own avatars using some of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters as inspiration. 


Unlike many other massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) out there, there’s no sword slinging or face slapping in Ever, Jane. Creator Judy Tyrer wants the experience to be as historically accurate as possible, which means no bloody battles à la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Despite this, Tyrer insists there’s conflict aplenty, but the battles are done with words and wit instead of swords and muskets. 


Charles Bingley

Via Giphy


On its website, Three Turns Productions states that it is committed to creating “historically accurate worlds based on classic literature,” and that the ultimate goal of Ever, Jane is to allow gamers “to experience, as much as possible in the modern age, the economic, legal, and social systems of the historic period.” If this sounds like the most exciting innovation since the Spencer Jacket, you might want to consider signing up.


On the surface, Regency England is known for its rigid portrait of etiquette and manners. But just as the reality of this era had its seedier and sexier side, so too does Ever, Jane. While the name of the game is still very much in line with Jane Austen’s squeaky-clean sense of social propriety, Tyrer doesn’t deny that some players still need an outlet for their naughtier fantasies. To satisfy this particular demand, the innovators at Three Turns Productions added private chat rooms where players can indulge in the kind of behaviors that would make Lady Catherine de Bourgh do this:


Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Via Tumblr


So if you’ve been itching to attend a ball, gossip about the neighbors, or simply flaunt your newest muslin gown about town, this might be the closest you’re ever going to get to living out that fantasy. Just remember to be discreet about your more amorous desires. You can only afford so much damage to your reputation, after all. 


Becoming Jane

Via Giphy


Feature image via Focus Features