Links: Best-seller list bogosity, unions and schools, book design, DNA tests, and more

* Manipulating best-seller lists, which is well known to people in the industry but little known outside it. This especially is interesting: “To end up in the top ten on Amazon, all it takes is about 300 printed copies sold in one day,” because it’s well within my own not-substantial financial reach.

* “What Do Unions Know About Running Schools?” Hilariously, not much it would appear; the New York City Teachers Union opened a charter school in 2005, but it’s now closing: “What’s striking is that the school was managed poorly even after the union staked its reputation on the project. This suggests that the union either did not take the charter project seriously – or that it knows less about running schools than it thinks.”

* We’ve entered a golden era of book design; I myself am shocked at how well Damonza’s cover design for Asking Anna works.

* “To Have and To Hold: The challenges of digital publishing have galvanised a new spirit in book design and production. Is it just the decadent flourish of a disappearing format?” I’ve long said that publishers need to differentiate paper books from ebooks by making the former into the art objects they really ought to be.

* Terence Tao: the Mozart of maths.

* Someone found this blog by searching for “poems about the consequences of sexting.” I’m… puzzled.

* “Radical Vaccine Design Effective Against Herpes Viruses,” which is hugely important in many ways, but the development of this vaccine should retard AIDS transmission.

* “Who’s the daddy? Paternity can now be verified by a simple test” is interesting mostly for its subtext: that men are suckers and don’t matter. Farrell may be more right than many want to admit in The Myth of Male Power.

* Grantland (and hence SFW): What happens when teenagers and young adults, the main consumers of porn, won’t pay for it? Or: “A trip to the Adult Video News Awards.”

* “US students are fleeing law schools and pouring into engineering,” or, economics works!

* “Why great novels don’t get noticed now: ‘Dear Thief’ was one of the best novels published last year. So why haven’t you heard of it? Gaby Wood meets its author, Samantha Harvey.” I ordered a copy.

* “Dancing On Our Own: Why White America Ditched Couple Dancing.”

* Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, 10 years later.

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