Blog

Read what we think about the latest innovations, research, and trends in the publishing industry. Be sure to check out local fun facts, too!

When Is the Movie Better Than the Book?

By Melina Leon

I think one of the surest ways to find yourself in a disagreement with someone is by telling them a film adaptation is better than the original book. Of course, it is all a matter of personal opinion, but what films make that unpopular opinion true? Here are some films I feel succeeded the books. Girl, Interrupted: The book lacked… Read More

dOGUMENTA: an Art Exhibit for Dogs!

By Bridget Marturano

This past August, an art exhibit took place in New York City. This doesn’t seem too unusual, considering that NYC is a great place for art. What made this exhibit so special was that it wasn’t for humans—it was for dogs. This unique idea formed when art critic and dog owner Jessica Dawson took her dog, Rocky, for walks through… Read More

PSG Picks: Our Favorite Mystery & Crime Books!

By Christine Chen

Halloween is over, and with it, the sense of mystery and spookiness, but that doesn’t mean we can’t submerge ourselves in a good mystery or crime book! Here are what some of us at PSG have to say about our favorite books and authors when we’re seeking suspense. • Nora loves reading mystery novels from classic authors Agatha Christie and… Read More

Glossophobia: Better Not Eat Before a Speech

By Melina Leon

Just kidding . . . it’s probably not best to make a speech on an empty stomach. But don’t worry, if you’re one of many people with glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, there are some tips and tricks to calm the feeling of nervousness—and, in some cases, nausea—before publicly speaking. This Harper’s Bazaar article gives some great advice to… Read More

Meeting One of My Heroes: An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss

By Bridget Marturano

A few weeks ago, I got to meet my favorite author—Patrick Rothfuss. He was doing a book tour to celebrate the release of the tenth anniversary edition of his fantasy novel The Name of the Wind, and made a stop at Brookline Booksmith to do a Q&A session in the store’s basement and a signing upstairs afterwards. I wasn’t able… Read More

Pok-A-Tok: A Mayan Ball Game

By Christine Chen

In my recently found passion for pre-Colombian cultures, I went to visit Chichén Itzá, a world famous site of Mayan ruins in Yucatán, Mexico. The site hosts one of the largest surviving stone courts where the Maya once competed in a ball game sport called Pok-A-Tok, derived from the Yucatec Mayan word pokolpok. The court at Chichén Itzá measures 551… Read More

The Text With No Meaning: Lorem Ipsum

By Melina Leon

Imagine randomly hitting the keys on your computer, creating nonsense words as you type. I like to imagine that is how Lorem Ipsum—the filler text that often comes standard with many digital publishing programs—started. However, it actually started with a printer from the 1500s who scrambled up one of Cicero’s works, which may be why it’s often mistaken for Latin.… Read More

PSG Reads: Our Favorite Nonfiction

By Bridget Marturano

Fall is a great time to curl up with a good book, and it’s no surprise that we love to read at PSG! This week we asked our staff about nonfiction. Here are some of our favorite titles: Nora loves In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. The first nonfiction book that she read and loved, Nora says that the story… Read More

In Sync: How Our Brain Waves Affect Each Other

By Christine Chen

Most of us have, at some point, felt in sync with a friend or a family member because of a shared experience or shared perspectives. Not only can this “feeling” be measured in oscillation patterns of electrical signals—brain waves— that occur when brain cells communicate with each other, but brain-scanning studies revealed that human brain wave patterns do synchronize in… Read More

Tired of TV? Try Binge-Reading Your Favorite Author

By Melina Leon

Binge-watching TV shows has become a popular hobby and it had me wondering if the same could be done with books. Not just reading one book after another, but reading books written by the same author. I have been reading a lot of work by Stephen King recently. This is partly due to taking a course about him for school,… Read More

For the Love of Fall

By Nora Chan

Many are disappointed that summer has come to an end. There are no more beach trips or sandals, no more s’mores by the campfire, and school begins once again. But for me, the end of the summer marks the beginning of my favorite season of the year, and it’s not just because of all the pumpkin spice flavors. Where there… Read More

Sing-Song and Ping-Pong: Ablaut Reduplication

By Bridget Marturano

Did you know that English is full of little unspoken rules? One of these strange rules happens in ablaut reduplication, which is the repetition of a word with a change in one of its vowels. Terms like criss-cross, Kit-Kat and sing-song are examples of this linguistic phenomenon. But have you ever noticed that there’s a pattern to these phrases? Try… Read More

From Candy to Chemistry: Working in a Factory Turned Laboratory

By Christine Chen

Before joining PSG as an editorial intern, I worked as a chemist in Cambridge, MA, in a six-story structure that once belonged to the New England Confectionary Company—famous for their colorful wafers and conversation hearts, and more commonly known as Necco. Back in 1928, the Necco candy factory embodied the “promising future of American architecture,” but in 2001, with manufacturing… Read More

New Season Means New Seasons: PSG’s Favorite Fall Shows

By Melina Leon

Fall has arrived and there are new television shows starting up this season that some PSG staff members are very excited for, while others are returning with new seasons that are garnering just as much enthusiasm. During this time of the year I always get ready for a new season of “American Horror Story,” but am also looking forward to… Read More

Slaying Dragons on the Weekends: Why Dungeons & Dragons is More Than Just a Game

By Bridget Marturano

I’ve always been a fairly geeky person, so when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons (also known as D&D) it was no surprise that I immediately fell in love with it. For those who don’t know, D&D is a tabletop roleplaying game that uses polyhedral dice to determine the outcome of in-game events in a fantasy world controlled by the… Read More

Zip Into Boston!

By Katy Rosen

At the start of this summer, my first time alone in Boston, I felt some mild trepidation about having to ride the subway system fondly known as “the T.” Coming from rural Vermont, it was a completely foreign concept to me. But now Boston offers an even more eye-opening way of getting around. “The Z,” a newly opened zip line… Read More

Must-See Mini Monuments

By Rachel Matthews

Some landmarks are designed to stand out: DC’s Washington Monument, London’s Big Ben, Russia’s the Motherland Calls (a sword-wielding stone woman who reaches nearly 300 feet!). But other marvels are easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them. In contrast to its towering warrior, Russia houses the smallest public monument in the world. The tiny frog statue, named the… Read More

Fiction’s One-Hit Wonders

By Karla Accorto

While authors like Agatha Christie and Stephen King have published dozens of novels, others are known for their publication of a single novel. Emily Brontë, for example, only published Wuthering Heights, and it wasn’t well received until after her death. Critics either judged it very harshly or were unsure how to react to her dramatic romance. Whether Brontë ever intended… Read More

MASS MoCA: The Mill-Turned-Museum to Visit in MA

By Sarah Terrazano

Tucked away in a Berkshire valley, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is one of the most innovative museums in New England—and one of the most fascinating art museums I’ve ever visited. MASS MoCA was converted from a nineteenth-century mill into a contemporary art behemoth, making the building an attraction in itself. Consisting of 26 buildings, the sprawling… Read More

Waltz This Way: How Dancing Can Slow the Aging of the Brain

By Katy Rosen

I did not like the dancing portion of high school theater; every dance was a painful experience for me and anyone nearby. To this day, I cannot confidently do the Charleston, but luckily all that time spent on the dance floor wasn’t wasted. It turns out even poor attempts at dancing can help your brain! A team led by a… Read More

An Intern’s Industry Insight: The Other Meaning of “Signature”

By Rachel Matthews

Picture this: you’re nearing the conclusion of a thrilling book, and you can feel three pages left in your fingers. But the ending comes more abruptly than you thought—the last two pages are blank! I used to wonder how those extra pages ended up in my books. But PSG staff members Alyssa and Don clued me in on an alternative… Read More

Austen Fancies “Fancying” and Nabokov Loves “Mauve”: Patterns in Popular Literature

By Katy Rosen

Synesthesia is generally described as a neurological crossover of the senses. Essentially, the stimulation of one sense causes the experience of another. In his autobiography, author Vladimir Nabokov wrote that his synesthesia caused his brain to conjure colors when he heard different letters and sounds. In Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve, data journalist Ben Blatt seeks to learn more about… Read More

A Tale of Two Readings

By Karla Accorto

If you ever had to read A Tale of Two Cities at a young age, you probably felt like I did—a little overwhelmed and not exactly in love. I never thought I would willingly pick it up again. As a senior English major, however, I felt I had to give the popular classic one more shot, and I was pleasantly… Read More

Qwerty Waltz: The Boston Typewriter Orchestra

By Katy Rosen

I love the sound that typewriters make almost as much as I love satire. These are two elements rarely brought together, so when I started researching the Boston Typewriter Orchestra (BTO), I got unreasonably excited. Self-described as a group that combines “elements of performance, comedy and satire,” the BTO, a group of five typists, uses typewriter keys to create music.… Read More

PSG is Sweet: Our Staff’s Favorite Desserts

By Rachel Matthews

After a busy day at the office, it can be nice to unwind with something sweet. At PSG, we all have different ways of treating ourselves. Here are some of the staff’s favorite desserts. • Katy enjoys lemon squares and homemade banana “ice cream” (which is actually just blended, frozen bananas!). • Matthew is more into appetizers and entrees, but… Read More

Dogs “Speak” in Comic Sans

By Karla Accorto

Ever since I was a child, I have loved the Comic Sans font because of how much it resembled my own handwriting, even as my handwriting developed into a more adult-like form. But how did this childlike, whimsical font come into play? Initially, Comic Sans was created for a digital dog named Rover. While testing a beta version of a… Read More

Tracing History: A Literary Tour of Ireland’s Great Writers

By Sarah Terrazano

My mom and I are most similar in our Irish heritage and love of reading. We recently traveled to Ireland together and soaked up not just the cloudy countryside, but also Ireland’s rich literary history, by creating our own literary Dublin walking tour. We began with the Dublin Writers Museum. In an unassuming yet charming eighteenth-century brick house in northern… Read More

Read Like PSG: Our Reading Habits

By Katy Rosen

When I delve into a book, I like to read every chapter name before I start in. I always like to have some idea of what I’m getting into. This is a practice I sort of fell into, though I never realized the other PSG staff members might also have curious reading habits they’ve fallen into! •Alyssa’s main habit, which… Read More

See the World Without Leaving Times Square

By Rachel Matthews

There’s something oddly comforting about seeing everyday objects scaled down to miniature size. It reminds me of the days of dollhouses and army men, when I controlled my own tiny worlds. I can only imagine the thrill of seeing Gulliver’s Gate: a tiny world of epic proportions. Since May 9, 2017, visitors to Times Square could pay to enter the… Read More

An English Major’s Dream Come True: Visiting Shakespeare’s Globe

By Karla Accorto

While I have been in love with London for as long as I can remember, William Shakespeare did not capture my heart until ninth grade, when I first read Romeo and Juliet. Since then, my love for the Bard has only continued to grow. Then, this past March, I had the opportunity to visit the Globe Theatre—an English major’s dream!… Read More

Mark Your Calendars! Total Solar Eclipse to Sweep Across the Country This Month

By Sarah Terrazano

Binoculars? Check. Protective solar glasses? Check. A clear view of the sky? Check! You’re ready to watch the total solar eclipse sweeping the nation this month. August 21, 2017, marks the first total solar eclipse to cover the entire country in 99 years. Tracing a path from Oregon to South Carolina, the eclipse will only be visible in the United… Read More

Lighting Up the City That Never Sleeps

By Karla Accorto

Just across the Hudson, the Empire State Building shines as the star of the Manhattan skyline. Often lit with a classic white light, the Empire State Building is even more breathtaking at night. Every so often, however, the building can be seen sporting a wide variety of colors and images. This past April, for example, Harper’s Bazaar used an LED… Read More

Upping the Stacks: NYPL’s Long-awaited Midtown Renovation

By Sarah Terrazano

I have a tradition of visiting the public library in every new city I visit. Call me a bibliophile, but a library says a lot about its city. I’ve been to the New York Public Library (NYPL) Midtown branch numerous times, but the next time I’m in New York, I’ll have a “new” library to visit—the Midtown branch’s Mid-Manhattan Library… Read More

My Shakespear-ience: Not-Your-Average Shakespeare Course

By Katy Rosen

At seven o’clock on a rainy November night, I headed back to class to start a five-hour screening of King Lear, where my professor met me and my classmates with a bag of secret-recipe homemade popcorn. As an English major at Smith College, I was required to take an intensive course. I got the very last spot in a class… Read More

Boston Students See a Whole New World

By Rachel Matthews

Once, in grade school, I was given a blank map of the world and asked to label every country (in pen—yikes). I may have gotten a lot wrong on that test, but it turns out the map I was working with may not have been accurate to begin with! I was probably being tested on the Mercator projection, one of… Read More

PSG Reads: The Staff’s Favorite Places to Read

By Sarah Terrazano

We’re a staff of passionate readers at PSG, and when not working with words in the office, we make time to read for fun in some of our favorite places. •Kate’s favorite place to read is reclining on her porch on a warm weekend morning, but she also does a lot of reading as a commuter, where she can be… Read More

Spotlight on the Stage: the 2017 Tony Awards

By Rachel Matthews

My first theater experience was in fifth grade, when I joined a community production of Guys and Dolls. I had a tiny role, but it gave me a lifelong love of the stage. I’m always looking for new Broadway obsessions, so naturally I never miss the Tony Awards. The Tonys are up there with the Emmys and Oscars in terms… Read More

PSG Staff Screams for Ice Cream!

By Karla Accorto

For the past seven summers, I have been scooping homemade ice cream at a local shop in New Hampshire. In honor of July being National Ice Cream Month, and as the resident ice cream expert on site, I decided to investigate which frozen treats the PSG staff holds nearest and dearest to their hearts. •Ken, a native of Ohio, admitted… Read More

Fond of Fonts? Try #FontSunday, the Typeface Treasure Hunt!

By Sarah Terrazano

As a college student, I’ve been programmed to type in Times New Roman—the font most often required for school assignments. But as the Font Sunday movement shows, I’ve been missing out on a whole wide world of fonts. Font Sunday is a weekly font-spotting Twitter project spearheaded by the Design Museum in London. Every Saturday, the Design Museum tweets out… Read More

Storm Chasing in the Arctic: History’s Largest Polar Expedition

By Samantha Perry

When I think of the North Pole, I think of the harshest winter weather times 10, a wasteland of snow and ice, the glare on the snow so bad I probably wouldn’t even be able to open my eyes. It’s a no-man’s-land. But not for long. The North Pole might be one of the most important places to study weather… Read More

A Boston July Fourth Tradition: The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

By Eileen Neary

As a kid, one of my family’s traditions was watching the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on TV on the Fourth of July. Boston’s greatest orchestra plus other musical guests plus an amazing fireworks display is always the perfect way to end a New England Independence Day. Inspired by the orchestra’s compelling performances, I began learning to play the violin when… Read More

PSG Staff’s Must-Have Music

By Marianna Sorensen

Here at PSG, it’s clear that our musical tastes cover a range of styles and sounds. I have a soft spot for Irish music—both traditional and contemporary—with a fondness for all songs involving Heidi Talbot. But I wanted to see what others thought, so I asked around to see what everyone’s favorites were—and some of my coworkers surprised me! •Ken… Read More

Ancient Smartwatches: The Statement Piece of a Roman Sundial

By Samantha Perry

In high school, we had three foreign languages to choose from: Spanish, French and Latin. I decided to take Latin, hoping it might take me on a school trip to Italy as a senior. Although I didn’t make it to Italy in high school, I did study Latin throughout and learned quite a bit about ancient Roman culture.  One thing… Read More

Around the World in 95 Minutes: What it Takes to Be a Celestial Telescope

By Marianna Sorensen

Imagine if it were your job to literally go around the world every 95 minutes. Wouldn’t you want to retire after 27 years? Well the Hubble Space Telescope, the “world’s first large, space-based optical telescope,” has reached that point. NASA is beginning its final tests on its replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST, costing nine billion dollars, is… Read More

Kudos to Ken—PSG’s Ken Scherpelz Retires

By Ken Scherpelz

Please join us in extending the very best wishes to our VP of Sales and Business Development, Ken Scherpelz, as he retires from Publishing Solutions Group after 11 years of dedicated service. Ken has a long and storied career in educational publishing. After receiving his BA in elementary education and English from Augustana College, Ken entered the workforce as an… Read More

A Giraffe, a Scientist and a Reporter Walk into a Podcast

By Samantha Perry

Even when I was young, I remember struggling to find the perfect radio station to listen to in the car. My favorite channel featured a two-hour-long show called The Playground that played requested children’s music with limited interruption. The two-hour window meant I couldn’t tune in too often, so I can only imagine the never-ending stream of Harry Potter–inspired songs… Read More

Super Balloons Bring Space Tourists a View from the Top

By Sarah Rush

When I was a child, I remember once accidentally letting go of a pink balloon. I was distraught that I’d lost it, but my mom told me not to worry, because the balloon would float up all the way into space! I’ve since learned this isn’t true (the air eventually escapes the balloon and it pops), but fairly soon we… Read More

A Passion for Proper Punctuation

By Annette Cinelli Trossello

Here at Publishing Solutions Group, we are passionate about punctuation. We take joy in seeing em dashes used properly in subway signs and cringe when holiday cards incorrectly include our beloved serial comma before an ampersand. So it should be no surprise that a New Yorker article about the roots of popular punctuation marks as well as more archaic ones… Read More

2017’s Marvelous Museums: Writers, Revolutions, and Revamped Art

By Marianna Sorensen

Who hasn’t been back to the same museums innumerable times? Museums are great sources of information, with not only incredible research behind everything they share, but also interactive and engaging methods of informing visitors. You can learn everything you want to know in a totally different way than reading about it. 2017 is going to welcome several new museums across… Read More

Fahrenheit 250: The Temperature for Reprintable Paper

By Samantha Perry

Since I was in middle school, the possibility of a paperless society has seemed to be right around the corner. But every year I found myself with a backpack full of books and a desk cluttered with notebooks and paper. I was even given a printing allowance in college to ensure I did not print more paper than was necessary… Read More

Wading Through Walden: Live Like Thoreau

By Sarah Rush

I grew up in a small New Hampshire town and whenever I needed a moment to myself or a breath of cool, fresh air, all I had to do was walk into my backyard to enter the woods. I welcomed the escape from civilization, the solitude, the quiet, the diverse array of forest life. But for many people—including me, now… Read More

The Business Behind Beatrix’s Bunnies

By Marianna Sorensen

When I think of the books of my childhood I hear the warm words and picture the creative illustrations. But I have never considered the business ventures behind those pages and images. Beatrix Potter, author of the Peter Rabbit books, was a pioneer for lone authors leading their own businesses. Potter used her books and her ideas to build a… Read More

Maps as Art: Collages, Clothing and Culture

By Samantha Perry

A lot of my early memories seem to take place in the car with me sitting in the backseat with my siblings. We always had a stack of maps with us in the car, usually tucked into the pockets behind the seats or on the floor beneath our feet. During family trips, I loved looking through the maps and tracing… Read More

Micro-Literature: Short Tales Going a Long Distance

By Sarah Rush

Have you ever texted or tweeted a story to a friend? If you have, you’re officially an author—you’ve written micro-literature, or micro-lit for short. What exactly is micro-lit? It’s literature designed to be consumed quickly, often thanks to technology. In the mid-2000s, videophones and the first smartphones hit the streets, and people wanted to read and write on their phones.… Read More

Museum Makes Way for Ducklings!

By Marianna Sorensen

Children who’ve grown up in Boston have likely seen the bronze sculptures of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack. The children’s book that inspired the models, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, is fondly remembered by many Bostonians. Honoring the book’s 75th anniversary, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) currently has… Read More

Motion Paintings: New Movie Brings Van Gogh’s Masterpieces to Life

By Tess Renault

A few summers ago, I found myself exploring the streets of Kraków with some classmates. We had just arrived in Poland after a train experience we were eager to forget and had one thing on our minds: pierogi. We eventually stopped at Pierożki u Vincenta, a hole-in-the-wall café near our hotel. The pierogi didn’t disappoint, but the atmosphere is what… Read More

Sci-Fi Skyscrapers: The Architecture Competition Creating New Worlds

By Samantha Perry

Taking inspiration from some of my favorite stories and sci-fi movies, I often drew maps and made up my own worlds when I was a kid. I remember sitting hunched over a large piece of paper drawing a squiggly coastline of my dream island, that may or may not have contained a river of lava somewhere in the middle. If… Read More

Life Finds a Way: Crystal Caves May Contain 50,000-Year-Old Microorganisms

By Sarah Rush

Have you heard of microscopic animals called water bears? When I learned about these little guys a few years ago, my idea of what life is capable of was turned upside down and inside out. Also called tardigrades, water bears can survive extreme temperatures, pressure, radiation and even the vacuum of space! I’m fascinated by extremophiles—microorganisms that can withstand unimaginably… Read More

A New Way of Looking at Neurons

By Marianna Sorensen

Our brains are mysterious. No matter how long we ponder them, many of our questions remain unanswered. And the parts that are better understood by scientists remain hard to comprehend for many. A neuroscientist-turned-designer, however, has found a way to present neuroscience that’s giving us a new way of thinking. Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, discouraged by how little people understood the science… Read More

An Affinity for Infinity: Artist Kusama’s Polka-Dot Masterpieces

By Samantha Perry

When I look up into the sky at night, when the stars are bright and the sky is a deep, dark blue, I wonder what it would feel like to float around in space. Luckily, I might get a chance to experience something pretty close thanks to artist Yayoi Kusama’s traveling exhibition. Kusama, one of Japan’s most successful modern artists,… Read More

A-maize-ing Corn Mazes to Get Lost In

By Sarah Rush

Remember creating scale drawings in school? I do—I once designed an underwater scene, complete with fish and seaweed and bubbles. It was tedious to work the details into the tiny graph paper, but so rewarding to see the final picture! Imagine if that final picture wasn’t just on a page, but in a giant field, and the pencil lines were… Read More

The Giggle Factor: Animals Laugh Too!

By Marianna Sorensen

You know those times when you just can’t stop laughing? You try to keep it down, but you can’t help it and that juice you were drinking comes out your nose? Or you keep laughing so long your abdominal muscles hurt? And what about times when those giggles come from being tickled? Laughter may seem like a trait unique to… Read More

One More Step For Mankind: Breaking the Language Barrier

By Samantha Perry

In our previous blog about language barriers, former intern Nora Chan went into detail about Google’s translation app, which features a voice-to-text translation option. Nora highlighted the app’s contribution to travel with its ability to translate the sound of your mother tongue into a written translation of another language. Although trying to communicate in a foreign country can be part… Read More

Starshot’s Guide to the Galaxy

By Sarah Rush

Remember those glow-in-the-dark stars, moons and planets you could stick onto your bedroom ceiling? I do—I used to fall asleep below them, dreaming of outer space and galaxies filled with strange planets and even stranger life-forms. I’ve always been fascinated by astronomy, and movies like The Fifth Element and the Star Wars series left me thirsting to see deep space… Read More

From Bag to Box: The Launching of Lunch Boxes

By Marianna Sorensen

When I was in elementary school, my plastic, insulated lunch box was absolutely necessary. If I wanted my yogurt kept fresh, what would I do if it weren’t insulated? What would keep my crackers from being crushed? Lunch boxes are fancy nowadays, though they weren’t always. Over time, the lunch box has evolved as different versions went in and out… Read More

Dinos Soar Back to Life: Exhibits that Go Beyond Fossils

By Samantha Perry

The first time I watched Jurassic Park, there was no question in my mind that the dinosaurs were real and that one of the actresses had truly been covered in snot by a sick brontosaurus on set. I was only about five or six at the time, sitting beside my dad on the couch with wide eyes and a strange… Read More

Optical Inclusion: Warhol Museum Gives More Than Visuals

By Sarah Rush

Imagine if every time you visited a museum, it was difficult or impossible to see the artwork in all its splendor. Imagine what it’s like for those who are blind or visually impaired. How can they have the opportunity to experience art? The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is giving all visitors a chance to experience art in an innovative… Read More

Tales of Talent: The Secret Skills of the PSG Staff

By Marianna Sorensen

Among the staff at PSG there are all sorts of talents. There is, of course, great skill in our many publishing services, but everyone’s skills here go beyond those. We have everyone from athletes to musicians and performers. I’m proud of my gymnastics history. I competed on the uneven bars and I loved those dismounts off the bar even if… Read More

A Redwood Grows in Brooklyn

By Samantha Perry

Across from the library in the playground where I once played is the first tree I ever successfully climbed. The bark at the base of the tree is stripped and smooth from countless amounts of children who have attempted to clamber up into the branches. I was only able to make it up a few branches, but I still felt… Read More

PSG Reads: What We’re Reading Now

By Sarah Rush

As a child, I was the classic bookworm—there was rarely a time when I was seen without a novel held lovingly in my arms. I fit in well at PSG it seems: My coworkers are proud to call themselves bookworms, too. Let’s peek into the bookshelves of the PSG staff and see what everybody is reading! Historical fiction is trendy… Read More

Ants and Agriculture: Did the First Farmers Have Feelers?

By Marianna Sorensen

When I see ants running around my yard, I’m usually not impressed. Those little guys seem so vulnerable and can get trampled on so easily. Then again, that was before I knew that several ant species began farming long before humans ever did. Small, black ants, called Philidris nagasau have their own form of farming and have been doing it… Read More

Our First Jobs: Movies, Snacks and Get-Well-Soon Cards

By Samantha Perry

During the interview for my first job at a coffee shop, I was asked what my greatest achievement was. Being only 15 at the time, I was hard-pressed for an answer and honestly can’t even remember what I sputtered out. Luckily, my response was good enough and I was hired, spending the next several months learning different coffee combinations and… Read More

World’s Smallest Penguin Wins Big

By Sarah Rush

You’re driving to work in the morning, hustling to arrive on time, and suddenly the car in front of you slams the breaks. Annoyed, you poke your head out of the window to see what the problem is and—to your surprise—you spot the tiny, paddling feet of a mother duck and her chicks waddling across the road in a tight… Read More

Portraits Come Alive: A New Portrayal of the Past

By Marianna Sorensen

In the eighth grade, I researched Sam Houston for one of my classes. As a final part of the project, we spent a class period acting out the person we researched. I had never considered anyone I studied that deeply until I was assigned that project.  The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery has a program it has run for the past… Read More

Literary Firsts: The Joys of Reading to My Children

By Annette Cinelli Trossello

One of the most exciting things about being a parent is witnessing your child’s firsts. There are the funny firsts (his disgusted face with that first taste of oatmeal), the exciting firsts (watching him take those first wobbly steps) and the momentous firsts that make you well up with tears of joy (when he first sleeps through the night). But… Read More

Ancient Cambodian City Revealed by Lasers

By Sarah Rush

As a child, my favorite activity at the beach was digging through the sand for lost objects. Old coins, keys, painted shells and tarnished rings lined the pockets of my beach shorts after a day by the sea. But what if there were an easier way to look at buried treasure, a way without having to get my palms dirty… Read More

Turning Over a New Page: How Barbershops Are Helping Kids Read

By Marianna Sorensen

We’ve all been bored when we were little as we sat in that chair getting our hair cut. All we could do was worry about what we might look like when it was done. Barbers across the country have found a way to resolve this boredom and also have a positive effect on literacy—having children read aloud while getting their… Read More

Frog Legs and Fish-Filled Footwear: Salvador Dalí’s Cookbook

By Samantha Perry

Picture a perfect dinner party. All the best guests have been invited. The table is set, equipped with elaborate silverware, thick crystal tumblers and plates topped with napkins folded into elegant shapes. Guests recline in velvet chairs as they admire the spread. A platter of red crayfish sits in the center, arranged in a dome and sprinkled with dill, and… Read More

STEM in the Sky

By Eileen Neary

When I was a kid, I went to this awesome weeklong science camp. We looked through kiddie telescopes, made weird substances out of flour and baking soda, and practiced our STEM skills before the acronym “STEM” was even coined. So when I heard about NASA’s STEM in the Sky Astronomy Series where kids can look through telescopes and see outer… Read More

Blindsight and the Power of the Unconscious

By Sarah Dolan

A patient left blind by two strokes—referred to in studies as “TN”—stands at the end of a hallway. Littered before him are a series of obstacles: a trash can, a paper shredder, a tripod and more. Without using a cane, he walks down the hallway, moving to avoid all the obstacles on his first attempt. When told that he succeeded,… Read More

BEAM Me Up, NASA

By Amanda Gutierrez

In the 2015 movie The Martian, NASA astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and must spend months living in “the Hab,” which is essentially a large temperature- and atmosphere-controlled bubble made from a specialized canvas-like material. While this is—quite literally—something straight out of a sci-fi novel (Andy Weir’s eponymous 2011 novel), scientists at NASA have partnered up with Bigelow… Read More

All Pride, No Prejudice at the Jane Austen Convention

By Abbrianna MacGregor

Literary aficionados know the deal. You may tear your eyes away from the page, but you never fully exit a beloved fictional universe’s comforting grip. Caught up in a yearning to live an alternate reality, you wish you had a confidant to talk giddily with about this pressing matter. Well, the opportunity to indulge one’s devotion with those equally passionate… Read More

Studies See Smells by the Science Shore

By Sarah Dolan

Cookies in the oven, freshly cut grass, the ocean breeze. What’s your favorite scent? Personally, I’m a huge fan of those in candle form. My top three at the moment have to be sandalwood, verbena and lemongrass, and lavender. With candles, larger ones emit stronger scents that can fill a room in minutes. But how does the scent move in… Read More

Google It: App Makes Art Accessible

By Amanda Gutierrez

In high school, my class took a field trip to the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The opportunity let me experience the amazing collection of art nestled in southern California. Not everyone can get to the Getty—or to other museums throughout the world—but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the chance to see the amazing collections that are out there.… Read More

Literary Genius: A Brief History of the Nobel Prize

By Abbrianna MacGregor

I have always been labeled a bookworm. I found a home in literary realms, and poured everything I had into trying to emulate the magic I experienced into my own writing. I vividly remember the surge of pride I felt in high school when I won an award for my dedication and performance in all things English related. It’s easy… Read More

StoneCycling: Sustainable Building, Brick by Brick

By Sarah Dolan

Reduce, reuse, recycle. The “Three Rs” remind us of the ever-increasing importance of sustainability. From little things like throwing a plastic bottle in the recycling bin rather than the trash can to larger lifestyle changes, environmental responsibility is something on many people’s minds. A company based in the Netherlands is working to build on (or, in their case, build with)… Read More

It’s a Sine! Scientists See Math on the Mind

By Amanda Gutierrez

As a student majoring in Writing, Literature & Publishing, it may come as a surprise that I loved math during high school. On par with my love of mathematics, was my love of science. Math and science are like two peas in a pod. But what’s the science behind math? Scientists have recently been conducting studies that examine the correlation… Read More

Make Way for Hedgehogs!

By Sarah Dolan

Growing up I would sometimes pass afternoons in search of critters in my backyard. I would find all sorts of creatures indigenous to the Northeast. Garter snakes, worms and tiny red newts were all exciting finds. Had I grown up in Great Britain, it would have been very likely that I discovered a different animal, one very popular in British… Read More

The Crisper the Crunch, the Better the Taste

By Abbrianna MacGregor

As a self-proclaimed impulse buyer, I am all too familiar with the trials, tribulations and joys attached to being a consumer. Many of us develop brand preferences and remain loyal to said brands for years. When you’re subconsciously reaching for that specific cereal on a routine grocery trip, do you ever stop to ask yourself what exactly it is about… Read More

The Fashion of the Force: “Star Wars” Costumes on Display

By Sarah Dolan

It’s impossible to write about the costumes of the Star Wars series without a rambling opening paragraph about Padmé (a.k.a Queen/Senator Amidala). The oft-debated prequels, are—in my opinion, at least—salvageable by one thing: Padmé. Besides the fact that she’s a peacekeeping galactic senator and very handy in battle, she rules the fashion world in literally every scene (like this one… Read More

Can Art Withstand the Test of Time?

By Amanda Gutierrez

This past summer, I spent a week cleaning my bedroom in preparation for graduation (and therefore, moving out), and I was dismayed to find that many of my old graphite sketches had faded and smudged over the years. In retrospect, I should have used a fixative spray or stored them in a safer place. Luckily, there are art conservationists dedicated… Read More

Lessons and Toddlers and Forests . . . Oh My!

By Abbrianna MacGregor

When I reflect on my preschool and kindergarten days, nature and exploration don’t come to mind. In fact, the mental image provoked is quite the opposite. Most of my formative days were spent inside a small classroom, only venturing outside for recess during the times of the year when the weather permitted such adventures. Even then, we could only enjoy… Read More

Space is Alive with the Sounds of Satellites

By Eileen Neary

I grew up dreaming about stars and spacesuits. One of my favorite astronomical memories (yes, I have several) is of my mother awakening me in the middle of the night so I could see the comet Hale–Bopp streak across the sky at its peak. Given that this extraterrestrial extracurricular activity was one of many, it probably comes as no surprise… Read More

The Phantom World of Ghostwriters

By Eileen Neary

Legions of nameless writers, churning out manuscripts behind closed doors. Books in bookstores emblazoned in bold letters with the names of literary goliaths receiving credit for works they did not pen. It sounds like a conspiracy theory. But it’s not. Ghostwriters were once invisible forces in the publishing world, but in recent years, the practice of ghostwriting is more forthright… Read More

Rock-Paper-Scissors Goes Pro

By Amanda Gutierrez

One of my best friends and I are constantly taking part in the time-honored tradition of using rock-paper-scissors to make decisions. All either of us needs to do is hold up a fist—the universal sign to engage in a game of rock-paper-scissors. Even in the professional world the game is sometimes used to make decisions: In 2005 Sotheby’s and Christie’s… Read More

Walking on Water: The Power of Art

By Abbrianna MacGregor

If you’ve visited an art museum, you are probably familiar with the feeling of silent awe and inspiration provoked by pieces that move you. If such remarkable emotions are elicited by viewing something, imagine the sensations attached to an interactive art installation that immerses you in its full experience. And imagine if this interactive work of art was placed in… Read More

Wait till THIS Year!

By Ken Scherpelz

I realize this is the time of year when those of us in winter weather areas should be preparing for snow by pulling out the shovels from the far corners of the garages we never got to cleaning out this past year—although we promised we would. I have to admit, while most are caught up in preparing for winter’s weather… Read More

Newborn Knowledge: Is Language Innate?

By Abbrianna MacGregor

How did you learn how to speak your first language? Don’t remember? Don’t worry…you shouldn’t! Theories and research about human language acquisition have been abounding for decades—from B. F. Skinner’s idea that we learn language from operant conditioning to Noam Chomsky’s opposition that language is innate. Now, recent studies suggest that humans are actually born with biases in language structure.… Read More

Listen to the Lullaby of London

By Amanda Gutierrez

The next time you sit down to watch a movie, close your eyes and listen. Under all the dialogue and music there’s something else—ambient noise. It could be the sounds of distant traffic for a scene set in a penthouse apartment in downtown Manhattan. Or it could be the light chirping of crickets surrounding characters camping in the woods. Now… Read More

New Art Installation is the Bee’s Knees

By Amanda Gutierrez

Imagine standing in a meadow. Grass shoots up from the ground around you, tickling your ankles. In every direction, flowers of brilliant reds, purples, blues, yellows and whites are sprinkled over a blanket of green. The flowers bow with grace as a light breeze passes you. You hear chirping birds, rustling leaves and a low buzz. This buzz is the… Read More

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Fun Fact

The first novel ever written is believed to be The Tale of Genji, written in the first decade of the 11th century by Murasaki Shibuku, a Japanese noblewoman. It contains 54 chapters.

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