F. Scott Fitzgerald’s business ledger has been scanned and put online. Now you can see what he wrote and how much he got paid for it. These things mattered to him a lot.

During a recent visit to the library's below-ground rare-book vault, Sudduth took the original 200-page book out of its clamshell protective cover. The ledger's yellowed pages — with Fitzgerald's elegant, measured cursive strokes — are a throwback to life before computer spreadsheets. The ledger shows Fitzgerald's tally of earnings from his works, the most famous of which is the novel "The Great Gatsby." The ledger lists his many short stories, books, and adaptations for stage and screen.

 With the May 10 release of a new "Gatsby" movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sudduth says library officials expect an upswing in interest in its Fitzgerald collection.

The project, in difficult-to-browse format can be found here. A couple of points come to mind:

A) Will there really be an upsurge in Fitzgerald-fascination after the Gatsby movie comes out? Or will the target audience think ew a book and run in the other direction?

B) This is amusing: geneological information is crossed out and replaced with, well, HER.




C) This manufacturer's note.




Who was Brown Blodgett Sperry? I don’t know. Was it the forerunner of Brown and Bigelow, the famous local pin-up calendar / playing card / promotion company? Doesn’t seem so, although I admit I’m no expert in local stationery supply lore. However, the American Stationer trade publication had this to say:






BURGER WARSThe Happy Meal is actually a wad of misery, right? Every smart person knows that. One hamburger, a half-cup of 2% milk, a handful of apple slices - the sheer evil of a company making kids want these things by packaging them with a toy just takes your breath away. At least someone somewhere is doing something. Business Insider asks COULD THE HAPPY MEAL DIE?


Brazilian consumer protection agency Procon fined McDonald's $1.6 million for targeting children with advertising and Happy Meal toys.

 "This is not an isolated case," urged Renan Ferraciolli, Procon's top lawyer. "There's no need to appeal as they do to children without the maturity or the rationality to enter the market as consumers.

They tried this in America, and will try again.

"McDonald's must stop exploiting children at some point," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The Center, along with a mother of two young children, filed the anti-Happy Meal lawsuit.

Eventually, Jacobson believes, McDonald's strategy "will seem as inappropriate and anachronistic as lead paint, child labor, and asbestos."

So if children are working in an asbestos-laden factory making lead paint, that’s the equivalent of eating a Happy Meal and getting a small plastic toy.

Mr. J is not immune to exaggeration - one of his articles on soda is titled "Amputation, Impotence, Painful Dentistry: Soda Equals Sadness."

When it comes to making people feel good about a brand, no one does it more skillfully than Coca-Cola. Picture a perfectly multicultural, sun-dappled chorus wanting to teach the world to sing. Or "Mean Joe Green" tossing his jersey to a young boy who offered him a Coke. The company circulates videos of its vending machines "dispensing happiness" in the form of balloon animals and free pizza in one instance and by soliciting hugs in another. The message is that Coke equals happiness.

Of course this is nonsense, and if you drink Coke you will die of misery. In related news:

The Danish government is abandoning a beverage tax that it says is costing the country millions of euros as consumers cross the border to shop in Germany instead.

The tax on soft drinks is to be halved by July and completely abolished by next year, making a 1.5-liter bottle of soda three kroner (€0.40) cheaper in the end. The lesser tax on beer is to be cut by 15 percent by July.

Spiegel Online’s headline is “Health Be Damned: Denmark Hopes Cheaper Soda Will Boost Economy.” It gets worse, or better, depending on your perspective:

The decision comes months after the government in Copenhagen repealed a similar tax on foods with high concentrations of saturated fats -- dubbed the world's first "fat tax." The measure was introduced with the intent to incentivize healthier eating, but authorities said it ultimately just drove up food prices and put jobs in jeopardy.

The soda tax repeal is part of a broader plan by the center-left government of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to make the Danish economy more competitive.

WEB Heads up: reporter takes a “selfie” at the best or worst possible moment, depending on what happened a second later. Look here.


TV As usual, I probably enjoyed “Mad Men” more than those poring over every frame, because my expectations are low. Don’s fatherhood confessions were touching, even though he was hammered, and what followed was almost heartbreaking. But it did remind me of something that always bothered me about “The Planet of the Apes.” When Charlton Heston sees - oh, right, SPOILERS - the Statue of Liberty buried up to its sternum, it’s a shocking moment of course - but what are the chances the arm would still be attached? I mean, talking apes and time travel I can buy, but that sort of long-term structural integrity, given the metal working of the time, just strains credulity.