DESKSIDE with JANA KRENTZ, librarian for Latin American Studies.



Award-winning writer, producer, and director of adult films. Style according to her website: “Putting people together who have some chemistry and then asking them to simply make love.”


Excerpts from a Nov. 15 event hosted by Yale’s Sexual Literacy Forum

On filming people having sex It can be boring sometimes. I’ve counted the minutes ‘til a scene is over. I’ve yawned.
On “erotica” It’s porn that’s considered more tasteful, more classy. People say to me, “Nica, you don’t make porn, you make erotica.” But I’m comfortable with calling it “porn.”
On the kind of porn she makes I wanted to film people having real sex, without opening up to the camera. When performers open up to the camera, they turn away from each other, and the emotional connection plummets.
On whether or not she makes “feminist porn” I don’t understand why we have to bring politics into it. Why not just call it “porn”? Women are sexual beings, too.
On actors’ “porn habits” she HAS TO break Opening up to the camera. Faking it. Positions when you look at them and say, “She’s lying on gravel at a construction site — that must feel terrible!”
On what a porn set is like Everyone knows everyone. It’s kind of like a small town.
On people outside the porn industry We call them civilians.



By Alison Mosier-Mills


The Beinecke’s extensive Langston Hughes Collection, a gift from the Hughes estate, houses an eclectic assortment of 670 boxes. Inside are Hughes’s professional letters, notes, manuscripts, poems, and lyrics, which, together, portray him as a multifaceted artist with broad interests. Although the collection — which also includes photos, passports, diaries, and scrapbooks — delves deeply into his personal life, it is in examining drafts of his poetry that readers are offered a rare insight into his creative mind. His attention to detail is evident: he spent more than five years perfecting the poem depicted here. He covered his typewritten drafts in his distinctive scrawl, sometimes debating for years the placement of a single word, a comma, or a line break.



The Communities that Make Up America



The American Communities Project, directed by journalist Dante Chinni, is a political science and data journalism effort at American University that uses demographics to break the nation’s 3,100 counties into 15 community types.




Diane Charney, a college writing tutor, is a collector of beautiful boxes, miniature figurines, exotic teas, and many other things. Her office in Timothy Dwight College is a collection of collections: each compartment in her wide array of shelves displays a group of items curated to follow one theme. One shelf features different prints of Monet’s “Water Lilies,” reflecting Charney’s love of French Impressionism. Another shelf is crammed with a rich mosaic of tea containers from other countries. The collection shown here is testament to her love of birds, each bird a souvenir of a beloved memory. The gold-embroidered cloth was a gift from a former student who worked in China as a journalist. Two basket-woven partridges, once colorfully painted decorations that hung from a window shade, are now honey-toned from years of constant exposure to the sun. A miniature duck figurine was brought home after a trip to New Hampshire, where Charney heard loons sing on the lake.



Malcolm Gladwell’s Rejected Book Ideas

Speak: Orators, Mutes, and Everyone In Between: “Actions speak louder than words”: in Speak, I take that cliché, flip it, reverse it, and prove the reverse to be true. With the help of time-tested theories from Adam Smith, Plato, Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther, Michel Foucault, my mother, the Wright brothers, and Tyra Banks, I find that people who speak tend to have more advantages than people who don’t. Also, I interview MIT physics professor Janice Copley, who tells me that body movement rarely matches the amplitude of a spoken word. So my theory seems to hold water. But you don’t have to use this idea if you don’t want to.

The Missing Link: Why Children Have the Power Using behavioral economics and PBS viewership statistics, I prove that children are actually smarter than adults. Case studies will include: trends in Girl Scout cookie sales in the 1990s; Shirley Temple (both the child actress and the non-alcoholic cocktail); and kids who watch TED talks. From these unique yet universally applicable stories I conclude that children have power over adults in every respect, and therefore the United States must reform its education system. How? I don’t know — give me a break! I think this idea is pretty good.

Pinnacle: How The Tops of Things Get There: In this book, I explain the fascinating common thread between the tops of things, like: cherries on sundaes; hair on heads; lampshades; penthouses; stars on Christmas trees; oils, fats, and sweets on the old food pyramid; and chimneys. Okay I’m gonna be totally honest I just took some Nyquil and Sudafed and I don’t even know where I’m going with this. You don’t have to use this one.

To Sleep, To Dream: Nyquil and Sudafed. You don’t have to use this one.