Celebrating Calder

Thanks to Google for informing me that today is Alexander Calder's birthday, via a beautiful Google doodle on their home page. I love the shadows.

I was lucky enough to grow up near Chicago, where I got to see the Calder Flamingo every time I went downtown. I've always especially loved his mobiles.

The American Masters episode on Calder was marvellous.

Happy? That's Me!

Yesterday a Wonderboy song came up on random play, and I got a great big grin.

For about a decade, I ran a little independent record label, Racer Records. I got to work with artists I really loved, putting out their records and trying to build a bigger audience for them.

Wonderboy was the first band I signed, and I love them as much today as I did back in 1993.

Hearing a Wonderboy tune just makes me indescribably happy.

My Open Letter in Support of a Boycott of Nature Publishing Group

Background: "Nature Publishing Group told the University of California that next year subscription prices would increase 400 percent, with the average annual cost of a journal increasing to $17,479. UC Libraries fought back with a combative letter to UC faculty suggesting that faculty should consider boycotting the journals, and cease submitting or reviewing articles for these journals." via Metafilter

Complete Denial

936 pages.

Somebody recommended A History of the Modern World over on Ask Metafilter and I leapt over to the San Francisco library's website and requested it.

It's 936 pages. Not counting the (excellent-looking) appendices and bibliography.

I don't know what I was thinking.

Heart Conditions

Author: 
Sara Lewis
Started: 
January 3, 2010
Finished: 
January 7, 2010

This was a pleasant read. The main character, Alice, was likable enough (although I was occasionally impatient with her over-accommodating ways early in the book), and I enjoyed the plot's journey - I was slightly surprised by Alice's ultimate career shift, and there were a number of nice moments along the way.

Not a huge favorite, but enjoyable.

The Thin Place

Author: 
Kathryn Davis
Started: 
October 18, 2009
Finished: 
November 26, 2009

I picked this up while browsing the fiction shelves at the library. The cover illustration is beautiful and intriguing, and the plot description on the flap drew me in enough to check it out.

What enchanted me was the writing. Davis is poetic and mystical and simultaneously precise and clearly descriptive. The striking language is never gratuitous; Davis keeps the story unfolding.

I think this may be a book I need to own, just so I can reread the beautiful sentences, to revel in them, to learn from them.

Blue, Red, Black

I was never all that interested in space as a kid. I enjoyed reading The Martian Chronicles and some other sci fi classics, but I was barely aware of NASA or the science of space exploration.

That all changed for me on the Fourth of July, 1997, when I watched the Mars Pathfinder land on the red planet.

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