The Long And Winding Road.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Pay off bills, fix up the house, and send the kids to college. Those are all noble ideas, but what’s the one thing you’d really love to do, something you’ve put off doing or never had the chance to pursue? I’d travel.

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You’re Next.

It’s one of the most lasting images in all of cinema: Kevin McCarthy, in the middle of a busy highway, surrounded by cars, screaming, “You’re next! You’re next!” at us.

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Dark Side of the Moon.

Mark your calendars: on March 3rd a total lunar eclipse will occur. If you’re in the Eastern United States you’ll see it occurring as the moon rises in the East (although prime viewing will be in Europe and Africa). Farther West the eclipse will be over by the time the moon is visible, but there will be another lunar eclipse on August 27th. Although not as striking as solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are still hauntingly beautiful with the moon gradually changing from yellow to orange to a deep rust color as the Earth passes between it and the Sun.

More information about the lunar eclipse can be found at Space.com, and check out the spectacular eclipse photos (and posters) of Mr. Eclipse. Or highlight your moon watching with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, because “there is no dark side of the Moon really… matter of fact it’s all dark”.

There’s also a great new book about some of our closest planetary neighbors called Distant Worlds by Peter Bond. distantworlds1.jpg
If you’re too far West to see this eclipse there will be another on August 27th. And keep looking up.


Black History Month 2007

In honor of Black History Month, I’d like to offer introductions to three writers whose work you might enjoy.

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Evening Star.

If you live in the Western hemisphere you can look to the West half an hour to an hour after sunset and see our closest neighbor: the planet Venus. Named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty (and wife of Vulcan, though Venus also carried on a torrid affair with Mars, among others), it has been seen many different ways in different cultures. In the Mayan Popol Vuh Venus is a symbol of death when seen at night, and then “reborn” when it appears as the morning star.venus.jpg Venus is, after the Sun and Moon, the brightest object in the sky. At roughly 42 million kilometers from the Earth, Venus is closer to us than Mars by 14 million kilometers (give or take). Because it’s between us and the Sun Venus also, like the moon, goes through phases over a period of 584 days.

The Venusian day is 225 Earth days, just shy of a Venusian year which is 243 Earth days. Sulphuric acid rain and snowflakes regularly rain on the surface which, thanks to dense carbon dioxide, averages 460 degrees Celsius. Talk about global warming!

Take a few minutes tonight to step out and say hello to Venus. And keep looking up.


Dancing About Art.

In an interview, Elvis Costello once said, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” Actually I’m not so sure about that. I’d love to see some dancing about, say, I.M. Pei’s pyramid in front of the Louvre, or even some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations. Continue Reading



Dig that crazy new technology.

Having trouble dealing with newfangled technology? Courtesy of YouTube comes a helpful instructional session for dealing with a new system that might seem daunting but is surprisingly simple to use. (Click here or in the picture to see the video.)

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Short Stories: Where’s The Love?

Where’s the love for the modern short story? For most fiction writers the short story seems to be a way to get their literary foot in the door, publishing in quarterly magazines called [Name of state/city/college/region] Review until they have enough to make a collection, and then they settle into a career of writing novels. Even when the short stories are really good, better even than some of the novels, they disappear into obscurity. Continue Reading