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April 2009

Working in the Arts

While I wait for the conclusion of my interview with Montreal artist John Mavreas and spend tons of time searching the job boards, I have been ruminating on the difficulties of being a freelancer, particularly in the arts. I have been a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader for almost ten years now.… Read the rest

WHEN THE MOON STOPS SHINING

Yes, I’ve seen a partial eclipse, but  longest total exclipe of the Century at the Point of Longest Duration is July 22, 2009.  The cruise ship COSTA CLASSICA has been chartered and is, right now, the only way to see it at the point of longest duration – 6 minutes 39+ . … Read the rest

Investing in Science

U.S. President Barack Obama has promised that he will increase the government budget for science research from 2.6% to at least 3.0% of the GDP. That goal represents a net increase of about 15%, a not insignificant amount. According to the BBC News article, Obama said:

“A half century ago, this nation made a commitment to lead the world in scientific and technological innovation…There are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at moments defined by necessities.… Read the rest

Florida Beaches Among the Trashiest

The beaches. They’re one of the reasons you love Florida, right? Well, according to the latest report by the Ocean Conservancy, the Sunshine State actually has the third-trashiest beaches in the nation, behind only California and North Carolina. Last year, volunteers picked up 676,816 items from the state’s coastal areas.… Read the rest

Sunday Morning

Ah, Sunday morning. It’s a great time to relax with a cup of coffee, maybe do a crossword puzzle…I’m terrible at crossword puzzles, but I did love the documentary about crossword puzzle fanatics that came out a few years ago, Wordplay.Read the rest

That 70s Lifestyle

Following on yesterday’s Milky Way deliciousness, we have a fab study from BBC World News: a 1970s-type lifestyle is better for the planet. Woo hoo! Is there anyone for whom this is not welcome news? Well, I am happy, anyway! According to the article:

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health said shifting the population weight distribution back to that of the 1970s would do quite a lot to help the planet.

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Raspberries & Rum

No, that’s not a drink or dessert recipe (although it sounds very tasty indeed) – it’s the taste and scent of a dust cloud in the Milky Way, at least according to a recent Guardian article.  The report says:

“In the latest survey, astronomers sifted through thousands of signals from Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy.… Read the rest

Contemporary Author: Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux, born in 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts, is an incredibly prolific American author who has written numerous travelogues, long and short fiction, magazine articles, and more. Many people are familiar with him by way of his novel The Mosquito Coast, which was made into a 1986 movie starring Harrison Ford.… Read the rest

THE ULTIMATE GETAWAY

Once I was asked what my”ultimate” getaway would be.  Then, I was raising two children who were both in private schools and I had a large home.  My dream was to go to a luxury hotel with excellent room service and “veg” for a while day on TV, not getting up until 10:00 a.m.… Read the rest

MORE TOYS…

People who travel often complain about the hassle and additional weight in baggage when they have to lug adapters and betteries for portable iPods and iPhone speakers.  Griffin Technology heard that, and introduced the new Aircurve acoustic iPhone amplifier.  At 4.7 ounces, this clear box works with the phone’s speaker, pushing the sound through a coil-shaped amplifying chamber and juicing it up around 10 decibels in the process. … Read the rest

Earth Day & The Wartville Wizard

Last night I read this great children’s book “The Wartville Wizard,” by Don Madden, in which an old man, unhappy with his neighbors’ habit of littering, becomes a wizard with “the power over trash.” Instead of yelling “slobs!” and picking up the trash along the road by his house, he sends each piece of trash back to the person who threw it out, where it sticks to them.… Read the rest

Companion Animals

A long time ago (coming up on fifteen years), I set out to get a cat. A friend of a friend gave me a kitten – a feisty long-haired grey with a bad-ass attitude and frightening intelligence. Bast helped to make my house a home.… Read the rest

Not That Big-of-a-Deal

I almost hesitate to complain about evolving English language usage, because English is not just a live, vital language that (not “which”!) is constantly evolving, but also because it is a language that emerged from a convergence of West Germanic, Norman, French, and a smattering of Greek and Latin, among others.… Read the rest

OLAF STAPLEDON STILL ROCKS

My friend Juan had pulled some strings with NASA so that I could take a quick trip to Mars but, at the last minute there was some kind of trouble with a lift-off thing-a=magig.  My son reminded me of a book I’d read eons ago (published in London in 1931) Last and First Men.… Read the rest

The Art of Cooking: Risotto

I was supposed to follow up on my introduction of Montreal-based artist John Mavreas, but thanks to an embarrassing technological glitch at my Las Cruces, New Mexico-based lair, that’s not going to happen this week…and since this happened at the proverbial (and actual) last minute, I was literally left flailing in my kitchen…

Ah, my kitchen!… Read the rest