Thursday, June 29, 2006
The book is published by Harvard University Press.
To go to Barnes & Noble, click the bookcover below.
Designs on the Heart: The Homemade Art of Grandma Moses
When I was growing up, we had four Grandma Moses plates displayed on the wall in the family room, depicting the four seasons. I could see them from where I sat when we ate. Nice stuff.
At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, Denver's Tattered Cover closed its Cherry Creek store and by Monday at 9:00 a.m., the new Tattered Cover at the historic Lowenstein Theater was fully stocked and open for business. More than 100,000 titles had been moved by staff and 300 volunteers to the transformed multilevel theater that still boasts balconies and an orchestra pit. "We're all tired but thrilled," said Tattered Cover's Cathy Langer...
Langer told BTW about the feat of moving a 30,000-square-foot store into 24,000 square feet over the course of not quite a day and a half. "Linda Millemann [Tattered Cover's general manager] had fine-tuned everything to military precision," she said. "She figured out how many seconds it took to pack a box, how many boxes we needed, how many volunteers. It was just brilliant. [Project manager] Regina Bullock also was a mastermind of the move." Of course, having 300 volunteers helped. "We're so grateful to the community for their support and for physically helping us," she said. Langer also noted the support of the bookselling and publishing industry.
The long vacant historic Lowenstein Theater, at East Colfax and Elizabeth Street, first opened in 1953. The bookstore has maintained its architectural and historic integrity, said Langer. "The space has a rather large footprint and a very high ceiling. We kept a lot of the theater's architectural elements partly because they're so cool and partly because the National Parks Service is overseeing it as a historic project."
The orchestra pit is one of the elements that the Parks Service required to stay. Bookshelves surround it, while the pit itself is used for Tattered Cover's theater section. Balconies, overlooking the main floor, serve as a place to read and to bring coffee from the bookstore's cafe. The lower level, formerly the cabaret, is now the children's, bargain, and travel sections...
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel - Why Everything You Know Is Wrong
Monday, June 26, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The race starts June 24 in Philadelphia and ends July 8 in San Rafael, California.
hat tip: Focus on the Family (watch for their 1941 Cadillac convertible...)
The American Friends of Magen David Adom Society website is here.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has more information on the "red crystal" emblem.
Victory in Tripoli: How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation
Previous "Barbary Pirates" posts: New Book: The Pirate Coast, by Richard Zacks (April 25, 2005) and The Thomas Jefferson Papers - America and the Barbary Pirates (March 13, 2005).
...This raises an important question: for the philosophical materialist--that is, for the person who believes that all reality boils down to atoms in the void--what justification beyond personal preference is there for holding up Shakespeare over schlock? Are our standards of what constitutes great art based merely on taste or fashion, or do we have permanent, transcendent reasons for recognizing genius?
Jonathan and his co-author, Benjamin Wiker, tackle this question in their new book, A Meaningful World.
That would be Jonathan Witt, her husband.
More on the book from the publisher here.
To go to Barnes & Noble, click the book cover.
Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature
hat tip: Carolina Journal (via Betsy's Page.)
Meanwhile, in the United States, Jane Erikson of the Arizona Daily Star reports that the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's "100,000 Lives Campaign" appears to be reducing hospital errors and preventable deaths.
Brothers Judd: If Only There Were A Futures Market For Nations excerpts a Miami Herald article by Guy Hedgecoe about members of the families of Cuba's ruling class who have moved to Spain but preserve family ties.
Mostly I've been on Chamber of Commerce and tourism sites, but on the theory that you can tell a lot about a place based on how heavy-handed city officials are -- or hope to be, at any rate -- I went to the municipal code site. (Like I can decipher most city codes? Who am I trying to kid?) Long story short: trying to read through the bureaucratese made me cross-eyed and I soon gave it up as a waste of time, but not before I learned a new word (bolding mine), in a section titled "Charitable Raffles, Bingo, and Keno":
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) Charitable organization shall mean a nonprofit veterans, eleemosynary, benevolent, educational, religious, fraternal or civic and service association or corporation domiciled in this state. Any such organization or corporation shall have qualified with the United States Internal Revenue Service for an exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3), (4), (8), or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code.
I didn't see a definition of this amazing word there, so I pulled out my Penguin English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, which I imported to this country with the help of an Internet seller based in the UK (and a good investment it has been):
...adj of, supported by, or giving charity. [medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from late Latin eleemosyna alms, from Greek....
...The Greek word requires letters I don't know how to do with my set-up, I'm afraid. The closest I can approximate it with what I've got is eleemoysine. At the end of the definition, it says: see ALMS. By golly, "alms," it turns out, has the same late Latin root. Alms, however, is easier to say, for my money, which might be why it caught on better. Just a guess.
I grab my Oxford American Dictionary, Heald Colleges Edition, mass market paperback edition, which would be my favorite everyday dictionary, I think, if it weren't printed in a typeface that globs in boldface, sometimes making it impossible to tell what the letters are (a serious defect in any book, but especially in a dictionary, I think). It also shoves text into the gutter (the inner margin, going to the spine), which also makes it hard to read. (You might as well know, text shoved into the gutter is one of my pet peeves, since it makes a book hard to read and almost guarantees the spine will be broken even with normal use...) Anyway, it has the word, too, defining it:
adj. of or dependent on charity, charitable.
So, I still don't feel I'm ready to use it in casual conversation, much less in writing, but at least now I have a clue.
Have any of you ever seen "eleemosynary" in any context besides bureaucrat-speak? I suspect it might be good to know for playing Scrabble, but otherwise I'm not sure how useful it might be...
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I have been in bookstores like that. For that matter, at times our bookstore has threatened to become something of the sort. (Ahem.)
This is a very young project, but according to the latest post, The Global Community, there are almost 400 bloggers signed up already, with participants from around the world.
The hope is to have every person who was killed assigned to a blogger in time for each victim to be remembered on September 11 of this year.
I'm not planning to sign up, but I thought some of you might like to.
Over at Expat Yank, Robert has a post called Great Thinkers Gathered, which compiles statements about patriotism from around the world.
Parental note: Mr. Shriver lampoons the Royal Academy by doing a high-falutin' review of a brick placed on his desk. Staying true to such things, he finds things to say that are, uhm, odd, let's say, moving this article from what some parents I know would consider a G to a PG.
Update: The Common Room has more, much more, on this, using other sources.
Addition: Somewhat-related previous post. (I am, by the way, still waiting for someone to tell me if that plaque Billy Rose wrote about is still there "on the house next to the corner, Fifth Avenue and 86th Street" in New York. And if it is, if people remember the story behind it?)
"The greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinion than that they are in fashion." - Samuel Johnson..
Kind of a "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" sort of quote, isn't it? Ouch. Been there, done that, not real proud of it... :/
A tip of the hat to Bookworm, who likes Steorts' idea, but has her doubts.
Let me put that another way. When the hostages came home, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought that if I never heard another word about the whole mess it would be too soon. But guess what? I now think that what I thought I knew, based entirely upon news reports of the time and on conjecture by other people who were also basing their thoughts upon news reports of the time, I think I was badly mistaken about a number of things. (Imagine that. Neither the national/international news guys or I knew what was going on, especially what was going on in secret. What a shock ;).
Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam
Mind you, I'm not declaring myself any kind of expert now, but I think the book gave me a good reality check, if that's the phrase I want.
My to-read stack has also undergone some changes as the result of reading it. It now includes some of the books Mr. Bowden listed as source material. So far I've only read Guest of the Revolution by Kathryn Koob, one of the hostages, which also made me sit up and reassess what I used to think. Miss Koob's book is published by Thomas Nelson, and focuses on how her faith sustained her and grew during her captivity, but it also has rather a lot of good history and general observation in it.
The Bowden book I wouldn't hand to youngsters or refined maidens. The author is admirably restrained in his depiction of horrible circumstances, but he does, necessarily, deal with horrible circumstances (beatings, mock executions, aircraft crashes, etc.), plus he lets people speak in their own voices, which can get interesting -- some of the captives made a point of being offensive to their captors, for example. There's nothing gratuitously bad, but there is bad stuff I wouldn't dump on an innocent kid. (College kids are perhaps another matter. Books like this might help inoculate them against the utopianism to which they and many of their professors are prone. Maybe? A gal can hope, can't she?)
Miss Koob's book I'd give a solid PG.
The article originally appeared in The New Republic (April 24, 2006), and appears at the above link (Catholic Education Resource Center) by permission.
Update: I was trying to think where else I'd seen Mr. Kuntzel's name, and now I remember. He's written for and been cited at Transatlantic Intelligencer.
I'd like to second that.
The article relates some of what was said at The Cooperation of Church and State Conference organized by the Ottawa-based Centre for Cultural Renewal.
(And, no, I have no idea why the price was so high for something that looks like nothing so much as a woman taking advantage of one of those carnival offerings where you stick your head through a hole in a stage set and get your picture taken for a lark. Mania for 'modern art' eludes me. But if Mr. Lauder is happy, I'm happy.)
Monday, June 19, 2006
The Louisiana legislature is also sending a constitutional amendment to the voters in November.
Here's one of the many reasons it matters: kids living in towns with homes targeted for 'redevelopment'. Guess what the kids talk about at school when their city is gunning for their home or the home of a friend, just so some unscrupulous private developer can build somebody else a house or put up a hotel, or something like that? (I think it's fair to call any developer who uses eminent domain to get what he wants "unscrupulous," don't you? I also think it's important to differentiate between folks like that and developers, contractors, and government officials who conduct themselves in an above-board manner.)
Or, how would you like to flee war-torn Cambodia and go to the United States, "a nation where citizens have the ability to keep what they've worked hard to own", only to be kicked out by your local government in your new homeland after spending almost twenty years building up a business and a customer base, apparently for no other reason than somebody else wants the property?
For success stories from around the country, where citizens have saved private property from the government's wrecking ball, see this list at Castle Coalition.
For a longish interview of Ebay chief executive Meg Whitman by the Financial Times, addressing such things as "how is ecommerce changing", see here.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Saturday has been designated a Public Archaeology Day, with activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., including tours led every hour by project director Dr. Julie Schablitsky.
Previous related post: China Doctor of John Day
Essentially the same column - with slightly different editing in a few places - appeared as The devaluing of human life on the June 12 op-ed page of The Washington Times.
hat tip: The Common Room
NEW ORLEANS--With a history in the Black Panthers and Green Party, Malik Rahim does not fit the stereotype of a property-rights activist. But that is what he's become in the upside-down political world of post-Katrina New Orleans, where government response to the storm is creating some strange bedfellows.
Nine months after the hurricane New Orleans remains in tatters, its population is down to about 200,000 from almost a half-million. Large parts of the city, from posh Lakeview to working-class Mid-City, still have few habitable buildings. Many businesses have not reopened or are gone for good. Almost a quarter of voters in May's mayoral runoff election voted absentee.
To add insult to injury, the rights of property owners who had their homes and businesses damaged by Katrina's wrath now face a more powerful and potent threat. Local government officials, armed with the public health code, eminent domain powers and a bevy of dubious legal techniques, aim to demolish buildings--and, some fear, strip titles from owners--in what are being euphemistically called "forced buyouts."
Mr. Rahim is the founder of Common Ground, a homegrown group borne of the aftermath of Katrina. It has established emergency supply distribution centers across southeastern Louisiana, including in the virtually abandoned Lower Ninth Ward, where signs reading "Somebody Lives Here" and "Eminent Domain for Who?" surround the bright blue house that serves as a de facto community center...
Read the rest of Government Dines on Katrina Leftovers: Eminent domain becomes a potent threat.
For more information: Joe McKeever provides first-person reports out of the New Orleans area on an ongoing basis.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Elsewhere, Circle of Quiet has found there are upsides to not buying your kids too much stuff. Water ball, anyone?
Over at intent, Sparrow notes that the world seems to conspire against preteens and what is good for them. But she fights back. (She also links in that post to Jerram Barr’s Booklist for Children, as presented at Tulip Girl.)
I hope you don't need an excuse to sing -- but if you do, Headmistress has a raft of reasons why singing is good for you and your kids.
Of course, there's always the joy of teaching them to sign, too.
Swinford notes that Collins joins Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein as scientists whose studies deepened their faith in God, and also lets Collins express his disappointment that so many people think science and religion have to be at war, and that shrill voices have "dominated the stage for the last 20 years."
The Times article says the book will be published in September, but Barnes & Noble has it available for pre-order with a July 11 release date. The publisher is Simon & Schuster. Clicking on the book cover will take you to Barnes & Noble, which has more information.
Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
hat tip: The Alliance Alert (June 13, 2006)
In the article, Collins is said to have found his way to belief first by noting the strength that faith gave to some of his most critical patients, and secondly by visiting a Methodist minister, who gave him a copy of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. The book changed his life. (I've heard that from other people, haven't you?)
P.S. While looking up Mere Christianity, I came across this book that is touted as the story behind how Mere Christianity came to be written, and how Lewis first became a household name. The author is Justin Phillips. The publisher is HarperCollins, with a publish date of January 2006. I see the title on the book cover at B&N and the title in the write-up don't match. My best guess is that the publisher had a working title and dummy cover with "C.S. Lewis Goes To War" but changed it after providing mock-ups to booksellers, because at HarperCollins the title is C.S. Lewis in a Time of War.
C. S. Lewis in a Time of War: The World War II Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation and Became the Classic Mere Christianity
P.P.S. Too funny. I just checked Amazon, and they also have a book cover with one title and text that has another title -- but in the inverse of Barnes & Noble!
Well... too funny, but not really. I feel for the author of this book. It must feel like some kind of curse to have the working and final titles all mixed together for public consumption. At any rate, I'm notifying the publisher, and hope its quality control guys can sort it all out.
In the meantime, the subject sounds interesting. Has anyone seen the book itself? How is it?
Update: Oops. Egg on my face. The author, Justin Phillips, died in 2000, shortly after finishing the manuscript of this book. One of his daughters finished things up for him and brought the book to publication. So, I should say, I feel for his daughter, Laura Treneer...
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Anyway, The Musgraves (the book I'm investigating) looks to be something a little bit different from the standard "romance," and Ace books in this line sometimes get collectible, so I go look it up on the Internet. The prices are not what I expected. As I look around, a copy listed for nine dollars and some cents sells. And most of the rest are $15, $20, $25 and up. Yikes. I do a bit of nosing about. The author wrote quite a few books, and a surprising number of the titles are $10, $15 and up books, even in standard mass market paperback editions. I'm finding hardbacks for $60. Fascinating. Another author that's hot but out of print? Maybe?
Has anybody read D. E. Stevenson? Glancing through this book, I didn't happen on anything objectionable. On the contrary, it seemed good, clean fun. Anybody? This is not an author I know. Is she a good one to recommend?
Hmmm. While waiting for reader input, let's see what we can find on the Internet. Here's a Moffat Town write-up on her. I guess she was Scottish...
Oh, bingo! In 2003, the North American Branch Angela Thirkell Society (ATS) sent a survey to its members asking about their favorite authors, and she's one of the top selections, according to this 2004 speech by Jerri Chase of the Richmond, Virginia branch of the society: Comparing the lives and works of Dorothy L. Sayers, D.E. Stevenson and Georgette Heyer with Angela Thirkell.
That puts her in illustrious company indeed. And being listed in the same breath with Sayers, Heyer or Thirkell, any one, would be a sort of recommendation in itself.
Now, if I can just remember who it is who was bemoaning that they'd read everything ever written by Angela Thirkell and wanted another author to try...
At any rate, don't put her books out willy-nilly for 50 cents at a yard sale, unless you like kicking yourself later. ;)
Grapes of Wrath
Monday, June 12, 2006
She has an Amazon link you can use. If that doesn't suit you, clicking on the book cover here will take you to Barnes & Noble.
Seurat and la Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots
At Barnes & Noble, following the "People who bought this book also bought" links brought up (among quite a few others):
Art Fraud Detective: Spot the Difference, Solve the Crime!
Art Auction Mystery: Find the Fakes, Save the Sale!
Can You Find It?: Search and Discover More than 150 Details in 19 Works of Art
Has anyone had these in their hands? What did you think of them?
It's somewhat common to give directions to travelers by saying something like "It's about half a mile west of the stoplight." This is generally followed by a confused and/or wary pause on the part of the stranger, into which the local giving the directions can drop assurances that the visitor can't possibly get lost using those directions because there's only one stoplight in the county.
This is admittedly splitting hairs a bit, because some of the outlying smaller towns have blinking lights (red for some directions, yellow for others) that look very much like stoplights, but aren't. But, strictly speaking, it's true -- there's only one stoplight, doing that green, yellow, red routine. On top of that it's fun.
Sometimes as they walk away you hear the bemused tourist calling a friend on the phone to report that he's landed in a county -- not just a town, but a whole big county only somewhat smaller than Connecticut -- with only one stoplight. With some of these folks, you'd think they'd decided they'd found something akin to a lost Stone Age tribe or something, the way they react.
That's if they believe you. Some folks refuse to believe there's anywhere left in America where people are still thought capable of sorting themselves out at intersections, I guess. ;)
(Yes. Yes. I know. Some places have much more traffic than we do, and the requirements for traffic control are entirely different. I'm just saying some people can't believe the world can exist without traffic lights all over the place, no matter what the actual conditions. Trust me on this. I've seen folks drop their jaw when told we have only one stoplight. It had not occurred to them that such a thing is possible. Go figure.)
For as long as I can remember there have been plans by city fathers and state-level do-gooders to add more stoplights, and for as long as I can remember the population in general has protested that it is fun - distinctive - a selling point - a badge of honor - to be a county with just one stoplight. This spirited defense of the status quo is to a large extent tongue-in-cheek, you understand -- at least for most people. (Some people can be fanatics about anything, can't they? Even the dubious distinction of having just one traffic light, sorry to say. Sigh.)
The intersection with the stoplight also comes complete with large buttons at about waist level that pedestrians can push to change the light, to hurry things a bit. If you sit at the Dairy Queen, which sits at this intersection, you can learn a lot about people, just by watching how they punch those buttons. (Or not punch the buttons. A certain variety of human being apparently takes great satisfaction in ignoring both walk/don't walk signals and the buttons provided to manipulate them. Perhaps it is coincidence, but many of these people don't look like the sort of person you'd like to have living next door or working at the same place as yourself.)
I realize that not everywhere is as 'unsophisticated' as here when it comes to aiding and trying to control pedestrians. Many years ago, when I was in Japan, one of my hostesses and I were walking around and came to a large, very busy, multi-laned intersection. When it was time for pedestrians to cross, music blared at the appropriate corners. My hostess explained that it was to make it easier for blind people to know where to go. That was fine as far as that went, but, as I recall, the music selection was "If a body meet a body, coming through the rye, and a body kiss a body, need a body cry?" Somehow it seemed a teeny bit incongruous. Delightful. But strange.
Around here, call us silly, but it's considered good manners to offer a person our arm if she looks like she needs help finding her way from one corner to the other. It's a bit old-fashioned and low tech, but we like it. Blaring music from street corners would just annoy people, I think. It's a quiet town, on the whole.
Then there's England, which apparently takes directing pedestrian/vehicle inter-mixing quite seriously. Katherine at K's Cafe has a primer on zebras, pelicans, puffins and toucans -- not the animals, but the various kinds of pedestrian crossings by the same name.
So, if I came to your town, what would I find?
Update: Thanks to Barb's comment, I have now been introduced to the term Jughandle. I've driven on them before, but had no idea they were called that.
Friday, June 09, 2006
(Side note: As I noted back in back in March, New Jersey has apparently developed a serious wildlife problem, including bears.)
The youngest winners wrote about "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis, "The Babe and I" by David A. Adler, and "Earthquake in the Early Morning" by Mary Pope Osborne. Winners were Kevin Morris, 8, Overland Park, Kansas; Nicholas Reis, 7, Spokane Valley, Washington; and Chay Oswalt, 8, Ackerman, Mississippi.
The 9 and 10 year olds wrote about "Knights of the Round Table" by Gwen Gross, "Dragon Rider" by Cornelia Funke, and "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini. Winners were Seth Chaffin, 9, Lindenwold, New Jersey; Quinton Arrington, 10, Ridgeville, Indiana; and William Levay, 9, San Antonio, Texas.
The older winners wrote about "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo, and "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose. Winners were Steve McCool, 17, Marianna, Florida; Michael Joki, 15, Montgomery, Alabama; and Tony Martinez, 13, Madison, Mississippi.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Babe & I
Earthquake in the Early Morning (Magic Tree House Series #24)
Knights of the Round Table: (Bullseye Step into Classics Series)
Eragon (Inheritance Trilogy #1)
Catcher in the Rye
Because of Winn-Dixie
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle Nest
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
From the same website (HistoryLink.org) -- in the transcontinental auto race which started in New York City on June 1, 1909, and ended in Seattle on June 23, 1909, the winners were H.B. Scott and James Smith, the operators of the second car to arrive. Why wasn't the first car across the finish line declared the winner? Answer here.
The first automobile to cross the Lake Washington Floating Bridge (also called the Mercer Island Bridge), drives over in June of which year? Answer here.
Which year did the floating bridge, by now renamed the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge, sink? Answer here.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Here are the links to Oregon, California, Hawaii, Ohio, Indiana, Washington, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Texas to get you started.
Over at OpinionJournal this weekend, author P.D. James listed five best crime novels. Who knew I had anything in common with P.D. James? She also finds "particular charm in books written before or during World War II" and goes on to prove her point by having only one recently written book on her list.
And Mark Mossa tells us about a new Sherlock Holmes novel.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Laura VanRyn's family is graciously providing updates on Miss Cerak's condition on the blog they set up to chronicle their own daughter's progress.
Laura VanRyn was buried as Whitney Cerak. A memorial service for Miss VanRyn will be held Sunday.
Update: Miss Cerak's family has started its own blog.
The article has a notice that as of June 21 it will only be available to paid subscribers.
hat tip: Et tu, Hitch? at Open Book (Amy Welborn's blog).
Unfortunately, since the Da Vinci Code novel was published, naming it as the hiding place of the Holy Grail, it has also become a magnet for tourists, many of whom have no concept of what a working church is about, shall we say? Or what a priest might consider improper. Or bearable.
The Rev Michael Fass, age 61, has had enough.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Seriously. The Truth of Light Award has been awarded to the Hergé Foundation, named after Tintin's creator, for making a significant contribution to the public's understanding of Tibet.
Tintin in Tibet was first published in 1959.
Tintin in Tibet (Adventures of Tintin Series #18)
Updated June 2 with link to Barnes & Noble, and also slight editing.