can all y’all believe it? it’s that time of the year again!

NaBloPoMo timeNational Blog Posting Month.   !yay!

a theme is not necessary, but it has helped me hustle the muse the last couple of years; so a theme it will be again.  I will revisit my nerdly formative years, when I was but a fledging nerdling.  much of what came to pass in those times is encased between these boards:

 

so much nerdery!

read 'em all. some twice.

behold ye my science-fiction bookcases.  the first bookcases I ever owned (we agree that milk crates don’t count, right?).   made of salvaged wood by my-then-not-yet-SO, teh LK.

I grew up reading science-fiction from my dad’s library and continued on my own through the college years – most of these books are from the “golden era” of sci-fi, from the 1930s to the 1960s. in addition  here are the proto-feminists (Joanna Russ, James Tiptree Jr.),  the sublime Ursula K. LeGuin, the is-it-paranoia-if-they-are-actually-out-to-get-you of Philip K. Dick*, the psychedelic visions of Samuel Delaney and Roger Zelazny, and much more.

what there isn’t much of is fantasy; I’m more drawn towards the science part of science-fiction. at least I expect the fictional worlds to be consistent.  there aren’t hardly any books past 1985 or so, about the time I lost interest in sci-fi (or any other fiction, really) and turned almost exclusively to non-fiction.

so my plan for National Blog Posting Month is to stand in front of these dusty shelves and pick up a book each for the next thirty days and write about it – I can’t promise it’d be a random book, but I hope to have some serendipity at play.

* used to have many more books by Philip K. Dick – most are now gracing the bookcases of my nephew M.

NOTE: if you’d like to join in the festivities, all you need to do is post everyday for the month of November.  that’s it.  it is not required, but you are welcome to signup at the official site, NaBloPoMo.  there is a very nifty community there dedicated to daily blogging and there are prizes!

curses!maledictions!poxes!

on the 2007 US Congress.  ’twas them who decided the advantages of extending daylight savings time by over a month exceeded the disadvantages.

it does not.

all the computers in the house follow the pre-2007 guidelines, so we have to manually change them.   hass-le.   some of the clocks change, some don’t.

drives me cra-zay-zy

DST drives me crazy

 

 

 

 

turn off your damn cellphone!

even if it’s not technically necessary.

turn off your phone anyways.

“Flight attendants are required to make their preflight safety announcement by the Federal Communications Commission because of “potential interference to the aircraft’s navigation and communication systems.” Perhaps this seems like a no-brainer: turning off your cellphone inside a piece of technology as sensitive as an airplane. In our civilized times, there are only a few things imaginable which more likely lead to direct physical conflict with the person in the seat next to you than turning on your cellphone during takeoff and nonchalantly calling your hairdresser to reschedule that appointment next Wednesday.”

just. shut. up.


Disconnected – The Boston Globe.

fun afternoon coming up

fun fun fun fun

if you find high winds, thunderstorm warnings, funnel clouds, and keeping a watch for tornadoes fun. maybe not as much fun as it is exciting.

and we are sharing the excitement with a large swath of the country: the same system is bringing the first snow storm of the season to North Dakota and torrential rains to the Gulf states.
wonder what we’ll get?

I heart Stephen Fry – On Language

I love Stephen Fry – love his ways with words, his easy erudition, his vibrant way of speaking.  and so does Matt Rogers, who created a “kinetic typography animation” from a portion of one of Fry’s essays on language and usage.

to hear the rest of the essay, mousey over to the audio/video section of stephenfry.com: Stephen Fry on language

via Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography – Language on Vimeo.

somewhere

I love american musicals, and close to the top of the list is West Side Story – an innovative score by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by the greatest american composer Stephen Sondheim, groundbreaking choreography…

most of the songs in West Side Story have become standards, performed by many of the best and best-known singers;  yet the best cover of any West Side Story song has to be this quiet little duet by the late, lamented, much missed Vic Chesnutt and Liz Durrett


Vic chesnutt and his band

Somewhere



this is fractally sad

Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed the field of fractal geometry and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass.

He was 85.

 

 

Dr, Benoit Mandelbrot

 

When asked to look back on his career, Dr. Mandelbrot compared his own trajectory to the rough outlines of clouds and coastlines that drew him into the study of fractals in the 1950s.

“If you take the beginning and the end, I have had a conventional career,” he said, referring to his prestigious appointments in Paris and at Yale. “But it was not a straight line between the beginning and the end. It was a very crooked line.”

 

 

Mandelbrot set

 

 

fractals are everywhere.

 

via Benoît Mandelbrot, Novel Mathematician, Dies at 85 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.