I'm well past the suggested age limit, but a list of 30 books to read before you turn 30 caught my eye. It's a decent list, given that it includes some school staples, classics and a mix of decent reads ... including The Master and Margarita, one of the novels that I read for a university course, and then re-read because I liked it so much.
Incidentally, I had read 15 of the books on the list, which isn't bad since a few were published after my 30th birthday.
I tend to skip over several Flight of the Conchords songs when they come up in shuffle mode in the car, but I let Hurt Feelings play ... and my son laughed. Yes, there's the odd naughty word, but the 10-year-old still covers his mouth when he hears them.
I got around to watching the Ricky Gervais movie The Invention of Lying this week; it's not bad, but a bit less than what I expected, even though it's stacked with funny people. A song on the soundtrack leapt out at me, mostly because I knew it well, in its original form, when I was growing up. Elvis Costello covered Sitting, by Cat Stevens, for the movie ... and I was surprised to find it's not available (yet) to buy. The soundtrack was not released, and it doesn't seem to be available.
I did find this on YouTube, though, so it will do ... for now.
Meanwhile, here's the original, in case you're not familiar with it.
"Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing." - Dave Barry This quote resonated with me, particularly after a recent conversation with friends about the difficulty I had growing up finding clothes that fit me. I'm quite tall, and in my late teens, before I discovered mail order, my options often came down to which type of golf pants I could tolerate the most. I never had anything as awful as above, but I had to put up with a few pastel colours that made me gag.
I finally got around to setting up an account with Empire Avenue, a social networking sort of virtual stock market thing ...I think. Here's where to find me.
It was founded by some bright young folks like Duleepa Wijayawardhana, whom I met coming up at the Muse a number of years after me. I've been a sporadic member of another virtual stock exchange, HSX, for 12 years, so adding another fake portfolio seems logical. The idea, as I gather, is to gain value through online influence. We'll see how that goes.
And for the purpose of verifying that I do indeed own this blog and can in fact edit it, here's the verification code Empire Avenue asked me to put in a post: 804553654c. Ta da.
Made of Lego, I should add. This caused my son's draw to drop when I showed it to him this evening.
I told him he could do this kind of thing ... but that he's got to pay attention to his math to nail down these kinds of details. (I'm always looking for one of those moments to plug math.) He replied that a) he's only going into fifth grade and b) doesn't have pieces to make the pagoda.
Nonetheless, the coolest thing I've seen online this week.
This past weekend, the missus packed a picnic lunch, the kid picked out some road tunes and I filled up the tank with gas. We didn’t’ actually use that much, mind you. Cupids, after all, is barely an hour outside St. John’s.
That said, it was a pretty transporting daytrip, in part because of the fete that Cupids is putting on to celebrate its 400th anniversary. We’re planning at least one more trip before the summer is out – there were things still on our list, and we saw plenty that we wanted to explore.
Cupids 400 With some solid government support and private sponsors, Cupids 400 has a website worthy of the significance of the event – the first planned English settlement in what is now Canada. This is your anchor, whether or not you can make the trip.
At the very least, learn about John Guy, the Cupers Cove colony founded in 1610, and remarkable stories involving the archeology and scholarship that have flourished in recent years.
If you can make the trip, this site is the best place to start. You’ll get a sense of what you can see, including the brand-new Legacy Centre, which is a terrific community museum. (The online component isn’t quite there yet, but I’m hoping that can be beefed up.) You can also read some of the background of the digs that have put Cupids on the archeological map lately.
Cupids Cove Chatter Chatter uses a blog format for quick updates on what’s happening around the community, which has been decked out for the summer. Cupids and its neighbours are hosting numerous activities – concerts, plays, get-togethers, you name it – well beyond the standard tourism centre. I’ve been kept abreast of Chatter postings thanks to the diligent work of Twitter friend Margaret Ayad, who has helped keep Cupids top of mind for a whole online community. Meanwhile, look for lots of links, including a Flickr group to see what’s been going on so far.
New World Theatre Project Rabbittown Theatre of St. John’s has branched out to Cupids for this season, with a program that’s kind of ambitious: it’s staging two Shakespearean plays, plus three originals (including a dinner theatre). We caught three of the productions in a single day, including the effervescent Chris Driedzic’s brief one-man show on the fire that destroyed the legendary Globe theatre. You can find out about productions and times here.
Elsewhere this week
Twitter of the Day Earlier this winter, the people who count such things announced that 50 million tweets were moving into the ether every single day. Woof. Even if you follow a moderate number of people or organizations, it’s impossible (and, to be blunt, just not a good idea) to keep up with everything they say. The appeal of Twitter of the Day is that particularly clever or insightful or colourful things get picked for you.
15 Things You Should Know About Breasts Sounds dirty, but boy, is it not. This infographic is packed with information that everyone should know, but given that it’s published by OnlineSchools.org, I suspect it’s meant mainly for older students, and particularly boys at that. Some inaccurate assumptions about smoking, cosmetic surgery and breastfeeding get the fact-checking they’ve had coming. This is a great public health tool, but it may not please all parents or grown-ups, nor is it appropriate for young kids. [UPDATE: This link is no longer active.]
Lost map It didn’t have a name, but the Island on Lost sure saw a lot of action, from a plane crash to a temple to a freighter exploding into bits just offshore. Fans of the recently concluded TV show will be intrigued to see what a Virginian mapmaker named Jonah M. Adkins came up with after (apparently) following the show quite closely – a map with many of the key settings, from Jacob’s cave to Jughead to the various Dharma stations. Look for links to buy a copy, plus notes from the mapmaker himself.
"If I were reincarnated, I'd want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything." - William Faulkner [The photo above comes from Dirk-Jan Kraan's Flickr feed.]
If you look at the top of the blog, you'll see a new banner fixed into place.
It's a crop of this photograph that Martha took this weekend in Eastport, or just outside, on the road to Salvage. I took a shot on my phone of the same sunset, which I posted here. The boy in the photo is our son Nicholas. (He wanted to pose so that he would look like Atlas, cradling not the Earth but the sun on his shoulders. Martha got this snap along the way; to me, it sums up his 10-year-old self.)
The font in the banner, if anyone is wondering, is the ever-Apple-friendly Skia.
Nicholas was the featured element of the previous banner. Before even I forget what it looked like, here it is. (It's a shot of Nicholas looking out from a hill in Ferryland.)
Two of them, although neither is actually in Eastport itself.
We've been in Eastport the last few days, for both a mini-break from work and a chance to attend the Winterset in Summer literary festival. It was a pleasure to spend the weekend immersed in books and writing, but it was also relaxing - even for stolen moments here and there - to hit the beaches. I'm very fond of the beach in Eastport, although my favourite is in Sandy Cove, which is so long that it feels empty, even when the parking lot is full. On the occasion below, we were the only ones in sight.
Last night, we went for a walk just outside Salvage, as the sun was setting. I also took this pic on my phone, and while it doesn't do the vista justice, it was a remarkable sight.
We're heading back to Eastport in September, for our wedding anniversary, another weekend break from the humdrum, and of course another chance for all three of us to take in the beaches.
This TED presentation was recorded in late 2007, with a forecast of the next 5,000 days of the web. We're several hundred days in. Watch to get a thought-provoking and inspiring look at what's emerging.
I can't imagine life without garlic. I usually pick them up by the bulb, and nothing is as good as the freshest garlic. Martha snapped this picture while we were visiting a friend, who was drying out the bulbs she had pulled from her garden.
We did the decent thing, by the way, and left them where they were.
On Saturday we took a short trip out of town to visit a friend's farm. Linda Young Lewis makes spectacular sweaters, and here's one of her special ingredients, literally. Wally is a llama, one of two that Linda and her husband raise. They also have some goats (Thelma and Louise!) and some sheep, not to mention non-sweater-related things, like chickens, vegetables and fruit trees.
Wally, incidentally, could easily win a staring contest.
And no, Wally didn't spit at us. (We were asked about this twice after our visit, which goes to show that llama spit-up is particularly nasty.)
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.