Archive for July 2012
Hopefully things will be back to normal soon but this will depend on my health professional team and the medications I’m on. I’ve managed to stuff up my back and I’m on multiple pain meds so I’m finding it challenging to concentrate and do many of the things I normally do. I’m just going to take a few days break and come back when I’m able to cut back a little. Squid Ink now has his own login so may continue to post as normal, orders will be sent out as normal, meals will continue to be made by me but everything else will happen if or when I can find someone else to fill in. I will continue with #ausallergy on Tuesday nights, assuming I can actually remember which day is which.
I’m sorry if you’ve been waiting for words of wisdom today but they’re not going to happen.
For many people Elizabeth Taylor was National Velvet, the book it was adapted from of the same name having been almost forgotten. Just as a reminder of the film here’s a video I found on Youtube.
The movie also had Mickey Rooney as the retired jockey who helped the young Velvet Brown to win the Grand National. When I found that I was quite surprised and on checking found there was probably only about 10 or 11 years difference in their ages. One of the things I found really surprising is that Mickey Rooney has been married eight times, only one less than Elizabeth Taylor. I’ve never heard anything about this before, people have been quite scathing about Taylor having been married so many times but I’ve never heard a word about Rooney.
I’ve never seen the movie but I’m going to rectify that as soon as possible. I really need to see how it stacks up against the book. Writing this while chatting with a friend and she’s given me this link for the TV series, something I’d never heard of before.
The author, Enid Bagnold, wrote quite a few other books and plays and was quite outspoken of hospital administration in World War I, making herself quite problematic as a nurse so they sacked her.
I won’t bore you with details of the book until I’ve seen the move so I can compare the two. This is really just a teaser and a few thoughts. I do find it interesting as it helps flesh out what it must have been like living in that era with very little money and with horse mad daughters. Interesting.
Squid comment: Very nice series, despite everything trying to kill me all the time. Even normally inoffensive animals!
It’s been an interesting week and I don’t want to repeat it. Last week I had a virus and I suspect it’s contributed to my back problems and my tooth problems. I’m in the middle of seeing my lovely, friendly physio and having the back fixed while today I see my dentist for my scheduled appointment to have my root canal continued. I’ll be mentioning the pain I’ve had this past week and the virus that so kindly interrupted proceedings to see if this has any bearing on matters. Hopefully I’ll be back to whatever passes for normal by the end of the weekend and I’ll be able to do the market on the 4th of August. I’m of the opinion you actually need to be able to pick up and move boxes of books in order to be able to sell them at markets.
Anyway, I’m in small amounts of pain in various places and this is all you get for an article today as I just don’t have the concentration. Squid Ink will be back tomorrow.
By popular demand, well, one person demanded so here ’tis.
About a month ago we had an earthquake just outside Melbourne, 19th June 2012 about 8:53 in the evening. It was 16 km south west of Moe. 5.4 on the Richter scale it was felt all over Victoria, some places had minor damage.
Everyone had their own response to it. I was in the middle of a Twitter chat, #ausallergy, and we never really got back to it. I sit in an office the size of a bedroom, we have multiple desks and bookshelves and as I deal with books and magazines I had piles of them surrounding me as well as several boxes, we also have far too many phone book holders piled up with things in them.
I heard some slithering and briefly looked around to see what was about to fall, it’s an occupational hazard and we try to minimize the possibility but some books are going to fall on us at some point. Nothing looked more unstable than normal so I went back to Twitter. The sound got louder and I wondered about the possums on the roof, then louder still and I wondered about the burglar on the roof, finally the penny dropped seconds later just before the first tweet hit Twitter #earthquake.
What does a normal person do when faced with an earthquake? When they’re surrounded by things which might possibly fall and damage them? I’m sure they move out of the room and probably out of the house but I did nothing like that, I staying in front of the computer, in front of Twitter monitoring the #earthquake tweets that occurred like an avalanche for the next half hour or so.
I can see everyone rolling their eyes at me right now, no more than I’ve done several times. Don’t ask, I don’t know why I stayed. Nothing fell on me and a month later I think a couple of cracks have enlarged a little but that’s all. I think I have a large dent in the part of my ego that calls for decisive action when it’s called for.
“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” – Physicist and mathematician Lord Kelvin – President of the British Royal Society, 1895.
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” IBM’s Thomas Watson, 1943.
“Landing and moving around on the moon offer so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them.” – Science Digest, August 1948
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olsen, Digital Equipment Corp, 1977.
Can I just say how much I love science fiction and have done for a very long time? These quotes are applicable in so many situations and no more so than here. I’m not terribly old and I’ve seen most of these quotes proven wrong. Each quote has been predicated in science fiction long before they actually came to fruition.
Let’s take the first quote about flying machines not being possible dated from 1895. This one’s a bit challenging and I haven’t been able to find a reference in science fiction to flight earlier than Around The World In 80 Days by Jules Verne which was published in 1873 whereas the first hot air balloon flight has been logged as 1783, in Paris, France made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes in a hot air balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers. Now, hot air balloons are not generally considered to be a flying machine. Here is where I ask my readers to help me with this problem. I know HG Wells in considered to be the father of science fiction and Jules Verne was also a pioneer of the genre, but I’d like to know if there is anyone else who wrote before this. Post your comment here for the next 14 days or after that email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inventions. It’s going to be so hard to specify a book or short story as there are so many. You could look at Isaac Asimov’s Robots series where he had robots who could move or think independently and looked very much like humans. In 2008 I went to see ASIMO, a robot who looks incredibly much like humans and is able to walk, run, climb stairs and interact with people – not independently as yet, but it’s coming. Then’s there’s TOPIO who can play table tennis against a human unveiled in 2005. Well, this is long after the short story Robot AL-76 Goes Astray published in Isaac Asimov in 1941.
Murray Leinster’s 1946 short story “A Logic Named Joe” contains one of the first descriptions of a computer (called a “logic”) in fiction. In the story, Leinster was decades ahead of his time in imagining the Internet. He envisioned logics in every home, linked through a distributed system of servers (called “tanks”), to provide communications, entertainment, data access, and commerce; one character says that “logics are civilization.”
I love the quotes by Thomas Watson and Ken Olsen. While I haven’t found the names of stories or books to predicate these they’re just so wrong and out-of-touch with the way things have gone it’s beyond funny. Yes, there are homes where computers aren’t almost built-in and I have many friends still without them but so many of us have more than one. If you read the Tom Clancy series of Net Force Explorers they have computers in their homes, chips in their heads so they can tune into these computers just by sitting in the right chair, and they also have mobile phones attached to their wrists. I seriously love the ideas contained within this series, don’t wait to have a young adult available to read them with just read them now.
I won’t bore you with any more details whether I have them or not as I think this is long enough already.
Squid Ink has been reading Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I can tell, vaguely.
Squid comment: More specifically, The Kindly Ones. In which… well, not to spoil anything, but you can work most of it out a few books beforetentacle, if you pay careful attention to what seem like throw-away lines. Also, Dream is in this one.
Very well written (and drawn, but we focus more on the writing here). I highly recommend the series.
Sometimes you find a book that just clicks, I was fortunate enough to find six books, I say six books as it’s a series but I haven’t read the final book it doesn’t come out until 2013…I’m hanging out for it.
The Phoenix Files by Chris Morphew is a series of six books set in Australia, possibly somewhere in outback Victoria but this is never very clear. A great series of books and I was fortunate enough to have most of the series on hand so I could do something I haven’t done since I found The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein as a child and read them all back to back, I didn’t even take the time to write anything about them but just picked up the next book and continued on…heaven!
There’s a place with a difference, Luke’s Mum has been given a job there so off they go but Luke isn’t happy as it means leaving his Dad behind. Phoenix is very different, when they arrive the phones aren’t working, there are no cars so you either walk or ride everywhere. With no phones Luke can’t ring his Dad and to add to the creepiness Luke, Jordan and Peter are let into a secret…the world outside Phoenix is going to be destroyed in 100 days and they have no-one to trust. You can read a few words about the first book in the series, Arrival, or you can just continue to read about Contact.
In Contact we’re looking at the situation from Peter’s point of view. Peter who still doesn’t quite believe in this whole apocalypse theory but he’s soft on Jordan so he goes along with them. And then the phone rings, wait, the phone? The phones don’t work in Phoenix but this one is ringing, in broad daylight, in public and everyone can hear. Morphew understands people, despite the fact that everyone knows the phones don’t work many of them still have them in their pocket and when the ringing starts they all pull them out to check it isn’t theirs. I don’t know about you but when a phone rings near me I want to do the same even if the ring tone is nowhere near mine and for a couple of years that’s what I did.
Jordan, Peter and Luke know they’re singled out and they find out at the general assembly when they were appointed to the brand new positions of Staff-Student Liaison Officers! The bit I like about this is when they’re walking up on stage not knowing why they’ve been called up. Peter shows us how good a role model Jordan is as he tells us she is not letting the pressure of being called on stage get to her and she’s focussed
…calculating, getting ready to deal with whatever Pryor was about to throw at us.
Luke was a deer in the headlights.
Why I like this bit is it shows us very quickly how Jordan and Luke deal with situations. What also happens is that while they’re walking to the stage the Principal starts clapping and the rest of the school joins in despite not knowing why, Peter commentates on this with
Applauding with no idea why, but hey, that’s what you do at school.
There’s many things like this throughout the books and it helps explain schools.
I can’t give you more than this in case of spoilers. You really need to read the book. Seriously.
Here is something special in the Mondayitis lineup. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to Boxer from Animal Farm, while he couldn’t read he was happy to answer the questions for me to transcribe.
What do you read?
I’m not good at reading so I only read the letters A, B, C and D. I’m working on the rest of them.
Why do you read?
Because I’m stubborn and I don’t like failure. My motto is “I will work harder” and I use that motto in everything I do, including reading.
Do you read for work or for pleasure and is there any difference between the two?
I read because I embody my motto.
Do you read to your kids or to someone else’s kids?
Kids are baby goats and I’m sure they can read better than me. I’m not going to read to them.
Can you do the Safety Dance while reading?
I always worry about safety and am constantly watching to be sure no-one else is hurt, I can only read when I’m reading.
Are you a rabid Discworld/Twilight/Harry Potter fan and would you attend a flash mob dressed as your favourite character?
No, dressing up is for those with time and vanity, I have neither. I must move some rocks to help build the windmill.
Thank you to Boxer from Animal Farm by George Orwell. He was the most steadfast character and loved Animal Farm to the end.