Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The only thing that marred my trip to the movies was my missing part of the show due to a projection error (I'm always the one to inform the theater management). Back in the 5th grade, I was one of the students tasked to run the film projector, so I'm sensitive to projection errors. Do schools even have film projectors any more? If not, how are geeks-in-training recognized in elementary school ? ? ?
Monday, July 24, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Bonus: The Straight Dope explains the meaning of "Hotel California".
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I have a box of 50+ paperbacks - mostly "classic" science fiction - Niven, Heinlein, etc. (Somehow I ended up with two copies of The Mote in God's Eye.) Anyway, out it goes.
If anyone out there is interested in classic SF (and some Tom Clancy and Stephen King for good measure), let me know and you can pick out what you like before I take the box to the thrift store.
Monday, July 17, 2006
You may imagine my delight in reading about another sort of greenhouse, the "pinery", in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. A pinery is a greenhouse devoted to growing, not pine trees, but pineapples. They were apparently quite the rage among wealthy landowners in 18/19th century England.
The heroine in Northanger Abbey is similar to Don Quixote, in that she confuses fictional books with real-life. The book is generally considered a minor Austen novel, but it's minor only in relation to her masterpieces. I think it's a fine introduction to the author's work.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
As I read classic novels this summer, I've found that most of them have been adapted into first-rate movies.
I included Starship Troopers in the photo as a bit of a joke. I'll leave it to those who have read Heinlein's book and/or watched the movie to ponder the nature of my little joke...
Monday, July 10, 2006
I enjoyed the movie, though it was very long. Keira Knightley does not get as much screen time as Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. IMHO, though, she is by far the most alluring of the pirates ;-)
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea helped push him over the top in winning a Nobel Prize in Literature. The mystical tone of the story is somewhat reminiscent of the short story "The Big Two-Hearted River", which is a good thing.
In Candide, Voltaire savagely indicted the notion of "philosophical optimism" - that everything happens for a good purpose and that "this is the best of all possible worlds." After enduring much violence and misuse, Candide and his companions finally find a reasonable existence in performing useful work as a household community. In the last line, Candide says that "we must cultivate our garden."
Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is filled with unappetizing characters. It's a good study of how not to live one's life.