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text 2015-02-25 00:49
Random Bookish Links and Grrr, This Keyboard

If I'm a bit quieter of late the reasons:

1) the move and the job, and

2) this old laptop I'm on. I'm having a huge hate-relationship with this keyboard. I'll be typing along as usual and suddenly the cursor will hop a few lines above or below, and I'll be typing in the middle of another sentence. It does other quirky things - that's just the most regular symptom.


There's a new laptop in my future but that's going to have to wait til I have time to get it - I have a mess o' errands to get to before then.


Meanwhile, here are some random things I've been reading online - a new Sherlock story, Harper Lee's old novel may be just an early draft of Mockingbird, reading old writing in the margins, a negative review that still makes me want to see a museum exhibit, and a de Sade article that just had to mention Christian Grey (but only in the title).


Scottish man finds lost Sherlock Holmes story from 1904 in attic

By Rachelle Blinder, New York Daily News, February 20, 2015

"...Walter Elliot, 80, said he found the 1904 short story, "Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burgs and, by Deduction, the Brig Bazaar," while looking through old papers to display in a local pop-up museum.

The 1,300-word story was nestled inside a long-forgotten pamphlet that a friend had given to him more than 50 years ago, Elliot said.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the piece for a 48-page booklet to raise money for a bridge in Selkirk, Scotland, Elliot said. The pamphlet, with stories by local authors, was called "The Book o' Brig" after the name of the wood bridge that washed away in a flood in 1902."


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text 2015-01-01 20:50
Random Linkage: Not really a Theme here...



1) In Degrees of Affection's review of Interior Desecrations, I was reminded of and explained "carpet raking" in the comments. Because once upon a time in the 1970s people would both vacuum and rake their carpets. Really. (This is one of the weirder and fun bits of remembering I've had in the entire year. It probably bodes well for the new year.)


2) Some interesting articles about how landscape paintings change when there's a volcanic eruption due to artists trying to capture the effects of the amazing sunsets:


The Krakatoa Sunsets, Richard Hamblyn, Public Domain Review

"...by late October 1883 most of the world, including Britain, was being subjected to lurid evening displays, caused by the scattering of incoming light by the meandering volcanic haze. Throughout November and December, the skies flared through virulent shades of green, blue, copper and magenta, “more like inflamed flesh than the lucid reds of ordinary sunsets,” wrote Hopkins; “the glow is intense; that is what strikes everyone; it has prolonged the daylight, and optically changed the season; it bathes the whole sky, it is mistaken for the reflection of a great fire.”"


How Paintings of Sunsets Immortalize Volcanic Eruptions, Sarah Zielinski, Smithsonian Magazine website

"It may sound a bit far-fetched, but the researchers are not the first to make connections between volcanoes and art depicting sunsets. In 2004, for instance, Don Olson, an astronomer at Texas A&M University, connected the skies in Edvard Munch’s famous 1893 painting The Scream with the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883. But Munch wasn't the only artist to be inspired by volcano enhanced sunsets. There are hundreds more."


‘Krakatoa’ Author on Iceland Volcano’s Parallels With Eruptions Past, PBS Newshour (author is Simon Winchester, there's both video and transcript)

"...it had effects all over the world, principally, in those days, nothing to do with commerce, because, of course, there weren’t any aircraft, but it caused major coloration of the skies. The sunsets, particularly, were stunningly beautiful. And, immediately, artists picked up their paint brushes and their — their watercolor sets and started recording this."


3) I'm not going to admit how many of the videos in Youtube's Home Holiday Lightshow playlist I watched. The Star Wars one made me smile, as did many others. Though I did wonder about how tolerant neighbors have to be about this stuff - even with the audio broadcast over a short range radio setup (which the radio geek in me adores - outdoor speakers were once the only option here), the amount of flashing lights is, just, wow. Thankfully LEDs Christmas lights mean that lighting things up no longer costs thousands in electrical bills. Though cheaper means it's also probably a more common problem now for neighborhoods with these massive display houses.

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