peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
I just realized that at The Moby-Dick Big Read, a project that turns Melville's masterpiece into an audiobook with each chapter read by some one different, there is something funny indeed.

Chapter 95: The Cassock is all about an object

...longer than a Kentuckian is tall, nigh a foot in diameter at the base, and jet-black....

...the whale's penis.

That's not the funny part, though! To read "The Cassock," they chose John Waters.

That's funny.
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
So two Fridays ago I'm in a bookstore nearby my house waiting to hear this dude read from his new book. I had some time to kill, and head to the head, er, the restroom for you landlubbers. There's a line.

There shouldn't be a line, no. It was technically a four-holer, two stand-up receivers for simple fluid, and two stalled seats for the more involved visit. However, at the moment I had chosen, both the stalls were being used not for a simple sit and pinch, but to change the clothing of the occupants: in one, I could plainly see the hook of a suit bag peaking out from the top of the door; the other betrayed the same activity with an open backpack on the floor. Both. Meaning the rest of us had to wait for the wall mounted receivers to clear.

As I'm finally waiting at one of the urinals, I hear Mr. Suit Bag finally wrapping up. I finish myself and all but follow him out, muttering silent dark held pee thoughts.

And I find myself following him. Not because I'm a creepo or anything, but because We're both heading to the reading area. This is the dude I had come to see. Oh. I guess most bookstores don't have a Green Room for their visiting authors to use for changing. Duh.

I mention this for a good reason. )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
I think it's time to buy an electronic reader. I am agnostic on brand, but I prefer the electronic paper variety (simply because I think it would be easier to read and wouldn't eat batteries). I've looked at several and asked sales help everywhere, but I have yet to answer what I think would be a simple question.

To anyone out there: How do you excerpt a section from an e-book and move that excerpt off the device?

It seems a simple question, but all seem flummoxed. Oh, and I don't mean make a note about something; those notes disappear when the book does from your machine. What if the excerpt is on a library book (of which I read a lot)? That excerpt must come off the device through a relatively simple procedure.

I don't want to copy whole chapters here, just take a paragraph or two, but usually just a sentence. If anyone can do this on their reader, could you comment with the reader you have and the procedure? I'll give it a whirl in a store. (Not that I don't trust, but this problem has been vexing me so long I simply want to see it done myself before I plunk down the coin.)

Thanks to all!
peristaltor: (Default)
Almost a week ago, I found myself at a neighbor's modest Labor Day lawn gathering with a few other neighbors and friends of the host. A couple of friends there were, like the host, writers, folks who banged keyboard for a living (unlike me, who bangs them to punish them for not giving me a living).

One writer specialized so heavily in weird fiction (Poe and Lovecraft present the most obvious examples of the genre) that, as he confessed, he hadn't read any science fiction since about 1968. And so, eavesdropping socially on a conversation I and another guest were having about books we've read, he asked what I thought to be a perfect party talky topic: Which ten science fiction books written since 1968 can be considered seminal enough to have affected subsequent publications?

I submit my nominations below the cut, and ask for yours in the comments. )
peristaltor: (Default)
In his latest book, The Ecotechnic Future, John Michael Greer notes the problem of increasing yields in organic crops using the most obvious fertilizer source, one that literally falls out of farmers' asses:

So why has the world been unable to get its fertilizer together on this issue? What keeps composted humanure and urine from being a primary resource base for farmers struggling to replace dwindling inorganic sources of plant nutrients? Much of the reason reaches deep into the crawl spaces of the industrial world's imagination. People who object to composting human waste very often cite concerns about pathogens or odors, but it rarely takes long to reach the emotional level of a five-year-old clenching his eyes shut and squealing, "Ewww, ick!"

C.S. Lewis pointed out . . . that modern attitudes about dirt and biological waste have their source in what might be called biophobia -- a pathological fear of the realities of biological life, coupled with an obsessive fascination with the sterile, the mechanical and the lifeless. Biophobia guides the creation of human environments so sterile that, according to recent research, many currently widespread illnesses may be caused by excessive cleanliness. The same attitude, I'm convinced, drives the horror many people feel when faced with the prospect of eating food fertilized with composted (human waste).

(John Michael Greer, The Ecotechnic Future, New Society Publishers, 2009, p. 114.)

Biophobia. At last, I have a dismissive descriptive to pepper my missives.
peristaltor: (Default)
Riddle me this: What was Terry Pratchett's first discworld book?

The answer might surprise you! )


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