books - where what & how

Funny that today I should find Luc Sante's "The Book Collection That Devoured My Life" having just started a book purchased long ago but unpacked only last week - Nicholas Basbanes' A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. What do we do with all those books...a questions not fully fathomed until you've moved into your beloved's family home (a row house in DC - see photo) and discover it already full of three generations of stuff belonging to those who've moved on (to wherever comes next or my by moving beyond the District) - all including the deceased continue to receive mail. There are elegant solutions even if not do-able at the moment because of repairs needed/lack of space/et cetera. It is still fun to visualize. I already had some 300 books by the time I was a sophomore in college. And I'm the interloper here surrounded by things not mine to toss. So while not a collector in the obessessed-possessed way, I do love my books. And have missed them much since some have been boxed for years now. Now back to trying to find places to put them when there's no room...


Cities reflect its creators/developers...?

Cities do not change over the centuries. They represent the aspirations of particular men and women to lead a common life; as a result their atmosphere, their tone, remain the same. Those people whose relations are founded principally upon commerce and upon the ferocious claims of domestic privacy will construct a city as dark and as ugly as London was. And is. Those people who wish to lead agreeable lives, and in constant intercourse with one another, will build a city as beautiful and as elegant as Paris.
   + Peter Ackroyd, in Dickens


Science (+ Math) vs. News: Who trumps whom?

Topic: phthalate plasticisers.

In the domain of things we wished didn't happen...aka, when bad things happen to good points of view. OK, that's a bit over the top. How about -- "There is no such thing as objectivity?"

Regardless of the frame, over at the thestatsblog some poignant issues are being raised as to the merits of phthalate bans and PBS's failure to cover both sides of the matter.


Black Rabbi in Chicago crossing boundaries

A-A authors who converted to Judaism: This NY Times article "Black Rabbi Reaches Out to Mainstream of His Faith" reminded me of my youthful days of reading Chaim Potok whose Hasidic depictions enraptured me.

I grew up Southern Baptist and consented to being baptised, late as a teenager, merely to please my mother who wanted to have a place to bury me if I were to die. For seven years I attended a single-sex Episcopal school where I attended chapel daily. I went off to college where I probably claimed to be agnostic. Then, I stopped affiliating. When I had a commitment ceremony, it was in a Unitarian Church. And, matters of faith still intrigue me. I like ritual; perhaps that is some of the appeal.


Colt .45 in comics: sippin' and chillin'

I rarely drink alcohol since personally it's not as yummy as orange soda or an IBC Root Beer. And, I have absolutely no idea what Colt .45 tastes like since I never ran in those circles. But, being an overly educated brown-skinned person who's only lived in urban areas, I know what it signifies to me:
  • a cheap high
  • more bang for your buck
packed in a whopping 40 ounces. So it's amusing to read at MSNBC's Ads of the Weird about the effort to upscale the thin swill with a big kick.

So I got curious about the actualities of the demon brew.

Would you have imagined that malt liquor has been the subject of a PhD dissertation? I kid you not (and, the first twenty-five pages are allegedly available for free):

Brown Taylor, Didra. 2000. Knowledge, Attitudes, and Malt Liquor Beer Drinking Behavior Among African American Men in South Central Los Angeles. Thesis (Ph. D)--California School of Professional Psychology, 2000a.
In the wings, there are more scholars waiting. [What did we do before we had the web?] See what further unblinking can unearth. Now, go forth, read and become more truly aware with "A Story without Heroes: The Cautionary Tale of Malt Liquor".


Nike celebrates a century of Converse shoes

In college I was the proud owner of a pair of black leather "Chucks" -- and, I just realized that actually everyone in the family has a pair. So if you don't need to quibble over the actual birth day and the cheap marketing ploy, you can probably enjoy the photos @ Boston.com.


Inhabitat » VIDEO: Grow a Treehouse

Just another nifty notion from people with way more time and brains than I in this "Grow a Treehouse with Terreform" video on Inhabitat.


Why I'm Thinking Obama Can

If it was just about who I want, I'd vote for Hilary in a heartbeat even as I am cognizant of what happened the last time Bill got bored in the White House -- think back to 1995 & re-think Monica Lewisky as a presidential distraction because he had time on his hands because of Congress' government shutdown.

But if the question is who I think can win, then I'm another vote now squarely behind Obama. (Especially, now that Romney has dropped out and I think Obama v. McCain is a more winnable battle.)

Folks (both, in print and in person) have convinced me that there is substance behind Obama's "Can't we just all get along" affect. So I gladly hear the history, and the uplift, of the moment arriving in this song -- masterfully choreographed by will.i.am:

Now, if someone can just keep Nader from spoiling the party again!