Towse: views from the hill

November 20, 2006

[URL] Quotiki – Search and Share Your Favorite Quotations

Filed under: URL — Towse @ 8:00 pm


Be interesting to see, as Quotiki evolves, whether general misinformation about quotations and attributions gets picked up as gospel.

Case in point: a recent discussion on ADS-L discussing “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”

Oft times attributed to Groucho Marx, this quote is now attributed to Tony Oettinger, a professor with interests in computational linguistics with a 1966 cite.

The gang of word huggers on the ADS-L list are merrily trying to antedate the quote and/or confirm it with Oettinger.

[snagged from Cygnoir‘s list.]

Ian Rankin on Thomas Pynchon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:27 am

Enjoy. … [click here]

November 19, 2006

Subterranean #4 – Read it for free!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 9:03 pm

Folks over at Subterranean Press tell me that Subterranean #4 is now available for free download. (Or you can buy a hardcopy for $6.)

Guest edited by John Scalzi, #4 is devoted to science fiction clichés.

Read what Scalzi has to say about it here.

#4 downloads as a PDF file. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader, download a FREE! Reader here.

[PAY MKT] Clarkesworld Magazine [SFF&H]

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:53 pm

Submission guidelines for Clarkesworld Magazine

Clarkesworld Magazine is an online venue and chapbook series for short works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Each month, Clarkesworld will publish two pieces of fiction, one from a prominent author with one or more books available for sale on the Clarkesworld Books website, and one chosen from the rolling open call for submissions below. Anyone who has not been solicited and is not currently under consideration for the “prominent author” slot may submit.

PAYS: $0.10/wd
Max word count: 4K
Buys: First World Electronic rights, first print rights for chapbooks and non-exclusive anthology rights
E-sub only.

Though no particular setting, theme, or plot is anathema to us, the following are likely hard sells:

  • stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
  • stories in which the words “thou” or “thine” appear
  • talking cats
  • talking swords
  • [...]

[via Margaret McGaffey Fisk and Vision Magazine]

November 18, 2006

[WR] Updated the "A Writer’s Life" section of internet resources for writers

Filed under: writing — Towse @ 2:32 am

Updated the “A Writer’s Life” section of internet resources for writers.

Subsections include Book Buying · Chocolate · Creativity Nudges · Games & Distractions · Gifts · Insurance · Journal Keeping · Pens · Time Management & Procrastination · Writer’s Block · Writers’ Supplies · Writing Exercises

The Library Shop at The New York Public Library

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:43 am

I’m updating my collection of links for writers and click clicking through every link I have.

Clicked on the link to The Library Shop at The New York Public Library

Isn’t this cool?

This is pretty cool too.

November 17, 2006

Nosh and wine at Bonhams & Butterfields

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 9:03 pm

We were down on San Bruno Avenue last night for some nosh and wine and a preview look at the goodies going on sale at the Bonhams & Butterfields’ Fall 2006 Fine Asian Works of Art auction.

Interesting collection of stuffs — new stuff, old stuff, really old stuff, stuff that’s going for such extraordinary amounts you just have to go, huh?

Dessa Goddard gave her spiel about the coolest objects up for bid and gave a pitch for the modern paintings that have such high estimates.

(We noted that she’d also made sure that this time one of the high-estimate, breakable items not only was on a pedestal, encased in Plexiglas, but also was surrounded by a cordon so no one would plop themselves and their glass of wine down anywhere close enough to bump the pedestal.)

Loved the story behind that vase:

Provenance: Ashley Park House, Lough Ourna, Tipperary, Ireland

Built in 1770 by John Head, this famous 18th century home with its magnificent gardens was first recorded in Taylor & Skinner, Maps and Roads of Ireland, in 1777. Sold to George Atkinson in 1824, the family enlarged the gardens, added a north wing and the Chinese Reading room. The house remained in the family until it was sold to the present owner’s family in 1983. This vase was found among the effects in storage.

“Found among the effects in storage.” So, was it found in the Atkinson family’s storage shed where they stashed everything as they were moving out or did they leave it behind?

My favorite lot was this one.

Apparently someone down in Florida had it sitting outside in their garden for years until a small bird told B&B that they might be able to talk the owners into selling it.

I love this lot.

Sweetie pie, I said to his nibs. Wouldn’t that just be perfect to have in the garden area down by the walk? Everyone walking by could enjoy it. I’d enjoy it. I’d do more than enjoy it, I’d love it.

(I can dream can’t I?)

He played along, but turns out that even if he didn’t have problems with the price it’ll go for once the bidding starts, there are issues with the weight (est. 800 lbs), the size (5’7″ tall, about 4′ deep and 5′ wide), the installation construction needed (excavation, concrete pad, retaining walls to keep the hill from slipping down on it) and the high probability eventually of either theft or graffiti, being as it would be on the public walk.

I think he’s being extraordinarily growly and grumpy.

Let me dream a little, will you? It would be perfect for the spot I already have picked out.

The sale is Monday. The next Lotto drawing is tomorrow. I’m sure if I win the Lotto, he’ll change his mind. …

Anorexia kills

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:04 pm

The papers carried news today that Brazilian fashion model Ana Carlina Reston, 21, died Tuesday of complications (a “generalized infection”) related to anorexia.

Articles about Reston’s death are mentioning her last BMI (13.5).

Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos collapsed and died in August as she walked off the catwalk at a fashion show. She died of heart failure caused by her efforts to skinny down after she was told she could become a top model if she did so. Ramos reportedly ate only lettuce and drank only Diet Coke for the three months preceding her death. In reaction to Ramos’ death and to complaints from women’s organizations and medical sources, Spain barred uber skinny models from their top fashion show last September.

The cutoff BMI for the Spanish show was 18, or the equivalent of 119 pounds on a 5’8″ model. (A BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight.) When she died, Reston was 5’8″ and weighed less than ninety pounds.

The Reston articles usually ran a snap of Reston in her heyday.

Folks, this isn’t what an anorexic looks like.

Reston believed that being thin, losing weight, would make her more attractive, more successful as a model, so she lost weight and more weight and more weight until it killed her.

If you search for articles on Reston, it’s easy to find photographs of a beautiful model and harder to find pictures of Reston looking like this or like this.

It is possible to be too thin.

Anorexia kills. It’s a treatable disease.

November 16, 2006

A Liberal’s Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives …by Michael Moore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:56 am

Found this because of a mention here.

I don’t check in with I would’ve missed A Liberal’s Pledge without Deck’s headsup.

Deck, as usual, is far more pessimistic than I am about what can and will and may and may not be accomplished by the new Congress in the two years before the 2008 elections.

I especially liked item five on the pledge:

5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we’ll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.

But the lights are always pretty.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:15 am

Some one commented about negative thoughts about the upcoming season and said, “But the lights are always pretty.”

The lights are always pretty.

Pick what you like of the season and enjoy those things.

I love the lights, Christmas trees (I am a huge fan of Christmas trees), cookies, Christmas carols, listening to A CHRISTMAS CAROL on Christmas Eve (what a great voice Lionel Barrymore had), hot cocoa with whipped cream or a marshmallow, listening to Sinatra sing of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and getting nostalgic even though you grew up in California and the snow’s a couple hours away. …

We had three hours after dropping off the mortgage refinance papers to make it to dinner at Cafe Maritime, three miles or so away. We could’ve walked home and set out again, but that involved backtracking a mile mas o menos with a steep uphill climb followed by a 2.3 mile walk to dinner anyway. It all just seemed silly, so we moseyed toward our destination, stopping and poking our heads in at places we usually don’t poke our heads into.

Walking through Macy’s Union Square, as we did tonight, is frisson-making. All those Way to SHOP! people were there shopping for stuff that’s unnecessary, unneeded and pricey. Can they afford it? Wouldn’t their money be better spent on something more prosaic, more substantial, less frivolous?

How about a donation to the San Francisco Food Bank, peoples?

And then I realize, who am I to tell them how to spend or not spend their money?

Just because I think the prices are too dear at the spanking-new thrift store we popped our heads into on Polk doesn’t mean that I should insist others not shop there. ($40 for a thrift store pashmina shawl? helloooo!)

I don’t know what your beef with Christmas is, but mine is the egging on of people who really can’t afford it to spend far too much on a holiday that, theoretically, should be about something far far from new table linens for the holiday dinner, pricey electronic toys for the children and a holiday party dress that costs more than the family spends on groceries in a month.

Christmas advertising strikes me the way wine/beer/alcohol advertising strikes me. There are many many many people who need to stay away from alcohol and are trying to stay away from alcohol but look … turn the page in a Wednesday food section and the siren ads murmur, “Buy Towse Estates sauvignon blanc. Drink Towse, it will make your life as sweet as a summer day.”

Oh, don’t get me started.

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