Friday, October 24, 2008

Scott Phillips, books to read

Author Scott Phillips has three novels and several short stories all with characters from the same family. Set in Wichita Kansas at various points it time (40's, 1952, 1989).

Harold Ramis made a film noir based on the first novel, Ice Harvest (2005). Sharon and I both enjoyed it. I heard about the movie on the Clute and Edwards podcast, Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir.

Recently C&E brought Phillips back to talk about his books in their other podcast Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed. After listening to the interview yesterday I decided to read his books. Turns out Scott Phillips admires Charles Williford as much as I do.

The Auburn Public Library as access to all three of these books so I am going to get the books to read, in hard copy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bodhran article

There is a two page magazine article about the bodhran in The Living Tradition, Issue 80, pages 62-63.

The Bodhran, from the makers point of view, by Sharon Armstrong.

Sharon talked with Albert Alfonso and Seamus O'Kane. Among other this it describes how bodhran playing has changed over the last 30 years, what I call 21st Century Bodhran.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two Trains Running

I just finish Two Trains Running by Andrew Vachss. Enjoyed it, he is still a good writer. I've read almost all of the Burke series and while I get completely engrossed in the Burke characters the subject matter is way to ugly to blindly recommend Vachss's books to just anybody. However, Two Trains Running is more like The Sopranos circa 1959 and not as likely to creep/freak you out.

I flagged this entry as "politics" because the back story is about what goes on in local politics and how elections as influenced. The political subject matter reminded me of some of the Ross Thomas novels.

On the book's website there is a suggested reading list. Joe R. Lansdale, The Bottoms; Pete Dexter, Train; James Ellroy, L.A. Confidential; T.C. Boyle, World's End; Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Michael Patrick McDonald, All Souls; Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest.

I've read the Ellroy and Hammett books and liked them quite a bit. Guess I'll have to read the others as well. If you have experience with any of this please leave a comment.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wall hanging quilt idea

The previous blog entry sent me out into the www, a mind expanding experience to be sure. My creative synapses started working and I came up with an idea for a quilt. Perfect squares of nine patches alternating with neutral "white" squares, like a checkered table cloth.

Elderly Web Surfers Benefit Brains

Marvin the Martian This is from one of the podcasts I normally listen to. (Grammar Girl says it is OK to end a sentence with a preposition, maroon.)
Senior citizens across the world love keeping their brains busy with crossword puzzles, sudoku or word jumbles. These brain-teasers actually help keep neurons firing clearly and quickly. Now a new study has a prescription for the Internet age. According to a paper to be released in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, surfing the web can improve brain function in older adults.

Neuroscientists at U.C.L.A. scanned the brains of two dozen 55- to 74-year-old volunteers as they both read and searched the web. Both activities sent blood rushing to the areas of the brain that control memory and language. However, when using the internet, brain regions that deal with complex reasoning and decision-making also lit up. And the effect was more pronounced the more Internet savvy the surfer was: older adults with more Internet experience under their belts got twice the brain benefit of web rookies when going online. The researchers say their study points to ways of designing software that can keep older folks’ brains brisk. Just what you needed, grandma and grandpa ROTFLOLing.

—Adam Hinterthuer

60-Second Science is a daily podcast of Scientific American.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Great Radio, KFJC

My favorite radio station in the whole wide world is KFJC in Los Altos Hills, California. They are having their annual fund raising drive now. Unlike public radio an most other listener supported broadcast organizations KFJC is more fun to listen to during the fund raising times than the rest of the year. Entertaining commercial and swell parting gifts. I listen at work and at home via the web, KFJC 89.7 FM in silicon valley.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

No one's as Irish as Barack O'Bama

"No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression. If such a movement has caught hold of the imagination of the masses, they will seek a vent in song for the aspirations, the fears and hopes, the loves and hatreds engendered by the struggle. Until the movement is marked by the joyous, defiant singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement; it is a dogma of a few, and not the faith of the multitude."
—James Connolly, 1907

AuburnHouseConcerts Blog

I started a new blog for the Auburn House Concerts site (AHC).
This is where we will announce upcoming concerts, post informal concert reports, and let you know about the publication of AHC videos. At the bottom of the blog page is an applet that shows all the house concert videos we have posted on YouTube.

Monday, October 6, 2008