A Tale of Two Novels

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I am a devoted fan of the novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.  It crystallizes my personal philosophies in a way that no other work ever has.  Apparently, I’m not alone:

A poll conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club asked what book has most affected reader’s personal lives. Atlas Shrugged placed second only to the Bible.

via A Tale of Two Novels: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged vs James Joyce’s Ulysses  (Harry Binswanger — Capitalism Magazine)

Who is John Galt?

Johnny Depp and King Tut

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In today’s “Today in History” post, Mostly Cajun linked to a Steve Martin video from 1979; it’s a live recording of his infamous King Tut routine.

For reasons I can’t entirely explain, even to myself, this video reminded me of a scene from the 1993 movie Benny & Joon, starring Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn and Julianne Moore.  This movie was not a huge box-office hit; it does showcase Depp’s talent for physical comedy, and it remains one of my favorites.  In the scene that comes to mind, Depp, Masterson and Quinn are in a diner where Moore works as a waitress.   Watch and see if you can explain to me the direction my brain was moving when it made this tenuous connection.

Just to round things off, here’s the movie’s theme song, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers, set to scenes from the movie.

Weird Book Meme

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Tagged by MoK at Six Degrees of Blondness:

The rules are: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!

From Scarlet, by Stephen R. Lawhead:scarlet

Odo speaks his English with the strange flat tongue of the Frank outlanders.  That he speaks English at all is a wonder, I suppose, and the reason why Hugo chose him.  Poor Odo is a pudgy pudding of a man, young enough, and earnest in faith and practice, but pale and only too ready to retire, claiming cramp or cold or fatigue.  He is always fatigued, and for no good reason it seems to me.  He makes as if chasing a leaking nib across fresh-scraped vellum is as mighty a labour as toting the carcass of a fat hind through the greenwood on your back with the sheriff’s men on your tail.

I’m going to tag Sassy Sistah and Pastor Geek, both of whom I know to be avid readers.  Anyone else who wants to play along, go for it!

Old Hippies

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There have been at two ‘Old Hippies’ that have had impact on my life.  The first, and certainly the most influential, was my first husband.  Born in 1950, he served in the Navy from 1968 – 1972; he married me (his first and only wife) in 1979; his first child was born in 1981 and his second in 1984.  He didn’t make it to Woodstock, but he was at a Grateful Dead concert when it was announced that Nixon had resigned.  He despised disco, and switched over to country music in rebellion.  When this song was released in 1985, he was 35 years old.  He succumbed to cancer in 1994, at the age of 44.  Every time I hear this song, I wonder if the Bellamy Brothers had actually met Murph.

In 1995, the Bellamy Brothers released a sequel to Old Hippie, called (in a fit of originality) Old Hippie-The Sequel.  This is the version that brings to mind the other Old Hippie in my life, my former boss, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 47.  I still work for his partner and younger brother.  This one is for Rick, who never really was comfortable with computers, fax machines and cell phones.

I had high hopes of another sequel in 2005, but it didn’t happen.  I shudder to think how Murph and Rick would have handled life in 2008.

The Kindle goes to school

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Kindles will be put into the hands of librarians, assistant librarians and technology specialists at its elementary, middle and high schools. Once they’re versed in the ways of using Kindle to promote reading and literacy, what Johnson calls “the third wave” of placing the devices in classrooms can’t be far behind. The opportunity to save education dollars and engage students with technology they can relate to is too great to pass up, he believes.

E-books: Granite School Board a fan of Amazon Kindle device – Salt Lake Tribune

More Kindle Love

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Another rave review of the Kindle, from Rick Tetzeli at Entertainment Weekly.

I now enjoy the Kindle edition of the Times more than the real thing. Yes, I miss the photographs, but honestly (sorry, photo editors!), I don’t miss them that much. Since you navigate by clicking through article headlines and blurbs, reading the Times, Newsweek, or Fortune is like reading a blog, only without the headache of a computer screen. I find myself reading more full-length articles, both mainstream features and off-point surprises, than I ever did with the print versions — the experience is totally different; instead of scanning a newspaper spread or busy magazine pages, your eye is focused only on the list of articles, making it easier to find stories you’re interested in. And finally, the prices are great: My brother-in-law Mark, who lives in Massachusetts, glommed onto my Kindle during vacation, and loved it so much that he figured out the following ploy (in order to convince his wife that he should buy it): He saw the Kindle for $395, found a promotion that cut $100 off the price, then got a Kindle subscription to The New York Times ($168/year) and dumped their home subscription ($697/year). Satiating tech lust has never been so cost-effective!

it’s a great way to travel with books and newspapers and magazines, and the best example yet of how the worlds of deep reading and digital innovation have begun to happily collide. The next logical step is already under way: Amazon is rumored to be working with many colleges across the country to test a college edition of the Kindle. In this future, when Tal scooters to school, she won’t be swerving around under the weight of a heavy sackful of books on her back.

via Can the Kindle sway a book geek? | Digital Commentary | News + Notes | Entertainment Weekly

Footnote in History

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On this date in 1880, John Philip Sousa became the leader of the United States Marine Corp Marching Band. Who doesn’t love a ‘Sousa March’?

H/T to Mostly Cajun for the info.

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