When I visit any major city I love to take snapshots of what I call vertical symmetry in architecture. I spent the past week in Toronto and nabbed some great photos. By vertical symmetry I mean the precision with which tall buildings line up in vertical perfection as one's field of vision is narrowed to the point at which these buildings merge on their vertical sides. One building will be in the foreground and another one distant -- sometimes very distant, yet their sides match perfectly [their edges] -- and I never cease to be amazed by this. The first picture is a perfect example of this. The white building in the middle is many blocks distant, yet notice how perfectly it is aligned with those in the foreground? [Click on it to see clearer.] The edges are in perfect alignment. The other picture is a neat one I took of the CN Tower and the moon. To see a few more pictures I took, click HERE.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years. -- Audrey Hepburn --
Well -- I've accomplished quite a bit here on my second day of vacation. It's been a long time in the making -- a lot of red tape -- but today it was finalized after a lengthy meeting with executives. As of today, 50% of all demo-model Apple screens are going to default to the Bookpuddle webpage when they are on demonstration in stores….. worldwide. I'm pretty excited about this. Should be some pretty good exposure!
I've just begun reading a fascinating book called Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other. The author is MIT Professor of the Social Studies of Science, Sherry Turkle. She has been researching and writing about the effects of the computer and the advances in electronic communication over the past 30 years -- and this most recent book is about the way in which things like texting are changing our lives and relationships. Along with the reading of the book I've been listening to her lectures on Youtube and found the following, from a recent TED Talk -- quite insightful. Turkle was discussing how even phone calls and email are becoming a thing of the past -- seeming out-dated, or requiring too much involvement. The preference for texting is taking over and society in general has moved from the idea of "I'm having a feeling. I want to make a call." to --> "I want to have a feeling. I need to send a text."I think that is extremely profound, and disturbing -- trend-wise.The entire topic is of great interest to me [a person who does not even have a cell phone, and NEVER texts anyone]!I found an absolutely hilarious clip on YouTube -- in which even Adolf Hitler is aware of Turkle's work!Enjoy!
It's no mystery to any of my Blogfriends that I have not been writing much lately, nor blogging. Other than a poem composed under the influence of too much beer and a state of emotional dismay, I really seem to have [as they say] "left the building". But tomorrow morning I leave for a week of vacation -- much needed. Who knows. Maybe I'll blog! At any rate, I have been reading some great books, for sure. Canada by Richard Ford. An excellent story of a very normal family that does a non-normal thing. At least the parents do. They rob a bank. Do not blame me for spoiling the plot line, as Ford's narrator, 15-year old Dell Parsons tells us as much in the very first line. The real story is about the effect of these actions upon Dell and his twin sister, Berner. It's a sprawling, mesmerizing read. I highly recommend it. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. Ahhh, Mr. McEwan, you know I love you. This novel was a real pageturner for me. I've read pretty much all of his books and trust me, the last fifty pages of this one will reaffirm for you that McEwan is still capable of pulling off the sort of exquisite literary twistiness reminiscent of Atonement. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. American college days in the 1980's. English major Madeleine Hanna has two guys that are in love with her. Both of them are a bit crazy in their own unique way, but one suffers an actual clinical depression -- and he is the one she has given herself most completely to. The other guy, repeatedly jilted, maintains a sort of Levin-like [see Anna Karenina] lifelong devotion to Madeleine. Far be it from me to give away any more of what happens in the "marriage" plot. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Among other reasons to read this book -- the characters are so well-drawn that they are truly unforgettable. Not to sound too repetitive from the above mentioned book, but in this one the difference may be that one woman is in love with two different guys! Again, gets married to one of them. I am not writing proper reviews of these books, I know -- these are just brief blurbs [if even that] but one thing I will say about Freedom, which is quite a lengthy book to tackle, is that the conclusion of it is very… redeeming. It's worth getting to. The Stranger's Childby Alan Hollinghurst. I have mixed feelings about this one. It failed to captivate me as much as his The Line of Beauty -- but, having now said that nearly meaningless thing -- the strength of this book is in its underlying message that it is really impossible to know someone via a reconstruction of their life after they are gone. This is what the Valance family [and others] attempt to do after Cecil Valance, a young poet modelled after Rupert Brooke, is killed in action during WWI. A reader must be patient with the detailed investigative work that is necessary in the creation of biography or memoir. The writing itself though [by that I mean Hollinghurst's] is superb, and this novel will not disappoint those of us who read for the chemical rush of perfection in prose. As I think of it, I have read two other books in the interim of these five mentioned. Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes -- and The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt. See how distracted I am by thoughts of holidays? *****
If watching television doesn’t hasten death, it surely manages to make death very inviting; for television so shamelessly sentimentalizes and romanticizes death that it makes the living feel they have missed something - just by staying alive. -- John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany --
He used to think that he wanted to be good, he wanted to be kind, he wanted to be brave and wise, but it was all pretty difficult. He wanted to be loved, too, if he could fit it in. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is The Night --
When novelist Margaret Atwood asked women what they feared most from men, they said: ‘We’re afraid they’ll kill us.’ When men were asked the same question about women, they said: ‘We’re afraid they’ll laugh at us.' -- Naomi Wolf --
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. -- Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe --
His rage passes description - the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted. -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit --
Maybe some of you have noticed that for the past little while I have not been posting anything on my blog. I appreciate the comment from "anonymous" in my last Splash du Jour that suggested that my absence was felt. My internet was down for a bit. Such an aggravating condition when that happens. Would you agree? It's even more aggravating when the reason it is down is because you called your service provider on an entirely unrelated billing matter, and the next time you try to access the internet, it does not work. As in, a minute after you hang up the phone. Arrrrrgh! So I called them back immediately and was given the usual runaround -- as though it was something I had done myself. As if in the interim I poured a gallon of milk into my wireless modem or whatever. ACH! So aggravating. At one point the person on the other end said, "I'm sorry sir. It's just technology!" Just technology? "Yes," I agreed -- "But I am paying for that technology to work properly!" I finally got them to admit they needed to send a real live technician human being to my apartment -- and by golly -- they did. It's now fixed, and better than ever. I'm still reading Alan Hollinghurst's latest novel, The Stranger's Child, and really enjoying it even though I'm finding that it is difficult to keep the introduction of so many characters in line. One feels the need to construct a family tree, perhaps. But it's good, it's good. As was his Booker Prizewinner The Line Of Beauty, back in 2004. Happy reading, y'all. *****
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. -- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray --