The Wednesday Four (07/29/15)

I really like the second article because I find any discussions about evolution to be interesting.

  • The Post-Ownership Society How the “sharing economy” allows Millennials to cope with downward mobility, and also makes them poorer. (Washington Monthly)
White arctic wolf

White arctic wolf: Very nice Arctic wolf (originally from Canada), relaxing on a rock (photo (c) Tambako The Jaguar)

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Music Sundays: 이루펀트 (ELUPHANT) – MOTM (Feat. 수다쟁이, Huckleberry P, RHYME -A-)

Music Sundays are back! Holidays and vacations got kind of in the way, but now that 20we’re in the middle of July, I’m getting things back on track. Enjoy.

Here’s audio of a song I really like by the khiphop group Eluphant (made up of Minos and Kebee) and starring guys from their crew, Speaking Trumpet.

The Wednesday Four (07/22/15)

Today’s links are about the brain and true crime, enjoy.

  • Boy Interrupted: One Man’s Desperate Quest to Cure His Son’s Epilepsy—With Weed (Wired)
  • The Wetsuitman: Last winter two bodies were found in Norway and the Netherlands. They were wearing identical wetsuits. The police in three countries were involved in the case, but never managed to identify them. This is the story of who they were. (Dagbladet)
Peering Through The Long Grass

Peering Through The Long Grass (photo (c) A Guy Taking Photos)

 

The Wednesday Four (07/15/15)

I guess I should apologize for having three Buzzfeed links, but that would require me to be sorry about it. Which I’m not. Also, there’s a link from Fusion, which if you don’t read, you should. Their stuff’s pretty interesting. My only concession about Buzzfeed is that their headlines suck, but then again everyone’s using headlines that are basically clickbait — does that make it okay? I don’t know, but I don’t have to like it.

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Lake Michigan, South Haven, MI (photo (c) Eve Hermann

Book Review: The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

best01While looking up similar books to Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road (LibraryThing), I stumbled across Karen Lord’s novel The Best of All Possible Worlds. The summary sounded promising: “Now Lord returns with a second novel that exceeds the promise of her first. The Best of All Possible Worlds is a stunning science fiction epic that is also a beautifully wrought, deeply moving love story.” Thus I picked I up (one of the libraries I work at happens to own a copy, which was even better). That review was, in fact, correct (in spite of my not having read her first novel). The Best of All Possible Worlds is fantastic for many, many reasons.

There are lots of books about space and aliens and the future of the human race. There are lots of books that combine these elements together, some good, some not so much. But The Best of All Possible Worlds does something different, something better. Karen Lord’s novel is centered around a woman, Grace — while she is not our only character to have a voice, she is in mabest02ny ways the main character of the novel. She lives on a planet that is home to refugees from all across the galaxy, most (if not all) of them are some form of human, but they are also very different, very alien. But what Lord does is find a way to tie them all together, to make them find their similarities, instead of their differences.

Grace is works for the government and can speak many languages, which is how she ends up befriending Dllenahkh, who is Sadiri and from a planet that no longer exists. Grace is tasked with helping Dllenahkh and his fellow Sadiris find genetic matches to keep their people from extinction (think of it as similar to when Vulcan is destroyed in the new Star Trek reboot and how the elder Spock, at the end of movie, has decided to devote to helping the popular rebuild). In a way, The Best of All Possible Worlds is a very long road trip, as Dllenahkh, Grace and the rest of their assigned crew travel across Grace’s planet.

In way, Lord combines some of the more interesting aspects of Stragate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis into her novel. Grace and Dllenahkh’s travels remind me, in a way, of the Stargate teams traveling to different planets and learning about the people (and discovering that, in many cases, that are not that differbest03ent from themselves). Not only do Grace, Dllenahkh, and their crew find compatible people, they also find out more about the different cultures of the planet and, more significantly, about each other.

The Best of All Possible Worlds is a story about people more than anything else. It is about Grace’s relationship with her coworkers, with the people of her planet, and with her family. Grace learns things about herself, about the people in her life, and about the history of her people and all peoples in her galaxy. In many ways The Best of All Possible Worlds is akin to a space opera, but I’ve never read one quite as beautifully written as Lord’s novel.

There is a love story within the novel as well. Grace and Dllenahkh find in each other something they didn’t even know they were looking for. The love story is subtle, it’s gentle, and it’s also really, really satisfying. Which sums up the novel as a whole, actually.

I really loved The Best of All Possible Worlds and I highly recommend it.

The Wednesday Four (07/08/15)

That Oliver Sacks article might make you cry, FYI. Also, if you’ve never read one of his books, you totally should. He’s an excellent author.

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This is a African Fennec Fox, The Cleveland Zoo has one of these. They just had one of these on a local morning tv program. The zoo handler said they are about 3lbs. They have the big ears because it keeps them cool in Africa. (photo & caption (c) yvonne n)

The Wednesday Four (07/01/15)

A lot of these are depressing. Apologies in advance. To make up for it, there’s a picture of a kitten at the bottom of this post.

  • Split Image: On Instagram, Madison Holleran’s life looked ideal: Star athlete, bright student, beloved friend. But the photos hid the reality of someone struggling to go on. (ESPN)

 

Our new kitten Shetti

Our new kitten Shetti (c) Merlijn Hoek