I've tried writing a few blog posts over the last few weeks, but my brain has not been able to create anything interesting and blogworthy. So here are a few recent posts to other places.
My bellydancing, Piers Plowman-studying friend Noelle Phillips posted this to Facebook today; I asked her if I could post it here because it got me thinking. And she consented.
Since I try not to use Facebook anymore, I didn't post anything there. For my purposes, a list like this belongs on Tumblr. So here goes:
But then I look at my music tastes and I realize that I started listening to The Cars when I was in Grade 7. And I still listen to their songs more often than any other artist's songs. This should embarrass me. Shouldn't music tastes change a little more between Grade 7 and age 36? And, despite my vast musical tastes, why am I still listening to this one artist on a regular basis?
Then I heard last Sunday's edition of... The Sunday Edition where Michael Enright and Robert Harris discussed a couple albums that continue to move them despite decades of distance. Harris discussed how much the recording of Wonderful Town moved him as a child even though he didn't understand all of it, even though he hasn't listened to it for years and years.
So I don't feel so bad about my love for The Cars now.
And perhaps there's someone out there who might be moved by the music I make, despite my own aversion to it.
Every once in a while, I come across a book from my childhood and I try to introduce it to my daughters. And I'm almost always disappointed at how they just don't seem impressed.
This is one such book:
From that book, I learned about Esperanto, Andorra, Alfred Nobel, and the history of candy. I read its articles over and over again and used it in school projects. This book and books like it were my bread and butter for learning and company at home.
There's a long tradition of books like this one:
And here are a few that I've bought for my classroom: my Grade 7s in particular choose them for silent reading time.
So why don't I read them very often anymore?
I blame the Internet.
Because these books were the Internet before the Internet. These books were a wealth of information that a person just might be looking for. There seemed to be so many times when I would wonder something, crack open one of these books, scour the Table of Contents and the Index, and actually find an article that addressed my curiosity. The writing was always edited carefully and written in a lively, interactive tone. They were perfect for knowledge-seekers like me,
Now I first go to the Internet and these books often lay dormant. I feel a little bit o' melancholy about it, as if something's been lost. But that's probably just me being a sucker for nostalgia.
Which isn't all bad. But I miss the careful editing. The Internet's slapdash chaos is useful for finding specifics, but nothing beats good editing and copy for getting big ideas across.
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas