(Sent today via email.)
To whom it may concern,
As a KCBS listener for more than 20 years (and a former radio reporter/announcer at KSRO in Santa Rosa), I’m writing to comment on your (apparently) new policy of having hosts and commentators banter between segments.
In short: Please stop.
I understand the desire to “humanize” newscasts, but frankly, it’s grating on the ear and borderline unprofessional. It also has me talking back to the radio (“WHO CARES??? GIVE ME NEWS!”) on an hourly basis. I tune in for news and weather (and occasionally traffic), not banter.
So please rethink your policy. You would make at least one listener VERY happy.
Thank you, and be well,
Neal Ross Attinson
PS: Other than the above complaint, I think you are doing a fine job presenting the news in a straightforward, no-spin manner. I particularly like the in-depth stories at the bottom of the hour. And StarDate (sp?) is awesome, too. I try to never miss one. Keep up the good work!
TAKE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, STAR A grumpy Chicagoan, people the landscape with characters and places from the world’s literature and you have Silverlock — a fable of the human spirit no less great or more complex a story than a man discovering the world of letters and how it changes him. I have read it twice now, once from the depths of a great spiritual crisis, and the effect is almost electric. Half the fun is spotting the references; another half is author John Myers Myers’ love of language; a third half is how it makes you feel. Silverlock may or may not change your life, but it will certainly change your view of storytelling — and isn’t that sometimes the same thing?
If I had cared to live, I would have died.
A storm had come up. While not sick, I found my bunk the most comfortable place, leaving it only to take my meals. Dozing after supper, I learned of disaster when a wave bashed in the door of my deck cabin. The backwash sluiced me out of it and stranded me by a stowage locker.
“I DON’T MIND WATCHING HIM chew the scenery — he leaves such interesting bitemarks.”
YOU MIGHT THINK WHITE FLAGS mean “Surrender,” but if you’re talking about Aaron Fein‘s “White Flags” art piece — all the world’s flags rendered full-size in white cloth and embroidery — you’d better not say so in a public forum, or I’ll reply:
(T)o me the whiteness connotes a sameness — on one level it doesn’t matter that they’re white so much as monocolor. White is also the simplest color — it reflects the entire spectrum, is purely non-differential, and leaves nothing out. All dyed cloth begins and ends in whiteness. (White is also a popular color for bedsheets, which addresses the artist’s point about the welcoming tent of Abraham: rest and comfort at the end of a journey. A journey that begins in difference but whose end is only reached by One.)
Anyway, just a few thoughts. I am completely gobsmacked by the beauty and simplicity (and perhaps sense of humor) about this project. Thank you Tablet for bringing it to us.
The project — which really must be seen to be appreciated; I doubt photos actually convey the sense and scope — is the topic of a nice write-up at http://www.tabletmag.com/arts-and-culture/77571/white-flags/. The artist’s website is http://www.aaronfein.com/.
THE FIRST BOOK I EVER read about the Internet, in 1994, still gives me a wave of nostalgic novelty when I turn its pages now. The ‘Net was new in the public mind and not well understood back then, which is why books like 1992′s ZATAOTI were popular: it’s a beginner’s guide to all things then-Internet, from email to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
These days, you just Google to find anything. But before Google (and before the World Wide Web) were Usenet and FTP, telnet and Gopher. You sort of had to know your way around in order to find anything. ZATAOTI’s 95 pages helped make the learning curve less steep for millions of people by helping them to think clearly and concisely about this strange new technology.
The composition of this booklet was originally started because the Computer Science department at Widener University was in desperate need of documentation describing the capabilities of this “great new Internet link” we obtained.
It’s since grown into an effort to acquaint the reader with much of what’s currently available over the Internet. Aimed at the novice user, it attempts to remain operating system “neutral”—-little information herein is specific to Unix, VMS, or any other environment. This booklet will, hopefully, be usable by nearly anyone.
THE MARITIME SECTION OF MY home library is, like a captain’s yacht, small but well-appointed. I’ve been a ship geek since 1987-88, when I served as a deckhand/docent on a replica of the Golden Hinde, and my taste tends toward the practical: knots, rules of the road, sea survival, Bluejackets’ Manual, even a 1955 Watch Officer’s Guide published at Annapolis. One book whose slim size belies its comprehensivity is more theoretical and historical: I refer to the excellent 1982 volume The Lore Of Sail.
LoS’ 256 pages are divided into four sections plus index: The Hull, Spars and Rigging, The Sail, and Navigation and Ship-handling. Each is a well-illustrated guide to the historical evolution of ships from ancient Egypt to modern Europe. Its size makes it perfect for backpack or peacoat pocket while browsing the world’s great maritime museums or rigged ships, but it’s also museum-like in scope and scale. From the Introduction by Captain Sam Svensson:
From ancient times, sailing the seas has been a unique profession, with techniques and methods which have always puzzled the landlubber. One thousand years before Christ, Solomon said that the way of a ship in the midst of the sea was too wonderful for him to understand.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU CHANGE something before it no longer resembles the original — yet still call it by the same name?
1. THE MORNING ISN’T COMPLETE WITHOUT checking into the daily comics page and some of my favorite parallel universes. I scan most of what’s there (as my friend Gary Nordstrom says, “If the author went to the trouble of writing it, as a fan I should take the trouble to read it”), and while my eternal favorites are now but shrine-emplaced memories (Pogo, Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side and Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy) here’s a handful I look forward to each day. What they have in common is strong characterization, technical competency and good writing, but that’s not all:
2. Get Fuzzy. The only “funny animal” strip that “gets” the animal mind (in the way that Jack Vance “gets” the alien mind). Darby Conley’s Satchel Pooch and Bucky T. Katt are, well, not quite human — and they’re rendered that way, as they muddle through each day trying not to give Rob Wilco (their human roommate) one of his perennial headaches. Read more »
THERE ARE BOOKS, AND THERE are books. This one contains “The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time Chosen by the Members of the Science Fiction Writers of America,” and is standard issue to all geeks and geekettes who want to know the first thing about things SFnal. (It’s subtitled “Volume One, 1929-1964;” Volume Two (which I haven’t read) is itself two 1973 volumes devoted to novellas written and published between 1895 and 1961.)
I first read this (these? it’s an anthology, after all) when I was eight years old, as part of the first package I ever got from the Science Fiction Book Club. Without it for years, I now have a spiffy new trade paperback which seems almost a facsimile of the original contents in terms of fonts, layout, etc. And the memories! Stuck in Fredric Brown’s alien showdown (which became a Star Trek episode)! Trapped with Lewis Padgett’s mad teaching machines! Exploring Tibetan mythology with Arthur C. Clarke!
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1. ERASERHEAD. THE SECOND TIME I saw David Lynch’s mewling, puking masterpiece, I began to scream as soon as the opening credits rolled. It’s a dark, dark vision into the little world and lonely life of Henry, a printer whose misbegotten mutant child keeps him up at night with its mewling and you get it. But the lady in the radiator sings to him of Heaven, where “everything is fine.” So that’s something.
2. Tideland. Her little-girl-gone-weird’s broken home is peopled by doll heads, visions, and her father’s slowly wasting corpse. But somehow, she survives and even flourishes. The only Terry Gilliam film of which I’ve never seen the ending, and he’s one of my favorite directors, because it was bleak as only Gilliam can be. The man is just too brilliant. Read more »
ASTUTE READERS OF THE METAPHORAGER may have noted the default use of the masculine gender (e.g. he, him, his, man, etc.). This is due neither to a slight against the better-looking sex nor a political statement, but the love of such phrases as “MAN ON MOON” or “essential love of mankind” or “There are...
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