edit: What?! I post nothing but a link? This looks like spam. This is totally not spam, though I have no idea what was going through my head, scheduling this when it wasn’t nearly done. What is Mapping History, you might wonder. It is a fabulous, educational, internetal device that shows the passing of history via maps. I love maps, and I love history. Did you know that I had planned my first ever book to be a discussion of the evolution of battle strategy? No, I know you didn’t. But it’s true. Mapping History will give you hours and hours of diversion while also teaching you something. I recommend it heartily.
Because if you haven’t been there, chances are you are a little curious and if you have been there, chances are you might want to reminisce. A really really big panoramic, zoom-able, picture of London: BT Tower 360 Panorama of London.
Do you ever find that when you are waiting for an airplane all you have to do with yourself is try desperately not to stare at other people. Sometimes I fail, if only because sometimes people in airports are crazy interesting.
The Sketchbook Project 2013 is the most fabulous thing I have read about all year, maybe longer. A library in Brooklyn has a collection of artists sketchbooks. You can buy one of their specially made sketchbooks, fill it up, and they will keep it and tend it in true library tradition. It may even go on a gallery trip across the country. I finally have a terrible and driving reason to go to New York. I must see the sketchbooks. An article in the New York Times talks a little more about it.
So, the Google banner tells me it’s Dickens’ birthday today. Back in ’07 I was dreaming about visiting Dickens World. All my previous writing may be stripped from the web, but I still have copies of it. Allow me to resurrect:
”Maybe one of the most innovative ideas for a theme park is opening May 2007 just outside of London in Dicken’s childhood home of Chatham. Dickens World is based wholly on the stories and characters of Charles Dickens. Costumed characters will walk among the park goers to populate the fantasy city. Rides, themed restaurants, and cinemas will entertain during the day with a burlesque show at night offering naughtier entertainment.”
I have both been terribly bored and amused by Dickens; regardless of my literary experiences, a park built on classic literature is like a happy dream.
Hey! speaking of Dickens World there’s also Dickens World! Wiley Blackwell publishers are putting on a free online conference March 7th and 8th to celebrate Dickens. If Dickens scholarship is up your alley then go! Go and enjoy!
I just finished a kind of map/diary of my trip to Dallas for ALA midwinter (and a little field trip through my childhood). Each highlighted location will open pictures from the trip. It has it’s own page on the machine so check it out and then come back and tell me how much you like it.
Yo kiddies. I was up in Dallas for the ALA midwinter convention. Whenever I travel I notice the weird little things that are totally different from my home city. Well, Dallas was my home once too and I got to stew in some memories while I was there. Here are just a few little observations (comic to the right from the Drawing Board – just a little peek into my ALA experience).
- Everything’s bigger in Texas – yup they say it ’cause it’s true. For example, in Tampa you can go into a CVS and get a 3 Liter bottle of Carlo Rossi wine; in Dallas you get a 4 Liter. Everything’s bigger except for the traffic lanes and parking spaces, that is.
- The coffee downtown is too expensive. I know this may be just a downtown phenomenon shared by cities all over the world–but hey, I don’t get out much.
- Either people in Dallas have more common sense/the courts just don’t entertain stupid law suits or they’d never put such dangerous looking cactus on the sidewalk.
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- Dallas is always under construction. When I lived there we used to make a joke that the Texas state bird was the Crane. One tiny problem with this is that signs you would normally rely on while driving aren’t necessarily there for you. Yeah, I drove past the airport. On the other hand, the exits were labeled much more clearly from the other direction.
- This signage thing, and the narrow traffic lanes thing would’ve been a lot more scary if Dallas people weren’t such great drivers. I mean, they know how to merge (one car from each side like a zipper), they let you in the lane when you have your signal on, they slow down and stop when the light turns yellow and red. It made not knowing where I was driving a lot easier. I didn’t even witness any jaywalking that wasn’t perpetrated by my librarian brethren (aka not Texans). I mourn for the Texan who drives in Tampa, I apologize for all of us.
- Of course you know I would go out of my way to visit some of the food establishments that were treats in my childhood. So, what do you suppose would happen if you baked some biscuits, real buttery ones, and while those were in the oven, you fried up an egg in a plain old fry pan next to some bacon and then combined all those things with a square of processed cheese? You’d have a Grandy’s breakfast sandwich is what would happen. There is no standardized shape or pre-assembled/most likely frozen business going on here, it was like it came out of my kitchen–except for the cheese. Why oh why are Grandy’s not all over this country?
- Does anyone else have a cemetery in front of their convention center? — really, I’m asking ’cause it seemed both weird and wonderful to me.
- And finally, Dallas is big on big sculpture–which made getting lost downtown kind of nice, until I started running out of time before my meeting.
That’s all I got. I’m sure there’s more that I took for granted, ’cause I used to live there too. Dallas, I enjoyed you big bunches. Thank you, LeE.