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Showing posts from August, 2012

A heavenly library has a book fountain

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[caption id="attachment_13522" align="alignleft" width="259"] Bookshelf Wallpaper by Young & Battaglia[/caption]

When books die do they go to heaven? I like to think they do. Earlier I lamented the gradual departure of bookshops here and there. It is  bittersweet to succumb to book depression. Then something came up which made me think that in a traditional book lover's space this would be perfect - "a heavenly library." Or at least the look of it. Young & Battaglia is the creative genius behind this bookshelf wallpaper idea showcased by Design Year Book.

"White books on white shelves." How peaceful is that! And to me it is quite a comfort to see reminders of traditional books like this if they have to be driven off our lives by e-readers. On a fashionista note, it looks like an intelligent sort of background for a photoshoot with a dark-clad reading model, does it not?

Let's go to Budapest. Just a 5-second show that may s…

Lace and Expectations

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"Lace is a thing like hope. It is beauty; it is grace.
It was never meant to destroy so many lives."
Lace also usually associates well with tenderness, delicateness.  But how does it end up destroying lives? Author Iris Anthony weaves a story of "fleeting beauty, mad obsession and ephemeral hope." Ruins of Lace is for historical fiction fans, and is going to be published on October 1st 2012. More info here.


[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150"] Charles Dickens' great-great-great-grandchildren, Rob Charles Dickens, and Rachel Dickens Green, lay flowers at the grave during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the English novelist on February 7, 2012 in London, England. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)[/caption]

Remember Pip, the orphan who rose to wealth, and got affected by the improvement of his circumstances? If you think you have seen Pip somewhere in the news last week, I do…

Fairy bootie

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Fair bootie bubbly
frisky fascinating fae
fancy water walk
Pledged to believe, though
foreign among city frogs  
fish and lily pads 
It's a lovely business morning in busy Bangkok and my longing-for-the-countryside imagination makes its way to the office through a garden with a pond that presents something surreal. It overlays activities of stilettos, remote controls and keyboards. Such a magical entertainment makes the day less drab. Thanks to the fairy who left her bootie.
Shared withHaiku Heights * Haiku my Heart * Sensational Haiku * Outdoor WednesdayABC Wednesday  *  Our World Tuesday

Save * Share * Spend

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Divorce wiped me off something I would have been entitled to. That didn't bother me a hoot thanks to financial independence. But when the almighty ex-MIL cancelled my son's trust fund (long story, complicated) I had to look beyond mall windows to think.

The realization that I am responsible for the loss of what is due the kiddo (we're talking more than a few digits here) horrifies me. Add the thought of giving up fine dining and entertainment, holidays abroad, and I'm twirling a nightmare in manicured fingernails. 

The situation provides a steady supply of adrenaline as I scramble to adjust priorities hopping from one advice to another, experimenting, analyzing and trying out examples. Who wants a nightmare when life can go on nicely with some practice of what has been an option all along? Saving it is. A Yahoo Finance article shows readers how to live well on $40,000 a year. It looks feasible and motivated me to set a financial goal for CJ that will teach him how to sp…

Disappearing bookshops

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In the world of books and authors and the business people among them, things and people come and go just like everywhere else. Stephen Covey, familiar isn't he?, of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People fame passed away at 79 last month, July 16th.Bookseller Irving Oaklander, is also dead at 88 on August 8th. I am not very familiar with Oaklander but certain words in a tribute written for him by Steven Heller endears me to the kind of person he was -

"... he kept a booth at the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair... beckoning all passersby to feast their eyes as they page through the material.... He invited me to his Upper West Side book business... the main bookcase -the spines said it all. Indeed, Irving had them all. Every classic and many obscure volumes that I would have died for then... Irving was the Trader Joe of rare design books."

It's not just book people leaving. Bookshops are too. With the full-blown utilization of the internet our reading lives …

Elephant trek

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Elephant treks in Kanchanaburi are usually priced at more or less 20USD for 10-15 minutes. A simple ride, no jungle involved, costs less. A Khao San tour agency offered this surprise inclusion in their package - elephant trekking which was free, so why not?


Gently our planet's largest land mammals see-sawed globe trotters on their back as they maneuvered rocks and growth. The water mark on the elephant's body gives one an idea of the depth of the part of the river it waded through. If the beast suddenly sat and rolled on the water, all this would turn into a swimming party.

While snapping from behind I noticed another elephant ambling alongside us, without 'passengers.' Curious, I asked the mahout what's the name of our chang (elephant). He smiled, "Siripon." "And this little darling here?" "Baby, baby of Siripon."  

The trek took us through cassava, tomato and eggplant fields. We passed by a tree where Siripon's baby tarried at the …

Elephant trek

Image
Elephant treks in Kanchanaburi are usually priced at more or less 20USD for 10-15 minutes. A simple ride, no jungle involved, costs less. A Khao San tour agency offered this surprise inclusion in their package - elephant trekking which was free, so why not?

Gently our planet's largest land mammals see-sawed globe trotters on their back as they maneuvered rocks and growth. The water mark on the elephant's body gives one an idea of the depth of the part of the river it waded through. If the beast suddenly sat and rolled on the water, all this would turn into a swimming party.

While snapping from behind I noticed another elephant ambling alongside us, without 'passengers.' Curious, I asked the mahout what's the name of our chang (elephant). He smiled, "Siripon." "And this little darling here?" "Baby, baby of Siripon."  

The trek took us through cassava, tomato and eggplant fields. We passed by a tree where Siripon's baby tarried at the …

A dehydrated swimmer

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There's a new-to-me vocabulary: osmolality, which means measures of dehydration that trainers and coaches regularly check among their athletes along with gravity.

Ever heard of a dehydrated swimmer? A blind optometrist just whisked through. Samuel Taylor Coleridge too. "Water, water everywhere... and not a drop to drink."

Swimming is a sport reported to be more likely to put athletes in danger of dehydration. Yes, the awareness exists: swimmers are in the midst of water or where else could they be. But I had that somewhat ironic how. Then the sense: swimmers can't grab a sip while performing thus they are more at risk for dehydration than other athletes. Indeed!

Christine Gerbstadt, a registered dietician and anesthesiologist explains that "if an athlete's event is an hour long or less, they shouldn't drink water during the competition. If it's more than an hour, the amount of water they should drink depends on the temperature, humidity and how much th…

What do Olympians eat?

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As media keep us updated with the London Olympics we see how athletes show power and stamina. Those medals. The hype, the awe. Do you wonder what makes all that possible? More specifically what fuels their extraordinary feats. Let's narrow down to the dining table. If you are wondering what exactly do Olympians eat, you are not alone.

Athletes currently starring in the 2012 Olympics are said to be eating a lot.  Emphasis on "a lot" sent a memory back of my mother musing about what a boxer in her hometown eats: loads of eggs, milk and meats. Loads.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that the average, moderately active man needs 2,000 to 2,800 a day. Look at the contrast against calories consumed everyday by athletes: it's between 8,000 and 10,000 calories per day. The business of feeding athletes for elite sports includes appropriate times for meals, a balance of percentages between carbohydrates and proteins, and how much fluid they take.

Diet advice has chan…

Branching out

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In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen

Amy asks:
Name a book you love in a genre you normally don’t care for. What made you decide to read it? Did it make you want to try more in that genre?
Harry Potter, and I ended up reading all seven books in the series. Broomsticks and cauldrons, wands and potions, what in the name of Merlin's beard are they?.... I recall my own snigger at these things; look up my book shelf where the books are lovingly piled, and think of telling the sister-in-law how she influenced me to read HP.

Because I'm sure she has no idea what she's done. She was holding a wineglass in one hand and HP2 in the other over a meal during one family get-together. The cover I saw was of Harry dangling from the flying car above the Yorkshire Moors. I wouldn't have been curious if she was a ninth grader, but she's a medical doctor. Okay, she's a globe trotter too so maybe it was a book she did not finish from some trans-atlantic flight,…

E-books v. printed books

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Georgia Borders store. (Wikipedia)
In a reading world where the trend has gone as electronic as Kindle or Kindle Fire, we hear talks of booksellers worrying about sales of traditional books or worse, going out of business. The lot are wary of ebooks but not Michael Popek, author of Forgotten Bookmarks who is also a used bookseller in Oneonta, N.Y.

Popek cited one good point why he is not afraid of the new reading medium: "e-books can't replicate some experiences that readers of the printed word are after - the collector of modern first editions; the new mother passing her childhood favorites down to the next generation; the reader of forgotten and esoteric texts unavailable digitally--all are seeking out an experience greater than the words on the page."  He goes on to comment on each kind of book -
E-books are fantastic at keeping us reading; traditional books are great at reminding us why we started in the first place. We're fortunate to live in a world where we don’…

How does sleep come?

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"Grandma, I don't know how to sleep." - CJ, last night
Thus says the kiddo. And that statement intrigued me. Grandma had to pull him out of class the day before and take him to a doctor due to a stomach ache. Whatever medication the doctor gave him, he slept the rest of the day and that might well be the reason why that night he didn't know how to sleep anymore. 

So when I checked my Shelf Awareness newsletter and found "How Does Sleep Come?" I thought I would enter the link that invites possible readers and buyers of the book to win a free ARC (Advance Reading Copy). I like what I saw although the fill-in-the-gaps form looks like the ARC is only for US residents.   Nevertheless it sounds opportune to my little guy's sleeping predicament and I am happy to share with you some info of this lovely, new bedtime classic.

It is a picture book debut of Jeanne Blackmore, a granddaughter of Roger Duvoisin whose tradition of creating beautiful books for children i…