Herman Melville’s Birthday

Of course, everyone knows Herman Melville  for his famous Moby Dick, and for good reason. I remember the first time I read that book, I had never read a whole story that was written with such lovely prose. Though as with Shakespeare, it takes a while to get used to the  flow of the language. Melville had worked on at least 3 different whaling ships as a young man, so the man did know to what he was speaking of. An interesting little tidbit about this book is that it wasn’t very popular when it came out. The publisher was not able to sell the initial printing of 3000 copies before Melville died. It was brought back and recognized as an accomplished work  in the early 1900s, only after his death. It’s been a very long time since I read Moby Dick. I really need to pick it up again.

(Herman Melville – Born: 1819, New York City-  died: 1891, New York City – 72 years, though his adult, married life was spent in Pittsfield, Mass at the home they called Arrowhead where his and his wife, Elizebeth Shaw, raised their four children and farmed. They moved to New York City in 1863. Arrowhead is presently a museum.)

  Image courtesy of mphbooks.com

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Pricewaterhouse Cooper predicts 50% of books will be ebooks by 2016

Pricewaterhouse Cooper predicts 50% of books will be ebooks by 2016.

I’m not sure why they say online reading will be what people gravitate to. They haven’t yet, why would they in the future. When I look in my crystal ball I see e-readers getting less expensive and more people using that form of reading. I also think books will decline but they will never go away, if only for the uniqueness factor.

Special Anniversary

I’m a few days past this anniversary date, but I didn’t want to overshadow the importance of Memorial Day.

The anniversary I’m talking about it the day the Golden Gate bridge was opened, 75 years ago Sunday. I’ve collected a small gallery of photo’s since it is “the most photographed bridge in America.”

I have a found memory of this bridge myself. I was in Oakland, visiting a friend and we decided to take a bay brunch cruse.  It was a cool day and they were about to serve brunch, so most people where inside, but I couldn’t force myself in because of the spectacular scenes going on outside.

I was standing on the top deck with just a few other strangers. We were inching toward the Golden Gate Bridge and I started to make some small talk with an elder gentleman standing close by. He said, the last time I did this I was on my way to the Pacific in a troop ship. It was an amazing way to see the bridge, and what memories that must have brought back for the gentleman. I was glad I braved the cold to be able to share that with him.

A few tidbits of information about the bridge: the designer is Joseph Strauss with help from Leon Moisseiff and engineer Charles Ellis, on opening day in 1937 it was open to just pedestrians, 19 workers fell into the safety net that was under the bridge and were saved, 10 died when a piece of scaffolding fell with the men, tearing the net. It is approx. 1.7 miles long, also – unfortunately – it is known as the bridge with the most suicides in the world.

Photo Friday!

I decided to start a “Photo Friday” blog or reblog in this case. I thought it would be a fun way to share pictures that I like from others and few (when I get lucky) from myself. I also think the name is catchy. I think this is a wonderful photo for many reason. Photobotos titles it “Drop of Innocence.” The one of the big innocence I see here is how right now, this little boy’s number one person is his mother. When he is a man, what will she be to him – at minimal someone, unlike himself or other men, that is subjected to wear this black robe.

PhotoBotos.com

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***Note:  Just a quick head’s up that PhotoBotos will be upgrading and moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org on 3/16/12 (Friday).  Everything will remain the same except that our daily photos will no longer load to your WordPress.com “Home Dashboard”.  Please save http://PhotoBotos.com to your favorites or sign up for our daily email reminders if you typically look for us only on your dashboard.  The vast majority of our friends won’t notice any difference!  We will keep the “dust” to a minimum during this transition and will continue to provide our community with the absolute best in travel photography!***

“Drop of Innocence” – Sitra, Bahrain – Isa Ebrahim – Featured Photographer

Emotion is what makes a successful photograph.  Having the viewer feel something, anything, is the goal of a photographer when he releases the shutter.  This image delivers in spades.  Not to get too political, but I hope by the…

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It’s Elizabeth’s Birthday today

It’s Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Birthday today.

She was born in 1806 in England. She was the eldest of 12 children and went by the nickname “Ba”. Before she married her full name was Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett. (Her father was Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett, her mother, Mary Graham Clarke). Apparently the family was very well off, mainly from land and business they owned in Jamaica. As a teen Elizabeth developed a painful disease that was never successfully diagnosed. She was put on addictive opiate drugs and morphine, which she became dependent on. I’m sure there was little else to do in the early 1800’s!

She married Robert Browning in secret in 1846 because she knew her father would not approve, and they moved to Italy, where despite her age (43) and frailty, she had a son (shown in the picture).

Elizabeth with her son Pen (Robert)

Here are a few quotes from Elizabeth that I particularly like:

“No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.”

* * *

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

* * *

“With stammering lips and insufficient sound I strive and struggle to deliver right the music of my nature.”

* * *

“The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play.”

Who’s Birthday is it?

Read the following line and tell me whose birthday it is.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Not sure yet? Try this one.

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

I had never heard this one before but I like it!

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

I think you may know, but if you’re not sure, this last little bit will just give it away.

“I meant what i said and i said what i meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”

Thank you Seuss for all the fun. Thank you Seuss for ever one!

 

Born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Mass, March 2nd,1904. Little known fact: Mr. Geisel was a Captain in the Army and commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit during WWII. He died of throat cancer in 1991.

I witnessed something sad today

I witnessed something sad today, something that is telling about what our society has come to.

I went to a movie, a  mid-afternoon movie on a Monday. Not a hot time for the movies, but I had the day off, and I decided to treat myself; I really enjoy a good movie. I didn’t expect anyone to be there, but it was the night after the Oscars, and my movie had won a few of them, so I’m sure that’s why there were more people in the theater than there normally would have been. As I walked into the theater, a group of priest were buying tickets at the same time I was. I had never seen a group of priests at a movie theater before. I have never even seen one or even two, so it took me by surprise. I was very curious as to what they were there to see. Well, as it happened, they were going to the same film as I was; it was rated PG (I think), so not too surprising.

They had all gone into the theater and gotten their seats before I did, but it wasn’t until I was sitting through the previews – the seemingly never-ending previews – that I noticed something odd. The priests, some were in front, some were in back, all sat with a seat between them. I noticed this with the men in front of me, then looked with as much tact as I could I looked behind me, and sure enough, it was the same with the priests that sat behind me.

Now I am not stupid enough to think this was a coincidence. These men were told that when going to the movie, in a dark theater, you cannot sit  next to each other. There is no other explanation for it. It is not a natural thing to go to the movies with a like group of people (who all came in together) and sit apart from each other.

I felt very sorry for these men. I understand why they had to do this, but as individuals it is unlikely that they did anything to require this kind of sanctioning of their behavior. But, of course, I don’t know that. Or anyone else sitting in the same movie doesn’t know that, so there they sit, cordoned off from their “brothers” because of what people might say. I applaud them for doing what they were asked to do, knowing how unnatural it is to shun the company of a colleague and probably a friend, but I am sad that the world (and their organization) has forced this upon them. The many paying the price of the few. A true talisman of our time, or is that of the human race.