Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ellen Datlow's photos from the KGB reading

At this link are co-host Ellen Datlow's photos from the Dec. 16 reading at the KGB Bar in Greenwich Village. Christopher Rowe and I had a great turnout, a great audience and a great time. Thanks to everyone for the support.

Talking up Launch Pad

The NASA-funded Launch Pad astronomy workshop for writers and other creative folks was the topic of a recent episode of Stacey Cochran's Book Chatter podcast. It included a gaggle of call-in guests who attended the 2009 workshop, including Tara Fredette, Brian Malow, Phil Plait and Gord Sellar. Launch Pad founder Mike Brotherton called in, too. You can listen to the episode here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decoding Dan Brown's cover

Armchair codebreakers will enjoy Greg Taylor's analysis of the cover of Dan Brown's novel The Lost Symbol, even if they haven't read the book.

(Thanks to Stephen Wagner of Paranormal Phenomena for the tip.)

The Pomeranian that fell from the sky

A Pomeranian named Sadie survived a 2-mile flight over Davenport, Iowa, in the talons of a great horned owl, reports Bill Wundram in the Quad-City Times.

(In this otherwise well-written column, the reference in the first sentence to "incredulous tales" made me wince. The tales are incredible; the tales' audiences are incredulous.

(Thanks to Stephen Wagner of Paranormal Phenomena for the tip.)

Cats that stare at "nothing"

In his Dec. 16 column, Gary Bogue, who writes about pets and wildlife for the Bay Area's Contra Costa Times, seeks to calm pet owners whose cats seemingly stare at "nothing":
Once I caught my dear departed Abyssinian cat, Tut, staring at "nothing" in a corner. I examined the area carefully and found a spider crawling on the wall. Another time he stared at an empty spot on the wall as if something was there. There was. Looking closer, I saw a fly on the wall at that spot.

Predatory cats are stimulated by movement. Tut may not actually have seen the fly or the spider, but his eye/brain picked up a minuscule movement that caused him to stare at the spot waiting to see if more movement/data would allow him to focus on something.
Bogue's good sense is refreshing, compared to the credulity of some pet experts.

(Thanks to Stephen Wagner of Paranormal Phenomena for the tip.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm reading tonight at the KGB Bar

Any of y'all in New York City tonight are welcome to join us at the KGB Bar, where the readers are Christopher Rowe and I. We'll have fun. Here's the link.