Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Muses are the goddesses or spirits who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths. Originally said to be three in number, by the Classical times of the 400s BC, their number had grown, and become set at nine goddesses who embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces.
The name Clio comes from the Greek word "Klieo", which translates as "glory."
I discovered Clio at the monument to the 123rd New York Regiment at Culp's Hill in Gettysburg. ( see below) Double clicking on the picture gives you a better view of Clio.
What follows are more visuals of "My Muse."
Monday, April 27, 2009
It is finally spring. I can tell by the color in the yard.
The Iris have made an appearance.
The Azalea in their purple majesty
The shooting stars are about to appear.
The grass in getting long. In fact I mowed it today.
The tulips are here.
The summer garden flowers are starting to appear.
Some more color.
Then there is this unique little flower.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
My 2nd Favorite AstrophysicistI just finished this book by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The author writes in a style that I always imagined Brennan doing. He explains science in a clear understandable way, with humor and creativity mixed in. More on the author later in the post.
A few years ago there was quite an uproar when Pluto was demoted from one of the nine planets to a "dwarf planet".
As the New York Times wrote:
It has long been clear that Pluto, discovered in 1930, stood apart from the previously discovered planets. Not only was it much smaller than them, only about 1,600 miles in diameter, smaller than the Moon, but its elongated orbit is tilted with respect to the other planets and it goes inside the orbit of Neptune part of its 248-year journey around the Sun.
Pluto makes a better match with the other ice balls that have since been discovered in the dark realms beyond Neptune, they have argued. In 2000, when the new Rose Center for Earth and Space opened at the American Museum of Natural History, Pluto was denoted in a display as a Kuiper Belt Object and not a planet.
The change in Pluto's status created a lot of controversy, which is covered in the book. Pluto had been a planet all their lives, and they wished for it to continue that way. People are gradually making the adjustment to the new way of looking at our solar system.
Lyrics by Jeff Mondak and Alex Stangel
Since 1930, quite a run
It was always the smallest one
And oh so distant from the sun
But Pluto’s not a planet anymore
Uranus may be famous
But Mercury’s feeling hot
For Pluto was a planet
And somehow now it’s not
Neptune’s nervous, Saturn’s sad
And jumpin’ Jupiter is hoppin’ mad
Eight remain of nine we had
Pluto’s not a planet anymore
They held the meeting here on Earth
Mars and Venus proved their worth
But puny Pluto lacked the girthDr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (born October 5, 1958 in New York City) is an American astrophysicist and, since 1996, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Since 2006, he has hosted PBS's educational television show NOVA scienceNOW. Keen and charismatic, Tyson is a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Jeopardy!.
- The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet (2009) ISBN 0393065200
- Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries (2007)
- The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist (1st ed. 2000 / 2nd ed. 2004)
- Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution (co-authored with Donald Goldsmith) (2004)
- My Favorite Universe (A twelve part lecture series) (2003) ISBN 1565856635
- City of Stars: A New Yorker's Guide to the Cosmos (2002)
- Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge (2000)
- One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos (2000)
- Just Visiting This Planet (1998)
- Universe Down to Earth (1994)
- Merlin's Tour of the Universe (1989)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Madison, Wisconsin: It is a college town, and it is the Capital.
It has five Lakes.
It has over 1,200 restaurants, of which The Great Dane is our favorite.
State Street connects the Capital and campus.
Every Saturday is the fabulous Farmer's Market.
There are bike trails and running trails everywhere.
Summer nights on the Student Union's Terrace.
And our son and daughter-in-law live there!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Allan W. Eckert is a historian, naturalist, novelist, poet, screenwriter, and playwright. Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, but has been a long-time resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, near where he attended university. As a young man, he hitch-hiked around the United States, living off the land and learning about wildlife. He began writing about nature and American history at the age of thirteen, eventually becoming an author of numerous distinguished books for children and adults. Seven of his books have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in literature. One of his novels tells how the Great Auk went extinct.
Eckert has sparked controversy with his "hidden dialogue" technique. After many years of research on a topic, he has felt free to recreate historical conversations and thoughts in what some critics have considered to be "an entertaining blend of fact and fiction" purporting to be a straight biography. His colorful evocations of history have been praised as more accessible than drier, more strictly factual, accounts. I enjoy his writing, and do not quibble about whether the speaker actually used those exact words.
You can learn more at his website.
The Frontiersmen is one of numerous books written by Eckert that have been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Here is a list of all his books:
- The Writer's Digest Course in Article Writing, 1962
- The Great Auk, 1963
- A Time of Terror: The Great Dayton Flood, 1965
- *The Silent Sky:The Incredible Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, 1965
- The Writer's Digest Course in Short Story Writing, 1965
- Wild Season, 1967
- The Frontiersmen, 1967
- Bayou Backwaters, 1967
- *The Crossbreed, 1968
- Blue Jacket: War Chief of the Shawnees, 1968
- *The King Snake, 1968
- *The Dreaming Tree, 1968
- Wilderness Empire, 1968
- In Search of a Whale, 1969
- The Conquerors, 1970
- Incident at Hawk's Hill, 1971
- *The Court-Martial of Daniel Boone, 1973
- The Owls of North America, 1973
- *Tecumseh!, 1975
- *The HAB Theory, 1976
- The Wilderness War, 1978
- The Wading Birds of North America, 1978
- *Savage Journey, 1979
- *Song of the Wild, 1980
- Whattizzit?, 1981
- Gateway to Empire, 1982
- *Johnny Logan: Shawnee Spy, 1982
- *The Dark Green Tunnel, 1983
- *The Wand, 1984
- *The Scarlet Mansion, 1985
- *Earth Treasures - Northeastern Quadrant, 1985
- *Earth Treasures - Southeastern Quadrant, 1985
- *Earth Treasures - Northwestern Quadrant, 1986
- *Earth Treasures - Southwestern Quadrant, 1987
- Twilight Of Empire, 1988
- A Sorrow in Our Heart:: The Life of Tecumseh, 1992
- That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley, 1995
- The World of Opals, 1997
- Return to Hawk's Hill, 1998
Monday, April 13, 2009
The second child, Eddie, died a month before his fourth birthday. The Lincolns described him as a warm-hearted, loving child.It was the Lincoln's third child, William Wallace, called Willie, that I believe was their most special gift. The development of the railroads allowed Lincoln to spend the weekends at home with his kids, and he became very fond of Willie. Once, after watching Willie solve an interpersonal problem, Lincoln remarked that he (Lincoln) solved problems the same way. Those who knew the boy considered him intelligent, generous, and kind.
Willie was described as being "of great mental activity, unusual intelligence, wonderful memory, methodical, frank and loving, a counterpart of his father, save that he was handsome." Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote: “He was an avid reader, a budding writer, and generally sweet-tempered, all reminiscent of his father.”
Willie tragically died of typhoid fever at age 11. Abraham said, "My poor boy. He was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!"