Older blog entries for steve (starting at number 243)

Common as Air

Benjamin Franklin open sourced an array of Leyden jars and named it a "battery"

One of many inventions Benjamin Franklin open sourced, an array of Leyden jars he named a “battery”


 
Having just received several new books as Christmas gifts, I’m reminded that books I’ve already finished are growing into a pile and crying out for reviews in my blog. There’s never enough time to review them all but one that I’ve been intending to write about all year is Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership by Lewis Hyde. It’s a wonderfully written book about the history of the commons and property rights.

As a software developer who releases my work under the GNU GPL, a free software license, I’ve been on the receiving end of many a rant on these subjects. My contributions to a freely accessible cultural commons of creatives works, I’m told, is communism and will lead to the eventual downfall of the one true system of property ownership as expressed by God in modern copyright and patent law. I don’t take such rants seriously anymore but when I found a book offering an in depth look at how our modern laws came to be and what the founding fathers actually said about these things; well, I could hardly pass it up!

Hyde starts out with a brief survey of ideas on property rights from cultures all over the world. He then looks at the origins of modern western thought. It turns out, of course, that the founding fathers believed quite strongly that free access to ideas was critical to democratic self-governance and free enterprise. This comes as no surprise to those in the free software and open source communities, who have rediscovered many of the same principles, including the importance of creating a “commonwealth of knowledge”.

Hyde’s story crosses paths with the free software community once or twice along the way. It also crosses paths with the supreme court, Donald Rumsfeld, John Adams, Sonny Bono, John Locke, Noah Webster, and a host of other familiar people. It’s the story of how we slowly traded the long term benefits of a commonwealth of knowledge for the enticing profits promised by “intellectual property”. The story makes great reading as history even if you’re not terribly interested in property rights. You’ll read dozens of interesting historical anecdotes you may not have heard before. For example, there’s the story of Benjamin Franklin’s founding of what sounds like the first hackerspace. He and other interested amateurs in Philadelphia put some money together, got some space, and started doing weird things with electricity. They created a crowd-sourced procedure for collecting and dispersing information about electrical experiments and open sourced the results, like an array of Leyden jars he named a “battery”. No doubt my right-wing friends would considering Franklin a liberal hippy with communist leanings. A modern “intellectual property” lawyer would consider him a “pirate”; indeed, Hyde titled the chapter “Benjamin Franklin, Founding Pirate”.

Once Hyde gets to the end of the history, he ponders what can be done to protect what’s left of the commons and even restore it for future generations. He offers three examples of real-world attempts at fixing the problem. The most familiar and successful of the examples is Richard Stallman and the GNU General Public License. The software commons created by Stallman and the GPL is responsible for at least some of the software running on nearly every computing device in the world today from the largest supercomputer to the phone or tablet on which you’re reading this blog. Hyde notes also the example of folk singer Pete Seeger, who worked with other folk singers to protect a piece of music called “We Shall Overcome” using the earliest known example of the “claim and release” idea later used in the GPL for software and, more specifically, in the Creative Commons licenses for art and musical works. It worked as method of freeing information in a system that forces everything to be “owned”. The final example is the attempt at keeping scientific information free that was made through a formal declaration by the scientists working on the Human Genome Project.

What all three of Hyde’s examples have in common is that they were devised not by the government but by individuals working on their own or in groups to protect the freedom of ideas FROM the system enforced by the government. There are vast amounts of money and effort focused on the government by business to create more and stricter “intellectual property” laws (because they are very, very profitable for the few companies that hold the “property”). His examples give us some hope that, even if we the people can’t match the financial and lobbying resources of the corporate world, we can still outsmart them and protect the freedom of our ideas.

Syndicated 2013-12-28 16:02:06 from Steevithak of the Internet

Going Green

Last night I went to my first meeting of the Irving Green Advisory Board since being appointed. I learned that I’m filling a vacated position (officially “Place 8″) so apparently my first term will be slightly longer than the usual one year. I got to meet most of the 14 other board members and was one of two new members attending the meeting. It was the last board meeting for 2013 and not much actual work was done, it was mostly summing up what had been done in 2013 and listening to a couple of presentations.

The first presentation was about Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, which is a LEED Gold building and the first middle school in the US to be net zero – that is, producing the same amount of energy as it consumes. The building uses photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, geothermal wells, rainwater harvesting, grey water harvesting, xeriscaping, LED lighting, and a variety of other technologies. The presentation included data from the first years of operation, confirming that the building had successfully achieved net zero operation. Check out live telemetry from the school’s systems or read more about the technology.

The other presentation covered a leasing program for residential photovoltaic systems. A resident who had gone through process described the details and costs. She listed the rates three of our local electric utility providers charge for electricity vs what they pay. Two of the three charged twice the rate they paid (e.g. you pay them 10 cents per kWh but they pay you only 5 cents per kWh). Only Green Mountain offered a fair deal (12 cents both ways).

I also got an overview of the topics that we’ll be dealing with in 2014 for the City of Irving and it sounds like fun. It matches up pretty closely with topics I’m interested in anyway. There’s the obvious stuff like air quality, water quality, waste management, and recycling. But we’ll also be working on bicycle lanes, West Nile and mosquito control, urban gardens, fracking, residential solar and wind turbine systems, xeriscaping, bat houses, just to name a few.

The Green Advisory Board has several committees within it where a lot of the work gets done. So the next thing I’ve got to do is pick out which committees I want to be on. I’m also reading through minutes of past meetings so I can get caught up on work that’s already been done. I should be up to speed and ready go when we start meeting again January. It will be interesting to see what we can actually do.

We met in a conference room at Irving City Hall. I brought my notebook computer to take notes and so I could do any quick research if needed. I was quite surprised to find there’s no public WiFi in City Hall. I could see an SSID called COI, obviously a City Of Irving official WiFi. I asked a couple of folks if they knew the login but was told it was for internal use only and that the City’s IT staff refuses to allow public WiFi access within the building because of security fears. As I’ve learned from civic hacking efforts, IT departments can be the biggest impediment to engaging Cities through modern technology. For now I’ll tether from my Nexus 4 phone.

Syndicated 2013-11-20 22:40:42 from Steevithak of the Internet

The Andro-Entitling Man

In the 1897 issues of Pearson’s Weekly there appeared a serialized story by H. G. Wells. It concerned a scientist who had developed and tested on himself a method of altering the refractive index of the human body so that it neither reflected nor absorbed light. That same year, the complete story was published in novel form as The Invisible Man. Not as fondly remembered as The Time Machine nor as far-reaching a story as Things to Come. It was, however, the first of many science fiction stories to bear a title of the form /The \w+ Man/. At least, that’s how you’d put in PERL regular expression syntax. If you prefer grep, then it would be ‘The [a-zA-Z]+ Man’. However you like your regular expressions, it’s a title that begins with “The”, ends with “Man”, and has a single word in between, usually a compound, interesting, and somewhat technical adjective.

My first literary encounter with this title form was a short story called The Non-statistical Man (1968, Raymond F. Jones), the story of statistical analyst who gets a first experience of the powers of intuition. Later, I ran across Isaac Asimov’s Hugo and Nebula winning short story, The Bicentennial Man (1976), a story about a positronic robot’s 200 year journey to be accepted as an equal in human society. I recently read the misogynist and so-bad-it’s-fun novel, The Reassembled Man (1964, Herbert D. Kastle) in which a sexist jerk is kidnapped aliens and agrees to having his body disassembled for research purposes provided the aliens will reassemble him according to his ideals of the perfect man. Stephen King wrote a novel called The Running Man (1982, as Richard Bachman) which was turned into an Arnold Schwartzenegger movie a few years later. I’ve not read the original story but the movie is about a wrongly convicted and imprisoned man who escapes prison only to be recaptured and sentenced to die on reality TV.

That exhausts the stories I’ve read but there are still more I’ve only heard about. I recently managed to locate and purchase a copy of the long out of print Colin Kapp novel, The Transfinite Man (1964) and I’ve just started reading it. Philip K. Dick wrote the reasonably well-known novel, The Unteleported Man (1964) and also published a much earlier novella called The Variable Man (1953). Both are on my reading list.

There’s something I find appealing about that adjective in the middle of the title, especially when it includes an unexpected prefix like un- or dis- (e.g. unteleported or disassembled). Think of all the interesting prefixes that have become common in the last couple of decades thanks to science and technology. There’s the entire range of Si unit prefixes like pico-, nano-, tera- etc., common scienctific prefixes like omni-, contra-, hyper-. It seems like an inexhaustible supply.

While writing this, I noted with interest that three of the above books were published in the same year: 1964. Maybe there was a fad among authors or publishers for using this title format during the early 1960s? The last usage I could find was Stephen King’s The Running Man over 30 years ago. I think we’re overdue for a resurgence of this form. My question for anyone reading this is, what other stories, science fiction or otherwise have been published with this title configuration. I’m willing to be flexible enough to include other genres besides science fiction, so anything from comic books to journal articles are fair game.

While it’s not exactly what I’m after, I’d even be curious to hear close but slighly different title formats such as The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold or The Woman Who Would Not Die by Carolyn Busey Bauman), though I think that form is likely to be much more common.

Syndicated 2013-10-23 01:50:43 from Steevithak of the Internet

The Tomorrow People

The Tomorrow People

The Tomorrow People

The Tomorrow People by Judith Merril is another obscure science fiction book that I picked up at an estate sale. The book was first published in 1960. I read the third edition published by Pyramid Books in 1968 with a Gray Morrow cover painting of a silver-suited astronaut standing on a planet’s surface with a rocket ship and an unlikely assortment of large moons in the background. The front cover blurb reads “He came back from Mars – with a secret too terrible to remember” while the back cover offers this summary in super-sized type: “There was something on Mars that killed people”. The front cover also offers two endorsements. One from Analog’s long-time book review columnist, P. Schuyler Miller; a single quoted word, “Superior”. The other endorsement is from well-known science fiction author (and Merril’s ex-husband) Frederik Pohl, who is quoted as saying the novel is “important and fresh”. If they reprint the book again, they can add my one word review: “Meh…” – Steve Rainwater.

Damon Knight’s 1967 review sums it up well when he says, “parts of this book are relatively painless to read”. He also notes that the story contains an “unaccountable sprinkling of 1960 jive talk” and seems to be written from what he describes as the 1960s “woman’s-magazine viewpoint”.

It’s not a terrible book and it actually became slightly interesting towards the end. The story purports to be about the mystery of astronaut Johnny Wendt, the only surviving human from the first expedition to Mars, a man who has lost his memory and doesn’t know why he survived. The story is actually about Lisa Trovi, the woman who has made it her job to take care of Johnny, and their endless relationship problems. Johnny gets drunk, Johnny acts like a jerk, Johnny won’t cooperate with the scientists and politicians who need help putting together a second expedition to Mars, Johnny wanders off and feels sorry for himself, Johnny gets into fights, Johnny becomes unnecessarily jealous of Lisa.

Lisa has to pick up the pieces every time Johnny screws something up. About 75% of the novel is Johnny and Lisa sorting out their problems and is fairly boring stuff. The remaining 25% of the novel deals with scientist Phil Kutler who, with Lisa’s assistance, has to find out what happened on Mars. This leads to an eventual trip for the two of them to a lunar base where they study a vat of growing gray goo that came back from Mars with Johnny. The scientists keep pumping in their best guess at nutrients and the gray goo keeps bubbling and growing. Lisa is immediately fascinated by the goo and soon begins spending all her time sitting and staring at it.

Readers with even the slightest familiarity with science fiction will solve the mystery long before Lisa and Phil grok what’s going on. The gray goo is a piece of the single Martian biological consciousness and it has developed a psionic bond with Lisa because of some peculiar quirk about her brain. Using her brain as a conduit it begins reaching out to other minds on the moonbase. As the link grows stronger Lisa finally realizes what happening and makes conscious first contact with the Martian goo-brain. We get a brief but moderately amusing snippet of Martian-brain-speak. Here’s a sample:

“I-all, ready now, knowing from last time, from Earth-other-brothers who came in first great ship, knowing ahead this time: air, water vapor – without these the Earth-bodies cannot survive; old memories stirring, from before me-all, once on a time when the I-we who lived before me-all were discrete bodies alive in a fluid of water-air; back, distant-far back before the drying and thinning of atmosphere…”

You get the idea, the Martian goo had tried to communicate with the first astronauts without understanding they were discrete beings and things went all wrong. It was just a big misunderstanding and everyone wants to be friends now. If all the annoying Johnny/Lisa soap-opera sections could be excised, I think this would make pretty good short story. If you like old science fiction and happen across the book, you might enjoy it. But I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to find it.

Judith Merril is probably better known by modern science fiction fans by her pseudonym Cyril Judd, used for short stories co-authored with C. M. Kornbluth. She’s also known for introducing Canadian broadcasts of Doctor Who from 1978 to 1981. Her short (five minutes or so) introductions usually included an interesting contemplation of the theme of the episode about to be shown. She also gained brief notariety outside the science fiction world when, in the 1970s, she dressed up as a witch, travelled to Ottawa and cast a hex on the Canadian Parliment for allowing tests of American cruise missiles over Canada.

Syndicated 2013-08-19 03:31:14 from Steevithak of the Internet

Serendipitous Double Exposure of Found Film

double exposure

Example frame of double exposed film from 1980s

The latest series of photos I’ve posted to Flickr are very unusual and need a bit of explanation for anyone to make sense of what they’re seeing. The shortest possible way of describing it is this: you’re looking at double exposures made on film with two different cameras and two decades elapsing between exposures. Make sense? Probably not, so read on for the longer version.

I collect a lot of Vivitar cameras in order to test, photograph, and document them for Camera-Wiki.org where I maintain the Vivitar articles. I bought a camera bag containing a Vivitar v2000 35mm SLR with lenses and accessories at an estate sale in April, 2013. Also in the bag were several rolls of Kodacolor film. All but one of the rolls of film were still sealed in their box. The remaining one was unboxed but the leader was still visible, so I assumed it was unexposed.

Sometime later I obtained a new-in-box Vivitar IC101 Panorama camera. I wanted to shoot with this one right away, so I pulled my film box out of the fridge and looked at my film supply. I had all that shiny new expired film from the recent v2000 purchase. I selected the open roll and loaded it into the IC101. I shot a series of panoramic shots of the Las Colinas canals and a few shots of scenes in Deep Ellum near downtown Dallas. I dropped the film off at The Color Lab for processing, where Robert noted the film can artwork dated the film to the mid 1980s.

I picked up the film later and was surprised to see a series of double exposures. The owner of the Vivitar v2000 had shot the film and rewound it only partially, leaving the leader sticking out, then returned it to the camera bag where it stayed for 25 or so years until I found it at the estate sale and shot the second set of exposures on the same film.

The earlier set of exposure were full frame 36mm x 24mm shots taken at a now defunct water park in Galveston, TX called Sea-Arama Marineworld. There are also a few shots of nearby historic architecture in Galveston. These shots were superimposed with my recent shots of Las Colinas and Deep Ellum shot in 36mm x 13mm panoramic format. The results are somewhat unusual compared to other cases of double exposure, perhaps because of the extreme age of the film. Almost every frame has a unique color shift or effect. While most frames show a blue shift, several have a distinct green or red shift. In some cases, only the panoramic portion of the double-exposed image is visible, in other cases the entire frame is visible. In some frames the modern exposure wins out and the older exposure is only partially seen. In others the reverse is true.

Ok, so now that you know the backstory, go check out the photos!

Syndicated 2013-06-28 18:08:05 from Steevithak of the Internet

Art Conspiracy Mounted

Decapitated Robot, my piece for the ArtCon Mounted auction

Decapitated Robot, my piece for the ArtCon Mounted auction


This year’s Art Conspiracy SEED auction is called Mounted and has a faux taxidermy theme. Here’s how ArtCon describes it in their official news release “Conjuring visions animal, vegetable, mineral and digital, Life in Deep Ellum will be transformed from a gallery space into a lodge-like, electronic animalistic mounted dream sequence that only those crazy Art Conspirators can produce.” It’s coming up tonight so check it out if you can. My piece for the auction is called Decapitated Robot and it’s made entirely from found objects. I had to come up with a back story to explain the piece, and it goes something like this:

After a survey team crash landed on an alien planet, their robot turned homicidal due to a cognitive viral infection of unknown origin. The ensuing struggle resulted in many dead crew members and one decapitated robot. The survivors mounted the robot’s head on an airlock access panel and hung it in their camp as a reminder of their lost comrades.

So the idea was to the create something that could plausibly pass for an airlock hatch. In an ideal world, I’d live near an airplane grave yard where I could round up some kind of hatch but I had to make do with more mundane parts. Fortunately, I discovered that pretty much anything can conjure up the right idea if you apply diagonal airlock hazard stripes.

The robot head itself is made entirely from found metal objects from my personal junk stash. The face was once part of an Electrolux vacuum cleaner. Add in a handful of fasteners and adhesives from the local hardware store and you have what will hopefully pass for a severed robot head. If you want to see it in person, come by tonight and check out the auction. All the money goes towards the costs of the big Art Conspiracy charity auction this fall, which will benefit a local charity (this year’s beneficiary will be announced at tonight’s event). There will be lots of crazy art, food trucks, and bands.

Syndicated 2013-06-08 22:32:40 from Steevithak of the Internet

It’s Been How Long Since My Last Blog Post?

Time flies when you’re having fun. How about a quick summary of what’s been going on around here in the first half of 2013. I’m spending more time on two aspects of my photography interest: photographing models and Vivitar historical research.

I’ve turned a spare room at the office into a makeshift studio, complete with strobes found on craigslist and a cheesy backdrop hanging system. Believe it or not it all works and I’m learning a lot about lighting. My first shoot in the new studio was with Serena and I’ve since shot with Karla, and Lexy. More to come I’m sure.

My Vivitar research has been productive too. I’ve made contact with a half dozen ex-Vivitar people including John C. Best’s son and a former president of the company. I’ve got a backlog of Vivitar lenses and gear that I’m slowly working my way through. Don’t be surprised if you see me wandering around Deep Ellum photographing random people and things with weird old Vivitar equipment.

I finally made the jump to a modern smartphone this year, trading my ancient Samsung flip-phone for a Google LG Nexus 4. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are only a handful of choices when it comes to smartphones: the Apple iPhone or one of the hundreds of phones running Android, a phone OS based on the Linux kernel. (ok, technically, there’s also Windows phone out there that has a tiny fraction of market share but seriously, who’s going to buy a phone that runs Windows?!) Anyone who knows me, knows I’m unlikely to buy anything made by Apple if I can avoid it. Apple has made an art of taking away people’s basic software freedoms. Android isn’t completely free of course, there are varying amounts of proprietary software depending on which phone you get. I chose the Google LG Nexus because it’s the least encumbered, with a high percentage of free software, no phone company mandated bloatware, and it’s unlocked, so I can switch providers any time I want.

I got a Nexus 4 for Susan as well and she loves it. She almost never used her old flip-phone because the interface was so non-intuitive. With Android she’s now regularly calling, texting, taking photos, reading the news, even playing Angry Birds.

Dallas Makerspace is still growing like crazy and just expanded to around 6,400 square feet. I’m really only an occasional visitor at this point, having cut back my DMS and DPRG time to a minimum to make room for all the other stuff I’m doing these days. I’ve joined the Irving Art Association and will hopefully be joining the Dallas Camera Club in the near future as well.

Susan and I are trying to get out hear interesting speakers as much as possible too. We went to Joel Hodgson’s talk at the Texas Theater in January, Art Spiegelman at the DMA in February, Andrei Codrescu at the Kessler Theater in March, and just a few days ago Pecha Kucha Vol 12 at Lakewood Theater.

I’ve got a backlog of books to review too. Maybe I’ll post one of those soon if I find time.

Syndicated 2013-05-14 02:18:27 from Steevithak of the Internet

Anathem

Anathem


Susan and I are both fans of Neal Stephenson and his books are favorites when it comes to reading aloud. We read Cryptonomicon and the entire Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World) aloud. Nearly everything Stephenson writes has the quality of being so intensely interesting that you feel compelled to keep reading. When reading one of his book to myself, I usually want to read the entire book at one siting, staying up all night in the process. That’s one of the reasons we now read them aloud, it forces us to stop because my voice usually gives out after a few chapters. And the result is that we can enjoy the book over a several weeks, with lots of interim discussion and speculation about where we think the story is going.

One of the things that make Stephenson books so fascinating is that he combines interests in a wide range of topics from history to philosophy to the latest trends in technology. Anathem is no exception and is perhaps his best book to date. The book originated in sketches made by Stephenson when collaborators on the Millennium Clock project were trying to imagine what a clock designed to last 10,000 years would look like. Stephenson thought about the sketches a few years later and they became the basis for the clock and Concent scheme described in Anathem.

The story takes place on an Earth-like planet where society is organized a bit differently than our own. Scientists and philosophers live apart from the rest of society in closed convents called Concents. The separation is due to the alleged troubles that such people caused in the distant past by constantly introducing dangerous ideas and technologies to the “saecular” world. Technology, the physical manifestation of science and philosophy, is forbidden within the Concents. The fraas and suurs within the Concent can contemplate their ideas and think all they want but they are not allowed to build or use any technology more advanced than woodworking or stone masonry. As part of this grand experiment of dividing the thinkers from the rest of society, Concents are further subdivided into a series of concentric walls. Each successive inner circle stays closed to the outside world for a longer amount of time. Fraas and suurs from one circle may choose to move further inward over time. At the outermost level, the Concent opens its doors to the saecular world once every year. The next level opens once ever 10 years, the next every 100, and the last every 1,000. These openings of the Concent to the saecular world are called Aperts. Fraas and suurs in the innermost circle may have lived their entire life in the Concent. In the saecular world outside, cities come and go, governments change, entire civilizations rise and fall. Within the wall of the Concent, life continues on unchanged except for constant learning.

The story opens in the Concent of Saunt Edhar as the young Fraa Erasmas, known as Razz to his friends, is preparing for his first Apert in a decade. He and his friends are looking forward to seeing how the world has changed in the ten years since they were presented to the Concent as children to be trained in the ways of math and science.

It becomes evident rather quickly that this will be no ordinary Apert. The saecular governments are stirred up about some incredible event, so strange and dangerous that they may have to put aside the rules separating those who live within the Concent and draw upon their vast, theoretical knowledge to save the world from destruction.

Erasmus and friends are launched upon an unexpected journey into the saecular world and must shoulder responsibilities and face threats beyond any they’ve been prepared to deal with. They are joined by higher level Mathics including a Thousander who has spent so much time in the ethereal world of theoretical physics, it’s unclear whether he’s still entirely human or if he may have learned the secrets of feared and possibly mythical early Mathics known as The Incantors.

Along the way, the story delves into the many worlds interpretation of quantuum mechanics, the metaphysics of Platonism, Penrose tiling, the relationship of religion and science, and many other fascinating and esoteric topics. All this is couched in a story-line of almost constant action that includes martial arts, political intrigue, space combat, and some old fashioned romance.

Describing much more of the plot would likely give away something you’d enjoy discovering for yourself. Unlike some Stephenson books, like those of the Baroque Cycle where things slow down from time to time and Stephenson spends half a chapter describing the skyline of historic England, Anathem kicks into high gear in chapter one and never lets up. It’s action, crazy ideas, romance, surprises, and humor all the way through. To learn a little more, you can read some further plot descriptions, check out a glossary of terms, and even listen to some music composed based on the book’s description of Mathic arts over at the official Anathem website.

Syndicated 2012-12-03 04:24:27 from Steevithak of the Internet

Building the Hexagonal Junk Array

The Hexagonal Repurposed Junk Array #1

I finally got around to writing an article on the construction of the Hexagonal Repurposed Junk Array #1, my art piece for RZN8, this year’s Art Conspiracy SEED auction. The piece was made from surplus electronics and laser-cut salvaged acrylic. It functioned as a combination speaker dock and retro-style light organ for MP3 players. And for those who were about to ask: my audio player is a Sansa Clip+ running Rockbox, the open source audio player firmware that runs on some iPods and other players.

My write-up includes lots of photos and some video shot during construction and after completion. There are links to more photos of the piece and of the ArtCon RZN8 auction. I included all the SVG drawings used to laser cut the parts. I provided a brief description of the LED driver circuit but didn’t bother including a schematic since it only has four components and is pretty trivial. The speaker pods would probably have to be modified to fit another pair of speakers but, otherwise, I think there’s enough info in the article to allow you to build your own unit. If you build one, send me a photo.

Syndicated 2012-10-13 00:42:29 from Steevithak of the Internet

Books I’m Reading

If anybody out there is a long-time reader of this blog, you may recall that at one time in the distant past, I used to mention what books I was reading. I haven’t done that in a long time and it occurred to me today that it would be really trivial to do now that I’m using WordPress. So I’ve added a new little box over in the right sidebar where you can find out what I’m currently reading. It’s usually several books at once. Susan and I always have a book we’re reading aloud to each other. We take turns picking the next book. Often it’s a book that at least one of us has read before. I also have at least one book on the headboard at all times for that night time urge to read as the brain winds down for sleep. And I have a variety of transient books that come and go quickly just because I’m interested in the topic at the moment and want to read (or re-read) them.

So what about you? Do you read multiple books at once or do you read them one at time? If you have any recommendations for books to read, I’d love to hear them.

Syndicated 2012-10-10 00:25:33 from Steevithak of the Internet

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