For the Literary Minded

Recently saw a reblog of a Tumblr post about free online book resources (mostly classics, public domain).  I thought I would pass it along since the blogger indicated her comments sprang from a recent conversation with a younger person who wasn’t even aware of Project Gutenberg, and likely not the other resources mentioned.   You can find Jane Austen books, Dracula, and many more.

linguisticparadox

   [https://linguisticparadox.tumblr.com/post/686859682955083776/okay-lessee-we-got-the-aforementioned]

Okay lessee, we got the aforementioned www.gutenberg.org, where you can access public domain print works in lots of different formats–you can even read books in your browser if you don’t wanna take up space on your device! Worth noting that a lot (maybe all?) of it is machine-rendered text from scans, which is then corrected by volunteers, which means that there are sometimes errors, especially in less popular works. This can especially be an issue if you’re reading something in another language (I had to hunt down a pdf scan of Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingt Jours bc it was too difficult for me to parse mistakes in xxxxing 19th-century French lmao), but for the most part it’s at most a slight inconvenience.

For other kinds of media, including music and movies, we got www.archive.org, which is by the same folks behind the Wayback Machine!

For more books including some that are still in the public domain (they even have Jeff Smith’s “Bone” series!) we got www.openlibrary.org. The files from this will auto-delete from your device unfortunately, but that’s exactly what happens with library ebooks so I can’t complain (I do know of at least one way to get around that, but I wanna stick to strictly legal and above-board things for this post lmao). You do need to make an account, but it’s free and super easy!

Speaking of libraries, go check out your local library’s website, you’ll probably find a page listing their electronic materials! For example, my library has hoopla, libby, kanopy, and creativebug, and that’s just a few of the things they have! Libraries are maybe the best thing still existing in these xxxxed-up times, but you have to keep using them because your local government will take the first excuse they get to shut them down! (btw get active in local govt!)

Lastly, one that is maybe not so well known but that I’ve had endless nerdy fun with is cpdl.org/wiki/, the Choral Public Domain Library, where you can find tons of choral scores in different languages! I adore learning obscure folk songs so this is my absolute SHIT.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head at the moment, but feel free to send me links or add them in the comments! However, please be mindful that, while I certainly don’t turn my nose up at a little yo ho ho-ing myself, this is strictly for LEGAL sites. This is important for, say, teachers who want to share media with their classes, or singers who want to find scores they can legally perform publicly, just to give a couple of examples!

original dracula jekyll and hyde legal free shit long post

     [edited to remove a word I despise and won’t use/reblog]

San Andreas

The first time I ever saw the movie ‘San Andreas’, I was in a hotel room.  In San Francisco.  On Nob Hill.  Where much of the action takes place.  Sort of adds a whole new element of tension to movie viewing.

I had been spending quite a bit of time in SF, usually at least a couple of days each month for around a year.  And the area I spent that time was primarily from the Embarcadero up to Nob Hill, and the movie pretty much focuses most of its attention on that very same area I was visiting.

Okay, that’s scary enough, but I also worked in downtown Los Angeles for nearly 20 years – right in that same area where the action takes place in LA!

Talk about a double whammy.

For all the great action involved and decent script, well acted, it was sad to have an annoying, unnecessary F-bomb, and misinformation perpetuated.  That it was blended in with accurate information almost makes it worse, because people are apt to believe the wrong one.  (Nix the Triangle of Life.  You’re trying to avoid things that are falling, not hunker down next to them.  It has a very specific use and purpose.)

Inaccuracies and misinformation aside, earthquakes are definitely not fun, the moreso the bigger they are.  They keep warning us that the San Andreas is long overdue, and while it won’t be as bad as the movie depicts, it won’t be a walk in the park or easily dealt with when it hits.  I was living in LA when the 1994 Northridge quake struck, and we were a long time recovering from that.

I prefer my disasters on the movie screen, thank you very much.  Scary but easy to survive.

Well, How About That!

I was this many days old (several days ago) when I found out that the “alley” behind my apartment building is more than that.

The building sits on a major street and you enter the parking garage from there, and then exit out the back via this alley.  With good reason – it is difficult to see fast-moving traffic on the major street, and entering from the alley means a lot of blind angles for cars exiting so easy to have mishaps if cars were going both ways.

The alley out back goes down to a smaller street perpendicular to the major street, and you can either turn to exit on that major street or go the other way and use various other small neighborhood streets to get where you’re going.

Only, today, I was looking at an old map I had downloaded when I first moved in here over 10 years ago and realized that ‘alley’ continues on across the smaller street and then eventually turns left and exits directly onto the major street.  Across the smaller street, it just looks like another alley that cars use to get to the parking spots for 2 other apartment buildings.  I never reaslized it actually came out somewhere else.

Ah well, live and learn, right?

Update:  I finally went over to check it out.  I was only partly right.  From the major road, the “alley” enters a one-way apartment complex parking lot.  When you make a 45-degree right turn, it becomes two way.  But coming in off the smaller street only takes you part of the way before you have to turn back.

Still, more than I knew before.

What have you missed in your neighborhood?

Which Came First?

I know you are used to me making mostly Fluff blog posts, but it’s time for the hard-hitting questions that need to be addressed.

Tetris or the tiled floors in restrooms with Tetris-like pieces in their checkerboard motif – which came first?

Am I the only one, who, when stuck in a public restroom for an extended time, mentally Tetris the patterns into scorable configurations?

Tetris

[image from:  https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20121022-the-psychology-of-tetris%5D

Quotes I Like

“There’s something liberating about fighting an obvious enemy, as opposed to one you have to prove exists.”

– Trevor Noah (about what is the difference between racism in South Africa and racism in America on The Daily Show)

Your attention didn’t collapse. It was stolen | Psychology | The Guardian

Interesting article. 

I witnessed this somewhat when I visited the British Isles in the 90’s.  A couple was at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness.  You have to pay to get in.  But their sole purpose in being there seemed to consist of taking pictures of each other.  They never appeared to ever even notice the scenery or anything else but what they saw looking through their camera lens – they just dashed from photo to photo oblivious to their surroundings. 

And more than once while on vacation, I’ve gotten the feeling travelers around me were experiencing their vacation solely on video or in pictures.  Don’t look at where you are here and now, but wait until you get home and watch the video or look at the pictures there. 

So much is lost when we focus on electronic media and miss what is happening around us.

[https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/jan/02/attention-span-focus-screens-apps-smartphones-social-media]

Why Am I Still Wearing a Mask?

Many/most places are dropping their mask mandates.  A great many in the population simply ignore them anyway.

And, yet, 3 people at work just tested positive for COVID this week.  It’s a small group of about 10 people.  They do not sit socially distanced.  They have steadfastly ignored the requirement to wear masks in the office.  And that group of 10 people has had at least 5 cases of COVID, despite being fully vaccinated.

The rest of us, who have followed the guidelines, and carefully mask when in contact with others, have gone for over 2 years without a single case.  Hmmm, it almost seems like there’s a lesson to be learned there.  But clearly that small group won’t learn it, since this is the 2nd outbreak since Christmas for them.

Me?  I’m keeping my mask on, thank you very much.  ESPECIALLY around anyone from that group.

keeping mask on

Some Blog Recommendations for Writers

Blogger/author Dan Koboldt has a blog page wherein he offers interviews and articles with guest experts on various scientific topics.  He himself is a geneticist and writes sci-fi/fantasy.  Some posts include:

So You Want to Bury A Body: Grave Digging for Writers

http://dankoboldt.com/grave-digging-for-writers/?ref=email

Writing Realistic Horses: Horse Psychology 101

http://dankoboldt.com/writing-realistic-horse-psychology/

How to Keep A Horse Healthy

http://dankoboldt.com/how-to-keep-horse-healthy/

Like Learning to Ride A Horse

http://dankoboldt.com/learning-to-ride-horse/?ref=email

Horses as Change Agents in Fantasy

http://dankoboldt.com/horses-change-agents/?ref=email

A Record?  Maybe.

When I was in regular school (1st-12th grades), I lived at just the right moment in just the right place (city and state) that I became something of an anomaly.  We moved 3 times during my school year, so that contributed some to my attending so many different schools, but it wasn’t the entirety of it.

Overall, I ended up attending 9 schools.  Well, sort of.

First through third grade was all in one building, but the name of the school changed partway through (I think between 2nd and 3rd).  Then they redistricted and I moved to a different school.  Then they built a new school and I got sent there.  (We’re at 4.)

Then we moved which put me in yet another school for 6th grade.  But at that point I graduated and went on to high school, so another school.  But then they built a new high school, so I went there for 9th grade.  (We’re now up to 7.)  It was only a junior high and we moved for the third time, so senior high school was in yet another school.

And then they built a new version of my senior high school (same name, different building and location).  And brings me to 9.

An argument could be made that it was only 7:  1 building/2 names, and 2 buildings/1 name.

In a funny sort of way, I had ties to three of the four main schools who were rivals during junior/senior high, so that was also interesting.  [My mom had ties to the fourth one.]

I guess you could say that I was ‘well schooled’, eh?

[Apologies for being in absentia last week.  I lost my internet connection for several days.]