Friday, August 17, 2018

Review: Embassytown

From Embassytown, by China MiƩville:
Open quote 

Hosts, the indigenes, in whose city we had been graciously allowed to build Embassytown, were cool, incomprehensible presences. Powers like subaltern gods, which sometimes watched us as if we were interesting, curious dust; which provided our biorigging; and to which the Ambassadors alone spoke."

Embassytown is classic science fiction with something to say about Earth by imagining what language, consciousness, communication and colonization might be like at the edge of the universe.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

POTD: Sculling on the Yarra

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Yarra River in the central business district of Melbourne, Australia, where they have been sculling for at least 100 years.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

POTD: The Yarra River

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne
The "old" North Bank CBD

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Australia. It shows the Yarra River at night. When I lived in Melbourne over forty years ago, the Yarra River was an industrial blight, flowing between rail lines on one bank and factories and warehouses on the other. Today, the Yarra River is the center of Melbourne entertainment and dining. The warehouses are all gone, replaced by a convention center, a casino, condos, offices, and restaurants all along the river through the central business district. By far, this change is the most noticeable difference from the Melbourne I remember from my time living there in the 1970s.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tig Notaro: Happy to Be Here (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Tig Notaro: Happy to Be Here (2018): Netflix standup routine, again based on stories from her life, but this time small, everyday pleasures: her kitten, her wife, her adopted twins, her life. It's time for a smile. Tig brings it. B+

Monday, August 13, 2018

POTD: The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne has the world's largest tram network, including some classic old cars converted into rolling restaurants. There's no better way to see Melbourne than while dining in a moving streetcar with vintage decor.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Friday, August 10, 2018

POTD: Deer Park High School

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Deer Park High School in Melbourne, Australia. In yesterday's photo of the day, I mentioned that I might have ridden one of Dallas's McKinney Avenue trolleys when it was still rolling the streets of Melbourne long ago. Today's photo explains what I was doing in Melbourne way back then: teaching high school maths in Deer Park High School. This year, on my first return trip in over forty years, I revisited the school. As expected, no one I knew then is still at the school. The last teacher I served with retired only a couple of years ago. Still, good memories.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

POTD: Tram Down Under

From 2018 03 15 Melbourne

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Appropriately for the land Down Under, it's a photo of a classic tram car emerging from the ground as if it's coming from the land up top. Maybe it's an homage to Amarillo's Cadillac Ranch from a city that values mass transit over gas guzzlers.