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Saturday, June 26, 2004

Cristina Nehring on Books

Here is an excerpt from article from NYTimes this morning:
"Perhaps the best lesson of books is not to venerate them -- or at least never to hold them in higher esteem than our own faculties, our own experience, our own peers, our own dialogues. Books are not the pure good that the festival crowds are sometimes told: you can learn anything from a book -- or nothing. You can learn to be a suicide bomber, a religious fanatic or, indeed, a Bush supporter as easily as you can learn to be tolerant, peace-loving and wise. You can acquire unrealistic expectations of love as readily as, probably more readily than, realistic ones. You can learn to be a sexist or a feminist, a romantic or a cynic, a utopian or a skeptic. Most disturbing, you can train yourself to be nothing at all; you can float forever like driftwood on the current of text; you can be as passive as a person in an all-day movie theater, as antisocial as a kid holed up with a video game, and at the same time more conceited than both." Click here to read the whole article

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Montreal has been nominated World Book Capital 2005

From the web site announcing the upcoming activities: "For example, the holding of an International Publishing Forum, the development of a literary tour of Montreal and on the St. Lawrence river, exhibitions, contests, activities for your people in bookstores and libraries of Montreal and all over Quebec, the creation of a bilingual web site for the promotion of the event and many other activities intended to promote books."
Sounds exciting doesn't it? Ooh a bilingual web site... I'm all a-tingle!

The selection Committee of the World Book Capital 2005 met on 16 February
2004 under the chairmanship of Mr Pere Vicens, President of IPA, in order to
examine the applications to the nomination of the World Book Capital 2005.
The selection Committee examined the following candidatures: Barcelona (Spain), Montreal (Canada) and Turin (Italy) While rejoicing in the improvement of the general quality of the candidatures received this year, the Committee decided to nominate the city of Montreal as World Book Capital 2005 because of the excellence of the programme submitted creating a strong synergy among all sectors of book industry and including a number of aspects of book promotion and reading.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

i did absolutely nothing to commemorate bloomsday...

...except, of course, to write this entry.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Publisher Jack McClelland Dead (1922-2004)

Judy Stoffman reports in the Toronto Star, "His favourite author was Jane Austen, but he also found joy in his father's library books by James Joyce and sex manuals in plain brown wrappers. Neither he nor his father believed in censorship. Apart from that, they couldn't have been more different. In contrast to his abstemious dad, young Jack smoked from the age of 14, began drinking at 17 and was known as a ladies man. He was never religious."

Monday, June 14, 2004

I won! Woo Hoo!

I just found out I won the fourth Litterati Caption Contest on! My parents would be proud of this accomplishment... P.S. Don't tell them. Pretty stiff competition from the looks of it, too, from entries from authors Dennis Bock (The Ash Garden; Olympia) and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer (Way Up. Stories), etc. I think 'Carleton Wilson' should have won by sheer fact that he has such a cool name. Nice ring to it. Anyway, third time's a charm. "But seriously folks, I will be here all week. Try the fish."

From the Bookninja web site:


Litterati Caption Contest 4 Winners!

You people have such dirty little minds.... I oughtta wash your mouths out with urinal cakes. There were, as you can imagine, several overlapping entries for this one. In the case of captions that were too similar, the first entrant wins. So next time, enter early! I'll try to make the next one about unicorns and lollipops.

And the winner? John MacDonald!
(Note: Not the ten dollar bill guy.)

Monday, June 07, 2004

Griffin Poetry Prize Fashion...

I never knew poetry was ever "out of fashion"...

"I think poetry is coming back into fashion and all of you here are part of that renaissance," Griffin told the cheering crowd, which included writers and publishers from the U.K., the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand as well as from various parts of Canada." -Toronto Star

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Canada Remembers D-Day

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Fresh Eggs, Baby Beef and Dutch Herring -- Oh My!

It is a very fine day today. After finishing bucket of golf balls at the local driving range I headed the long way home. Two pollsters for the upcoming federal election were lost and asked me for directions at the driving range to a small hamlet. As the suburb was just built it did not show up on the map they had. I told them the area was on my way home and they could follow me there. No problem. A brief U-turn at the destination and I was one my way home again.

Up aways on Manotick Station Road I saw a sign advertising Fresh Eggs. How many times have you seen the same sign when you drive in the country? How could I resist. There was someone tending the garden so I drove up the long rural driveway and I stopped to ask about the eggs. Turns out that the eggs were four dollars for 2 dozen. The eggs are so huge the carton lids didn't even close fully. The farmer's wife, who looked familiar, used to work as a chef in the building where I work. I introduced myself and remembered all the good food she'd made for me and others. I have eaten many a breakfast and lunch the past four years there until they closed the basement restaurant down last year. Rent was too high apparently. Due to the downturn in economy of the last four years less and less people were frequenting the basement eatery. Now she's retired for good she tells me.

I also met her husband, Gordon Pyper, who showed up in the kitchen a few minutes later. His grandfather originally settled the area around 1840. The man is himself 84 years old and now a little hard of hearing. The three of us chatted for about an hour, among other things, of how two bulls strayed from their neighbours farm a couple of days ago. The neighbours in the area were a bit perturbed about the huge footprints in their gardens... The two also sell baby beef in the fall. I had them put me down for half a cow this October. Milk and corn fed baby beef. Yum. It pays to take the long way home once in a while. Later today on I will make my way to the Dutch Groceries to pick up a feed of smoked herrings. They will go nicely with the 95 litres of freshly brewed beer and the onions from the garden.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Sonic Boom this morning! Hear it?

A loud noise awoke me this morning around 5:30 am ...Sounded like a back fire. It got me up to search the house to see if anything fell or broke. I could not see anything out of the ordinary so back to bed I went. Turns out it was probably the meteor on the West coast streaking by at break neck speeds. No light show, however, as the sun was coming up on the East coast.
Meteor likely cause of West coast light show
Last Updated Thu, 03 Jun 2004 17:55:55
VANCOUVER - A blinding, white glow illuminated the early morning sky Thursday from Idaho to central British Columbia.

According to the U.S. Navel Observatory in Washington, D.C., it was a meteor – a chunk of space rock about the size of a small piece of luggage or computer monitor.

Authorities ruled out aircraft problems or military test flights as the source of the sharp boom and skybursts that were reported across the Puget Sound area of Washington state.

Some pieces of the flaming rock may have reached Earth, but they probably all burned up in the atmosphere, said a spokesperson for the observatory.

Margaret Cochrane, who works at a Tim Horton's in Burnaby, said she was outside on a smoke break just after 2:30 a.m. when the sky changed colour.

"It looked like this flare or whatever it was went off over the Fraser River," said Cochrane. "It was almost like a fireworks thing. It was just the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in my life."

Co-worker Karen Jaggard was standing beside her and said she was stunned by the flash. "Then it just went dark and I don't know, it was really weird. Our hairs were standing up and everything else."

The searing, silent light lasted only one or two seconds.

It was one of the more than 200 tonnes of material from outer space that fall to the planet each day, said Eric Dunn of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. It's one reason why houses get so dusty.

"There is a certain amount of little bits of particles of solid stuff from elsewhere in the solar system constantly filtering down through the atmosphere," said Dunn.

So far, no one has found any pieces of the meteorite.

Written by CBC News Online staff