Blogs

American music information resource

bridge jpgA new collection from the Library of Congress. The Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog is a searchable database that includes information on musical recordings; most of those covered are from 1933-1950.

This database is just one collection in the Music Theater and Dance Performing Arts Digital Library which showcases important artistic documents and materials related to American culture.

A comet called Holmes in our skies

A formerly very dim comet called Holmes (17P) flared up October 24th growing many magnitudes brighter. It's outside the orbit of Mars and in the southern portion of the constellation Perseus. Last night (Oct. 27), following a day of clouds, mist, and rain, I stepped outside to a clearing sky. It took me only a second to find Holmes and view it through my 10X50 binoculars. It was a beautiful sight, though to the uninitiated, it's just a big fuzzball. That is, of course, how it actually looked... a large, brightly glowing puff with a bright dot in the center; that's how comets look "head-on" with any tail streaming behind and away from the viewer. The glow was slightly yellow or golden... quite an unusual object.

California fires mapped online by officials

There are so many fires that is is hard to get answer to questions about any particular fire in the counties affected; this California Fire Web site has up-to date information on all of them, plus a Google map showing all the locations.

The Prince of Nantucket by Jan Goldstein

Prince of NantucketA charming, ambitious political candidate returns to his family home in Nantucket as his mother falls victim to Alzheimers. The visit forces him to reevaluate his future when family relationships become unexpected priorities. An honest and heartfelt book by the author of All That Matters.

Storm Runners by T. Jefferson Parker

Storm RunnersAfter his wife and son are killed in an explosion, ex-cop Matt Stromsoe takes a job as a bodyguard for a television weather forecaster being harassed by a stalker. He must protect her from powerful people who will stop at nothing for greed and revenge. A finely crafted suspense novel!

"Shooting Stars" this weekend!

If you want your wishes to come true this just could be your weekend. If you believe in wishing on a falling star, that is! The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks after midnight Saturday night, October 20, and into the pre-dawn hours of Sunday. IF the sky is clear (and that's a rather big "if" lately) and you go to a place where the skies are dark, you may see more than 20 meteors streak across the sky in an hour! Some of the meteors will be bright and leave briefly glowing trails. Many will be fast and faint. Don't worry, however, you won't be bonked on the noggin by the falling debris -- it's only dust and small grains left behind in space during previous passages of Halley's Comet. Traveling at very high speed, the tiny particles glow brightly as they enter Earth's atmosphere heating and finally "burning up" completely.

Website stops delivery of unwanted catalogs

Do you remember that "Seinfeld" episode when Kramer takes an armload of unwanted Pottery Barn catalogs and throws them inside one of the company's stores?

Every feel like doing that? How do you stop getting those catalogs, anyhow?

Catalog Choice is a service that helps you opt out of catalogs that you don't want.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

In this story within a story, a lonely biographer is summoned to a remote estate to interview a reclusive best-selling novelist. In a race against time, the biographer tries to come to terms with her own identity while sorting out the truths of another's. Voted a "sure bet" by the Popular Materials Department.

Between the Tides by Pattie Callahan Henry

Between the TidesA strong senses of place and a quest for self-discovery propel the reader through this very engaging novel.

Keeping the World Away by Margaret Forster

Keeping the World AwayIn this novel an artist tells how a particular painting affected others.