amid a crowd of stars

… and trying to stay awake

Crystal World — J.G. Ballard

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Good.

Written by bront

July 11th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Posted in reading

Madame Bovary

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Ugh

Written by bront

July 11th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

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Red Mars

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Second only to Dune.

Written by bront

July 11th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

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Bourne Identity

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bourne identity

Written by bront

September 10th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Posted in reading

Summer Reading – Ringworld

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There is something about summer that frees the inner geek in me, and I have been wanting to read Ringworld for a long time. After trips to three bookstores, I finally stopped by the library and found a beaten up copy, with different cover art than depicted below. Frankly, the cover art on the edition I read was pretty weak. This is a piece of work by Dean Ellis whose work I love…

read some

Ringworld

Written by bront

July 9th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Posted in reading

smokescreen

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Flash without the plug-in…

http://smokescreen.us/

Written by bront

June 2nd, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Posted in web

Incomplete Manifesto

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I have known about Bruce Mau’s manifesto for years. In fact, at one point I printed it out, taped it all together and hung it on my door. Wonderful.

But… I was going through some old bookmarks today, and I found it, and it is still compelling.

I particularly like # 40

40. Avoid fields.
Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.

Written by bront

June 2nd, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Posted in design

The Forever War

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Ever since I read Thomas Ricks’s Fiasco, I have followed the course of the war in Iraq, but whereas Ricks gives an account of the generals and politicos involved and how the entire campaign was mismanaged from the start, Filkins is operating from a different point of view. He is on the ground with the troops. As I read, the term embedded began to acquire new dimensions and shades of meaning.

Of all the aspects of this war that he covers, from the sound of bullets whizzing past, to soldier’s funerals, to the strange physics of suicide bombers and their severed-but-intact heads, that which I have found the most interesting is the nebulous and protean nature of the conflict. Iraqi civilians are at one moment celebrating the soldiers, but they can just as easily drift into the ranks of the insurgents, and insurgents can themselves drift from one side to another in the space of a day.

It begs the question, how is it possible to fight such an enemy? David Petraeus, the hero of Fiasco, was masterful in framing and executing a counter-insurgency policy, but even that doesn’t take into account, and perhaps can’t take into account, the sometimes subtle and at other times blatant pressures surrounding and buffeting the Iraqis from all sides. Do you support the Americans? Do you despise them as occupiers? Do you take their money? Do you hide weapons?

When these wars began, my first-born wasn’t yet two, and I was still in the new-parent fog, the one that resists writing events into long-term memories, but I can remember that day in March 2003 when the tanks rolled and America decided to start a war. I didn’t think I’d be writing about it a decade into the 21st century, but then again most people probably didn’t think so either.

It was AC/DC, the Australian heavy metal band, pouring out its unbridled sounds. I recognized the song immediately; “Hells Bells” the band’s celebration of satanic power, had come to us on the battlefield. Behind the strains of its guitars, a church bell chimed thirteen times.

Read from The Forever War

Written by bront

June 2nd, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Posted in political,reading

Faceless Killers

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I’ve been a fan of Kenneth Branagh’s work since I sat in a theater 20 years ago to see Henry V, and last fall I was pleased to see that he was bringing to PBS a short series in the Mystery franchise titled, Wallander. I think I saw them all,  and wanted more when the series ended. I loved the grittiness of the crimes and the atmospheric Swedish countryside, but most of all I was taken with the character Kurt Wallander. His interest in opera reminds me a bit of P. D. James’s poetry-writing inspector Adam Dalgliesh (more excellent work on Mystery).

The writing is spare, unadorned, but capable and never awkward. For a police procedural, it rolls with just the right measure of plot, intrigue and character development, which, like Wallander’s life, gets put on hold while the dirty, difficult work of solving a double murder takes precedence, but it’s that development that provides a background and depth that keeps me reading.

Sample The Faceless Killers in Google Books.

Written by bront

May 25th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Posted in reading

dryad

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Anna of the trees

Written by bront

May 22nd, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Posted in family