Monday, March 31, 2008

Very Stressful Weekend

The last few days have been very stressful and somewhat traumatic. Last Monday (24th), my 5 year old son complained about a sore tooth, and so I made an appointment for Tuesday (tomorrow) with a pediatric dentist. I could not get anything earlier. But on Friday, my son started crying, and saying his tooth was really hurting him. He missed school as we took him to two dentists, but could not get any treatment. All we got was another appointment for Thursday (this week). Could not get anything sooner.

On Saturday 29th his cheek started swelling up. We rang around. The 24 hour emergency dentist would not sedate him. They only did local anathestics. My son hates needles, (left over from the vaccinations he got when he was younger) and I knew he would have to be sedated. So we ended up taking him to the Sick Kids Hospital. Once there, the doctors heard a heart murmur. Noone has ever told us that he had a problem with his heart. Under those circumstances he could not be sedated for a dental extraction. We ended up staying in the Emergency Room of the Sick Kids Hospital for the entire weekend - Saturday, Sunday and today (monday). He could not be admitted to the main hospital because there were NO spare beds. But he was listed as admitted so that he can get outpatient treatment to get his heart looked at by a cardiologist.

The good news is that this particular heart problem is NOT a major concern. It may become a concern when he is an adult, but right now my son should be able to lead a normal and fairly active life.

Today he had to endure needles for blood tests, and a 2 hour Echocardiogram - or a doppler ultrasound. His tooth was finally removed under local anesthesia, at 4 pm today. He screamed and screamed for every needle that he saw and had poked into him. We were kicked out of the ER room at 5pm, and then forced to wait for 2 hours in the main waiting room for the discharge papers, because 5pm is the staff changeover time, and the doctors have to do their rounds first. Got home after 7pm just in time to see his favourite TV program. Remember he has seen no TV for 3 whole days. That is a lifetime as far as my son is concerned.

I posted the 50 Greatest Books post on my one visit home last night. While hubby babysat through the night, I got Sunday night to sleep at home. I had stayed at the hospital on Saturday night.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Middlemarch - 50 Greatest Books

Middlemarch is about an ardent young woman, Dorothea Brooke, who marries an elderly scholar, Edward Casaubon. He is conducting laborious researches for a book, the key to all mythologies. Dorothea admires his erudition and, not knowing he will never write his book, wants to help him in his work.

George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans. Extraordinarily thoughtful, and extraordinarily well read, she was assistant editor of the Westminster Review. Although she was at the centre of intellectual life in mid-19th-century London, she was shunned in polite society because she lived, unmarried, with critic and naturalist George Henry Lewes. He was separated and wanted a divorce, which the law forbade because he had agreed to his wife having a child by another man. So although Eliot and Lewes seem to have had one of the most intimately affectionate relationships in the history of literature, respectable people did not like it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sorrow Mountain - Book Review

Sorrow Mountain
The Remarkable Story of a Tibetan Warrior Nun
by Ani Pachen & Adelaide Donnelly
Bantam Books 2001
Forward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Preface by Richard Gere
This is the story of Pachen Dolma "Ani", a Tibetan woman born in the region of Gonjo in 1933. The only daughter of the local chieftain, Ani grew up learning the things a chieftain must know. When she over heard her parents arranging a marriage for her, she fled to a monastery and became a buddhist nun.

In 1949 the Chinese invaded Eastern Tibet (the Province now called Qinghai - but in Tibetan it is called Amdo). As the years passed, the Chinese slowly moved southwards. By 1958 the Chinese had invaded the region called Kham in Eastern Tibet where Ani lived. That same year when her father died, Ani came home and became the village chieftain. The Chinese were getting closer every day, and she called for the village people to evacuate. The plan was to walk south to the Himalayas, ahead of the Chinese, and hopefully to cross the border into India, where the Dalai Lama was living. They never made it.

Ani was captured by the Chinese and spent the next 21 years [1960 to 1981] in prisons. She was finally released in 1981, and then spent several years following her childhood dream and learning the Buddhist way, under a teacher. She was in Lhasa during the 1987 & 1988 riots, and shortly after, she was told that the Chinese were following her. So Ani decided that it was a good time to leave. Ani took a long and perilous journey via Mt Kailash over the mountains into Nepal, and then into Northern India. In 1989 Ani arrived in Dharamsala and got to meet the Dalai Lama. Only then did she finally feel truely free.

Ani Pachen died in 2002.

In light of the current uprising in Tibet - on the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's being forced into exile, I feel that this book is an excellent book for learning about the Tibetan culture, and how proud they are of their independence. They are a peaceful people, they love freedom, and all they ask of China - is to let them be a free nation.

For those of you reading about China claiming that the Tibetan monks were rioting and causing the Chinese to shoot - well here is proof that the chinese LIED. Photo of Chinese soldiers wearing monks clothing. It's not the first time they have done this.

Friends of Tibet - News and History
Ani Pachen Obituary
Wikipedia biography

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Misquoting Jesus - Book Review

Misquoting Jesus
The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.
By Bart D. Ehrman Harper Collins 2007

As most of you may have figured out by now, I was raised in the Protestant church, but quit before I was 20. But I still love reading books about apologetics. The latest one I have recently finished was about how the Bible was really put together and that yes there are mistakes in the Bible.

Ehrman's latest book, "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why," has become one of the unlikeliest bestsellers of the year. A slender book of textual criticism, currently at No. 16 on the New York Times bestseller list, it casts doubt on any number of New Testament episodes that most Christians take as, well, gospel. Source

The first thing we need to understand is that NOONE has access to the very first gospels and letters as they were written. Everything in the New Testament today is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy (etc etc) and because the scribes copying these books, were only human, mistakes did creep in. Some errors were accidents, others were deliberate where a word was changed or added to make things clearer. So when we are told that the earliest gospels we have are from the 2nd century after Christ - these are not the original writings.

The book starts off with Ehrman's personal story of how he was raised in a (lukewarm) Episcopalian church, had a "born again" experience as a teenager, and after graduation, he enrolled at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he learned the basics of Textual Criticism. Then he went to Wheaton College to finish his degree, and later enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary. While he was at Princeton, Ehrman wrote a paper on the gospel of Mark - where Mark talks about Jesus citing the scriptures (1 Samuel 21) where King David ate the show bread from the temple on the sabbath during the tine of Abiathar the High priest. But when one looks at the chapter in 1 Samuel, it mentions that Abimelech was the high priest, not Abiathar. Ehrman wrote a very convulated paper using the meanings of the greek words to show why Mark used a different name. When he got the paper back, the professor had written a single line of comment. Maybe Mark just made a mistake. Ehrman had to think about this for a while, but eventually he had to admit that yes maybe Mark did make a mistake, Thats when the floodgates opened.
Ehrman started looking at all the errors in the New Testament, and found lots of them.

Ehrman later felt compelled to give up his beleif that the Bible was the inerrant word of god, although he did remain a christian for a while. He was eventually driven away from christianity (and now says he is an agnostic) because he could not reconcile the pain, suffering, wars, disease, pollution, natural disasters [and other bad things that happen to the world's population] with a loving and kind God as christians continue to claim.

Now this personal story only takes up one chapter. The rest of the chapters are taken up with many many examples of how the books of the new testament were copied and how words and phrases were changed even amongst the earliest manuscripts that do survive. This is not a long book,(just 220 pages) but it is detailed.

When I left the church over 20 years ago, I searched for a replacement in many different places. I even joined a cult church for a brief time, but that was not the answer. I formed my own beliefs, and so believing that noone else had the same set of beliefs, I stopped looking for answers and continued to live my life. In the last few years since I came to Canada, I have discovered that my personal beliefs do have a name. I am a Deist. See Deism.

Deism is a religious philosophy and movement that derives the existence and nature of God from reason and personal experience. This is in contrast to fideism which is found in many forms of Christianity.[1] Islamic and Judaic teachings hold that religion relies on revelation in sacred scriptures or the testimony of other people as well as reasoning.

Deists typically reject supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God does not intervene with the affairs of human life and the laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources. Deists believe that God's greatest gift to humanity is not religion, but the ability to reason.

In Search of Molly Pitcher - Book Review

In Search of Molly Pitcher
By Linda Grant De Pauw
Peacock Press (Pasadena, Maryland) 2007
Press Release

This is a YA (Young Adult) book, and I seldom read YA books, but when I received an email with a blurb about this book, I decided that this looked far too interesting to pass up. It turned out to be the right decision.

Molly Pitcher is a woman in the Revolutionary War who supposedly was passing water to the men on the cannon at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. The water was for the cannon - helping the rammer to keep the ram wet, so they can ram (push) the gunpowder and ball down the cannon mouth before it was fired. When her husband was killed at the cannon, Molly stepped in and took over the ramming duties and stayed there for several hours until the battle was won.

However, the question remains. Was Molly Pitcher a real woman or was she just a myth?

When Peggy McAllister learns about an eighth grade social studies award, she is
determined to win it. When she chooses Molly Pitcher, the legendary heroine of the
Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth, as the subject for her research paper she runs
into difficulties. With the help of her Greatgramps, a retired private investigator, his lady friend Mrs. Spinner, historian and author of historical romances, and Ms. Guelphstein, a dedicated reference librarian, Peggy sorts through a maze of confusing and contradictory evidence as she uncovers the true story of Molly Pitcher.

Peggie learns how to look for sources, how to make footnotes, how to write a bibliography. She learns the difference between Primary sources and Secondary sources, and she learns how to choose good sources and what evidence to reject as she searches for the truth about Molly Pitcher. The chapter called The Detective's Summation is the summary of all of Peggy's research.

This is not a thick book. Only 155 pages and I read it straight through in 90 minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I fervently wished that I had had the chance to do such an interesting history research project, and to learn such interesting information when I was at school. It might have made the difference between me falling in love with bibliography (just last year) in my 40's or going to University and studying it when I was 20.

Previous posts about Bibliography
October 2007
May 2007

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Rosetta Key - Book Review

The Rosetta Key
by William Dietrich
Harper Collins April 2008
William Dietrich's Website

This is an ARC copy that was sent to me at the end of February. I have read and reviewed the first book in the series. This is the second book.

The year is 1798 and Napoleon has invaded and conquered Eygpt. His soldiers have dug up a large black stone in the town of Rosetta. This tablet has 4 languages on it. An unknown language, Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphs. At some point the block is damaged and the top section is broken off leaving the main piece with 3 languages. It is Ethan Gage's job to translate the unknown language and discover what power it holds, so that Napoleon can conquer the world.

Ethan Gage has survived the absolute defeat of Napoleons navy at the Battle of Abukir Bay (aka Battle of the Nile) by Lord Nelson, and Napoleon's successful invasion of Cairo. Gage had also discovered the location of the famous Book of Thoth. The medallion (see the first book) leads to a clue to the next location of the Book. Gage believes that Moses took the Book of Thoth with him when the Hebrews left Egypt and wandered for 40 years in the desert on their way to Caanan (What is now Palestine). Which means that Jerusalem is the next place to search.

At the end of Naploeon's Pyramids, we left Ethan Gage escaping from Egypt by hot air balloon. Eventually Ethan Gage is picked up by a British ship.

In 1799 Napoleon moved on from Egypt to Palestine. There he laid seige to the towns of Acre and Jaffa. Acre he lost and Jaffa he won. Upon which he and his men slughted over 3000 of the locals claiming that they were "dishonest and not respectful to the military honor". Meanwhile Gage heads for Jerusalem and there, along with some friends, he explores the famous tunnels under the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. After Jerusalem, Gage is betrayed to Napoleon again, and sent to Jaffa where he is about to be part of the mass execution, but manages to escape, again. This time Gage flees to Acre, and meets up with his friends again.

Gage eventually travels to the City of Ghosts where he finds the Book of Thoth, and loses it again. This was a very good book. I enjoyed it, for the adventure, the history (Templar history) and for the detailed history of Napoleon's invasion of Palestine.

Before Green Gables - review 2

Before Green Gables was reviewed in the Globe & Mail over Easter weekend.
Before Green Gables
by Budge Wilson,
Penguin Canada,
447 pages, (hardback)

I am trying to get as many people interested in reading this book as possible.
When I can afford it, I will buy my own copy.


Gatsby? It really is great

How much poorer would our culture be if F. Scott Fitzgerald had, as he originally intended, set The Great Gatsby in the Midwest in 1885, and called it The High-Bouncing Lover? Such a question is impossible to answer, for we can only guess at how barren the U.S. literary landscape would appear without Gatsby's West Egg mansion in it, just as we can scarcely conceive of a U.S. canon of literature without Fitzgerald himself.

There are reasons why this book is engrossing, and then there are reasons why it is important. Among the former are its impeccable style, its nearly flawless execution and its brilliant, charged prose. [more]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

De ludo schacorum (About the game of Chess).

In April last year I posted a story about a new magic book originally published in Renaissance Italy, and had just become available in english. This magic book was written by Luca Pacioli. He was Leonardo da Vinci's best friend and teacher

Today I read about another of Pacioli's books that has recently come to light.
This book is called De ludo schacorum (About the game of Chess).

A masterpiece from the early literature of chess has recently resurfaced after being thought lost for five centuries. The rediscovery of this book is of much more than scholarly or antiquarian interest, for it has been suggested that its chess puzzle diagrams were not only designed by Leonardo da Vinci, but also drawn by him and, the most tantalising prospect of all, perhaps even composed by him.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter weekend

I took my son to see the new Dr Seuss movie - Horton Hears a Who today.
So this is a book related post. LOL It was a good movie. I enjoyed it. So did my son.

Horton Hears a Who. (movie website)
Horton Hears a Who (The Poem)

And this is the TRAILER

Thursday, March 20, 2008

50 Greatest Books March 2008

I totally forgot about the 50 Greatest Books series I am following. I must be really distracted by the new job and the computer crash. I note that the last book I posted about was on March 2nd. I started my new job on March 4th. Anyway, here are the most recent books in the series.

March 8th - 50 Greatest Books
The Confessions of St. Augustine
Few books are more frequently subject to such vain mirror-work than St. Augustine's Confessions. Enter enlightened wonder: At the end of the fourth century, a middle-aged North African wrote an account of himself that's self-conscious, questioning, searching and boldly honest; an account that [never but] roars with a lively literary voice; an account written after the author gave up a life of eloquent wind and elegant debauchery for a life committed to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

March 15th - 50 Greatest Books
Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, first published in 1532, is certainly the most shocking book ever written about political leadership. No current politician in his or her right mind would ever confess to the black arts Machiavelli so coolly endorses. Heaven forbid! He endures, however, because his work still contains the sting of truth.

Happy Birthday to BiblioHistoria

I meant to write about my one year anniversary on the 17th, but....I forgot. Too busy with my new job. And majorly distracted by the Computer crash we suffered. However, now that I have remembered, I can say Happy Birthday to Bibliohistoria - I have now officially been blogging for 1 year - and three days. Thats 310 posts.

I also have 2 other book related blogs - BiblioShakespeare and Historia's Books.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C Clark Died Today

Apologies for not writing anything this week, but my new job is taking up a lot of my time.

As I write this it is Tuesday evening here in Canada but in SriLanka where Mr Clarke lived, it is already Wednesday.


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science-fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90.

Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30 a.m. after suffering breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.

Clarke moved to Sri Lanka in 1956, lured by his interest in marine diving which he said was as close as he could get to the weightless feeling of space.

"I'm perfectly operational underwater," he once said.

Co-author with Stanley Kubrick of Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey," Clarke was regarded as far more than a science-fiction writer.

He was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality. Geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are called Clarke orbits.

He joined American broadcaster Walter Cronkite as commentator on the U.S. Apollo moonshots in the late 1960s.


Clarke, one of the most prolific authors of his genre, was the last surviving member of a group of science-fiction writers known as the "Big Three." The two others were the Russian-born Isaac Asimov, who died in 1992, and Robert A. Heinlein, a Missouri native who died in 1988.

I did not really like Heinlein's books. I much preferred Carl Sagan's books.

Clarke Foundation

I told my husband that Arthur C. Clarke has died. He said "Never heard of him." I was shocked. I mentioned some of Clarkes books. "You know, the Rama series?" He shook his head again. I sighed and then a few minutes later, I suddenly remembered. 2001. Clarke wrote the 2001 novel. My husband and I both love scifi movies and TV. I also like reading sci fi (I love Carl Sagan abd Isaac Asimov). So I told Husband that the movie 2001 was based on Arthur Clarke's novel 2001. He shrugged and went back to his game.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Computer finally up and running.

Its taken a while, but the PC is now back up and running smoothly. We have had to dump (delete/uninstall) the Norton Security - precisely because of the obvious conflict between that and MS IE browser. Now we use PANDA anti-virus and the whole system is running very nicely. I still lost all my Outlook emails, but I have to be thankful that that's ALL I lost.

So hopefully I can get some new reviews up here soon.

The new job is very busy. I am doing a LOT of training. Over the telephone between me working at home, and the office, where I log into their computer (by remote connection). They have a lot of software (several different kinds of software) I am learning how to use, to write marketing reports. It's a nice challenge.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Napoleon's Pyramid - Book Review

Napoleon's Pyramids
By William Dietrich
Harper Collins 2007

I received an email last week from Harper Collins saying I was one of the lucky people picked to read and review The Rosetta Key - the latest novel from William Dietrich - due to be published next month (April 2008). After a bit of research, I discovered that this was a sequel to an earlier novel, so I promptly went out and purchased a copy of the first novel - Napoleon's Pyramids. [William Dietrich Website]

This is the story of Ethan Gage, an American who formerly used to be an assistant to Diplomat Benjamin Franklin while he was in France, during and after the American and French Revolutions. I am not usually a fan of Napoleon and his wars, but this book got me hooked because Napoleon was not the main character.

When Ethan Gage wins a strange medalion during an all-night gambling session in Paris, he doesn't think too much about it, until things start happening around him. Several sinister looking people show too much interest in the medallion, Gage is attacked several times, his young lady for the night is killed over the medallion (for which Gage is accused of murder) and he ends up fleeing for his life. The best course of action appears to be hooking up with Napoleon's army as a savant, ostensibly tagging along in order to study the secrets of the pyramids.

In Egypt, Gage has the chance to see Napoleon capture Alexandria and the battle of Pyramids, as well as the French naval disaster at Battle of the Nile. He is fascinated by the beautiful woman he captures when she was involved in sniping at Napoleon and Gage, and by the pyramids which hint at mathmatical secrets.

Considering that no bodies were ever found in the great pyramid, what if they weren't really grave monuments at all? What if they were somehow keys to the secret of the cosmos? One thing is certain--Napoleon wants to learn the secrets, to become the next Alexander. Gage and the woman start searching for the Book of Thoth. In Egyptian mythology, Thoth was the god of wisdom, time, writing, magic and the moon. The Book of Thoth was reputed to be a book of very powerful knowledge.

If you want to read a book that is full of history, mystery, Indiana Jones type adventures and a whole lot of fun, you have to read this book - and the sequel.

Disaster Averted

At 2 am this morning, hubby woke me up and said "I think I found your files". So I have all my immigration journals, genealogy notes, book reviews, bibliography notes, history notes, photographs, pictures and other stuff back. But still no emails. Hubby had gone through the registry looking at everything. The system seems to have saved everything under a number, not a name. So the disaster has been averted. Thank you hubby. He is a genius.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Disaster - Computer Crashed

We have two computers - one new (2 years old) and one old (8 years old). The new one has crashed and I have lost the last 7 years of my life. I am currently typing this on the old computer. All my private journals of the immigration limbo we went through; all my genealogy notes and certificates; my books, bibliography notes, book reviews etc; all my emails; all my pictures; all my history notes (and there were tons and tons of those); all the family photographs from both sides. ALL LOST. Even the employment contract for the new job I just started.

This is a disaster.

I have finished one book and will try and have a review up later today. And the last 2 days we have been stuck inside enduring a bitterly cold snowblizzard. There are 6 inches of snow on the ground in Toronto - and Ottawa has 50cm (20 inches) of snow. Now there is sunshine and snow outside.

The good news is that the new computer is now back up and running - with all my files gone - but hubby did have to stay up ALL night to fix it. And I do mean ALL NIGHT. He was working on it at 9 pm last night, when I went to bed, and he was still working on it when I got up at 8 this morning. Hubby has now gone to sleep.

Apparently our troubles started several weeks ago when we finally upgraded to IE version 7 (because IE 6 is not longer being supported by MS). And we have had nothing but trouble since then. Yesterday I downloaded the 2008 version of Norton Security, and that was it - the system crashed. Apparently there have been rumblings in cyberspace of conflicts between IE 7 and Norton security. We are not the only people having that conflict trouble. And I wish we had read this first before we downloaded IE7. We did also download Firefox, but it doesnt do very well with javascripts out there.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Book Ends Book Review

Book Ends - Two Women, One Enduring Friendship.
By Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern
Simon & Schuster 2001
My copy - Large Print Edition by Thorndike Press 2001

For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, will know that I discovered a love for bibliography last year when I read Rostenberg and Stern's book Old Books Rare Friends. Well, now I have another of their books - my third biography. Actually its the 4th book if you also count Louisa May Alcott volume I have of her dark stories that Madeleine edited. This book Bookends was published in 2001 and consists of autobiographical short stories. Some areas are detailed, others are not.

The Contents list is very interesting.

Beginnings - This is their childhood and family background. Very interesting.
Self Searching - Education and searching for a career.
The Men we did not Marry - self explanatory.
Mothers - They talk about their relationships with their own mothers.
Two Book Women in a Man's World - How they got started as book sellers, including the trips to Europe after the war, to buy books. Very very interesting.
Our Changing Book World - the impact the internet had on their business. Also mentions the book people they met and the play written about them, also called Bookends. Again very interesting.
Our Canine Succession - Over the 50 years these two ladies worked together, they had a succession of dogs. I am not a dog lover, so I skipped this chapter.
Aging Together - Self Explanatory.

Madeleine Stern died just last year.
Leona Rostenberg died in 2005.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club Movie Review

Sometime ago (December 1, 2007 actually) I stated that I wanted to learn more about Jane Austen. Mostly because my father is a huge fan of Jane Austen's novels. So I mentioned that I would be joining the Jane Austen Challenge. Today (while I was waiting for the new employer to contact me) I watched the movie The Jane Austen Book Club. Based on the Book by Karen Joy Fowler.

I did not expect to enjoy it. The blurb says that it was about 6 people talking about their present day lives, and my thinking was - how exactly does that have any connection to Jane Austen's novels?

Well I ended up enjoying the movie very very much. This group of 6 people (5 women, and 1 male) read one of Austen's books each month and then get together to discuss it.

Briefly, Bernadette has been married 6 times. She's the matriarch of the group.

Jocelyn is a dog breeder and has never been married. She prefers to stay alone. She has many personal walls and refuses to allow anyone to breech them. Her best friend is Sylvia.

Twenty years ago, Jocelyn briefly dated Danila Avila, and then for some reason, gave Daniel to Sylvia. Daniel and Sylvia got married and had 3 children. At the beginning of the movie, after 20 years of marriage - they were breaking up, because Daniel had met another woman.

Prudie is a French teacher at a high school. She is married, but her husband seems to not be listening to her. He had told her that they were going to Paris on a business trip, so Prudie purchased books about Paris. Then the husband (Dean) says that the boss gave the trip to another guy in the company and Dean gets to take some VIPs on a basketball trip instead. Prudie is immensely disappointed. She has an affair with one of her students. Her mother comes to stay, but is so disorderly, that Prue sends her home. The mother dies barely 4 months later.

Allegra is Daniel and Sylvia's daughter - age 19 and a lesbian. She is still exploring her sexuality. She falls in love easily and has two (different) partners during this movie.

And the last member of the group is Grigg (not Greg). Grigg is a sci-fi enthusiast. He loves reading sci-fi. He also has his own online business - which seems to make quite a lot of money - and yet he still chooses to work as a tech support person. He falls in love with Jocelyn. But Jocelyn stays closed up and keeps trying to pair Grigg off with Sylvia who is going through her marriage breakup.

Every month the group reads one of Austen's novels and then they get together to discuss it. I learnt a lot about Austens novels. Such as who all the main characters were, how they interacted and reacted with each other, who was in love with whom, and who hated whom. It was fascinating.

You could call this movie - Cliff's Notes to Jane Austen's Novels.

That new job

Remember that interview I mentioned last week? the one where I lost interest during the interview because there might be some weekend work?

Well, I ended up actually getting that job. I accepted it, because I need a job and because I have not heard back from any of the other jobs I have been applying for. So right now it is 10am Tuesday morning and I am waiting for the new employer to call me. The hours (30 hours per week) the pay and working from home, are all perfect. This is a Marketing Analyst job - writing reports and accessing their database to do my work. A major step up from the survey interviews I used to do, a few years ago.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Darwin's dangerous idea

Darwin's dangerous idea

A major evolution exhibit opens in Toronto next week, which begs the question: Why so much fuss over a 150-year-old theory that seems to gather more scientific support by the decade?

The Evolution Revolution
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
March 8 to August 4, 2008

Das Kapital - 50 Greatest books

Das Kapital by Karl Marx

'Of course," the French theorist Louis Althusser wrote, "we have all read, and all do read Das Kapital." Of course, we haven't and we don't. Even Althusser himself, who produced a book on the subject, eventually confessed in his memoirs that he was a "trickster and deceiver" who had read no more than "a few passages of Marx." Yet, in a broader sense, he was right: Ever since the publication of Das Kapital's first volume in 1867 - the only one completed in Marx's lifetime - we have read it in the world about us, in the dramas and conflicts of contemporary history.

Next week: The Confessions of St. Augustine