Archive for September, 2012

On giving Alice Cooper a chance

September 21, 2012

I’m forced to stay up a while longer, and am all out of writing for the day. Instead, I’m going to focus on an underrated but extremely famous musician. Popular culture knows him as a one-trick pony, but if you have any interest in trying new music, listen to these three videos to see how wildly different Alice Cooper’s music can be. Alice Cooper was originally a psychedelic band (later became a solo artist) that was too weird to live, but was kept breathing by Frank Zappa and his record label. Dark weirdness and smeared eyeshadow is about the only theme that runs throughout Alice Cooper’s entire career.


Yes that was Alice Cooper doing new wave. 


 (If anyone objects, I’ll certainly take these down).


Have a happy Second Breakfast!

September 21, 2012

Happy 75th Anniversary to The Hobbit, and may all enjoy their 11 am (sharp) second breakfast. I’d like to see this become an annual thing.

I bought a few …

September 18, 2012

I bought a few more Russian books this weekend and just started Solzhenitzyn’s The Gulag Archipelago; part journalistic history, part first-hand account of the horrors of Soviet imprisonment. The fact that he wrote this book while still living in the country, hiding chapters at different friends’ houses, brings such a tenseness to the reading. It’s one thing to throw anonymous missives from far outside reach (this being something we in the United States are particularly great at). It’s another thing entirely to risk additional imprisonment during a time when the government could easily track the author. I have a lot to learn about more recent Russian authors, and I’ve yet to figure out the love/hate relationship the Russian government has had with Solzhenitzyn in the past. 

In case you missed it: George R R on Wait Wait

September 18, 2012

Mr. Martin Himself was on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me this weekend. Click here for a listen.

They went over the usual things you’ve heard (turtles, friends becoming characters in the books). It was pretty funny though, especially this part:

P. J. O’ROURKE: George, this is P. J. I have a question. Did this proceed from a personal fantasy of your own?

MARTIN: Well, you know, if you go back to my childhood again…

O’ROURKE: Yeah, that’s what I actually meant, from a childhood fantasy.

MARTIN: The only pets that I could have were turtles. And I had this castle, this toy castle made of tin. And it was just big enough for two of those turtle bowls that you bought in…

O’ROURKE: Yeah, in the five and dime, yeah.

MARTIN: …Woolworth’s store. And so I kept all my turtles inside the castle. And since they lived in a castle, I decided they were all knights and kings and I started making up stories where they betrayed each other.


MARTIN: And they would die.

O’ROURKE: Wonderful.

MARTIN: You know, these knights were turtles, like die if you looked if you look at them crooked.

O’ROURKE: Right, yeah, I remember.

SAGAL: Wait a minute. Are you telling me that the original model for the warring houses of Stark and Lannister were two turtles?



MARTIN: So Turtle Castle, that was the root of the whole thing, yes.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Well let me ask one question here, because what I’m hearing is that there’s a lot of sex in this and I’m not sure…

PIERCE: How did you get there from turtles?


MARTIN: Yeah, the turtles didn’t have sex.

ROBERTS: No, no, no, but…

MARTIN: I was not into turtle sex.

ROBERTS: But is there more sex in your world than in other fantasies? I’m the impression that there’s this whole…

PIERCE: It is a fantasy, Roxanne.

Must-see horror video of NBC’s Kardashian coverage skipping 9-11 moment of silence

September 11, 2012

You have heard that NBC opted to skip the 9-11 moment of silence in favor of a Kardashian interview about breast implants. Not being a Today Show enthusiast myself, I actually happened to miss that. Luckily, NY Mag posted all of it, superimposed on the somber coverage that all of the other major stations carried, and the effect is horrifying. You need to see it.

Recent reads

September 7, 2012

More for my purposes than yours, but what I’m reading lately:

Five books of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

Asimov – Atom: A Journey across Subatomic Cosmos

… it looks like a really short list when you pile it up. But I’ll be through the Martin books soon and will be able to pick up something else for a change. Something nice and scholarly, I promise. In the meantime, this Asimov book is particularly good. I would recommend it toany high schooler who feels more than a basic interest in chemistry and science. 

I’m back on. I…

September 7, 2012

I’m back on. I think I’m back on? It’s been hard to decide whether to start a new blog–albeit without the fantastic cachet that comes with the name Reading are Fun. I waste all my computer time doing social media for a non profit, but if I’m ever to work writing into my life, I need to keep my thoughts straight somewhere.