24 August 2009

Business and Pleasure

Dana Hunter checking in here... I've been a horrible slacker lately, and I don't even have a new baby as an excuse. Okay, granted, The Stench from the new memory foam mattress topper was keeping me up nights for a while there, but it didn't have to be fed every two hours... And while I'm out of shape, a two-mile hike to Franklin Falls isn't enough to justify terminal laziness afterward. Did take a while to sort through the 100+ photos, though.

Further excuses? I've got 'em! In celebration of Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, I'm actually reading the Origin. Put it like this: if you survived Charles Dickens and you like science, the Origin's easy reading. It continually astonishes me how much Darwin was able to figure out even though genetics, plate tectonics, radiometric dating, and all of the other incidental extras that support evolution weren't even a glimmer on the horizon. Those 19th century scientists were no fools. And they wrote beautifully.

Speaking of writing beautifully, I'm also in the midst of Marcia Bjornerud's Reading the Rocks. I didn't intend to be. I was saving it for later, but one night when my elderly laptop was coming online at its usual glacial pace I picked the book up to peruse the introduction - and I am lost inside. She's not only an informative writer whose prose flows like water over Franklin Falls, she's snarky. I am a sucker for snark.

Go to your bookstore. Read the Prologue. We'll see how many of you manage to walk out without buying the book afterward. If you've ever wanted a fun, easy and accurate primer on geology, darlings, this is it.

Those are just a few of my many excuses. But enough about me. Let's talk about you.

Specifically, let's talk about all those times you've wondered if you could make some bucks through blogging. DarkSyde at Daily Kos knows exactly where you're coming from:
You’re returning home from Netroots Nation 2009 all fired up, or maybe you couldn’t afford to go this year, and the thought enters your mind: wouldn’t it be great if I could get paid, just a little, to support or justify my blogging habit? The reality is there are millions of blogs out there, the vast majority receive precious little attention, let alone enough page visits to interest advertisers. But don't let that stop you. The demand for quality online content is growing and the medium is still in its infancy.
Okay, so maybe you weren't coming from Netroots Nation or ever planning to go, or have no earthly idea what Netroots Nation is, but it doesn't matter. All of us have had our moments where we've wondered if all this blathering on blogs could really pay off. DarkSyde has some good suggestions that any blogger can use, even those who haven't got a political bone in their bodies.

All work and no play, etc. etc. So let's have some fun. If you've ever attempted to read The Brothers Karamazov, you'll appreciate the Onion's announcement:

LOS ANGELES—Executives at Paramount Pictures announced Monday that production had finally wrapped on The Brothers Karamazov, a new film adaptation that concludes at the precise moment most readers give up on the classic Russian novel.

The 83-minute film, which is based on the first 142 or so pages of Fyodor Dostoevsky's acclaimed work, has already garnered attention for its stunning climax, in which the end credits suddenly appear midway through Katerina's tearful speech about an unpaid debt.

"We are very excited to be able to bring several chapters of this timeless masterpiece to the big screen," Paramount CEO Brad Grey said of the movie, which was shot, on and off, for two years. ...
Heh. Kind of makes me want to read Crime and Punishment again...

Right, then, it's out of the cafe and back in to the cantina for me. While I'm tending bar, feel free to share snippets from the books currently occupying your attention. Or share your favorite excuses for avoiding serious work. We've all got 'em!

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