Tuesday, February 28, 2006
George Chesbro is my favorite mystery writer. Mongo, the lead character of Chesbro’s books, happens to be a dwarf detective, university professor, and a black belt in karate. Book slut says, "Chesbro created a unique witches’ brew of noir brutality, occult tension, detective science and bizarre villains. Playboy once described it as Raymond Chandler meets Stephen King but it was often more like James Bond on acid." One of Chesbro’s most famous books is The Beasts of Valhalla, which mixes science fiction and detective work in a story dealing with a family of disturbing geniuses who are messing with DNA sequencing, creating eerie creatures, and planning to devolve the human race back to Neanderthals -- in a plot with echos of Wagner's Ring Cycle and Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"!
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Aubrey de Grey
Aubrey de Grey is working to expedite the development of a 'cure' for human aging, a medical goal he refers to as engineered negligible senescence (senescence means the biological decline of aging). To this end, he has identified what he concludes are the seven areas of the aging process that need to be addressed medically before this can be done. In 1985 he received a B.A. in Computer Science. In recognition of his book on mitochondria and other publications, in 2000 Cambridge granted de Grey a Ph.D. in biology. He believes we will soon extend lifespans to 1,000.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Who is Koren Zailckas? One Amazon.com reviewer suggets that Koren's book Smashed is a well-written, seriously scary book that will likely have many readers cringing when they read about the problems alcohol led to for Zailckas. A cautionary tale and an engrossing memoir. Koren writes lucidly and poetically about her past, showing the effects of her lifestyle without ever trying to invoke pity for anything that happened to her in the past.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Marion Elizabeth Rodgers
Almost nothing is known of the enigmatic Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, aside from the fact that she is a beguiling and haunting author who lives in Washington D.C. Her best-selling biography is "Mencken: An American Iconoclast," a compilation of archival interviews, love letters, and FBI files, shedding light on the public and private life of journalist H.L Mencken. Menken was amazingly prolific, a blogging phenomenon before the term was invented. "A student of the American language, he might have liked the phrase, but would have urged bloggers to stress information over attitude. His style combined relentless facts, a disdain for cliches, and uncompromising integrity. In other words, he was a nightmare for media marketing experts." We do know that Marion Elizabeth Rodgers was an undergraduate at Baltimore's Goucher College when she first became interested in the lives and writings of Mencken and his wife, Sara Haardt. After college, Rodgers lived 3 1/2 years in Baltimore while working on her humongous biography of Mencken.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The mysterious Cynthia Breazeal directs the Robotic Life Group at the MIT Media Lab. She is internationally known for seamlessly blending scientific theories, artistic insights, and engineering principles to create transcendent robotic creatures that have a lively and compelling social presence to those who interact with them. Her current research extends these themes in the area of human-robot relations to create cooperative and capable robots that can work and learn in partnership with people.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Kati is a mystical artist, born in Poland. Music underlies her creations. She writes, "This music makes it possible for me the ingress into deep trance states and automatic drawing, deadening of consciousness and opening into subconsciousnes..the higher consciousness..opening in infinite possibilities..the journey through the darkness is experiencing the light..the unity with the whole universe. In my feelings the source of this all lies within nature and primordial states of mind.. We dream eternally, only sometimes consciousness closes our minds to the reality of how the world really is." See her art here and here and here.