Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Reading List - Updated

A place to show off my varied reading habits and to star the books I particularly enjoyed, many of which will make a blog appearance. This will be updated as the year progresses.

January 2010
Empress by Karen Miller *
The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton *
The Hummingbird Wizard by Anna Blevin
Make Love...the Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell

February 2010
Strands of Starlight by Gael Baudino*
Kitty & the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn
Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Betrayed by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn

March 2010
The Son of Avonar - Carol Berg
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
Cast in Courtlight - Michelle Sagara
Waking the Moon - Elizabeth Hand *
Silver Birch, Blood Moon - Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds.

April 2010
The Odyssey - Homer
Made to Be Broken - Kelley Armstrong
Dogs and Goddesses - Jennifer Cruise, Anne Stuart, Lani Diane Rich
Poison Study - Maria Snyder *
Black Magic Sanction - Kim Harrison

May 2010
Crime Scene - Victoria Laurie
Guardians of the Keep - Carol Berg
The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong
Undead and Unwelcome - Mary Janice Davidson

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Fairies and Squirrels Mix, It Can Get Bloody

Tessa Farmer, a 32-year old artist from England, has had enough of the American grey squirrel attacking the native red squirrel population, and her art shows that it's fairies behind the conflict. With amazing detail, she's crafted skeletal fairies that look like something out of the latest horror movie and their squirrel accomplices. Her art will be on display at Belsay Hall in Morpeth, Northumberland, from this Saturday until September.

See a few examples of her art here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Federal Resources for Learning

Every once in a while I stumble upon a treasure trove of learning opportunities. Right now I am especially interested since I face the birth of my first child, and wish for him or her to have all of the opportunities and resources at his or her disposal. For children and adults of all ages wishing to complete a report on the great Renaissance artists (see Donatello's sculpture to the left), to perform research for a dissertation, to complete a lesson plan, or merely just to know something a little beyond their normal scope, you'll want to know about the following website. The U.S. government has posted a resource board for subjects ranging from zoology to foreign languages, with a lot of room in between. This is definitely a site to bookmark for either you or your children. Let the learning commence!

Go to the Federal Resources for Learning website here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mysterious Kite Lines in Desert - Solved

In the early 20th century, British pilots discovered strange kite-like lines in the deserts of the Near East. The lines are low-lying stone walls and they converge at circular pits. For years, scientists and historians have wondered about these lines over 2000 years old, and a new study of 16 of these lines in the Sinai Desert has confirmed that these lines were used as animal traps for hooved species such as gazelle.

Read the story on Discovery News here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eirene: Another Face of Spring

As tulips, daffodils and hyacinths spring up around me, it is important to note that there are other Greek goddesses associated with the springtime, one of which is Eirene (Irene). One of the Horai, or seasons, she is the daughter of Zeus and Themis and is often portrayed with her two sisters, Dike (Justice) and Eunomia (Order). When she is shown alone, she typically carries Plutus, the god of wealth, as an infant. Even more so than springtime, however, Eirene is known as the goddess of peace and was often prayed too after a long campaign (many of which happened in late springtime). If you have never heard of Eirene, you may have heard of her Roman equivalent Pax, as in Pax Romana, the long period of peace experienced by Rome in the 1st and 2nd century AD.

Learn more about Eirene on here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Science and the Shroud

One of the most controversial religious objects in the world, the Shroud of Turin has been brought out of it's treasure chest behind bullet proof glass (see photo I took on a previous visit to Turin) to be unveiled to the world. Even the pope himself will pay it a visit. Back in 1988, the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin seemingly lay put to rest after carbon dating dated it to the 14th century. However, scientists are now convinced that the dating method was flawed. Even so, many scientists believe that the fiber itself is newer than that of a fiber dating to the time around Jesus. Others sincerely argue with their faith that the technique dates to the 1st century. Regardless of your personal beliefs, read one of the latest articles about the science behind dating the shroud on BBC News here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where I'd Like to Go: The Beagle Bed & Breakfast

If you thought Idaho was the most well-known for potatoes, you may want to think again. Dennis and Frances, two very talented artists, created The Dog Bark Park Inn Bed & Breakfast, the perfect place to stay the night if you're near Cottonwood, Idaho. The B&B is shaped like a giant beagle (in fact, one sleeps in the muzzle), and it comes complete with a full bath, a deck, and a delicious breakfast after a great night's sleep. This B&B has been featured on numerous television shows, as well as been named one of the Top 20 Most Fun & Exciting Places to Stay by the London Times. It's close by to hiking, a wolf research center, and whitewater rafting, the perfect place to get away and relax.

Check out the beagle for yourself on their website here.
Image taken from the Dog Bark Park's Website.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Farm Animals Attacked in Shropshire

Although aliens are not exactly classified under the same umbrella as mythology, the amount of theories surrounding their existence, methods, and culture can compete with Bullfinch's Mythology. This latest story on's Weird section had me giggling, with no offense to the farmers who lost their animals. Farmers in Shropshire claim that aliens have been roaming a 50-mile corridor for the last 50 or so years. That's quite impressive, however, it leaves me thinking...after collecting that many livestock, surely the aliens would have moved on by now?

Read the story for yourself here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Darker Side of Fairy Tales - Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling's Series

Fairy tales have long captivated the hearts and imaginations of children and adults of all ages. It is because we see magic, princesses obtaining their dreams, and hope. Fairy tales haven't often had this Disney-fied appearance, however, as anyone who has read the original Grimm Brothers tales knows. These stories were originally meant for adults as morality But somewhere in between the sparkles of Cinderella's dress and the bloody tales of exactly how Cinderella's sisters got their foot to fit in the magical shoe, there is a world ripe for authors to recreate and remold. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's series of short stories collect just those, the stories in between, some of which still have happy endings, some of which do not, and do more to teach us about ourselves. I had "Silver Birch, Blood Moon" for years, and just recently getting around to reading it, I found stories by currently well-known authors with tales of their own such as Neil Gaiman, Anne Bishop and Patricia A. McKillip. Pick up one of these wonderful anthologies and let yourself be swept back into your childhood, but this time, remember to keep the lights on.