Monday, August 18, 2008

Authorspot - Neil Gaiman

In my ever-expanding quest to figure out who and what I am, what makes me tick, and from whence my psychoses derive, I've decided to share with you writers that I enjoy.

Perhaps best known for his work on the Sandman, Gaiman first struck a chord with me when I picked up Neverwhere on a lark. It was dark, fantastic, and quirky in all the right ways. I soon discovered Stardust which was similar, but far less dark. Still, I never imagined it as a film.

I even bought my youngest son his children's book, The Day I swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish.

But it was Coraline that really cemented him as a writer I'll always enjoy reading. It recaptured much of what drew me in with Neverwhere while also being a fantastic ghost story.

I love ghost stories and one of these days I'll have to recommend M.R. James.

At any rate if you haven't already, check out:

As with most authors of note, this is far from a definitive selection of recommendations, only what has spoken most directly to me, and taken from the list of what I've actually read. Have at it!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Eye of Newt

Every day I get more and more confirmation that the conservative bloc of this country was worth leaving behind. Intolerance, defamation, and the neoconservative notion of democracy through violence are all values I am increasingly surprised to see persisting.

For whatever reason, it still surprises me to see this sort of thing given any sort of validity at all.

Seriously, how can anyone say this...

"Are (Democrats) really prepared to close the government in order to stop drilling?", Gingrich asked, "Because I think the country will find that to be a suicidal strategy."

...with a straight face?

It isn't the Democrats shutting the government down, it's Newt and his buddies shutting it down via coercive tactics not far removed from extortion, all because they aren't getting the meaningless vote they want.

According to this, there are approximately 18 billion barrels of oil currently inaccessible and offshore. Estimates further state that production wouldn't likely begin until 2017 and peak production wouldn't be reached until 2030. That peak would be roughly 200,000 barrels per day on top of what we are already producing.

Less than a 10% increase. That wouldn't even begin to offset the price increases we've witnessed over the last year, but it's the focal point of far too many talking heads.

Newt is willing to shut the government down over a feel-good measure and he has the nerve to blame the Democrats for it. Cute.