Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankfully Reading

I'm participating in the "Thankfully Reading Weekend" this holiday weekend and our first challenge question is to write a post about the book we are most thankful for, whether it's just been published or has been out for decades.

It's hard to pick just one, but there is a book that had a huge influence on me. In addition, it's a really great story!

When I was eight years old, my mother (herself an enthusiastic reader) handed me a copy of Madeleine L'Engle's recently published book, "A Wrinkle in Time," and said that there was a little girl in it who reminded her of me. That little girl, Meg, is thrust into an adventure involving her scientist father who has disappeared doing secret government work. In trying to find her father, Meg gets caught up in some space-time travel and finds that she has to use her brain as well as lots of science and math. I still remember how confused I was trying to visualize a tesseract, but I totally believed that Meg understood it.

My mother was right: it really is a good book and won the Newbery Medal later that year. The reason this book makes the cut for the one book that I am most thankful for, is that my mother's comment and Meg's example  proved to be quite important to me personally. As my mother suggested, Meg and I were a lot alike and she inspired me. 

After reading Wrinkle I moved on from the fairy tales that had been my previous favorite reads to devouring any science fiction book I could find. I immersed myself in Bradbury, Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and on and on. This obsession with scifi continued until well into college when I discovered that actual science (minus the fiction) was the really good stuff. 

So, my mother was right: that little girl Meg, who was basically the first scientist I had ever read about, was a lot like me. Or, rather, the me I was about to become.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nearly-Wordless Wednesday

Beautyberries are beautiful!

For more Wordless Wednesday, see here.
For more of my photos, check out my Flickr site.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Books

I just signed up for the "Thankfully Reading" Event over at Jenn's Bookshelves. This is an informal, no-pressure event designed to encourage folks who love books (like me!) to read. To participate, all you have to do is spend some time this Thanksgiving weekend doing one thing you love: reading. 

Participants will cheer each other on, and basically have some fun doing something we don't really have to do, but want to do. What could be better?

If you want to join in, head on over to Jenn's site and sign up. I just did.

Thanks to Beth Fish for tweeting about this fun event. If she hadn't, I never would have heard about it.

Now...I wonder what I'll read first? Hmmmm.......  :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Networks Simplified

In less than four minutes, Eric Berlow explains how a complex systems view can lead to simplicity. This is truly complexity simplified! Check it out: