3/31/2008 11:21:00 PM | Author: Christa
I've been doing this Book a Month Challenge since January. And it's been going well. At least, the reading part. The reviewing and blogging part...not so much.

So, you're going to get a twofer today - two BAM reviews in one! Are you totally thrilled? I thought so.

First up is my BAM for February, for the Heart theme - The Ghatti's Tale: Book One: Finders-Seekers, by Gayle Greeno.

I've always been a scifi/fantasy fan, and this book has a little of both. Mostly fantasy at the time of the story, but scifi in the past. Colonists from earth came to the planet Methuen over 200 years ago. Most of their technology has been mysteriously destroyed over the years. Now, they live as the natives, and have developed a new native ability.

There is also a race of large cats native to Methuen, called ghatti, who can speak telepathically to humans, if they choose to bond with them. I wish I could talk to my cats, in any way at all. Would make my life so much easier.

Anyway, telepathic humans and ghatti are being murdered. One pair of Bondmates, a woman Doyce, and her ghatta Khar'pern, have been chosen to find out who is doing this and why. Doyce has a special interest in the murders because her intended fiance has become one of the victims.

I was thoroughly engrossed in this story and the characters. This is the first book in a three book series. And now I need to find the other two books, because I have to know what happens next!

The BAM theme for March was Craft. I choose a book related to my chosen craft, librarianship - Seneca Falls Inheritance, by Miriam Grace Monfredo. Now, I have to come clean here - I have read this book before. But it was over 10 years ago. And when the Craft theme was announced, it popped right into my head as the perfect book. So, I gave in and re-read it.

The feminist in me loves this book for the independent Glynis Tryon, helping organize the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls. The fact that Glynis is a librarian doesn't hurt either. She's a smart, stubborn, educated woman struggling to solve a woman's murder in her small town. The New Yorker in me feels very much at home in Seneca Falls, a city I have actually visited myself.

Even 10 years later, I still find this book both educational and entertaining. I have 3 of the sequels to this book, too. Wonder if I have time to read them before April's BAM?
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3/30/2008 10:28:00 PM | Author: Christa
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
~Arthur C. Clarke

A classic quote from a legendary author.

And it is a quote that I've always loved. But the more I look at it and think about it, I have to wonder if it still applies to our world.

I'm watching the Transformers movie while writing this. Huge robots from outer space coming to Earth. Does anyone think they are magic? Of course not.

"I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?", says a nonchalant Sam Witwicky.

More technologically advanced than us? Totally. But magic? Don't be silly! Never even enters anyone's mind.

Now if the Autobots had shown up 500 years ago, I'm pretty sure they would have been seen as demons and anyone who helped them would have been burned as witches.

But I can't imagine today picking "magic" as an explaination for some advanced alien race I have never seen before. I've been exposed to way too much scifi and fantasy in my lifetime (thanks, Mom!) to not have an open mind about anything I might encounter. At least, I hope I would.

Hmm...maybe it would be more interesting to come across something that I can't explain away so easily. Is anybody ... any thing ... out there?
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Decoding my DNA
3/30/2008 10:21:00 PM | Author: Christa
My Flickr DNA, that is.

A while ago, I don't remember when, I added Flickr DNA, from fd's Flickr Toys, to my Flickr profile. It's a pretty cool app that I should check on more often, because the information it shows about me and my Flickr changes over time.

There's some basic info about me. Most recent photos. My favorites, sets, contacts, and groups I'm in.

But there's also some really fun things in my DNA, too. Like my "most interesting photos".

Flickr uses a secret algorithm to categorize photos with the most "interestingness". I have no clue how it works, but for some reason, pictures from Second Life, and John with our ferret Twitch on his head always end up at the top of my interestingness list. Go figure.

Another cool thing about my Flickr DNA is at the very bottom, where i can "ego surf".

Following links to Technorati or Google Blog Search, I can find out who has used pictures from my Flickr. It's very humbling to find out that all sorts of people, all over the world, are looking at pictures I have taken. And that they think the pictures are worth using on their own blogs!
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Me, too
3/04/2008 10:06:00 PM | Author: Christa
Gary Gygax Memorial Cat

Gary Gygax, 'Father of D&D,' Dies at 69
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