Archive for Libraries

In Honor of the Passing of Ray Bradbury, 91

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Movies and Theatre, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2012 by urbannight

RIP Ray Bradbury.

Half the people I read are probably doing the same thing right now but that won’t stop me from doing so as well.

The first full book I can remember reading was a chapter book that had a picture on each page and only a few lines. It was a long book but done a bit in the style of a child’s book. It was about a little potato shaped man who went to the moon. So the first ‘real’ book I can remember reading was science fiction. (PS no one seems to have any idea what this book might have been, if anyone who sees this knows, let me know.)

I’ve read The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine. I have read some of his anthologies and many of his short stories in various other anthologies.

It’s possible I’ve read other items and just don’t remember them. Actually, with the way I read, it is more than likely. Seeing as 35 features, shorts, and TV movies were based on his stories or screen plays, I’ve probably seen many things that I didn’t realize were Bradbury’s.

While he was less influential on shaping my growing mind than Heinlein, he was still significant to my view of science fiction, science, sociology, and the future in general.

Some random interesting facts about Bradbury are that he was related to a woman who was convicted and hung for a witch in Salem, Mass. He was influenced by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, HG Wells, and Jules Vern. But his favorite was Edgar Rice Burroughs and he even wrote a sequel to Warlord of Mars at the tender age of 12.

You have to like a child whose favorite hangout it the local library. I was the same way and had the same early love of Edgar Alan Poe. He also loved to perform magic. I liked to go to magic shows.

Even though most readers and most cataloguers view Bradbury as a Science Fiction writer, he felt that the only work of SF he wrote was Fahrenheit 451 and that he was, in fact, a fantasy writer.

I would love to find a “Collected Works of Ray Bradbury” but looking at how much he actually wrote, it might be longer than my rather large “Collected Works of Shakespeare”. It might have to be a multi-volume book.

You will be missed, Mr. Bradbury. I feel the need to start rereading his material now.

When I started with Jason and the Argonauts I did not plan to end up at Wizard of Oz.

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by urbannight

Jason and The Argonauts is a great film.  To today’s movie viewers the special effects seem a bit on the corny side.  But for the time period, they were cutting edge. In fact, they had to invent a new method in order to film the skeleton fight scene.   My understanding of movie making is limited and basic.  But anyone with the smallest amount of understanding for the process should be able to watch this movie and realize that it is a great movie and not corny at all. 

 It is also not a children’s movie.  In fact, there is a very provocative dance in the film.  Perhaps not as provocative as in some of today’s movies, but still not something for you average 8 year old.  At the library back home, a very good inter-county library system, I was forever moving it from the children’s section of the library and returning it to the general section.  The cover looked somewhat cartoonish.  I don’t know if it was one of the other librarians who was constantly moving it because she had not seen it or if it was patron’s who saw the cartoonish art on the box cover and thought they were helping by moving it to the children’s bin.  Either way, I didn’t feel it belonged there.

 Our children’s section was pretty much geared for 11 year olds and below with a little bit bridging over into the pre-teens.  For the most part, the pre-teens were already shifting to teen/young adult materials.  Now I know I would have enjoyed the movie while still under 11 years of age.  But I was a pretty advanced child and my advanced reading level had introduced me to more adult themes. 

 Kids who still have trouble with the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz would probably have trouble with the skeletons in Jason and The Argonauts as well as other adult themes.  The Wizard of Oz is a kid’s movie when compared with the content of Jason and The Argonauts.  I’m not sure it was marketed as such when it was released. 

 Both are great classic movies.  Both are worth watching.  Just make sure that you understand where your child’s development is at if you are planning to introduce young children to either one.

Learn something new every day.

Posted in Advertising, Art, Books, Education with tags , , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by urbannight

Walking past a coworker’s cubicle I saw a print out of a cartoon woman biting her fist with an expression of worry of fear.  Now this particular style of art may or may not be Andy Warhol.  Even if it is not, anytime I see it, it makes me think of Warhol.

I don’t like Warhol’s art.  I don’t like the oversized faces of stars, sport stars, and some politicians.  The ones done similar to the period of photography where the photo would be taken in sepia tones and then a painter would add touches of color to the lips and eyes.  Only Warhol’s looked garish while that type of photo looks soft.  I don’t like the same image used in a repeating pattern with each one a different color.  I don’t like boring pictures of pantry goods.

I never understood why it was considered pop art.  I can understand why they say he captured what was at the heart of America in the 60’s and 70’s. I guess that is why it is ‘pop’ art.  But to me it does not look like art.  It looks like advertising.  I just can’t understand why he became all the rage.

On the other hand, if you read about the man, I find him an interesting person.  After walking past the tacked up print out I decided to look him up online and learn something new today.  I try to look up one thing new every day to learn something I didn’t know before.  After reading a few sites, I think on payday I’m going to go see if I can find a biography for him.  I should just check the library after work.  But this city has such a terrible library system and I haven’t seen my library card in years.  But that is another subject for another time.