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Results 1 - 17 of 17
1. Me reading fantasy for grown-ups: Heroes Adrift, by Moira J. Moore

I must say I am quite enjoying reading contemporary fantasy books for adults on a regular basis!  Of course, I have not been making Risky Choices in the books I have been choosing.  This week's book, for instance, was very safe.  Moira J. Moore's Hero series, of which Heroes Adrift (Ace, 2008) is the third, is one that I began reading because of Angie's enthusiastic endorsement.  I am happy to report that these books make lovely comfort reading for those who enjoy character-driven romantic fantasy with generous dashings of intrigue and magical world-building. 

Here's Angie's review of the first book, Resenting the Hero, and yes, it has an awful cover, just awful, one of the worst ever, but don't be deterred. 

In Heroes Adrift, Lee and Taro are relieved of their obligation to use their extraordinary mental gifts to protect the citizens of their alien planet from natural disasters.  Instead, they're sent down to one of the southern islands at the command of the Empress, to track down descendants of an illegitimate member of the royal family.   Confronted with a very different culture, and very different perceptions of their value to society (which is to say that for a change they are now broke), they are forced to re-examine and re-negotiate both the way they think of themselves, and their relationship to each other, and though there are no Big Happenings, there's lots of small goings on that cumulatively make for a good story, and I did enjoy very much the unhurried progression of the two main characters.   It's made more interesting by the fact that Lee, from whose point of view we see things unfold, is, by nature and nurture, a somewhat unreliable observer of both herself and Taro--what she says is happening isn't what the reader thinks maybe going on! 

In short, reading Heroes adrift was like going on a trip with good friends, and doubtless book number four in the series, Heroes At Risk, will show up here soon (or maybe not so soon--I'm enoying taking my time with these, saving them for when I need a fun, untaxing break from the rigours of middle grade sff, which is actually quite a lot harder to write about thoughtfully...)

Note on this cover--there is no piratical adventure at sea, and Lee would never skip around a boat looking like that. Sigh. 

6 Comments on Me reading fantasy for grown-ups: Heroes Adrift, by Moira J. Moore, last added: 2/4/2013
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2. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: An Exercise in Logic

 12 days of sci-fi day 3:

Nuns are people too, and we are given a view of the diversity of personalities who are called to the religious life as the stories move from Antivenin to An Exercise in Logic. Parents should be apprised that the salty ship commander engages in mild cussing akin to a John Wayne style character, but only a few instances…

 An Exercise in Logic by Barton Paul Levenson


 Editor’s comment: “She holds herself with the dignity of her position as both a nun and a diplomat, yet is willing to bend–whether that means by sneaking out in defiance of the mission  commander’s orders or going to her knees to pray when logic seems to fail her. “

 How many times, when trying to get a point across in a conversation with someone of a totally different life experience, we have said it to be alien or foreign to them? In this story, trying to explain Christianity to people raised in secluded colonies is a bit like trying to explain a life of freedom to someone whose lifelong existence has been dictated under communist rule. But even more difficult is being the foreigner…the one who cannot comprehend the faith belief being explained. A nun and expert on alien religions, Sr. Julian is called in to negotiate with a group of aliens whose obedience to the decisions and words of their ancestors is taken to the extreme, and she has a short time to learn their religion in order to prove them illogical.  Aristotle is oft quoted as saying “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”, and this story demonstrates how respectful discourse rather than angry debate can lead to Truth. For those who like stories of intellect and strategy, this one is for you! Pick up the entire anthology at Amazon http://ow.ly/4F48e .

 (About the author: Barton has a degree in physics. Happily married to genre poet Elizabeth Penrose, he confuses everybody by being both a born-again Christian and a liberal Democrat. His work has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, ChiZine, Cricket, Cicada, The New York Review of Science Fiction and many small press markets. His e-novels, “Ella the Vampire,” “Parole,” and “Max and Me” can be downloaded now from Lyrical Press or amazon.com, and his first paperback, “I Will” is available from Virtual Tales (or amazon).   Barton was prohibited from entering the Confluence Short Story Contest again after winning first prize two years in a row.)

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3. Pritt ad by Build

Watch as Michael C. Place creates a mural using only Pritt corrective pens. If there’s a more stylish ad for stationery, I’d like to see it.

0 Comments on Pritt ad by Build as of 8/27/2008 8:11:00 PM
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4. Color illusioin: Your eyes will deceive you!

Look at the brown cube and the yellow cube in the middle top and side.

Would you believe me if I told you that the middle brown cube and the middle yellow cube are really the same color?

They really are the same!
Your eyes are playing a trick on you.
If you don't believe me. . . examine it photoshop for yourself.

Tricky eyes!

These pictures are from the Mighty Optical Illusions web-site.
More about this illusion as well as others can be found at http://www.moillusions.com/2008/01/color-tile-illusion-new-aspect.html

0 Comments on Color illusioin: Your eyes will deceive you! as of 2/10/2008 7:15:00 AM
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5. Discover your inner Pirate

Tired of just being plain ol' you today? Stuck in a creative rut? Discover your inner Pirate.
What is your Pirate name?

My pirate name is:

Black Charity Rackham

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

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6. Dangerous things

The last TedTalk to make a big impression on the home education blogs and groups was Ken Robinson's, on how schools educate children to become good workers rather than creative thinkers.

The next TedTalk to start making the rounds and already making a splash is Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do by Gever Tulley of The Tinkering School, a summer program to help kids ages seven to 17 learn to build things. The talk comes from Tulley's book in progress, Fifty Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do; click the book link and you'll find some of Tulley's labels which should be familiar to Make fans; we here at Farm School are always keen on subversive labels and stickers. As I once quoted Charles Darwin,

"Doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life as one can, in any likelihood, pursue."
Gever Tulley and Matt Hern, author of Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn't Always Better (and whom I wrote about here) certainly seem to be on the same wavelength.

Oh -- those five (really six) things? Not including playing with power tools at age two, which Tulley mentions at the beginning of his talk (and one of these days I'll have to write about my daycare program for Laura when I was pregnant with Daniel; it consisted of sending Laura to work with Tom, her father the builder, six days a week to build a house for a client. Power tools, scaffolding, ladders, and openings to the basement without stairs, were a given. Needless to say, they're all whizzes with power tools by now.)

1. Play with fire

2. Own a pocket knife (better yet, two or three or four, one for each pair of pants)

3. Throw a spear (or a paper airplane, or a baseball)

4. Deconstruct appliances (Tulley suggests a dishwasher, but radios and toasters are great good fun, and if you don't have a dead one of your own, you can find them cheap and ailing at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store)

5. Break the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (which we apparently do routinely)

6. Drive a car (or truck or tractor if you have no cars about)

Some helpful related links

Interview with Jean Liedloff, author of The Continuum Concept

Kitbashing in the homeschool with Willa at Every Waking Hour and Mama Squirrel at Dewey's Tree House

GeekDad, where I first read last week about Gever Tulley's TedTalk

Boing Boing

Make Magazine and Maker Faire (where the motto is "Build, Craft, Hack, Play, Make")

Make Blog

Craft Magazine

Craft Blog

And, of course, the usual Farm School ramblings about childhood fun, danger, acceptable risk, responsibility, and independence.

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7. Keeping warm when it's 24 below...

Playing with matches Playing with fire Dangerous and daring The kids asked all summer if we could make a fire pit; it's been too dry in previous years. Just when things were looking likely, it didn't rain for the entire month of July and temperatures were close to 30C. The grass turned brown and crunchy and fires were out of the

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8. Snow fun

The kids rolled the torso and head up the plank. Note the saw on the snowman-to-be's hip... Inserting one of the arms Adding the nose Now the celery mouth Last minute snowman surgery (sawing off some extra snow on the back of the head) A new friend... Read the rest of this post

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9. The perils of the rural auction sale

Yesterday morning around 10, Tom and the kids left me at home washing windows to attend a farm sale an hour or so away. Tom had his eye on a smaller tractor, one we could use for rototilling around the shelterbelt trees, that was listed in the auction flyer last week. Well, when they finally rolled in nine hours later, after an afternoon spent eating cups full of homemade beef-and-barley and

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10. Fun with gunpowder

Last summer I wrote about my brief thoughts on The Dangerous Book for Boys (American website here); I said at the time I thought that for our purposes Daniel Carter Beard's classic, The American Boy's Handy Book, was a better book for our purposes. Now, with the news that my father is sending a copy of The Dangerous Book to Daniel for his eighth birthday, coming up this weekend, and after

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11. In search of freedom and independence, and big bangs

For Daniel's eighth birthday last month, his grandfather sent him the UK edition of The Dangerous Book for Boys by brothers Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden. The book, an oversize red-covered tome, is an appealing jumble of activities and projects (make your own battery or tree house or the greatest paper plane in the world, learn basic first aid, five knots every boy should know), as well as

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I know y'all wanna have some fun... here's how to party Jennie-style:

1. Join Mother Reader's 48 Hour Challenge. Read all weekend guilt-free and maybe win prizes!

2. Play the hidden side of the leaf's Blogroll game-- read more blogs, meet new people and maybe win prizes!

Of course, Summer Reading Programs are starting up around the country. Let me tell you-- Summer Reading isn't just for kids anymore. Many libraries have programs for everyone, birth--really, really, anciently old. Check out your local library and sign up, because do you know what Summer Reading means? Read and get prizes!

Also, in the "feel good" category, yesterday I went to one of the schools near the library to talk up Summer Reading. I also book talked a few books to fill out my presentation. Today one of the kids came in and we had the following conversation:

Her: Can I get those books you talked about yesterday?
Me: Sure, which ones were you interested in?
Her: All of them.
Me: Sweet.

Also, Memorial Day weekend we did a lot of stuff around the house, including rearranging the bookshelves. The upshot is now the books are once again in order! Woot! I'm just waiting for the day when Dan looks oddly at one of the shelves and says Why on earth are computer manuals and fashion guides next to each other? (The answer? BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE THEY FIT!)

2 Comments on FUN GAMES!, last added: 6/6/2007
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13. You pick

the lesser of two weevils: The New York Times article yesterday, Doll Web Sites Drive Girls to Stay Home and Play (free registration or use Bug Me Not) or The Daring Book for Girls, the not very daring but very manufactured response to The Dangerous Book for Boys, pandering to those who say they are offended by a "boys only" tome and hoping, no doubt, to strike the same nerves and chords as

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14. New for dangerous girls and daring boys

New since the beginning of the month ig The Dangerous and Daring Blog for Boys and Girls -- "inspired by The Dangerous Book for Boys and the upcoming The Daring Book for Girls" but "not connected in any way to the authors or publishers of those books". Rather, the new blog is brought to you by The Llama Butchers, who I believe came to my attention through our mutual pal Melissa Wiley. Labels/

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15. Why safer isn't always better

Listening to CBC Radio's "Sounds Like Canada" show last week (podcast here; let me know if the link doesn't work), I heard summer host Kevin Sylvester interview Matt Hern about the new U.S. edition of his book, Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn't Always Better, out last month in paperback; it was published in Canada last summer, but both Amazon.ca and Chapters list it with 4-6 week and 3-5 week

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16. Lawn darts, slingshots, and pellet guns, oh my...

Not to mention lead-filled toy soldiers. "Hasbro gets Dangerous", Toy News Online reports. But no fear of boys putting their eyes out or requiring stitches, because Hasbro's idea is to "develop board and travel games based on the hugely successful book brand": Andrew Lane, licensing director at Hasbro, said: “The book is fantastic, a fabulous concept and rich in material with which we can

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17. What October on the prairies looks like

if you're eight-and-a-half or almost seven and your mother won't sign you up for hockey in town (because it's thoroughly family unfriendly, with two practices and one game -- far away and with lots of driving -- each and every week) and it's not yet cold enough (thank goodness) for the pond behind the house to freeze. Besides, for about $20 (about 1/40th of the

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