Concert Review: Leonard Cohen


Originally posted on Panorama of the Mountains:
When I’m 74 years old, I hope I am as spry as Leonard Cohen.  Susan & I saw Cohen and his band perform at the Wang Theatre in Boston on May 30th.  He sang many songs while gracefully sinking to his knees and skipped off the stage at…

Book Review: SPQR : A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard


Author: Mary Beard Title: SPQR : a history of ancient Rome Publication Info: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company, 2015. Summary/Review: Beard attempts the very difficult, a single volume history of Ancient Rome, and succeeds. There’s the evolution from Republic to Empire (which is not the clean split it often appears…

Photopost: Halloween Prowl


On Saturday we went on a Halloween Prowl at the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. For this non-scary activity, we were lead along a candlelit trail through the woods where we met costumed characters telling their stories, including a druid, an opossum, a dragonfly, a dung beetle, a witch, and my absolute favorite, a great blue…

Podcasts of the Week for the Week of October 30


Sidedoor – Tech Yourself  I added another podcast subscription to my stable for this new production from The Smithsonian Institution. The debut episode explores various aspects of the human relationship with technology.  Politically Re-Active – Dr. Jill Stein on Investing Your Vote W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu interview Green Party Presidential candidate, Jill Stein. …

Song of the Week: “Life on Mars?” by Sophia Anne Caruso


Just when you thought there was already enough David Bowie content on this blog, today’s Song of the Week comes from the recently released cast recording of the David Bowie musical, Lazarus.  Sophia Anne Caruso’s interpretation of “Life on Mars?” is the perfect Bowie and the musical theater.  I can’t stop listening to it. Take…

Music Discoveries: David Bowie, 1988-2016


The 1980s saw a low point in David Bowie’s creative output. He was not alone, as many of the great artists of the sixties and seventies released a lot of dreck in the 1980s. Many of them never recovered, while others regained relevancy only as nostalgia acts, touring on their old hits and/or recording new…

Book Review: Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt


Author: Samantha Hunt  Title: Mr. Splitfoot Narrators: Cassandra Campbell and Emily Woo Zeller Publication Info: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2016) Summary/Review: This gothic mystery tells two interwoven stories.  The first is about the young Ruth and Nat, foster children growing up in a group home under a strange Christian cult leader.  They begin to claim that they can talk…

Book Review: What Was the First Thanksgiving? by Joan Holub


Author: Joan Holub Title: What Was the First Thanksgiving? Publication Info: Grosset & Dunlap (2013), 112 pages Summary/Review: This is a simple but honest children’s history of the settlers of Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag people and what really happened on that first Thanksgiving.  There’s a fair amount of myth-busting as well as using surviving records to…

Book Review: His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik


Author: Naomi Novik Title: His Majesty’s Dragon Narrator: Simon Vance Publication Info: Books on Tape (2007) Summary/Review: I imagine the author read the Aubrey/Maturin series and thought “I’d like to write that same type of book. With dragons.”  Set in the Napoleonic Wars, this is a historic novel for the most part, with the exception that dragons are…

Podcasts of the Week for the Week Ending October 24


The Story Collider – Layne Jackson-Hubbard: Still Myself An eerie story of a woman’s experience waking up in a hospital with a head injury and no memory of how she got there. It’s well-told with details revealed in the order she learned them. Star Talk – The Science of High-Wire Stunts with Philippe Petit Neil…

Music Discoveries: David Bowie, 1975-1987


This second post in the Music Discovery series covers a dozen years and nine David Bowie albums.  It follows Bowie as he says goodbye to Glam Rock and Ziggy Stardust and takes on American soul, German electronic music, atmospheric art music, and finally pop superstardom.  The first six albums come out with regularity about a year…

Harpoon UFO Pumpkin


Beer: UFO Pumpkin Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: Can Rating:  **** (8.4 of 10) Comments: I am fond of Harpoons UnFiltered Offering (UFO).  I am fond of spicy pumpkin beers.  So opening this can of delight made my autumn, beer wise.  It’s a beautiful orange beer with a foamy head.  The aroma is full of spice…

A 48-Team World Cup?


Recently, FIFA president Gianni Infantino suggested expanding the number of participants in the FIFA World Cup from 32-teams to 48-teams.  On the surface this proposal is absurd as the bloated World Cup would further dilute the talent of the teams participating, expand an already exhausting 64-match tournament to 80 matches, and be a mega event requiring…

Book Review: Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann


Author: Colum McCann Title: Thirteen Ways of Looking Narrator: Colum McCann Publication Info:  Random House Audio, 2015 Previously Read by the Same Author:  Let the Great World Spin and Transatlantic Summary/Review: That Colum McCann sure can write!  This collection of four stories shows McCann’s skill at stringing together sentences, developing characters, and creating entire worlds through…

Podcasts of the Week for the Week Ending October 16


To the Best of Our Knowledge – Time Travel I’ve always been obsessed by time travel.  Here are some stories of other obsessives and the possibilities of making time travel a reality. Planet Money – The Wells Fargo Hustle An insiders’ view of the latest scam in the banking and finance industry To the Best…

Music Discoveries: David Bowie, 1967-1974


Although I only began posting “Music Discoveries” a few months ago, I came up with the idea a few years back inspired by the fact that I needed to listen to more David Bowie. True confession: I have not always appreciated David Bowie’s music. I first became aware of Bowie as a child perhaps during…

Beer Review: Harpoon Flannel Friday


Beer: Flannel Friday Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: 12 oz. bottle Rating: ** (6.3 of 10) Comments: Another autumnal beer, amber in color without much head or carbonation.  The beer offers floral and caramel notes and tastes mildly hoppy with some sweet citrus. Seems like an okay beer for the season, but it doesn’t excite me…

Book Review: 1493 : Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann


Author: Charles C. Mann Title: 1493 : Uncovering the new world Columbus created Narrator: Robertson Dean Publication Info: Random House Audio (2011) Previously Read by Same Author: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Summary/Review: A sequel of sorts to 1491, this book investigates the wide-ranging impact of contact between Eurasia & Africa and the Americas and…