Monday, September 08, 2008

and now for something completely different...

When I started this blog, the main reason was, well, to blog. About Bolivia, missiological whatnot, etc. That's the still the blog's principle raison d'etre. It's both a way to be up-to-the-minute when big events are unfolding here, and to replace mailed newsletters, since by the time I get envelopes addressed and stamps licked, such letters rarely still qualify as "news." But this is also a place to put links to stuff on the internets. So, to your right, you'll find a bunch of links, under the heading "stuff on the internets." Friends often ask me about sites I like, or where I get my news, etc., so I've tried to compile a bunch of my favorites here.

I should organize them better. I've got favorite online radio stations under "on the tubes," and short readings from favorite thinkers/writers under "big brains break it down," and some favorite images under "worth ~1000 words." But the rest is just a jumbled mess of sites: peace organizations, political news, bolivia stuff, favorite bands, humor, and other miscellany. I suppose more topic headings might be helpful. But meanwhile, g'ahead, explore, enjoy.

I thought of this because today I found something cool. I look at the New York Times online just about every day. But I rarely get a chance to sit down and spread out with a print edition. So, I now discover there is an entire cool section of the paper I wasn't even aware of: First Chapters. It's like getting to walk into my old neighborhood bookstore and hang out, thumbing through books on the "recent and recommended" table. I don't get to admire the cover art or feel the texture of the paper between my fingers, but neither do I get the sore neck and shoulders that come from reading standing up with the book held protruding from my sternum.

Right away these jump out at me: Irish short stories, Bob Dylan's iconic old flame, a novel that deals with the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and a biography of Alexander Pope, about whom I admit I know nothing, but the teaser sentence was interesting - he was Catholic on the outskirts of London with Catholics weren't allowed in the city. It's like "Reading Rainbow" for grown-ups!

UPDATE: And then my friend Chris Shue just sent me this little internet gem:

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