Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kiwi fishermen land colossal squid

John Bennett with the squid lying on the deck of the San Aspring fishing boat in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea
Fishing in the Ross Sea (Antarctica) a New Zealand fishing ship has landed a rare colossal squid. - gwc

Monday, September 15, 2014

How Stephen King Teaches Writing - The Atlantic

Stephen King believes in diagramming sentences and Strunk & White's Elements of style.  Jessica Fahey interviews him in The Atlantic. - gwc

How Stephen King Teaches Writing - The Atlantic:

by Jessica Fahey

Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft has been a fixture in my English classroom for years, but it wasn’t until this summer, when I began teaching in a residential drug and alcohol rehab, that I discovered the full measure of its worth. For weeks, I struggled to engage my detoxing, frustrated, and reluctant teenage students. I trotted out all my best lessons and performed all my best tricks, but save for one rousing read-aloud of Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart,” I failed to engage their attention or imagination.
Until the day I handed out copies of On Writing. Stephen King’s memoir of the craft is more than an inventory of the writer’s toolbox or a voyeuristic peek into his prolific and successful writing life. King recounts his years as a high school English teacher, his own recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and his love for his students (“even the Beavis and Butt-Head types”). Most importantly, he captivates the reader with his honest account of the challenges he’s faced, and promises redemption to anyone willing to come to the blank page with a sense of purpose.
I asked King to expound on the parts of On Writing I love most: the nuts and bolts of teaching, the geekiest details of grammar, and his ideas about how to encourage a love of language in all of our students.
For the interview click the headline above

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Sea ice wears white after Labor Day | Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis

sea ice extent image

Sea ice wears white after Labor Day | Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis

September 2, 2014

"The Arctic summer of 2014 is nearing an end. Overall, the rate of ice loss during August was near average. Regions of low concentration ice remain in the Beaufort and East Siberian seas that may yet melt out or compress by wind action. While the Northwest Passage continues to be clogged with ice and is unlikely to open, the Northern Sea Route along the Siberian coasts appears open except for some ice around Severnaya Zemlya. As the end of the southern winter draws closer, Antarctic sea ice extent remains higher than average."

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Indian Harbor Classics Race 2014

Dark skies, gray seas, beautiful boats. 
(click pix to expand. Motorola Razr Max HD)
`S Boat' 68 Danae overtaking us

approaching Little Captain Island

Natanya, Friendship Sloop passing us

Peter at the helm on an off-wind leg

Greenwich to City Island

A beautiful fall day on the Sound.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Harvest Moon

Hound of the Baskervilles
Harvest Moon Over the Bronx

Friday, September 5, 2014

Vivien Maier - nanny, street photographer

Astonishingly beautiful work.  Click through to the story for the pictures.  Reminds me of my very much alive friend and great street photographer Susan Sermonetta.
A Legal Battle Over Vivian Maier’s Work -
by Randy Kennedy
The story of the street photographer Vivian Maier has always been tangled — she worked much of her life as a nanny, keeping her artistic life a secret, and only after she died in 2009, at the age of 83, nearly penniless and with no family, were her pictures declared to be among the most remarkable of the 20th century. Now a court case in Chicago seeking to name a previously unknown heir is threatening to tie her legacy in knots and could prevent her work from being seen again for years.
The case was filed in June by a former commercial photographer and lawyer, David C. Deal, who said he became fascinated with Maier’s life in law school and took it upon himself to try to track down an heir. He did so, he said, because he was upset that prints of her work — from more than 100,000 negatives found in a storage locker at an auction, containing images now possibly worth millions of dollars — were being sold by people who came to own the negatives but had no family connection to Maier, who spent most of her childhood in France and worked in Chicago, where she died.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

In the Kingdom of Ice // Hampton Sides

Found the next in the book series I call Men in Bad Weather.  It began of course with Shackleton.  The most recent was Stove by a Whale - the story of the Essex.  There the weather wasn't so bad - it was the dehydration and the starvation.  An Empire of Ice was before that - arctic exploration in the heroic age.  That title compelled Hampton Sides to call his account


The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
Illustrated. 454 pp. Doubleday. $28.95.

...The Jeannette remained confined in the ice for two years. Then one day the ice opened, and the ship slipped into the water — and floated. But not for long. The pressure resumed “with tremendous force,” De Long wrote. The Jeannette foundered, and the truly appalling chapter of the tale began. The 33 men set out over the ice, 1,000 miles from the Lena delta on the Arctic coast of Siberia, “one of the most remote and unforgiving landscapes on the planet.” They battled “ever-­shifting mazes of fissures, hummocks, pressure ridges and pools of shimmering meltwater.”

And “they pulled more than eight tons of provisions and gear, on improvised sleds whose crosspieces had been fashioned from whiskey barrel staves and whose heavy oak runners were shod with smooth whalebone. In addition to the three battered boats, they hauled, among other things, medicine chests, ammunition, stew pots, cooking stoves, tent poles, oars, rifles, ship logs and diaries, canvas for sails, scientific instruments, the wooden dinghy and 200 gallons of stove alcohol. As for food, they had inventoried, at the outset, 3,960 pounds of pemmican, 1,500 pounds of hardtack, 32 pounds of beef tongue, 150 pounds of Liebig’s beef extract, 12› pounds of pigs’ feet, and substantial quantities of veal, ham, whiskey, brandy, chocolate and tobacco.” (The stories of polar explorers are but little without the wonderfully evocative lists of the things they carried.)

Sides observes that De Long met all the hardships with a remarkable penchant for understatement. “Gazing at a puzzle of jammed ice and meltwater that would require weeks to cross, he stoically predicted: ‘We are in for a time.’ Hopelessly disoriented by fog for the better part of a week, De Long would only allow that ‘we are in the dark as to our position.’ Halted by a lashing blizzard, he scribbled that the day’s weather was ‘anything but ­satisfactory.’ ”

After 91 days on the pack, the men took to (relatively) open water in the three small boats they had been dragging. They were soon separated. One boat disappeared and was never heard of again. The whaleboat commanded by George Melville, the Jeannette’s engineer and most resourceful crew member, was lucky. He and his men made it to land, found natives and were saved. De Long’s cutter landed only eight miles from a branch of the Lena that would have led to a settlement within a day. Instead, he and his men left their boat, wandered and suffered terribly. Sides vividly recounts the horrors: gross frostbite, crude amputations, madness, much boot eating and, ultimately, starvation. Before succumbing, the ship’s surgeon had gnawed his own hand. Earlier De Long had sent his two strongest men for help. They somehow met up with Melville, who eventually found the bodies of De Long and his comrades. Only 13 of the 33 survived.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lit Up Inside - Collected Lyrics of Van Morrison

George Ivan Morrison
Lit Up Inside: The Collected Lyrics of Van Morrison 

Faber and Faber are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Van Morrison’s Selected Lyrics, titled Lit Up Inside, for publication in autumn 2014.

Morrison’s publication will sit alongside Mother Brother Lover, Jarvis Cocker’s Selected Lyrics, and So This Is Permanence: The Lyrics and Notebooks of Ian Curtis as part of the Faber Social imprint. 

 Lit Up Inside will be published as a hardback and in a special edition in October. 

 Van Morrison says: ‘The lyrics in this book span 50 years of writing and as such are representative of my creative journey.’

Lee Brackstone, Creative Director of Faber Social, says: ‘Van Morrison is a colossally important, inspiring and influential figure in the music world and his place as one of a handful of truly iconic twentieth century artists is secure. Publication of Lit Up Inside reminds us of his place in a broader seam of Irish creativity; the collective consciousness of his literary forbears, the likes of WB Yeats, William Blake, Patrick Kavanagh, Joseph Campbell, the poetry of the Blues and Robbie Burns. The words on the page are a joy in themselves and it is a great honour that his lyrics will be immortalised in a Faber volume.’

Lit Up Inside has been edited by Morrison with the help of Eammon Hughes who is also contributing an introduction. Ian Rankin will be writing a Foreword."

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spring in Greenland

Aboard the Polaris
Michael Haferkamp, together with Martina, spent 18 months cruising the west coast of Greenland in their Hutting 53, Polaris.
Spring in Greenland