June 18, 2005
The Poetry Bookshop — On Brook Street in Hay–on–Wye
Chris and Melanie Prince run it.
It's located in a stone building (above) called The Ice House which once was an ice house.
Photographs of the shop's interior appear below.
It's in bookofjoe because yesterday afternoon, while I was lying around doing something close to nothing (but different from the day before) reading issue number eight of Zembla magazine, which had just arrived, toward the very end of the publication I came upon a striking full–page ad that read "The Poetry Bookshop" with a black background, the words "The," "Poetry," and "Bookshop" crossing each other as in a crossword puzzle, down and across, and a beautiful ruby–colored flower with a yellow center acting as the "o" in the word "Poetry"; I thought to myself that the elegance and simplicity of the ad alone deserved mention in bookofjoe, if for no other reason than to emphasize that much of what happens in our lives — good and bad — occurs out of nowhere, for no apparent reason yet sometimes with quite a profound effect.
Also, I thought it useful to demonstrate to those among you who scoff at the rather telegraphic writing style I use as a more or less "default" setting here that I am indeed capable of going the other way.
But I digress.
It would appear that the Princes — Chris and Melanie as noted above, proprietors — are quite focused.
- From the website:
We try to cover every aspect of our specialty from the antiquarian and the the scholarly to contemporary work: supplying rare, out–of–print, new and used poetry books from our shop in Hay–on–Wye and now online.
So even if you don't find yourself near Hay–on–Wye nor have any plans to be there anytime in the future the expertise of the Princes is only a mouse click away.
The website itself is very usable and informative; see especially the link that lets you browse: it has approximately 100 subcategories of poetry.
The website also has about 25 links to all manner of poetry–related topics and destinations.
World's Largest Peppermill
The expression on the guy's face is priceless.
It's 3 feet tall.
I wasn't sure that this post was suitable for bookofjoe Version 2.0 (G–rated/Disney–approved).
The reason being that the language that you will use when you undertake to do what you have no business doing — namely, the repair of your broken clock — after exploring this entertaining and informative website will certainly NOT be suitable for my readers.
But then — they won't hear you, will they?
"In space no one can hear you scream."
That's true, trust me — I've been there, done that and besides, I'm a ....
But I digress.
Like I said, venture inside the website at your own peril.
Wait a minute — that's not right... is it?
The thing is, there are websites about how to swap out the engine in your car but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea for you to do it yourself to save on labor.
Happy Hour Chandelier
- From the website:
While dreaming of the splendor and greatness of the future they started hallucinating the possibilities of being served petit fours, little spoons of chocolate mousse and flutes of champagne by sexy floating angels at teatime.
Soon after Happy Hour Chandelier (above and below) was born.
They are now setting up an international network of dancing angels.
They fly all over the world to descend and give you their very best in the most special way.
Whether you ask for one angel or ten; whether you have a private party or a grand opening, the Dancing Angels are there to make your party go crazy!
The Dancing Angels and their Happy Hour Chandelier are flexible: they'll perform on any cool occasion and at any location — in nightclubs, restaurants, concert halls, fairs and all other events!
If Marcel Wanders is involved then by definition it's cool and it's all good.
His motto: "Create an environment of love, live with passion and make our most exciting dreams come true."
That's my motto as well, as of right now and forever.
If you're in the market for the angels and their chandelier contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch a clip of Ms. Linning in Milano as she puts the chandelier through its paces.
Petra Haden Live — Tomorrow Night on KCRW 89.9 FM (Los Angeles)
Stop [blog] press!
- This just in from LA:
Petra Haden and Mike Watt sit down with Gary Calamar to talk about the making of "Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out" and Petra's July 1 concert at the Ford Amphitheatre.
GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE THEY'RE GONE!
The radio interview is tomorrow (Sunday, June 19) at 10pm (PT) on KCRW 89.9 FM (Los Angeles)
Or listen on line: http://www.kcrw.org
and congratulations to Petra whose CD was selected as "Best Home 4, 8 or 16 Track Recording" and Gary/The Open Road for being nominated for "Best Radio Show" at the LA Weekly Music Awards!
Wait a minute: 10 p.m. PT = 1 a.m. ET Monday morning.
That is SO past my bedtime.
I guess I'll just have to take a nap earlier in the day to catch this show; no way am I gonna miss hearing from the goddess (that would be Ms. Haden) herself on how she created her magical record.
Addendum: I just decided to see if I could really listen to this station live via my computer; initially, I was gonna just wait until tomorrow night (actually, early Monday morning, OK, but let's not be too picky,all right? sheesh) to find out that in fact I wasn't smart enough to hear the Petra Haden interview.
Because that way the possibility that I could would remain until that time, so I could be optimistic and have hope.
If I found out now I couldn't then I'd lose the excellent vibe of anticipation that would otherwise exist for the next 36 hours.
Quantum living, I call it; others might call it stupidity.
Perhaps they are synonyms. But I digress.
In any event, I just went to the station's simulcast page and voila, in a second or so I was listening to today's show as it happened.
What's more it was crystal–clear, sounding far better than a radio show sounds on radio.
Now I'm really stoked!
Addendum #2: It just occurred to me that because of the internet, people anywhere on the planet can listen to the show tomorrow night, not just those who happen to be within reach of the broadcast signal of KCRW 89.9 FM on your radio dial.
That is immense.
I guess the only hitch is you have to be a joehead to find out about it if you're not in KCRW's listening area.
But then, anyone on the planet — oh, why be modest? the universe — who can get to a computer with an internet connection can be a joehead: it's not as if the price of entry is beyond an individual's capability if they're willing to go without some of life's necessities for a few months....
"Tiles snap securely in place so you can stop at any time without disturbing the words already played."
I've played with people who got really agitated and then messed up the board: this is perfect for when such hotheads are among the participants. But I digress.
"Tile racks even slide into a special storage space that keeps letters hidden."
When everyone's calmed down, "simply unzip the case, open the game board, and you're back where you left off!"
Includes cloth tile storage pouch and score pad that tucks into an inside pocket.
Board measures 9.75" x 8.25" unfolded.
Q. What's white, half the size of a football field and feels like an everyday kitchen wipe?
A. A glacier blanket.
The glaciers are melting, from the Andes to the Alps to Antarctica; in Switzerland, where many towns depend on winter sports for their livelihood, it's not just a matter of wearing lighter clothing.
The village of Andermatt, a popular ski resort, has purchased a high–tech "blanket" from the Swiss company Landolt to try to slow the thaw.
Haig Simonian wrote about this novel approach to global warming in a story that appeared in the June 14 Financial Times; it follows.
- Blanket Coverage Could Put Melting Snow On Ice
In the valley, the thermometer is nudging 30° C.
At the mighty Gemstock summit, almost 3,000 metres above sea level, it is cooler but already nearing 10° in the strong early summer sun.
The drip, drip of the melting snow at the upper cable car station says it all.
Whatever the scientific arguments about global warming, the famous glaciers of Europe's Alps are melting - and faster than ever.
Up on the Gurschen glacier, Andreas Bauder, a glaciologist from Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology, is measuring temperature and ice thickness.
"Climate is never constant. But predictions for the alpine region foresee a loss of 60 per cent of the ice mass over the next 100 years."
The issues of global warming and climate change have regained international prominence as business leaders have pressed politicians to act at the summit of the Group of Eight industrialised nations in Scotland next month.
Andermatt, a popular ski resort in central Switzerland, has decided to act sooner.
The village and its cable car company, which depend on winter sports for their livelihood, have wrapped part of their glacier in a high-technology protective blanket to stop it melting further.
"The glacier has receded by 20 metres in the past 15 years," says Urs Elmiger, head of administration at the cable car company, which is financing the SFr30,000 (£13,000) project.
"We've racked our brains to come up with solutions - this seemed the best."
Andermatt's problem is not unique.
Across the Alps, rising temperatures have played havoc with many ski resorts and could yet deal a heavy blow to Switzerland's tourism sector, which accounts for 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product.
At the Zugspitze, a popular winter resort in Germany, specialists have tried covering the half-pipe run made each year for snowboarders to limit melting.
In Austria, four resorts dependent on glacier skiing, have begun a scientific study on how best to preserve their most important assets.
Environmentalists scoff at such efforts, dismissing them as mere tinkering rather than dealing with the heart of the problem.
But for those whose livelihoods are being put at risk by global warming, any attempt to retard its impact is a blessing.
The experiments might also have important commercial implications for some specialist textile manufacturers.
Those involved in the Swiss and Austrian trials believe there is significant potential for their products.
No one predicts a market for covering entire glaciers, given the costs and practicalities involved.
But developing materials for particularly sensitive spots could prove a useful sideline and a high-profile marketing tool, says Frank Gross, chief executive of Landolt, the small Swiss company that has developed Andermatt's "blanket".
The white covering, the size of half a football field and anchored to the glacier by deep steel stays, looks and feels like an everyday kitchen wipe.
"I can tell you, its performance is rather different," he says.
"It has to have massive resistance to the sun, to protect the ice below, and immense tensile strength not to tear under high mountain winds. And it has to be light, easy to handle and affordable as well as capable of being re-used each year."
The Austrian experiments are even wider ranging, involving assorted materials and techniques.
Apart from fabrics and foils, the studies - conducted by a public-private joint venture based in Innsbruck and advised by the local university - are also testing techniques such as snow compacting and water injection to retard melting or nurture growth.
"We have a two-year project looking at 20 different materials on four different glaciers," says Andrea Fischer, a glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck.
"Each glacier is different. On each, there is a main test area the size of a football field. Then there are separate, two square metre, spots we've set up to assess differences in pitch and exposure to the sun."
Andermatt will have to wait until late September to know whether its experiment has worked.
If so, less time and money will be required to create the special ramp of snow that has been needed each season to bridge the gap between the cable car station and the shrinking glacier below.
In time, the village and the other resorts facing similar problems could consider "rebuilding" their glaciers by using artificial coverings in a sort of layered cake, although big questions remain about snow adherence and the stability of such structures.
For now, the focus is on whether the fabric will fend off the summer's sun.
"We're already cautiously optimistic. [But] it's too early to be sure," says Mr Elmiger.
Flexible Velour Hand
"Anything you can hold in the palm of your hand can be held in this flexible velour hand equipped with a suction cup."
Go here, move the cursor over the line drawing to the left of "LAMAIN"... by George, you've got it!