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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Into the Woods: a review

Like many people, I have been waiting nervously to see what Disney Studios would do with Stephen Sondheim’s wonderful musical, “Into the Woods.” I saw this show on Broadway with the original cast, so I was braced for a disappointment. But I was not disappointed. It is lush, it is beautiful, and not only was […]

Ancient astronomy

An illustration from James Evans’ book on ancient astronomy I’ve mentioned that the sequel to Fugue in Ursa Major is going to involve time travel. The plot requires that I have an understanding of the state of the science of astronomy around 48 B.C. As a source for that, I am reading James Evans’ The […]

And a Happy New Year too

The abbey in oil: a work in progress

Frank at work Several months ago, Ken commissioned a painting of Acorn Abbey from a local artist, Frank Duncan. Frank is a celebrity in these parts. He’s also a neighbor. We asked Frank to unapologetically get in touch with his inner Thomas Kinkade and do interesting things with light and imagination. The painting will go […]

The theory and practice of the calca

This is not a review of Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, which was published in 2008 and which I very much enjoyed reading. Rather, this is about the concept of the “calca,” a term created by Stephenson in Anathem. Stephenson made up a lot of language for Anathem, which is a thousand-page tome about a very erudite […]

Time travel? Warp jumps? Let’s go …

My schematic, based on a sketch kindly provided by an alien visitor For several months now, I have been at work on the sequel to Fugue in Ursa Major, which for now I just call Fugue II. I’ll give it a real title later. Fugue II is a much more demanding novel involving much more […]