birdie's blog

Only 30 years

It's only taken thirty years, but I'm happy to report that Jackie Speier, once an aide to slain Congressman Leo Ryan, has been elected to his seat in the House. Anyone remember the circumstances of Ryan's death? NYT.

She is writing a book.

Filthy Wal-Mart

Found this documentarian on flickr and here's his/her website.

Meeting Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl sat in my booth at PLA (in Minneapolis) for a half-hour, and it was a great, but brief, opportunity to meet her after having interviewed her (by e-mail) for a story here in LISNews in August of 2005.

Aside from her encyclopedic knowledge of books and reading, Nancy is just a great, down to earth person whom would anyone would want to have for a best friend/aunt/neighbor. She is truly devoted to getting the word out on reading, and although her schedule rivals many world leaders, she has a wonderful inner calm and relaxed manner. For that matter, she should be a world leader.

She was accessible to everyone, even the devotee who insisted she sign her action-figure doll with a sharpie. In the half-hour she was in the booth, she must have had person to person talks with at least 20 people, signed a dozen autographs, took a dozen photos and still had time to talk with me about travel, husbands, and of course what I've been reading, Vilhelm Moberg's saga of the Swedes voyage to America published in the 1950's, The Emigrants. Not exactly on Oprah's list, but she'd read it.

Thanks to all of you who came by with the magic words "birdie sent me". Enjoy your cards! If you're interested in seeing more pictures of Nancy and the In My Book booth, check out my flickr page.

How Things Even Out

A fairly simple philosophy...certainly applicable to most situations, from Jack Handey.

Hand Shadows for your Monday

This little video can't help but make you feel good ...Hand Shadow show by Raymond Crowe.


On this subject...NYT columnist Bob Herbert has it right on.

First impressions

Check out artist Jane S. Noel's very interesting experiment in first impressions...
at her website.

The shooting was the fourth at a U.S. school within a week.

Chilling news from the NYTimes.

What To Do With a Wet iBook

Thought some of you might find some of these ideas of interest, discussed on

Happy Birthday Hillary

Wonderful (as usual) column by Clyde Haberman of the NYTimes about the stresses of life as a New Yorker, not to leave out two NYers who are running...with pockets and purses open...for President.

Another interesting column from Madison, WI... want to share a secret? send it to the the secret keeper...

More on Paris this time

...this time on the Rive Gauche a Paris. They're in danger of disappearing...Guardian UK reveals the trend that has galleries and small booksellers being replaced by trendy clothing boutiques. They call the phenomenon "the greatest Gallic bogeyman of all, globalisation," and I can only hope that those French come to their senses and prevent the theft of history and tradition in the quartier where "where Juliette Greco sang, Miles Davis played and Michel Foucault philosophised."

Maybe this might sound familiar to American city dwellers: "Deputy mayor Lyne Cohen-Solal decided to act after a famous bookshop just outside the Sorbonne university was replaced by a cheap clothes shop. 'All the cities all over Europe are starting to look the same. London, Berlin, they're going to have the same streets with the same shops,' Cohen-Solal said."

I wonder if Wal-Mart is eying the city of lights?

an intelligent bookseller

Wanted to share this nice interview with a bookseller in Malaga, Spain ...from SUR (in English). Here's his bookshop, I hope to visit someday.

join my anti-spam campaign

Anyone want to join me? I am forwarding oh, one out of each dozen or so emails to the FTC at their new e-mail address, One can always hope.

What is the government doing about spam?

When I typed this question into my search engine (guess which one), this was the top response I got. It's a two year old article from a web-hosting site. Here's the third listed article, which has information down at the bottom of the page.

I know it's difficult if not impossible to catch spammers, but as we'll all probably gotten spams recently dealing with the I.R.S. (at least I have), you'd think the Feds would be a bit more on the ball. And if the FDA controls dispensing of prescription medications, you'd think they'd be more interested in the dozens of 'enticing offers' I get for illegal meds every day.

The netidentity site directs you to the Federal Trade Commission site anti-spam site, which encourages you to forward your spam to them. Let's send them all our V&agrA spam and see what happens.

Cool food blog -- The Amateur Gourmet

Fun to read with easy but classy recipes and lots of pictures...The Amateur Gourmet, aka Adam Roberts, who incidentally just published a book by the same name. Love his recent entry in response to Frank Bruni's NYTimes blog about a restaurant not having iced tea.


A couple of interesting pages on Findlaw regarding Sen. Larry Craig's arrest and his complete disregard for the legal process and the constituents he is supposed to serve. You don't have to be a member of Congress to know how the law works.

Peace in the Middle East?

This reminds me of a period in time when there was hope for peace in the Middle East...may that time come again.

From The Globe and Mail: Thirteen years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Shimon Peres, at 84, is playing host to Palestinian and UN officials.

Last week, two days after he met with Mr. Fayyad, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that Mr. Peres, former Prime Minister and now in the previously ceremonial role of President, was shopping a peace plan that would see the Palestinians establish an independent state based on territory equivalent to 100 per cent of the land seized by Israel after the 1967 war. While not entirely new, the plan is nonetheless controversial on both sides of the Green Line because it would see Israel keep three major blocs of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, compensating the Palestinian side by giving up an equal amount of Israeli territory.

Cheney Should Have Been a Soothsayer Instead of VP

Check this out from 1994.

Woody Allen's Tribute to Ingmar Bergman

in the NYT. Really worth reading if you admire either or both of these filmmakers.

Napoleon and George W. Bush

A lesson from history...interesting comparison of the two leaders by Richard Bulliet from the International Herald Tribune.

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