28 January 2008

Social Networking for Book Lovers

I didn't know social networking sites for book lovers existed before a friend sent me an invitation to Shelfari. I was pleased. A typical list-making (over-analyzing) Virgo, I've been tracking the books I've read in an Excel spreadsheet for over 10 years. I was more than glad to have a way to share that information with friends, a way to see what they might be reading, and to answer any questions they might have about the books I've read.

So I signed up with Shelfari, and it was only later that I found there are several similar sites to choose from. So I did some digging around, and here are a few more I found:


If you want to know which is right for you, there's a fairly in-depth review and comparison of Gurulib, Shelfari, and Librarything at the librarytwopointzero blog. Also, here's an article/review at Publishers Weekly.

Google, never to be outdone, launched their own version in Sept 2007, called MyLibrary. You can read more about Google's version on the Wired Blog.

And if you're still undecided, a few other sites are available:

As for me, I'm glad I didn't research this earlier, before joining Shelfari, or I might've gone crazy with all the options. Overall, my Shelfari page is perfect for what I need it for, and it's got other features I don't even use (such as book reviews and book groups).

If you know of other sites, or would like to comment on any of the above, please leave it in the comments section.

25 January 2008

Ross Perot - On Money & Happiness

"Right after my company got successful, as a young man I met some of the wealthiest people in the world. I found that they were such unhappy, lonely people... I learned that money and happiness are unrelated."

~ Ross Perot

23 January 2008

Bye Bye, Mr. American Ledger

Yes, I know Heath Ledger was Australian, but he seems to me now to have been more "American" than most USA-born celebrities. He was, after all, living in Brooklyn. By choice. When he didn't have to.

I just heard about his death via www... and while I was reading about it, about him (synchronistically, Don McClean's song "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" was playing on my speakers), I realized the most 'tragic' aspect of his loss: he was reported to have been a good father. And now his young daughter, Matilda, will feel the void more than anyone else.

My hat is off to the late Heath Ledger. Pending autopsy will show this or that, rumors and suspicions may or may not be confirmed, some overzealous religious wingnuts will proclaim it as God punishing him for playing a homosexual in Brokeback Mountain, but none of that matters.

What matters is that, even for the two years of her life, Ledger was a good father. And for that he has my respect.

13 January 2008

Oscar Wilde's De Profundis

I recently saw the film Wilde, about Oscar Wilde, a man whose wit will be forever quoted. I was a little disappointed that the film was more about Wilde's homosexuality than his writing, but that seems to be the trend these days.

Oscar Wilde's De Profundis is a long and sappy letter he wrote to his lover while imprisoned for their 'transgressions'. (Yes, I'm obviously obsessed with all things de profundis.)

I've included here some of the more notable quotes from the text:

Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain.


Prosperity, pleasure and success, may be rough of grain and common in fibre, but sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things. There is nothing that stirs in the whole world of thought to which sorrow does not vibrate in terrible and exquisite pulsation.


The poor are wise, more charitable, more kind, more sensitive than we are. In their eyes prison is a tragedy in a man's life, a misfortune, a casuality, something that calls for sympathy in others. They speak of one who is in prison as of one who is 'in trouble' simply. It is the phrase they always use, and the expression has the perfect wisdom of love in it.


Nothing seems to me of the smallest value except what one gets out of oneself. My nature is seeking a fresh mode of self-realisation. That is all I am concerned with. And the first thing that I have got to do is to free myself from any possible bitterness of feeling against the world.


I am completely penniless, and absolutely homeless. Yet there are worse things in the world than that.


I am a born antinomian. I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws. But while I see that there is nothing wrong in what one does, I see that there is something wrong in what one becomes.


Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at[...] Every thing to be true must become a religion. And agnosticism should have its ritual no less than faith. It has sown its martyrs, it should reap its saints, and praise God daily for having hidden Himself from man.


Reason does not help me. It tells me that the laws under which I am convicted are wrong and unjust laws, and the system under which I have suffered a wrong and unjust system.


The only people I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered: those who know what beauty is, and those who know what sorrow is: nobody else interests me.


I now see that sorrow, being the supreme emotion of which man is capable, is at once the type and test of all great art. What the artist is always looking for is the mode of existence in which soul and body are one and indivisible: in which the outward is expressive of the inward: in which form reveals.


We call ours a utilitarian age, and we do not know the uses of any single thing. We have forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and that the Earth is mother to us all. As a consequence our art is of the moon and plays with shadows, while Greek art is of the sun and deals directly with things. I feel sure that in elemental forces there is purification, and I want to go back to them and live in their presence.


I have grown tired of the articulate utterances of men and things. The Mystical in Art, the Mystical in Life, the Mystical in Nature this is what I am looking for.

06 January 2008

What People Seem to Want

My blog statistics show that a large percentage of my hits are from folks searching for "nude girls," which directs them to my reposting of a funny video with naked mannequins and skateboards. What disappointment!

Another big target is my recommendation of a Lonely Planet article about Russian spas in which the attendees flog each other. They find this when they search "naked Russians." Again, big disappointment.

So in tribute to these misguided search attempts for visual stimulation of a more pornographic nature, I am posting here a photo that will disappoint yet again! It's for all those who google "cameltoe" hoping for a glimpse of tight cloth against the female genitalia. YOU AIN'T GONNA GET IT HERE! LOLOLOLOLOLOL :P