Feb. 27th, 2006

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John Marshall's obituary of the late great Octavia Butler merits reading.

Her father was a shoeshine man who died when she was a child, her mother was a maid who brought her along on jobs, yet Octavia Butler rose from these humble beginnings to become one of the country's leading writers - a female African American pioneer in the white, male domain of science fiction.

Butler, 58, died after falling and striking her head Friday on a walkway outside her home in Lake Forest Park. The reclusive writer, who moved to Seattle in 1999 from her native Southern California, was a giant in stature (she was 6 feet tall by age 15) and in accomplishment.

She remains the only science fiction writer to receive one of the vaunted "genius grants" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a hard-earned $295,000 windfall in 1995 that followed years of poverty and personal struggles with shyness and self-doubt.
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Inspired by The Victorian Internet, last night I made a post on soc.history.what-if wondering what could be done with a collection of difference engines linked via telegraph. While taxes and finances generally might benefit, it seems that cryptography could have taken off spectacularly in this kind of computer-rich environment.
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I'd like to encourage you to visit Scott Muller's fundraising page for the Hike For Discovery. This fund-raising project of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a hike along the Grand Canyon, plays a critical role in funding medical research into blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Donating to this fund is a good and wise idea indeed.
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I've been listening to Bob Dylan intermittantly over the past two weeks, and I've realized that I really don't like him. There's the nasal voice, there's the opaque lyrics, there's the unimaginative guitar accompaniment.

What do people see in him? I'm honestly quite curious.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
I might not like Bob Dylan. I do find myself enjoying Kim Wilde's 1986 cover version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On", though.

Eh. Blame it on childhood nostalgia.
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