Perhaps it's because I spent the first twenty years of my life further north, but the change from summer to autumn seems very sudden to me down here in Phoenix. One of the things I had the most difficulty adjusting to was the lack of any real dusk or twilight-- and the lack of lightning bugs (fireflies). The best time to hunt lightning bugs is at dusk. But there are no such varmints here. The sun either seems to be shining, or it's dark. One day it's not dark until 8 PM, and the next it's dark before 7:30 PM. Sometime last week, I'm pretty sure I heard the click when the earth settled on its axis and began downshifting for autumn. Before last week, when shadows covered the pool deck, it meant that it was past 6:30. Now it's 5:45. Part of me is already in mourning.
Yes, I know. There was nothing hair-raising in what I just said. That bit is coming now. Denis drives a rental car bus around the terminals at Sky Harbor Airport. Recently a monsoon storm struck-- literally. Denis was 100 feet away from a palm tree when it was struck by lightning. Big chunks of the tree were blown everywhere, and I would imagine Denis's heart went pitty-pat for a minute or two. I know mine would have! I thought you might like to see the event. The photo was taken by one of the airport surveillance cameras on the control tower. Yikes! (You can click on the photo and it will open in a new window automatically if you'd like to see more detail.)
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Can you identify these classic novels from their closing lines?
- Here are the trailers for two films that I'm adding to my Must Watch List: Victor Frankenstein and The Martian.
- Australian parents are angry over books being put in Happy Meals.
- That time Yvonne Craig ran over Vincent Price with the Batgirlcycle.
- Why you need an app to understand Iain Pears' latest novel.
- Let authors take the quiet road.
- Google's Project Sunroof tells you how much solar energy is hitting your rooftop.
- Should we care if yet another F. Scott Fitzgerald story is "discovered"? I'm a Fitzgerald lover, and my answer may surprise you.
- If you like thrillers, you may want to take a look at The Big Thrill, the online publication of the International Thriller Writers.
- Beloit College has an annual mindset list for professors and counselors to show them which references no longer mean anything to incoming freshmen. If you take a look at the list, a few gray hairs may pop out on your head.
- Kathleen and I are keeping an eye on the situation with Harper Lee. Seems that Lee's lawyer is creating quite the stir in Monroeville, Alabama.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Scientists have found evidence of a prehistoric massacre in Europe.
- Another crew of divers in Florida have found over 300 coins worth more than $4.5 million.
- An archaeological dig at a Colonial battleground has uncovered a fort's stone walls.
- The remains of a "warrior princess" have been found buried alongside a dagger and sword.
- An ancient salamander preserved in amber has shocked scientists.
- Two men in Poland have claimed that they know how to find a lost Nazi treasure train.
- Marine researchers in the UK have received the oldest message in a bottle.
- Archaeologists in Mexico have found the main skull rack at an Aztec temple complex.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- Photos have shown the first wild California wolf pack in nearly a century.
- Although long misunderstood, we are learning that a hummingbird tongue works like a micropump.
- I don't drink coffee (told you I was strange), but I'd patronize this Japanese coffee shop because of its mascots!
- After three long years, this Army dog gets the homecoming he well deserves.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- The best New York City novels by neighborhood.
- Tourism gone vintage. (I love old travel posters.)
- Earth in July was the hottest month on record. (August hasn't exactly been a picnic either. Phoenix had a four-day stretch this month where the average temperature was 103.7°.)
- The 50 most visited national parks. (I shouldn't have been surprised at #1.)
- Do you want to take a vacation and sell books? I'd be tempted simply because I'd be going to Wigtown-- the booktown of Scotland.
- There's a city in Romania that gives free bus rides if you read a book.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- A Parisian flat designed for a couple with two children (and books)!
- Inspiring workspaces. (If this opens and just looks like a narrow ribbon, click on the ribbon and it should open to full size for you.)
- Book cover twins. (You may have to scroll down a bit. This site has a Donald Trump ego-sized header.)
- Inside the Folger Library's beautiful reading room.
That's all for now. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure!
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!