There's nothing like being out of touch. Or is that clueless? Last week, Denis and I made our way clear over to the east side of the Valley to visit Butterfly Wonderland and OdySea Aquarium. (Yes, it does feel a bit as though you need your passport; the Phoenix metropolitan area is s-p-r-a-w-l-e-d out.) We didn't realize that it was Spring Break. Make that SPRING! BREAK! When we arrived, we would've had to sell our souls for a parking spot miles from those two attractions, and we could see that the lines waiting to stump up money for tickets were long and moving slowly. Due to our being out-of-touch, that idea was a bust, but at least we did get to see that the Salt River has lots of water in it-- more than I've seen in years. Usually, it's just a trickle if there is any water at all. (You get used to bridges, signs sporting the names of rivers, and no water beneath when you live here.)
I recently read an article wailing about the seven long years that made up California's drought. It made me snort. Seven years? Try twenty years, folks. That's how long it's been for Arizona. I was beginning to think that there was never going to be an end. Denis and I are going to try to head over to Butterfly Wonderland and OdySea Aquarium this week since Spring Break is over, and-- guess what?-- rain is forecast. We need to stop writing things down in Google calendar. I'm positive Mother Nature is snooping into our computers...
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- You can now apply to be a Cadbury chocolate taster.
- What crime writers read when they're not writing crime.
- Redheads have been feared and vilified throughout history. Here's why.
- Who would win in a great literary bake-off?
- A world-class crime collection goes to auction.
- The Accidental Crime Novelist, a conversation with Laura Lippman.
- My grandmother had a couple of these in her collection: the haunting history of Frozen Charlotte dolls.
- I think my least favorite character trait is that of entitlement. Angry book pirates hit back after an author campaign closes their favorite pirating website. Hey, nimrods-- authors have to eat and pay bills just like the rest of us!
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- A 21-year-old World War II soldier's sketchbooks reveal a visual diary of his experiences.
- Where did all the refugees from Vesuvius end up?
- The F.B.I. is trying to return thousands of stolen artifacts, including Native American burial remains.
- The site where Julius Caesar was stabbed will finally open to the public.
- For Sale: Gold from one of the worst shipwrecks in U.S. history.
- Archeologists have found hidden tunnels below Alcatraz prison.
- A cave full of untouched Maya artifacts has been found at Chichén Itzá.
- Does Castell Dinas Bran have an Arthurian castle resting beneath?
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- The world's largest ocean cleanup has officially begun.
- This little dog "ruined" every frame of a Google Street View by chasing the camera.
- A leopard believed to be extinct is spotted in Taiwan for the first time in over thirty years.
- A great big owl kicks a sleeping cat off the couch.
- How South American male hummingbirds use their evolved beaks as swords to attack their rivals.
- Fascinating footage of a reef squid protecting his mate.
- These dancing flamingos know how to draw attention.
- A pair of curious dogs ignore their human while attempting to play with a couple of mischievous otters.
- Annie Oakley-- the most famous woman of the Wild West.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Six mysteries set in a stark and severe landscape.
- The thirty-two most iconic poems in the English language.
- The top one hundred novels of all time found in libraries around the world.
- Four new monuments to historic women are coming to New York City.
- Top ten books about Hollywood.
- Twenty-eight British slang terms you should know.
- The fifty best one-star Amazon reviews of Wuthering Heights.
- Five technologies that could ease the transition to daylight saving time. (What say we get rid of it?)
That's all for this week! 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!