I've mentioned a time or two that Denis (AKA Mr. Gizmo) likes his technology, and that we've had some adventures with Amazon's Alexa. I will admit that I do like her turning the lights on or off at my direction, but I could do just fine without her.
One thing I've never liked about her is her name. Alexa seems to be one of those names that's flavor of the month. I'm finding Alexas everywhere. Even the main character of the book I'm reading now is named Alexa. Sheesh! Enough already.
My Life Is Murder, and the main character's name is-- you got it-- Alexa. If a gizmo can splutter, that's exactly what Alexa was doing, sitting there on Denis's end table. I also have a weakness for trivia game shows (like Jeopardy). I was watching the Best Ever Trivia Show, and one of the contestants was named-- sigh-- Alexa.
From the looks of that spinning blue light at the top of that gizmo, I thought our Alexa was going to have a nervous breakdown.
I told Denis about his gizmo's woes, and he looked through the instructions. Now the Alexa in the family room where the television is located has had a name change that should prevent smoke from coming out of her ears.
However... if people start naming their kids Echo, I am going to be monumentally miffed. On to the links!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Dead Poets Society: thirty years on Robin Williams' stirring call to "seize the day" endures. (Love this movie!)
- Dazzling color photos of the legendary Romanov costume ball of 1903.
- How the use of digital communication changed grammatical standards in a fairly universal manner.
- Examining George Washington's family tree to figure out who would be king is the U.S. was a monarchy.
- How scientists are using eggshells to grow new bone.
- The truth about anti-white discrimination.
- The Charles Dickens Museum has acquired a "lost" portrait of the author as a young man.
- Adventuring while female: why the relationship women have with nature matters.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- How space technology is revolutionizing archaeology.
- Pueblo Grande celebrates 90 years. Phoenix's archaeological gem protects the area's first city.
- A prehistoric city offers a glimpse of ancient living near Jerusalem.
- For Sale: a Titanic survivor's light-up cane.
- A cannonball highlights how close Napoleon came to victory at Waterloo. and from the Smithsonian: The first investigation into the allied Waterloo field hospital is unearthing cannonballs and limbs.
- Tutankhamun's golden coffin is undergoing restoration for the first time.
- A gold ring unearthed near Loch Lomond could fetch over $12,000.
- A 4,600-year-old Greek "pyramid" found in the Aegean Sea is not a pyramid at all.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- The world's greatest collection of bumblebee butts.
- A massive manta ray was filmed seeking help from snorkelers in Australia.
- A neuroscientist studies dog emotions with an MRI and concludes that "dogs are people, too."
- Tiny animals trapped in fossil trees help reveal how fauna moved onto land.
- Here's your laugh for the day: police have apprehended penguins who keep sneaking into a sushi restaurant in New Zealand.
- A Japanese railway hosts the world's first cat café on a moving train with adoptable kittens riding on board.
- A rare New Zealand parakeet population doubles after an "epic" breeding season.
- Once nearly as dead as the dodo, the California Condor comeback reaches 1,000 chicks. (One of the most majestic sights I've ever seen is a California Condor soaring over the Grand Canyon.)
- Laura Lippman writes about age.
- Meet Kate Warne, America's first female detective and spy, who thwarted an assassination plot on Lincoln.
- Nadezhda Popova: Commander of the Night Witches.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Carrara, the Tuscan town famous for anarchists, marble, and lard.
- Yosemite hets its historic place names back.
- Pukará de Quitor, the ruins of a pre-Columbian fortress city so secure it held off the Spanish conquistadors for over twenty years.
- There's a massive conch-shell graveyard in the Caribbean.
- "The impact is tremendous": readers on wildflower verges in the UK. (Bring that idea on over here!)
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Ten thrillers featuring a dance of girlfriends and deception.
- Eleven books to read if you're an adult who loves Veronica Mars.
- Ten suspenseful horror novels featuring housebound terrors that will scare the hell out of your inner child.
- A bookseller's guide to Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series.
- The rise of rural noir.
- The top five libraries in books.
- Top ten books about the River Thames.
- Eighteen unforgettable stairways that are a step above.
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!