Monday, April 23, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Kurt Vonnegut has passed on. He has been my favorite writer for many years and a huge influence. I'm actually currently reading God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, a novel that reminded me why I love his work so much. In the book,our protagonist, Eliot Rosewater, is a man born into affluence who prefers helping common people as opposed to living in wretched excess, and he's the one people consider insane. Imagine that.
This is really sad news. The man brought us such classics about the human condition:
- Slaughterhouse Five: The novel everyone first mentions when they talk about Vonnegut, and yet not his best work, IMHO.
- Breakfast of Champions: Absolutely one of his best. At the end, Vonnegut himself enters the story and reveals to his character that he, as the writer, controls the character's destiny. I still remember the scene, as the character runs after Vonnegut, yelling "Make me young."
- Cat's Cradle
- Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!
- Timequake: Pure concept. Absolutely wonderful.
- Deadeye Dick
- Sirens of Titan
- Palm Sunday
And so many others. Sigh. First Hunter Thompson, and now Kurt Vonnegut.
God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
This is an interesting animation showing a geographical history of religion for the last five-thousand years. Note that it's a spatial representation; it might be interesting to determine a way to show the same data with the numbers represented (I guess some kind of an area diagram plotted over time, but I don't know if you can show the two views simultaneously; I'm thinking something along the lines of Tufte's famous chart showing Napolean's march into Russia in the War of 1812). Anyway, interesting presentation.