Two cultures, one world

From Brandywine Books: Today, 07-07-07, is the day of the Live Earth concerts, an effort by world scientists to instruct us in the coming doom and how, if possible, to prevent it. These scientists knew a Ross Perot-style chart lecture wouldn’t communicate bo diddley, so they are masquerading as rock stars. Their message, as you know, is the sky is falling……The Live Earth scientists want you to know that you are to blame, especially if you are an American. China can’t help it if they pollute the earth while trying to compete in your corrupted economy. Your keep-up-the-Jones greed forces them to produce cheap goods and ignore common sense environmental guidelines. You should be ashamed of yourself and thankful that righteous men and women will take time out of their busy schedules to educate your butt about your need to stop driving all over the planet and shopping at all hours of the day and night. The sky is falling, for pete’s sake. Okay, let’s sing about it.

From Open Culture (yesterday): Unless you’ve been living in a bunker somewhere, you’ve probably heard about Live Earth, a 24-hour, 7-continent concert that’s been organized to raise awareness about global warming and to inspire action on the environmental front. You can watch these shows live by clicking here. The concerts in Asia are already underway, and the Western Hemisphere shows will start tomorrow (Saturday). Thanks to Al Gore for promoting this event and this important larger cause.

Funny old world, isn’t it? (If you want to know what is actually known about our climate, you can go here. You can also read an interesting article, "Understanding the politics of climate change in the United States", here.)

Some reading recommendations

Karen Chisholm of Aust Crime reviews Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore, good timing in case you missed the news on just about every blog I read yesterday that the author has just won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger – and deservedly so, according to, I think, every single posting I read.

Elizabeth Baines attends the launch of Missing, by Cath Staincliffe.

John Self at Asylum reviews Clive James’s latest set of memoirs, the "companionable and self-deprecating" North Face of Soho. “I still don’t feel that I have Made It….. An onlooker might say that I have Done Something.  But I’m still not entirely sure about the ’something’, and not at all sure about the ‘I’.”  So writes Clive.

Clare Dudman interviews Chris Simms, author of Shifting Skin. Both Clare and Chris will be at the dreamiest holiday imaginable: discussing books in Languedoc next week. See Clare’s post for more details.

God’s Spy is the latest book under review at Material Witness. …. "take a bow, Juan Gomez-Jurado, journalist, debut novelist and confident storyteller. The narrative is fast and furious, and the sense of urgency in the investigation very real…"

South African noir: Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer is reviewed over at International Noir Fiction. From Glenn’s review. [the] "novel drew me forward through the strength of the characters and the power of the plotting, and surprised me at several points in that most effective novelistic manner: making me see the "truth" about what had happened before ."

Computer security for free

Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog: Liberated from Symantec!!

OK, this brave guy has cancelled his Norton antivirus in favour of an unbeatable deal — a free one.  Not sure if I can quite summon up the courage myself, but go over and read what he did if you fancy the idea of staying secure at no cost.

The perfect Mayor

Billy Goat and Little Pony are doing pretty well on their 1,000-mile summer – I’ve been reading each installment of their Appalachian Trail hike with enjoyment and occasional sympathetic winces. When you are dusty, exhausted and footsore, with a heap of dirty laundry, you just need a stopover like Unionville, famed for hiker hospitality.

"Almost as soon as we walked into town, "Butch", a town employee and the mayor’s emissary gave us the lowdown: we could leave our packs on his porch while we dined somewhere in town, set up our tent in the town’s park, then, after a barbecue, the mayor would meet us and take us to his place for laundry and a shower. After we ran the usual errands (post office, groceries, camp set-up) Butch and the Mayor showed up. The Mayor was a 60-something guy who "ran drugs" (ie, delivered pharmacy orders around the town) and also ran the town. He helped us get our laundry started, introduced us to his new dog he adopted, "Shadow" (named because even though he’s only had her for 10 days, the black lab/chow mix) followed him everywhere) and told us to help ourselves to beer in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer and whatever else ("Nothing here’s really worth stealing," he said.)."