Riba Rambles:
Musings of a Mental Magpie

About the author: Elisabeth in early 2007, photo by Todd Belf
Elisabeth "Lis" Riba is an infovore with an MLS. This is her place to share whatever's on her mind, on topics both personal and political. [more]
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Saturday, November 08, 2008
Glory, Gloriana
Posted by Lis Riba at 11:56 AM

The story associated with the Kinuko Craft print I bought has been identified.

It is Roanoke by Margaret Lawrence, with a publication date of January 27, 2009.

On the cover, this book is subtitled A Novel of Historical Suspense, however Amazon and the publisher subtitle it A Novel of Elizabethan Intrigue.

The book appears to be more straightforward historical fiction, rather than the historical fantasy I assumed based on the cover.

Still, it's a gorgeous piece of artwork, and I'm glad I can finally show you a larger image.

[Here's another portrait of Elizabeth painted by Kinuko Craft]

book cover to Roanoke
Friday, November 07, 2008
Updo Followup
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:58 AM

69 hairpins

Thursday, November 06, 2008
Sound words
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:40 AM

The British Library is releasing rare recordings of famous writers: two collections with 3 audio CDs apiece:

Recently, NPR interviewed Richard Fairman, the archivist who produced this collection.
Listen to the audio to hear the voices of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, F. Scott Fitzgerald (reading from Othello), Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Unfortunately, the online clip omits Nabokov's delightful closing quote (which I heard in the initial broadcast). So, I dug it out from the transcript:

Vladimir Nabokov describing the writing process:

 Unpacking the radiant, beautiful, plump advance copy; opening it and discovering a stupid oversight committed by me, allowed by me to survive.
 After a month or so I get used to the book's final stage, to its having been weaned from my brain.
 I now regard it with a kind of amused tenderness as a man regards — not his son — but the young wife of his son.”

Sounds similar to what I've read in modern writers' blogs...

And now for something completely different
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:15 AM

Cow Curiousity Fail:

fail owned pwned pictures
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The Spin We're In
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:45 AM

More headlines from the usual sources:

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job
WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."
Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress
WASHINGTON—After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome....
Failure to Blow Election Stuns Democrats
Party Faithful Mourn End to Losing Tradition
Just minutes after their party's longstanding losing tradition lay in tatters on the ground, millions of shell-shocked Democrats stared at their television screens in disbelief, asking themselves what went right.
For Democrats, who have become accustomed to their party blowing an election even when it seemed like a sure thing, Tuesday night's results were a bitter pill to swallow....
Upping our standards
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:25 AM

Last night, NPR aired a story on Gracie Allen's 1940 presidential campaign, running as a candidate of the Surprise Party.

That reminded me of Pat Paulsen's perennial campaign (he belonged to the Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG Party for short), and Stephen Colbert's brief run from this time last year.

I also found myself thinking about University of Wisconsin's Pail and Shovel Party yesterday.

For those who haven't heard of this group before, they were:

an absurdist contingent of UW-Madison students who won control of student government in the spring of 1978 with the campaign slogan, "Are you nuts enough?" and conducted a series of classic pranks.

They successfully won reelection the following year, but chose not to pursue a third term.

You can read further and look at some great artifacts at the official Pail and Shovel party Home Page.

So, which joke candidacies have been most successful, in terms of garnering attention or actual votes?

[FWIW, Ian already made the obvious wisecracks about Jesse Ventura, Al Franken and Ronald Reagan.]

Change we can perceive
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:00 AM

This beautiful illustration was created by Patrick Moberg:

44 presidents
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Don't it make those red states blue...
Posted by Lis Riba at 10:31 PM

Just watching the electoral maps

I voted
Posted by Lis Riba at 8:48 AM
Voter #233. Still no sticker.
Blast from the past
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:37 AM

On November 7, 2006, I voted on my way to work, and my ballot was #111 in the machine.

February 5, 2008 (this year's primary), we were #s 84 and 85 in the precinct.

Given all the talk of record turnout, I just wanted to provide some grounds for comparison.

Monday, November 03, 2008
Long Lines: The New Poll Tax?
Posted by Lis Riba at 9:25 PM

I had been drafting an entry on this topic, but in this 4-minute clip, Rachel Maddow makes the point most eloquently.

In brief: Long lines disenfranchise those who are physically or financially unable to wait for hours.

Christopher Edley wrote something similar in last week's Washington Post:

Voting is a fundamental right, but as I saw on the Carter-Ford commission and again as a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Election Day resource disparities have enormously different racial and class impacts that are based on the dynamics of power and poverty. In election cycle after cycle, registrars act surprised when problems crop up disproportionately in poor neighborhoods. If there isn't enough money to run decent elections everywhere, Americans should share the pain equally.

Vote early!
Posted by Lis Riba at 8:20 PM

I don't know why, but our polling place never gives out "I Voted" stickers.
[I thought about calling today to ask, but figured they probably had more important matters to deal with.]

However, if you're sporting one tomorrow, merchants are offering various nifty freebies to reward Americans for fulfilling their civic duty by casting ballots in the election.

This year's treats include:

WhoWhatHow (and When)
StarbucksTall cup of brewed coffeetell clerks that you voted
Krispy Kremestar shaped doughnut with patriotic sprinklesshow "I Voted" sticker
Shane's Rib Shackfree "Vote America Meal" (3 chicken tenders, fries, 20 oz. drink)show "I Voted" sticker
Chick-fil-afree Chicken Sandwichshow "I Voted" sticker
Ben & Jerry'sfree scoop of ice creamopen to everybody between 5 - 8 pm
Babeland (NYC, LA, and Seattle)Maverick for men, Silver Bullet for womenpresent registration cards, ballot stubs or "word of honor" through Nov. 11
Eat'n Park (PN, OH, and WV)free cup of coffeepresent a ballot stub or "I Voted" sticker
Todd Conner's pub (Baltimore)beer on the housemust have/show proof that you voted

Obviously, not all offers are available in all locations, but hopefully something on this list will be convenient.

Information from Bargainist and MSNBC used in compiling this list.

For Meine Mishpukhe
Posted by Lis Riba at 7:50 AM

From Elayne

Sunday, November 02, 2008
Vows wow
Posted by Lis Riba at 11:45 AM

Of the five couples featured above the fold in today's New York Times Wedding page, three of them are same-sex pairs. The 27 couples below the fold include another three couples.

Bridegrooms and babies

Erik Hyman and Max Mutchnick combined their wedding with a baby naming ceremony for their daughters, Rose and Evan, born in September.

Fog creeps in
Posted by Lis Riba at 11:01 AM

Remember this video, Simon's Cat in 'Cat-man-do'?

Moderncat presents this live-action reenactment:

Posted in response to Elizabeth Bear's latest installment of The Adventures of Presumptuous Cat

PS: Oh, look, new Simon's Cat animation!
       And in a similar vein, you might enjoy The Mean Kitty song.
PPS: Mean Kitty: Behind the Music

On Poll-itics
Posted by Lis Riba at 10:11 AM

In case you've been wondering:

How exit polls handle early voting



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