Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tasso in English... in Italy

Dario Rivarossa is out out and about in Italy telling people about the forthcoming International Authors edition of Torquato Tasso's Creation of the World.  Today Dario is speaking in Perugia before the Dante Alighieri Society.   Please click HERE for the announcement.  We should soon hear a report from the meeting.

HERE are some of my reflections upon the project.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

International Space Station Tracker

The International Space Station Tracker provides graphic representation of the location of the ISS, including latitude and longitude, position over a satellite earth map, speed, altitude, filed of view (horizon) visible from the ISS,  orbit tracks, and relative position of day and night. Data is presented in metric or English units.

Click HERE to activate the tracker.

Click HERE for an earlier Highbrow report on the ISS viewing experiment, and to view the earth from the ISS in real time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Troy Frantz Illustration

Fahrenheit 451 - Version 2

For the past three years, Troy Frantz has been preparing illustrations for Emanations, International Authors annual anthology of fiction, poetry and essays.  The material we publish is literary, astute, and inventive, and Troy consistently rises to the high level of sophistication and craft we require.  When he engages an illustration project, he effectively communicates his ideas and concepts, carefully points out his concerns, and generally coaxes from me the kinds of feedback that will lead him to produce his brilliant illustrations, which are always  appreciated by our readers. His influence upon the look of these books as a creative collaborator is invaluable, and of course collaboration is very central to our method and to our vision.

Please click HERE to visit Troy's new website.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic

Matthew Stewart informs me his new book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic is now available.  I expect to receive a copy soon.  Please watch this space for a review.

Click HERE to visit the Amazon sales page.

Book description:
Not only the erudite Thomas Jefferson, the wily and elusive Ben Franklin, and the underappreciated Thomas Paine, but also Ethan Allen, the hero of the Green Mountain Boys, and Thomas Young, the forgotten Founder who kicked off the Boston Tea Party—these radicals who founded America set their sights on a revolution of the mind. Derided as “infidels” and “atheists” in their own time, they wanted to liberate us not just from one king but from the tyranny of supernatural religion. 

The ideas that inspired them were neither British nor Christian but largely ancient, pagan, and continental: the fecund universe of the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius, the potent (but nontranscendent) natural divinity of the Dutch heretic Benedict de Spinoza. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart pursues a genealogy of the philosophical ideas from which America’s revolutionaries drew their inspiration, all scrupulously researched and documented and enlivened with storytelling of the highest order. Along the way, he uncovers the true meanings of “Nature’s God,” “self-evident,” and many other phrases crucial to our understanding of the American experiment but now widely misunderstood.

Stewart’s lucid and passionate investigation surprises, challenges, enlightens, and entertains at every turn, as it spins a true tale and a persuasive, exhilarating argument about the founding principles of American government and the sources of our success in science, medicine, and the arts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fifty Years of Space Exploration

A new chart from National Geographic presents nearly 200 space missions launched in the past fifty years.

Click the picture for an expanded view.  Click HERE to examine the chart in detail.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014


Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer--except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many pigs and so  many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous  labours every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda." These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Emanations: Third Eye in the University Classroom

Last Thursday (May 1), I met with Professor Donald Hassler's Honors Program students at Kent State University to discuss International Authors.  This semester, Professor Hassler has students reading Emanations: Third Eye.

We covered a variety of topics, most of which had to do with writing. For the benefit of the students, here are my answers again, and links that might be helpful:

Q:   What do you look for when choosing writing for Emanations?

A:  From the Call for Submissions:  "The editors are interested in recognizable genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism--but the idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as important. If a story or poem makes someone say, 'Yes, but what is it?' then it's right for Emanations."  Here is a link to the Call in its entirety: click here.  

Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?

A: There are a lot of writers out there trying to write fiction professionally, and you have to be careful that you don't sacrifice other life priorities for pursuing a career in a filed that is very difficult to break into.  I think it is important to pursue a meaningful career in the professions (medicine, law, education, architecture, science, business) and let the writing take care of itself. Write something that is meaningful--International Authors supports the projects of professionals who know a great deal about history, culture and literature, and they are more interested in producing something good than something that merely "sells" in the mass market.  That said, a very helpful book on the subject of commercial writing (fiction and comics) is Michael Moorcock's Death is No Obstacle.  In this book Mr. Moorcock describes and explains creative techniques that are useful (indeed necessary) for surviving in the marketplace.  Also, here is a link to the wiki article on New Worlds.

Q: Who do you like to work with the most?

A:  I like working with everybody.  It is very important when working on a project like this to get along with people, and (just like any field) one has to learn about the professional cultures of writing, art, and so on. It is important to be flexible, professional, and "playful."  The world of  creative work is spontaneous, changing, and always amusing. Most importantly, don't take yourself too seriously. At the same time, keep an eye on the reason for the project--and that is to make books.

Also, here are links to the Michael Butterworth interviews I mentioned:

Michael Butterworth I
Michael Butterworth II

Kent State University Students at the Thursday meeting:

Last year's meeting at Kent State:   Emanations: Second Sight in the University Classroom