Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wha? Huh?

Snapping out of it... I got "Kushiel's Mercy" by Jacqueline Carey the other day and have been in the zone ever since. It is book six of the Kushiel series and wraps up a lot of plot lines, so there was nothing for it but to read like a madwoman. So I did. Excellent book. Too many authors don't know how to end things, but Carey is a plotting genius. If you like fantasy/alternate history, check out the series. The first is Kushiel's Dart.

The good news is, while I was reading like a fiend, I was knitting, and am almost to the arm pits on the cable-knit. Which is excellent timing because my in-laws will be here in a week, and I will be able to measure my father-in-law for stage two, which will be armhole shaping. I've faced the fact that I need to do this right and put in shoulder straps. No cutting corners. Or shoulders, as the case may be.

Otherwise, here are a few things I've been thinking of, when I surface from alternate reality.

The Goob:

Thanks to all who commented. She's driving me nuts, yes, but I see the big picture. Which is, my happy and healthy child is smart and curious and secure enough to ask twenty million questions a day and stick up for herself. Truly, I wish all parents and children have this as their biggest problem. (I had a cousin with major health issues as a child - several surgeries before age ten. I always remember that when the Goob is running around screaming. You gotta be healthy to run around screaming. That alone is a huge blessing. So let her scream.)

So, thanks again for the sympathy, and I hope I continue to have problems just like this for a long, long time.


A year or two ago, I realized I didn't know much of anything much about Asian history, thanks to my biased-toward-Western-Civ education. So I got some books on Eastern civ and started reading. Once I had a pretty good idea of how things shook out in Asia (the continuity of the Chinese culture boggles my mind), I decided to read some world history books, to get an idea of the big picture. You know, to fit it into the history I already knew.

And I landed back at the reason I'd started this whole quest; everything's slanted toward western civ, even in the world history books. I've got several now that would be fine as western civ textbooks, but are so horrendously slanted the title of "World History" is a joke.

So. Anyone got a suggestion for a real world history book? Preferably of less than a thousand pages?

Last, researchers in New Zealand have figured out a way to dye wool with 'nanoparticles' of gold and silver, producing a lot of unexpected colors. They hope to sell the idea to the high-fashion folks. The gods only know what the retail cost would be, but I doubt we'll be knitting with it soon. Article here.


Alwen said...

It just slays me that they're using gold and silver nanaoparticles and dyeing "marino" wool. Is that like a maraschino cherry? Like a Marianite nun? Or is there seriously some type of wool called marino?

(Pardon my silliness -- now that I'm driving a Milano red car, I've developed even more of an attitude!)

I don't know of one sweeping world history book. "History of the Western World," from my college days, I remember mostly as a reliable cure for insomnia. If you could learn history from sleeping on it, I would have had that book memorized.

Alwen said...

Now I'm hurting myself giggling at them -- if you click for the larger picture, the little yarn and fabric bits are described as "swaths".

Interesting, and doesn't gold also give a red in stained glass?

Jennu said...

I can't help you with a world history book, but you should check out The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's a novel that shows how world history might've evolved if the Plague had killed 90% of Europe, thereby taking the West completely out of the equation.

Fascinating and a good read.

Maggie said...

Hey Julie,

I am thinking about getting a spinning wheel. How is the Kiwi for a starter wheel?


Roz said...

I'm with Alwen -- "marino" wool? "Swaths" instead of swatches? That writer calls himself a science writer and doesn't know how to use the spellcheck function on his Mac?

Anywho -- the Goob has model-worthy curls. You could put her to work to pay for your fiber habit. Think about it.

Donna Lee said...

With the price of gold hovering around 1,000 dollars an ounce, I think their estimates are conservative.

Courtney said...

Kushiel's Mercy was the first book in the last 3 years that I bought before it went to paperback. I loved it as well.

Goober is adorable. I'm having the smae problems with my toddler and you're right: I hope these are my biggest problems with her and that I have them for a long time, too.

And yeah..."marino"? This could have been rationalized as a typo had it only occured once. But no. LOL I'd love to learn about the science behind the different colors.

debsnm said...

I was a history major in college, and I have no help for you. It's been my experience that "history" is written by the conquerors. Try finding stuff written by the conquered. Pueblo Indians in NM comes to mind - actually, any American Indian tribe that has written their own history would be fairly decent, and provide another perspective. Unfortunately, most of these types of "history" are labeled something other than history. Try a women's studies text, that might have some good alternatives.

Amy Lane said...

Wow--Goober is just damned cute, mostly. And I'm so old we didn't even HAVE world history. Most of what I learned about world history I learned from TV, historical romance, literature classes, the social studies geeks in the staff room, and thou.

And now I must go look at that article... I'm feeling braindead today--hopefully there's pictures!