Archive for November, 2016

Looking Up


Downtown mindful.

“searching & not finding”

Sunday morning

I am enjoying a TV-free morning. While I am confident I could bear to watch the Sunday shows, I am just as confident that my blood would near 212 degrees. So, I have been reading the NYTimes obits and doing follow-up reading and listening. Leon Russell, RIP, what a genius! (And truly sweet that Elton John helped Russell get a hit album a few years ago – almost four decades after Russell took the then-whippersnapper on tour with him.)

And John D. Roberts, Professor of Organic Chemistry, who said bringing female post-grad student Dr. Dorothy Semenow with him from MIT to then all-male Caltech in 1953 was “clearly the best thing I have done at Caltech in the 60 years I have been here.”

Here is how the Cal Tech newsletter responded at the time:

This gallant action is not, however, an open invitation to the ladies. It applies only to “women of exceptional ability who give promise of great scientific contributions.” And, before she can enroll, a woman must get the approval of the academic division in which she intends to work, as well as that of the Committee on Graduate Study.’ With such hurdles as these, it is hardly likely that the campus will ever be swarming with female students. Most admissions of women, in fact, will probably involve the use of unique or outstanding research facilities here.

And this from the cinematographer Raoul Coutard obit:

“The Bride Wore Black” (1967) was Truffaut and Coutard’s last film together. “I had the ridiculous idea to quit smoking at the same time we were filming the movie,” Mr. Coutard told The Houston Chronicle. “I was very unbearable and very unpleasant, so we parted ways after that.”

I read that last week and it still cracks me up.

I love life.

Ellavon shined up


I started up Ellavon: An Ezine of Basic Culture in 1998 so that I could work with writers and artists whose stuff I liked. My plan worked beautifully. Our writers included Kristi Coulter, Robin Plan, Julie Damerell, Kat Kosiancic, Jeanne d’Arc O’Day, Jonathan Mayhew, Joseph Conte, John Glionna, Steven Silbert, and Chris Basil. Our artists: Lincoln Clarkes, Marilyn Suriani, and John Sindelar. And our interview subjects: Diane Middlebrook and Paul Kurtz (beloved mentors of mine, both of whom have passed away).

This week with the great help of Robot Overlord Inc., we fixed some back-end code, made (minimal) updates – Ellavon stopped publishing in 2002 – and got Mr. Sindelar’s gallery up and running again. We have been careful to leave the black-on-brick design of the contributions intact — to help you remember what it was like at the turn of the century.