Charles D'Angelo spoke at Headquarters on April 25 to an audience hungry for tips on how to diet successfully. What they got was an inspiring pep talk about how to think of eating not as a diet, but as a part of a commitment to health, intelligence and purposeful living. "Think and grow thin : the revolutionary diet & weight-loss system that will change your life in 88 days" is D'Angelo's book, which I have not read, but if it's anything like the author's program, it must be a no-nonsense guide to getting control of your life and eating.
The author lost 160 lbs using this plan, and the book is endorsed by none other than former President Bill Clinton. Clinton, who used to be a poster boy for bad eating, has lost considerable weight in his post-presidential years. Regardless of your politics, you may give credence to his testimony in this realm. The audience included several of D'Angelo's clients who praised him and the plan glowingly.
Rick Geary, artist and former cartoonist for Heavy Metal, Epic, and the National Lampoon, has a really neat series of graphic novels that I must recommend. I picked up "The murder of Abraham Lincoln a chronicle of 62 days in the life of the American Republic, March 4-May 4, 1865" on a whim and was impressed not only with the quality of the drawing, but also that most of the major issues regarding Lincoln's assassination were covered. One can move quickly through the book or linger over the illustrations.
Two recent documentaries show the tragic side of comedy through comedienne Joan Rivers and literary wit Fran Lebowitz.
"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is an intimate look at a comedienne in decline. The documentary doesn't follow her career chronologically, but rather shows the peaks and the valleys in the life of a stand-up comic. There was a lot to overcome in her personal life as well as breaking new ground on the comedy scene and holding her own on late night talk shows. "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is for fans of the comedienne and will likely inspire new appreciation of her chutzpah. Surprisingly, the tears outnumber the laughs.
A friend of a friend--that is, a complete stranger--posted a comment on my Facebook wall. In French. I never studied French and can't even fake it. Nonetheless, my curiosity was piqued. I highlighted the phrase and held down Ctrl then typed C on my keyboard. From the SLCL homepage, I clicked on the link to Research and then clicked on the link to Language & Multinational databases. The Mango Languages database, I recalled, has a translation tool. It pops up as a tab after Start Learning is clicked. With Mango, users can choose from 42 "source" languages for a translation into one of 54 "target" languages. I chose French from a dropdown menu as the source language. I then chose English as the translated target language.
Remember the days when you and your partner would throw together a suitcase, hop in the car, and drive off on a whim for a little unplanned weekend getaway? Or that wine-addled backpacking adventure through Italy that you shared years ago? All that was before the kids, and let's face it, traveling with kids lacks the glamour that it did in pre-parenthood days. But don't worry--travel with children can be fun, it just requires a different approach... and a lot more preparation.
The Three Richards: Richard I, Richard II and Richard III by Nigel Saul.
On first glance, the title of this book would leave the reader wondering how three English kings, each separated by decades from the next and of different dynasties, could be combined into one book based solely on their names; it would be akin to a book linking James Madison, James Buchanan, and Jimmy Carter, yet Nigel Saul compiles enough information to pull it off. The author describes ruling styles, religious tendencies, and even similarities with their deaths to link all three. From internal disputes and challenges to the throne to efforts at launching crusades, the book ties three seemingly unrelated historical figures into one narrative that makes the reader appreciate the work done to tell the stories of these three kings of England.
The Pulitzer board announced on Monday that, for the first time since 1977, there would be no award for fiction this year. The jury for the fiction prize selected three finalists for the 2011 award out of a group of roughly 300 novels. But the board failed to get a majority vote for any of the three selections. Jury members interviewed insist that this does not reflect poorly on the novels selected. What do you think? The three finalists are:
"Train Dreams" by Denis Johnson is a novella about a day railroad laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century. Johnson won the National Book Award in 2007 for his novel "Tree of Smoke."
Billy Collins is the poetic everyman. He writes poems about lingerie catalogs coming in the mail or deciding not to own a gun because his neighbor's dog won't stop barking. In spite being one of the most acclaimed living poets, he is easy to like, understand, and enormously funny. He doesn't pen metaphors about mending walls or snowy woods, or compare body parts to nature like Byron or Song of Solomon. Collins' poems make you chuckle or make you muse, but won't frustrate you.
The poem "Revenant," is written from the perspective of his dead dog. Here is an excerpt: