Saturday, June 9, 2012


…On Friday I went to Seattle, to Occidental Park, a landmark in the city.  Along with a dozen other writers, I’d been asked to write a piece about some object in the park.  Then a troupe of artisans built structures around the various objects (sculptures, poles, grates, and in my case—trees), laminated the poems and stories, and placed them on podiums.  It was pretty cool and I felt fortunate to be included.
If you’re in the Seattle area, the installment will be up for the next couple of months.

…I try to pay attention, to listen and be aware.  That helps with the writing.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes I just take in random information because—for whatever reason—it’s interesting…

…What's it all mean?  You tell me:

-Edvard Munch's painting, "The Scream" was recently auctioned off for $120 million.

-In their first month out by a traditional publisher, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series has sold over 3 million copies and all three of the books are at the top of the bestseller list.  I’ve read none of them so I can’t cast an opinion.  It must be astounding to have that kind of success, to go from a hardly-known to such a well-known in such a short amount of time.  I do like some of her take on story-telling:
-“I was lucky to have my readers buy into the fantasy, to have them suspend their disbelief and enjoy it.”
-“Fundamentally, people like a good love story.” E.L. James

-In its report issued Thursday, the climate data center said the average U.S. temperature between March and May was 57.1 degrees, 5.2 degrees above the long-term average from 1901 to 2000.
While May was only the second-warmest on record, it was still in the top third for monthly average temperatures, marking 12 consecutive months with temperatures in that range, said Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist.
"For that to happen 12 times in a row in a random circumstance is one in 540,000," he said.

-The obesity rate is set to hit 42% by 2030.  (yikes.)

-The recent stock market crash has caused investors to yank more than $260 billion (billion) out of the market, even though stocks, collectively, have risen more than 100% since the bear market ended three years ago.  It’s u 25% since October of last year.

-Obama and Romney are in a virtual tie.  If the election were held today, O would win by a hair, 48% to 47%.

-27% of people stash their cash at home in their freezer.  (Really?  Weird.)

-Facebook recently announced that it may allow kids under 13 to create an account under parental supervision.  (As if they're not already doing that without parental supervision.)

-Kids see an average of 16 food and beverage ads per day while watching television

-7% of Americans think it's very likely they'll one day become rich
-21% said it's somewhat likely
-72% said it's not very likely, or not at all likely

-Last week hackers got hold of the passwords for 6.5 million LinkedIn users

-There are five major rollercoasters currently operating in the US that are 88 years old or older (one, Leap-the-Dips) is 110 years old, meaning it was built and installed in the year 1912.

Gang activity is on the rise:
Percentage of US cities reporting gang violence:
2005 --25%
2010 --34%
Overall gang membership (in millions):
2005 --0.8
2010 --1.4
Of the 200 Chicago area murders so far this year (up from 139 at the same point last year), local police say 80% were gang-related.
It's estimated there are 100,000 gang members in that city

-You may not care, but Lindsay Lohan got into another car accident.
I'm a Linds fan.  I still remember her from "Freaky Friday."  I think she has talent.  I know she's in a bad way, but I'm hoping, like Britney, she can find a way to make it back.
In all, Lohan has spent 250 days in rehab, 35 days in home confinement, 67 days on community service, 19 days in court and made six trips to jail.

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