Listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson on the run

ImageThere is some disagreement among runners whether it is good to have music on headphones while running. The purists say that it takes away from the total experience, everyone else just likes their music. I generally fall into the latter category, but I run both with and without music. As a rule, I never run a race with headphones. Many races have course regulations prohibiting the use of headphones, though those rules are routinely ignored.

Studio setup underway

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve moved out of my studio at the Third Street Art Explosion and I have been rearranging my cottage to dedicate the downstairs to my new studio. In addition to moving everything from the studio here, I’ve had to move pretty much every piece of furniture I own either from downstairs to upstairs or from upstairs to down. Let me tell you: moving furniture by myself ain’t easy.

Picadilly notebooks: sometimes you get what you pay for.

Possibly the biggest disappointment in my review of notebooks over the last couple years has been the Piccadilly Essential Notebook. Piccadilly’s Essential line of notebooks is almost indistinguishable from the Moleskine, but at a third to one-half the price. When I say indistinguishable, I mean in nearly every detail. The oilskin cover looks like the Moleskine, the paper is the same cream color with the same 6mm ruling, there’s an elastic enclosure and a pocket in the back.

Gallery Leather: a little too much plus a little too little

ImageI was excited to see Gallery Leather's entry into the journal/notebook realm for a couple reasons. First, it's a handsome notebook of a reasonable size for carrying, and second, Gallery Leather does a lot of business creating and customizing handcrafted products directly from Maine. In other words, I was hoping to find some good old fashioned American craftsmanship.

Moleskine: the one to beat

ImageOf all the notebooks on the market, none is so celebrated or debated as the Moleskine. Loved by many, there are at least a half dozen websites devoted solely to the iconic notebook, and a Google search on the keyword «moleskine» produces (at this writing) over four and a half million results. No other brand of notebook has achieved the same level of repute or notoriety.

I'm not here to say that Moleskines are the best notebooks, but they are the standards by which most other notebooks are judged. So don't be surprised when future editions of The Sunday Papers use the Moleskine as a measuring stick.

The FairTax Book
Neal Boortz and John Linder

I have to hand it to Mr Boortz and Congressman Linder: whether you like their proposal or not, they are actually thinking about how to improve our current hideous taxation system. In fact, their proposal replaces the entire Internal Revenue Service so unless you’re a big fan of the devil you know, right off the bat their proposal almost has to be a good one.

Auto-da-fé

Literally «an act of faith» but in usage its meaning is exclusively a sinister act performed in the name of a greater good. May refer specifically to the torture and burnings of the Spanish Inquisition.

I wrote this down a while back but I'm pretty sure that I found it in de Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

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