The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia
19 February 2009
Guys, it’s safe to play the cello again
“Cello scrotum,” irritation of the scrotum caused by playing the cello, has been revealed to be a spoof 34 years after the announcement of its “discovery.” In a letter in the 27 January issue of BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), the perpetrators confess they made the condition up and submitted a letter about it after the then–British Medical Journal published a letter on “guitar nipple.”
Ironically, BMJ had just published in its 12 December 2008 issue an article about the many medical disorders of musicians that included not only the above-mentioned cello scrotum and guitar nipple but also Sachmo’s syndrome, pianist’s hand, fiddler’s neck, and flautist’s chin.
Free romance ebooks
To celebrate its 60th birthday, Harlequin has put up a site where people can download any or all of the proffered 16 ebooks. (Note: None of the download formats are compatible with the first Kindle model.) For the rest of 2009, you can go to http://www.harlequincelebrates.com/ and try out a book from each of Harlequin’s series. The featured authors include Merline Lovelace (Sphinx Ink, I hope you’re paying attention!), Brenda Jackson, and my fellow OCC-RWA member Maureen Child.
A raffle with books as prizes
Australian erotica writer Astrid Cooper is holding a raffle to benefit Wildlife Victoria and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. These organizations, along with others, are try to save animals injured in the recent Australian fires and reunite pets and owners separated by the fire. Among the prizes donated are books in various genres, tarot readings, greeting cards, and manuscript readings. Deadline for entering is 30 April 2009. Further info can be found at http://www.astridcooper.com/bushfires.htm.
If you prefer to help the wild and woolly closer to home, donations are still being accepted for fellow blogger Travis Erwin, whose New Year got off to a bad start when his house and all his possessions burned to a crisp. Go to http://habitatfortravis.blogspot.com/ to donate or find out other ways to help.
Upbeat literary fiction
If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you know that I read primarily genre fiction, in part because much literary fiction is unrealistically gloomy and has self-defeating characters who never evolve. Marianne Goss came across my blog and wrote to tell me about her Website, Positively Good Reads. She started the Website because she wanted to read books that were worth her time, but serious literature often left her depressed. She began searching for books that, in her words, “leave [her] feeling there’s reason to go on living.” Positively Good Reads lists a hundred books that won’t leave you in despair.
Blogging when you have no ideas
This post is what I came up with when my idea well was dry. Charles Gramlich recently did much better with his Razored Zen post “For Want of a Better Post” filled with great haiku about Conan the Cimmerian.