A quick round up from the other parts of my waking life. First is the glorious photo above of Tucson in the monsoon. This was taken by my friend Bizzy sometime last week when we had a few really wonderful days of much needed rain. Tucson gets so unexpectedly lush and plants that had been languishing under the intense sun explode with green.
And here is a special congratulations to my friend Brother Guy Consolmango, a Jesuit Brother and Vatican astronomer who was recently given the Carl Sagan Award for his gifted ability to share his considerable knowledge of the Universe and its marvels with the public. Check out his name on youtube and watch anything with him in it! He is funny, brilliant, an incomparable story teller and a long time fan (and panel guest at SFF conventions) of Science Fiction (naturally) and Fantasy literature. I am also super excited because Brother Guy will be returning to Tucson this fall (where there is a Jesuit House for the many other Vatican Astronomers who work at the Observatories nearby) to head up the Vatican Astronomy Foundation. Looking forward to some great dinners and conversation!
And for more fun -- have a look at the first two parts of a three part series on the "talking" statues of Rome by Historical Fiction author Tinney Sue Heath (whose novel A Thing Done of twelfth century Florence-- I loved!). In 16th century Rome, where speaking out could be dangerous, citizens devised a method of communicating their displeasure through a unique "poetry slam" -- by anonymously writing scurrilous, satirical, and highly critical poetry and pasting it to a group of statues that became known as a "Congregation of Wits." Tinney offers up a rollicking history of the poetry and the great stone figures who carried the voice of a disgruntled people. (A voice that is still posting poetry on the statues!) Here is Part I and here is Part II and stay tuned for Part III. (Photo of Pasquino from wikipedia, unrestricted use.)