Some blogging-- 12/23/12

According to Wikipedia, the word blog is derived from weblog, a term that was coined in December of 1997 as a combination of web and log. (And may I please point out that the site you are now reading had been around for more than a year at that point.) By mid-1999 this had morphed into blog (which can be both a noun and a verb)

I must admit that I disliked the word when it first appeared -- I considered myself to be an online journaler -- but it has become so entrenched in the general vocabulary of the day that I've given up and will use the word blog to describe what I do here. And it does seem a fitting description of today's entry in which I want to share three items I encountered on the web.

First, a site about baking -- butter me up, Brooklyn! -- a site about some mouth-wateringly delicious sounding baked goods. The author (who uses lillie as her nom de web) is a young woman who lives in Brooklyn and professes a love for "all things made with butter." She provides recipes (complete with step-by-step photographs and autobiographical musings) for such yummy-sounding things as "twisted double chocolate and orange swirl bread," "espresso-kissed brown butter brown sugar cookies," and "toasty pecans with sweet and savory spice." As I have mentioned before, I consider myself to be a cook but not a baker. I love cooking but baking has always seemed to me like a return to frustrating lab experiments in chemistry class. However, I am becoming more and more interested in doing some baking (especially interested in making bread) and the kinds of recipes lillie presents are really capturing my imagination.

Second, an Etsy site -- WarpZone -- that features some really wild cookie cutters. The thing that fascinates me about this site is that the proprietor, Athey Moravetz, who has a video gaming background, learned how to program 3D printers and she designs these cookie cutters (mostly of various popular characters) and generates them via a 3D printer.

And, finally, I was reading science fiction author John Scalzi's blog Whatever where he proudly and happily noted that Locus Online had conducted an online poll to find the best science fiction and best fantasy novels of the 20th century and of the 21st century (well, of the dozen years thus far) and had just released the results. Scalzi was delighted to find his novel Old Man's War was not only on the list, it was in 1st place for best science fiction novel of the 21st century.
  1. Old Manís War, John Scalzi
  2. Anathem, Neal Stephenson
  3. The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
  4. Spin, Robert Charles Wilson
  5. Blindsight, Peter Watts
  6. Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan
  7. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  8. Pattern Recognition, William Gibson
  9. The City & The City, China Mieville
10. Accelerando, Charles Stross

When I looked at the list I was surprised to notice that I had read all ten of these novels. The surprise is because I don't think I am as quite as fanatical about reading S.F. novels as I once was, but perhaps it is just that I no longer have time for a lot of the lesser books that I used to read. Full disclosure: I did not read all of The City & The City -- but I do intend to get back to it and try again. I think China Mieville is an absolutely brilliant writer but for some reason I keep falling out of his books. This puzzles me and I cannot explain it. Also, I stopped reading The Hunger Games about a third of the way through it, but that was because it was just such an ineptly written book. (The movie is much better than the book.)

I have only read three of the eleven top ten fantasy books (there were two books tied for 10th place). Looking at the 20th century lists, I have read all but 4 of the top 50 science fiction novels and not quite half of the top fantasy novels. Anyway, if you enjoy science fiction and/or fantasy, these are interesting lists that may suggest some reading opportunities for you.

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