Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Berenstein Bears: We Are Living in Our Own Parallel Universe

if only facebook would make this the preview photoWhen I was growing up, all through elementary school we would watch movies and read books about the Berenstein Bears.  I still even remember the theme song for the TV show, mostly, which wasn't a song so much as a guy in a gruff bear voice speaking in rhyming couplets.  If you don't know who the Berenstein Bears are, they were nuclear family of anthropomorphic bears who lived in a tree out in Bear Country and had family-based situational comedy and taught life lessons.  And Ma Bear always wore a blue shower cap.

These bears appeared in a series of children books by the married Stan and Jan Berenstein, that later became a TV series, that got beamed to 3rd grade classrooms all over the country.  Anyone between the ages of 23-30, and maybe more, will know who the Berenstein Bears are.  And they will remember the flashy cursive bubble-letters on the front of every single book and in the opening credits of the show.  The bubble letters that spelled out "Berenstein Bears".

About a year ago, Jan Berenstein passed on, as had Stan some time before.  And appearing in headlines across the internet, I saw "Jan Berenstain Dies at 88".


They misspelled her name.  In her obituary.  Gosh, that's really just morbidly embarrassing.  "Berenstain" doesn't even make sense.

Friday, August 3, 2012

On Reading "His Dark Materials"

I originally wrote this February, 2011 on a different blog, but decided to repost it here.

Lyra and Iorek
This week I read the entire His Dark Materials series.  I started with Golden Compass idly at about ten last Sunday just to give me something non-work-related to do before I went to bed.  I finished the Amber Spyglass yesterday evening sometime.  I put aside work and school and sleep (I slept in my office one night to get more reading time) and to some extent eating as I read through the series.

It's a really, really good book.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Hope It Doesn't Have Gears on the Cover...

Note from Reece: this is a guest post by one of my friends, explaining his position in a running debate between ourselves.

That's how you know a book isn't worth reading; if it's got gears on the cover.

A close friend of mine and I have a running bet on the nature of steampunk. I think the premise of steampunk as a genre is inherently flawed whereas my friend thinks the genre has potential to be good, if done right. It seems like a somewhat unfair bet; If he can provide one example of a good and well written steam punk novel he wins the debate, while I can only be right if from now until the end of time no one ever creates a steampunk masterpiece.

I am fairly confident in my chances of winning.