Monday, November 30, 2009


I've gotten a few - are they called "pop-up screens"? - saying so-and-so wants to add me to their contacts. I have tried saying "Yes" and providing the desired data, but somehow it didn't work, and I keep getting the same screen from the individual concerned. As nearly as I can make out, this seems to have something to do with texting, cell phones, "chat room" type communications. I have one toe in the water with website, blogsite, and e-mail ... but that's as far as I choose to go for now! Please, those of you asking to add me to your "contacts," understand that I own neither cell phone nor blackberry, do not text, and have not as yet entered any chatrooms. Therefore, until further notice, I am going to decline all such requests. Apologies - I'm not trying to cut you off - but you wouldn't have been able to reach me except by email or snail mail anyway, so in the long run it probably won't make much difference.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Color blindness at stop lights

As I understand it, color blindness means the inability to distinguish only a few colors, perhaps most often red and green. All my life I've heard comments as to the trouble this can cause at traffic lights. And recently I've seen figures suggesting that up to one-fifth of all adult American males are color blind. Could this explain the time I almost got creamed by someone running a red light?
Why not add shapes to colors at traffic lights? Already we see directional arrows in many of the green and yellow (a.k.a. "amber" or "orange") lights. Why not use arrows in all of them -- pointing up for "straight ahead"? The green lights could have the same three-line arrows currently in use, while in the yellow lights the shaft might be eliminated, leaving only a directional "V." Red lights could use either an "X" or an octagon shape or both combined.
Might this help cut down on accidents at traffic lights?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009
An afterword to Marcus D. Mebes's new edition of ZAUBERLINDA, THE WISE WITCH, by Eva Katharine Gibson ([Shreveport, LA]: Pumpernickel Pickle, 2009)
For more than a century, Eva Gibson's ZAUBERLINDA has labored under the reputation of being a quick, cheap imitation of L. Frank Baum's WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ; and, as nearly as we can tell, this is probably the first complete edition since the original one of 1901; though my Internet search revealed what must be one drastically abridged recent edition.
My Afterword explains why I am confident that any slight resemblance between Gibson's work and Baum's is coincidental. In my opinion, ZAUBERLINDA definitely does NOT deserve unexamined dismissal as an Oz clone -- though an argument could be made that some of Baum's later Oz work, perhaps even parts of the 1939 movie, bear remarkable resemblances to bits that Gibson clearly published first.
Sean Patrick Duffley adds a valuable second Afterword in a short biography of the elusive Eva Katharine Clapp Gibson.
If I have persuaded even a few fellow Oz enthusiasts and other readers that ZAUBERLINDA should be taken on its own merit as at least a minor classic, if I have helped to bring an unjustly neglected gem into its own light at last, I feel prouder of my part in this project than of many a "solo" item in my bibliography.