As the Rosetta spacecraft herself said last week at about this time, hello world! Natalie & I will be using this little blog to track our progress as we plan the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit “Catch A Comet”, which is all about the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It’ll…
I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that. I could not understand its lack of humanity; today is no different.
We’re giving away one copy of our gay Victorian fantasy/mystery novel Death by Silver!
Reblog this post to enter! US only, please.
We’ll accept entries until June 9. On June 10, we’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner.
Please have your ask box open so that we can contact you for your address if you win!
in Nutbush, Tenn., she was born on this day, in 1939.
[Four color photos of a tiger mum and her tigerpiglets]
A tiger mother lost her cubs from premature labour. Shortly after she became depressed and her health declined, and she was diagnosed with depression. So they wrapped up piglets in tiger cloth, and gave them to the tiger. The tiger now loves these pigs and treats them like her babies.
AW OMG WHY WOULDN’T YOU REBLOG
This is hormonal birth control.
As you can see on the box, you take exactly one pill per day. To make sure it works, you need to take one pill every day at the same time, or it stops working. You take only one pill, and you keep taking them regardless of what you…
My inner science geek is laughing like a maniac right now
FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING, WHY ISN’T THIS TAGGED SCIENCE?!
Of all the heavyweights I had dealings with, Katharine Hepburn was the toughest. By far. I’d been talked into a story about Hepburn and her niece — another Katharine (Houghton) — who was making her movie debut. And of course Spencer Tracy. You couldn’t have Hepburn without Tracy. And vice-versa. And let me not forget Sidney Poitier. He was the maguffin. The movie was “Guess Who‘s Coming to Dinner?”
I wasn’t there half a day when I realized how ill Tracy was, that he was circling the drain. That’s not elegantly put but that‘s what I saw. A man at death’s door. I confirmed it with a number of people. The producer could not get completion insurance. What could be more confirming?
Now Miss Hepburn comes barging into my life. I am summoned to her trailer. “Young man.” she began in that unmistakable voice, “I know you have been nosing around and listening to the gossip about Spence.”
I nodded — yes.
“Can you keep it out of your story — his condition?”
I thought about it. I didn’t think I could. I saw him as an old warhorse making his last run. “Old warhorse!” She positively exploded. “How dare you. One of the greatest actors of our time and you would have him an old warhorse? Get out! Get out!”
And that’s how it was left. She closed the set down around me. No one would talk to me. The photographer had to beg for pictures.
It’s mid-November thereabouts. The movie is scheduled to open in December. The word is it’s very good and bound to provoke controversy because of the black-white love story. I get a call this day from Hepburn’s secretary. I am to come to lunch on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Sharp.
Everyone in the Entertainment Department is wonderstruck. You must have really made an impression. She steers wide of the press, she never lets the press see the private side of her life.
I walk to her place. It is raining. She has a lovely townhouse in Turtle Bay. Her secretary opens the door and ushers me in. Hepburn is seated at the kitchen table. She is pecking at a salad. She does not look at me.
“Young man,” she says after a minute ticks by, “when I said twelve thirty I meant twelve thirty … sharp! You are five minutes late. I have proceeded without you. You shall have no lunch. There’s a stool over there. Sit.”
And so I sat on the high stool and watched Miss Hepburn finish her salad. I was lacking only a dunce cap. When she was finished she looked me square in the eye.
“Is it still old warhorse?”
I looked her square in the eye. “I’ve reworked it,” I told her. “Now it’s: ‘Tracy, the consummate actor, ill as he was, spoke his lines without a flub and made his entrances and exits just the way they were written.’”
Or something just as corny. But she seemed to like it.
I was dismissed.
The night the story closed — it is 10 p.m. in New York — I am sitting around with the fact checker waiting for a copy editor to make pudding out of my fine prose. The phone rings. No pleasantries. Just right into it.
There’s no mistaking the voice if you have heard it once. Not so much the voice as the straight-ahead sharpness. Hepburn! She was in Wales shooting “A Lion in Winter.”
What time must it be in Wales? And how did she know I would be on the premises baby-sitting the Katharine Hepburn-Katharine Houghton cover story through closing?
No hemming. No hawing.
“I just want to be very sure, young man, that there is not even the slightest suggestion in your story that Spence was not at his best because of his illness.”
I assured her. Not so much the gentlest of hints.
“And no old warhorse?”
I read her what I’d come up with instead: “‘Tracy was once asked by an aspiring actor for the secrets of the actor’s craft. ‘Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture,’ he is said to have said. Well, this time out — his last picture — he knew his lines and he didn’t bump into the furniture.”
A bit of a pause. Her voice lifted. “I think that will do,” she said.
— John Frook [writer, pictured with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in 1967] [x]
I can only dream of being this cool.
Her name is Makpal Abdrazakova and she’s the only female eagle hunter in Kazakhstan.
“Eagle hunter” is officially the coolest occupation ever.
(“Eagle hunter” as in, the same way as “falconer”, right?)
I mean like I can do a bit of the old falconry but eagle hunter
thistlewoods: I just need to get away from it all for a while. This looks like a nice place to escape to.
Look who loveeessssss NPR.