Everyone else has a great Ray Bradbury story

My wife decided to re-read Fahrenheit 451 because she thought it was getting to be too close to prophecy.

Someone who knew Ray Bradbury, the writer who died last week, noted in Salon magazine: “Ray was the last living member of a “BACH” quartet — writers who transformed science fiction from a pulp magazine ghetto into a genre for hardcover bestsellers[, along with] Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke, and Robert Heinlein…”

My buddy Steve Bissette “heard the news of his passing as I drove… Instantly, a flood of memories—entire passages of Bradbury short stories I first read when I was 11 and 12, his novels, the movies from his tales—rushed through, and I had to turn off the radio to let them come. Ray made us all one of his ‘book people’ from FAHRENHEIT 451, I reckon… all I know is he changed my life, and (along with Lovecraft) instilled the desire to write, which I do every single day of my life.” He shared a link: Ray Bradbury- Story of a Writer (1963); “Bradbury in his prime—and when all the world, it seemed, was his oyster. The man until his death, and that is something more for all of us to aspire to.”

Here’s a story of Ray Bradbury spending three hours slathering the 15-year-old Mark Evanier with advice about writing. Neil Gaiman shares the story of an aspiring writer of age 11 or 12, getting the same kind of time and advice from Ray.

You can watch an hour of Bradbury addressing (mostly) new writers at the Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea in February of 2001. Or read tweets by celebrities.

And what do I have? Just a bunch of Bradbury-penned old episodes of Alfred Hitchcock, plus a classic Twilight Zone episode, which I saw before I even knew his name, and reading a bunch of his short stories, often seeing them adapted into other media.

Plus this: my wife decided to re-read Fahrenheit 451 because she thought it was getting to be too close to prophesy. She borrowed a book from a teaching colleague. But just before she finished it, she dropped the book into a mud puddle. So, separately, she and I bought replacement copies. We kept the one; seems like a book we ought to have on the shelf.

June Ramblin’

From the Monty Python movie “Life of Brian”, What have the Romans ever done for us?

Just a reminder that you have only three more full days to enter my giveaway. Rules are on the sidebar, but basically, from now through July 3 at 11:59 EDT, every time you comment to a post, assuming you haven’t commented already to that specific piece, gives you a chance at some prizes, including a complete DVD box set of The Dick Van Dyke Show and a Michael Jackson greatest hits CD.

Speaking of Michael Jackson: in honor of the anniversary of his death this past week, the full-length video of Thriller, performed with Legos.

I KNEW there was a way to post something on Twitter and have it show up on Facebook, but couldn’t suss out the instructions. This really helped me. And, in fact, it was one of my Facebook friends who provided the link.

Author Rebecca Skloot has interesting info about her best-selling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on her website, including audio, video, and an excerpt.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.

Here’s a link about the book being discussed on PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Nice tribute to 7’7″ Manute Bol, noted as a basketball player, but noteworthy because of his humanitarian causes, who died last week at 47.

I’ve always liked U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), who died this week at the age of 92. Even as his politics evolved, from his brief flirtation with the KKK to civil rights supporter, from Vietnam hawk to Iraq dove, his love of the U.S. constution remained steadfast. He died at 92 this week, and here is an appreciation.

This may make sense only if you know football; I mean, American football: Unsportsmanlike Conduct Jesus.

A singalong version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, a song originally from the Monty Python movie “Life of Brian.” That always reminds me of my favorite segment of the film, What have the Romans ever done for us?

Neil Gaiman defends libraries.

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