Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Nibbling on Einstein's Brain by Diane Swanson

So I started out the morning catching up on my newspaper reading, which I haven't done all weekend. To my delight, local science writer Diane Swanson was featured in Sunday's paper. Diane is so prolific that she blows me away. She has 65 books to my 12 (soon to be 13)! Yes, she has been writing a little longer than I have, and yes, I have only recently become an empty nester (or at least until the summer when my youngest comes home from universtity) while she has been a grandmother for quite a few years now, but still... She writes science for all ages, but my two favourites are Nibbling on Einstein's Brain: the Good, the Bad, and the Bogus in Science (Annick Press, 2001), and Animals Eat the Weirdest Things (Whitecap, 1998). There are tons more titles though, 63 to be exact, so definately check her out. Teachers, be sure to check out http://www.annickpress.com/forteachers/nibbling.html for activities and suggestions. (Sorry this isn't hot-linked. I have to get my daughter, Ali to help me with such things).

A slow start with my newspapers and my tea was perfect for me today as I must admit to feeling a little stiff this morning after a walk up Mount Douglas yesterday with my friend Leslie. She made us a great lunch which we ate outside in the sun. Yes, not a drop of rain in sight. We chatted about books and life until we got to the steep part. If the steepness of the grade didn't take your breathe away, the wildflowers would. Dainty fawn lilies, chocolate lilies cannas lilies, and flowering red currant bushes were almost as spectacular as the sweeping 360 degree view at the top. San Juans Islands to the south, the spectacular mountains of the Olympic Pennisula to the west, Finnalyson Arm north, and the mainland with Mount Baker peaking through the clouds to the east. One of these days I will buy one of those cute little digital cameras but in the meantime, this place has infiltrated my heart. I had never thought of setting anything up top Mount Doug, but this mystery I'm working on could use the kind of drama so I may take some of the kids in this book up Mount Doug on mountain bikes. The view is dramatic for sure, but there is plenty of room for other sorts of drama at the top of a mountain. It's just the thing to get me back on track after a weekend of overindulging in chocolate and easter feasting with my kids. Now this has to be one of the things I like best about the writing life; the way leisure and work fit together so very snuggly.

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