Science fiction author Michael Swanwick sez, "In my adopted hometown of Philadelphia there's a move afoot to put up a plaque where Isaac Asimov lived while he was working (and writing seminal Foundation and Robot stories) at the Naval Yard during WWII. Asimov hated Philadelphia while he lived here but came back for the conventions year after year. He gave back. Now it's time to Philadelphia to give back to him. The Change.com petition seems to have stalled at 364, 136 short of its goal. This despite the fact that you don't have to be a citizen of Pennsylvania to sign it. I don't want to be a part of a genre that can't give Isaac five hundred signatures. I'm betting the author of 'I, Rowboat,' agrees with me."
Indeed I do, Michael.
(Image: Isaac Asimov painted portrait _DDC4972, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from home_of_chaos's photostream)
Stephanie Farr, at Philly.com:
A woman who had been banned from an Upper Darby dollar store doused store employees with pepper spray as they tried to escort her out on Monday, and when they tackled her to the ground, she gave the spray can to her 7-year-old daughter and told her to finish the fight, police said. "You know what to do, baby. Spray it!", Delaina Garling allegedly told her daughter.
My hosts at last night's signing at Philadelphia's Indy Hall co-working space did a lot to make me welcome, but most of all, they supplied me with rocket-fuel. The fuel took the form of a bottle of La Colombe Pure Black Cold Brew, a deceptively smooth, dark, chocolately cold-brew coffee that comes in a 12oz beer bottle. Deceptively smooth because this stuff is, as noted, pure rocket-fuel. They gave me a bottle for the road that I cracked in my hotel room this morning before heading to DC, and it practically had me plastered to the ceiling, despite its mellow flavor, and in a very good way.
I drink a lot of cold-brew on the road (I use the radical hotel-room coffee independence method to make cold-brew in breast-milk bags that I put in the minibar fridge overnight) but La Colombe was a cut above even the excellent stuff I make myself.
Pure Black Cold Brew
Today I stopped in at the Whitman Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library to participate in the Field Family Teen Author Series, which distributes books to teens, then brings their authors in to speak about them. The kids' librarian at the branch was the brilliant Heather Warren, who's overseen a total overhaul of the way kids' services are provided at her branch. She also has a completely awesome kids'-literature-inspired sleeve tattoo (done by Bird of the Black Vulture Gallery, which she graciously allowed me to photograph and post here. Thanks, Heather! (And thanks to the Aurora and the folks from the Fields Series and the kids who came down, too!)
See the full set
I'm heading to Philly today for an event at Indy Hall
, co-sponsored by the awesome Geekadelphia
and the Hive76 hackerspace
. From there I go to Bethesda, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Toronto, then, finally, Boston! Here's the schedule
, looking forward to seeing you!
Advertising supplements were a lot more fun to look at in 1880. Submitted as evidence: this issue of the Philadelphia Grocer.
If you have a thing for typography
Last week, I toured Philadelphia's Mütter Museum -- the Philadelphia College of Surgeons' astounding collection of pathological oddities -- and was treated to a sneak peak at the museum's latest acquisition: 46 microscope slides from Albert Einstein's brain. They were donated by Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams, one of the College's trustees. Mütter curator Anna Dhody was kind enough to scan one of the slides at high resolution for us, and you can click through the image above to get it at full rez. The slides are now part of the Mütter's permanent collection, and are just another reason to visit this remarkable collection.
The slides were prepared in 1955 in the pathology lab of Dr. William Ehrich, Chief of Pathology at the
Philadelphia General Hospital and the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
Five sets of slides were prepared in the lab, one set was given to Dr. Ehrich by Thomas Harvey, MD, the
physician who performed the post-mortem exam on Einstein at Princeton Hospital.
After Dr. Ehrich died in 1967, his widow gave them to Allen Steinberg, MD. Dr. Steinberg gave them to
Lucy Rorke-Adams, MD, Senior Neuropathologist, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Clinical
Professor of Pathology, Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, and a longtime
Fellow of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
A reminder: I'm giving a free lecture tonight
at 17h at the Wharton School in Philadelphia; I'm in town because I'm the guest of honor at PhilCon
, the world's oldest science fiction convention.
I'm headed to Philadelphia next week to be the guest of honor at PhilCon
(Nov 18-20), and while I'm in the area, I'm giving a free talk at the Wharton School
at UPenn (Nov 17, 5PM). On my way home, I'm stopping in DC to give a lunchtime talk at the New America Foundation on Nov 22 (details TBD). Hope to see you there!