I really don't have a list of ten things to post today and don't have the time to think of one. Carole has again come up with a great list, but I don't have an iPhone and can't contribute except to say that I have downloaded the beta version of Opera Mini 5 to my phone and it is so much faster than the browser that came installed on my Droid Eris. Instead, I decided that at those moments that my hands need a little break from the frantic knitting that I'm currently involved in, I would post something and maybe that will happen ten times and that will be my Ten on Tuesday for today. Or maybe it will be one. If it is only one, then here it is, good luck following my ramblings.
Number One. Degrees of separation.
I recently read (read: listened to the audiobook, natch) Girl With A Pearl Earring, a fictional account surrounding the people and events that lead to the painting by Vermeer. I am not, by any stretch, an art historian (although I loved the art history course I took in college) so I haven't the faintest idea how much of it was taken from verifiable historical accounts and how much is fiction, but my sense is that most if it is just a wonderful story. In the novel, Vermeer is associated with Antonie Von Leeuwenhoek, known as the Father of Microbiology for his work improving the microscope. I can say that I don't remember much of him from science class, but his Wikipedia page is very interesting (and adds a degree to this story in a minute).
Anyway, skip to the book I am listening to now, Art In America by Ron McLarty. I won't go into the story, but I am sitting here knitting away and listening and the main character relates to a friend that he wrote a novel about Von Leeuwenhoek. I mean, really! What are the chances that Von Leeuwenhoek would be mentioned in two out of the four books I have read over the last week? But it gets even weirder.
Art In America is written and narrated by Ron McLarty (I know, I am repeating myself), who I first encountered when I listened to A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson (a great book, I must say). I enjoyed his voice and reading so much that I looked for other books that he had recorded and came upon The Memory of Running, the first book I listened to that he had written and narrated. So I have read that and another novel of his and now I am listening to this one.
Yes, this does get someplace. Not necessarily anyplace meaningful, but when you are knitting like a mad woman and these little things happen they make more of an impact on you than they would if you were out in the world with other people to keep you on the sane side, OKAY!?
So, back to Von Leeuwenhoek. I hear about him and the connection to the microscope, vaguely remember that I had heard that name recently, take a minute or two for the correct neurons to fire in my memory so that where I had heard the name could come clear to me and decide to increase the random information in my brain by looking him up and reading a bit on Wikipedia and what do I find there? This: "In A Short History of Nearly Everything (p. 236) Bill Bryson alludes to rumors that Vermeer's mastery of light and perspective came from use of a camera obscura produced by Van Leeuwenhoek."
Do you see the degrees of separation making one big circle in my little world? Here is the chronology:
- I listen to A Walk in the Woods, by Bryson, narrated by McLarty
- I seek out more McLarty and read him.
- Some time later I read Girl With a Pearl Earring and hear of Von Leeuwenhoek (Man! I hate typing that name!)
- Then I am back to McLarty with Art In America, again with the Von Blahblahblah. Within one week!
- I check out Wikipedia and Bryson is connected to Von Whoosie-Whatsie, well, only in my mind because he mentions him in his book.
- In my mania of solitude and crazy I make more of this than should be made and having nobody home to share it with am forcing it on the few people that visit this little blog.