"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy "Make-the-unattached-even-more-miserable" Day

pardon the cheesy cellphone datestamp, but here's a photo recipe for a good Valentine's Day. And if you are unattached, take heart from this man's story. He may not be conventionally attractive, but he was married to a famous movie star who most people consider a great beauty (though I think she looks somewhat duck-like) - sometime you have to make a little noise to get noticed. ("Make that a cheeseburger") but the results may surprise you. They certainly surprised me in the best possible way.

Where else would you expect to find a Spider but on the Web?
I am, as the man himself would say, "as happy as a pig in Parliament" to find that Spider Robinson, creator of Callahan's Place (the fictional bar that launched a million online communities) and rancouter extraordinaire has a PODCAST. While a blog by Spider would have been cause for celebration, one can hardly expect somebody who make a living by his pen to start giving it away for free. In fact, the podcast is a better forum for him because Spider is the kind of storyteller who predates the written word. He has a natural flair for spinning a yarn and the timing, expression and voice of a born radio host. Somebody get the brass at CBC onto this, because with the right producers you could have the second coming of Peter Gzowski or Garrison Keillor, or at the very least a seasonal fill-in for Stuart McLean.

And if that weren't enough, finding his podcast lead to his website which lead me in turn to one of the coolest things ever. Way back when, Spider and his wife, dancer and choreographer Jeanne wrote a little book called "Stardance" about inventing zero-gravity dance and using it to communicate with aliens. The book, which spawned a couple of sequels to form the inevitable trilogy, won just about every award there is in science fiction and with good reason. Now, a few decades later, Jeanne is getting a chance to try out the whole idea in real life. Go. Watch. Marvel. The future has arrived.