As usual, I didn’t want to say anything until it happened for sure, but now that it’s gone out over the airwaves, I can share the news that I was on American Public Media’s "Marketplace" today! Specifically, I recorded a piece for "Marketplace Morning Report" about the final print edition of the Weekly World News.
A link to the story – both print and audio versions – is here.
So I learned today that my favorite stretch of railroad tracks in the whole world (a huge part of the inspiration for "Crossing Decembers") – actually has some historical significance. Wait – it gets better once you actually see some pictures of this thing! A-freaking-mazing. Seriously – when time travel is invented, I’m going
back to 1966 and hitchhiking to the fields of Northwest Ohio to watch
this beast. Can you even imagine what it would have been like to stand
by the tracks while this thing blasted by at almost two hundred miles
per hour? There’s more details here, too.
I couldn’t stay up too late to watch the Perseids peak Sunday night, but I probably saw about five or six between about 10 and 11 p.m. The best one came first, when I was out in the backyard alone, craning my neck and watching the sky above the woods to the east and listening to sound of insects in the fading summer. (Yes, I know fall doesn’t start for another month, but school begins next week, and calendar be damned, that’s when the seasons change.)
I’ve seen some pretty nifty meteor showers, the best probably being in summer of 1999 when we were in the Colorado mountains during the Perseids. But I’ve never seen what you’d really call a fireball until last night.
It seared the sky from north to south, low to the east, just above the trees, long enough for me to watch and seemingly so lasting that I actually for just a millisecond thought I’d have time to run in the house and get everyone else to come see this amazing thing. It BURNED, and not with the clear cold blue of a star, but with the white-hot and orange pulsing flicker of a living flame. It burned so seemingly close that I marveled that I couldn’t hear it and I half-expected, after it had faded, to hear it land in the woods nearby. Even after it had gone out, I could see, for a second or two, a smoky scar in the hazy sky.
Of course, I stayed out awhile longer – saw another, not nearly as bright, on a similar path, and then my daughter and her friend came out and watched for a bit, and my wife, and we saw a few more as a low fog began to envelop the backyards around us.
And on a completely different note, I’ve made the first three chapters of Crossing Decembers available as a free download in a .pdf/e-book format, so help yourself and share it generously and let me know what you think.
My second Sources Say contribution posted at PopMatters this morning.
Some big-time storms came through today: Lightning, thunder, tornado warnings, high water, flash flooding, hail, and that dark bruise end-of-the-world look to the sky. On the bright side, it’s cooled down tot he point where it doesn’t feel like a sauna outside anymore.
Ok…no, not really. At least, not that I know of. Anyway, a friend sent me this clip she made of sushi on a conveyor belt. Well shot, yes – but it’s the background music that makes it a classic. (Apologies in advance if it’s stuck in your head the rest of the day.