Archive for the Arts Category

Free Books

Posted in Arts, Books, Cancer / Chemo Brain Sites, Entertainment with tags , , , , , , on 07/11/2009 by milkywayfarer


Only on the InterWebs could one find so much free reading material. As a hopeless-case bookworm (since age four), I have long revered word-wrought wonders. As a hopeless-case Net-nerd (since 1989 as a CompuServe member – may it RIP), I have long loved cyberspace’s offerings – especially free reading material! Now cyberspace provides a wealth of free books. [M]oney for nothing, get your *books* for free, to paraphrase the song. Below one will find Websites offering free books; there are many more, I’m sure. Feel free to suggest your own favorite book sites in the COMMENTS section by clicking REPLY at the bottom of this article.

* Google Books: Search and preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide; works out of copyright are free, as are those whose authors have given permission to offer for free; to find free books, search by category and select FULL VIEW –

* Internet Public Library: Wide variety of free, full-text sources for literature on the web –

* Library of Congress > Digital Collections: Online access to print, pictorial and audio-visual collections and other digital services –

|| Featured Digital Collections & Services ||

– American History & Culture: A digital library of historic maps, photos, documents, audio and video from American Memory.

– Historic Newspapers: Enhanced access to America’s historic newspapers through the Chronicling America project.

– International Collections: International materials and bilingual presentations from overseas libraries from Global Gateway.

– Legislative Information: THOMAS provides searchable full text of bills, Congressional Record and more.

– Performing Arts: Collections, articles and special presentations on music, theater and dance materials.

– Prints and Photographs: Catalog of about half of the Library’s pictorial holdings with over 1 million digital images.

– Veterans History: Experience first-person stories of wartime service through personal artifacts.

– Web Site Archiving: Searchable archives of historic Web pages including national elections, 9/11 and more.

|| Additional Digital Collections & Services ||

– Children and Families: America’s Library

– Country Studies/Area Handbooks

– Digital Interlibrary Loan

– Exhibitions from the Library

– Folklife Digital Collections

– Global Legal Information Network

– Hispanic Digital Collections

– Local Legacies: Community Roots

– Manuscript Collections

– Map Collections

– Poetry 180: For the School Year

– Rare Books and Special Collections

– Today in History

– Webcasts from the Library

* DailyLit: Read books online by daily email and RSS feed; many books require a fee (usually quite low) but many books are free –

– Most of the free books are classic literary works by such authors as Austen, Tolstoy and Thoreau

* Paperback Swap: Members Swap, Trade & Exchange Books with each other for Free. In Short: Mail a book. Get a book. Any book you request is yours to keep, share or trade. No late fees. No processing charges. No hidden charges. Every time you mail a book to another member, you can request one for yourself from over 3 Million, including hardbacks and audio books as well –

– Biographies & Memoirs

– Cooking, Food & Wine

– History

– Mystery

– Romantic Suspense

– Children’s Books

– Fantasy

– Home & Garden

– Mystery & Thrillers

– Science Fiction

– Christianity

– Horror

– Thrillers

– Audio Books

– Comics & Graphic Novels

– Libros en Espanol

– Religion & Spirituality

– Westerns

– Contemporary

– Historical

– Literature

– Romance

– Women’s Fiction

– Nonfiction

* Swap Tree: Trade the books you have for the books you want, for FREE. Swap your books for video games, CDs and DVDs. Instantly see all the books you can receive in trade. Print perfect postage right from your computer. Discover new books and authors. Recycle, reuse and reduce your carbon footprint –

– Architecture

– Art

– Biography

– Business & Economics

– Children’s Fiction

– Computers

– Cooking

– Crafts & Hobbies

– Education

– Family & Relationships

– Fiction

– Health & Fitness

– History

– House & Home

– Medical

– Nature

– Science

– Self-Help

– Travel

– True Crime

* Largest Free Online Library of Academic Books –

|| Computer Sciences ||

– Introduction to Computing

– Introduction to Programming

– E-Commerce

– Human Computer Interaction

– Visual Programming

– Information Systems

|| Management ||

– Principles of Management

– Project Management

– Organization Development

– Strategic Management

– Leadership & Team Management

|| Accounting and Finance ||

– Fundamentals of Auditing

|| Marketing ||

– Principles of Marketing

– International Marketing

|| English ||

– Business and Technical English Writing

|| Human Resource Management ||

– Human Resource Management

|| Mass Communication ||

– Introduction to Mass Communication

* Project Gutenberg: Free access to thousands of e-books in a wide variety of text and audio formats, including plain text, HTML, PDF, and more; also links to other free book sites –

* Fictionwise: Fiction eBooks for all PDAs and PCs by top authors. Palm, PocketPC, Hiebook, eBookMan, Adobe, MS Reader, and WinCE eBooks. Offers about 50 free ebooks –


Agatha Christie

Posted in Arts, Entertainment, Writers & Writing with tags on 04/26/2009 by milkywayfarer

The Lady is a Dame

By Susan Chandler Kelley
Copyright 2009;
do not reprint without permission

The youngest of three children, Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was born Agatha May Clarissa Miller in Devon, England to a conservative, well-to-do family. She never attended school, but was instead educated at home. Strongly introverted, she preferred her imaginary playmates, whom she dubbed The Kittens, to real ones.

Agatha Christie finished her first novel in 1915 but it was not published until 1920. She later developed agoraphobia and avoided being photographed or interviewed, even though she received worldwide acclaim. She divorced her first husband because he “found a young woman,” then later married her second husband, 14 years her junior.

On December 4, 1926, she suddenly disappeared and all of England became alarmed over the missing famous writer. Learn the details of this Christie mystery and other clues to this agoraphobic author at History of the Mystery: Agatha Christie. Find out how she “became a Dame” in 1971.

Learn of her secret life as Mary Westmacott at The Official Agatha Christie Website. Discover details of the woman, her writing, her books, her travels and her work with her second husband, an archaeologist. Read about her life, view her picture, join the newsletter or keep up with Christie events.

Surf over to AOL’s Agatha Christie Site (now archived). Explore Christie themes, learn more about her career or scope out the Mr. Quin or Miss Marple stories.

Hear the Dame’s wise words at Creative Quotations: Agatha Christie. Why did Agatha Christie believe ‘Most successes are unhappy’?

Discuss Agatha Christie at Mystery Net.

Learn all there is to know about “The Queen of Crime” at the sites listed below:

~ History of the Mystery: Agatha Christie –

~ Agatha Christie Homepage –

~ Official Agatha Christie Website –

AOL’s Agatha Christie Site – (now archived)

~ Creative Quotations: Agatha Christie –

~ Mystery Net : Agatha Christie –

~ History of Mystery: Agatha Christie –

~ Agatha Christie Facts –

~ Wikipedia: Agatha Christie –

MilkyWayfarer's Blog: Roaming Cyber Realms

Walter Koenig’s Star

Posted in Arts, Entertainment, Science Fiction, Star Trek, Walter Koenig with tags , , , , , on 03/16/2009 by milkywayfarer

Give Walter Koenig a Gold Star!

By Susan Chandler Kelley
Copyright 2009;
do not reprint without permission

In June 2009, the Hollywood Walk of Fame Committee will vote on new Walk of Fame Star recipients. Walter Koenig is the only one of the original major Star Trek characters yet to receive a star on the Walk of Fame. After his nearly 50 years in the acting profession, in so many areas of this profession, the time is surely right to award Walter Koenig his well deserved star!

I have completed a letter to the Committee to request that his star be awarded. I ask that those of you who have enjoyed Mr. Koenig’s work in so many areas of the acting profession – acting, writing, producing and teaching – write letters to the Committee as well. Remember, however, to be polite and respectful. Do not forget that our letters will reflect on Walter Koenig himself. Their address is:
Walk of Fame Committee
c/o Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
7018 Hollywood Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Hollywood, CA 90028
I wrote a previous article on Walter Koenig – available at – that discusses his career. He is a rare actor who has created more than one memorable role, and portrayed many reverse-polarity characters.

In Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Walter Koenig portrayed Tiger, the psychopathic gang leader in “Memo from Purgatory,” written by Harlan Ellison.

Walter Koenig later gave life to youthful Pavel Andreievich Chekov in Star Trek in 39 episodes, 1967-69. During the Cold War and the Space Race, he offered a non-threatening, likeable Russian patriot, acknowledging Russia’s contribution to space exploration. He reprised Chekov in Star Trek’s first seven feature films, earning a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor twice: for Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home. He recently channeled Chekov yet again in two Star Trek Web shows: To Serve All My Days and Of Gods and Men.

Walter Koenig also breathed fire into ruthless PSI-cop Alfred Bester on Babylon 5 in 12 episodes as a recurring guest star. B5’s production company nominated him for an Emmy at the end of the third season for “Ship of Tears.” Bester was voted ‘man we most love to hate’ in a Web poll of 2,000+ science fiction fans.

Walter Koenig first appeared on television in 1960 on A Day in Court. In the nearly 50 years since, he has appeared on TV 107 times in 46 different roles. He penned an unusal play, “You’re Never Alone When You’re A Schizophrenic,” and starred in it. He trod the boards in many other plays including “The Boys of Autumn.” He has recently written, produced and performed in many independent movies including But What About My Feelings?, The Bone Eaters, Mad Cowgirl, and Inalienable. He has also taught acting classes.

Amazingly, Walter Koenig still finds time for charitable and human rights work: He visited Burmese refugee camps in Thailand July 2007 and has worked to bring awareness to their plight with public appearances and conferences. He supports The Children of the Night, a Los Angeles based charity which helps children living on the streets. He has supported the Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota and the St. Labre Indian School in Montana for many years. He has helped raise funds for Habitat For Humanity. He has supported animal groups including the Nature Conservatory, Humane Society, World Wildlife Fund, Defenders Of Wildlife and SPCA Los Angeles. He has sponsored writing and art contests to help further the arts. He volunteered his time and acting talents for the second episode of the independently produced Web series, Star Trek Phase 2.

For more information on Walter Koenig’s career and the campaign to request his star on the Walk of Fame, visit and peruse Patty Wright’s informative Official Walter Koenig Website.
MilkyWayfarer's Blog: Roaming Cyber Realms

H. R. Giger

Posted in Arts, Entertainment, Science Fiction with tags , , on 02/13/2009 by milkywayfarer

Dark-Eyed Demon Dreamer

(Originally published in Eye on the Web)

By Susan Chandler Kelley

Copyright 1999-2009;
do not reprint without permission

Born in Switzerland on February 5, 1940, H. R. (Hans Ruedi) Giger attended art schools 1953-1965. He delves into the dream world to depict the ‘dark side,’ that Jungian jungle of human nature’s nightmare netherworld. His repellent reptilian biomech creatures slither into our psyches (or psychoses). These shadow plays of our darkest fears burrow into the subconscious more inextricably than the macabre, metallic sinews of his creations.

“He is our latter-day Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch fabulist come again, demonic and erotic,” says sci-fi author Harlan Ellison. These ‘brothers grim,’ Swiss Giger and Dutchman Bosch, share similar dangerous, demonic visions. Giger’s gruesome creatures provide a cutting cultural counterpoint to his contemporary, fellow fantasist Michael Whelan. Whelan’s angelic figures languor in light drenched fairy scenes; Giger’s nightmare demons dwell in darkest depths.

Giger first made acquaintance with the surreal at age five. His father, a chemist, received a human skull, which first fired his son’s imagination. Young Giger found it fascinating to possess the skull of someone who had once been alive. Skulls and skeletal figures still predominate Giger’s work.

He draws on all experience for inspiration, but as a follower of Jung, he often draws on the dream state for ideas. Originator of the Biomechanical Style, Giger’s creatures sport steely sinews and meld organic, humanoid shapes with mechanical apparatus.

Most people know Giger best as the designer of the horrific creature of the 1977 Academy Award winning science fiction movie, Alien. The nightmarish creature of Alien was actually inspired by one of Giger’s original creations, included in a 1978 publication of a collection of his works, “Giger’s Necronomicon.” The writings of early 20th century author H.P. Lovecraft, another weaver of weird nightmare creatures, gave Giger the title for this publication.

Probably best known for his fantasy paintings and Aliens creatures, Giger has also created other notable art, particularly album covers, such as ‘Brain Salad Surgery’ for Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Yet he manages many media, including furniture design, not to mention designing the ‘Giger bars’ in Tokyo and Switzerland. Giger ranks as a true multi-media artist. In addition to his paintings, sketches, Alien film designs and album covers, he has also designed sculpture, a Swatch watch project called Watch Abart and a movie, ‘The Mystery of San Gottardo’.

Interesting sites devoted to H. R. Giger:

Official WebSite of H.R. Giger:

Official WebSite of H.R. Giger – Fan page:

Shadowland – Info/Images:

Little Giger Page:

H. R. Giger Museum:

Giger Chat Room:

System 75 Giger Gallery:

Pictures of Giger artwork:

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