Monday, November 21, 2016


Way back in 2008, in a context I don't quite remember, I did a Flickr challenge, to create a mosaic of images:

that represent you. I always liked this mosaic, and found it oddly accurate. I feel the above do represent me. You had to use an image that popped up on the first page of Flickr, based on twelve questions. Each square was filled out thus, top to bottom, left to right:

Name? Ross
Favorite food? Carnitas burrito
Favorite place? San Francisco
Favorite color? Blue / Orange
Celebrity crush? Claudia Cardinale
Favorite drink? Hot chocolate flight
Dream vacation? Bahia, Brazil
Favorite dessert? Cherry pie
Who you want to be when you grow up? Emperor of the United States
What do you love most in life? Laughter
One word to describe you? Perfect
Flickr name (or in my case, blog name)? Poking Badgers with Spoons

Eight years later I voyaged back to Flickr to see what had changed and make a new mosaic, preserving the original images when possible. For the sake of the exercise the same answers were kept as from before, even if they've changed, and I scrolled down the images until the scroll bar reformatted it's size, deciding that distance as equal to "the first page". Here is what followed:

So the hot chocolate flight, Emperor Norton, and Poking Badgers with Spoons remained the same.

To be honest, I prefer the 2008 version more. There is a nicer symmetry to the tiling of the earlier set. Still, an amusing, albeit pointless, exercise in fads revisited.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fiction for Everyone!

I can't talk about the Election, the insanity, and the potential horror the United States is going to unleash on the world. So here's a goofy little project I did the past day or two:

100 Works of Fiction You Should Read*

Ancient Literature

Epic of Gilgamesh (Trans. Herbert Mason)
Iliad - Homer
Odyssey - Homer
Poetic Fragments - Sappho
Oresteia - Aeschylus
Philoctetes - Sophocles
Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
Antigone - Sophocles
Medea - Euripides
Hippolytus - Euripides
Bacchae - Euripides
Lysistrata - Aristophanes
Clouds - Aristophanes
Metamorphoses - Ovid
Odes - Horace
Aeneid - Virgil
The Classic of Poetry
Ramayana - Valmiki
Mahabharata - Vyasa
Buddhacarita - Asvaghosa

Medieval Literature

Poems - Tao Yuanming
Recognition of Shakuntala - Kalidasa
Meghadutta - Kalidasa
Poems - Li Bai
Poems - Du Fu
Poems - Wang Wei
Njal's Saga
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Tale of the Heike
Tale of Genji - Murasaki Shikibu
Rubaiyat - Omar Khayyam
1,001 Arabian Nights
The Orchard - Saadi Shirazi
Decameron - Giovanni Boccaccio
Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri
Journey to the West - Wu Cheng'en
Water Margin - Shi Nai'an
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - Luo Guanzhong

Early Modern Literature

Gargantua and Pantagruel - Rabelais
Poems - John Donne
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
King Lear - William Shakespeare
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare
Sonnets - William Shakespeare
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
Life is a Dream - Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Haiku - Matsuo Basho
Phedre - Racine
Misanthrope - Moliere
Candide - Voltaire
Fables - La Fontaine
Dream of the Red Chamber - Cao Xueqin
Two-Part Prelude - William Wordsworth (1799)

Nineteenth Century Literature

Faust - Goethe
Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Andersen
Frankenstein - Mary Shelly
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman (1855 edition)
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
The Red and the Black - Stendhal
Old Goriot - Balzac
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Short Stories - Edgar Allan Poe
The Nose and The Overcoat - Nikolai Gogol
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Les Fleurs du Mal - Charles Baudelaire
A Season in Hell - Arthur Rimbaud
A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
Spring Awakening - Frank Wedekind
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

Twentieth Century Literature

Selected Short Stories - Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, Blumfeld an Elderly Bachelor, The Great Wall of China, A Hunger Artist, and the complete shorter stories)
Diary of a Madman - Lu Xun
Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories - Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Ulysses - James Joyce
Sister My Life - Boris Pasternak
Selected Poems - TS Eliot (Prufrock and Other Observations, The Wasteland, Ash Wednesday)
Short Stories - Jorge Borges
Grande Sertao: Veredas - Joao Guimaraes Rosa
History - Elsa Morante
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
The Stranger - Albert Camus
Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
Eagle or Sun - Octavio Paz
Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
Children of Gebelawi - Naguib Mahfouz
Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar
Season of Migration to the North - Tayeb Salih
Death and the King's Horseman - Wole Soyinka
Fences - August Wilson

* I have italicized those nine works I have yet to read myself. A list like this should never be complete, always keep reading, expand your horizons, grain of salt, and all that.