And today, a book recommendation: The Invention of Hugo, a Caldecott-winning book by Brian Selznick. It’s a kid’s book, so to speak. Though it’s 550 pages might make one think otherwise. Half of it is told in pictures – lovingly rendered black and white pencil drawings – and when I say "told in pictures" i mean it just like that. It’s not that the pictures illustrate the story but, rather, the story is both in pictures and words – a narrative told at times with words because they, in those moments, most ideal for telling a story with words – and other times told with pictures because they help to create a cinematic narrative quality. The words are simple and direct and occasionally tap into more existential sort of ideas and concepts. The drawings are beautiful and, when need be, complex. At the same time – it’s not an overwhelming complexity but, instead, nicely done and simple.
Next tho, is the story. The story is lovely and I don’t want to give too much away. Essentially, the main character, a young boy living a train station as a clockkeeper (through some unfortunate circumstances), has a mysterious invention that he is struggling to get working…. and what happens when it works? Fantastic, believable, very human, a well-rounded slew of characters – a young boy, a yong girl, an elderly man, an elderly woman… a constable…
More about the book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
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Listening to this congressional automaker bailout stuff is like seeing dinosaurs asking for a reprieve. They are companies that continued to make larger and larger autos, saying that’s what Americans wanted, while their sales slowed. I saw a massive pick-up truck today that dwarfed the SUVs behind it. Sure, that guy bought it, but how many others really need that sort of monstrosity? These are dinosaurs chugging along, happily burning through the dead dinosaurs and spewing the remainder out the tailpipe, egging on their own extinction. So the big head dinosaurs go to the government and say – please, give us some money, we are a dying breed… Imagine if the Brontosauruses, the Tyranosauruses and all the others, had gone before some board- " We know we are obsolete but give us a chance." Nature did not give any chances and so evolution moved on – making better organic machines. Hopefully we humans were a high point of that (if we start fixing more than we break, we an be assured of our own continued survival). By letting the "Big 3" tumble off the cliff of extinction, we may be opening the door to newer and better innovation – the evolution of the auto industry.
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