Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Tree Nobody Wanted

Boston author Tom McCann's Christmas story, The Tree Nobody Wanted, is available in hardcover and now as an eBook. It's a poignant (but non-schmaltzy) tale, great for kids and for their parents.

If you'd like to sample it first, his new, engaging blog, Real People, is featuring it now.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fond memories of high school?

We shot this on a nice Nikon Super8mm film camera during the 1979/1980 (senior) school year. Remastered with Final Cut Pro and music from GarageBand.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Science of Tequila

And yes, there is some. At Forbes, the results of painstaking research (and a little imbibing...).

Friday, July 01, 2011

In Boston for the 4th?

If you're coming to the Hub this summer, here's a nice all-in-one guide for you to bookmark on your iPhone or other portable life support system. Pay special attention to the restaurants.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What It's All About

Bill Vallicella is one of my favorite philosophers. He manages so often to say better what we often think we know, but just as often cannot articulate so well.

This post today made me think of an old friend from school. An atheist, but never satisfied with it; always searching for something more meaningful than just the Pale Blue Dot. I like to think she'd appreciate this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Astronomers Behaving Badly

In my 2005 biography of Georges Lemaître, I argued that Hubble's Law should have been called Lemaître's Law, as he derived the linear velocity-distance relation between galaxies two years before Hubble did. (That bastard.)

Turns out, there was more going on behind the scenes at the time than people realized.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Christopher Lee Does Heavy Metal

Here's the last segment of my video interview with Sir Christopher Lee, in which he discusses his Heavy Metal album, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Expanding Horizons for Arabic Children

It's been a while since I posted at Huffington. Here is my latest, on the great program started by Jordanian molecular biologist Rana Dajani, whom I met on my last trip to Cambridge.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sir Christopher Lee on Acting

The next installment from my interview with Christopher Lee is up at Forbes. He has a great private collection of photos from all periods of his career, and I was able to work a few into this segment. Up next, we'll be discussing his adventures in the Heavy Metal world.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sir Christopher Lee

Over at my Forbes blog, the first of a series of videos from an interview I did with Sir Christopher Lee when I was in the UK earlier this month.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Price is Right

Taking my cue from Gary Ponzo, I'm selling the Kindle version of my first novel, Doctor Janeway's Plague, for ninety-nine cents at Amazon. It's now in trade paperback, audio and eBook formats. (Now all I have to do is sell the movie rights.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My First Novel Now on Kindle (iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry)

The Kindle version of my novel Doctor Janeway's Plague, is now live at Amazon. (It's a cross between C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength...and Resident Evil.) I'm pricing it low ($1.50) to attract more readers.

I've been reading about more and more new writers (and some established ones) taking this route as frustration with the current publishing model mounts, especially among mid-list writers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Since my Forbes blog Progressive Download is taking up more of my time, among other writing assignments, and my posting here has been much less frequent, any interested readers should add the rss feed from Progressive Download for more regular items. While it's more geared to science/tech, I hope to work in other book and media-related posts as well.

I'm not planning on shutting this one down, by any means, but posts will definitely be less frequent....

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Problem with Mike Leigh

I've been a fan of his films, but as Anthony Lane nicely summarizes, there's a deep flaw in Leigh's work:
Devotees of Leigh, of whom there are legions, greet his careful scrutiny of faces as a compassionate mapping of deep trouble, as if he were Bergman. To my eyes, however, the litany of closeups is itself a troubling act of intrusion, touched with a cruelty that Bergman, for all his sobriety, seldom sought, and I gradually came to dread the next appearance of Mary, with her slurred, embarrassing miseries probed by the lens as if placed under a microscope.
Leigh can't help exposing his characters in a way that betrays deep down I think, his lack of real sympathy for humanity; this is a streak you don't see in current directors like Alexander Payne, who dwell in their stories on  people's selfishness and cowardice, but never without reserving compassion for even the characters most morally flawed. (I think William Trevor and Alice Munro do this beautifully in short fiction.) And it's very hard to achieve in film (Payne's films are uneven, but still enjoy them).