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Shenzhou 7 Blasts Off

Successful launch of the Shenzhou 7 mission… Taikonauts walk the walk… and float back down to mother Earth at Siziwang Qi, Inner Mongolia.

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Taikonauts prepare for liftoff!

The countdown has begun for tonight’s scheduled liftoff of the Shenzhou 7 mission, which includes the first EVA space-walk by Chinese Taikonauts. The intrepid crew will be wearing Chinese made “Feit

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Whatever Happened to Beantown Zinetown?

It crawled off to wheeze in the Art Institute of Boston annex behind Kenmore Square, under the beer-breath shadow of Fenway Park. Although I still preferred the big ratty room full of zines at MassArt, where Beantown Zinetown used to live, it’s still nice to know that zine makers have a place to gather and set up their wares. This year’s Boston Zine Fair was split up on three floors of the Institute, which also had it’s advantages since there were smaller clusters of tables where visitors could converse with zinemakers. On the other hand, the sparse attendance makes for some sort of awkard transitions when someone else walks into the room. In the MassArt space it was easier to sort of wander around aimlessly and go back to a table when a conversation came to it’s natural conclusion. Even so, there were some people who really couldn’t be overlooked at this year’s event. In particular I’m glad to have met the artist Dan Nolan, who has a new graphic novel called Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy. Nolan is doing an all-out marketing blitz for this comic, which is printed on glossy paper in full color (looks like 5 color process). When I saw the printing job on his novel I said: “man you are plunging directly into bankruptcy… in the most flamboyant fashion possible!” Nolan replied, “You know I thought that nothing could be worse financially than being a painter, until I discovered publishing my own comics.” What really amused me was that Nolan was standing there in his own Death Boy t-shirt under a bathrobe. In front of him was a peanut butter sandwich on a plate with a single bite taken out of it. Right in next to the sandwich was a single proof copy of the novel. And right behind the artist was the original oil painting that became the basis of his Death Boy novel. His entire look was amusingly surrealistic. Worth checking out his stuff.

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Moose Country

Well, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. But I did stray into moose country in recent weeks, driving up through Vermont, into Quebec and Montreal. We didn’t actually see any moose, but we could

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A little Sky and Sympathy

An interesting article by James Parker in this week’s Phoenix recounts Jack Borden‘s life of cloud gazing. Struck by an amazing epiphany while lying on a grassy slope in 1977, Borden suddenly experienced the entire sky as direct connection with the cosmos. According to Jack, he was… “just waking up from a nap, and - there it all was! Close, out-of-scale, real close. It was scary. I looked at it for not longer than three seconds and I had to look away. It just plain blew me away! This tremendous scene, somewhere between majesty and frightfulness - it was as if the sky were saying, Goddammit, if I couldn’t do anything to wake you up, maybe this’ll do it!” After this satori, Jack went on to found the non-profit, For Spacious Skies, which has promoted the art and benefits of cloud gazing for more than twenty five years.

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Witches Cup Runneth Over

Arrived in Salem this evening just in time for the conclusion of the Witch’s Cup Bike Race, five hours of whirring tires around Salem Common that enforces a strict no-automobile zone throughout my en

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Troubletown Turns Twenty

Only by chance did I notice that Lloyd Dangle, cartoonist and creator of Troubletown, is currently tramping across America on a 20th Anniversary Book Tour, celebrating two decades of ceaseless trouble! How can it be that most people know Dangle only because of his Airborne packages, and not for his amazing comics?

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That Evil Genius

Now where have I heard a similar story before? Where was it again? Give me a minute! It’ll come to me, if I think about it. Hmmm… something to do with crime. Something to do with politics. Yes, yes…