Tag Archives: birthday

Dune is 50!

Dune cover 1975Happy Birthday Arrakis! And apologies for the huge picture. It’s a photo of the front cover of my copy of Dune, and I wanted you to see the loving wear and tear on this precious, 1975 version.

I first read Dune in 1971 or ’72, when I borrowed it from a university friend, but as you can see, I have re-read it many times since. Not only is story just as compelling as it was all those years ago, it also brings to light something new with each re-reading. I guess it’s time to re-read Dune again because I was not consciously aware of its environmental credentials. Oh I knew and loved the whole desert environment and the small scale terraforming the inhabitants were attempting, but it was not until I read this commemorative article in Flavourwire this morning that I realised Dune’s connection to Silent Spring:


I highly recommend reading the article as it points out some rather interesting facts, facts I have never known, such as:

  • Fact 1, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962.
  • Fact 2, Silent Spring was instrumental in the banning of DDT, but it did not touch the awareness of the masses in the way that Dune did.

Published just three years after Silent Spring in 1965, Dune has been re-printed many times. It has also spawned more than one movie version, all of which have kept the level of public awareness ticking along for 50 years. In fact, I personally know of one, highly popular group on Goodreads that is dedicated to discussions about Dune.

Nevertheless, I believe Dune’s greatest contribution to environmental awareness has come about indirectly, via the novels and movies that owe some part of their creation to the concepts popularized by Frank Herbert’s master work.

Novels have power. Great novels change the world. I wish Frank Herbert were still around to see the fruits of his labours. Or maybe not. I fear he might be disappointed.



Happy Un-birthday to Me!

I swore black and blue that any birthday not ending in a zero would be ignored …and I meant it. Past 40, who wants to be reminded of the relentless march of the years? Decade birthdays are different – they are the biggies, and should be celebrated so you have something to remember once you start to drool and forget what day it is…

But what’s a girl to do when her daughter gets her one of these for an un-birthday present?


I’ve been looking at these recumbent exercise bikes since before Christmas, and now I have one. Well, I don’t actually have it yet, but it will be arriving within the next few days so I’m counting it as mine. 🙂

I’m also counting this as an unofficial birthday present :


Apologies for the poor quality of the photo, my lack of skill strikes again. However I think you can sort of see the beauty of the caligraphy. The characters represent my name – Meeka – and were created by a lovely man in Tasmania. Apparently he goes to the local market and does these for free – donations optional.

I don’t live in Tasmania, but another lovely blogger does – Jennifer of  Coffee & Camera in Hand. In fact it was Jennifer who first posted about this caligraphy artist. I was so taken with both the concept, and the mystique of this unknown man doing what he loves, just for the sake of it, that I jokingly said I’d love one for myself.

Next thing I know, Jennifer has gone back to the market, found the artist, asked for my name in Kanji, and posted it to me! Thank you Jen, I really, really appreciate it. 😀

And thank you to the unknown artist as well, you remind me of my late father. Until the last year before he died, my Dad would play his violin in the city – just because he wanted to make something beautiful. That is an ideal to live by.

Well, that’s it for this post. I’ve given myself permission to play Final Fantasy XIV ALL day! I’m further being spoiled by having my daughter cook dinner tonight. Life just doesn’t get much better than this, especially on an un-birthday!



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