Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End of the Road? No One Wants To Pay For Maintenance of California Highway

An LA Times article tells us that Highway 39 was built in the 1920's and goes from Azusa almost to the Angeles Crest Highway.  Right now it ends about 27 miles up.
A landslide swept away the highest part of the road in 1978, cutting it off from Angeles Crest Highway. Since then, that last stretch of asphalt has been roamed by Nelson's bighorn sheep, creatures fully protected under state law. Caltrans concluded that it would be cost-prohibitive to re-engineer that 4.4-mile gap and legally risky to try because it cannot guarantee that the sheep would not be killed in the process.
 About 500 people use the road to get to their homes and the story says about 3,000,000 people use the road each year and it costs Caltrans $1.5 million a year to maintain  the road that is regularly damaged by landslides, falling rocks, flooding, and forest fires.  (Presumably that doesn't include the last 4.4 miles.)

Caltrans is the State of California Transportation Department and as it is looking for ways to cut costs, it wants to give the maintenance to Los Angeles County or the US Forest Service.   
L.A. County needs the highway to access three dams critical to flood control. . .

The Forest Service's interest is access to Angeles National Forest by the public and, at times, by firefighters. The agency spent $6 million improving a spacious campground at Crystal Lake, where the highway now ends after winding along the San Gabriel River past the Morris and San Gabriel reservoirs.
But neither is interested in taking over the job.

So Caltrans is talking about abandoning the road. 

"According to the agreement, the only way we can extricate ourselves from it is to abandon the highway," he [Caltrans rep] said.

The Forest Service says it has a different interpretation, one that would cost Caltrans dearly. "The permit does say that if Caltrans abandons the highway, they have to remove their improvements — meaning the road — and return the area to the natural landscape," Bergeahl said.
 All this seems to be some sort of brinksmanship, reporter  Louis Sahagun.   3 million people a year is $.50 each to pay the repairs.  But why should people on that road be required to pay when other roads get covered by the state? 

I like thinking about roads going back to nature.  I'm not advocating it, but the whole notion of roads and other human encroachments on the earth being reclaimed by nature gives hope and perspective. 

A little context for Anchorage folks.  A 2010 Dowl engineering report says that 50,000 vehicles a day travel one of Anchorage's busiest roads -Tudor Road between Bragaw Street and Lake Otis.  That comes to 10,000,000 vehicles per year.  California's 'remote' Highway 39 carries almost 1/3 that number. 

The LA Times article says 'people' per year and the Alaska report says 'vehicles' per year so these numbers may not be comparable.  Nevertheless, it should put our Alaskan traffic into a bigger context and the California traffic too. 

My guess all this posturing will lead to some sort of splitting up of the costs among those jurisdictions that have a vested interest in the road. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Catching the Sunset at the Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier had a very different feel from out last visit in October 2009. 

We shared the pier with a lot of people yesterday afternoon following  J's mini reuntion with old friends.   Lots of people here, lots of music.  It was a warm January Sunday afternoon and close to sunset time.

Artists draw visitor portraits all over the world.  Tomás, did you ever do portraits like this?   It might be fun for a Sunday fair once.

There's a big display that touts the pier as the end of the famous Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica.  Wikipedia says it ended where Santa Monica Blvd. hits the ocean is short ways north of the pier.

You can listen to Nat King Cole play and sing Route 66 here.

Here's the pier when it opened in 1909.  Can you believe LA only had 102,000 people one hundred years ago?
The video has clips of some of the music and sounds of the pier.  I tried to check names from artists' vendor permits, but I could only find Kent Axell online.


 Listening to live music as the sun sets over the Pacific.

While others are still enjoying the chilly water.

The sun was down as we set out to find the car parked way off near Pico and Lincoln.   I didn't notice any yachts, by the way.  I did see some folks fishing.

This (Monday) afternoon, there's been a definite weather shift and the dry desert wind is gone and the crisp damper ocean breeze has replaced it at my mom's place.  Smells good. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Driving and Parking LA/Santa Monica

We went to a 90th birthday party this morning in the Valley.  That required a trip over the San Diego Freeway (the freeways were called by their names, not numbers, when we moved north 34 years ago.)

I took the above two pictures 5 minutes apart.  There's a slight difference between the two shots only because I zoomed the camera slightly differently from one photo to the other.  But we just sat there without moving.  Once it started moving, we got to a point where one of the five lanes was blocked for 50 feet and there was a construction vehicle and a police car.  After that point, traffic flowed easily.  

On the way back we could see a police car blocking all five lanes North at the same spot.
While there is a lot on line about this project (the one that closed the freeway totally last July), I couldn't find anything explaining what happened today.  There were closures the night of January 25, 2012, but I can't find anything about today.

Then J went to Santa Monica Place to meet four friends she'd gone to kindergarten through high school with.  Only one lives in LA and the others were in from as far away as Italy.  I dropped her off and then looked for a parking place.  All the parking lots were full and there was nothing available on the streets nearby.  Half hour later I find a spot about 3/4 of a mile away, parked, and hiked back to the Santa Monica Place. 

On the way out, we did get a couple of reminders that of Alaska where traffic is a little easier. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Will New California Emission Standards Help Butterflies Survive?

The Tropical Butterfly House at the Pacific Science Center on the site of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair was a great place to completely change our environment last Monday. From the low 40˚F outside into the mid 80˚F inside. More significant was the change into a tropical garden full of butterflies.

Most of these I can't name, so I'll just show more pictures I took.  The butterflies were pretty obliging.
Owl butterfly
Everyday Green reports  on the decline of the butterfly.
Many butterfly species are on the verge of becoming or have already become extinct. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated 23 species in the country as endangered or threatened.
The declining butterfly population is a more serious problem than many people realize. Butterflies are an important part of the ecosystem. They play the critical role of pollinator in plant reproduction. Plus, their extinction upsets the natural order of the food chain. The decrease in the global number of butterflies is also an indication of some much greater problems going on in the world today. Some of the factors contributing to the declining butterfly population include the destruction of their natural habitat due to real estate development (about 6,000 acres a day), deforestation, global warming, and the widespread use of pesticides (especially those used for genetically modified crops).

It's not all bad news.  The Environmental News Network reports
Tropical Butterfly House from outside
"Some of Britain's most threatened butterflies are showing promising signs of recovery after decades of decline, according to a new study. The new data comes from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, which has been monitoring changes in butterfly populations across the United Kingdom since 1976. The biggest winner of 2010 was the wood white, which has suffered a 96% decline since the 1970s, but whose population increased six-fold last year. . .
. . . Although Britain's butterflies remain in long-term decline, the populations of three-quarters of threatened species increased in 2010. This change in fortunes has been put down to targeted conservation action, combined with better weather last year after a series of disastrously wet summers. Butterfly experts hope that if Britain experiences a similar summer this year, some of the country's most threatened species could continue to make a significant recovery. "

You can see the overall grim pattern with figures for different butterflies from a less optimistic British report released in December 2011 at Datablog.

Iowa appears to be losing one of their butterflies:
"The Poweshiek skipper is a small moth-like butterfly that was discovered in Iowa’s Poweshiek County in 1870. Now due to its plummeting population the Poweshiek skipper is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Experts are unsure why the butterfly’s population is declining. Theories include climate change, pesticides and prairie burns."

The Florida Museum of Natural History has a long Q&A about butterflies.  They tell us that butterflies belong to the familiy Lepidoptera which includes moths and means scaled wings.  They also answer the question:

"Q: Are butterflies important?

A: Yes! They are important as plant pollinators, second only to the bees. They also are very sensitive to the environment and thus are good indicators in assessing how healthy or unhealthy conditions are. They also have their own important place in the ecosystem like all animals do."

And the Florida website tells you how many of the 265,000 species of Lepidoptera are butterflies and how many moths. 

Given that global warming is listed as a contributor to the decline in butterfly populations, today's news in the LA Times, that California is imposing more stringent standards for auto emissions  is probably good news for butterflies - at least those still in existence by the time the regs take effect:

"California, long a national leader in cutting auto pollution, pushed the envelope further Friday as state regulators approved rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and put significantly more pollution-free vehicles on the road in coming years.

The package of Air Resources Board regulations would require auto manufacturers to offer more zero- or very low-emission cars such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles in California starting with model year 2018.

By 2025, one in seven new autos sold in California, or roughly 1.4 million, must be ultra-clean, moving what is now a driving novelty into the mainstream.

The board also strengthened future emission standards for all new cars, making them the toughest in the nation. The rules are intended by 2025 to slash smog-forming pollutants from new vehicles by 75 percent and reduce by a third their emissions that contribute to global warming." [The rest of the article is here.]

Artist Hype

We saw The Artist tonight in Santa Monica.  I'd been hearing it was good and intentionally avoided any details.  I knew it was a silent movie and black and white. 

From a Santa Monica parking garage
Last year Black Swan was a big disappointment.  This year it's The Artist.  There were a number of neat things about the movie, but the movie as a whole left me unengaged.  I'm sure there was a lot of homage that went over my head, but the movie itself has to work.  The lead actor did nothing for me.  The lead actress I liked.  The dog did tricks.  There were neat old cars.  But for me it didn't all come together as a good movie.  I think the novelty of a silent, black and white movie in 2011 and good marketing have given this film more buzz than it warrants. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Not Quite Poetry at the Beach - And Some Redistricting Notes

 I ran down to the beach and got my feet wet. 

Then I decided to check out a bit of the Venice Boardwalk. 

Last year I ran into poet Jeffery Martin here, but now there were hula hoops.  I knew he wouldn't be here - he should be back teaching. 

But a little further down I found poetry of a sort for sale. 

Then I ran back to my mom's to have breakfast.  Felt really slow today, despite having run in Portland and Seattle.  Oh well, I've got some time to get back into shape down here. 

I promise to put up more than fluff photos soon.  I'm trying to get Part 3 of the Redistricting Overview posts up soon.  But it's complicated and I'm trying to get it more useful, but I'd like to get it up before the judge's decision comes out.  The Redistricting Board sent an email Jan. 24 to people who signed up for email alerts saying that it could meet anytime starting Jan 31 to respond to the court decision, depending on when it came out.  The meeting will be streamed but they say the meeting
"may involve periodic recesses to a time certain. Discussion of legal matters may require executive session."
Since they'll be meeting to talk about their response to whatever the Judge McConahy rules, I suspect there won't be too much on the record, except to announce what they decide in executive session.  

I don't see anything on their website or FB page on this though.  The email does say:
This meeting will be streamed at www.alaskalegislature.tv. In the event you can't listen on internet you may call 1-855-463-5009. This is a listen only meeting.  Testimony will not be taken. 
I have to say again that making the trial in Fairbanks accessible via phone  was a big deal that I, for one, appreciated.  I don't know how many, if any, Alaska trials have been open to the public this way.  Judge McConahy probably had to approve that, so he gets a thank you as well as the Board. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seattle to LA - Clouds, Snow, Sun, Olifactory Seeing, Clear LA

One more trip to the airport.  First we took the ferry into Seattle.  It was raining this morning when we walked over to M's place.  But by the time we were headed to the ferry the sun was out.  We walked from the island into Seattle - around and around the ferry.  But on the water and in the wind, we were reminded why a jacket was still a good idea.

I still hate the TSA charade, but as an older white male who doesn't yet have any metal parts, it was relatively painless.  I guess I'm like the frog where the water temperature goes up slowly so you don't notice you're starting to boil.  I don't deny there are fanatics out there who might like to blow up a plane, but the way they check for that person is overkill.  We tolerate much higher death risks (autos, guns, no health insurance, etc.) with far less protection, but the symbolism of a plane coming down makes us spend way too much money and wastes way too much of our time.  Of course if you're a 1 per center, you can just take a private jet and by-pass it all. 

Soon we were in the clouds again, but on the sunny side.

We bought some yakisoba at the Waji's in SEATAC and I had Cutting to Stone with me.  I'd bought it nearly a year ago, but had put it down for other reading.  So it was just as we were passing over that I noticed we were right on top of Mt. St. Helens.

Crater Lake was glowing in the sun's reflection.  But the photos weren't good enough to put up.  But you could see the bowl holding the lake and an island.

Eventually we were in Southern California with the ocean mirroring the sun and wispy clouds gauzing the mountains.

The Channel Islands came into view.  (Thanks nswfm for confirming this on an previous trip.)  The picture is even more dramatic than the real thing.  To keep the sun's reflection from washing everything out, the rest of the picture had to be darker than it really was.  It was still pretty spectacular. 
I figure getting to see the earth from the air is one of the benefits of flying.  I understand that most people prefer the aisle, but that's a small benefit compared to this incredible view of the earth's geography. 

It was about that time I read about Shiva and Genet and Marion were playing Blind Man's Bluff on the Missing Hospital grounds in Addis Ababa.  Marion and Shiva discover their sense of smell.

I'm still amazed that I can be flying over the Western United States and be in Ethiopia at the same time.

As we made the slow turn into LA, Santa Catalina Island was relatively clear out in the distance.   And below me was LA's south beach coastline.
We turned in over LA south of the airport and then looped back to the north and around south of downtown.  It was an amazingly clear day.

Downtown Los Angeles
People often ask how we could move from LA to Anchorage and when I say there are similarities, they can't imagine what I'm talking about.  But both have salt water on one side and mountains on the other. 

If you click on this photo you can see the Hollywood sign on the closest mountains on the left.  You can't quite read it, but it's the white horizontal line on the top of the hills.  My little Canon Powerpoint surprises me when it gets pictures like this.  But then LA surprises me when it offers a day like this.  For those of you who don't know LA - we're looking north.  Downtown's buildings are on the right.  The first range of hills is the Hollywood Hills.  The Griffith Park is there with the observatory and the zoo.  Hollywood is at the foot of the hills.  Between the hills and the next range is "The Valley."  The ocean is off to the left.  Pasadena is north and a bit east of downtown.

And then we were on the ground.  This new construction made me think about how old this airport is.  The basic structures were up in the 1960's.  For high school graduation I went with a group of friends for dinner at the restaurant on the flying saucer like building in the center.  [I like different music, but the current restaurant's website music fits a science fiction movie rather than a fancy restaurant.] And now, the long tiled tunnels to baggage seem pretty bare compared to the many airports that have been built since then.  It looks like LA is now working on looking like all the other airports.   This is when I realize I better look this up.  Here's a bit of what I found on the LAX website:
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar development program for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  The centerpiece of the program is the Bradley West Project which includes new gate and concourse areas at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).  LAWA also recently completed a $737 million renovation of TBIT that upgraded the facility with a new in-line baggage screening system and interior improvements to enhance service and convenience to the passengers and tenants who use LAX's premier international terminal.  The TBIT renovation incorporated sustainable design and construction guidelines developed by LAWA and the facility is more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly as a result.  LAWA’s commitment to sustainable development and the environment was recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council which awarded its prestigious Silver LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building) Certification which is the first-ever for a renovation project at a U.S. airport.
There was a tour for media about the construction on Tuesday.  Here's the news release link.

Because I had to take a suit along for the wedding in Portland and we had some bulky gifts and because we flew enough last year to get MVP for this year - we decided to check in two pieces. On the up side, Alaska Airlines 20 minute baggage pledge meant the luggage was out after we took pit stops and checked on which bus to catch.  The on the down side  only one of our suitcases was there.

I saw one similar to J's but it was bigger and had pink yarn on the handle. The baggage person said everything was out. When she asked the color I pointed to the one that was like it. She got it. Looked up the passenger and said, "They had three bags." There wasn't much left, so the odds were that they had picked up the wrong suitcase, because one of theirs was still here. She found their cell phone number and within ten minutes we were exchanging suitcases at curbside.

Then we got on our bus and I snapped this sunset shot before getting to our stop.  And soon we were having dinner with my mom. 

Calder's Eagle and Friends at Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park

Monday afternoon (when there was a day of sunshine) at Seattle's Olympic Sculpture  Park

Tony Smith - Stinger
From ArchDaily:

Teresita Fernández - Seattle Cloud Cover
"As a “landscape for art”, the Olympic Sculpture Park defines a new experience for modern and contemporary art outside the museum walls. The topographically varied park provides diverse settings for sculpture of multiple scales. Deliberately open-ended, the design invites new interpretations of art and environmental engagement, reconnecting the fractured relationships of art, landscape, and urban life.pe, and urban life."

The Trust For Public Land writes:
di Suvero - Bunyan's Chess

"In 1998, TPL, in partnership with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), stepped in to purchase the last undeveloped piece of downtown Seattle, a 7.3-acre former oil tank farm zoned for development as hotels and condominiums. TPL and SAM proposed a very different plan: redeveloping the site as a park that would showcase great art and outdoor conservation, and effectively double the amount of open space in Belltown, the city's densest and fastest-growing neighborhood."

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Typewriter Ribbon, Scale X

 Yes, the beach is part of the sculpture park. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Disposal of Sharps, Artsy Waxed Cloth, and Adams, St. Helens, and Goat - PDX (and beyond) Sights

In the restroom past security at PDX (and other airports) they have needle exchange boxes. I was scratching my head over this one. Can you take hypodermic needles through security with your carry on? The person at the Alaska Airlines desk didn't know. 

Drugwarfacts posts:
"(syringe exchange definition) "Syringe exchange programs (SEPs) provide sterile syringes in exchange for used syringes to reduce transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other bloodborne infections associated with reuse of contaminated syringes by injection-drug users (IDUs). . . . SEPs can help prevent bloodborne pathogen transmission by increasing access to sterile syringes among IDUs and enabling safe disposal of used syringes. Often, programs also provide other public health services, such as HIV testing, risk-reduction education, and referrals for substance-abuse treatment."

Our flight from Portland to Seattle on Monday left from Section A - where smaller regional planes fly from.  On the way, we passed "Mechanics of Hither and Yon" created by Brenda Mallory.  It covered two two-story walls and part of a third wall

Oregon Public Radio writes: 
Mallory creates her multimedia sculptures with an unusual combination of welded steel, waxed cloth, and nuts and bolts. Inspired by the location, she calls this piece The Mechanics of Hither and Yon.

We quickly rose above the Portland clouds and as we crossed over the Columbia River into Washington the clouds disappeared and it was sunny and beautiful. (Well, it wasn't quite that abrupt.)  And we saw these peaks out the window.   First was, what I now think was Goat Mountain.  Mt. St. Helens is much easier to tell because it blew up in 1980. 

Mt Adams(12,276f- 3743m) , Mt. St. Helens (8337f -2541m), and, I think, Goat Mountain (4965f-1513m)

When we got to Seattle, I asked a TSA guy about the needle exchange and whether people could take syringes through security.  He said you could.  I looked on line to see what TSA actually says:

Notify the Security Officer that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you. The following diabetes-related supplies and equipment are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened:
  • Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, biojectors, epipens, infusers, and preloaded syringes;
  • Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication;
  • lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions;
  • Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter, and needle); Insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin.
  • Glucagon emergency kit;
  • Urine ketone test strips;
  • Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container.
  • Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for storing used syringes and test strips.
Insulin in any form or dispenser must be clearly identified.
If you are concerned or uncomfortable about going through the walk-through metal detector with your insulin pump, notify the Security Officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and would like a full-body pat-down and a visual inspection of your pump instead.
Advise the Security Officer that the insulin pump cannot be removed because it is inserted with a catheter (needle) under the skin.
Advise the Security Officer if you are experiencing low blood sugar and are in need of medical assistance.
You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and diabetes associated supplies.

But needle exchanges are meant for drug addicts to prevent AIDS and hepatitis from needle sharing.   So I looked back at the photo.  It doesn't actually say needle exchange.  Maybe it's just for disposal.  King County (Seattle) has this on their website:

Safe and legal disposal of sharps
Disposal of syringes, needles and lancets is regulated. These items are called "sharps." They can carry hepatitis, HIV and other germs that cause disease. Tossing them into the trash or flushing them down the toilet can pose health risks for others. Regulations governing disposal of sharps protect garbage and other utility workers and the general public from needle sticks and illness.
There are different rules and disposal options for different circumstances. The main difference is between sharps that are used in a business and those that are used in the home for personal reasons. And, for home users, it makes a difference whether you live in the City of Seattle or if you live in an area of King County outside Seattle. The different regulations and disposal options are explained below. [Read the rest here.]

Spend a Free Night In Jail with Thoreau

This is for Anchorage area readers.  Here's a promo I got from Cyrano's this morning.  I'm out of town, so someone out there has to take my seat.  This should be thought provoking to say the least.  The folks out keeping the occupy tents going and the rest of us who should be out there supporting them can surely gain some inspiration from this reading.

  Wednesday, January 25, 2012 FREE

From the email:
Cyrano's Theatre Company presents
a special staged reading of
The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail
by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

Produced for CTC by Peter Porco and Jeff Aldrich
Directed by Bob Pond

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. 
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away." [Walden, 1854]

"Thoreau's famous essay Civil Disobedience was an extremely personal response to being imprisoned for breaking the law.  Because he detested slavery (and the Mexican-American war) and because tax revenues contributed to their support, Thoreau decided to become a tax rebel. …Thoreau declined to pay the hated poll tax--a capital tax levied equally on all adults within a community.  …So, in July 1846, he was arrested and jailed.  He was supposed to remain in jail until a fine was paid, which he also declined to pay.  Without his knowledge or consent, however, relatives settled the 'debt' and a disgruntled Thoreau was released after only one night.  The incarceration may have been brief but it has had enduring effects through Civil Disobedience." [from Henry David Thoreau and Civil Disobedience by Wendy McElroy]

More at Cyrano's Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Between the Woods and the Water and Much More in the Catacombs of Powell's

The Catacombs of Powell's are filled with books.  New and used.  Chamber after chamber, up the stairs, down and around.  Red room, blue room, purple room. They take up a whole city block in Northwest Portland.  Powell's is functional.   Concrete floor, basic bookshelves of books and books and books.

As I wandered from room to room I thought of this as the last bastion of books as Kindles and iPads and Nooks become gain a foothold.  It's to Powell's people will come when all the other bookstores have long since closed.  Surfing for books online isn't the same as losing oneself in this cavernous bookstore.  Pulling books off the shelf, reading a few pages or more.  Here are some I paged through Sunday.

Randomly seeing titles or covers that call out to you.  What's that about?  And being able to pull it off the shelf, flip through the pages, put it back and do the same with the one next to it.  

 Books, that last for decades, centuries even versus data magically digitized. 

The one you can't read is The Fall of the House of Forbes

The back cover said, "Between the Woods and the Water" begins where its predecessor, A Time of Gifts,  leaves off - in 1934, with the nineteen-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor standing on a bridge crossing the Danube between Hungary and Slovakia.  A trip downriver to Budapest follows, along with passage on horseback across the Great Hungarian Plain, and a crossing of the Romanian border into Transylvania.   .  .
Patrick Leigh Fermor is a writer of inexhaustible charm, learning, and verbal resource who possesses a breathtaking ability to sketch a landscape, limn a portrait, and bring the past to life.  Between the Woods and the Water, part of an extraordinary work in progress that has already been acclaimed as a classic of English literature, is a triumph of his art.  For this tale of youthful adventure is at the same time an exploration of the dream and reality of Europe, a book of wanderings that wends its way in and out of history and natural history, art and literature, with the tireless curiosity - and winning fecklessness - of its young protagonist, even as it opens haunting vistas into time and space."

Maybe Powell's will be able to figure out how to keep it live and online at the same time.