Natural Order

Author: Brian Francis
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
ISBN: 0385671547
Format: PDF, ePub
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“It’s beautiful,” I said, even though it wasn’t my style. It was cut glass and silver. Something a movie star might wear. Is this what my boy thought of me? I wondered as he fastened it around my neck. He called me Elizabeth Taylor and I laughed and laughed. I wore that necklace throughout the rest of the day. In spite of its garishness, I was surprised by how I felt: glamourous, special. I was out of my element amidst my kitchen cupboards and self-hemmed curtains. I almost believed in a version of myself that had long since faded away. --From Natural Order by Brian Francis Joyce Sparks has lived the whole of her 86 years in the small community of Balsden, Ontario. “There isn’t anything on earth you can’t find your own backyard,” her mother used to say, and Joyce has structured her life accordingly. Today, she occupies a bed in what she knows will be her final home, a shared room at Chestnut Park Nursing Home where she contemplates the bland streetscape through her window and tries not to be too gruff with the nurses. This is not at all how Joyce expected her life to turn out. As a girl, she’d allowed herself to imagine a future of adventure in the arms of her friend Freddy Pender, whose chin bore a Kirk Douglas cleft and who danced the cha-cha divinely. Though troubled by the whispered assertions of her sister and friends that he was “fruity,” Joyce adored Freddy for all that was un-Balsden in his flamboyant ways. When Freddy led the homecoming parade down the main street , his expertly twirled baton and outrageous white suit gleaming in the sun, Joyce fell head over heels in unrequited love. Years later, after Freddy had left Balsden for an acting career in New York, Joyce married Charlie, a kind and reserved man who could hardly be less like Freddy. They married with little fanfare and she bore one son, John. Though she did love Charlie, Joyce often caught herself thinking about Freddy, buying Hollywood gossip magazines in hopes of catching a glimpse of his face. Meanwhile, she was growing increasingly alarmed about John’s preference for dolls and kitchen sets. She concealed the mounting signs that John was not a “normal” boy, even buying him a coveted doll if he promised to keep it a secret from Charlie. News of Freddy finally arrived, and it was horrifying: he had killed himself, throwing himself into the sea from a cruise ship. “A mother always knows when something isn’t right with her son,” was Mrs. Pender’s steely utterance when Joyce paid her respects, cryptically alleging that Freddy’s homosexuality had led to his destruction. That night, Joyce threatened to take away John’s doll if he did not join the softball team. Convinced she had to protect John from himself, she set her small family on a narrow path bounded by secrecy and shame, which ultimately led to unimaginable loss. Today, as her life ebbs away at Chestnut Park, Joyce ponders the terrible choices she made as a mother and wife and doubts that she can be forgiven, or that she deserves to be. Then a young nursing home volunteer named Timothy appears, so much like her long lost John. Might there be some grace ahead in Joyce’s life after all? Voiced by an unforgettable and heartbreakingly flawed narrator, Natural Order is a masterpiece of empathy, a wry and tender depiction of the end-of-life remembrances and reconciliations that one might undertake when there is nothing more to lose, and no time to waste. From the Hardcover edition.

The Music of the Spheres

Author: Jamie James
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780387944746
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For centuries, scientists and philosophers believed that the universe was a stately, ordered mechanism, both mathematical and musical. The perceived distances between objects in the sky mirrored (and were mirrored by) the spaces between notes forming chords and scales. The smooth operation of the cosmos created a divine harmony that composers sought to capture and express. Jamie James allows readers to see how this scientific philosophy emerged, how it was shattered by changing views of the universe and the rise of Romanticism, and to what extent it survives today - if at all. From Pythagoras to Newton, Bach to Beethoven, and on to the twentieth century of Einstein, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Cage and Glass. A spellbinding examination of the interwoven fates of science and music throughout history.

Performance and Evolution in the Age of Darwin

Author: Jane Goodall
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415243780
Format: PDF, ePub
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Performance and Evolution in the Age of Darwin reveals the ways in which the major themes of evolution were taken up in the performing arts during Darwin's adult lifetime and in the generation after his death. The period 1830-1900 was the formative period for evolutionary ideas. While scientists and theorists investigated the law and order of nature, show business was more concerned with what was out of the natural order. Missing links and throwbacks, freak taxonomies and exotic races were favourite subject matter for the burgeoning variety theatre movement. Focusing on popular theatre forms in London, New York and Paris, Jane Goodall shows how they were interwoven with the developing debate about human evolution. With this book, Goodall contributes an important new angle to the debates surrounding the history of evolution. She reveals that, far from creating widespread culture shock, Darwinian theory tapped into some of the long-standing themes of popular performance and was a source for diverse and sometimes hilarious explorations.

How Buildings Work

Author: Edward Allen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198036661
Format: PDF, ePub
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Illustrated with hundreds of illuminating line drawings, this classic guide reveals virtually every secret of a building's function: how it stands up, keeps its occupants safe and comfortable, gets built, grows old, and dies--and why some buildings do this so much better than others. Drawing on things he's learned from the many buildings he himself designed (and in some cases built with his own hands), Edward Allen explains complex phenomena such as the role of the sun in heating buildings and the range of structural devices that are used for support, from trusses and bearing walls to post-tensioned concrete beams and corbeled vaults. He stresses the importance of intelligent design in dealing with such problems as overheating and overcooling, excessive energy use, leaky roofs and windows, fire safety, and noisy interiors. He serves up some surprises: thermal insulation is generally a better investment than solar collectors; board fences are not effective noise barriers; there's one type of window that can be left open during a rainstorm. The new edition emphasizes "green" architecture and eco-conscious design and construction. It features a prologue on sustainable construction, and includes new information on topics such as the collapse of the World Trade Center, sick building syndrome, and EIFS failures and how they could have been prevented. Allen also highlights the array of amazing new building materials now available, such as self-cleaning glass, photovoltaics, transparent ceramics, cloud gel, and super-high-strength concrete and structural fibers. Edward Allen makes it easy for everyone--from armchair architects and sidewalk superintendents to students of architecture and construction--to understand the mysteries and complexities of even the largest building, from how it recycles waste and controls the movement of air, to how it is kept alive and growing.

The Natural Order of Things

Author: Antonio Lobo Antunes
Publisher: Grove Press
ISBN: 9780802138132
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The fate of two families are tied to the history of Portugal in this novel that spans the globe from Mozambique to Lisbon.

The Natural Order

Author: William Stansmore
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 9781462873418
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book was inspired by my old friend and scholar, Norman Dodd, who many years ago brought to my attention the idea of a Natural Order, "an order laid down by God," as a means to bring our country back to the course first established by our nation ́s Founding Fathers, a course from which we have dangerously strayed. It is my contention that such a natural order does exist, and there will truly never be peace in the world until humanity is made aware of, understands, and ultimately conforms to that order. In light of experience two conclusions may be observed: 1) History attests to the sensitivity of men to the existence of this order. 2) That sensitivity has been intelligently nullified. It is our intention to present the nature of The Natural Order, to indicate why our sensitivity to that order has been nullified, and to demonstrate the means by which that order may restored, implemented and made universally known. This work is an attempt to re-establish the importance of absolute values in a world where such values are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and the necessity of preserving those immutable and self-evident truths upon which was established our nation ́s framework and foundation. Norman Dodd ́s dream was to establish and implement a Curriculum of The Civilizing Arts, whose purpose is to clarify and strengthen the original commitments which underlie and empower the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. It is my purpose to help make his dream a reality. As such it is a compilation of our shared ideas and mutual dreams. I was born in England but spent most of my life on the east coast of the United States. I am intent on protecting, preserving and implementing the hopes and aspirations of our country ́s Founding Fathers. My formal education consists of a BA from Brown University, Masters of Divinity (M.Div) from Yale University, and a Ph.D from Trinity College, Cambridge University, England.