Edward Willett

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Christmas special: save $15 when you buy all four Shards of Excalibur books at once!

                                              Coteau Books is offering a special Christmas promotion in its online shop: buy all four Shards of Excalibur books, Song of the SwordTwist of the BladeLake in the Clouds, and Cave Beneath the Sea, for just $45. That’s a saving of $15 off what you would pay buying them individually in a bookstore. Or to put it another way, you’re getting one of the four books absolutely free! They make great Christmas presents. No, honest, they ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:52, December 9th, 2015 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

‘Twas the Nocturnal Time of the Preceding Day…video edition

A "science column" I wrote several years ago, my science-writer's take on the famous poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," has had remarkable life. It appeared in the newspaper, of course, but it was originally written for for CBC Saskatchewan’s Afternoon Edition radio program, and first read at one of their Christmas open houses (a different one from the one at which I sang “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!“), it’s been published or posted a few times since. A couple of years ago it got a lot of attention because it was noted by Ed Yong at Discover Magazine‘s website. I recorded a podcast of it, which you can listen to here. And now...ta da!...the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:14, December 27th, 2014 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns | Comment now »

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

Yep, I've recorded another Christmas song. Here in Saskatchewan, we don't exactly "dream" of a White Christmas as have the occasional nightmare about it, but, hey. It's still a classic. Enjoy! [audio mp3="http://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2013/12/White-Christmas-Mixdown-1.mp3"][/audio]

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:13, December 5th, 2013 under Blog, Music | Comment now »

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I've been experimenting with my recording setup today. Now that I have a MacBook, I can have my microphone in the same room as my computer (no fan!), which has opened up much better possibilities for doing things like mixing my voice with backing tracks. Which is how I created this. I only did a couple of vocal takes and didn't do any editing, so this is a straight-through recording--a little rough in spots, but serves as a proof of concept. Whaddya think? [audio mp3="http://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2013/12/Have-Yourself-A-Merry-Little-Christmas.mp3"][/audio]

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:45, December 4th, 2013 under Blog, Music | Comment now »

Retro Sunday: Ads from the 1930 Child’s Own Annual

As promised, some of the interesting (and, to modern eyes, occasionally odd/bewildering) ads from the 1930 (my best guess) Child's Own Annual. What strikes me most is that, though the annual was clearly intended to be read by children, the ads are very clearly intended only for grown-ups: there's very little here that's going to tempt a child to say, "Please buy that for me, Mommy!" Case in point: This is proof...sorry, "Prufe"...of, if nothing else, the fact that "quotation marks" have been "randomly applied" to "ad copy" for "generations." And remember: only the Empire's finest Pure Wool is used! (Funny thing: right up until...well, now...I read that as "Childprufe," not "Chilprufe." I actually think "child ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:28, December 31st, 2012 under Blog | Comment now »

The Boxing Day solution to the Christmas Day rebus

Two things for you on Boxing Day. First, for no particular reason, my daughter Alice sings the Star Wars theme: And second, as promised, the answer to the Christmas Day rebus. Happy Boxing Day!             Wee Fish               Ewe               A Mare               Egrets               Moose                           Panda               Hippo               Gnu   ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:09, December 26th, 2012 under Blog | 1 Comment »

A Christmas greeting from me to you!

Yes, that's me, as an elf, a role I played with...um...gusto at the Golden Apple Theatre's Christmas cabaret Christmas Crackers on December 23. On the wall that evening were photos similar to the ones below: my wish for you this holiday season. (And if you really can't figure them out, I'll post the answer on Boxing Day.) ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:28, December 25th, 2012 under Blog | Comment now »

A Christmas tradition: ‘Twas the Nocturnal Time of the Preceding Day to the Day We Call Christmas

There's a great song called "Christmas Cliches" in which the singer expresses a love of all the Christmas things that come 'round year after year, from plywood reindeer on the roof to Johnny Mathis on the radio. One of the reasons we love Christmas (those of us who do, and you can certainly count me among that number) is that warm sense of tradition, of things that, despite all the changes in the world from year to year, you can count on remaining constant. It's an island of stability in a tossing sea of chaos, to coin an overblown metaphor. So here's a Willett Christmas tradition. Originally written for CBC ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:12, December 24th, 2012 under Blog, Science Columns | Comment now »

To mark the first day of winter…

A picture-perfect Saskatchewan winter day, and a song! (In lieu of a longer blog post, because too much pre-Christmas running around for that.) Enjoy! Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:04, December 21st, 2012 under Blog | 2 Comments »

The science of Rudolph’s red nose

Long-time readers of my column will be aware of how closely I like to keep tabs on aerotarandusdynamics, the shamefully under-studied science of flying reindeer. I am pleased to note that there has been a small but significant development in aerotarandusdynamics research this year, but before I get to that, perhaps I should recap some of what I’ve written before on the topic, just to refresh your memory. “Aerotarandusdynamics” comes from aero, air, tarandus, the latter part of the scientific name for reindeer, Rangifer tarandus, and dynamics, moving.  Hence, aerotarandusdynamics is the study of reindeer moving through the air. How do reindeer fly? That, of course, is the central question of aerotarandusdynamics. For any object ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:16, December 18th, 2012 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns | Comment now »