“Pic of the Week”, January 9, 2015: Kuttan, the face of Colombo’s Galle Face Hotel

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I’ve previously written about my travels to Sri Lanka to visit my favorite author and friend, Sir Arthur C. Clarke.  After the long journey to Sri Lanka from America, I enjoyed settling in at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, a charming Colonial era building adjoining the Indian Ocean, before traveling elsewhere on the island.  This hotel was where Arthur wrote most of his last novel in the Odyssey series, 3001: The Final Odyssey.  It was also among the only places that enticed Arthur to leave the comfort and convenience of his home to join me for dinner or a drink, or to watch the sunset.

I meet many fine people in Sri Lanka during these visits. …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

The Final Countdown….Remembrances of Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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DrFumblefinger’s preamble:  One of the greatest aspects of knowing Arthur C Clarke was the many wonderful people I met through my friendship with him.  Among these was Sir Arthur’s personal secretary, Dottie Weerasooriya.   Dotts was and has remained a friend over the years and for the first time in the accompanying article shares some of her private memories of Sir Arthur, including his final days (Dottie was at his bedside when Sir Arthur passed on).  This is the first “guest post” on this website and I’m proud its such an interesting piece.  Thanks, Dotts, for sharing it with us! ******************************************************************************
THE FINAL COUNT DOWN
 (Dedicated to the memory of our beloved Sir Arthur C. Clarke,
with love and  deepest respect)

by Dottie

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“Pic of the Week”. March 15, 2013. Remembering Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

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It was five years ago, on March 19, 2008, that we lost Arthur.   He had lived a full, highly productive and wonderfully interesting life — over ninety years on this planet he thought should have been called “Ocean”, instead of Earth (more appropriate, he opined, because our planet’s more than 70% covered by water).  Arthur had been my favorite writer since I read “2001: A Space Odyssey” decades ago, by far his best known work but just one of many great concepts his fertile mind envisioned.   Arthur’s the one who nicknamed me, “Dr. Fumblefinger” after a character by the same name in a short story he wrote (which was never published but which he shared with me — …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Memories of Ray Bradbury

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I guess it had to happen someday. While checking my email news feed, my heart grows heavy to see that the great Ray Bradbury has died. It’s a deeply felt loss! Ray had been in failing health for over a decade, the result of a stroke and advancing age (which only seemed to slightly slow him down and did not crush his indomitable spirit!). I’m glad he doesn’t’ have to deal with his failing body anymore but, dear God, what a great loss.

I guess in some ways, Ray couldn’t have timed it better as it happened when we had a rare transit of Venus (he always had a flare for the dramatic). It’s like a magician disappearing in a puff …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 12) The Beaches

Sri Lanka — 12) The Beaches

Sri Lanka is intimately tied to the sea.  As a tropical island, only a few degrees north latitude of the equator, there are dozens of lovely warm beaches by which you can relax.  Some like to swim, some like to scuba dive or snorkel, some enjoy sitting in a palm grove or lying on a towel and listening to the sound of the surf hitting a coral reef or washing up on white sand.   I love the sea but am not a “beach bum”.  I’d rather explore as much of a destination as possible than be sedentary.   But for those who want a leisurely vacation on a tropical beach, Sri Lanka is an excellent destination.  It’s home to a large number of beach hotels and many fancy resorts which are mostly …

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Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 1b) Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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Much of my time in Colombo was spent at the home of Sir Arthur C. Clarke.  Arthur’s contributions to science, science fiction, space and space travel are well known, and if you want to learn more about these I recommend you visit the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation website and watch its short video biography of Arthur.  Probably the most important achievement of Arthur’s life was his landmark description in 1945 of the concept of a series of communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit (now known as the Clarke orbit) that provided the fundamental concept to the global boom that has revolutionized telecommunications and shrunk the size of our planet.  Arthur was always a dreamer, and he never thought that in his lifetime any …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 1a) Colombo

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Sri Lanka…Ceylon…Taprobane…Serendip…Pearl of the Indian Ocean  — all synonyms for the same magical tropical isle.

The Sri Lankan tourist board describes Sri Lanka as “A Land Like No Other”.  I think its a terrific and very apt slogan, for there’s no other place I know of that offers this admixture of the sea, wonderful beaches, mountains, waterfalls, jungle, tea plantations, ancient cities and temples, and a remarkable cultural diversity —  all on a tear drop shaped piece of land only a few hundred miles long.  For thousands of years Ceylon was a port of call on the shipping routes of the Indian Ocean.  Many of its cities, including Colombo, have great natural harbors.  Sri Lanka’s past history includes occupations by the Dutch, Portuguese, and most recently …

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