Borders bookstore is running an interesting pair of sales right now. I'm not sure how long they'll last, since the posters don't warn, which I suppose is a technique to get people to buy things now rather than later. I've got a deep enough to-read pile that I'm wary of falling for it, but the deals aren't bad. One is ``Buy two magazines, get one free.'' And I notice there's the double issue of Asimov's Science Fiction out; if it's the time of year for the double issue of Analog and Fantasy and Science Fiction I could buy two double issues and get a third double issue free, throwing enough numbers into the mix to entertain me and no one else.
There's also a buy two, get one free for science fiction, and that's advertised with the slogan, ``Meet aliens, extraterrestrials, and Captain Kirk.'' I'm curious whether the choice of words is meant to be deliberately nearly redundant, or if they were just caught up in the rhythm of the words and didn't notice that ``robots, extraterrestrials, and Captain Kirk'' flowed just about as well. Maybe they're just open to terrestrial or alternate-dimension aliens too.
They had had an offer last weekend of 20 percent off on select history books. Their selection, not mine. That ought to be fine, but as far as I could find they didn't actually go through and make any selections. I didn't check every book within the history section, but as far as I could find none of them had the sticker attached. Maybe they were thinking of a different weekend.
Outside the store, they've installed Salvador Dali's sculpture ``Alice in Wonderland,'' showing off a figure looking roughly like a Brussels sprout-headed woman in a long flowing gown twirling a jump rope over her sprout. This is good. If there's one thing Singapore has been in desperate need of, it's a dose of surreal artwork and the suggestion of bizarre stories. Several other pieces have been put up on Orchard Road, in the Central Business District, and at the Boat Quay. They include other pieces like ``horse saddled with time'' -- a melting watch, going against stereotype -- and another unicorn piece. Dali, as far as anyone's aware, never visited Singapore.
Trivia: Boston's Central Wharf, built 1819, ran a quarter of a mile long and contained 54 brick stores. Source: Yankee Science in the Making, Dirk J Struik.
Currently Reading: Coal: A Human History, Barbara Freese.