The Fat Years
The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung My rating: 5 of 5 stars View all my reviews
Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar
Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food during Wartime by the World’s Leading Correspondents by Matt Mcallester My rating: 5 of 5 stars A wonderfully engrossing assortment of stories of war, horror, humor and food. Tidbits about Kim Jong-il’s obscenely rich tastes, Ariel Sharon’s (barely) hidden gluttony, the contents of MREs, the favored fusion cuisine of Iranian student...
Someone may take offense to this... tough!
BBC reports that the “Society of Young People who have a literal belief in the story of a human faced pegasus that flew a ‘divine prophet’ 767.92 miles from Mecca to Jerusalem so that this said prophet could meet earlier prophets (as well as the creator of the universe)” continue to stand by their complaint that people who don’t believe in such nonsense should show...
Terrorists in Love
Terrorists in Love: The Real Lives of Islamic Radicals by Ken Ballen My rating: 4 of 5 stars Very engrossing. Ballen humanizes the ‘terrorists’ without lending to sympathy for their cause. The only flaw, perhaps, is that his selection of profiles are unlikely typical jihadists. Still, his tales of the the accidental terrorist and the Brokeback jihadist are marvelous. His knowledge of...
Review: China in 10 Words
China in Ten Words by Yu Hua My rating: 5 of 5 stars A delightfully witty collection of 10 sharply delivered non-fiction essays by one of the Mainland’s favorite novellists. Yu Hua connects the spirit of the Cultural Revolution with that of modern China in a way few outside observers could manage. Touchingly personal, sometimes to the point of embarrassment, always insightful and...
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis My rating: 4 of 5 stars Some truly wonderful and funny essays on the still unfolding economic crisis. The problems in Ireland, Iceland, Greece and California are delightfully and engagingly explained in prose that a layman would enjoy. The scatology of the German chapter has been noted. Nothing obviously added from the Vanity Fair...
My fallback position: Quantum behavioral...
If you put one of Pavlov’s dogs into Schrödinger’s box and rang a bell, the dog would both be ‘salivating’ and ‘not salivating’ until you opened the box and determined the condition. This is the Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum conditional reflex.
Why I love reading about science history →
Because I discover neat things to talk about in conversation, like the “36-inch Giant Lick Refractor” “Would you like to see my giant Lick refractor?”
Kirk and Curie
To be defined as a species, organisms need to be capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. James Kirk was doing pure research when he had sex with all of those ‘alien’ women. It was dangerous, science-on-the-fly, research. Kirk has much in common with Marie Curie. This is not a picture of Marie Curie.