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Old 04-13-2010, 05:36 PM   #321
Taak Farst
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Just got started on 'My Booky Wook' by Russell Brand.

Definitely worth a read if you like the bloke.
Amazin guy

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #322
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About halfway through "Arguing with Idiots" by Glenn Beck...*braces for impact*



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Old 04-13-2010, 06:29 PM   #323
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Most of these I have not done--or shall we say not to a tee as described by the article. Still I find these to be of interesting and pleasant reading.

The Amateur Scientist columns I have obtained on home built lasers from earlier days of Scientific American. Sure people make these things now more moderm, somewhat, but I love the fabulous detailed descriptions and explanations--makes it more fun to read than a technical book at times. Even though the information in some of these pamphlets dates back to 1964. I have articles on the following lasers/packets:

"How a persevering amateur can construct a Gas laser in the home"
Original gas laser using Helium Neon (HeNe) had been developed for amateur level/skill construction. What makes this so much more interesting is:
1) how you yourself get to construct the discharge tube by glass blowing and working, and the importance of the work of Sir (David?) Brewster in optics as you have to incorporate it for maximum efficiency of the optics in your system using Brewster angle windows at both ends.
2) making your own vacuum system and mercury manometer--this alone is a science in itself
3) making the support frame for the assembly of the entire thing--a good exercise in machine shop fabrications
4) Intricacies of every aspect of making one of these things work I.E. Considerations for the power supply and whether or not to operate it high or low frequency as well as AC or DC (I always thought beforehand that gas lasers were DC), perfecting the gas mixture for lasing, creating "Getters" as purging elements to excise contaminants in the operation setup, the shop cleanliness practices, and final alignment of the resonator mirrors.
Also, for anyone who knows about laser resonators, you know that the pair of facing mirrors for the resonator must be as perfectly close to parallel as possible--you must use special mounts to put the HeNe laser mirrors into in order to achieve this perfection.
This laser outputs an orange-red beam @ 6328 Angstroms or ~633 nanometers.

"How to construct an Argon Gas laser with outputs at several wavelengths"
Very similar design to the above, this article teaches you how to build a (very crude) argon gas laser. Except the gas system has more requirements, the mirror mounts and adjustments are a little more sophisticated.

Lastly you have a similar power supply but what is different is the gas requires a much higher initial voltage potential to start the breakdown into ionization. In this particular case it utilizes an RF (Radio Frequency) field via an "Oudin coil" like the kind used to test glass parts of vacuum systems for leaks. This means it creates the high potential field around the tube and ignites the gas without any physical contact whatsoever. Similarly to some strobe lights where you see the small thin wire around the lamp itself. Since I think this acts like a sensor (it's a parasitic oscillator of the main filter capacitor, yes a simple inductor-capacitor oscillator) it probably cuts off when the main sustaining discharge levels take over.

This "ancient" design, I am not sure in what way it would self destruct because there are so many ways. Off hand, I'd say compromised seals of the electrodes if not outright discoloration and deformation due to overheating making it unusable. Another one is ablation of miniature irregularities that may be present on a microscopic level inside the tube. The arc will chew and drill away at it until the tube has been compromised and you have a leak.

A side word if you think you can keep up with relatively minor comparisons between different Argon laser power supplies:
Show spoiler

Lastly, the most fun part is by different current input levels, you can control the (color) frequency of the output. It has green, cyan, blue, indigo and violet discharge outputs.



Right now I don't feel like giving detailed reports of the next 3 laser data packets but I'll give you a preview of what's coming up next:

A homemade Mercury-Vapor Ion laser that emits both green and Red-Orange
The first gaseous ion vapor laser that has an unusual characteristic of simultaneous emission of two different wavelengths.

"An unusual kind of gas laser that puts out pulses in the Ultraviolet"
(My senior project in high school! ) This is by far the simplest laser project of the bunch and requires nothing fancy, but its design can be a pain if certain considerations are not taken.

"A Carbon Dioxide laser is constructed by a High School Student in California"
A high power output infrared laser outputting several watts that can burn and cut many materials. I'm actually working on a similar but much more modern design--admittedly more cookbook style with much of it already pre-made because I'd like something more powerful and more useful than just for display. However the principle is much the same.


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Old 04-13-2010, 06:37 PM   #324
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Recently my friend lent me a copy of Watchmen. I've never seen the movie, but I do think the graphic novel is quite intriguing.


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Old 04-14-2010, 12:42 PM   #325
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I am reading The Shah and I, a diary of sorts from one of the top guys closest to the Shah in 1960 Iran.

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Old 04-14-2010, 05:24 PM   #326
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Recently my friend lent me a copy of Watchmen. I've never seen the movie, but I do think the graphic novel is quite intriguing.
Don't see the movie...you probably won't like it if you enjoy the graphic novel.



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Old 04-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #327
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I'm reading Wil Wheaton's Memories of the Future Vol. 1. Fans of Trek TNG and those who have followed Wil's prolific blogging over the years will enjoy the way he mixes humour and nostalgia when remembering the first half of season 1 of TNG.



You can get it as a print on demand book or DRM Free PDF. If you want to get a snippet of what its like, check out the podcast site which features excerpts from the book. The book has done so well that a vol 2 is now in the works

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Old 04-19-2010, 11:50 AM   #328
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I'm reading "D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II" by Stephen Ambrose.

"Published to mark the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Stephen E. Ambrose's D-Day: June 6, 1944 relies on over 1,400 interviews with veterans, as well as prodigious research in military archives on both sides of the Atlantic. He provides a comprehensive history of the invasion which also eloquently testifies as to how common soldiers performed extraordinary feats. A major theme of the book, upon which Ambrose would later expand in Citizen Soldiers, is how the soldiers from the democratic Allied nations rose to the occasion and outperformed German troops thought to be invincible. The many small stories that Ambrose collected from paratroopers, sailors, infantrymen, and civilians make the excitement, confusion, and sheer terror of D-day come alive on the page."

It has been an amazing book. The first hand insights and stories definitely bring things to life.

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Old 04-19-2010, 12:47 PM   #329
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I'm close to finishing Haruki Murakami's Hardboiled Wonderland and The End of the World, which consists two stories (that are actually related). In Murakami style, it is a story of an ordinary and mundane life turned into a surreal adventure as our protagonist explores an underground world below Tokyo in one story, and is trapped in a strange town where there are no shadows in the other.

It is filled with postmodern inter-references as is to be expected of a Murakami novel and is a decent read while not as impacting as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore.


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Old 04-19-2010, 10:05 PM   #330
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Just started reading Comac McCarthy's "The Crossing."

I'm to far into it but so far it's rather good.

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:34 PM   #331
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Hero by Perry Moore

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Originally Posted by School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—At the same time that he's coming to terms with his sexual orientation, basketball star Thom Creed is trying to figure out exactly what his untrained superpowers can do. In an attempt to break away from his seemingly non-understanding father (an ex-hero with something to hide) and homophobic community, Thom runs away, only to find himself in the middle of a multi-hero rescue operation. Using his ability to heal, he keeps an injured woman alive until the League superheroes arrive and impresses them enough to get an invitation to try out for a hero apprentice position. Thom is teamed with an old woman who can see into the future, a spiteful girl who unleashes her power through fire, a sickly boy who is able to inflict disease on anyone, and a demoted hero with insane speed. With superheroes dying in mysterious circumstances, Thom is forced to admit publicly that he is gay in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice, but finds himself cast out of the League. He organizes his ragtag team to figure out what is really going on and to fight society's prejudices as well as the criminal element of the town. The story tackles love, friendship, and the eternal struggle to come to terms with who we really are in a tactful, interesting, and well-developed manner. Although the beginning is a little slow, there are subtle hooks that will keep readers' interest, and once the action picks up, Hero becomes a real page-turner that is worth the wait.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:44 AM   #332
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I had just finished 'A narrative of the life of David Crockett, of the state of Tennessee' By David Crockett (yes the supposed king of the wild frontier Davy Crockett)

Next I am starting 'American Legend The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett' By Buddy Levy


NwŻl tash.
Dzwol sh‚sotkun.
Sh‚sotjontŻ ch‚tsatul nu tyŻk.
TyŻkjontŻ ch‚tsatul nu midwan.
MidwanjontŻ ch‚tsatul nu asha.
AshajontŻ kotswinot itsu nuyak.
Wonoksh Qy‚sik nun.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:33 PM   #333
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I am happy to say that I have finally mustered enough energy to attempt reading this behemoth of an anthology: The Robot Novels by Isaac Asimov.


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Old 04-29-2010, 09:22 AM   #334
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If you want to get a snippet of what its like, check out the podcast site which features excerpts from the book. The book has done so well that a vol 2 is now in the works
I've listened up to I think episode 11 and it is very entertaining. WW does a great job pointing out the flaws in a non-mean spirited way, while praising other parts.


I wish SW fandom was more like that...

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Old 04-30-2010, 01:35 PM   #335
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Currently reading The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka, written by a bug-like creature sitting on my shoulders.

He drowned in a river and someone is throwing apples at me. What fine weather the book brings.


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Old 04-30-2010, 02:23 PM   #336
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^^^I actually read Franz Kafka's metamorphosis in college--it was required reading. Disturbing story and it's really open to interpretation--Did Gregor turn into a bug or simply have a mental breakdown?

Have not read any more of them, though.


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Old 05-02-2010, 11:18 PM   #337
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Dead Romance by Lawrence Miles - set in a universe inside a bottle, this book comes from a run written featuring incidental characters from the Virgin Doctor Who novels that got their own novels after Virgin's license to do Doctor Who stuff expired. Generally revolving around Bernice Summerfield, this one... focusses on Christine Summerfield (from inside the bottle), Chris Cwej (from outside), and the end of the world on October 12th 1970. The book was republished in 2004 by Mad Norwegian Press, who publish (most of) the Faction Paradox run.

The book is in the form of a diary, detailing Christine's memories of London before the end of the world, and it works quite well, though the way in which Christine contnually forgets bits and skips back can get a little wearying at times. I actually read this over Easter, and can't remember a great deal about the style; it's mostly pretty unambiguous prose, and it's the structure which is interesting, making ample use of an unreliable narrator, it makes for an interesting, quite easy read. As usual with Miles, mind-bending concepts are thrown about almost casually, and the plot, as usual, twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing.


Down by Lawrence Miles - Absurd space nazis, a psychopath and his social worker, and an archaeologist and two undergraduates on ridiculous degrees journey toward the centre of the Earth... or at least, of Tyler's Folly, an earthquake-wracked water-world and extremist republic.

Very different stylistically from, well, anything else that Miles has done, really. In fact, the style changes over the course of the book, reflecting things going on in the book. Naturally, at the centre of the planet, they find dinosaurs, though the book is very much aware of its own premise and the absurdities therein, and naturally, there's more to it than just dinosaurs, nazis, and mocking the more absurd end of the academic humanities.

Light, amusing, but also has something to say for itself. This makes for an interesting contrast with Dead Romance since a lot of the information in this book is also narrated. It also has some fantastic chapter titles. The plot, too, is far from simple and it gets curiouser and curiouser the further in you get. Apparently it's part of an arc of sorts, but I've not read the related books and I didn't feel I was missing any information, really.


The Taking of Planet 5 by Simon Bucher-Jones and Mark Clapham - By contrast, this is a book that makes no sense at all unless you have some awareness of what came before it. Even if that's only that there are Time Lords, and an Enemy, and a Fendahl, and things with far too many eyes and tendrils that live in the Mountains of Madness (and, in a rather bold move, are unceremoniously wiped-out and replaced toward the beginning of the book).

"Ambitious" would be a word for this book. "Ambitious", to the point of redefining large chunks of mythos and throwing HP Lovecraft into the mix for good measure, but unfortunately not necessarily much of a novel. A leads to B in an engaging manner, but the whole just doesn't really hang together as a novel should.

There's a feeling that things are just... happening, one after another. It's also, somewhat unfortunately, very much a scientist's novel, in that it's often written more from the perspective of the mechanics of the occurrences than from a perspective of the interest of the narrative. It is telling that the book has at the end a speculative essay on the nature of the universe which I'm sure is very interesting, for physicists. For me, it might as well have been an extract from a gnostic gospel, for all I could make of it, but it does highlight the issue with the book at times.

Overall, the plot is inventive, clever and interesting, but it's let down by haphazard implementation - some descriptions of the events are brilliant, while other segments consist of little more than someone vomiting up plot point after plot point in dialogue. So perhaps "uneven" would be another good word.


The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole - The first of the gothic novels, this rather slim book was first published by Walpole under the pseudonym of "William Marshal" and was claimed to be a translation of a text first published in Naples in 1529, the text of which had been found in the library of a prominent Catholic family in the North of England recent to the book's publication. This is a claim rather let down by the book's sheer absurdity as well as the repeated references to the works of Shakespeare.

This may be the first of the gothic novels, but it is also quite possibly the silliest book in the English canon, relying almost entirely on ludicrously credulous servants, irritatingly pietistic women, and unbelievably convoluted backplots reliant on characters unwittingly being the son of a count, recognised by their birthmark, etc., ancient prophecies, and other such silliness. It was, Walpole claimed, an attempt to marry the medieval romance to the modern novel. What comes out seems to have the worst aspects of both.

The book is irritating as much in style as it is in content - all dialogue is in plain text, without quotation marks and only marked by "X said" in the (unparagraphed) text of the page. This and the six mentions per page of so-and-so's "oncoming doom", or somesuch, make for an irritating read. I'm inclined to agree with Lovecraft, who opined that the book's only value is in its invention of the gothic novel. This also appears to be the emergence-point for faux-mediaeval speech. Forsooth, 'tis no better than its modern successors in this. Verily. And possibly zounds, too. The constant flitting between "thee" and "thou" in otherwise modernised speech is infuriating, to say the least. Overall, one to skip unless you're determined to discover for yourself the origins of the gothic novel. It didn't actually take very long to read, but I found it drained my patience remarkably quickly.


Timewyrm: Genesys by John Peel - Published in 1991, this is the first (semi-)official continuation of the Doctor Who franchise following the TV show's cancellation in 1989. The book begins a four-novel 'arc' concerning the Timewyrm, an enemy which is made out to be far more terrible than it in fact seems to be, once the arc gets going.

This one is set in around 2700 BC, apparently, and in Mesopotamia. Naturally, this means the same banal "explain away myths" treatment that every two-bit sci-fi hack since Wells has used applied to Gilgamesh - with Enkidu, inexplicably, a neanderthal. I say inexplicably, because the book highlights the incongruity and then does nothing about it except make a reference to the (far-better-worked-in) appearance of a neanderthal in the 1989 season of Doctor Who. Which seems a bit stupid, really.

There's nothing wrong with setting a story in the past, of course; it can turn out gloriously well. There's nothing wrong with taking liberties with a historical setting, even - as Alan Moore has shown, among others. But when the level of anthropological discourse in your interpolation of a myth is "ancient peoples were stupid and X was the god of Y", what you end up with is a flat and uninteresting collection of stock clichés wandering about a soulless and generic world also formed of stock clichés. Which is a pity, because Mesopotamian myth can be vibrant and fascinating.

In all, I'm left wondering how it got published. Typographical and grammatical errors abound, for starters. The characters are dull, cardboard cut-outs, and Peel appears to think that Gilgamesh should be played by Brian Blessed, c. 1980.

He also, inexplicably, decides that Kish in c.2700 BC would have had twenty-foot high walls of stone, wide enough for men to march along the top at four men abreast, and that ziggurats had people swarming all over them. Apparently that the ziggurat was designed to keep people out did not occur to Peel, but it's only a minor indictment of a book so chock full of shoddy ahistorical details that you're left wondering why he bothered setting it in ancient Mesopotamia at all, except to be able to nickname his villainess "Ishtar" in another poor attempt to link his narrative into the Babylonian literature..

I'd love to be able to claim that either Ace or the Doctor were, say, infuriating. Or wonderful. Or anything. But they're not any of these - they come across as soulless cyphers, like the rest of the characters, while the villain is apparently suffering from the curse of hammy lines - it's all "I will destroy you all, MWAHAHAHHA!" sort of stuff, and it comes across poorly in print, you'll be shocked to hear.

Meanwhile, the Fanwank device is in full overload, with cameos from two previous Doctors for somewhat dubious reasons and meaningless technobabble abundant.

It's also abundantly clear that (a) this book was written in 1991, and (b) that this book was written free of the restraints of being a "family show". Much is made of the gore and sex of ancient Mesopotamia, with one of the characters a sacred prostitute who spends most of the book topless, and much is also made of Gilgamesh's womanising.

I did smirk, though, when the abundantly obviously homosexual relationship in the Epic of Gilgamesh between Gilgamesh and Enkidu was very firmly quashed in place of them being "good friends". Evidently, things were liberal but not that liberal. It's funny, the things which date bad writing.

The plot is moderately clever, I'll grant the author, though it's not that much of a step above a TV episode, and the way in which it is written and executed is truly awful. I wish I could say this was a good, but it just isn't, by any stretch of the imagination. It's a really, really lazy piece of writing.


Timewyrm: Exodus by Terrance Dicks - A step above Peel's effort, but not by much, this time we go from comic-book Mesopotamia to comic-book Nazis, who this time win the war. The Doctor begins to show signs of being the manipulative genius he turns out to be when this series of books heats up, but at present is still far from there. The characters do, this time, have a definible character, to Dicks' credit. He also presents the Nazis, a little oddly, as somewhat sympathetic characters. This book is also far less desperate to prove its adulthood, but it's a pretty thin action romp, with little meaning or depth to it, much like its predecessor.

Its commentary on Hitler is rather clichéd, and that his powers are given by aliens is perhaps unsurprising and once again a bit too easy an "explanation" of an historical phenomenon. Once again, there's canon-overload,this time on the part of the villains, at least one party of whom last appeared in 1989. Though at least this time, the book is written in halfway-decent fashion. It won't set worlds alight, but the book is competent and fun.


Warlords of Utopia by Lance Parkin - This book seems to have one - quite simple - question at its heart: What if every parallel universe in which Rome never fell went to war with every parallel universe in which the Nazis never lost? The book takes the form of the memoirs of Marcus Americanus Scriptor, a 'Roman' (in this case, a Roman born somewhere in what we consider the US) of some status looking back on the events of this war. I'm about 16/180 pages in, and so far the style is a good mimic of a translation from Latin, while still being actually eminently readable. Good stuff so far, though it's early days yet.


The Book of the War, ed. Lawrence Miles - A compilation and encyclopaedia covering the first 50 years of the "War in Heaven", between the Great Houses who laid down the order of the universe and history as it is generally understood, and the "Enemy", of whom very little seems to be known by anyone except the Houses themselves. It sounds quite dry, but it's actually rather compelling reading, particularly since it's easily picked up, put down again, and picked up again. This is nothing less than the foundations of a mythology, and it does a pretty good job of this. As an encyclopaedia, it's in alphabetical order, although some skipping around might be best for some things, as, despite the aforementioned structure, this book does have more than a few plot strands running through it. Still less than halfway through, but it's nevertheless highly entertaining and inventive stuff.



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Old 05-06-2010, 11:23 AM   #338
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The book is irritating as much in style as it is in content - all dialogue is in plain text, without quotation marks and only marked by "X said" in the (unparagraphed) text of the page.
The lack of quotation marks is very common for pre-19th century texts. While putting them in does rather clear up matters, editions which modernise this feature can't help but destroy some moments of poetic ambiguity. There's a passage in the first (highly allegorical) book of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene in which Redcross is overcome by the seductive words of the grotesque Despair. Around this point it becomes very difficult to tell who is doing the talking as Spenser removes all the quoths and thus-spakes. As Redcross succumbs to despair he seems almost to meld into the figure of Despair: which is wonderfully sinister.

The 14th Century worked hard to give us paragraphs, I feel sad when people let the 14th Century down.

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This also appears to be the emergence-point for faux-mediaeval speech. Forsooth, 'tis no better than its modern successors in this. Verily. And possibly zounds, too. The constant flitting between "thee" and "thou" in otherwise modernised speech is infuriating, to say the least. Overall, one to skip unless you're determined to discover for yourself the origins of the gothic novel. It didn't actually take very long to read, but I found it drained my patience remarkably quickly.
I think 'thee' and 'thou', while quite old fashioned in the emerging Standard English, may well have been in common use until relatively recently. I know that Quakers used to talk to one another and may still do; indeed, if you go into some parts of rural Dorsetshire you may still be able to find someone who asks if 'thu bist' going to the pub.

Myself be readin' Cicero's Catiline Orations, the great orator's time to shine. So: Cicero saves the Republic but is exiled as a result. Bit of a downer that.


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Old 05-07-2010, 10:33 AM   #339
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Myself be readin' Cicero's Catiline Orations, the great orator's time to shine. So: Cicero saves the Republic but is exiled as a result. Bit of a downer that.
Definitely a very glum period in his life. It's always interesting to ponder why the ensuing tyrants tolerated him for as long as they did. Dry as it was in spots, I really enjoyed Trollope's Biography of Cicero. For anyone interested, it is available as a free audiobook from Librivox - the particular reader for that work is quite good as far as Librivox standards go.

As for me, recent researches for something I wrote made me pull this out of my bag o' tricks. This book is like sex+chocolate+pizza if you're into iconography in Renaissance humanist artworks. Good ole Mr Wind, Oxford's very first Professor of Art History, what I wouldn't give for a Steven Hawking Time Machine to go back and sit in on one his lectures in the 50s/60s. We have Martin Kemp these days, but he is no Edgar Wind.



If only we could get that douchebag Dan Brown to read more Wind, as opposed to making his own stuff up.

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Old 05-13-2010, 10:22 PM   #340
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Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Its awesome. I started to read it because of the amazing show Legend of the Seeker.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:50 PM   #341
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Just finished reading Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, which I really enjoyed but it got to be a bit tiring in the last chapter or two. Worth the read if economics at all interests you.

Currently I'm reading Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. Another interesting book that tries to explain why Europeans have dominated modern history without going into the so called science of race. So far an excellent read.

After that I'm going to try and find a good book as a counter point to Wealth of Nations, any suggestions?


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Old 05-20-2010, 05:31 PM   #342
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Just finished Rand's Fountainhead. I rather liked the story itself, but I've got this powerful urge to read the Communist Manifesto to maintain perspective. Right now, I can't help but call every politician I hear about 'Toohey.' >.>
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:53 PM   #343
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Just picked up "Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead" by Steve Perry at Barnes and Noble...looks pretty good!



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Old 05-20-2010, 07:41 PM   #344
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After that I'm going to try and find a good book as a counter point to Wealth of Nations, any suggestions?
You should, perhaps, take note that the Smith that the right idolises is not actually Adam Smith but an invented character. You may wish to look at The Theory of Moral Sentiments; it is impossible to understand Smith's economic philosophies without the framework of Moral Sentiments, in which he talks of the importance of "humanity, justice, generosity, and public spirit".

To Smith political economy has two objectives: "first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and second, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services."


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Old 05-20-2010, 07:44 PM   #345
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Having finished The Hunter's Blades Trilogy Book III: The Two Swords by R.A. Salvatore yesterday, I've just started Transitions Book I: The Orc King, also by R.A. Salvatore today. So far so good. I rather liked the prelude from 100 years later.

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Old 05-21-2010, 01:43 AM   #346
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Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Its awesome. I started to read it because of the amazing show Legend of the Seeker.
I just finished the series. Wizard's First Rule was my favorite. I enjoyed them all, though in the later books he got a little heavy-handed with the objectivist 'preachiness', for lack of a better term. Now and then I would just skip through the "Man determines his life through reasoning, not blind faith!!111!!!!eleventy-one!!11!!" sermons to get to the rest of the really good stuff more quickly.


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Old 05-21-2010, 04:26 AM   #347
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Recently finished two scifi novels. First was HALO:Ghosts of Onyx and the other was Mass Effect:Ascension. Neither was particularly great, but would have been passable fare for a plane ride.


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Old 05-21-2010, 06:51 PM   #348
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I just got assigned "The Great Gatsby" for school. I haven't heard good things about it, but the first chapter seems okay enough.


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Old 05-24-2010, 05:45 PM   #349
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Not any books now but an article on violence in video games. Actually it is a chapter in a book Children, adolescents and media: A critical look at the research

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Old 05-24-2010, 07:59 PM   #350
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Just finished Rand's Fountainhead. I rather liked the story itself, but I've got this powerful urge to read the Communist Manifesto to maintain perspective. Right now, I can't help but call every politician I hear about 'Toohey.' >.>
It's quite the novel isn't it? Hilariously, the day I got the Fountainhead at my local bookstore, I also picked the Manifesto as part of one of my book binges. Read and loved Fountainhead, but I've only got part way through ol Marxy's work.


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Old 05-25-2010, 08:20 PM   #351
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Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME.

Fantastic so far, even though the reading level isn't exactly taxing.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:42 PM   #352
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Thanks Pav

Well, I finished Guns, Germs and Steel (Highly suggest it!), and Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

Storm Front is the first book in the Dresden Files, it feels like the old noir films with the main character being a wizard/detective hybrid with a semi-shady past. Very interesting!

I'm gonna try and find Moral Sentiments now before I forget about it.


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Old 05-25-2010, 09:00 PM   #353
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Hilariously, the day I got the Fountainhead at my local bookstore, I also picked the Manifesto as part of one of my book binges. Read and loved Fountainhead, but I've only got part way through ol Marxy's work.
I have the two sitting right next to each other right now. If only Rand could see it now...
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:38 AM   #354
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I just borrowed SW: Fate of the Jedi Outcast from the library. I'm hoping that I can finish reading this book, it's been difficult to read books lately but at least I try.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:56 AM   #355
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For fun, I am reading Stanley Cavell's The Claim of Reason. This is a very pretentious title, I know, but it does seem to be interesting so far. I haven't finished it yet, but it generally attacks the idea that philosophy consists (solely) of arguments for or against things, and is critical of anyone who wants to understand, e.g., Plato, by identifying the logical structure of his arguments and saying that is the only, or even most, important part. I do like that about it; it is consistent with my overall views and it reminds me strongly of a quote from another of my favorite authors:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soren Kierkegaard
Of what use would it be for me to discover a so-called objective truth, to work through the philosophical systems so that I could, if asked, make critical judgements about them, could point out the fallacies in each system; of what use would it be for me to develop a theory of state, getting details from various sources and combining them into a whole, and constructing a world I did not live in but held up for others to see [...] if it had no deeper meaning for me and for my life?
I have also been reading more of the comic Transmetropolitan. I picked up several collections today and have gone through two of them. The simple outrageousness of the situations that occur - Presidential candidates growing their running mates in a tank to make sure they have clean histories, for example - makes the points of similarity they have to the real world (particularly politics, or social inequality) even more obvious. Spider is my favorite people-hater. Definitely not kid-friendly though.


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Old 05-29-2010, 04:16 AM   #356
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After finishing Kafka (and skipping several of his stories that were either a.) too boring, b.) not making any sense, even from a bizarre perspective, c.) little more than blog entires; I've taken up Newtons Sleep, written by one Daniel O'Mahony, the recommendation coming from Darathy, which makes this a Fiction Par deux novel.

The "chapter zero" was rather strange, but the story seems to be picking up well in the first chapter. Writing's not bad (better than Kafka at any rate), and it's been a while since I've read a story set earlier than the 18th century, the last being The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, IIRC.


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Old 06-10-2010, 10:29 AM   #357
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I'm reading Death of a Rug Lord by Tamar Myers. It's just a short comedy/mystery but it's been quite an enjoyable read so far.

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Old 06-10-2010, 11:22 AM   #358
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I just finished the Percy Jackson series in one month one month! It was funny, exciting, and the only book that I was super into since LOTR. I heard it was good, but didn't pay much mind to it thinking it was just a kids book. I finally got a chance to read it after my friend Erich gave it to me after being confirmed. I couldn't keep my hands off it following that!




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Old 06-10-2010, 07:30 PM   #359
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I'm reading the volume 3 of the manga Black Cat.


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Old 06-10-2010, 10:12 PM   #360
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I'm reading the volume 3 of the manga Black Cat.
Is that worth reading?


OT: If manga counts than I just started reading Death Note.

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