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Slugman
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PostWed Oct 07, 2020 3:29 pm 
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The People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman

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“The jerking motion of a knee does not reflect the operation of a mind”  Slugman, January 24th 2020
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neek
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PostThu Oct 22, 2020 9:09 am 
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Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson.  This may be the first biography I managed to finish.  Helped me better understand one of the most important figures of the 20th century--not just his scientific work but also his politics, spirituality, and humanity.
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zephyr
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 1:02 pm 
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Until The End OF Time, Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe by Brian Greene, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2020.    I had this on hold from the Seattle Public Library where it was in limbo for months until they started checking out books again.   This is one of those books which is way over my head, but written so well that I was able to follow along regardless. 

Here's the jacket blurb on the author:  "Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and is renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory.  He is the author of The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality..." Here is the Kirkus Review or the Goodreads Review

Many times I just soldiered on through some of the physics and mathematic references, but it was worth it to get to his conclusions in the final chapter "The Nobility of Being, Mind, Matter, and Meaning".  Here's a passage I enjoyed: 

While we may long for a perdurable legacy, the clarity we gain from exploring the cosmic timeline reveals that this is out of reach.  But that very same clarity underscores how utterly wondrous it is that small collection of the universe's particles can rise up, examine themselves and the reality they inhabit, determine just how transitory they are, and with a flitting burst activity create beauty, establish connection, and illuminate mystery.

Definitely a good read overall.  This is great bedside reading.  It will take you away from our constant ongoing national drama.     ~z
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neek
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PostThu Nov 19, 2020 7:39 am 
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zephyr wrote:
Until The End OF Time

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, zephyr.  I've been meaning to read Greene for a long time, and this might be a good place to start.  Always good to have a few books on the Christmas list for people who insist on sending gifts.

Stepping away from science for a bit, I've read

Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders.  Weird freaking book.  A bit over my head, like most serious literature.  The format--what might be called thought-chatter among ghosts in Purgatory--is quite interesting.  I might recommend 10th of December for anyone wanting a gentler introduction to Saunders.

Educated, Tara Westover.  If you thought your family was screwed up... but no, don't read this for the family drama, but to see what can emerge from even the most insane family situation.  If only all the sheltered and abused kids of the world could read this.
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Anne Elk
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PostSun Nov 29, 2020 1:38 pm 
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Neek wrote:
Lincoln in the Bardo"

zephyr wrote:
Until the End of Time"

I liked that one, Neek.  Got it from the library as soon as they made it available. Enjoyed as much reading subsequent articles about how Saunders came to write it, and about the actual historical events.  Saunders has an unusual background for a writer. I was reminded of him just yesterday when an excerpt from one of his novellas was read on NPR's "Selected Shorts" See the 11/26 "Modern Fables" episode.

Zephyr, that sounds like a good one - I'll have to get a copy.

I've been reading some online shorts about the joys of solitude, in nature, especially.  Like this one: The Oracle of Oyster River

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Washakie
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PostFri Dec 04, 2020 6:14 pm 
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Everything by John Barth.

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"What is the color when black is burned?" - Neil Young

"We're all normal when we want our freedom" - Arthur Lee

"The internet can make almost anyone seem intelligent"  - Washakie
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graywolf
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PostFri Dec 04, 2020 7:05 pm 
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Rereading the Dune trilogy.  Last read it 45 years ago, and decided to revisit it because of the pending release of the new Dune movie.  Burned through Dune in five days, Dune Messiah in two days, and started Children of Dune this morning.  Will follow up with: God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse Dune.

Reading these through the eyes of someone who's 45 years older, I'm getting a lot more out of them.  Nice break from all the medical books I've been reading lately.  Frank Herbert was a genius.  He was also a local.

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The only easy day was yesterday...
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Ski
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PostSun Jan 03, 2021 3:16 pm 
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My older sister, in an email of 01/03/21 wrote:
We actually have an "irrigation and drainage " specialist coming by next week to look at how we can collect groundwater and stormwater.  The new development seems to have made the earth here more wet.  No forest to absorb the water.

(There is a large development project taking place immediately adjacent to my sister's home in Steilacoom, where about three acres of dense second-growth forest was mowed down recently to make way for the construction of high-end single-family homes "Starting in the mid 800s".)

on 01/03/21, replying to my sister's email, I wrote:
Yes, the “development” will definitely cause a significant effect in regard to how surface water is processed by the natural environment. Attached is a paper detailing the way in which the forest canopy absorbs precipitation – interesting stuff if you’re into that sort of thing.
I find a great irony in municipal planning departments urging (and in some cases requiring) that new development include a certain percentage of permeable surface and fancy (and expensive) drainage systems to contain storm water on site, and yet the same municipalities’ roads and transportation departments are constantly on the move laying down curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, covering formerly permeable surfaces with concrete.
The reason that the southeast corner of the Indian sub-continent has suffered crippling shortages of drinking water turned out to be an anthropogenically caused problem; they paved over so much surface that the annual monsoon rains were not able to leach down into the underground aquifers which for millennia had been the source of drinking water for the multitudes.
Such is “progress”.

This exchange was the impetus for my going back and perusing through a paper I downloaded and read long ago:

The dynamics of rainfall interception by a seasonal temperate rainforest - Links, Unsworth, Marks - January 2004

alternate URL here


While admittedly a lot of the technical content is far above my pay grade, it does, even to the layman, support the argument for the retention of forested areas even in developed areas.
I found of particular note a statement in the conclusion:

Links, Unsworth, Marks wrote:
The storage capacity value for the WRCCRF old-growth canopy was much higher than for plantations of similar species, despite higher plantation LAI values in some instances. This difference may be attributed primarily to the presence of abundant lichen and bryophyte communities in the forest canopy.

(* feel free to contact me with a good email addy if you have problems accessing either site  and I can email you a copy in *.pdf format. *)

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Jumble Jowls
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PostSun Jan 03, 2021 4:54 pm 
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Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard by Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler.   Yes, that one.   As a run-up to taking an AIARE 1 course.   

Very clearly written.
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lookout bob
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WTA proponent.....
PostMon Jan 04, 2021 9:02 am 
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"Polaris Rising" by Jessie Mihalik.  A rollicking good fun sci fi.  The second one is just now coming out in case you get involved. cool.gif

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"Altitude is its own reward"
John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")
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neek
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PostThu Jan 14, 2021 7:19 am 
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Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein.  Interesting bit of US history that I was blissfully ignorant of at the time.
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jan 14, 2021 7:53 am 
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Upheaval, 2018 by Jerad Diamond examines different countries which have been convulsed by political upheavals. Starts by examining Chile, Indonesia, Finland, Germany, and Australia which had major political crises. The examination is mostly how they coped post crisis. The final chapters provides how crises could occur in other countries including the USA. Author is also author of Guns, Germs, and Steel on how civilizations fall.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 2:35 pm 
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I finished all of the books in The Expanse series (another is due this year).  Skipped the novellas that are fillers inbetween the novels.


Just starting Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, obviously the sequel to Ready Player One.
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Jan 19, 2021 3:17 pm 
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Halfway through Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison (Not H.G. Welles), 1952. On of the best 20th century novels according to Modern Library. Beautifully written reminiscent of Joyce and Jazz. One of the primary cornerstones of Black literature, the Harlem renaissance, and identity. Contains critiques of Black elite schools, communism, elitism, and racism.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Slugman
It’s a Slugfest!



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It’s a Slugfest!
PostWed Jan 20, 2021 12:33 pm 
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I just finished 1491 by Charles Mann.

https://www.amazon.com/1491-Revelations-Americas-Before-Columbus/dp/1400032059

Very interesting. I was a little bummed that it didn’t go into recent discoveries regarding Beringia and the origins of Native Americans, until I realized the book is 15 years old.

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“The jerking motion of a knee does not reflect the operation of a mind”  Slugman, January 24th 2020
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