Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Unrealistic Expectations

They manifest themselves in many different ways, no doubt, but this may be a triumph of the genre. Though this runs a close second and, perhaps importantly, has all the indicia of being a serious offer (i.e., there's contact info).

Sunday, August 21, 2016

End of the world news

I finished Station Eleven yesterday, and will go ahead and reveal that I thought it was great. Some interesting echoes from our past reading list. I may not be able to make the next book club, though, because I'll have a hard time exiting my fortified basement and making my way past the water jugs and bags of rice to get to the front door, and then I won't want to tear through the caulk, duct tape, and plastic wrap to go outside.

Just to freak myself out further (and maybe to get a better grip on some of the related science issues) I've started David Quammen's Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. It's about as frightening as you probably imagine. But Quammen's a fantastic writer, and I'm looking forward to finishing it. In case I haven't mentioned it eight or nine times already, he wrote one of my favorite books ever: The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction. The history and future of evolution, extinction, islands, and more. Read it if you haven't. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

I Can't Stand it, I Know you Planned it

Well, this is everything.

Nightmare on Ulm Street

I checked my spammy email account (a holdover from 1997 when Yahoo actually meant something), and saw the email in the screenshot below. I caught a whiff of our last book in there. I mean, I didn't even know I had a "home page" beyond the Google search box that appears when I open Chrome.  Perhaps I'll start getting emails from myself. 

Friday, August 12, 2016


I did a little further reading in Wikipedia, and it turns out I got a few things wrong in my hasty summary of this fantastic story. So go, watch the video, read the article, and then you'll understand my new Risk war cry. (And maybe why Andrew likes to get chicken.)

(Image from this story, which is also fun.)

And if you want to dive deep, there's this 2007 Westword piece.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

On mental health

Per last night's conversation concerning Donald Trump's mental health, and more distant conversations concerning the decline of Harper's as a readable magazine, here is an article in Harper's about The Donald (and his mental health):

Don the Realtor

It's written by none other than Martin Amis who, while some may dislike him, I kind of enjoy in his ascerbititude. (I made that up.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ferris Lines

I haven't gotten too far into this week's book, and I can't necessarily say whether I like it or not (and why), but Mr. Ferris can certainly turn a phrase at times. Recording these here for my own future reference:

"If you hate the Yankees so much," Connie asked me, "why did you move to New York?"
"To find out what kind of city could make a monster like a Yankees fan."

"Every time I read an email with a live emoticon, I'd feel the astringent sexual frustration ever threatening my workaday equipoise, and the temptation to yank off in the Thunderbox while staring down at the Ipad was broken only by the hygienic demands of a mouth professional."

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A couple of links

I was idly surfing the intertubes while eating my lunch, and stumbled across the New Republic's site (it's been a while since I've read the magazine). Turns out they had two articles on the front page concerning potential books and movies of interest to BBC. Thus, one decent review and one utter panning below:

China MiĆ©ville’s Surrealist World War II

Suicide Squad: Unleash Hell, Don’t Ask Questions