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Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 660378 times)

SFEley

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Reply #50 on: February 24, 2007, 01:38:02 AM
I agree that we should assume the worst, but we could be missing something that could be found if we stopped assuming our assumptions are right, and try to discover if our assumptions are right.

You do realize that there's a hell of a lot of work going on in that right now, right?  Scientists are doing science.  For the last few years it was difficult in the U.S. because the Bush administration had a policy of making life very difficult for publicly funded science on global warming, but it has been happening.

Really.  No one's just assuming it'll happen.  There's actual math, and it's being improved on all the time.

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Startrekwiki

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Reply #51 on: February 24, 2007, 01:49:47 AM
Oh, No. I'm not saying that nothings happening, but, for example, Canada, where I live, is WAY below Kyoto standards. I mean, this is a very big issue, and I also think that things are happening quickly, but the whole problem is that we have to figure out a way to work being green into life as we know it. What I mean, is,

- Shutting off the lights
- Not wasting materials and resources in general
- ets.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows what I mean. Basically, take what you need, or otherwise what will not waste. I'm not saying that one should turn to extremes, but little things, such as carpooling, and un-plugging your laptop when it's charged, then plugging it in again when it needs to be re-charged. Or something like that.

We also need to look into stuff like having different energy efficient habits, and giving that old Windows 2000 to your uncle's kid, who wants a computer.  I hate when people tell me how to live. No, these are just suggestions.
Another to add, that can slightly be applicable: keep your laptop screenlight down low, until you actually need it to be higher for one reason or another. I do, espetially when listening to Sudopod ;)



Reap3r

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Reply #52 on: February 24, 2007, 03:30:06 AM
I agree that we should assume the worst, but we could be missing something that could be found if we stopped assuming our assumptions are right, and try to discover if our assumptions are right.

You do realize that there's a hell of a lot of work going on in that right now, right?  Scientists are doing science.  For the last few years it was difficult in the U.S. because the Bush administration had a policy of making life very difficult for publicly funded science on global warming, but it has been happening.

Really.  No one's just assuming it'll happen.  There's actual math, and it's being improved on all the time.

Sorry, I typed without thinking there, and no i can't redeem my statement. That's the price I pay for putting myself out there. I'm going to be wrong sometime.

Thinking? I've never heard of that. Is it some kind of food? Please tell me it tastes better than those sick pop tarts filled with meat. You know, Hot Pockets. What, thinking isn't a food? Well then, what is it? Does it have to be built. I hate building things. JUST TELL ME NOW! O look, a bird.


Russell Nash

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Reply #53 on: February 28, 2007, 08:09:39 PM
I'm reading three books right now.
1) The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
2) The Swarm
3) A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong

On my to be read pile I have three books
1&2) Are the first two books of the Terry Pratchet Discworld series.
3) I forget the exact name of the third, but it's book one of a three part history of the Third Reich.

Update
Finished The Swarm it got insanely stupid. It's also the book, I complained about in the Pet Peeves thread.

I gave back the History of the Third Reich. I just don't get enough time to read to slog (sp?) through that.

I started reading the first Discworld book. I'm about 80 pages or so in (They just started the inn-sewer-rents fire) and it's a lot of fun.




Heradel

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Reply #54 on: February 28, 2007, 08:36:05 PM
The next few books I'm going to read are:

1. The World is Flat (v2.0), Thomas Friedman
2. Sandman, Neil Gaiman
3. The Earthsea books, Ursula Le Guin
4. 300, Frank Miller

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


jrderego

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Reply #55 on: February 28, 2007, 09:06:48 PM
I am reading off-genre during my writing vacation.

I've read "The Devil Wears Prada" by Laura Weisenberger.

Hated it.

I am currently reading "The Sand Pebbles" by Richard McKenna and it is fantastic. Set in 1925 China the crew of the US Gunboat San Pablo deals with the transition of China from country controlled by warlords to a modern nationalist state.

On tap I have "Nevermore" by Harold Schechter (E.A. Poe and P.T. Barnum solve a series of murders). Schechter is the undisputed master of grisly true-crime non-fiction. I've read a half dozen or so of his books and I can't wait to get into his fiction. Had to get it from the library though as it's out of print in all formats.

Finally, "The Ruins" by Scott Smith. Recommended by a friend, I have no idea what the hell this one is about.

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Talia

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Reply #56 on: March 01, 2007, 09:11:34 PM
I just finished 'Possible Side Effects' by Augusten Burroughs. I highly recommend his stuff, the guy's incredibly observant and scathingly witty. Next up is 'Chainfire' by Terry Goodkind.  And I badly need to get my hands on a copy of 'Fragile Things.'  I have several more books lying around the apartment in various stages of being read, but I don't know when or if I'll get to those.

I'll probably give Jim Butcher's books another shot at some point soon since he'll be a guest at I-Con and I might want to see him speak.



madjo

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Reply #57 on: March 05, 2007, 10:43:23 AM
I started reading the first Discworld book. I'm about 80 pages or so in (They just started the inn-sewer-rents fire) and it's a lot of fun.
Say hi to Twoflower for me. :)

I've just finished Wintersmith by T. Pratchett, I really loved that story.
Now I have to find another good book to pick up, but given my enormous stack of books-to-be-read that won't be a problem.



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #58 on: March 05, 2007, 03:02:18 PM
Oh, No. I'm not saying that nothings happening, but, for example, Canada, where I live, is WAY below Kyoto standards. I mean, this is a very big issue, and I also think that things are happening quickly, but the whole problem is that we have to figure out a way to work being green into life as we know it. What I mean, is,

- Shutting off the lights
- Not wasting materials and resources in general
- ets.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows what I mean. Basically, take what you need, or otherwise what will not waste. I'm not saying that one should turn to extremes, but little things, such as carpooling, and un-plugging your laptop when it's charged, then plugging it in again when it needs to be re-charged. Or something like that.

We also need to look into stuff like having different energy efficient habits, and giving that old Windows 2000 to your uncle's kid, who wants a computer.  I hate when people tell me how to live. No, these are just suggestions.
Another to add, that can slightly be applicable: keep your laptop screenlight down low, until you actually need it to be higher for one reason or another. I do, espetially when listening to Sudopod ;)

(It must be my week to jump in on "controversy threads"!)

It always seemed like common sense to me that more pollution = a Very Bad Thing.  However, until I saw Al Gore's movie, I didn't really know much about the science behind it.  Now I talk about it, and my friends pooh-pooh the whole thing as some kind of publicity stunt, and cite Crichton as some kind of "common sense authority" on the matter.  The gist of their arguments -- no matter how they phrase it -- seems to come down to, "Al Gore isn't a scientist, he's just using his platform to try to run for President.  Crichton and 1% of the scientific community (paid for by the world's leading polluters) have much more credibility in my book that he does."

But if you look at the correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere, and world-wide temperatures, combined with all of the predicted weather effects, you can't deny that something needs to change pretty quickly.  Bio-fuels won't do it, because they still pump CO2 into the air; no one "silver bullet" technology can do it.  But there are:
* new solar technologies coming online - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deployment_of_solar_power_to_energy_grids new solar technologies)
* wind power is beginning to overcome "NIMBY" obstacles - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power#Large_scale
* and even nuclear is safer now - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_Bed_Reactor

Well, it's safer, at least, than the prolonged use of fossil fuels.  (As one commentary I heard on NPR put it, "At least with nuclear waste, you know where it is; waste from fossil fuels goes everywhere."  Not comforting, but something to consider.)

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ClintMemo

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Reply #59 on: March 05, 2007, 04:57:20 PM
Maybe someone should start a "little things you can do to be greener" thread.

Recently, I (well, me and my family) did two things:
1) I replaced nearly all of my light bulbs with CF light bulbs.  It wasn't cheap, but what I save in electricity will pay for it in about six months, IIRC.  And the less electricity I use, the less coal gets burned.
2) I stopped buying little bottles of water.  We used to go through about a case a week. They all went into my recycle bin, but as many times as I saw or heard about garbage men throwing the recycle into the garbage truck and saying to complainers "we'll sort it out later,"  I began to wonder how many of those bottles ended up in landfills.

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Roney

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Reply #60 on: March 10, 2007, 12:11:27 AM
This is probably a thread I should stay away from, for a number of reasons.  Hey, it's never stopped anyone on t'internet in t'past.

Y'all (US; Scotch: youse) seem to like Terry Pratchett: I recommend early Robert Rankin if he's available in the States.  Amargeddon: The Musical and the first three books of the Brentford Trilogy are comic-fantasy genius.  Maybe a little parochial but they should work for foreign readers in the "write of what you know" sense.

[topic switch]
Environmentalism isn't as hard as you imagine when you try it.  Live in the right place is the hardest part*.  Then don't drive, don't fly, lag your loft, switch to a renewable energy supplier and recycle what you can.  Do a bit better every week: nobody expects you to be perfect straight away.  I know that there's a lot more that I could do but I'm working on it.  Doing a little feels better than doing nothing.

I see at as much more positive than Pascal's Wager.  I always assumed that God could see right through the percentage players and would send them straight to hell.  On the environment you actually help the economy: peak oil is by many accounts already here and we have to get ourselves ready for the post-carbon economy.  Let's steal a march!  The more carbon we keep in the ground, the less climate change we all have to adapt to.

[topic switch]
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.
+ some Neil Gaiman Sandman stuff: I just discovered Brighton's comic shop and I've got a lot of catching up to do.
+ the entries in the EP FlashFic contest, again and again: there are some overlooked gems in there.
+ a Joe Haldeman collection (Infinite Dreams) that I found in a second-hand bookshop: okay, but nothing thrills me so far.  The EP contest stories beat it hands down.

In my in-tray:
+ The Briar King by, uh, Greg Keyes I think: I seem to have lost the damn thing.
+ Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk: can't go wrong there.
+ The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815: my wife's a naval history/Napoleonic wars fan and reckons this is a good 'un.
+ Glasshouse, by Charles Stross: I'm saving this one up as a treat in case one of the other disappoints me.
+ House of Leaves.  Again.  So I can join in the Pseudopod thread.

* Admittedly easier in the UK where the distances are less intimidating.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 11:02:37 AM by Roney »



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #61 on: March 10, 2007, 12:43:44 AM
Ha, ha!  I had the WORST time trying to get around in the UK!  Of course, we were in rural Lincolnshire, with one bus passing through twice each weekday.  When you're talking about commuting, the phrase "Your Mileage May Vary" is really true.  ;)

I was also USAF while there, and they tend to keep you consuming like a Yank wherever they send you.  "Damn the cost, you need to travel 60 miles for a drug test!"  That sort of thing. 


[back to the reading topic]
You have caught me during a rare "I'm not reading anything at all" moment.  My free time (especially this week) has been spent in the car (NPR or mp3s), on the computer (doing this!), watching Boston Legal with my lovely bride (who has a strange crush on James Spader), or playing baseball on the Nintendo (my Diamondbacks are on a 7-game winning streak, thanks to Johnny Bench!), and I haven't found anything compelling at the library.

My beef with the library:  they have an excellent selection of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" franchise novels*, book 2 of Peter Hamilton's "Naked God", and a bunch of stuff I have read already.  I can't get the "hold" feature on their website to work, and browsing has not worked.  When I asked at the info desk about the new Iain M. Banks, we had a lovely conversation about how to spell "Iain", but no joy finding the book.

*I find those books to be unreadable, even in a "light, fun" mood, which I am not in of late.  Must be the weather.

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Roney

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Reply #62 on: March 10, 2007, 01:52:02 AM
Ha, ha!  I had the WORST time trying to get around in the UK!  Of course, we were in rural Lincolnshire

Meh.  Well if you will try to cope with the Midlands...

(Speaking as a Scot living in the public transported-up South.  Which reminds me...)

Quote
When I asked at the info desk about the new Iain M. Banks, we had a lovely conversation about how to spell "Iain", but no joy finding the book.

Iain was round our way this week on a book-promotional tour for his latest non-SF (The Steep Approach To Garbadale, sounds pretty good, in The Crow Road vein) and claimed that he had his forthcoming SF book in his pocket.  He waved around a couple of USB memory sticks.  It's unusual for him to be writing while he's on the road as he's been particular about separating his writing time from his glad-handing, but the important facts are (a) the new book is Culture (b) it's ~114,000 words in and (c) it's going okay.

Hurrah.  :D



SFEley

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Reply #63 on: March 10, 2007, 03:45:52 AM
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.

Out of curiosity, what does this mean?  You take precisely as long to read it as the characters took from leaving the Shire to returning to it?  I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how to interpret this.


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Roney

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Reply #64 on: March 10, 2007, 11:01:41 AM
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.
Out of curiosity, what does this mean?  You take precisely as long to read it as the characters took from leaving the Shire to returning to it?  I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how to interpret this.

That's what I'm attempting.  I skipped the 17 years between the Long-Expected Party and Frodo leaving Bag-End, but since then I've been trying to read each day's-worth of action on the day that it took place.  It does require quite a bit of jumping around after the Breaking of the Fellowship -- the result is a more movie-style intercutting of the scenes which I'm enjoying so far.

And it's amazing how long they hang around in Rivendell and Lothlorien.  Lazy blighters.  Don't they know there's a war on?



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #65 on: March 10, 2007, 03:10:35 PM
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.
Out of curiosity, what does this mean?  You take precisely as long to read it as the characters took from leaving the Shire to returning to it?  I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how to interpret this.

That's what I'm attempting.  I skipped the 17 years between the Long-Expected Party and Frodo leaving Bag-End, but since then I've been trying to read each day's-worth of action on the day that it took place.  It does require quite a bit of jumping around after the Breaking of the Fellowship -- the result is a more movie-style intercutting of the scenes which I'm enjoying so far.

And it's amazing how long they hang around in Rivendell and Lothlorien.  Lazy blighters.  Don't they know there's a war on?

Dude, YOU are totally hard core.

I told my wife about your project, and we both want to know, did you figure out the pacing yourself, or is there a published "LOTR day by day" outline somewhere?  I've seen the "Bible in 365", so it wouldn't surprise me either way.

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Roney

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Reply #66 on: March 10, 2007, 05:55:07 PM
I told my wife about your project, and we both want to know, did you figure out the pacing yourself, or is there a published "LOTR day by day" outline somewhere?  I've seen the "Bible in 365", so it wouldn't surprise me either way.

I've been winging it.  I thought about trying to work out a schedule in advance but I thought that might take the fun out of it.  I'm beginning to regret my decision now, because I've been going badly wrong since the start.

Once I've finished I'm thinking of going back through and making a plan for next time, in case I ever get the urge to do it again.  If I do I'll put my notes up on the web.



fiveyearwinter

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Reply #67 on: March 12, 2007, 04:44:29 PM
I just started Stephen King's Cell, I'm getting ready to finish Atlas Shrugged (yes, it takes time to prepare), I've begun Pale Fire, and I desperately want to read House of Leaves.



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Reply #68 on: March 12, 2007, 05:48:53 PM
At the risk of sounding like a slacker, I only have a couple books on the stack right now:
-Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions: Travels With an NPR Correspondent
-Several picture books of shiny metal bits from 200ad ~ 600ad
-"The Last Continent" by Terry Pratchett

I'm thinking of picking up "Armageddon: The Musical" on Roney's recommendation

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Planish

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Reply #69 on: March 16, 2007, 05:21:35 AM
I just finished Stephen King's Cell. Before that was Harry Turtledove's Days of Infamy and Beginning of the End.

Now I've begun Douglas Coupland's jPod. It's a hoot, so far.  :D If you like Microserfs you'd like jPod.

Finished LoTR a few weeks ago, for, like, the fifth time.

I feed The Pod.
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Roney

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Reply #70 on: March 17, 2007, 09:25:50 PM
My reading in-tray has just been disrupted by the publication of Hal Duncan's Ink, the second (and, I believe, final) part of The Book of all HoursVellum blew me away and I can't wait to get started.



sayeth

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Reply #71 on: March 20, 2007, 12:28:13 PM
Four sets of reading:

1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman. I was at first turned off by the horrid cover design (at least in my copy), but I eventually read The Golden Compass (aka The Northern Lights elsewhere) and found it to be an excellent fantasy/steampunk adventure. So, now I'm on the sequel.

2. Real book, for work-related reading: Learning to Smell by Don Wilson.  I'm a neuroscientist studying how certain pathways in the brain change during olfactory learning, so this is right up my alley, and well-written to boot.

3. Ebook, for bus reading: The People of the Black Circle by R.E. Howard. I've found that pulp novels work best for the piecemeal reading I do on the bus, so I'm working my way through the Conan stories. The writing is much better than I would have thought it would be.

4. Audiobook, for walking and lab chores: The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc. I picked this one up from LibriVox.org. Not all their books are read especially well, but this one has had competent enough readers to be enjoyable. Lord Jim, which I just finished, was better than some professional audiobooks I've heard.

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Roney

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Reply #72 on: March 24, 2007, 11:08:50 PM
1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman.

You have such a treat in store.  I envy you.  Why has nobody yet invented the device that wipes books from my memory so that I can enjoy them again?



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #73 on: March 25, 2007, 03:28:41 AM
1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman.

You have such a treat in store.  I envy you.  Why has nobody yet invented the device that wipes books from my memory so that I can enjoy them again?

More Guiness, my friend.... more Guiness.

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ClintMemo

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Reply #74 on: March 25, 2007, 04:18:20 AM
1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman.

You have such a treat in store.  I envy you.  Why has nobody yet invented the device that wipes books from my memory so that I can enjoy them again?

It's called "age"

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.