What are you reading now?


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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:38 am

IanS_Liv wrote:
gh wrote:Does "it" mean Unfinished Tales or Húrin?

I actually meant Hurin gh. Although I suppose the question could apply equally to Unfinished Tales as I've yet to buy that. And, having sampled several online 'fandoms' over the past few years, I completely agree with your views on the hardcore critics! I'm really asking whether you (or anyone else on the board) think they're good entertainment. Even if they're bleak......


I've read Unfinished Tales three times. Next question? :-)
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby az2004 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:57 am

just finished tramps abroad by samuel clemens.....not as good as innocents abroad...but anyone who's been in heidelberg or switzerland would get a kick out of it
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby IanS_Liv » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:24 am

gh wrote:I've read Unfinished Tales three times. Next question? :-)


What's the meaning of life? And why does the toast always fall butter side down?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby HiddenDepths » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:07 am

Bill Bowerman and the men of Oregon.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Brian » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:23 am

IanS_Liv wrote: And why does the toast always fall butter side down?



That's easy. Because the butter adds slightly to the weight on that side of the bread so it pulls it down (if dropped high enough). Or because God hates you. I can't remember.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mike renfro » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:51 am

I'm about half way through the 7th Henning Mankell "Wallander" novel. No, I'm not reading it in Swedish :) We started reading them after the BBC ran 3 of them last year. Pretty good work.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:24 pm

Brian wrote:
IanS_Liv wrote: And why does the toast always fall butter side down?



That's easy. Because the butter adds slightly to the weight on that side of the bread so it pulls it down (if dropped high enough). Or because God hates you. I can't remember.


Yes, but a cat always lands feet-first, so what happens if you strap a piece of bread to a cat's back, butter up?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby tandfman » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:02 pm

gh wrote:
Brian wrote:
IanS_Liv wrote: And why does the toast always fall butter side down?

That's easy. Because the butter adds slightly to the weight on that side of the bread so it pulls it down (if dropped high enough). Or because God hates you. I can't remember.

Yes, but a cat always lands feet-first, so what happens if you strap a piece of bread to a cat's back, butter up?

Maybe that depends on whether God hates the cat.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:30 pm

tandfman wrote:Maybe that depends on whether God hates the cat.


:D

The philosophers of yore spent entire careers on such profound subjects!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:36 am

how many cats can stand on the point of a pin?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:02 pm

tandfman wrote:
gh wrote: Yes, but a cat always lands feet-first, so what happens if you strap a piece of bread to a cat's back, butter up?

Maybe that depends on whether God hates the cat.


Makes sense.

God is dog spelled backwards.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby IanS_Liv » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:32 pm

Don't forget that cats aren't mentioned in the Bible. Lions, yes. Ordinary puss cats? No.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Brian » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:18 pm

IanS_Liv wrote:Don't forget that cats aren't mentioned in the Bible. Lions, yes. Ordinary puss cats? No.


Most books in the Bible written by Hebrews. Cats were big with the hated Egyptians ("Let my people go", etc.), so possible snub from that perspective.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:23 pm

I am in the process of re-reading Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon. A fascinating book of all deaths in Grand Canyon. Anyone who spends any time in the wilderness would appreciate this book, by reminding you what not to do.

There is also a companion book, Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mamo » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:35 pm

And don't forget "Death In Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park" by Lee Whittlesey. With boiling geysers and pools, Yellowstone has its share of enticing dangers. One example, the guy who followed his dog into a near-boiling pool (to save it) and of course we know what happened.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:41 pm

mamo wrote:And don't forget "Death In Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park" by Lee Whittlesey. With boiling geysers and pools, Yellowstone has its share of enticing dangers. One example, the guy who followed his dog into a near-boiling pool (to save it) and of course we know what happened.


Thanks! I will have to find that. Also there is the annual Accidents in Mountaineering published by the American Alpine Club.

PS. Just ordered the book on Amazon.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mamo » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:52 pm

One of my favorite books is "Touching The Void" about Joe Simpson and Simon Yates and their amazing mountaineering experience in the Andes in 1985. Simon had to cut the rappelling rope to avoid death with Joe, and that's only one climax to the true story. Joe's other books are awesome too, as are Simon's. There was even a great BBC docu featuring Joe and Simon years later.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:57 pm

mamo wrote:One of my favorite books is "Touching The Void" about Joe Simpson and Simon Yates and their amazing mountaineering experience in the Andes in 1985. Simon had to cut the rappelling rope to avoid death with Joe, and that's only one climax to the true story. Joe's other books are awesome too, as are Simon's. There was even a great BBC docu featuring Joe and Simon years later.


Yes, it is a great book. Never saw the movie though.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:41 pm

top-of-the-headlines death-by-mountain story:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1COHL4.DTL
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mump boy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:08 pm

Race of A Lifetime: How Obama Won the Whitehouse

very interesting
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:32 pm

For you mathematicians out there I just finished an interesting book called Perfect Rigor the story of a Russian mathematician who solved the Poincarie Conjecture. Anyways, besides the fact the guy turned down a million dollars for solving the prize, it is a fascinating look at mathematical competitions.

In the US the big college mathematical competition is the Putnam exam. I took it once and got 5 points of 120 and beat over half the entrants.

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Rigor-Mat ... 885&sr=8-1
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Friar » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:54 pm

Something in the air says after Beamon's WR jump, he went into a "Cataplectic seizure."
Plus 2ft. to a pr can do that.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:41 pm

Conor Dary wrote:For you mathematicians out there I just finished an interesting book called Perfect Rigor the story of a Russian mathematician who solved the Poincarie Conjecture. Anyways, besides the fact the guy turned down a million dollars for solving the prize, it is a fascinating look at mathematical competitions.

In the US the big college mathematical competition is the Putnam exam. I took it once and got 5 points of 120 and beat over half the entrants.

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Rigor-Mat ... 885&sr=8-1


Took the Putnam once - think I got a 2 1/2. Didn't beat half the entrants

Just finished reading Quantum, pretty good read about the history of quantum mechanics and its development.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby rasb » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:24 pm

Haven't started it yet, but just received "The Book of Awesome" from my daughter for Father's Day - sound like fun...
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:10 pm

Just finished the 6 books that comprise the prequel to Dune, as written by Frank Herbert's son and another scifi dude. They don't write half as well as dad did, but still compelling enough to make me launch into Dune itself for what I'd guess is about the 40th time. IMHO, unquestionably the greatest scifi novel ever written, with second place so far behind (yes, including Asimov's Foundation stuff) I'm not even sure w hat it is.
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Re:

Postby jamese1045 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:16 pm

gm wrote:Re: string theory...
I'll ask the neighbor's cat. That damn thing seems to play with string all the time in the yard!

:? That would be Mr. Schroedinger's kitty, dang thing! Oh well, that's neither here nor there, but I really enjoy Mr. Hawking's BLACK HOLES AND BABY UNIVERSES, and Other Essays. I like the simplicity of these essays, I like his plain sense of humor, and i like that he shows respect for religion AND science. And I like that he recognizes the really higher science---music, and Mozart.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:56 pm

History of Caldwell County, MO, c 1884, the county from which my grandfather migrated in the 1880s to homestead in Gove County, western Kansas where he and a brother "proved up" on 640 acres each. My grandfather returned to Missouri, married my grandmother and when the Kiowa-Comanche reservation was opened to settlement in 1902, homsteaded again the farm on which I was born in Kiowa County, Oklahoma. The brother stayed behind in Kansas and farmed the 1280 acres, from which he refused to evacute when the area was a WWII bombing and strafing range, until his death in 1945. This book was among his meagre effects.
I learned that my paternal great-grandfather was born in Chester Co, England in 1817. I only knew that he had migrated through North Carolina and Kentucky before settling in 1842 in Caldwell County, which was first settled in 1831. Although only 25 years old, he was elected and repeatedly re-elected County Probate Judge. Apparently a legal degree was not a strict requirement for a judge on the frontier.
Amazingly, in the 1890s, when he was over 70 years old, he sold his Missouri farm and homesteaded in Washita County, Oklahoma.
Well, I thought it was interesting. Sorry.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:59 am

I find it interesting that there's a Washita County in Oklahoma. I'm assuming this is yet another variant of the school Ouachita Baptist in Arkansas, and Wichita in Kansas. A native-American word with multiple frontier spellings?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:49 am

The tribe is the Wichita. The "mountains" and river in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas are the Ouachitas, the spelling influenced, no doubt, by the Louisiana Purchase from France. The river in western Oklahoma, scene of a memorable massacre of Indians, is the Washita.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:53 am

bambam wrote:
Took the Putnam once - think I got a 2 1/2. Didn't beat half the entrants


The year I took it back in the 70's the median score was zero.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:01 am

lonewolf wrote:The tribe is the Wichita. The "mountains" and river in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas are the Ouachitas, the spelling influenced, no doubt, by the Louisiana Purchase from France. The river in western Oklahoma, scene of a memorable massacre of Indians, is the Washita.


how did we ever live without google? Original word means "good hunting grounds"
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:31 pm

gh wrote:
lonewolf wrote:The tribe is the Wichita. The "mountains" and river in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas are the Ouachitas, the spelling influenced, no doubt, by the Louisiana Purchase from France. The river in western Oklahoma, scene of a memorable massacre of Indians, is the Washita.


how did we ever live without google? Original word means "good hunting grounds"


Hey? What google?
That was from my declining personal memory bank and, No, I was not at the 1868 Battle of the Washita.
Forgot to mention the intrusive granite "mountains" in SW Oklahoma are also the Wichitas. Wichita, Ks was where the Union sympathizing tribe was forced to relocate during the Civil War, after which they returned to SW Oklahoma. The main tribe at the Battle of the Washita was the Cheyenne/Arapahoe, the Kiowa having already removed to the reservation at Fort Cobb.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:59 pm

Conor Dary wrote:For you mathematicians out there I just finished an interesting book called Perfect Rigor the story of a Russian mathematician who solved the Poincarie Conjecture. Anyways, besides the fact the guy turned down a million dollars for solving the prize, it is a fascinating look at mathematical competitions.

In the US the big college mathematical competition is the Putnam exam. I took it once and got 5 points of 120 and beat over half the entrants.

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Rigor-Mat ... 885&sr=8-1


I read this one and liked it.

The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe [Bargain Price] [Paperback]
Donal O'Shea 4.2 out of 5 star. It was written earlier but after the proof had been vetted etc, about 2006, so it has the solution aspects etc.

I am now reading a biography of Max Born (picked it up quickly at closing and thought it was one on Bohr, but that can wait another day, as there was more about Born that I did not know:
Nancy Thorndike Greenspan, "The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born" (Basic Books, 2005) ISBN 0-7382-0693-8. Grandfather of Olivia Newton-John (yes, that one).

Soon I will read about the 'Martians' - the Hungarians who emigrated to the US, including John von Neumann.

Again, this is the most interesting thread to me, at least in the 'Things not T&F', I really appreciate all the comments by many posters. Also, to amend an earlier post, my E number is four (much easier to get, not three (my wife's number), but mainly by luck.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Pego » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:05 am

Many moons ago I read a book by Robert Jongk "Brighter than a thousand suns", IMO a very readable history of the first couple of generations of nuclear physicists.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby IanS_Liv » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:06 am

lonewolf wrote:I learned that my paternal great-grandfather was born in Chester Co, England in 1817.

Is that Chester, England, as in the other side of the Atlantic from the USA? That's interesting to me because that's where I was born. It's also only 25 miles away from where I live now. The local record office is very good.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:19 am

Has anyone read Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy? The first is the Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK). I just finished the whole trilogy and its a great read and thought provoking. It's a combination of ideas in theology, philosophy and physics. Lots of different characters from various universes, plenty of mythology and a lot of action.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:33 pm

IanS_Liv wrote:
lonewolf wrote:I learned that my paternal great-grandfather was born in Chester Co, England in 1817.

Is that Chester, England, as in the other side of the Atlantic from the USA? That's interesting to me because that's where I was born. It's also only 25 miles away from where I live now. The local record office is very good.

Yep, that Chester, England. I assume. I have not looked it up on a map so don't know in what part of England it is located. I will pm his name to you, maybe you can look it up if convenient and you are so inclined.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:55 pm

I've been to Chester. It is over near North Wales. Nice town.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:46 pm

I Google Earthed it. Charming town and much bigger than I envisioned. The area is believed to have been first occupied in the ninth century. I don't know how much it has changed since 1817 or what prompted my ancestor to leave there but the wilds of NW MIssouri in 1842 and even wilder SW Oklahoma in 1880 must have been quite a contrast.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:02 pm

Daisy wrote:Has anyone read Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy? The first is the Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK). I just finished the whole trilogy and its a great read and thought provoking. It's a combination of ideas in theology, philosophy and physics. Lots of different characters from various universes, plenty of mythology and a lot of action.


There was an '07 movie The Golden Compass based on this. I found it delightful escapist fantasy, but the regs on IMDB who had read the books pretty much trashed it for going off-topic a bit. I gather it's not too faithful to the book, other than in basic premise.

Polar bears as gladiators? Love it.
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