What are you reading now?


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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:58 pm

IanS_Liv wrote:I've done a bit of reading on early Christian history. Geza Vermes is probably the author I trust the most I think. He has very good credentials, and writes very well. Plus, he's Jewish, so may have less at stake in writing about Christianity?

Pego has the right approach - so many of these authors have a vested interest or world view, so everything has to be read with a sceptical-ish mind. I have to admit I don't always do it, but I'm glad to say that I've got past the stage that says, "they must have some credibility if they found a publisher and got it through the editing process."

The trouble is - and I know we're verging on forbidden territory here gh - is authority. Having hung around academics, ideology plays a very large part in what they write. It's not always a bad thing, but it has made me realise that who writes something is almost as important as what's actually written.


Thanks for this...I'll look into Vermes.

A few quick thoughts:

1. Of course every book/statement/assertion needs to be evaluated; with even our best writers, one is wise to have a "trust but verify" point of view
2. Tons of worthless books are published; merely putting words on paper and having the result bound means--in itself--next to nothing.
3. Ideology can play a major role in ANY author's writing--whether that writer is deemed "academic" or not.
4. It is always important to know something about the author--no book represents a view of timeless objectivity, which is impossible in any case. Every book represents a particular interpretation of the facts, by a particular person, with particular ideas, allegiances, intellectual gifts or baggage, etc. But this does not imply that such authors are incapable of achieving their own truths...
5. On any single subject, one learns alot by reading multiple books & thereby getting multiple perspectives on the "real" subject at hand. One also gets a pretty clear sense of the major splits or arguments within a given field--which, in itself, tells us something important about the subject...
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Pego » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:52 am

Let me chime in a little about the objectivity of history accounts. While it is undeniable that English children hear a different version of the 100-year war than the French children, most disinterested historians will largely agree on facts. Once you go through chronicles, Froissart, Chaucer, a fairly objective picture will emerge. The same is true about virtually every historic event. Motives, morality, allegiances, affairs can be misapplied, the facts usually become not in dispute (at least for the majority of non-ideological researchers).
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby jules » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:58 am

This is very true.
I once advised a Russian student who was attending the U of O for one year only. She wanted to take my Calculus class. I told her that math was the same everywhere and she should take a European history class to see a different perspective.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bhall » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:45 pm

Neuromancer

I just finished rereading it for the first time in 15+ years. I was struck at how unbelievably far ahead of its time it was.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Cooter Brown » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:56 pm

Pego wrote:Let me chime in a little about the objectivity of history accounts. While it is undeniable that English children hear a different version of the 100-year war than the French children, most disinterested historians will largely agree on facts. Once you go through chronicles, Froissart, Chaucer, a fairly objective picture will emerge. The same is true about virtually every historic event. Motives, morality, allegiances, affairs can be misapplied, the facts usually become not in dispute (at least for the majority of non-ideological researchers).


An interesting book is History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History. Basically, it's just a collection of excerpts from foreign text books on various events in US History...usually from the country that was on the other side of the event. For example, slavery is from a Nigerian text book, the Cuban Missile Crisis is from a Cuban book, etc. It's a light read but pretty interesting.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby catson52 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:45 pm

Pego wrote:
catson52 wrote:Also got intersted in reading more Dostoevsky, my small Columbia Encyclopedia describes him as one of the towering giants of Western Literature.


After English became my primary use language over 40 years ago, I attempted to read a few Slavic authors in English translation. While all of them lose something, Dostoyevskiy is the worst to translate, Gogol close second. What reads great in Russian (and other Slavic tongue translations) became essentially unreadable in English. Pushkin translates a lot better. Likewise, of the Czech authors, Hašek is essentially untranslatable, while Čapek loses very little in translation.

Edited a typo.


For those of us who are really fluent in one language, this is always a problem. All one can do, is go with what "intelligent" people call the best or least bad translation. My "mother tongue" is not English, though one of the top (population usage) 6-7 languages of the world. I fully agree with your comments re loss in translation in general. Even though I will never read Homer/Aeschylus/Sophocles/Euripides in the original, I remain satisfied with Richmond Lattimore's wonderful translations. Having some knowledge of perhaps the oldest (written) language in the world, suggests to me that RL was an underappreciated genius.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby catson52 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:48 pm

bambam wrote:
catson52 wrote:Janson's History of Art - 950 pages long - which I picked up some 10-15 years back, but have never seriously looked into.


Used Janson's History of Art as an undergrad at Duke in the early 70s when I took that course. I like art, but must admit my rationale was that I needed the course for an inter-disciplinary requirement, and it was famous for the female eye candy that also took the course.


Good for you, sir. My "formal education" especially at the univ. level, was packed with math/phys/chem. but totally light on "liberal arts" stuff. Have been trying to make up the deficiency over the past 20-30 years.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby catson52 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:55 pm

kuha wrote:
catson52 wrote:Current reading is towards getting a full and proper understanding of Renaissance Art.


Interesting. I've just returned from a quick trip to Europe. A highlight was to visit (for the second time) the Velazquez rooms at the Prado in Madrid. For me, increasingly, the "Old Master" work in general looks more and more amazing as I get older...and Velazquez is simply over-the-top astonishing--for my money, the greatest painter who ever lived.

By the way, I like what you said about pursuing serious subjects "for fun." We are heirs to the greatest achievements in all of human culture. How can one NOT take that inheritance seriously?


You, sir, are on of the two-three people whose postings I read with maximum interest. I have never been to Spain and intend to fix that in the next few years. Velasquez has always been described as one of the greatest masters by the cognoscenti. (I must look up what Kenneth Clark had to say about him - what a great series Civilization was, I am looking at getting a DVD set of it). I shall look up your recommended book on science and "bunk"; I have spent a good part of the last 10-20 years of my life, debunking very loose "science" - close to bunk - in journal pages. As you can imagine it has gained me very few friends.

Thanks for the comment about taking one's inheritance seriously. In small town Gulf Coast area, there are not too many people who take that view. Or perhaps I have not been lucky enough to meet most of them.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:52 pm

Daisy wrote:
bambam wrote:Here's Looking at Euclid!


I heard an interview on Science Friday with Danica McKellar who has written a bunch of books aimed at HS girls. Her titles are pretty good. Her latest is "Hot X: Algebra Exposed". This follows her previous book titled 'Kiss My Math" and "Math Doesn't Suck"


My impression is that it was even or even more aimed at middle school girls. Decided that my daughter did not need it since she took Algebra II her last year at Hamilton. For JRM, she is maybe thinking of Mudd, but there are some years before that decision.


Also just read a biography of Murray Gell-Mann Nobel Prize (1969) for quarks and related physics. Interesting but difficult individual, a contemporary at Caltech with (and possibly even smarter/better and more abrasive than) Feynman, but without the effort to leave a trail of anecdotes (which he resented). My lab partner went to Caltech and wanted to study with Gell-Mann a couple of years before his Nobel; I did not have a clue who he was, which shows the difference between my lab partner and I even though we got the same grades in math and physics/chemistry (he was bumping the top end of the grade range, me more the bottom).

"He was also the subject of a controversial unauthorized biography, Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th Century Physics."

"He explicated his thoughts on a wide range of topics relating to this central issue in a 1994 book for the lay reader, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex." I have this but will read after a couple more - am working on "Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The story of the scientific quest for the secret of the universe" (1991) by Dennis Overbye.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:36 pm

26mi235 wrote:My impression is that it was even or even more aimed at middle school girls.

I have my terminology mixed up. I think of HS as being 10-18 but here it starts later.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:05 pm

26mi235 wrote:
Also just read a biography of Murray Gell-Mann Nobel Prize (1969) for quarks and related physics. Interesting but difficult individual, a contemporary at Caltech with (and possibly even smarter/better and more abrasive than) Feynman, but without the effort to leave a trail of anecdotes (which he resented). My lab partner went to Caltech and wanted to study with Gell-Mann a couple of years before his Nobel; I did not have a clue who he was, which shows the difference between my lab partner and I even though we got the same grades in math and physics/chemistry (he was bumping the top end of the grade range, me more the bottom).

"He was also the subject of a controversial unauthorized biography, Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th Century Physics."

"He explicated his thoughts on a wide range of topics relating to this central issue in a 1994 book for the lay reader, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex." I have this but will read after a couple more - am working on "Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The story of the scientific quest for the secret of the universe" (1991) by Dennis Overbye.


Feynman, Gell-Mann, Einstein, All Commie Liberals!

"The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.c ... hp?ref=fpb
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:48 pm

gh wrote:Just finished The Children Of Húrin, a must-read for any hardcore Tolkien fan. It's credited to J.R.R, with editing by son Christopher.

If you've read The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales then you've seen less polished versions of this story, now all brought together in a finished format.

I've long thought that tale of Túrin would make a stunning—albeit unrelentingly bleak—movie. With a suitable Wagnerian score of course. (rated S: not to be watched by those with Suicidal tendencies)


Read it on vacation in Tucson (picked it up at Powell's earlier on the trip for a Portland wedding). Yes, it does fit into the 'tragedy' camp. Unrelenting also fits the bill, although there are a couple of 'up' parts to it.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:53 am

Does anyone know about the books selected for the Man Booker Prize (six finalists just announced)?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bad hammy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:50 am

Back from vacation where I plowed through three books, two of which – The Book of William, How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World by Paul Collins and The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace, are very high on my list of enjoyable books.

There are many similarities between these two books. Both are real-life detective stories which follow highly valuable collectibles from origins in the 1600s (Will) and 1700s (wine) to modern times, while illuminating along the way their histories, the various players responsible for production, collecting, faking, authenticating and selling these rarities. Lots of fascinating nooks and crannies abound in both stories. Both books were very well researched and very well written in an easy to read style that made them both page turners. Highly recommended.

Also read a Grisham book – The Associate. This book was mailed in. Decent story, a number of factual problems, totally bogus truncated ending. Takes place on Wall Street; Grisham does much better when he sticks to the Mississippi Delta. Not recommended.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby skyin' brian » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:57 pm

Finished The Big Short. I am a huge Michael Lewis fan. Not quite as good as Liars Poker, but that dude should write fixed income text books. He can explain credit default swaps well enough for a lay person to understand (not that I would know).

I am about 3/4 of the way through Russell Brand's My Booky Wook. I am sorry for being such a Russell Brand fan boy since seeing Get Him to the Greek, but yeah, that dude is pretty cool.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:00 am

Just finished Pandora's Seed (The Unforseen Cost Of Civilization) by Spencer Wells, a Cornell prof who is National Geographic's Explorer-in-Residence and heads The Genographic Project.

Simpre review: homo sapiens may have made a big mistake 10,000 years ago in switching from being a hunter-gatherer to being a farmer.

Lots of fascinating genetics and science in the early going, but he lost me when he started getting a bit more philosophical about the rise of fundamentalism and where we're going.

Whew! Now I can continue my normal pattern and switch back to a guilty-pleasure novel and ignore furthering my education awhile.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:13 pm

gh wrote:Just finished Pandora's Seed (The Unforseen Cost Of Civilization) by Spencer Wells, a Cornell prof who is National Geographic's Explorer-in-Residence and heads The Genographic Project.

I have not read his recent one but his first book "The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey" was an excellent read. It tracks mutations in the Y-chromosome and documents the migrations from Africa as well as tying them to culture (the rise of agriculture and language).
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:22 pm

gh wrote:Just finished Pandora's Seed (The Unforseen Cost Of Civilization) by Spencer Wells, a Cornell prof who is National Geographic's Explorer-in-Residence and heads The Genographic Project.

Simpre review: homo sapiens may have made a big mistake 10,000 years ago in switching from being a hunter-gatherer to being a farmer.

Lots of fascinating genetics and science in the early going, but he lost me when he started getting a bit more philosophical about the rise of fundamentalism and where we're going.

Whew! Now I can continue my normal pattern and switch back to a guilty-pleasure novel and ignore furthering my education awhile.


Do not see how this is a mistake or non-mistake, it is neither and such a categorization seems besides the point.

The food density and hence human density from agriculture is much higher than for hunter-gatherers. Thus, they can attain much greater numbers -- and win battles for territory more often than not.


Of course, I do not need to lecture either gh or Daisy who both are well ahead of me in this domain (among many).
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:35 pm

Just finished Blind Descent ("the quest to discover the deepest place on earth") by James M. Tabor.

Tale of two different teams of supercavers, and if it doesn't send chills up and down your spine I don't know what will. These people are bull-goose loonies, doing things that make a solo assault on Everest without oxygen seem like child's play (OK, slight hyperbole).

They get so deep it can take 3-4 days to get out, involving multiple pitches of verticality, and scuba-diving through caves a couple of feet across in frigid water.

And only the light you bring with you of course. Shudder.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mike renfro » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:19 pm

Just junk. In this case, high class junk. The new Le Carre, "Our Kind of Traitor". I will get back to Ulysses. He said. But no one believes him. Oops, NBA time, gotta go.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Double R Bar » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:51 pm

Just finished "River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey" by Candice Millard. I loved it. I love reading about the American presidents and this book is excellent. I don't think President Roosevelt (Teddy) knew what he was getting into when he decided to explore part of the Brazilian Amazon. He came very close to dying in South America.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby KDFINE » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:08 am

"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Its a nice read for anyone who needs something light.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:39 am

"Ratification" by Pauline Maier- the history of the ratification of the US Constitution after the Constitutional Convention. Pretty good so far. Also bought the new Washington bio by Ron Chernow but haven't really started it yet. Continuing on my interest in revolutionary America.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby dukehjsteve » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:01 pm

KDFINE wrote:"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Its a nice read for anyone who needs something light.


Loved the part about his fellow hiker Katz !
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby IanS_Liv » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:31 pm

1421: The Year China Discovered the World. Apparently most mainstream historians have thoroughly debunked its claims, but it's an enjoyable read. I don't actually have a problem with the idea that medieval Chinese sailors reached Australia, or the Pacific coast of North America. If the Vikings can hop from Iceland to Greenland to Newfoundland, I don't see why Asian ships couldn't follow a similar path past Korea, Manchuria, up past what is now Vladivostok, to cross the Bering Straits.

But that's not what he's claiming. Or able to prove either.

Still, I think of it as a kind of medieval science fiction.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby rasb » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:34 pm

Some are opining the total reach of the Vikings as being much further afield than Newfoundland, which also makes sense to me. Part of "Vinland" may have been as far
South as what is now the East Coast of the USA (many hundreds of years before Columbus of course), and they may have travelled much further West in what is now Northern Canada than Newfoundland. The search for artifacts is ongoing.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:05 pm

Nordic runestones have been discoverd in Maine, Minnesota and Oklahoma, believed to date variously to the 7th, 10th and 12th century.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:34 pm

KDFINE wrote:"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Its a nice read for anyone who needs something light.


ANY book by Bryson should be mandatory reading.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Per Andersen » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:37 pm

IanS_Liv wrote:1421: The Year China Discovered the World. Apparently most mainstream historians have thoroughly debunked its claims, but it's an enjoyable read. I don't actually have a problem with the idea that medieval Chinese sailors reached Australia, or the Pacific coast of North America. If the Vikings can hop from Iceland to Greenland to Newfoundland, I don't see why Asian ships couldn't follow a similar path past Korea, Manchuria, up past what is now Vladivostok, to cross the Bering Straits.

But that's not what he's claiming. Or able to prove either.

Still, I think of it as a kind of medieval science fiction.

Fiction all right!
What do you mean "I don't have a problem with the idea that Chinese sailors reached Australia" when it did not happen. How can you compare that huge distance distance to the distance the Vikings covered when they at first were driven off course across the Davis Strait. You can fly across the Davis Strait in little over 1/2 hour. You should not be far from the coast of Western Greenland before some of the 7000ft mountains of Baffin Island become visible.
Once the Norsemen reached Iceland it was only a question of a little time before Greenland was reached. They had the ships, they had the know-how and the climate was quite conducive compared to now.
For Australia the prevailing winds are northerlies. You don't just happen upon Australia from the north.
Last edited by Per Andersen on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby rasb » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:57 pm

lonewolf wrote:Nordic runestones have been discoverd in Maine, Minnesota and Oklahoma, believed to date variously to the 7th, 10th and 12th century.


Yes, I've read of those, and many others as well, LW. Still a lot of debate, as far as I can discern, regarding the authenticity of many of the findings. Some say that pre-Vikings came across the Atlantic in dugout made of animal skins, perhaps as early as 6,000 B.C., and that the Vikings likely landed at many points between Greenland and Florida, and maybe even travelled up the Mississippi River, as well as down the Nelson from Hudson's Bay into what is now the USA.
Others are still trying to debunk that any Vikings made it much past Newfoundland.
I was there, so I know, but I'm not allowed to tell :)
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby rasb » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:04 pm

Whoops, I meant to put dugouts in quotes. I know what a dugout is, so I should have said --- "things that float on water" or something like that...
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:51 am

Vikings were almost a decade in the far reaches of the New World but unlike Iceland and Greenland (Inuits did not compete with them on Greenland for a couple centuries, I think), they had to compete with the natives and did not have the numbers/technology (and germs? especially since the Norse were not living in big cities that led to development of more germs, and they hardly had a lot of steel, as Greenland did not have the material to make it) advantage of the Spanish close to half a millennium later. Some artifacts made their way south from trading, no doubt, but Oklahoma is a stretch, but Maine is not, since it is coastal and they .
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:21 pm

For just plain old entertaining fiction reading, anyone ever read some of them by Greg Iles ? I recommend them.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby rasb » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:53 pm

26mi235 wrote:Vikings were almost a decade in the far reaches of the New World but unlike Iceland and Greenland (Inuits did not compete with them on Greenland for a couple centuries, I think), they had to compete with the natives and did not have the numbers/technology (and germs? especially since the Norse were not living in big cities that led to development of more germs, and they hardly had a lot of steel, as Greenland did not have the material to make it) advantage of the Spanish close to half a millennium later. Some artifacts made their way south from trading, no doubt, but Oklahoma is a stretch, but Maine is not, since it is coastal and they .


The Vikings and others from that area of the World were far more than just coastal explorers.
They made some of their boats specifically for river travel, and were able to take them out of the rivers, and drag them around obstacles or over to other river systems. They got down to the Middle East that way, through what is now Russia. They got down to Minnesota that way from Hudson's Bay in Northern Canada, and so on. There really is nowhere in the Americas that wasn't within the reach of these peoples, and their much earlier ancestors, who may have been in New England between 6000 and 9000 years ago. Google "Red Paint Peoples" or "Marine Archaic Peoples"...
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby IanS_Liv » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:04 pm

Per Andersen wrote:What do you mean "I don't have a problem with the idea that Chinese sailors reached Australia" when it did not happen.

For Australia the prevailing winds are northerlies. You don't just happen upon Australia from the north.

I've never seen anything outside this book that does claim Chinese sailors reached Australia. I've seen one or two things that speculate about people crossing the Pacific to the Americas, although evidence is thin on the ground.

What I mean is that I don't necessarily think it's impossible that people reached Australia before the 17th century, whether it happened or not. Let's face it, the Aborigines got there 60,000 years ago! And I know that sea levels were much lower then, but at some point they would have had to sail/raft/whatever to actually reach Australia.

The Chinese at that point (1421) were already trading with places in Malaysia and Indonesia. Is it so far-fetched to believe that it was possible for ships to travel down through Malaysia, Indonesia and maybe reach Papua New Guinea and then cross to the north of Australia?

I'm not saying they did, and I know the waters and winds there are terrible to navigate. I'm just saying I don't find it impossible.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:35 pm

Yep, we don't know exactly when or how but over the span of a couple of million years, we all came "out of Africa" to populate the entire globe..
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gm » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:51 pm

dukehjsteve wrote:For just plain old entertaining fiction reading, anyone ever read some of them by Greg Iles ? I recommend them.


Love his stuff, Steve. Very well-crafted stories that make it hard to put the book down.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:44 am

Lord of the Rings -- to my 2nd grader. It is a little bit above his head and early so not that exciting so it is good at putting him to sleep, but it will take a long time to go through it. I have not read it since the 70s, I think.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:30 pm

26mi235 wrote:Lord of the Rings -- to my 2nd grader. It is a little bit above his head and early so not that exciting so it is good at putting him to sleep, but it will take a long time to go through it. I have not read it since the 70s, I think.


having done extensive readings (out-loud version, that is), you'll have them completely mesmerized when you get to the Ents in volumn 2. Well, so long as you do a passable Treebeard imitation that is :mrgreen:
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:36 pm

gh wrote:
26mi235 wrote:Lord of the Rings -- to my 2nd grader. It is a little bit above his head and early so not that exciting so it is good at putting him to sleep, but it will take a long time to go through it. I have not read it since the 70s, I think.


having done extensive readings (out-loud version, that is), you'll have them completely mesmerized when you get to the Ents in volumn 2. Well, so long as you do a passable Treebeard imitation that is :mrgreen:


You have to bark out his parts don't you? :D

Having read the Thurin/Hurin book this summer, I wonder if I will pick up things differently? I suspect that I should read the Silmarillion (reading to my son is going very slowly, but he goes to sleep nicely :) :) :) )

I have been at a bit of a loss for what to read, as the time is not ripe for several things that I have started.
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