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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:35 am
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Location: Chattanooga TN
While waiting around to have some minor car repairs done, and running a few other errands and having some stuff to eat I managed to finish The Reefs of Earth by R. A. Lafferty (1968). Ah, the good old days, when you could read a novel in a few hours. This is typical Lafferty; whimsical, bizarre, comic, violent, mystical, eccentric, and with a bunch of strange doggerel. Compelling even when you can't make sense out of it.

Next up is West of the Sun by Edgar Pangborn (1953).

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:18 pm
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I'm trying to catch up on Escape Pod. I've gotten behind by about twenty episodes.

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b l e s s e d    a r e    t h e    c h e e s e m a k e r s


Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:56 pm
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I have just started Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (2015), his take on the generation ship theme.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:52 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Yesterday I found an interoffice mail envelope in my mail slot containing a graphic-novel version of The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward checked out of the Ypsi library for me. Nothing says Valentine's Day like a guy resurrecting the dead so he can interrogate them, obtain their ancient secrets, and use them to take over the world. It was entertaining, but I was irritated over and over by the characters constantly making current-day grammatical and usage errors while pretending that the year is 1928.

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Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:35 am
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Burning Godzilla
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About to start Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp (1941; originally published in a shorter form in Unknown, December 1939.)

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:26 pm
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Brilliant Blunders, Mario Livio: The blunders of the title are five scientific errors by renowned names: namely, Darwin's not knowing about genetics (seem off? We'll get to it), Lord Kelvin's "temperature problem" concerning the age of Earth, Linus Pauling's "triple-helix" model of DNA, Fred Hoyle backing steady-state over explosive expansion (and dubbing it the "Big Bang" in the process), and Einstein... messing something up, I haven't read that far and the description doesn't say.

The problem is that Livio wants to have it both ways: he wants to discuss great errors by famous scientists and at the same time he doesn't want to seem dismissive of the scientists involved. Thus the book is filled with backpedaling and double-speak, to the point of honestly reading like an attempt to pretend the person being discussed did nothing wrong. This wishy-washy writing is hard going and does irrevocable damage to the text.

The one exception is Charles Darwin. The "error" Livio discusses is that Darwin did not account for variables he could not have known about. What Livio wants to say is that Darwin's original theory needed more empty variables, flexibility, you might put it. How it reads is that Darwin's theory was broken. Unlike Kelvin, Pauling, Hoyle, and probably Einstein, Livio makes only a token effort to play down the effect of this error. Add to it that Livio wrote a book titled Is God a Mathematician?, and his pretending that "macroevolution" and "microevolution" are terms used in biology (every biologist I've read would laugh at the idea of dividing evolution up that way), as well as his insistence on the terms "stellar evolution" and "chemical evolution".

What we have here is a pair of chapters on Darwin written by a man who shows multiple signs of being an "Intelligent Design" creationist who knows I.D. is too discredited to use anymore. (Even ignoring that, Livio is an astrophysicist - perfectly suited to write about Hoyle and Einstein, but not the sort of person to trust with evolutionary biology, geology, or biochemistry.)

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Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:06 am
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Location: Tyrannia (NOTE: This is a lie.)
I'm about a fourth of the way through The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill, about a 5000 year old immortal monster trying to get by in the world (currently by repairing used cars to pay rent at a trailer park and working at a restaurant as a line cook). Everyone he encounters doesn't treat him badly because he's a monster, but rather the way they act towards him reveals who they are as people.

There's a lot of amusing details about how a minotaur would have to deal with the world, including a brief bit where "M", as everyone calls him, spackles in the gouge in an apartment building hallway where one of his horns scraped the wall while he was helping a coworker move some furniture.

Humorously enough, I picked up the book--which was published in 2001--last week and found out the author wrote a sequel last year. So far it's quietly interesting and I might grab the second book if the first one stays as good as it is.

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Checkpoint Telstar goes to B Fest 2017, and the first half of the travelogue (the one without the movies in it) has gone live.


Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:31 am
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So I went and returned to my bookworm days last year. Best novel I read was Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. Beautifully written book that you buzz through if you wanted to, but why would you want to?

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"See, magic ain't got nothing to do with organs and glands and busted necks. Magic got to do with the soul, man. Only the soul's got destiny. It got wiiings, it can fly, that's magic. The body? The body's just got a few minutes down here in the dirt with the rest of us."--Brother Blue, er, Merlin, Knightriders


Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:02 am
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