|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|Old leaves drifting down, vermilion and ochre, resplendent in death. -haiku||Quotes|
Pocket Review, Title Five Easy Pieces, Studio Columbia TriStar, Rating 3.0,
The movie Five Easy Pieces was all the rage when it was made, a tale of alienation in a time when many fancied themselves agents of great change, so I decided to finally watch the whole thing, having only seen the famous chicken sandwich scene. Jack Nicholson's performance was excellent. The film, alas, for me, was too psychologically brutal to enjoy, and left me wondering what the point was.
Book Briefly Noted, Title Shut Up, Legs!, Author Jens Voigt, James D. Startt, Rating 3.0,
Jens Voigt was a wonderful cyclist to watch in the Tour de France. He was an aggressive rider, willing to attack in breakaways with few odds of success, friendly and available before and after a race. His motto, 'Shut Up, Legs!,' can be appreciated by anyone who rides bicycles long distance, or any endurance athlete for that matter: Muscular pain from exertion must be ignored in the pursuit of endurance feats.
Book Book Review, Title The Laws of Medicine, Author Siddhartha Mukherjee, Rating 3.5,
Modern medicine began embracing scientific methods during the last couple of centuries, and in the past one hundred years this has produced an explosion of medical technologies that have aided physicians in significantly controlling some diseases and in particular, extending lives. Today in developed countries, many tests are available for diagnosis and many drugs are available for possible treatment. So why can't physicians today just run a comprehensive battery of tests for every sick patient and spit out a clear diagnosis, and with that, a clear prognosis and plan for a cure? Siddhartha Mukherjee proffers an answer via his Laws of Medicine.
Book Book Review, Title Along the Way, Author Britt Towery, Rating 4.0,
Britt Towery is a very American thinker, who's opinion columns from a West Texas newspaper are collected here. I warmed quickly to his direct and sometimes folksy Texas style. He holds strong opinions on many subjects, but has a particular emphasis regarding the importance of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which safeguards our freedom of speech and religion.
Galaxy NGC 1300. Attrib: NASA, modified, PD-USGOV.
Are evolutionary biology, intelligent design and the existence of God compatible? A reasonable case can be made for it, particularly if one relaxes their culture warrior muscles for a moment, and considers the argument that: science offers little tangible evidence of abiogenesis, the spontaneous creation of life from inanimate material, leaving room for God as the creator of the initial life forms; that God could just as well have created the remainder of life via the slow mechanism of biological evolution. This is not a new argument, and finds a much larger audience than the shouters like to acknowledge.
Rudy Giuliani. Attrib: Dave Winer, original posterized, CC BY-SA 2.0.
With the never-ending wave of hysteria being promulgated daily in the news media and on the internet, how do we make sense of it all? How do we deflect the emotional pull of anger, greed and hate, all cousins of fear, that are often brought to us by those who wish to drown our better selves in the worst emotions, so as to persuade us to think or act in some certain way? How do we find a way to think and act responsibly when our politicians, pundits, preachers, programs and parents promote their agendas, at times with little regard for truth or ethics or morality, while with the deepest irony, and sometimes cynicism, couching their points of view in the language of truth and ethics and morality?