Book Book Review, Title Monument Road, Author Charlie Quimby, Rating 4.5,
Book Book Review, Title Perfect Rigor, Author Masha Gessen, Rating 3.5,
The Poincaré conjecture, one of the great unsolved topological problems, was finally proven at the end of the 20th century by Grigoriy Perelman, a Russian mathematician of genius. Topology might be described as distilled geometry. The historian Masha Gessen, who grew up herself in the Russian mathematical culture, invites us into the Aspergian milieu of world-class geometers to tease out the tale.
Pocket Review, Title Diner, Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Rating 4.5,
Diner immediately draws you into a group and a world as if you had always belonged there. After high school, a group of guys continue to meet regularly at their favorite Diner to shoot the shit. They are more comfortable in each other's company than they are with their girlfriends.
Calvinist philosophy professor Theodore Plantinga suggests that 'post-Enlightenment' Protestants, so as to act progressively or correctly in support of individual liberties, should embrace the Protestant faith, building their responses to the world on the foundation of Calvin and Luther, rather than embrace 'short-sighted' Enlightenment ideas. How does Plantinga justify his view that the societal direction of Western civilization can be improved by eschewing the Enlightenment influence and replacing it with the Reformational Christian outlook of the 16th century?
Pocket Review, Title Band Of Brothers, Studio HBO, Rating 5.0,
Band of Brothers is intimate, sobering, and gives some sense of the bonds formed in war by soldiers facing death together. It is an account of a cohort of U.S. airborne troops, beginning with their training through their World War II combat experiences in Normandy, Holland, the Ardennes Forest, Alsace and Bavaria, culminating in the post-war occupation of Bavaria and central Austria. This is the best war movie ever made.
Book Briefly Noted, Title Why Evolution Is True, Author Jerry A. Coyne, Rating 3.5,
Why Evolution Is True
Jerry A. Coyne
This book has been hailed by some as a clear-eyed exposition of modern evolutionary biology. I found it strong on the science, and disappointingly weak on the intellectual discipline.
Movie 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.