February 16, 2011 archive

What are you reading?

This is a series that has a history on dkos.  I’m going to try it here.  I list books I am reading, with some comments, and you can do the same in the comments.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

Just finished

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom.  A mystery set in England in the era of Henry VIII.  Very good.  And, it’s a series!

Now reading

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

Just started

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

Late Night Karaoke

If it were that simple

Back to the Future flying cars and hoverboards.  What if the mechanics of such devices turned out to be relatively simple given the more advanced technology of a few enabling technologies.  What does that mean.  We need an immense source of power and we need to release the gravity amplifier technology to complete the intergalactic space saucer.  

Which is my we(the human species) does not have such things.  How much power would be available.  Forget Hiroshima, think Darth Vader planet destroying Death Star power.   Yes, I sense a disturbance in the Force indeed.

Is B Incompetent – Or The Last Resort?

FLASHBACK NOTE: This essay was originally posted here by me on October 11, 2007. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

I have to admit that as stupid as I sometimes portray Bush Obama, I really have problems with the idea that he is incompetent.

I doubt that anyone incompetent has a chance of becoming president, unless they are so unbelievably stupid that they really can be just a hand puppet.

I think it would show publicly more than it does, and I doubt he’d be able to carry off his deceptive ‘just a dumb good ole boy’ act if he was that stupid.

Bush Obama is a clown definitely, but I think stupid clown is a gross over-simplification.

Hi all!

I haven’t posted here in a LONG time.  I post a lot on daily Kos.  But I can’t stand the new site.  So, I am looking for a new home.

This is just to introduce myself.

I’m plf515

I’m a statistician, a learning disabled adult, a father, a husband. I’m straight but I try not to be narrow.  I’m square but I try not to be stiff.  I’m geeky.

I live in NY-08.  Nadler!  Gillibrand!   WOOO HOOO!

I am socially EXTREMELY liberal and economically pretty liberal

I lived in Israel for 3 years.  I think Israel under Netanyahu is like USA under Bush II.

I like to write about books (I have a series called What Are You Reading?).  I also follow congress fairly closely.  I like election diaries.

I love to eat, but am not much of a cook.  Favorite foods are Thai, Korean, Chinese, Italian.  I’m a very adventurous eater.  I also like beer.  Wine is good too.

I like to analyze things

I like Bach, Coltrane and the Beatles.


1) I see all these collaborating sites.  Is there a guide as to which does what?

2) What else is different from big Orange?

3) What else do I need to know?


from firefly-dreaming 15.2.11

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