Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2015

Higgs Particle Discussion

Brian Greene and Lawrence Krauss discuss the Higgs Particle and the Higgs Field. The original video was Dec 13, 2012. The Higgs Field gives all particles mass. Particles with more mass have more interaction with the Higgs Particle.

Siberian Totem - 12000 YEARS OLD

My Review of "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon"

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King My rating: 4 of 5 stars Nice. So, I avoided reading this for years because I thought it would be another one of the "Can you survive the _____?" books like Misery and Gerald's Game. Oh, and I'm also not a Red Sox fan. ;-) It seems to be a recurring theme for Stephen King to put his characters into abominable situations, let them adjust, make it worse again (as they get hungry, thirsty, whatever), let them adjust, give them a small amount of hope, tear it away, et cetera. As I feared, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is along the same lines, but any misgivings about repetition faded because the author brings a lot more to the table. First, Tricia is a wonderful character, likable in every way and SO realistic. She makes adjustments for everything wrong in her life and this flexibility pays off for her when the world gets tight and mean. I love how she channels the sayings of her mother and father and we learn about them

My Review of "The Colorado Kid"

Usually I love Stephen King books but this fell flat for me. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King My rating: 2 of 5 stars Well, I see. Yes, mystery is important, but let's talk about Sudoku. Imagine a game of Sudoku that gets to the last few moves, just when you have to make the deepest analysis - essentially when you win or lose the game because of your skill - and then, well, you put the puzzle away and keep it in your pocket. You think about it off and on but you don't really make progress. Then you spend an entire afternoon telling someone about the game that you couldn't win. And then nothing. Instead, you say, "Sudoku is important." I did like the characters. I like the setting - really familiar turf. That's about it. View all my reviews

MagnaBall Tweezer-Caspian

I hope this link isn't removed, but here's the high point (for me at any rate) of MagnaBall, Phish's 10th festival that just ended at Watkin's Glen. Prince Caspian has been a jam vehicle before, but this time is historic. What a show!

What you'll get if you send $1 to Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption Inside:


Well, my friend Larry crushed my Helvetii in Bibracte, but it was certainly a lot of fun. Don't know Bibracte? Well... In our game my Helvetii never got it going, and the legions stacked up. Consequently, the battle was over almost before it started. The Boii and Tulingi never even showed up. Next up The Rhein. I bet you wonder what Bibracte looks like today. Pleasant countryside, right? The helm from an unlucky Roman. The actual battle I think the Romans did a little worse. We are going to Alesia, but we're going to take the long way.
I found this version of Chalk Dust Torture (from the IT Festival of 2003). With so many great CDTs in Phish 3.0, it's a good idea to sometimes revisit where this song already went: Highly recommended.

São Paulo is classified in the Quarter Finals of the Copa do Brasil Rogério Cení, our 41-year-old keeper, made a goal (penalty) and closed our goal against Ceará! Bigger challenges are ahead though.
It looks like I get to play the Barbarians against the Romans: Bibracte - 58 BC (vs the Helvetians) The Rhein - 58 BC (vs Ariovistus's Germanic tribes) Bibracte was Caesar's first major battle at the age of 42. Here are some pictures:
This is quickly becoming real as I get feedback from beta readers on Goodreads. It's weird that the third novel I start writing is the first one complete, but the others are much bigger in scope. Anyway, it still might change, but this is what it is now. Here is the blurb of my new novel: Bartholomew Barrington, a troubled young man of the Gilded Age, is beset with difficulties of every kind, amplified by his angst of being part of the leisure class that he despises. His dysfunctional family is rocked by the death of their father and its perilous aftermath. Bartholomew's struggle is to grow in this turmoil of loss and danger, surrounded by an environment of greed and despair, murder and lust, but first he must survive. Protagonist: Bartholomew Barrington - an economist and a card-shark of dubious morality. Antagonist: Nona “Sapphie” Barrington - heiress and trendsetting star of Ziegfeld Follies, a woman who is used to getting her own way. Antagonist: Sterling Barri

My Review of "Storm Front: Dresden Files #1"

Storm Front by Jim Butcher My rating: 3 of 5 stars Delicious, but like a snack with too much salt rather than the healthy hearty meals to which my reading self is accustomed. Jim Butcher has built a picturesque world, but Storm Front is only going to give us tastes of what's inside. Still, I'm very intrigued and the series is huge, so I'm definitely enthusiastic about what will come. This review deals just with Storm Front though. I gave 3 stars, but it's actually a little closer to 3.5, in that I really did enjoy the way the plot came together. I cannot give 4 because I wanted *more* depth, but maybe that doesn't really come with the territory. I also did not feel much affinity for any character (not even Lt Murphy who was the best described outside of Dresden, who basically is no one anyone would want to meet, including Dresden himself). On the other hand, I did think Dresden was interesting, and I'm afraid if I read more of the series that I might end up l

My Review of "Joy Land"

Joyland by Stephen King My rating: 3 of 5 stars 3 stars is about right. I definitely enjoyed the story. There were interesting characters and a terse tight plot. I actually guessed the culprit, but not through the clues, but the psychological trail. All those women were charmed. When Jonesy suspects Eddie but realizes it was a bad choice, I started asking myself if there was someone that fit the bill better and the answer leapt out. The actions afterward solidified my opinion so I wasn't too surprised. A bit of a deux ex machina to save him, but if you except psychic revelations - as you are asked to from the beginning - being valid, you won't have a problem with the plot. Not a bad story at all but definitely it was not a horror story, despite the actions of spirits from beyond, so if that's what you are looking for, choose one of his other books. On the other hand, this is a good example of how well King's talents work in other genres. His stories are almost alway

My Review of "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon My rating: 3 of 5 stars Overall a 3 star rating (I liked it) is correct. Diana Gabaldon has a very expressive voice, especially when describing surroundings. There were times when I could read a paragraph close my eyes and BE inside this world she painted. I had a bumpy ride through the plot, which had moments of good effect and others where it really dragged on. I understand that she tries to be realistic, but sometimes this became a triptych about Claire, who often made curious choices. A lot of reviews point to the violence and even rape-culture-advocacy in this novel. Frankly, I think that's overstated. The world described (18th century Scotland) was a very violent place and women were often second-class citizens. She makes this point very effectively and it does chafe at 21st century sensitivities, but isn't that the nature of historical fiction, to immerse yourself in those times? Actually what bothered me more was the obsession with the lov
Man, I was sick when I took this picture. Fever of 102º Fahrenheit. So deranged, right?

My Review of "Perdido Street Station"

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville My rating: 5 of 5 stars I loved so many aspects of this story. The world-building - a broken-down, dismal place where industry and magic work together and compete with each other - astonished me. This book drips theme. Some readers may find this time spent on the vivid description disconcerting, but not a moment was wasted in my opinion. I loved the constructs, the remades, and the alien aspects of the species. The characters really took time to grow on me. I instinctively did not like Isaac and Lin repelled me, even though her uniqueness won me over first. Yagharek, I immediately decided was a victim of unfair judgment. Damn those Garuda! How could they do that to him? Clearly with all his bravery in the struggle, he lived up to my expectations. ;-) Damn those Garuda! I enjoyed Derkhan most of the others, along with that nice fellow who gave Lin that job when she needed a diversion. I'm not going to comment on the plot, except to say it