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Posted: 10 August 2010 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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The Big Rich
By Bryan Burrough

I had a tough time getting through the first chapter since it was a little heavy handed in the Texas self glorification syndrome… and I’m sorry you Texans, but I have a tough time with the Texas thing - partly because I’m Coloradoan, mainly because of the atrocious mentality and politics that’s been exported from there.

But, after that Burrough get’s rolling.  This is one of those books where the substance far outweighed those minor irritations of writing style that kept on wacking me.  Fascinating, educational, thought provoking examination of the self made man & and the circumstance that made such an era possible… and impossible to repeat…  among many other items of historical interest.

If you want to learn about the development of Texas oil and political clout and some crucial back ground to today’s extremist right-wing, this book is a ‘must read.’

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/08/books-the-big-rich/
says:
... Mr. Burrough tells how Texas came to be synonymous with oil through the stories of four men who built and dominated the industry: H.L. Hunt, Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison and Hugh Roy Cullen. His book is at its entertaining (and informative) best when he recounts how these hard-scrabble men thrived in an unregulated environment to satisfy America’s thirst for oil. The common characteristics they shared were a capacity for hard work, financial guile and the raw courage required to risk all they owned to drill thousands of feet in unexplored territory, hoping that a “wild cat” venture would result in a gusher…

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Posted: 10 August 2010 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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I’m reading the “Philosophy of Humanism” which is pretty interesting, because I wanted to learn more about it.

Also “The Road to Serfdom”, but nobody here would be interested in that.  smile

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Posted: 17 August 2010 01:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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Right now, I’m reading Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, which may be the most fun I’ve had between covers (well, paper covers anyway). I’m also reading the autobiography of Ulysses S. Grant, which is turning out to be an exquisite memoir. One tidbit I found fascinating: when, in 1839, the US Congress was debating a bill that would have abolished the service academies, Grant, who was attending West Point at the time, followed the legislation with great interest, because he was hoping Congress would defund the academies so that Grant could leave the military and focus on his desire to become a math professor.

Funny how things turn out.

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Posted: 17 August 2010 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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McMem - 17 August 2010 01:29 AM

so that Grant could leave the military and focus on his desire to become a math professor.

A math professor?  wow
Recently we spoke of movie and rock star math smarty pants… and now a hard drinking general.

Then, just a couple days ago I heard an interesting 8-6-10 Science Friday Podcast interview with actress, come author, Danica McKellar who’s most recent book is Algebra Exposed… after Math Doesn’t Suck, and Kiss My Math, which encourage middle-school girls to have confidence and succeed in mathematics.

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Posted: 17 August 2010 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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My son’s heart is broken that Danica McKellar is married, and pregnant. He had hopes…. LOL
I’m reading Phil Plait’s death from the skies. Next on my list is Voodoo History. Now, that’s an author Chris should interview on POI!

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Posted: 17 August 2010 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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asanta - 17 August 2010 02:01 PM

My son’s heart is broken that Danica McKellar is married, and pregnant. He had hopes…. LOL
I’m reading Phil Plait’s death from the skies. Next on my list is Voodoo History. Now, that’s an author Chris should interview on POI!

That’s funny, while I was reading about her this quote stood out:
“But McKellar is a bit weary when it comes to guys who approach her because of the character she played, “I’ve always been really cautious about guys who have a Winnie Cooper fantasy, and I’m so glad about that.” “

Then, I went and looked up who Winnie Cooper was.  Ah yea, creepy.  But, then I’m figuring your son is a young one so that’s OK.  wink

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Posted: 17 August 2010 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]
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The Null-A novels by A.E. van Vogt.

http://www.roger-russell.com/sffun/nulla.htm

psik

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Posted: 17 August 2010 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]
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Utopia by Lincoln Child, techno-thriller in a high-tech amusement park. Quite fun.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 17 August 2010 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 17 August 2010 02:22 PM

Then, I went and looked up who Winnie Cooper was.  Ah yea, creepy.  But, then I’m figuring your son is a young one so that’s OK.  wink

Although he was a fan of The Wonder Years, it wasn’t Winnie he had a crush on, it was smart as a whip, not afraid to show it and beautiful too, Danica! And yes, they are about the same age!

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Posted: 17 August 2010 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]
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Danica McKellar is hot.

danica-mckellar-1108-lg.jpg

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Posted: 19 August 2010 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]
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Campreto, I read The Quantum World last summer. It is the best layman’s book on QM I have read. I’m taking College Algebra this fall. Weird coincidences eh?

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Posted: 24 August 2010 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]
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Currently reading, L’Après-vivre by Serge Doubrovsky (1994).  I’ve finally just started reading this even though I’ve owned this book for close to a decade.  It’s considered a novel and it’s about the author’s coping with the death of his much younger wife.  I’m twenty pages into it and it looks like he’s pretty beat up over this loss.

I think that describing Doubrovsky’s style and philosophy are better than the plot.  As a professor at NYU, he believed that fiction and autobiographical works are closely related.  For him, writing an autobiography or a novel was basically what he called autofiction.  In a novel you can not remove the author’s perspective; bits and pieces of the author’s thinking, habits, beliefs, fixations, etc. will pervade the text regardless.  Whereas in autobiography you can not avoid making up the details for the narrative’s sake.  In short, by writing fiction, you sprinkle in altered autobiographical data/experiences and in writing an autobiography, you adumbrate what you remember (already iffy to begin with) and connect those key memories with fabrications for ease of understanding.  Doubrovsky’s “novels” are all like that.  As a reader, we are left to wonder what is real and what is made up, but the verisimilitude is there, unlike magical realism. 

His style is odd: stream of consciousness in appearance and by that I mean very few periods and tons of comma (probably a residual effect of studying Proust’s opus).  This man has a vocabulary that would match Joyce or Beckett.  Upon a close read, he seems to favor reverse echos by enlarging sounds.  For example, he writes, “Je vis encore. Je survis [I’m still alive.  I survive].”  These occurrences give the text a manicured quality of meticulous labor, if not musical. 

The tone is usually subdued and rich in psychological detail, but this specific novel is visceral.  I can feel his pain and even worse almost experience it firsthand. 

Definitely an acquired taste.

[ Edited: 24 August 2010 06:19 PM by Chudwick ]
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Posted: 25 August 2010 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]
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Chudwick - 24 August 2010 06:15 PM

Currently reading, L’Après-vivre by Serge Doubrovsky (1994). 

Wow, no wonder it took you a decade to work up to tackling that one.
Sounds like way too tough a read for my patients.

That brings up one of the really good things about books on tape - they allow me to listen to books I would never be able to sit through page by focused page. 
One of the bad things, way too many abridged versions floating around and full lengths can be hard to come by at least in my library circles.  I was going to say “L’Après-vivre” wouldn’t lend itself to abridgment, but then any good book definitely does not lend itself well to abridgment.

Chudwick - 24 August 2010 06:15 PM

... you adumbrate ...

I had to look up that one.  I wonder if I’ll wind up finding a use for it in my monckton letters.  Since, he’s so pompous I’m not holding back on fancy words the way I normally would.

adumbrate |ˈadəmˌbrāt; əˈdəm-|
verb [ trans. ] formal
report or represent in outline :
• indicate faintly :
• foreshadow or symbolize :
• overshadow :

[ Edited: 25 August 2010 09:04 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 25 August 2010 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]
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Dead Monky - 17 August 2010 03:48 PM

Danica McKellar is hot.

Maybe she’s inspiring some guys to learn math too… that’s if she sprinkles pics throughout her books smile
(ignorant me, I ever watched The Wonder Years)

psikeyhackr - 17 August 2010 02:42 PM

The Null-A novels by A.E. van Vogt.

This symbol, or Null-A, means non-Aristotelian, or a multivalued logic (all shades of gray). In comparison, Aristotelian means a two valued logic (only black or white).

Sounds like my kind of philosophy.

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Posted: 25 August 2010 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]
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Wow, Null-A brings back memories.  I used to read all of Van Vogt’s works in the late 40s and early 50s and heard him speak to a small group of us at UCLA about then.

Occam

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