Friday, July 31, 2009

Pic of the day: What a dead puggle might look like

Why dowsing makes perfect sense - opinion - 29 July 2009 - New Scientist

A really great article showing the thought process of your average Skeptic. I often struggle with the want for fantastic inexplicable phenomenon and the rational thought processes that dismiss them.

Why dowsing makes perfect sense - opinion - 29 July 2009 - New Scientist

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Book Review: Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic by Gina Kolata

Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic

The book was published in 1999, but it reads like it was written just a few weeks ago. The information Gina presents is so relevant to today that it's eerie. I am fascinated by the parts of history that our textbooks seem to forget, and the 1918 flu is probably one of the largest omissions in our historical texts. In it's two phases ( lighter spring outbreak, followed by the massively deadly fall outbreak) it managed to decrease the world population significantly and took out more lives than WW1 and WW2 combined. Utterly devastating and completely forgotten in popular culture. The book starts quickly diving right into historical narrative of the time. the first 5 or so chapters are fascinating, but start to drag a bit when the topic switches to the 1970's swine flu debacle. The book picks up again when the author starts telling the story of modern day scientists investigating the near century old virus. Gina does a great job in putting the potentially boring scientific details into a story that is both informative and entertaining. I highly recommend this book for any history buff, or even anyone interested gaining in depth perspective on what's happening with the H1N1 virus outbreak happening right now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moved from previous Blog: *insert author name* is Awesome!

I got on a author autograph kick for a few weeks and was quite successful. I'm going to combine the posts and repost them here:

Jim Butcher is Awesome!

I went to a book signing for Jim's newest Dresden Files book Turn Coat. It was an awesome time and Jim is a great speaker. I took video and posted it up on youtube.





Patrick Rothfuss is Awesome!!

I recently read a book called "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. An excellent read and simply amazing that it's the author's first novel. There are very big things ahead for Pat. I am frequent reader of his blog ( and he seemed very down to earth an happy to receive feedback from fans. So I wrote him a letter, which is not something I've done for any author I've been a fan of before. I sent him the picture below and a note requesting him to sign it. I included a Thai keychain and some Thai currency...a mock bribe so to speak. Then a couple weeks later I got this back! Thank you Mr. Rothfuss.

Oh and buy this man's book!!!...two of them!!


Piers Anthony is Awesome!!

After some back and forth through snail mail I was able to get the Ogre himself to sign my picture. Very awesome for an author of his stature to still take the time to sign silly photos for fans.

Barnes and Nobles Not so Great Deals

I'm on the B&N mailing list. I receive weekly e-mails with coupons and deals. They all have one thing in common, the deals almost always blow. Take for instance this weeks e-mail:
Subject: "Free B&N eReader -- Plus 6 eBooks on Us!"

Sounds awesome right? I could hardly wait to pick out 6 six books I'd like to read, even if the format was proprietary, hell if the reader turned out to be good I might even buy a couple to support the cause. Upon clicking the links I quickly realize the books for free are pre-selected, and also suck. Ok well not suck, since they are literary masterpieces...but they are all public domain! Here's the list:

little women
last of the mohicans
sense and sensibility
pride and prejudice
pocket dictionary

pocket dictionary?'re killing me BN. You're coupons are always found wanting. Take a lesson from Borders and start coughing up some 40-50% off anything you want, or an occasional buy two get one free. 10% 4 get 1 or even buy 3 get 1 are not enough to get me in your store.

New Blog

This is my new home. I'm leaving my own domain and moving over to googles blogger. I'm tired of the spammers constantly bombarding my site, and with nothign but friends and family as traffic, it's not worth the hassle. I'm keeping the domain to use as a repository for stuff, but this is place to read my blogs from now on. I'm going to to be reposting some of my earlier blogs, but I'll do it little at a time.