Friday, January 29, 2010

Paul Krugman on Deficit Peacocks

The usual good column by Krugman.  What interested me most was the following: "

So we’re paralyzed in the face of mass unemployment and out-of-control health care costs. Don’t blame Mr. Obama. There’s only so much one man can do, even if he sits in the White House. Blame our political culture instead, a culture that rewards hypocrisy and irresponsibility rather than serious efforts to solve America’s problems. And blame the filibuster, under which 41 senators can make the country ungovernable, if they choose — and they have so chosen.

I’m sorry to say this, but the state of the union — not the speech, but the thing itself — isn’t looking very good."

Bingo!  He has said what I've been feeling and better than I could.


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LolDogs of the Day

A special one for the geeks and geek wannabes out there.

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No Fantasy in Prisons in Wisconsin

A judge upheld a ban on playing D&D in Wisconsin prisons.  "The initial ban was instituted by the prison as officials felt that the game could "foster an inmate's obsession with escaping from the real-life correctional environment, fostering hostility, violence and escape behavior."  Um, as if brutality, violence, and a desire to escape weren't major parts of the prison experience in this country now?


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

State Legislation on LGBT Rights

See the information here from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

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Can I hear a WTF?

Scott Roeder, the man who murdered abortion doctor George Tiller, is on trial for the murder.  He has taken the stand in his own defense, and took his action because of his abortion beliefs.  I don't agree, but I understand the point of view of those who believe abortion is murder.  But this is truly stupendously illogical: "Asked about incest, he said his beliefs were the same. "It isn't our duty to take life, it's our heavenly father's," he said."  ?????????



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Dinosaur with Feathers

Interesting article from the BBC on a dinosaur that had feathers, and scientists are able to tell what color they were.  It suggests that feathers evolved for a reason other than flight, and gives further evidence to what was already known, that modern-day birds evolved from small dinosaurs.

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LolDogs of the Day

I nu you was sad... Given that it has been a sad week with the loss of a good friend's dog, this seems appropriate.

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LolCats of the Day

Howard Zinn's Death

... removes a powerful voice for telling the history of ALL the people, not just the wealthy and powerful. 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Article on the Texas School Board Curriculum Review

This article is pretty balanced in explaining the Texas School Board revisions to the social science curriculum.  Two of the people who have made recommendations are David Barton and Peter Marshall.  Here is what a Christian history professor says about them:

"I'm an evangelical Christian, and I think David Barton and Peter Marshall are completely out to lunch," said John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, a Christian institution. "They are not experts on social studies and history. Neither of them are trained in history. They are preachers who use the past and history as a means of promoting a political agenda in the present."



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Tracking the Proposition 8 Trial

Top Craziest Things Pat Robertson Ever Said

These are the People Deciding What Textbooks to Buy

Tribute to Buster

My dear friend Mark lost his 8-year old Welsh Pembroke Corgi Buster yesterday.  Buster was indeed A Good Boy.  He was sweet, smart, and brave.  Two stories that I remember most about him - when Mark's other corgi, Jonesy, broke his leg, Mark had to put him down to grab his coat and gear so he could get Jonesy to the vet, and naturally Jonesy was quite upset.  Buster went over and licked him and soothed him, and got him calmed down.  Buster was also quite an escape artist, and was able to get out of his cage on his own until Mark found a Buster-proof crate.

I was happy to know you, sweet boy.


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Friday, January 22, 2010

My Reaction to the Supreme Court Decision on Campaign Finance



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Paul Farmer on Haiti

Paul Farmer has spent many years providing medical services in Haiti and started a non-proifit organization called Partners In Health (PIH).  So his take on the earthquake situation is particularly valuable.  He is the subject of Tracy Kidder's book Mountains Beyond Mountains, which I HIGHLY recommend.


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Wayne Beson: The Real Threat to Families

Interesting article that points out that it isn't gay couples marrying that is a threat to traditional families, but the changing roles of men and women.  Women are much more likely now to be earning more than their husbands, and for some marriages that is a problem.  He also points out that the Bible Belt states have a much higher divorce rate than do blue states with protections for gay couples.and wonders if it isn't due to the difficulty men in these states have adjusting to changing roles in the family.


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Sherlock Holmes: Still Detecting

Brief article about legal disputes over the Conan Doyle estate and the rights to Sherlock Holmes, but has some links to some of the works and radio plays.

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Weird Book Room From ABEbooks

List of truly strange books with their cover art.  Some favorites include Liberace: Your Fashion Guide, Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study, and Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School.  One of the books listed is Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words, which I remember a roommate of mine had.  This was over 20 years ago and I still remember how much fun that book was.  The title is very descriptive.  The only two phrases I remember now from the dictionary were "thunder mug" as a euphemism for a chamber pot, and "prick me dainty" for a dandy.


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Alaska Ice Festival

Amazing photos!  The official web site for the festival is here, and has photos by year.

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Judge Not Books By Their Covers, But Politicians by Their Faces

Not sure how much I credit it, but one study found that participants looking at faces of politicians and college seniors were often able to correctly identify Republicans and Democrats.  They used stereotypes, judging Republicans more powerful and Democrats more warm, but the odd thing is it worked.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Andrew Sullivan on the Massachusetts GOP Win

Kind of supports my argument that the country may now be ungovernable.

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Greg Mortenson on Bill Moyers

I'm home, not feeling well today after too much travel, so I'm watching shows my TIVO caught for me while I was gone.  One is the most recent Bill Moyer's Journal.  This week one of his guests was Greg Mortenson, who has spent 20 years building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  His story was told first in the book Three Cups of Tea, and he has just published a book Stones into Schools.  I read and adored Three Cups of Tea and have the other on my wishlist to read.  One of the things Moyers talked to Mortenson about was that in all his years there, Mortenson has gotten to know the people and the culture of that part of the world, and he excels at listening and believes in it as a tool.  The good news is that the US military has started listening too, to Mortenson, who has met numerous times with David Petreus and Stanley McChrystal, the two generals in charge of the Afghanistan war.  To see the Mortenson interview, go to the page, cklick on Bill Moyer's Journal, and it is this week one of the top two stories.  A world that has a Greg Mortenson and a Paul Farmer in it is a world that has hope.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wicked Cool -

Worst Commutes

Wow!  Atlanta doesn't show up until #22!  I find that very surprising, because of the degree of urban sprawl in Atlanta.  This is one city ranking I'm happy to not rank high on.  And, nanny nanny boo boo to long commutes, I drive surface streets, 4 miles each way.

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Bible Verses on Rifle Scopes - WWJD?

This article discusses Bible verses on rifle scopes, many of which are in use by the US military.  Laying aside the separation of church and state thang, some people have enthused about the "Christian" values of the company that produced them.  I really don't understand that.  Is this really following the person who has been called the Prince of Peace?  What would Jesus have said about having verses about him on a weapon that has no other purpose but to kill or maim?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Review: Twitterature

Title Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less
Author Alexander Aciman
Rating ***1/2
Tags fiction, literature, great books, twitter, tweets, humor 

Great concept! Sixty great works of literature retold in twenty tweets or less - a tweet is a computer message of 140 characters or less. It is a tiny book, but has the full Penguin Classic treatment. You know this book isn't the usual Penguin Classic, though, by the quote at the bottom of the cover: "The classics are so last century" - Guardian.

The works turned into tweets include lots of Shakespeare, some Austen, several of the Russian classics, various Brontes, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Cervantes, and so on.

Examples include: from Hamlet - "WTF is Polonius doing behind the curtain!" From Dante's Inferno: "I'm havin' a midlife crisis. Lost in the woods. Shoulda brought my iPhone".

Lots of amusing stuff. The editors are 19, so there is some level of immaturity, too much cuss words, scatalogical references, and so on. Overall, pretty darn funny. The only one I really don't like and thought was unfair to the original was the Sherlock Holmes one, which is all a series of cocaine jokes.

Thanks to Peter for the great Yule gift!


Author – Rensin, Emmett
Publication Penguin (Non-Classics) (2009), Edition: 1, Paperback, 224 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 0143117327 / 9780143117322

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Book Review: Mountains Beyond Mountains

Title Mountains Beyond Mountains:
Author Tracy Kidder
Rating *****
Tags non-fiction, doctors, medicine, haiti, russia, peru, tuberculosis 

What a marvelous book! It is the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, who grew up poor, living for years in a bus with five siblings or on a boat. He grew up with a fierce desire to help people. He got into Harvard medical school, and while there got interested in Haiti and all its severe problems. He went to one of the poorer regions in a poor country, and he has proven over and over that hard work, organization, imagination, good medical practices, personal attention, and some money can make a big difference. Necessarily he and his coworkers became experts in tuberculosis, since it is one of Haiti's major medical problems. They had a lot of success treating drug resistant TB, using a different and more effective regimen than recommended by the World Health Organization. Farmer and his colleagues in Partner in Health became busier than ever, working on TB in Peru and in Russian prisons.

Kidder is a terrific writer. He gives a great sense of what an amazing but wholly human character Farmer is, as well as some of his coworkers.

The book proves that one person CAN make a difference, but few are as capable as Farmer. Those of us without his talents can but support him however we are able.

Well, now I can add another hero to my list. Last year it was Greg Mortenson, profiled in Three Cups of Tea. This year its Paul Farmer - and it is only January!

Publication Random House (2004), Paperback, 336 pages
Publication date 2004

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The Conservative Case for Same-Sex Marrriage

Powerful argument by Ted Olson, a conservative who served in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, on why conservatives should be for same-sex marriage rather than opposing it.  Olson is helping argue the case against California's Proposition 8 in a federal court. 



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Cutest Picture Ever, 2nd Try

Cutest Picture Ever

Owl Strike at Hogwarts

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LoLcat of the Day: Earl Gray

Another great combination of picture and caption.

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Picture of Me in the Morning

I am not a morning person, sigh.  This morning my alarm didn't go off and I woke up at 9:40!  Ouch!


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Current State of Israel

Here's an interesting piece of criticism of Israel by a reporter in the country.  I really hope they do move to a more helpful stance and change policies to make a 2 state solution work.


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Child Sacrifice in Uganda

This is a very hard article to read, about instances of children being sacrificed by witch doctors in Uganda in the belief that doing so will increase prosperity.  After the "Satanic panic" in the US in the 1980s, where not one case of sacrifice was found, I tend to regard such reports with skepticism.  If the story is true, it is monstrous, and I'm glad there are people fighting it.


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Georgia Tech Professor Named Obama's Cybersecurity Czar

Wow!  Do I work in a cool place, or what?  Seriously, next Friday I'll have been at Georgia Tech 21 1/2 years, and it is a place I'm proud to be associated with.


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Christian Nation or Nation of Mostly Christian Believers?

Catherine Beyer, who does the Alternative Religions guide for, had an excellent piece about the difference between the two in her newsletter, but I can't find it on the site so am quoting it in full here:

"Certainly we have a lot of Christians in the United States. No one is arguing that. But a nation full of Christians is not a Christian Nation. A Christian Nation would be a theocracy, similar to Islamic countries in the Middle East, where government upholds religious law and often legislates what religions people can follow.

We are the opposite of that. Our Constitution ensures that. Should the government show favoritism toward one religion, that would be a blatant violation of the first amendment. I confess, I don't understand why supporters of the "Christian Nation" idea don't understand the ramifications of the first amendment.

What they do like doing is pointing out that the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution, which entirely true. That doesnt mean the concept doesn't exist in the Constitution, or that the phrase was coined to summarize that Constitutional concept."

I confess that I, too, have trouble with Christian Nation types not understanding that separation of church and state protects them as well.  Remember, at the time of the American Revolution, all the colonies, later states, had established religions.  Evangelical Christians were then highly in favor of separation of church and state, because their denominations were not the established religion in any of the states, and they were jailed, beaten, and fined for not following the established religions.  Suppose one religion were favored by law in the U.S.  Who gets to define it?  What do you do about people who don't follow that religion?


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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happiness is a Good Education

Nick Kristof has a thought-provoking column on Costa Rica, and how high it ranks in various measures of happiness.  They abolished their army in 1947 and put the money into education, which has produced great dividends in economic and gender equality.  I know we can't abolish the military in the U.S.... but it would be nice if we could improve the balance between military spending and spending on education.


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Roger Cohen on China and VietNam

Interesting column on the current state of China and Vietnam, both wealthier than ever by adopting modified capitalism, but both with populations made restless by restrictions of one-party rule.


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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Review: Necessary as Blood

Title Necessary as Blood
Author Deborah Crombie
Rating ****
Tags mystery, series, police procedurals, london, england, gemma james, duncan kincaid 

This is the 13th volume in Deborah Crombie's Gemma James/ Duncan Kinkaid series. Gemma and Duncan are both police officers in London, and in a long-term committed relationship. For that reason they no longer work in the same office, but they both get drawn into a case of a murdered man whose wife had disappeared some months previously. The murdered man was a friend of a friend of theirs, and they get concerned as to what will happen to the three-year old child of the couple.

Crombie is one of my favorite authors. This book is quite good. Not my favorite of the series, but well worth reading.

Publication William Morrow (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 384 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 0061287539 / 9780061287534

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Gay Marriage Causes the Apocalypse? Not So Much

More on the fact that Massachusetts, the first state in the Union to allow gay mariage, has the LOWEST divorce rate.  It has now fallen to pre-WWii levels.  The article quotes the apocalyptic visions of gay rights opponents, and they sound perfectly ridiculous.


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War Against Clowns: Humorous Picture

Them clowns is done for.

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Clicking for Change

I've mentioned before the sites from the Greater Good Network.  The one I go to first is The Animal Rescue Site.  Click on the big button, and sponsors donate food for animals in shelters.  At the top, you'll see tabs for their other sites, and the same happens there, click on the button and money is donated.  There is a hunger site, a breast cancer site, a child health site, a literacy site, and a rainforest site.  They are showing now the year end totals of clicks and donations for the year 2009, and I notice that the breast cancer site and the rainforest site are getting much fewer clicks, so want to encourage people to click on all the sites daily.  The breast cancer site funds mammograms for those who can't afford them, and the rainforest site saves land in a preserve.  If you're not sure that's a cause you want to support, consider whether you like breathing.... a lot of the oxygen we need comes from the rainforest trees.  You can sign up for an email reminder once a day, and they have a wonderful store that sells things from all over the world.


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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Free Speech isn't Always Easy

Great post that includes a marvelous defense of freedom of expression from Yale University, which was produced in reaction to William Shockley's being denied the right to speak his racially offensive ideas on campus due to mob threats.  And here is Brayton's core argument:

"But the Woodward committee understands what many radical students do not, that silencing those whose views enrage us is really just a poor means of assuaging our own insecurities. The zeal to censor, while understandable on an emotional level, is primarily a reflection of our lack of confidence in the power of reason to persuade and to separate the true from the false."


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Muslim Condemnations of Violence

Ed Brayton, in this post, points out that even well-informed Americans are not aware that many Muslims, including religious leaders, have condemned the violence of Al Quaeda and other organizations.  This should have been better reported in the media.  Juan Cole, mentioned in the post, is a very knowledgeable writer about the Muslim world, and has written a book callled Engaging the Muslim World.


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More on the Ugandan Anti-Gay Legislation

...and American evangelicals who influenced it, and are now trying to distance themselves from it.  This is a horrible, horrible, piece of legislation.


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If You're Worried About What Children Are Taught in School...

...worry about Texas, which has a huge influence on textbook sales all over the country, and who has creationists and Christian nation types on the board that chooses textbooks.


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I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

Now there is an award, the Shorty, for microblogging.  It was inevitable, I guess.  Mostly I was amused at the name of the judging institution: Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences.

Which reminds me that a friend sent me a great Yule present.  It is a book called Twitterature, which retells 60 great works of literature as a series of tweets.  So far its hilarious.


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It's Full of Stars!

Nice article on the Hubble telescope seeing galaxies from over 13 billion years ago, less that a billioin years after the Big Bang.  When I see things like this I get such a wonderful feeling of awe at this grand universe of ours...

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What's Up, Doc: A Car Partly Made of Carrots

Interesting article on a race car built from recycled or organic materials, one of which is derived from carrots.  What I want to know is whether driving it will improve my vision, or do I have to eat the car? :-).  Thanks to Dannis for the post.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Book Review: The Gregor Demarkian Series

Tne Gregpr Demarkian series is written by Jane Haddam.  Haddam is a pseudonym for Orania Papazoglou.

When the series opens, Gregor has retired from twenty years with the FBI.  His last ten years were spent setting up the unit that pursued serial killers, and when his wife's final illness with cancer is consuming both of them he cannot be there for her and keep up that intense work.  Once she dies, he has no ambition to return.  He moves back to his old Armenian neighborhood in Philadelphia.  When he grew up there, it was a typically poor immigrant neighborhood.  Now it is still ethnically Armenian, and most people living there are ones he grew up with, but it is no longer poor.  He befriends Tibor Kasparian, a priest of the Armenian Orthodox church, who grew up in an Armenia under the thumb of the Soviets, and who spent much of his adult life in prison either in Armenia or the Soviet Union.  Now he lives in a church apartment that is wall-to-wall books.

Gregor gets involved in a murder of a wealthy man living in Philadelphia's Main Line incidentally.  The man, Robert Hannaford, asked Demarkian to dinner to consult with him, but when Gregor arrives Hannaford is dead by murder.  He has seven children and a wife, and it seems that one of the family must be guilty.  One of the children is Bennis Hannaford, a beauty who writes best-selling fantasy novels.  Once the murder is solved, Bennis moves into Gregor's building and becomes a part of the community in the Armenian neighborhood.

Haddam begins each book by getting into the heads of the main characters.  It isn't until a good way in that the murder happens and Gregor becomes a part of the story.  Haddam's characters run the gamut of humanity: rich, poor, smart, stupid, Christian, Wiccan, atheist, men, women, liberal, conservative... and so on.  Since she shows us what they are thinking, they become spookily real and through them the complexities of the community, and indeed, the human condition, are revealed.

Since Gregor was a law enforcement professional, she avoids the nonsense of an amateur who just happens on all these murders, though Gregor runs into them by happenstancee too often.  It does get a little frustrating how often Gregor knows who did the murder, but won't tell anyone until he has proof that will stand up in a court of law.  One thing I really do like about the series is that most of the professional law enforcement people depicted in the books are eager to have Gregor's help and are good at police work.  I get really tired of the amateur sleuth whose run ins with the police are always unpleasant because the police are short-sighted and obnoxious.

It is a great series that never grew stale for me, and i hope will keep going.  Haddam's website is worth a visit, too.  It doesn't seem to have been updated since 2004 or so, but has some great essays on it.

There were times I got a little tired of the series, but every time I got hold of a new volume I devoured it and wanted more.  There are a lot of recurring characters that were wonderful to visit with again and again, and always new characters in new situations.  Besides, you have to love an author who in chapter headings quotes St. Theresa of Avila alongside Terry Pratchett.

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Book Review: Inklings by Jeffrey Koterba

Title Inklings
Author Jeffrey Koterba
Rating ****
Tags non-fiction, memoirs, autobiography, political cartoons, tourette's syndrome 

Jeffery Koterba is an award-winning political cartoonist. This memoir covers his childhood and some years after. It was a painful childhood. His father was a hoarder who gathered junk to sell and supplement the family income, mostly TV sets that he could repair and sell. Their house slowly became completely covered in junk. The father also had difficult moods, and it wasn't until he was an adult that Jeffrey realized both he and his father's odd twitches were symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome. Early on Jeffrey escaped into drawings, and he was a hard worker who, with agonizing slowness, worked his way up to syndication of his political cartoons in many newspapers On the way he himself married and fathered a son and became a member of a band.

Koterba writes well and his memoirs are interesting. He once again shows that creativity and genius are often allied with disorders like Tourette's or autism. It seems that too often genius must pay a price.

Good book. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I received my copy of this book for free in return for a review through the Amazon Vine program.

Publication Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2009), Hardcover, 272 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 0151014922 / 9780151014927

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Book Review: The Gilded Age Mysteries by P. B. Ryan

P. B. Ryan published six Gilded Age mysteries between 2003 and 2007.  That may be all in the series, since it ended at a good stopping point and there haven't been any since 2007.

In order, the books are Still Life with Murder, Murder in a Mill Town, Death on Beacon Hill, Murder on Black Friday, Murder in the North End, and A Bucket of Ashes.  The main character was Nell Sweeney, who grows up very poor and in an abusive family near Cape Cod.  When the series opens, she is a nurse to a doctor who four years earlier saved her life and has been her friend and teacher since.  From him she learns not just nursing skills, but literature, language, and more.  They are called to a difficult birth of a maidservant in the Cape Cod summer mansion of the wealthy Boston Brahmin Hewitt faimily.  The child, a girl, is born safely.  The mother is married, but her husband has been away in the Army during the Civil War for too long for it to be his child.  Viola Hewitt, the family matron, has had four boys herself and decides to adopt the baby girl.  She likes what she sees of Nell, and persuades her to enter her emplay as nurse and later governess to little Grace.  It is too good an opportunity for Nell to pass up.  The Hewitt family believes that both its older sons, Will and Robbie, died at the notorious Andersonville prisoner of war camp.  When Grace is about three, they find out that Will survived, but is now charged with murder and is an opium addict.  The addiction was due to his wounding at Andersonville and the painful months it took him to escape North.  Nell solves his murder and the two become fast friends.and together go on to solve other murders.

The books are well written.  For the most part the plots and characters are believeable.  The characters develop in satisfying ways.  If I have any quarrel with the books it is that Nell is constantly talking about how she must portect her reputation, or lose her job, which means losing Gracie, the most important person in her life - and yet she is always doing things to put that reputation in jeopardy, and making enemies whom one would guess would tattle on her.  She is fired once by the family patriarch but Viola forces him to rehire her.  It is a fairly minor quibble in an otherwise highly enjoyable series.

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Book Review: The Samaritan's Secret

Title The Samaritan's Secret (Omar Yussef Mysteries)
Author Matt Beynon Rees
Rating ****
Tags mystery, series, palestinians, west bank, samaritans 

This is the third of the Omar Yussef mysteries by Matt Beynon Rees, who is the former Jerusalem bureau chief for Time. This is the first of the series that I've read.

Omar Yussef travels to Nablus with his family to be part of the wedding celebration of his friend Sami, a policeman. While there, they find the body of a Samaritan, one of about 600 left of this ancient people. The dead man is the son of a priest and was a financial adviser to "the old man" (Yassir Arafat), and then to a wealthy businessman. About $300 million in Palestine Authority funds are missing, and if the World Bank can't find the missing money it will put a stop to all its development projects in the Palestinian areas. No one but Omar seems to be willing to look for the money, and incidentally, solve the murder. Conflict between supporters of Fatah (Arafat's party) and Hamas means doing anything in Nablus is dangerous.

It was a little hard to get into the book because of how unfamiliar the culture is to me. On the other hand, that is also one of the book's chief charms. I really enjoy books that teach me about an unfamiliar culture, or profession, while giving me a nice mystery to chew on. In the end, there were some things I wasn't entirely clear on, but I enjoyed the book enough to want to read the first two in the series (The Collaborator of Bethlehem and A Grave in Gaza).

Disclaimer: I received my copy of the book free for reviewing it for the Amazon Vine program.

Publication Soho Crime (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 1569475458 / 9781569475454

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The Meaning of Friendship

A picture is worth a thousand words...but the words fit too.

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Data the Grammar Queen

... this is so much like Data!

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Fruit with a Sense of Humor

And no, it isn't me, thank you for asking.  I'm only slightly fruity, though I think I do have a sense of humor. 

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LGBT Health Disparities

This report shows recent statistics on health disparities among LGBT people.  Suicide rates are still much higher, and transgendered suicide rates are even worse.  This is why equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people MATTERS.


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In the OOPS Category...

...researchers at Los Alamos accidentally blew up a building while trying to reproduce the effect of a Civil War cannon.  No one hurt, thankfully.


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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Colonize the Moon in a Lava Tube? this article suggests, it might be the safest place to start a colony.  I might give it a try if offered the opportunity.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

DNA Analyzed from 30,000 Year Old Human

Really amazing.  It is very dificult to prevent modern contamination in these old samples, but this group seems to have done a pretty good job.  It is fascinating to see how humans have evolved over time.


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Mousavi Speaks Out After Nephew's Death

The nephew was killied in anit-government protests.  Mousavi says he is willing to die in the cause of reform.  How the Iranian government treats him will be a real test of how far they will take their terribly stupid and short-sighted policies of repression.


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