Started by mgriffin, December 07, 2007, 09:39:14 AM
Quote from: mgriffin on June 30, 2009, 01:16:00 PMhttp://www.amazon.com/Born-Run-Hidden-Superathletes-Greatest/dp/0307266303This really was one of the most interesting and inspiring books I've read in a long time, and made me question a lot of our assumptions about physical limitations
Quote from: mgriffin on June 30, 2009, 01:16:00 PMRecently I really, really enjoyed a book called Born to Run which is mostly about a tribe called the Tarahumara in Mexico who live hidden in the canyons and whose culture involves extremely long-distance running, for hunting and for entertainment.The author is an American magazine writer who keeps getting injuries while running relatively modest distances and he becomes curious about why so many modern, urban runners are hurt all the time, despite fancy, expensive running shoes, while relatively primitive runners running in the mountains in bare feet or hand-made sandals, can run 50 or 100 miles at a time without injuries.So it's partly an exploration of the Tarahumara, with insight into the American running scene, particularly the niches of ultramarathoning and trail running, culminating in a "challenge" race between top American ultramarathoners like Scott Jurek and Jenn Shelton, against a handful of Tarahumara runners in their weird garb and sandals.http://www.amazon.com/Born-Run-Hidden-Superathletes-Greatest/dp/0307266303This really was one of the most interesting and inspiring books I've read in a long time, and made me question a lot of our assumptions about physical limitations.
Quote from: mgriffin on January 19, 2010, 02:08:55 PMPrevious read, The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. SawyerIn this one, a scientist is able to do such a high-accuracy brain scan of an individual dying to determine that some kind of electrical energy leaves the human brain at the time of death. Once this information becomes public, this energy phenomenon is called the "soul wave" and the story takes on all kinds of scientific, social and religious implications. The discovery leads very quickly (though I can't see how one is closely connected to the other) to an experiment in which digital simulations of a human mind are subjected to different effects and limitations in order to determine how they would react. It's quite science-oriented, which might make a difference in some people enjoying it, or not, but there's also a bit of detective story mixed in as well.It's a relatively early book for Sawyer, and won the Nebula award. I'd recommend it to those who usually enjoy this author, or for people interested in the idea of the human mind reduced to a virtualization.
Quote from: mgriffin on January 19, 2010, 01:22:12 PMThat sounds interesting, Sundummy. I know a guy who keeps bees as a hobby and he must have forwarded me two dozen articles over the past 18 months or so regarding this bizarre colony collapse thing.I myself have been doing a ton of reading and (audiobook) listening lately.I finished Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End a couple of weeks ago and loved it all the way through. It also stood up incredibly well for science fiction over half a century old. Great writing, a fascinating central "mystery" slowly revealed, pretty good characters (though this is tough with any story that unfolds over more than a century of story-time), and such a world-shifting turn of events toward the end. Overall, just fantastic. I wish there were more books containing this kind of simple, imaginative wonder.I know there are other Clarke fans out there -- would you say the next logical step in exploring this author would be Rendezvous With Rama? I can't believe I've waited this long to start checking him out, especially given how much I liked the film of 2001: A Space Odyssey and even 2010.
Quote from: mgriffin on January 19, 2010, 04:26:50 PMYes, I read Flash Forward about a year ago. I thought it was quite good, and though I haven't watched the show at all, I understand the premise is only superficially similar. Of course, if they'd used the exact situation of the novel for the TV show, it wouldn't have made a good series.Robert Sawyer is a writer of very interesting ideas, energetic storytelling, and a fairly direct, unornamented style. He's one of my favorites now.