Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feb 23 2011

Lately I really love to read. It's something I would do all day if I did not have to worry about things like laundry, cooking, work, and household chores. With my chronic health condition, lately it is also an escape and a way to get through a rough night when I just can’t sleep.

This year I’ve read about six books already. My daughter-in-law got me started with the Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites series, it’s a YA series by Chris Heimerdinger and the characters go back and forth between Book of Mormon times and the present.

I just finished Summer Night by Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files books are very entertaining but I can’t take a steady diet of them because there are a lot of similarities in them, but I do love the Harry Dresden character.

I could spend hours browsing in Books a Million or Barnes and Noble, and also hours on the various book sites reading reviews and checking out book discussions. If my skin did not get so sore when sitting upon upholstery I might even be able to do it comfortably, too. Well, it’s back to sitting in the plain old wood rocking chair, at least that does not hurt when, I want to read.

I found some fun reading lists one from the BBC and one from some site I do not remember about Science fiction books, and I love SF books and learning about all kinds of things through my reading. I've read several on both lists and plan on reading more of them, too.

Check out this site for the BBC Booklist:

111 Science Fictions Books to Read Before a Supernova Kills Us All

1984 by Orwell, George
Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury, Ray
Dune by Herbert, Frank
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe by Adams, Douglas
Frankenstein by Shelly, Mary
I, Robot by Asimov, Isaac
Ender's Game by Card, Orson Scott
Brave New World by Huxley, Aldous
Foundation by Asimov, Isaac
The Time Machine by Wells, H. G.
The War of the Worlds by Wells, H. G.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Clarke, Arthur C.
Invisible Man by Wells, H. G.
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Verne, Jules
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Verne, Jules
The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood, Margaret
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson, Robert Louis
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess, Anthony
Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut, Kurt
Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, Robert A.
The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury, Ray
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Dick, Philip K.
Childhood's End by Clarke, Arthur C.
Flowers for Algernon by Keyes, Daniel
The Caves of Steel by Asimov, Isaac
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury, Ray
Jurassic Park by Crichton, Michael
Neuromancer by Gibson, William
The Nine Billion Names of God by Clarke, Arthur C.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Miller, Walter M.
Nightfall by Asimov, Isaac
Starship Troopers by Heinlein, Robert A.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein, Robert A.
The Mote in God's Eye by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
Red Mars by Robinson, Kim Stanley
Ringworld by Niven, Larry
The Andromeda Strain by Crichton, Michael
Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut, Kurt
Cyteen by Cherryh, C. J.
I Sing the Body Electric by Bradbury, Ray
Snow Crash by Stephenson, Neal
The Day of the Triffids by Wyndham, John
Contact by Sagan, Carl
On the Beach by Shute, Nevil
The Illustrated Man by Bradbury, Ray
The Lathe of Heaven by Le Guin, Ursula K.
The Ship Who Sang by McCaffrey, Anne
The Stainless Steel Rat by Harrison, Harry
The Stars My Destination by Bester, Alfie
Barrayar by Bujold, Lois McMaster
The Forever War by Haldeman, Joe
The Giver by Lowry, Lois
Cryptonomicon by Stephenson, Neal
Foreigner by Cherryh, C. J.
Rendezvous with Rama by Clarke, Arthur C.
The Dispossessed by Le Guin, Ursula K.
The Gods Themselves by Asimov, Isaac
The Time Traveler's Wife by Niffenegger, Audrey
Children of Men by James, P. D.
Dangerous Visions by Ellison, Harlon
Downbelow Station by Cherryh, C. J.
Old Man's War by Scalzi, John
Crystal Singer by McCaffrey, Anne
Doomsday Book by Willis, Connie
Lucifer's Hammer by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
The City and the Stars by Clarke, Arthur C.
The Demolished Man by Bester, Alfie
Blood Music by Bear, Greg
Footfall by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
Hyperion by Simmons, Dan
Solaris by Lem, Stanislaw
Songs of Distant Earth by Clarke, Arthur C.
Stand on Zanzibar by Brunner, John
Stars in my Pocket, Like Grains of Sand by Delany, Samuel
The Diamond Age by Stephenson, Neal
The Island of Doctor Moreau by Wells, H. G.
The Man in the High Castle by Dick, Philip K.
The Midwich Cuckoos by Wyndham, John
Time Enough for Love by Heinlein, Robert A.
To Ride Pegasus by McCaffrey, Anne
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Willis, Connie
To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Farmer, Philip Jose
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Wilhelm, Kate
A Princess of Mars by Burroughs, Edgar Rice
A Scanner Darkly by Dick, Philip K.
Anathem by Stephenson, Neal
Grass by Tepper, Sherri S.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Finney, Jack
Little Brother by Doctorow, Cory
Sphere by Crichton, Michael
Tau Zero by Anderson, Poul
The Best of Cordwainer Smith by Smith, Cordwainer
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vinge, Vernor
Alas, Babylon by Frank, Pat
At the Mountains of Madness by Lovecraft, H. P.
Babel-17 by Delany, Samuel
Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut, Kurt
Chrysalids by Wyndham, John
City by Simak, Clifford
Double Star by Heinlein, Robert A.
Earth by Brin, David
Gateway by Pohl, Frederik
Islands in the Sky by Clarke, Arthur C.
Kindred by Butler, Octavia
More Than Human by Sturgeon, Theodore
On Basilisk Station by Weber, David
The Coelura by McCaffrey, Anne
The Pride of Chanur by Cherryh, C. J.
The Speed of Dark by Moon, Elizabeth
The Ugly Little Boy by Asimov, Isaac and Silverberg, Robert
Uglies by Westerfeld, Scott

Monday, February 21, 2011

James Madison quote

“Is there no virtue among us? If there is not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.”

*chimerical (definition from unreal, imaginary, fanciful, unrealistic

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Poetry by Ogden Nash

The Germ
Ogden Nash

A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than a pachyderm,
His customary dwelling place,
Is deep within the human race,
His childish pride he often pleases,
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, dear reader, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are they out there?

Do you believe in aliens? Do you think that there could be other civilizations in the universe? Do you even think about such things?

I commute to work so I like to have different things to listen to while I am riding to work. I have many books on cd, music cds, podcasts, etc. that I listen to during the trip. I used to listen to a radio program that came on late called Coast to Coast (with Art Bell or with George Noory) when I was riding home from the PCMC lab on the weekends. Sometimes I would listen to it on driving trips to Colorado or California, too. It is still on the radio but my work schedule now consists of getting up at 4:00am, so I don’t stay up to listen too it much any more. I will admit that some of the subjects they cover can be pretty far out, or just plain creepy so that I do not desire to listen, but it is generally highly entertaining.

In the same vein, exploring many things weird, paranormal, and always having something to say about little green (or grey) aliens, I discovered a podcast called Mysterious Universe put out by 2 guys in Australia. I can listen on my portable device or make cds to bring in the car while commuting. The guys, Ben and Aaron, have great accents and are really entertaining because they cover all kinds of unusual topics. I don’t much go for Bigfoot or strange giant black birds, chupacabra, evil reptilians, or inter-dimensional big cats, but I am always intrigued by the subjects and it sure makes my rides to and from work enjoyable.

One thing I do think about is other beings in the universe. Being a science loving person, a laboratory scientist, and a science fiction fan, I probably have a predisposition to believe in this kind of thing. I would have signed up for Star Fleet after high school if it had been real! I am fascinated by Jupiter and it 60 plus moons, and yes I would love to have a little pet fire-dragon like on author Anne McAffery’s planet of Pern. I think I can believe that there are other beings in the universe. No, I have never been abducted, and I don’t hear strange voices calling me from the Pleiades, but I look up to the night sky in wonder and I do think the universe is big enough for several civilizations.

I know from my religious belief that God created many worlds. Why can’t there be people on them, too? Man is created in the image of God but he also made animals, plants, and the planets whose substance is so dramatically different from our own earth. Why not other beings that can live in those types of worlds, why not more Earth-type worlds? Maybe I have fallen off the proverbial ‘turnip truck’ or have been listening to alien stories too much, but it certainly is food for thought.