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Thread: The 'What Are You Reading?' Thread

  1. #171
    Istanbul Expert N2NH's Avatar
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    Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

    On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's "World" newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day--and heading in the opposite direction by train--was a young journalist from "The Cosmopolitan" magazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne's fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days. The dramatic race that ensued would span twenty-eight thousand miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors' lives forever. The two women were a study in contrasts. Nellie Bly was a scrappy, hard-driving, ambitious reporter from Pennsylvania coal country who sought out the most sensational news stories, often going undercover to expose social injustice. Genteel and elegant, Elizabeth Bisland had been born into an aristocratic Southern family, preferred novels and poetry to newspapers, and was widely referred to as the most beautiful woman in metropolitan journalism. Both women, though, were talented writers who had carved out successful careers in the hypercompetitive, male-dominated world of big-city newspapers. "Eighty Days" brings these trailblazing women to life as they race against time and each other, unaided and alone, ever aware that the slightest delay could mean the difference between victory and defeat...
    Musical Interlude in which Doris gets her oats.

    Last edited by N2NH; 01-01-2015 at 07:17 AM.
    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
    --Philip K. Dick

  2. #172
    Istanbul Expert N2NH's Avatar
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    In a Glass Darkly by Agatha Christie.

    The narrator is startled by a vision in his mirror: He sees a man with a scarred neck strangling a beautiful blonde. He later meets the woman in his vision, Sylvia, and notes her fiancé's scarred neck. He tells her of his premonition, and the engagement is broken off. But is that all there is to it?
    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
    --Philip K. Dick

  3. #173
    Master Navigator KC2KFC's Avatar
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    I am currently reading "The Proud Tower - A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914" by Barbara Tuchman. A fascinating read about the decade and a half before that fateful August in 1914.
    “The great danger in movements to the Left is that the protagonists of the movement are so wrapped up with the end that the means becomes secondary.”
    -John F. Kennedy
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
    -Joseph Stalin

  4. #174
    Master Navigator KC2KFC's Avatar
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    "Blowing the Bloody Doors Off and Other Lessons in Life" by Michael Caine.
    Last edited by KC2KFC; 04-07-2019 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Spelling error.
    “The great danger in movements to the Left is that the protagonists of the movement are so wrapped up with the end that the means becomes secondary.”
    -John F. Kennedy
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
    -Joseph Stalin

  5. #175
    Master Navigator KC2KFC's Avatar
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    "Agatha Christie an Autobiography"
    “The great danger in movements to the Left is that the protagonists of the movement are so wrapped up with the end that the means becomes secondary.”
    -John F. Kennedy
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
    -Joseph Stalin

  6. #176
    Master Navigator KC2KFC's Avatar
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    "Murder is Easy" Agatha Christie
    “The great danger in movements to the Left is that the protagonists of the movement are so wrapped up with the end that the means becomes secondary.”
    -John F. Kennedy
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
    -Joseph Stalin

  7. #177
    Master Navigator KC2KFC's Avatar
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    "Economic Facts and Fallacies" Thomas Sowell
    “The great danger in movements to the Left is that the protagonists of the movement are so wrapped up with the end that the means becomes secondary.”
    -John F. Kennedy
    "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
    -Joseph Stalin

  8. #178
    Forum Addict kb2crk's Avatar
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    Enemy Contact, Mike Madden
    A continuation of Tom Clancys Jack Ryan series.

    As for TV I caught Amazons Good Omens. Good Show


    a yankee living in the hind end of the bible belt
    some people are like slinkys, not really good for anything, but still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

  9. #179
    'Grumpy old bastid' kb2vxa's Avatar
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    Mary Shelley has been spinning in her grave with enough force to drive a dynamo ever since John L. Balderston butchered her Frankenstein to make a movie in 1931. He turned her erudite monster of the world who spoke perfect Victorian English into a grunting Neanderthal and dispersed any notion that Dr. Frankenstein had already destroyed his work on a female creation. Balderston couldn't get enough juice together to avoid the monster out of control trope, there's more box office when the story is split in two and Mary Shelly becomes the hissing Bride of Frankenstein. It took many movies later for Gene Wilder to make it clear HE was Doctor Frankenstein and not the grunting, growling monster. Unfortunately Mel Brooks ruined the name of Waterloo's Prussian Hero: Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher for the sake of a few cheap laughs.

    When the whole of Chapter 20 is removed and along with it key dialog like “You have destroyed the work which you began; what is it that you intend? Do you dare to break your promise? I have endured toil and misery; I left Switzerland with you; I crept along the shores of the Rhine, among its willow islands and over the summits of its hills. I have dwelt many months in the heaths of England and among the deserts of Scotland. I have endured incalculable fatigue, and cold, and hunger; do you dare destroy my hopes?”

    “Begone! I do break my promise; never will I create another like yourself, equal in deformity and wickedness.”

    “Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!”

    “The hour of my irresolution is past, and the period of your power is arrived. Your threats cannot move me to do an act of wickedness; but they confirm me in a determination of not creating you a companion in vice. Shall I, in cool blood, set loose upon the earth a daemon whose delight is in death and wretchedness? Begone! I am firm, and your words will only exasperate my rage.”

    The movie lost the whole idea that Mrs. Shelley conveyed in her novel, beware the creation of an artificially intelligent being superior to its creator. Perhaps the author most borrowed from is Issac Asimov and there is even an AI robot named Asimo, one of the first out of Japan. What are the most borrowed are his Three Laws of Robotics;
    1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
    Then in his Foundation Quadrilogy the robot we met in Caves of Steel, R. Daneel Olivaw at the end was discovered to have been controlling the last 30,000 years of galactic history, and survived by replacing parts as they wore out including his positronic brain. Fate, AI be thy name.
    It was R. Daneel Olivaw who authored The Zeroth Law that can supersede the other three;
    0) A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
    In The Wrath of Kahn Spock comes up with a variant, actually a problem in physics, a bit of Vulcan illogic: The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few. With the Enterprise in imminent danger of destruction, Spock enters a highly radioactive chamber in order to fix the ship’s drive so the crew can escape danger. Spock quickly perishes, and, with his final breaths, says to Kirk, “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” Kirk finishes for him, “The needs of the few.” Spock replies, “Or the one.”
    Food for thought, Spock being half Vulcan represented AI with a few built in safeguards that could be reasoned with, Kirk managed. Then there were his parents, Amanda needed the patience of a saint to put up with Sarek. Klingons wondered but said little of how Vulcans managed to put up with the horrible stench of humans. And so it went in the Star Drek Mythos until Gene Rottenberries died, being Jewish he was buried before sundown thus avoiding olfactory upset.

    Mythos borrowed from the Lovecraft Mythos, Rottenberries borrowed from John Smallberries of Buckaroo Banzai fame. If you look at the builder's plates on the bridges of various Federation craft you'll see references to Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems in tribute to Buckaroo Banzai. There's even a Star Wars Easter egg in one of the movies (naturally I forgot which one) where a tiny R2D2 runs across the bottom of the main view screen.

    As long as I've gone from reading A Modern Prometheus to blundering across GNDN conduits, were you as perplexed as I over all the conflicts in Amok Time where we're introduced to strange Vulcan mating practices. Perhaps that's where the insult "yomama mates out of season" originated. First I wondered why this high muckety muck carried in a sedan chair Vulcan matriarch T'Pau was exceptionally confusing. Why was she the only Vulcan ever to speak with a thick accent calling him Spoke. Cummon now, every being in the galaxy except the reptilian Gorn speaks perfect English! Where were Spock's parents? Could it be that between prearranged marriage and the aversion to inter-species sex made them too embarrassed to attend? They must have been the only two genetically compatible, or Kirk would have left a trail of little bastards from here to Beyond Antares. That IMO was the best song to come out of Star Trek sung by Nichelle Nichols, who’d previously performed for Duke Ellington. Lastly my question has been asked by space aliens along the way and always sidestepped, "If yours is a mission of exploration, why the warship armed to the teeth?" That sounds much like the question Montezuma asked Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1520.

    On forgetful edit:
    Last edited by kb2vxa; 06-13-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    "New Jersey, the most American of all states. It has everything from wilderness to the Mafia. All the great things and all the worst, like Route 22."
    Jean Shepherd K2ORS (SK) & WOR radio personality

    Engaging a troll is like playing chess with a pigeon. The bird will just knock over the pieces, shit on the board, and fly away to declare victory to his friends.

    73 de Warren KB2VXA
    Station powered by atomic energy, operator powered by natural gas.

  10. #180
    Forum Addict kb2crk's Avatar
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    Well that book lasted two days. Not bad. Time to find something else.


    a yankee living in the hind end of the bible belt
    some people are like slinkys, not really good for anything, but still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

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