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Last post Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 201608 times)

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #75 on: May 28, 2010, 06:10:36 PM »
Just started "Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality":

http://www.amazon.co...eality/dp/0393078299

411-U03MZ3L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

"Kumar describes the clash of titans that took place in the world of physics in the early 20th century, between physicists who did and those who did not believe in the quantum—the strange concept that we now know to be the underpinning of reality. The titans in Kumar's account of the conflict are Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr."

Josh

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #76 on: May 28, 2010, 06:23:51 PM »


Powershell 2.0 for the absolute beginner

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #77 on: May 29, 2010, 06:39:24 AM »
After putting it off for as long as possible, I've finally started to get more formally acquainted with C++.

I'll usually opt for an O'Reilly :-* "animal cover" title when I'm looking to learn a new language. But a friend suggested I take a look at C++ Without Fear by Brian Overland. (ISBN: 978-0-321-24695-0)

CWOF.JPG

Excellent excellent book. Very readable style. The material is presented in an orderly and logical fashion such that just about anybody should be able to follow along. Three days into it and I'm already writing small but useful C++ console apps - and wondering why I put it off for so long.

The book comes comes with the obligatory CD of examples and includes a C++ compiler. I can't comment on how good the compiler is since I'm using MinGW in conjunction with the Code::Blocks IDE instead.

It lists for $29.99 USD. Amazon sells it for $23 and throws in free shipping if your order totals $25 or more. Get yourself an inexpensive scfi paperback to go with it (breaktime!) and you're set to roll.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 06:47:08 AM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #78 on: May 29, 2010, 07:23:06 AM »
40hz -- thank you for posting about that book!
i'm often asked to recommend a first c++ book to someone and this may be the new book i will start suggesting.  :up:

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #79 on: May 29, 2010, 11:26:49 AM »
40hz -- thank you for posting about that book!
i'm often asked to recommend a first c++ book to someone and this may be the new book i will start suggesting.  :up:

Glad it looks good to somebody who actually knows something about coding.  ;D

IMHO, the best feature of the book is what it leaves out. Overland doesn't get into GUI programming, templates, or the STL. His feeling is those topics add a layer of complexity that goes beyond the scope of a basic introduction to C++ and deserve their own separate books and treatments.

I'd have  to say I'd agree, because the thing that turned me off to most C++ books I looked at were all the side trips into templates and frameworks. It was almost like somebody trying to explain the basic rules of tennis while at the same time giving expert pointers on finessing your backhand. To me, it just felt too haphazard.

I like logical, incremental presentations where each topic directly builds on and extends what went before it. Either give me the big picture and then start focusing in - or give me a set of building blocks and show me how to stack them into bigger and bigger castles. I can live and learn something with either approach. It's when you shotgun a presentation (like most Wrox titles do) that I start to get frustrated.

Pacing is also important. Most C++ books either start off uber-slow, but then take off like a bat out of hell after the second chapter - or hit you right between the eyes in the first five pages and leave you struggling to keep up for the rest of the book.

Overand hits a happy balance on both pace and topic complexity.

What can I say? It's a fine book.  :)

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #80 on: May 29, 2010, 03:46:05 PM »
Finished Quantum today (couldn't put it down).  Great stuff.. Very inspirational and thought provoking.

Highly recommended, especially to those who have some minimal exposure to Quantum Physics and recognize the names of some of the big players (Einstein, Planck, Bohr, Heisenburg, Schrodinger, Dirac, etc.) even if you don't know what roles they played.  Really wonderful stuff and brings the struggle to understand reality to life.

f0dder

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #81 on: May 30, 2010, 10:58:33 PM »
IMHO, the best feature of the book is what it leaves out. Overland doesn't get into GUI programming, templates, or the STL. His feeling is those topics add a layer of complexity that goes beyond the scope of a basic introduction to C++ and deserve their own separate books and treatments.
GUI programming doesn't belong in any language book, but I hope the guy doesn't entirely avoid STL... going in-depth is not the best approach to an introductory book, but using new/delete instead of std::vector or char* instead of std::string should be rewarded with capital punishment.
- carpe noctem

ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #82 on: May 31, 2010, 04:52:14 AM »
I'm slowly making my way through The Art of Unix Programming and so far have been finding it worthwhile.

artu.pngWhat books are you reading?

Thanks to mouser for pointing it out recently  :Thmbsup:

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2010, 04:57:40 PM »
I've recently started reading 12 Steps to Whole Foods by Robyn Openshaw. Apparently it's a course manual so you won't find it on Amazon.com or at your local Barnes & Noble.

I've got the digital version ($40), but if you have to have the paper version, you can also buy the printed manual ($80). Though at that price it might be cheaper to buy the digital version and just print off the pages yourself or take it to a copy shop to get it printed and bound.

Basically the book gives information and steps to get your diet to about 60-80% raw foods with an emphasis on the other 40-20% being mostly whole foods.

Quote
It's an education you'd have to read 20+ books to obtain, with over 175 recipes, fully indexed so you can look up recipes that use ingredients you have on hand. Each step has time- and money-saving tips. The intro and appendices give lots of info about getting kids and spouses on board, learning what's true and false in nutrition, understanding kitchen tools and high-nutrition ingredients (and where to get them), and so much more.

The book is aimed at that group of people who say, "I'd like to eat healthier, but I just don't know how." It doesn't just tell you what to eat, it tells you why. And not only that, it tells you how. I'm on chapter 5 and it has had several recipes per chapter so you know how to incorporate that next step in your diet.

The first few steps are:

Month 1. Drink a Green smoothie every day. (about 15 servings of fruits and vegetables per quart, IIRC)
Month 2. Eat a salad every day. If you normally eat a big meat portion for dinner, swap the sizes. Eat a big salad portion and a small meat portion. Then your normally sized prepared meat will last you for two meals and save you money.
Month 3. Make homemade salad dressings for your salads, that don't have the bad stuff in them from store bought dressings.
Month 4. Enjoy good fats, avoid bad fats. (i.e. replace bad fats with good fats).

To be clear: this isn't a diet plan. When you move on to step (month) 2, you don't discontinue step 1. Each step builds on the last, allowing you to change your dietary habits for life over the course of a year. Of course, you can go faster or slower if you want. That's up to you.

It's pretty cool because the chapters encourage you to write in a health journal so you can record and review any changes in your health you've noticed from the new diet, recipes you really liked, etc. In that sense it really is more like a workbook or a manual than just a book for reading.

My wife and I have been trying to have green smoothies lately after my sister introduced us to them, but our blender just wasn't cutting it (literally) so we ordered a nice (and expensive!) Blendtech and got this (digital) book free. I think we're going to just jump right in and start the first 5-6 steps almost all at once (step 1 has to wait for a few days until the Blendtech arrives) since step 5 is about growing your own produce in a garden and the growing season is already upon us.


steeladept

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2010, 05:43:34 PM »
Terry Pratchett - Feet of Clay

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2010, 10:00:46 PM »
@Deozan - what's a green smoothie:huh:

ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #86 on: June 01, 2010, 10:12:11 PM »
Visual Example of Green Smoothie In This Image

The ones I had were often darker :)

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #87 on: June 02, 2010, 11:37:20 AM »
@Deozan - what's a green smoothie?  :huh:

Basically, it's a bunch of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens (and sometimes other healthy things, like some seeds, nuts, oils and natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or stevia) blended together into a liquid drink, with the consistency of a smoothie. As ewemoa said, they don't always come out green, it really depends on the ingredients you put in. But the idea behind it (I'm guessing) is you can get a really good tasting smoothie that's full of things you might otherwise not care for. Like I said, it's about 15 servings of fruits & veggies in one smoothie, which beats the Food Pyramid's recommendation of 9 per day.

Here's an example green smoothie recipe from the book:
Spoiler
Tip: For beginners and those trying to convert children, consider using LESS greens and MORE fruit (especially berries and bananas) in the beginning, gradually working up to a 50/50 ratio as described here. Use just the mild flavors in this transition phase, like spinach, kale, collards, and chard. With kids, consider using only spinach the first few days, then gradually sneak in the other mild but excellent greens (chard, collards, and kale). Add other savory or bitter greens only when your family are “experts” in green smoothies! Add a bit more water if you feel the smoothie is too thick.

  • 1. Put 2 C filtered water in the high-power blender.
  • 2. Optionally, add:
    • ¾-1 tsp. stevia (herbal sweetener) or 1/3 C agave syrup (low glycemic index)
    • ¼ whole lemon, including peel (anti-skin cancer, high in flavanoids)
    • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh, refrigerated flaxseed oil (Omega-3-rich oil)
  • 3. Gradually add the following greens until briefly puréed and the mixture comes up to the 5-cup line (or less, if you are “converting”), and then purée the mixture for 90 seconds until very smooth.
    • ¾-1 lb. raw, washed greens:
      • spinach, chard, kale, collards (your mainstays)
      • turnip, mustard, dandelion greens, arugula (use more sparingly, as they are spicy or bitter)
      • lettuces and beet greens (also good—use freely)
      • avocado or cabbage or 1-2 stalks celery (try, to see if you enjoy their inclusion)
      • edible weeds from unsprayed fields (For the adventurous! Purslane has a mild flavor and vines are along the ground everywhere. Use stronger flavors of lambsquarter leaves [not the woody stems], morning glory, and thistle sparingly.)
  • 4. Gradually add the following fruit until the container is very full, then blend for 90 seconds or until smooth:
    • 1-2 bananas (for a creamy texture and sweetness)
    • 1-2 C frozen mixed berries (tastes wonderful and makes the smoothie purple rather than green)
    • any other fruit to taste: our favorites are pears and peaches, but can also use apples, oranges, apricots,
    • cantaloupe (with seeds—very high in antioxidants!), mango, pineapple, anything!

Makes approx. 8 C of 100% raw smoothie.

The more frozen fruit, the tastier your smoothie will be—and your high-power blender can handle it! You can
save your smoothie in the fridge for up to two days—just shake well before drinking.


EDIT: The one above is probably a recipe for those who have been drinking them for a while. Maybe this one would be better to start with:

Quote
Anyone will enjoy this easy first-timer’s concoction, including children and those with finicky tastes!
  • 1¾ C water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey or agave
  • 1 10-oz. bag spinach
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen in chunks)
  • 2 C frozen mixed berries
  • 1 peach, pear, apple, or orange
  • Blend all until very smooth. Pour in glasses and enjoy, or refrigerate for up to 48 hours, shaking well before serving. Makes about 3 pints.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 11:42:06 AM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #88 on: June 03, 2010, 01:13:23 PM »
We received the blender this morning and made our first smoothie. This is what went into it:

2010-06-03 11.17.20.jpgWhat books are you reading?

Looks like some Zuchini, Collard Greens, Chard, Frozen Mixed berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries), a Pear, and some water.

The blender has a smoothie setting, and it only took 12 seconds to blend! YES! Our old blender wouldn't blend and we'd have to try to tamp it down and it still wouldn't work and it would take sometimes 10-15 minutes just to get a smoothie made because it wasn't powerful enough to blend the ingredients.

It tasted slightly bitter which made us realize that we forgot to put honey in it. So we put in about a tablespoon or two of honey, a small handful of flax seeds, and a few frozen mango chunks.

This is what it looked like (some had already been poured out):

2010-06-03 11.32.44.jpgWhat books are you reading?

It's not green at all! Kind of a dark reddish/orange-ish/brownish color with a pleasant taste. Looks like the average color of the berries mixed together.

EDIT: Corrected ingredient list.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 01:29:46 PM by Deozaan »

Darwin

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #89 on: June 03, 2010, 03:13:49 PM »
217.jpg

Currently reading Greg Bear's "Blood Music". I'm on a sci-fi/fantasy kick of late. Recently, I've read all of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels, Greg Bear's The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mage (together known as Songs of Earth and Power), and Jack L. Chaulker's Changewinds series.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #90 on: June 03, 2010, 03:44:48 PM »
We received the blender this morning
Cool!  Thanks for sharing the details of your experiences  :up:

May I ask how the experience of cleaning is and also the noise level when blending?  We have a VitaMix [1], and the cleaning experience of it (particularly near the blades) leaves much to be desired.  Although in retrospect, it has helped me to consider the issue of cleaning and maintenance when considering new additions to our household :)


[1] To be fair though, our model is from some years back -- I don't know what their latest stuff is like.

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #91 on: June 03, 2010, 11:43:47 PM »
We received the blender this morning
Cool!  Thanks for sharing the details of your experiences  :up:

May I ask how the experience of cleaning is and also the noise level when blending?  We have a VitaMix [1], and the cleaning experience of it (particularly near the blades) leaves much to be desired.  Although in retrospect, it has helped me to consider the issue of cleaning and maintenance when considering new additions to our household :)

Blendtec uses a square shaped jar rather than the standard circular jar. I didn't clean it and I wasn't paying close attention. I was putting away the dry dishes while my wife washed the jar and some other dishes. She cleaned the jar in a matter of a few seconds though, and didn't seem to have any troubles. The bottom of the jar has lots of space around the blade so it's easy to reach in all the way to the bottom and wipe around if you had to.

2010-06-03 22.47.18.jpgWhat books are you reading? 2010-06-03 22.47.31.jpgWhat books are you reading?

As for the noise, I didn't think it was particularly noisy (for a blender) but it did make my wife jump when I showed her. To be fair though, she is a bit jumpy at sudden noises. I believe the motor has more horsepower than the Vitamix, but to be honest I don't know if that would make a difference with the noise levels.

EDIT: Added pics

« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 12:00:16 AM by Deozaan »

ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #92 on: June 04, 2010, 12:17:42 AM »
Thanks for the details and pics  :Thmbsup:

It definitely looks much easier to clean than the VitaMix machines.  I wonder if there are devices where one can remove the bottom portion so the cleaning can be a bit safer...

Update: Some VitaMix pics for comparison:

vitamix-from-outside.jpgWhat books are you reading?

vitamix-from-above.jpgWhat books are you reading?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 12:25:04 AM by ewemoa »

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #93 on: June 04, 2010, 02:02:38 AM »
You have a square jar too? I know a couple people with VitaMix blenders and theirs are all really tall, skinny, circular jars.

I wouldn't want to risk removing the bottom portion (I assume you mean removing the blade and the gear thingy part that goes into the motor) since the Blendtec has multiple warnings about the proper care of that seal.


ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #94 on: June 04, 2010, 03:35:00 AM »
I wouldn't want to risk removing the bottom piece for a similar reason.  Here's what the owner manual has to say:

Quote
Recommended blade assembly removal with wrench
(Caution: Do not remove blades unless absolutely necessary!)


I have this memory / image-in-mind of a jar that has a bottom piece (which has a blade attached) that can be unscrewed from the jar.  Perhaps such things used to exist (still exist even), though I wonder about leakage...

One of the nice things about your device is that there are only two blades -- looks less accident prone while cleaning.

BTW, I measure the height of our jar -- it was 26.5 cm (a little shy of 10.5 inches?).

Since I've been contributing to off-topic-ness, I will confess to something else I've been reading -- Programming in Lua, 1st Edition (online version).  It beats reading the reference manual by itself, although it covers version 5.0 of the language instead of 5.1 -- for which the following might be handy:

  http://lua-users.org/wiki/MigratingToFiveOne

One of the nice things about their being a plain HTML online version is that it can be read via a mobile device (e.g. an Android device).  I was also able to create an offline version for a recent trip to an area with limited connectivity :up: though the Android devices I've had access to seem terrible at handling offline content with HTML fragment identifiers  :down:

programming-in-lua-cover.jpgWhat books are you reading?

For some reason, I found the "About the Book" section admirable:

About the Book
Quote
I started writing this book in the winter of 1998. (Here, in the southern hemisphere, that means the middle of the year. And "winter" is more like a mild autumn.) At that time, Lua was still in version 3.1. Since then, Lua went through two big changes, first to version 4.0, in 2000, then to version 5.0, in 2003.

It is quite obvious that those changes had a big impact on the book. Some parts lost their raison d'être, such as the detailed explanation around the complexity of upvalues. Whole chapters were rewritten, such as those about the C API, and whole chapters were created, such as the one about coroutines.

What is not obvious, however, is the big impact that the writing of this book had on the evolution of Lua. Not by chance, some of the biggest changes in the language were in areas not yet covered by the book at the time of the change. As I worked through the book, sometimes I suddenly got stuck in a chapter. I could not figure out how to start or even how to motivate it. It is when you try to explain how to use something that you better feel how easy it is to use it (or not). So, those difficulties were strong hints that some things in Lua needed improvement. Other times I succeeded in writing a chapter, only to discover, later, that nobody could understand or agree with what I wrote. Frequently it was my fault (as I writer), but occasionally we spotted another corner of the language that deserved some improvement. (For instance, the transition from upvalues to lexical scoping was triggered by complaints over a feeble attempt, in an earlier draft of this book, to describe upvalues as a kind of lexical scoping.)

The changes of the language deferred the completion of this book; now the completion of this book will probably defer significant changes in the language. There are at least two reasons for that: First, Lua 5.0 is cleaner and more mature than earlier versions of the language (partially thanks to the book). Second, the book adds weight to the culture around the language and therefore increases its inertia. This cultural-weight increase is the first of my main goals with this book. My second main goal is to increase even more the spread of Lua.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 03:55:23 AM by ewemoa »

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #95 on: June 04, 2010, 04:11:36 AM »
I have this memory / image-in-mind of a jar that has a bottom piece (which has a blade attached) that can be unscrewed from the jar.  Perhaps such things used to exist (still exist even), though I wonder about leakage...

The blender we just replaced does that. And it leaked on us quite a few times when it unintentionally became unscrewed while simply inserting the jar onto the motor.


40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #96 on: June 04, 2010, 08:08:23 AM »
[/url])[/i]
Currently reading Greg Bear's "Blood Music". I'm on a sci-fi/fantasy kick of late.

Great book! And especially appropriate in the wake of some recent news coming out of the Craig Venter Institute:

Quote
First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell

First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers

ROCKVILLE, MD and San Diego, CA (May 20, 2010)— Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, published results today describing the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell. The team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. The synthetic cell is called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 and is the proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome.

This research will be published by Daniel Gibson et al in the May 20th edition of Science Express and will appear in an upcoming print issue of Science.

http://www.jcvi.org/...nstitute-researcher/

http://www.darkdaily...thetic-life-form-604

-----

Be really cool if they could relocate their facility to either the moon or the international space station until they're absolutely sure about the safety and ramifications of what they're doing. From the documentary running on the Science Channel, it doesn't look like they practice a high degree of containment at their labs. No 'bunny suits' or isolation rooms to be seen anywhere. And the staff gets to go home at night so there's also that vector for something getting out.

Quote
from Jurassic Park -"Broadly speaking, the ability of the park is to control the spread of life forms. Because the history of evolution is that life escapes all barriers. Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way." Malcolm shook his head. "I don't mean to be philosophical, but there it is."

Sorry if I sound paranoid. But in the wake of Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez, Chernobyl and BP's latest fiasco in the Gulf, I'm no longer comforted when an expert says "Trust us! We've though of everything that could possibly go wrong - and planned for it."

 :)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 08:20:49 AM by 40hz »

Carol Haynes

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #97 on: June 04, 2010, 09:00:41 AM »
Just finished the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy:

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (originally "Men who Hate Women")
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Brilliant thriller/crime series originally in Swedish. Unfortunately the author died before he witnessed his success.

All three have now been made into well respected films (in Swedish) but apparently Hollywood is planning how to ruin them!

http://www.amazon.co...arsson/dp/1847245455

Products_847_245_9781847245458_l_f.jpg

http://www.amazon.co...oo-DVD/dp/B00361GC7A

The first book takes a while to get into but once you do they are not easy to put down! I had a number of sleepless nights reading and ended up giving up a weekend to finish them off ;)

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #98 on: June 04, 2010, 12:00:04 PM »
Quote
First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell

First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers

That sounds like an article I read recently, except the headline was something like "First biological life form made from scratch" and as I read it it became increasingly obvious that it was not made from scratch. The genome was copied from another "simple" lifeform, then modified, then created and injected into a "host" lifeform, which then split, creating one of the original lifeforms and one of the synthetic lifeforms. Then the researchers killed the original lifeform and let the synthetic one proliferate. I wonder if that article was about the same you just posted.

Be really cool if they could relocate their facility to either the moon or the international space station until they're absolutely sure about the safety and ramifications of what they're doing. From the documentary running on the Science Channel, it doesn't look like they practice a high degree of containment at their labs. No 'bunny suits' or isolation rooms to be seen anywhere. And the staff gets to go home at night so there's also that vector for something getting out.

[...]

Sorry if I sound paranoid. But in the wake of Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez, Chernobyl and BP's latest fiasco in the Gulf, I'm no longer comforted when an expert says "Trust us! We've though of everything that could possibly go wrong - and planned for it."

I'm with you on that! It really is an amazing discovery, but potentially a very dangerous one. Obviously someone could create a new biological weapon with this technology, but even if it was only used with good intentions, such as creating a bacteria that "ate" carbon dioxide gases to reduce global warming (which is what the article I read said they wanted to do with it), unintended side effects could still destroy life as we know it.

What if the population of these bacteria gets out of control and all the carbon dioxide is removed from the planet, first killing all plant life, then without plant life to supply oxygen, all animal life dies? Or perhaps the atmosphere breaks down because of an imbalance in the gases and whatever else it's made up with, letting dangerous space/sun rays murdilize us all? Those are probably extreme ideas, but even something simpler such as causing birth defects or some sort of unintended disease-like function of the bacteria could cause big trouble.

There are so many possible scenarios of things that could go wrong. It's both awesome (grow back amputated limbs, or diseased/damaged/destroyed organs!) and frightening (biological warfare) at the same time.


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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #99 on: June 30, 2010, 02:22:31 AM »
I've recently taken an interest H.P. Lovecraft. I'd heard from various sources about the Cthulhu mythos and the Necronomicon, and even played a game that I loved (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem) which I found out later was greatly inspired by his works. But I'd never read any of Lovecraft's material.

I found out that quite a lot of his work is in the public domain, and there's quite a bit of it available at WikiSource.org.

So far I've read The Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer in the Darkness. I'm not sure what to think about The Call of Cthulhu. It's a really short story, only 3 chapters long, and some of the events didn't make sense to me such as:

Spoiler
If Cthulhu was released from his millenia long slumber, why did he go back to sleep again instead of destroying the world or whatever?


The Whisperer in the Darkness, on the other hand, was longer and much more tense. It's kind of interesting how right at the beginning the narrator tells you that he never saw any strange creature, yet:

Spoiler
Towards the end when he's in the midst of them you forget all about that and think they're going to do horrible things to him.


So far I'm slightly disappointed, because I expected much more detailed descriptions of what the horrible creatures look like, but I suppose it's better this way, since Lovecraft lets your imagination do quite a bit of the work by simply saying the horrors are much too alien and terrible to describe (although he does make a good effort of giving a basic description).

I do like the "purer" use of the English language, that is, using words with their original meaning, although it can lead to a misunderstanding here and there (i.e. when he describes "nuclear chaos" in space, he's not talking about nuclear energy--which didn't really exist at that time--but rather the center, or nucleus). And he certainly had an extremely large vocabulary!

« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 02:25:01 AM by Deozaan »