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review 2017-12-13 22:55
The Science of Discworld
The Science of Discworld - Terry Pratchett,Jack Cohen,Ian Stewart

"Ook?"

I usually try to start my reviews with a pertinent quote from the relevant book, but I was somewhat eager to return my copy to the library and I forgot to copy out a quotation for my review. However, it is somewhat appropriate to start the summary of my thoughts about The Science of Discworld with a quote from one of my favourite characters from the book - The Librarian.

 

Never said one word so much.

 

The Science of Discworld is an attempt to fuse the storyverse created by Terry Pratchett with non-fiction science. Through alternating chapters, we get to see how the Wizards of Discworld, with some help from Hex, create a roundworld very akin to Earth. And, yes, I smirked at the idea that book that spends a lot of time refuting creationism, is based on a story that features ... creationism.

 

(I should add that I am not a fan of or even giving credence to the theory/ies of creationism, but, equally, I am not a fan of arguments that are full of contradictions.)  

 

This is not the only aspect in which the book failed for me.

 

As much as I loved the Wizards - especially the Librarian - and Pratchett's Discworld, the science parts in this book just really did not work for me.

 

The book started out with a random discussion of quantum physics. I am not a scientist. My working knowledge of physics is basic. The opening chapters took a lot of effort because I actually found myself researching different things that the authors referred to on the internet. I don't mind do the research on topics I want to learn about if I feel that it will help me understand the rest of the book.

 

But not so here, the science parts seemed to jump from one topic to another without referring back to the previous ones. It was so confusing. And the difficulty level of the science parts differed throughout the book, too. It made me wonder what kind of a readership the authors were aiming for. Were they talking to people with pre-existing knowledge of quantum physics but not biology? Or maybe the authors just found it difficult to explain the topics they are experts in but didn't bother to go into the same depths about topics they may not be as familiar with?

 

I have no idea.

 

What is clear to me is that the authors of the science parts are not great at communicating. Apart from talking down to readers, or constantly contradicting themselves - for example, when they criticise the act of simplifying a concept to explain it to someone, which the authors decry as "lies to children", only to then use the same simplification to explain concepts to readers -, the authors of the science parts actually managed to ... and this is the dealbreaker ... they managed to make science boring.

 

And with that they made the book fail. Well, they managed to make half the book fail. The Wizard parts were delightful.

 

Previous status updates:

 

Update 1

Update 2

Update 3

Update 4

Update 5

Update 6

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text 2017-12-13 15:32
A Poetry Kind of Day

It has been a long time since I have been able to write poetry. It is an art form I don't always understand. I like to read it, but it is usually hit and miss whether I like it or not. So I've been going through stuff, so I wrote some poems recently. I'm sharing them with you.

 

---

 

Agonizing, Torment, Panic

All this because the Internet went out

Bored, Lonely, Sad

All this because the Internet went out

What to do, What to do?

Why are we stuck in an age

where Wi-Fi breathes us life

defines us, controls us?

The minute it goes

we freeze and

forget how to live.

 

design, desk, display

 

---

 

too much

suffocating, surrounding,

desire owning, having

overwhelming, intoxicating

 

unable to toss it away

too many leftovers of a past

unwanted memories of a life

 

struggling

let it go, go, go

get away

 

usefulness

dried up, gone

not needed

 

trash it, give it, clean it up

 

not only physical,

in the mind

as well

 

memories with people

not things

 

go ahead

take pictures

take videos

 

try

device down

once in a while

 

enjoy moment

record everything

forget to

really live it

 

pictures and video

are things too

stock photo, broken, glass, clean, mess, stock, broken-glass, clean-up, dust-pan, minimalism, excuse-our-mess

 

 ---

 

music, loud, love

headphones, my friend,

savior, comfort me

thank you

 

scary, too crazy

ouch, pain

people

hide, be quiet,

shh

 

better to, like to,

want to, hate to

ignore the world

 

confusing, conflicting

wants, desires

 

Woman with headphones listening music

 

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review 2017-12-13 15:07
conflicted
An Innocent Maid For The Duke (The Society of Wicked Gentlemen) - Ann Lethbridge

Yes I liked this story, yes there was a huge power imbalance between the characters and occasionally it did feel a little awkward, but at the same time the author pointed these things out and amde the characters very firmly strong, I was rooting for the characters.

 

When scullery maid, Rose Nightingale, mended a red dress in the Gentlemen's Club Vitium et Virtus from one of the entertainers there, she couldn't resist trying it on, and dancing. Her dancing attracts the attention of one of the owners of the club, Jacob "Jake" Duke of Westmoor, who has inherited a title and guilt about his inheritance.  The two share a kiss and he's entranced and she's interested but the power dynamic...

 

He finds out who she is and offers her a job as his grandmother's companion, living under the same roof leads to more complications.

 

It's a nice romance, some minor issues, but mostly the author addresses them. The ending felt a little rushed.

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review 2017-12-13 03:55
Re-Reading, Listening to Harry Potter as read by Jim Dale
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

I love listening to Jim Dale's narration of these books so very much. I am trying to make things and driving back and forth to KY and the hospital, I listened to this book as I drove and worked on my knitting and crochet. I thoroughly enjoy these books. 

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review 2017-12-13 03:38
An Author, Wife Swapping, Visiting Family and Murder
A Just Clause - Lorna Barrett A Just Clause - Lorna Barrett

Tricia is hosting an author book signing and the man is late. Before he arrives, Tricia's father shows up and he is not well received by his daughter's because, on his last visit, he stole from the other merchants and his own daughters. Angelica paid off all the money he owed and replaced all the items he stole. Tricia's place is being remodeled and neither daughter wants to put him up. Also, none of the other merchants want him in their place and he cannot get a room at any establishment in town either. Pixie's fiancee, Fred, feels sorry for Tricia and her dad and offers him his almost empty apartment to stay in. Before he can get there, he gets his face slapped by a woman at the signing, who also slaps the face of the author. Then she is found dead on the street, by Tricia and her sister. 

 

Tricia gets involved in finding the murderer because she wants to clear her father's name, even if his name is less than stellar. She and Angelica also want to bring their parents back together. 

 

So many things happen in this story and you learn more about the relationship between Tricia and Angelica. 

 

I have gotten a little out of order in the series and there are things that have happened in the other books that I am uncertain of how they came about. Things like Angelica's many businesses. How Tricia found about them, Bob killing Christopher. The cruise with the mother and father causing a huge split between the parents and Angelica and their mother. 

 

So I am going to go back and get the other books that I have missed and get caught up. 

 

This book was good and fun to read because I kept trying to figure out who did it and why. So it kept me guessing to the end. 

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