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text 2018-08-01 16:25
MSP hack free no survey

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Source: www.moviestarplanetcheat.com
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text 2018-08-01 09:17
Explore And Enjoy The World Of Ultimate Discounts

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review 2018-08-01 04:21
A charming, earnest and frequently delightful space opera that pretty much matches the hype.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
We are all made from chromosomes and DNA, which themselves are made from a select handful of key elements. We all require a steady intake of water and oxygen to survive (though in varying quantities). We all need food. We all buckle under atmospheres too thick or gravitational fields too strong. We all die in freezing cold or burning heat. We all die, full stop.


Ohhhh boy. One of yesterday's posts was easy -- I state the premise, say the book lived up to the premise, and there ya go. A finished post. Today? I'm not sure I could succinctly lay out the premise in 6 paragraphs, much less say anything else about the book. It's deep, it's sprawling, it's fun and full of heart. What isn't it? Easy to talk about briefly.

 

So I'm going to cut some corners, and not give it the depth of discussion that I'd like to.

So you know how The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy starts off with the Vogon Constructor Fleet constructing a hyperspace bypass right through our Solar System? Well, if the Vogons were the megacorp doing that, the crew of the Wayfarer is your mom & pop-level company doing the same kind of work. But there are no Vogons, and it's not a hyperspace bypass they're constructing, but the metaphor works -- the Wayfarer is building/cutting/creating ways for spaceships to make it from point A to point B faster -- I'll leave the detailed explanation to Sissix or Kizzy to explain when you read it (I think it was Kizzy, but I could be wrong -- my copy is in another state, so it's hard for me to check things like that).

 

The Wayfarer is made up of a mix of species -- including human (some of which were raised on a planet, others not), the others? Well, they'd fit right in with the customers in the Mos Eisley Cantina (with names like Sissix or Kizzy) -- too difficult to explain, but they're all radically different from pretty much anything you've seen or read before. Chambers' imagination when it comes to their physiology, culture, mannerisms, beliefs is just astounding. Really it's fantastic. And the crew is a family -- when a new crew member joins, they're greeted with "welcome home." And that's just what they mean.

 

This new crew member is Rosemary Harper, our entry point into this world, too. She's never been off-planet before, doesn't understand the science behind the work they do, really only has textbook knowledge of most of the species they run into. As she learns, so does the reader. Phew. Essentially, the plot is this: the captain of Wayfarer gets a chance to make history and make more money than he's used to -- he jumps at it, but his crew has to take a freakishly long trip to get to the (for lack of a better term) construction site (see the title). This long trip is filled with dangers, encounters with family members no one has seen in ages and old friends. And pirates. Even when they get to the construction site, the challenges are just beginning and everyone on board is going to be put through the wringer just to survive.

 

In the midst of all this is laughter, love, joy, pain, sorrow, and learning. Rosemary becomes part of the family -- by the actions of the crew bringing her in, and through her own reciprocal actions. Now, many parts of this book seem slow -- but never laboriously slow -- it's the way that Chambers has to construct it so that we get the emotional bonds between the characters -- and between the characters and the reader -- firmly established, so that when the trials come, we're invested. I was surprised how much I cared about the outcomes of certain characters at the end -- it's all because Chambers did just a good job building the relationships, nice and slow. The book frequently feels light -- and is called that a lot by readers -- but don't mistake light for breezy.

 

I want to stress, it's not laboriously slow, it's not boring. It's careful, it's well-thought out. It's your favorite chili made in the slow cooker all day, rather than dumping the ingredients in a pot an hour or so before dinner. It occasionally bugged me while reading, but by that time, I was invested and had a certain degree of trust for Chambers -- and by the time I got to the end, I understood what she was doing in the slow periods and reverse my opinion of them.

 

I frequently felt preached at while reading this book. There were agendas all around and these characters did what they could to advance them. Most of the speechifying and preaching worked in the Wayfarer Universe, but not in ours. When I read it, I had no problem with it -- but the more I think about it, the less I agree and the more annoyed I get. The opening quotation was one of the themes pushed, another had to do with family and/or brothers -- but the best lines about those involve spoilers or need the context to be really effective, so go read them yourselves. I don't want to get into a debate with the various characters in the book, so I'll bypass the problems I have with just the note that I have them. But in the moment and in the context of the novel, the writing behind the characters' points/values, the emotions behind them are moving, compelling and convincing -- and that's what you want, right?

 

It is super, super-easy to see why this won buckets of awards -- and probably deserved most (if not all) of those awards. This is one of the better space operas I've read in the last few . . . ever, really. It's easy to see why it got the hype and acclaim it did, and while I might not be as over-the-moon as many readers are with it, I understand their love. I heartily enjoyed it, and can see myself returning to this universe again soon.

 

As far as the star rating goes? I've vacillated between 3-5 a lot over the last week or so (including while writing this post), usually leaning high -- so take this one with a grain of salt, it's how I feel at the moment. (that's all it ever is, really, but I'm usually more consistent)

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/07/31/the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet-by-becky-chambers-a-charming-earnest-and-frequently-delightful-space-opera-that-pretty-much-matches-the-hype
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review 2018-07-23 02:39
A Star Trek adventure by a master of the genre
Planet of Judgment - Joe Haldeman

While transporting an esteemed Starfleet scientist to his new posting, the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a situation seemingly in defiance of the laws of science: an M-class planet orbited by a tiny black hole. As the crew proceeds to investigate the implausibilities of the new planet quickly mount: teleporting down to the planet via transporter is impossible, shuttlecraft no longer function after landing, and phasers can be used to stun the aggressive fauna but will not function when set to kill. Soon the crew of the Enterprise encounter the reason for the mystery and in the process discover a threat to the existence of the entire Federation.

 

Regarded today as one of the giants of the genre, Joe Haldeman was just beginning his career as a science fiction author when he was approached by Bantam to write for their series of Star Trek novels in the 1970s. This, the first of two he would write, demonstrates all of his skills as an author: gripping action, interesting scientific ideas, and a plot that engages the reader throughout its length. Like many an episode what starts as a puzzle becomes a problem, then a challenge that threatens like lives of the Enterprise crew. Though Haldeman incorporates a trope from the original series, his employment in it is done in a way that is both fresh and with real consequences for the story. All of this makes for a delightful novel that shows the possibilities inherent in the series in the hands of a true master of the craft.

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review 2018-07-17 02:17
Chortling Towards Bethlehem? or We Are Amusing Ourselves to Death
Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture - Ken Jennings

This is going to be much shorter -- and much more vague --than it should have been, because I was in a rush to get out the door on the day I took this back to the library and therefore forgot to take my notes out of the book. Which is a crying shame because I can't cite some of my favorite lines (on the other hand, I don't have to pick from my favorites). I'm actually pretty annoyed with myself because of this -- I spent time on those notes.

 

I'm going to try to save a little time here and just copy the Publisher's synopsis:

 

From the brilliantly witty and exuberant New York Times bestselling author Ken Jennings, a history of humor—from fart jokes on clay Sumerian tablets all the way up to the latest Twitter gags and Facebook memes—that tells the story of how comedy came to rule the modern world.

 

For millennia of human history, the future belonged to the strong. To the parent who could kill the most animals with sticks and to the child who could survive the winter or the epidemic. When the Industrial Revolution came, masters of business efficiency prospered instead, and after that we placed our hope in scientific visionaries. Today, in a clear sign of evolution totally sliding off the rails, our most coveted trait is not strength or productivity or even innovation, but being funny. Yes, funniness.

 

Consider: presidential candidates now have to prepare funny "zingers" for debates. Newspaper headlines and church marquees, once fairly staid affairs, must now be “clever,” stuffed with puns and winks. Airline safety tutorials—those terrifying laminated cards about the possibilities of fire, explosion, depressurization, and drowning—have been replaced by joke-filled videos with multimillion-dollar budgets and dance routines.

In Planet Funny, Ken Jennings explores this brave new comedic world and what it means—or doesn’t—to be funny in it now. Tracing the evolution of humor from the caveman days to the bawdy middle-class antics of Chaucer to Monty Python’s game-changing silliness to the fast-paced meta-humor of The Simpsons, Jennings explains how we built our humor-saturated modern age, where lots of us get our news from comedy shows and a comic figure can even be elected President of the United States purely on showmanship. Entertaining, astounding, and completely head-scratching, Planet Funny is a full taxonomy of what spawned and defines the modern sense of humor.


In short, Jennings is writing about the way that humor -- the entertainment culture in general, really, but largely through humor -- has taken over the cultural discourse in this country, so much so that you can't make a serious point about anything anymore without injecting a smile or a laugh. This could be subtitled, Neil Postman was right. Jennings looks at this phenomenon through a historical lens (mostly over the last century) and a contemporary lens -- analyzing and commenting on both.

 

The initial chapters on defining humor, the history of humor and academic humor studies are probably the best part of the book -- not just because of their scope and subject matter, but because how Jennings is able to be amusing and insightful while informing. (although the amusing part is problematic given the thesis of the book). I enjoyed learning about the use of humor in the 20th Century -- who doesn't associate the two? I don't remember a time when the best advertisements/commercials weren't the funniest (other than things like the crying Native American anti-litter AdCouncil stuff). But there was actually a time when that was looked down on? Who knew?

 

I also particularly liked the history of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and then pivoting that into a look on the way even entertainment changed in the last few decades because of the funny-ification of all things. Jennings gives a pretty decent defense of Alanis' "Ironic" (while enjoying a few shots at it, too) -- and the ensuing discussion of Irony the cultural waves embracing and shying away from Irony, Enjoying things Ironically, and a need for sincerity was excellent.

 

Politics, obviously, has fallen prey to this comedy-take over as well. From Nixon shocking everyone by showing up on Laugh-In to Clinton (pre-presidential candidate) on The Tonight Show to then-candidate on The Arsenio Hall show to every political player doing Late Night shows. Obama appearing on Maron's podcast and Between Two Ferns (crediting that appearance with saving ObamaCare?) and onto the entire Trump campaign. At this point, the book got derailed -- I think -- by getting too political. If Jennings had kept it to Trump's embracing/exploiting the comedy takeover, I probably would have enjoyed it -- but he spent too much on Trump's politics (while having ignored Nixon's, Clinton's, Obama's), enough to turn off even Never-Trump types.

I'm pretty sure that the book was almost complete about the time that Louis CK's career was felled by allegations of sexual misconduct -- which is a shame, because Jennings had to go back and water-down a lot of insightful comments from Louis CK by saying something about the allegations while quoting the comedian. At the same time, it's good that the book wasn't completed and/or released without the chance to distance the man from the points used -- otherwise I think Jennings would've had to spend too much time defending the use of those quotations.

 

I think Jennings lost his way in the last chapter and a half or so -- and I lost a lot of my appreciation for the book as a whole at that point. On the whole, it's insightful writing, peppered with a good amount of analysis, research, interviews, and laughs -- outside of his weekly trivia newsletters, I haven't read Jennings and he really impressed me here. In short, it's a fun book, a thought-provoking book, and one that should get more attention and discussion than it is. I may quibble a bit with some of the details, but I think on the whole Jennings is on to something here -- and I fear that it's something that not enough people are going to take seriously until it's too late.

 

2018 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/07/16/planet-funny-by-ken-jennings-chortling-towards-bethlehem-or-we-are-amusing-ourselves-to-death
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