*

rtpoe

  • Old Fart
  • 10623
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #600 on: October 17, 2018, 02:42:10 AM »
How To Invent Everything by Ryan "Dinosaur Comics" North

Billed as a guide to kickstart a technological civilization when you're stuck in the past, it's actually a rather fun look at technology. North points out some of the stupid things mankind took its sweet old time developing. When you've got fire and fabric with a tight enough weave (which we had in the Neolithic Era), what's stopping you from making a hot air balloon?

Key things you'll need to know how to do are make soap (Sanitation, people! Kill germs! (by the way, Germ Theory is another significant tech advantage)), charcoal, and a kiln. The latter two let you create fires hot enough to smelt metal.

I think he spends a bit more time than necessary on Music; I'd have included a bit on Algebra instead. "Numbers that Don't Suck" are one of his key inventions, but I think you'll also need a simple set of mathematical symbols (+, -, =, x, etc.) so you can write actual equations and not have to do everything as a word problem. Try it - take something as basic as the Pythagorean Theorem (which you will now name after yourself) and use it in calculations where you have to write out "The value of the length of the hypotenuse, when multiplied by itself, equals the sum of the values of the lengths of the other two sides, when those two values have been multiplied by themselves."

It's a fun book, and even if time travel isn't invented, it should still be useful when civilization collapses.
rtpoe

A dreamy day; and tranquilly I lie
At anchor from all storms of mental strain;
With absent vision, gazing at the sky,
"Like one that hears it rain."

James Whitcomb Riley, A Summer Afternoon

*

TheZookie007

  • L Cup
  • 33535
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #601 on: November 09, 2018, 09:08:30 AM »
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, by Chris Voss

You think your job is tough? Compared to the author of this book, your job is probably a cakewalk. For almost a decade, he was an international hostage negotiator for the FBI, dealing with life and death decisions made in a split second. After he left public service, he started a consulting firm and wrote this book.

The book is centered around what Mr. Voss calls The Five Big Ideas:

  • Negotiation begins with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin.

  • Use mirrors to encourage the other side to empathize and bond with you, keep people talking, buy your side time to regroup, and encourage your counterparts to reveal their strategy.

  • Tactical empathy brings our attention to both the emotional obstacles and the potential pathways to getting an agreement done.

  • Giving someone’s emotion a name, otherwise known as labeling, gets you close to someone without asking about external factors you know nothing about.

  • “No” provides a great opportunity for you and the other party to clarify what you really want by eliminating what you don’t want.


Whether you're trying to get a real estate deal done, or you're trying to make sure that your cousin comes back in one piece from a hijack attempt, this book has some fantastic strategies and skills to learn. Highly recommended.
On 17 December 2018, tumblr is shutting down all adult content. Go here to learn how to download your stuff now.

*

rtpoe

  • Old Fart
  • 10623
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #602 on: February 26, 2019, 01:36:42 AM »
The Labyrinth Index - Charles Stross

This is probably going to be the last novel in his "Laundry Files" series - because after this, how do you raise the 'threat level' any higher?

A being that allows itself to be referred to as Nyarlathotep has become PM of Great Britain, and is behaving like you'd expect an intelligent Elder God would who believes that the continued existence of humanity is key to its own survival.

The US counterpart to The Laundry, the "Deeper State", for lack of a better term, is in league with / in thrall to a being who accepts the name 'Cthulhu'. They have cast some sort of invocation that has caused virtually all Americans to have forgotten that there is such a thing as a President. The President is being hustled around from secret location to safe house by the handful of Secret Service agents who were awake and on duty when that spell was cast.

Mhari, an actual vampire who needs to drink blood to satisfy the parasites that would otherwise eat her brain, has been given a mission by the PM, which she has no choice but to accept. Take a team of assorted other Laundry agents (including an autistic elven sorceress and policeman who has, thanks to the magic that's been unleashed by CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, become a superhero), infiltrate the US, rescue the President, and break the Deeper State's hold over the country. And, if it's not too much trouble, stop them from trying to wake Cthulhu....

It's a bit tough to keep track of what's going on; the IMF team (no, Stross doesn't call them that, but it does seem a lot like a Mission: Impossible assignment) is broken up into groups for tactical reasons, so the POV jumps around quite a bit. And for followers of the series, there are old characters to remember as well as new ones to get to know. Not much of the humor that characterized the earlier stories, either. But given what's at stake here, I suppose there's not much room for levity.

It's a lot of fast-paced action, and once again Stross seems to have his technical details down pat - at least as far as the needs of the story are concerned. Given how it builds on all the previous novels, you do NOT want this to be the first one of the series that you read. But if you have read them, you'll enjoy this one just as much.
rtpoe

A dreamy day; and tranquilly I lie
At anchor from all storms of mental strain;
With absent vision, gazing at the sky,
"Like one that hears it rain."

James Whitcomb Riley, A Summer Afternoon

*

rtpoe

  • Old Fart
  • 10623
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #603 on: May 21, 2019, 01:02:43 AM »
After the Miracle: The Lasting Brotherhood of the '69 Mets
by Art Shamsky and Erik Sherman

Fifty years ago, the New York Mets shocked everyone by blowing past the Cubs to win the NL East, the Braves to win the NL Pennant, and the Orioles to win the World Series. Shamsky was one of those Mets, and he realized that his remaining teammates weren't getting younger. What if he got as many of his old friends together as he could, and went off to visit Tom Seaver at his California home?

Most of the book is an oral history of the Mets' 1969 season. A few of the stories will be new to most fans.

The real bittersweetness of the book is that these fine men aren't getting any younger, and this just might be their last chance to get together. Shamsky, Ron Swoboda, and Jerry Koosman are still as sharp as ever, but Seaver's Lyme Disease is affecting his memory and confining him to his home and vineyard, and Bud Harrleson is in the early stages of Alzheimers'. Following them as they use old nicknames and retell old stories is heartwarming.

This is a "Boys of Summer" for the current generation of fans.
rtpoe

A dreamy day; and tranquilly I lie
At anchor from all storms of mental strain;
With absent vision, gazing at the sky,
"Like one that hears it rain."

James Whitcomb Riley, A Summer Afternoon

*

Zealot

  • E Cup
  • 1224
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #604 on: June 02, 2019, 07:31:30 PM »
Reading "Great science Fiction By Scietists" a collection of short stories by writers who were also celebrated scientists. Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke were included.
Although the stories were all published prior to 1962(and some as early as 1927), some of them have stood the test of time in forewarning about the consequences of science run amok.

*

Bramlet

  • 1810
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #605 on: June 03, 2019, 10:31:54 PM »
Book written by Leszek Kolakowsky. Sadly only in german:

"Mini Traktate über Maxi Themen."


*

rtpoe

  • Old Fart
  • 10623
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #606 on: June 04, 2019, 02:37:02 AM »
Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter by Tom Clavin

A biography of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, which cuts through a great deal of the legends to give a decent and vivid story.

Some fun facts: He once umpired a baseball game, was interviewed by Henry "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume" Stanley, married a circus impresario, and, on some expeditions against the natives, worked with Arthur MacArthur, an Army officer whose son Douglas you might have heard of.
rtpoe

A dreamy day; and tranquilly I lie
At anchor from all storms of mental strain;
With absent vision, gazing at the sky,
"Like one that hears it rain."

James Whitcomb Riley, A Summer Afternoon

*

solvegas

  • ZZZ Cup
  • 18675
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #607 on: June 04, 2019, 02:58:23 AM »
Arthur MacArthur, father of Douglas MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War ( 1861 - 1865 ) and Douglas was awarded a Medal of Honor for the audacious escape from Corregidor island in the Philippines and nominated by President Franklyn Roosevelt in WW2 ( 1941 - 1945 when the USA was involved ). Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall did not agree BUT Roosevelt didn't care and awarded it anyways.

*

TheZookie007

  • L Cup
  • 33535
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #608 on: June 04, 2019, 03:17:33 AM »
I'm about to start Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort.


On 17 December 2018, tumblr is shutting down all adult content. Go here to learn how to download your stuff now.

*

rtpoe

  • Old Fart
  • 10623
Re: Read any good books lately?
« Reply #609 on: July 16, 2019, 12:14:50 AM »
ˇCuba Libre!: Che, Fidel, and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History
by Tony Perrottet

Perrottet has spent years researching this, digging in archives that even the Cubans hadn't touched. So he's got all sorts of details about the rebels and the rebellion, including things like what Errol Flynn was doing there.... Yes, they did let women into the ranks, and not just to cook and do laundry. And they won over the support of the locals in the Sierra Maestra by paying cash for their supples.

From the promotional copy:

But less is remembered about the amateur nature of the movement, or the lives of its players. In this wildly entertaining and meticulously researched account, Tony Perrottet unravels the human drama behind history's most improbable revolution: a scruffy handful of self-taught subversives—many of them kids just out of college, literature majors, and art students, and including a number of extraordinary women—defeated 40,000 professional soldiers. ˇCuba Libre!'s deep dive into the revolution reveals fascinating details: How did Fidel's highly organized lover Celia Sánchez whip the male guerrillas into shape? Who were the two dozen American volunteers who joined the Cuban rebels? How do you make land mines from condensed milk cans—or, for that matter, cook chorizo ŕ la guerrilla (sausage guerrilla-style)?

Here's Ed Sullivan who flew into Havana to interview Castro for his (Ed's) show in January, 1959 - when the US hadn't lost its infatuation with him:
rtpoe

A dreamy day; and tranquilly I lie
At anchor from all storms of mental strain;
With absent vision, gazing at the sky,
"Like one that hears it rain."

James Whitcomb Riley, A Summer Afternoon