Reading

So I’ve wanted to do this for a while.. Here are the Physical books that are in my queue. The  Virtual books on the Kindle are listed below the photos. So tell me, which I should read next?

Kindle Books::

The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower)
King, Stephen

Pure
Baggott, Julianna

The Lifeboat: A Novel
Rogan, Charlotte

The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald, F. Scott

The Sun Also Rises
Hemingway, Ernest

Different Seasons (Signet)
King, Stephen

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
Maddow, Rachel

Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park’s code-breaking computers
Copeland, B. Jack

Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire

The Hit Man: A True Story of Murder, Redemption and the Melrose Diner
Cipriano, Ralph

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel
Gaiman, Neil

The Submission: A Novel
Waldman, Amy

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (.)
Ryan, Christopher, Jetha, Cacilda

Reamde: A Novel
Stephenson, Neal

The Magician King: A Novel
Grossman, Lev

We the Animals: A novel
Torres, Justin

Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex)
Bart, Peter

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
Butcher, Jim

The Time Machine **ORIGINAL VERSION**
Wells, H.G

The Brothers Karamazov
Dostoevsky, Fyodor

The Shepherd
Cross, Ethan

If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules
Carter-Scott, Cherie

A Visit from the Goon Squad
Egan, Jennifer

Conversations with Scorsese
Schickel, Richard

Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)
Russell, Karen

Origins (Spinward Fringe)
Lalonde, Randolph

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

The Promise
Alter, Jonathan

Here’s Looking at Euclid
Bellos, Alex

Pattern Recognition (Gibson, William)
Gibson, William

Outliers: The Story of Success
Gladwell, Malcolm

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
Quinn, Daniel

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Book 1 of the Millennium Trilogy
Larsson, Stieg

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

When I was younger my dad had come back from a trip to Japan and he tool me to try Sushi for the first time. There was only one place in Philadelphia (Hikaru) that sold sushi at the time since it was far from popular. I totally fell in love. Not just with sushi but with the Japanese culture of obsessive and relentless pursuit of perfection. I started to try to do things the same way all the time and would force myslef into physical tests of concentration and endurance in hopes to be ‘more japanese’ (whatever that meant).

This movie “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” follows Jiro Ono who has spent his whole life following this code of conduct in pursuit of being the best sushi chef in the world. And of course he succeeded. At 85 he has a 3 Michelin star restaurant and is considered the best sushi chef in the world. But yet he continues because he knows nothing else. Which is what should make the movie a tiny bit sad because you would wonder what else there is in the world for him other than this. Interestingly it’s not sad. This is his calling and he’s happy with his life.

Anyway, I’m not going to go into the details of the plot and the story about his sons, etc. What I’m writing this for is to tell you these 2 things :

1) If you aren’t a fan of sushi, you don’t want to see this since you will be bored. If you are a fan, you will love it because of reason #2

2) The only thing this film accomplished is to want to make me plan a trip to Japan just so I can eat in this restaurant. I would be happy to just fly 24-36 hours to Tokyo, eat, and then head back home. It looks that good to me.

Also as a postscript, it’s really sad to know that in the world and in America in particular, there aren’t stories like this. Where there are apprentices who work for 10+ years before they get to be promoted to assistant chef. Where people care about doing the best in their chosen jobs. We need more of that.

Climate Change

Please read this article. I’ve been holding on to it for a couple of years.. waiting to find an electronic version but I had no luck. I’m just posting it instead. Yes it’s 2 years old but its even more urgently in need of reading today. We have to get a handle on our Greenhouse Gas emissions and this means stopping coal!

Cute

I just read in this travel magazine a reader tip for travel that I found pretty smart and cute. Here it is :

Before I took my son on his first flight, I printed out stickers saying “I’m sorry if I’m a little fussy. This is my first flight, and it’s a bit overwhelming. My parents are doing the best they can, and they appreciate your patience. Owen, 8 months.” I attached the stickers to candy bars that I gave out to nearby passengers. We all enjoyed the flight.

I remember my first time in a commercial airplane I was about 8 or 9 and I was going to Disneyworld. Of course my ears popped so bad but my parents had no idea how to make it better other than giving me some gum to chew. I remember being in excruciating pain and crying and screaming like a lunatic. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned about the “close your nose and blow it out your ears” method which has worked wonders for me for years now.

I think that on the planes, there should be an included card that explains the changing air pressure and its effects on your inner ears and gives a few methods to deal with it. If my parents knew it, they could have saved me from an awful experience.

 

Some more thoughts on NDAA

Remember the wonderful bill that our wonderful president signed into law a few months back called the “National Defense Authorization Act”? This was the defense spending bill that included that nice part about how the president can decide unilaterally that you are a ‘terrorist’ or doing something that ‘promotes terrorism’ and then have you either killed on the spot or hauled off to prison with no legal recourse (you know.. like due process). It’s a wonderful law and one that is most likely unconstitutional but who’s going to be able to challenge it?

Anyway, I read a great editorial in a game development magazine that had some musings about the bill that I found interesting. I tried to find a digital copy with no luck so I scanned it and have it here. I urge you read it. It’s a quick read. But one of the things he talks about is how the govt. can now go after game companies for content and worse.

Also, laws like this stifle dissent and conversation. What if, as a thought exercise, or to prove a point I decided to post some ideas for terrorist plots. Would I be supporting terrorism? Would a death squad come visit me in the night? Far fetched? All it takes is the will of a president. The law is in place. The trigger just needs to be pulled. We let it happen

Netflix.. please please do this

I add a lot of movies to my Netflix queue. Why? Because in my daily life I hear about a lot of films that sound interesting to me and I don’t want to forget about them. Sometimes I get a few movie ideas when I read about an actor in a magazine, or I talk to friends about movies, or see a preview while at another movie. The point is that I get recommendations from all over the place.

So I put them on my queue and forget about them.

A year later (yes my queue is huuuuuge) I get these movies in the mail and I have no idea why I’m watching them. Was it because of something important politically? Was it because I thought some actress may be topless? No idea. So I watch these films and sometimes get something out of them, but a lot of the time I am watching some crappy film and I don’t know why.

So my idea is this. Allow me to add a note when I add a movie to the queue. 100 characters would be perfect. Then when I get a film I will know why it was on my queue. Better yet would be for you to print the message and mail it with the disc but I know that would be a bit more expensive. So lets just leave that as a bonus.