Print Story You want it to be one way. But it's the other way.
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 10:22:19 AM EST) Reading, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Manhattan Project", "World War Z", "Treason's Harbour". Me. Web.

What I'm Reading
The Manhattan Project: Big Science and the Atom Bomb by Jeff Hughes. Very short book with a misleading title: only a couple of chapters cover the Manhattan Project itself. It's mainly a short history of Big Science which he reckons actually began with the big observatories and expensive radium experiments of the early 20th century: the Manhattan project just accelerated an existing trend.

The author seems somewhat anti Big Science, enough that it feels unreliable as a dispassionate history of the subject, but not enough to make for a powerful polemic. Not terribly useful or interesting.

What I'm Reading 2
World War Z by Max Brooks. Interesting novelty: better than the related Zombie Survival Guide by the same author. It covers the history of an apocalyptic war against zombies, but is structured as a series of interviews with protagonists, which gives it a different angle to most. It's also refreshingly non-US-centric, with interviews covering a variety of nations.

Pretty good and a nice easy read. Would have been nice to have some visual stuff to back up the documentary feel though: illustrations, maps, photos, diagrams, but I suppose that would have been too expensive. Worth a look.

What I'm Reading 3
Latest Aubrey/Maturin book was Treason's Harbour. This one's more land-based than some. For part of the book they're held up on Malta while Aubrey tries to bribe the naval dockyards into repairing the Surprise while struggling to preserve his crew from the depredations of debauchery, syphilis and raids by other captains. Meanwhile Maturin tries to track down a traitor, with less success than normal.

There's also an overland excursion to the Red Sea in an attempt to chase a treasure galley.

Overall a pretty solid chapter in the series, but doesn't come to much of a conclusion.

Back at work now, though still coughing a lot. Feeling ground down.

Lots of fiddly XML/XSL crap to do. Stupidly got something very complicated working in the XmlSpy transform, but it doesn't seem to want to work in the .Net transform. I hate XSL. Have to put that on hold while I fiddle with other fiddly stuff first anyway.

YouTube test: Green Onions

Status Quo fan hangs himself after wife left him for guitarist Rick Parfitt. Why isn't B3ta all over this?

Beautiful people get better loan rates, are worse risks.

End of the Wire. Final montage. David Simon interview. Unanswered questions. Metafilter. Slate. Salon.

< on the warpath | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
You want it to be one way. But it's the other way. | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
+1 FP Booker T and the MGs. n/t by Gedvondur (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 10:39:31 AM EST

"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
I like WWZ a lot by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 11:49:18 AM EST
in case you didn't know, Max Brooks is Mel Brooks' son.

And it's being made into a movie with J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5 creator) as the screenwriter.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

I hope they don't add a plot. by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 06:41:16 AM EST
What made the book interesting was that it was a series of vignettes, not some overblown story full of heroics.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I could see it going a couple of ways by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 06:52:18 AM EST
I think it would be cool to actually follow the book's interview style. A reporter, writer, or tv presenter traveling around interviewing people with wavy dissolves to flashback storytelling. That would make a good tv series as well.

I could also see them picking one story line and doing 90 minutes of that. I'd rather not see that happen.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
WWZ by DullTrev (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 01:34:12 PM EST

Yup, liked that one a lot - it doesn't try to be more than it is, which is a nice unhealthy dose of brain candy. Couldn't put it down.

And to answer your question: Status Quo? Who are they?

Try Richard Rhodes by marvin (4.00 / 2) #4 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 03:45:30 PM EST
The Making of the Atomic Bomb, if you want a history, not a polemic.

I read it a decade ago, so I don't remember the details, but I recall enjoying the book enough to recommend it. It won a Pulitzer and some other prizes.

The sequel, Dark Sun - the Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, was not as enjoyable - I bogged down in the first third of the book, and it has gathered dust on my bookshelves ever since.

I agree by hulver (4.00 / 2) #5 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:45:02 AM EST
I'm actually re-reading that at the moment, and it's a very good book. It's not just about the Manhatten project, but covers inital research into the structure of the atom, through the discovery of fission. Highly recomended.

Dark Sun was not as good, although I did plough through the whole thing.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Ditto, <aol>Me Too</aol> etc by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:44:34 AM EST
Wore out one copy, really need to get it in hardcover. Dark Sun is as much about the espionage surrounding the fusion project as it is about the bomb itself. Interesting, but a different subject matter. I have the review of the book in Science magazine by Hans Bethe (he loved it) in a drawer at home.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Glad you're enjoying World War Z by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 05:20:01 AM EST
It's a great bit of pulpy fun. You're right about maps and stuff, that would have been brilliant.

Apparently there's a film in production.

It's political correctness gone mad!

You want it to be one way. But it's the other way. | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)