I seemed to have the same problems with this one that I did with The Professor and the Madman ... The subject matter sounds interesting, but enough foI seemed to have the same problems with this one that I did with The Professor and the Madman ... The subject matter sounds interesting, but enough for a book longer than a pamphlet? In the first couple of chapters Winchester blew his wad, so to speak, giving the complete rundown of Smith's lower class roots (a blacksmith's son), his geological discovery and the implications, his shunning by The Higher Classes of Geology, and his final days of anonymity until a long overdue recognition. Then, he goes back and plumps up the framework like a literary Botox job.
Now, if the subject matter of the tangents doesn't interest you, it's probably excruciating. The long-winded descriptions of the English countryside were a little much for me, but I did enjoy the sidetracking into the religious groupthink of the time, and the examination of what Smith's discovery actually implied - that the age of the Earth as calculated by Bishop Usher was wrong wrong WRONG. This paved the way for Darwin to rock the world with his Theory of Evolution (and which some people are still ignorant enough to deny). When it came to religion, Winchester was appropriately snarky (this audiobook was actually read by Winchester), and I appreciated that. :D
And his wife was a deranged nympho. I was NOT expecting that! What was the treatment in those days? Spraying with the firehose? It appears that she escaped the horrors of 19th century "treatment."
The first half of the book, despite the filler, was formulated pretty well. It was only in the last half that I felt it lost some direction with Winchester's butting-in of his own tour along the same path Smith took through England when he was a surveyor for the company building the canals. Smith's occupation scored some points with me, since my (probably unrealized) dream is to be a surveyor, but it wasn't enough to overcome the repetitious and inflated nature of the writing, so unfortunately it doesn't squeak past more than an average 3-star rating. Still, it wasn't a horrible way to pass the time while laying down flagstone in the backyard! :D...more
It was okay, but the writing isn't that great and I only understood it by reading it aloud to myself. The equations weren't explained well at all. LucIt was okay, but the writing isn't that great and I only understood it by reading it aloud to myself. The equations weren't explained well at all. Luckily I didn't have to do any of the problems in the book. My instructor only used the text to reinforce what he spoke about in class, and he was so great that the readings were actually superfluous. The hands-on approach of the class helped. If everything we did was book-based, I would have been lost....more
This is a must-read if you ever decide to fulfill that dream of yours and work in some county assessor's office. :D She goes over basic terminology (sThis is a must-read if you ever decide to fulfill that dream of yours and work in some county assessor's office. :D She goes over basic terminology (simultaneous conveyance FTW, baby!) and an overview of the PLSS - which I happen to find fascinating. I could figure out aliquot partsall day. (Really, I could! Don't judge!)
An appendix covers the entities of a sample database, with primary and foreign keys pointed out so it would be a breeze (or breezier) to build. A lifesaver if a newbie like myself found themselves in said Dream Job in the County Assessor's Office. :D
If you want hot topology action, land parcels is where it's at....more