We like to think of ourselves as rational beings. You only have to look at the mess we've made of the planet in the last 200 years to to give the lieWe like to think of ourselves as rational beings. You only have to look at the mess we've made of the planet in the last 200 years to to give the lie that assumption, but brain research confirms that much, and probably most, decision making "work" is handled not by the bulgy bit at the front of the brain but by a complex (and unconscious) interplay of that importantly includes our "primitive" brain (the fight or flight brain) and the right hemisphere (the "intuitive" brain). Connections between neurons in those area are strengthened or weakened as information is processed and assessed and eventually a highly reliable (and unconscious) decision making matrix is constructed.
Our "rational" brain can, in fact, process a very limited amount of data in real time, and is thus most useful in decisions that involve a limited number of variable. For more decisions — ones that involve the interplay between a large number of variables — we are better off ignoring our rational brain and listening to our "emotional" brain.
Mr. Spock was an interesting science fiction artifact, but not a good model of the way we do (or even should) make decisions.
Every time I happened to glance at or think about the title of the book — HOW WE DECIDE — my pun brain insisted on saying: LET HOWIE DECIDE......more
A new "discovery". Obviously, this book is well along in a series featuring Vince Ruiz who seems to have been a police officer in London who left theA new "discovery". Obviously, this book is well along in a series featuring Vince Ruiz who seems to have been a police officer in London who left the force (perhaps to become a private detective) and who is now retired. Sami Macbeth, is newly out of prison for a crime he didn't commit. All he wants to do is see his sister, Nadia, and get on with his dream of becoming a rock-and-roll god. Nadia has disappeared though, and it turns out some very bad bad guys are using her to force Sami to help them out with a job for which they mistakenly think that he has special skills. Guy Ritchie's movies are referenced several times and this book definitely had that kind of feel. A good read. I will check out others of Robotham's books for sure....more
The action in this book takes place on Unst, the northernmost of the Shetland Islands. Lowrie Malcolmson (born and raised on Unst) has returned to theThe action in this book takes place on Unst, the northernmost of the Shetland Islands. Lowrie Malcolmson (born and raised on Unst) has returned to the island with his new wife, Caroline, for their "hamefarin'", the local celebration of their recent wedding in Kent. Caroline's two best friends from university days (who were also her bridesmaid's at the wedding) have come to Unst with their partners for the hamefarin' celebration. Polly is a librarian at a library that specializes in British folklore, and Eleanor is a film maker who is currently working on a film about ghosts. The day of the hamefarin' both women see what seems to be the ghost of Peerie Lizzie, a young girl who was drowned on the island in the 1920's and whose ghost has become a part of local legend and lore. And ghosts, legend, folklore and local history are part of the picture when Eleanor is found murdered in a shallow loch near and ancient stone on the island.
Willow Reeves, a senior detective from Inverness, comes to island to work with Jimmy Perez. (They worked together as well in RED BONES, the fifth book in the series.)
43. MemoryWalk - Dawson Creek, BC. Maggee and I are having breakfast at a local cafe with my sister Helen and I am telling them about my visit to the local art gallery (which is housed in an old converted grain elevator near the railway tracks near the Mile O Post. "It was a very interesting show. All of the paintings were of young girl who was drowned on one of the Shetland Islands in the 1920's. A local legend has grown up around Peerie Lizzie — that's what the islanders call her, and all kinds of people claim to have seen her ghost. In the paintings she is portrayed wearing a white dress — dancing on the beach, peering out of the window of croft house, laying dead on the sand... lots of fog and weird light. The show is worth seeing... we should go after breakfast..." When we drive over, we can't believe our eyes. The building in which the gallery was housed is gone. There is no sign that it has been dismantled or demolished. All we see is a vacant lot. It's as if the gallery has disappeared in THIN AIR.
We thought that a mutual friend who is a big VICAR OF DIBLEY fan had recommended this book; in fact, what she had actually told us was that another frWe thought that a mutual friend who is a big VICAR OF DIBLEY fan had recommended this book; in fact, what she had actually told us was that another friend of hers had recommended the book to her. After reading the book we are recommending it to the friend who didn’t recommend it to us; and we are going to lend it to her to read with the proviso that she read it in the two weeks remaining on our Interlibrary Loan. We would also recommend it to any Dawn French fans out. Written in the form of letters to her family (living and deceased), friends, Madonnna, it is a fun read. By the way, the Fatty of the title isn’t Dawn French; that is her nick name for her long-time partner, Jennifer Saunders. A bit over the top in places — like some of French’s comedy bits — but quite heartfelt and moving in other bits. Check out the FRENCH CONNECTION article on my blog : www.sharppencil.squarespace.com. ...more
31. VOODOO HISTORIES by David Aaronoitch / Riverhead Books / 2010 / ISBN 978-1-59448-895-5 / culture / completed 07.30.10 / Subtitle: The Role of Cons31. VOODOO HISTORIES by David Aaronoitch / Riverhead Books / 2010 / ISBN 978-1-59448-895-5 / culture / completed 07.30.10 / Subtitle: The Role of Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History... Interesting, but hard slogging in some spots; keeping track of all the alleged conspiracies and conspirators – and then all the contributing conspiracy theorists and their various agendas – was a bit overwhelming. The last chapter in which Aaronovitch talks about why people feel compelled to create, promote and believe in conspiracy theories was particularly interesting....more
I am a big fan of Connelly’s work and I actually purchased this book from amazon.ca as a pre-order when it first came out. When it arrived and I saw tI am a big fan of Connelly’s work and I actually purchased this book from amazon.ca as a pre-order when it first came out. When it arrived and I saw that the bad guy was a serial killer I kicked myself for not reading the blurb more carefully and promptly gave the book away — I usually avoid the serial killer genre. (THE POET which I gather features the same two protagonists, journalist Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling — was also “featured” a super clever serial killer, and it is the only other one of Connelly’s books that I haven’t read.) Aleta gave me the paperback edition and assured me that the “ick factor” was acceptably low despite the serial killer motif. The eponymous Scarecrow is a information technology expert whose job it is to protect sensitive data stored in massive computers at The Farm. He keeps away the metaphorical crows that might come to steal what he is paid to protect. When he isn’t doing that he uses his internet skills to stalk his victims. Well plotted. Good characters. Good writing. As usually with Connelly. And, yes, the “ick factor” is at a tolerable level — just....more
Quite a few good jokes, but a lot that would be a bit raw for my audiences.
The "Serious World" — the world in which Close works and lives and where heQuite a few good jokes, but a lot that would be a bit raw for my audiences.
The "Serious World" — the world in which Close works and lives and where he finds his material — is the world of Las Vegas magicians and professional comics, a world that I have I am not particularly fascinated by....more
A young woman’s memoir of growing up in North Dakota with musings on how the prairie landscape and her family shape the woman she grows up to be. MarqA young woman’s memoir of growing up in North Dakota with musings on how the prairie landscape and her family shape the woman she grows up to be. Marquart is in her fifties when the book is published. The descriptions of the prairie and life on the prairie are more compelling than the musings....more
Having read Garrison Keillor's selection of poems in his first GOOD POEMS book, we were expecting that in a book of "poems for hard times" that a lotHaving read Garrison Keillor's selection of poems in his first GOOD POEMS book, we were expecting that in a book of "poems for hard times" that a lot of the poems — most — would be uplifting, inspiring, funny, and heartwarming, but this collection is more lyrical look at what makes the times hard than a salve to the battered soul. One gets the impression from the introduction that Keillor sees the early 21st Century in America as a hard place to be alive.
We still enjoyed the book. Just not quite as much as the first collection.
11. MemoryWalk: Marks Cafe on 100th Avenue in Fort St. John. A number of teenage employees of the Co-op across the street from the cafe (including Maggee who worked in the shoe department, and me who worked in the grocery section) have crossed the street to go for chips and coke at the cafe during their coffee break. It is a bleak, rainy day. They find Mark, the elderly Chinese owner of the cafe locking the doors. He turns to them and intones gloomily: "No more chips. No more coke. Life is just a cru-el joke. No more burger. No Chow Mein. Mark's Cafe's gone down the drain..." ...more
As the subtitle indicates this is a book tell inconceivable (or at least very interesting) tales from the making of the film THE PRINCESS BRIDE, talesAs the subtitle indicates this is a book tell inconceivable (or at least very interesting) tales from the making of the film THE PRINCESS BRIDE, tales that focus on among other things: the fraught history of the screen play which for years couldn't find a home, Elwes "discovery" by Rob Reiner, the daunting task that of becoming competent swordsmen that Elwes and Mandy Patinkin faced, and some of this mishaps (the ATV accident) and challenges (weather and ghastly food), and the shaky support the film got from the studio's distribution and promotion departments.
The prose doesn't sing, and — and I'm sure this was a hugely fun and exciting project for Cary and all the cast and crew but — there was a bit to much of rose tinted rah-rah tone to the book.
An enjoyable read, though. Our copy of THE PRINCESS BRIDE (the 30th Anniversary Edition) is being "inducted" into the Bump Memorial Library this month, and we have ordered the DVD. (Effie might still be a bit too young for the story, but we will see what he thinks and if he doesn't appreciate it age four we will try again in a few years.)...more
Lucian, Walt's old boss, enlists Walt's help in looking into the suicide of an old friend who was a policeman in neighboring Campbell County. The traiLucian, Walt's old boss, enlists Walt's help in looking into the suicide of an old friend who was a policeman in neighboring Campbell County. The trail that Walt ends up following takes him to a small town near Gillette called Arrosa (one strand of the rose theme that is reflected in the title) to Deadwood and Custer State Park in South Dakota, through encounters with blizzards, bullets and buffalo, and back to Arrosa.
Some new country and some interesting new characters.
If you have read my previous reviews you won't be surprised to hear that Energizer Walt is overplaying his hand yet again in this one.
Cady is about to have her baby in Philadelphia and is putting the pressure on Walt to be there or else. Cady is getting to be a bit too clingy and needy, in my opinion.
A good light read though.
19. MysteryWalk - at my parents house in Fort St. John — the "new" house on 102nd Avenue near the bowling alley. We wake up in the upstairs loft area and look out the window to see nothing but swirling snow. Snow is sifting in through cracks around the ill-fitting window and it is bitterly cold. We start down the steep, narrow stairs to the main floor. Suddenly a railway crossing barrier folds out of the wall and blocks our way with clanging bells and flashing lights. The house begins to shake and we hear a roaring noise gathering in volume from the direction of the bathroom. At the foot of the stairs we see, not a speeding freight train but, a stampeding herd of buffalo. All the buffalo are coal black and each one has a garland of roses around its neck....more
Othmer was an ad writer for twenty-some years, working for some the biggest ad agencies in the US. The book talks about how he became an adman, aboutOthmer was an ad writer for twenty-some years, working for some the biggest ad agencies in the US. The book talks about how he became an adman, about his experiences in field with a focus on the upheavals in the industry in the last twenty years and his thoughts on the future of the advertising business as digital technology, interactive media and shifting consumer habits force some big changes in promotional strategies. Well written. I found it interesting how out of touch our family is with the ad world: never heard of The Subservient Chicken... never heard of Elf Yourself... unaware of some of iconic ad campaigns (VW for instance...) I learned what bacn means — quasispam... Some interesting “how-they-do-it stuff”. Note to self: check out Othmer’s novel, THE FUTURIST....more