Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

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ABOUT BOOKS AND READING > What are U reading these days? (PART SIX) (2010)

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Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Interesting, Joy, thanks for that bit of background.

Katherine, I think you'll like Lightning. If you like time travel, as I do too, then you should enjoy it.
You're right that some of Koontz's novel are a lot alike, the same format just different names, events. But there are those exceptional few that I love, for example: False Memory,Watchers, Odd Thomas, Intensity to name a few.


message 302: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments Werner turned me on to The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher. It's a bunch of his short stories & they're great. The first one was unlike any werewolf story I've ever read. There have been a couple of horror stories - not grisly, though. Time travel is mixed in a couple of times, once with a demon's help, another time with a skeleton. There have been a couple of robot stories, too. Quite a mix & all entertaining & different.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Jim, I generally don't like short stories as much as full length novels, but The Compleat Werewolf sounds right up my alley. Yes, one more to add to my To Read shelf!


message 304: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote (in Message #300): "... Backwards time travel seems to be a more modern idea, but the origin of this notion is also somewhat ambiguous.
FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_tra... "


Below are a few more interesting excerpts from Wiki re backwards time travel:
====================================================
"Another clear early example of time travel in fiction is the short story The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell, which appeared in the New York Sun in 1881.
See PDF (35.7 KB) at:
http://www.horrormasters.com/Text/a22...

"Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), in which the protagonist finds himself in the time of King Arthur after a fight in which he is hit with a sledge hammer, was another early time travel story which helped bring the concept to a wide audience, and was also one of the first stories to show history being changed by the time traveler's actions.

"The first time travel story to feature time travel by means of a time machine was Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau's 1887 book El Anacronópete. This idea gained popularity with the H. G. Wells story The Time Machine, published in 1895 ... which also featured a time machine and which is often seen as an inspiration for all later science fiction stories featuring time travel, using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle."
FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_tra...
=====================================================


Werner | 1554 comments Wells was the first English-speaking writer to employ the idea of time travel by technological means (as opposed to magic, dream visions, astral projection, etc.) Until just now, I'd have said he was the first writer to do so, period; but that Wikipedia article says a Spanish-language writer, Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau, beat him to it with El Anachronopete in 1887 (Wells' "A Chronic Argonaut" appeared in 1888). Thanks for the link, Joy; I learned something!


message 306: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments You're welcome, Werner. Wikipedia did a good job of summarizing the many aspects of time travel. The discussion of the possibilities of actual time travel was fascinating... as far as I could understand the physics explanations, which wasn't very far. :)


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Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments Discover magazine just had an article on time travel. Some new math purports to resolve some of the issues with it, like killing your grandparents. I skimmed it, but it wasn't very interesting nor compelling. SF writers have handled it much better.


message 308: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jim wrote: "Discover magazine just had an article on time travel. Some new math purports to resolve some of the issues with it, like killing your grandparents. I skimmed it, but it wasn't very interesting no..."

Wiki explains the "grandparent" issue by saying:
===================================================
"... many in the scientific community believe that backwards time travel is highly unlikely. Any theory which would allow time travel would require that problems of causality be resolved. The classic example of a problem involving causality is the "grandfather paradox": what if one were to go back in time and kill one's own grandfather before one's father was conceived?" See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_tra...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfat...
====================================================


message 309: by Jackie (last edited Feb 28, 2010 09:25PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Jim wrote: SF writers have handled it much better
Of course! It's the 'fiction' part that makes it all work out perfectly. Time travel is an interesting concept. I enjoy Physics and the mind-bending concepts.

I recently had to let my subscription to Discover Magazine lapse. I just can't spend the money, and to be honest, they keep dropping the things that drew me there in the first place. The first thing to disappear and really upset me was the Night Sky describing all the celestial events of the month. I do wish I could have kept it though, I'd have liked to read the article Jim mentioned.


Werner | 1554 comments There are different ways that SF writers handle the idea of possible alterations to the past through time travel (assuming it to be possible :-)). Some employ quantum physics theory to suggest that such an alteration would create a parallel universe, branching off from this one at the point of that one changed event (as in Harry Turtledove's Guns of the South). Others, like my Goodreads friend Andrew Seddon in his (so far unpublished) time travel stories, take the reasonable position that you CAN'T alter the past, even by traveling back to it --you can affect events, but by definition, whatever you're going to do, you already did, and whatever happened as a result already happened; so you're not going to change "history" one iota. :-)


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments I'm of the same mind there, Werner. What's done is done. Also, the possibility exists that by trying to thwart history you could set up circumstances that would bring it about. I've read many books with that occurance.

The branching off you mentioned is called a pocket universe. 'Lost' is doing it right now.


message 312: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Mar 01, 2010 11:55AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Werner and Jackie: Interesting stuff!


message 313: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Werner wrote: "... as in Harry Turtledove's Guns of the South..."

Werner, I browsed around, reading about Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345...
Interesting premise, changing the outcome of the Civil War.

GR says:
"Harry Norman Turtledove (born...1949) is an American novelist, who has produced works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction."

I've never thought about the literary possibilities of "alternate history", changing the outcomes of wars, dealing with "what-if" scenarios. Intriguing.


message 314: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jackie wrote: "... The branching off you mentioned is called a pocket universe. 'Lost' is doing it right now."

Jackie, what is "Lost"? Oooops! I found it! ===>
http://www.netflix.com/Search?oq=&amp...=

Little by little, I'm becoming familiar with SF and Fantasy.

Speaking of time travel, as we've been doing, today I browsed around Netflix and found:
"Quantum Leap": Season 1 (3-Disc Series) (1989) (TV series 1989-1993)
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Quantum_...
I'm currently watching the following episode:
Episode: "The Right Hand of God".
"Quantum Leap" The Right Hand of God - October 24, 1974 (1989)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0681184/
Video: Full episode: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi2584...

The big surprise for me in this episode is that the nun (Sister Angela) is played by the daughter of some good friends of ours! Her name is Michelle Joyner. We've known her from the time she was a little kid. Michelle has a pretty big part in it. Here's her filmography:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0431662/
Photo: http://www.drquinnmd.com/images/peopl...
In 1993 she played the gal who was killed at the beginning of "Cliffhanger", which starred Sylvester Stallone.


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Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments Heinlein's short story, "By His Bootstraps" is one of my favorite time travel stories, but I think his best is "All you Zombies". In the latter, a man literally is his mother & father. He seduces himself to produce himself & grows up in an orphanage. OK, it's not pretty, but it's very well done.

For a long time, SF magazines & such wouldn't accept any time travel stories since they'd been done so much. It's an interesting concept & we do not have the vocabulary to discuss it well. Several authors proved that.

I liked Quantum Leap. We saw one not too long ago. It hasn't aged badly. Fun show.


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Jackie, my OH and I are presently watching Lost from the beginning, we are near the end of the third season, and have the fourth on order from the library. We both love it, and have been glomming on it, sometimes watching 6 episodes at a stretch. :)


message 317: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Mar 01, 2010 02:48PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jim wrote: "Heinlein's short story, "By His Bootstraps" is one of my favorite time travel stories, but I think his best is "All you Zombies". In the latter, a man literally is his mother & father. He seduces..."

Here's the text of Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" in PDF form online:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~pot/scifi/byhis...

And here's a page discusssing the story:
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/wo...

Also, here's a page about "All You Zombies".
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/wo...

Too bad I can't cc this to myself for future reference. Instead, I'll copy it and send it to myself by email. :) Thanks, Jim!


message 318: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Katherine M wrote: "Jackie, my OH and I are presently watching Lost from the beginning, we are near the end of the third season, and have the fourth on order from the library. We both love it, and have been glomming ..."

KM, I've got it on my Netflix queue. :)


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Katherine, I love Lost. It drives me nuts sometimes with so many questions and very few answers but I still love it. I'm pleased you're enjoying it.

Jim, I never read Bootstraps. I'll look at the PDF Joy gave the link to. I saved it favs, hopefully I'll get to it soon. Thanks Joy!


Katherine Totten (Katherine42) | 198 comments My all time favorite time travel book is "Green Darkness" by Anya Seton. I first read it in the early 70's, and have recently bought a brand new copy to read when I have a block of time so I can finish it in one sitting.
My dream vacation is going to England and taking the "Green Darkness Tour", which visits the sites described in the novel.


message 321: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Katherine wrote: "My all time favorite time travel book is "Green Darkness" by Anya Seton. I first read it in the early 70's, and have recently bought a brand new copy to read when I have a block of time so I can fi..."

Katherine, your dream vacation sounds very interesting! So does the book! Goodreads says it's a classic in its genre:
Green Darkness by Anya Seton
It's another good book for me to keep in mind.

Goodreads says that two of Seton's books were made into Hollywood films:
"Dragonwyck" (1946):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038492/
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Dragonwy...

"Foxfire" (1955):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048091/


message 322: by Werner (last edited Mar 02, 2010 03:04PM) (new)

Werner | 1554 comments Jim, I've read both "By His Bootstraps" (which was written under Heinlein's Anson MacDonald pen name) and "All You Zombies," both of which play with the idea of time paradoxes --the latter story carrying that concept practically to its ultimate extent. :-) They're both well-written and entertaining stories; but I'm so skeptical of the whole idea of time paradoxes that for me they don't really pass the "suspension of disbelief" hurdle. I don't think it's logically or physically possible for a human being to beget himself --let alone give birth to himself. :-) Have you ever read Alfred Bester's "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed"? If so, what did you think of it? That's another story that has an approach to time travel that I find implausible --but it's certainly uniquely original, and also qualifies as "well-written and entertaining," IMO! (Another story that the mention of "All You Zombies" brings to mind, though it's a story of space exploration rather than time travel, is C. S. Lewis' "Ministering Angels." It was written before the Heinlein story, but it's a hilarious --to me, anyway!-- refutation of another concept that Heinlein would employ there.)

Joy, the idea of alternate worlds --with or without an association with time travel-- is a popular one in modern science fiction, since the advent of quantum theory with its idea that pivotal events create the kind of branching alluded to above. (With her scientific knowledge, Jackie's more versed in that than I am and can explain it better --the term "pocket universe" was new to me, for instance.) I haven't read anything more than a tiny fraction of the fiction on that theme --I was late in getting into it :-)-- but since I discovered them, I've found many of those scenarios really fascinating!


message 323: by Jackie (last edited Mar 02, 2010 03:34PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Speaking of alternate worlds, did anyone ever watch Sliders? That was a great mainstream scifi show and highly entertaining.
Many physicists believe there are alternate worlds existing right beside our own on a different dimension or plane of existence. But how could they prove it? It seems too far fetched for me, even with reading scientific journals. The idea is better in fiction because there are endless possibilities. Any event can change the course of history if played out differently. Very intriguing.


message 324: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Werner wrote: "... Joy, the idea of alternate worlds --with or without an association with time travel-- is a popular one in modern science fiction, since the advent of quantum theory with its idea that pivotal events create the kind of branching alluded to above. ..."

Werner, I can see why the idea of alternate worlds would extend the SF imagination infinitely. I've tried reading explanations of quantum theory, but it's all Greek to me. Without understanding the theory behind the idea, it's hard to believe in alternate worlds. However, sometimes it's hard to believe in our OWN world, strange as it is. :) So who's to say what's possible or impossible. It certainly makes good reading!


message 325: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Mar 02, 2010 05:05PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jackie wrote: "Speaking of alternate worlds, did anyone ever watch Sliders? That was a great mainstream scifi show and highly entertaining.
Many physicists believe there are alternate worlds existing right besi..."


Jackie, I've never watched Sliders, but I see that Netlix has it. So maybe I'll find out what it's about. The descriptions mention going "through one alternate dimension after another".
http://www.netflix.com/Search?v1=Slid...


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments It's an adventure. The main character, a physics student, creates a wormhole-making type of device and it sucks him and 3 others into it and they land in a slightly different San Francisco. They set about trying to get back to their own San Fran and visit many other versions, some crazier than the last. It was entertaining if nothing else.


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Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments I saw a couple of episodes of "Sliders". It was OK, but I think it lost out to something else.

Werner, I haven't read either of those stories, that I recall, but I've read so many over the years that they tend to blur. Time travel, as a purely speculative idea, is an interesting one & leads to some interesting thoughts.

Some, like the two Heinlein stories, seem to say that if it happened, it will. I find them amusing, but pure entertainment. I'm not much of a fan of predestination no matter what form it takes.

Bradbury's "The Sound of Thunder" was kind of horrifying. The first 'butterfly effect' (sort of) that I remember reading. Again, the effects weren't terribly realistic, but the concept was cool. A man travels back in time, steps on a butterfly & the entire world is slightly changed when he gets back.

For alternate dimensions, I think Philip José Farmer's World of Tiers books were a good example. A few people find out that we all live in pocket universes that are artificially created. We never do find out who the original creators are or what reality is. I find the concept that our 'reality' isn't, to be kind of a cool one.

Of course, Zelazny's Amber series is one of the ultimate examples of multiple dimensions. The only book I know to top it is another work of his, Creatures of Light and Darkness.

Zelazny's A Dark Traveling is a more standard take on multiple dimensions, the peacock's tail of realities branching out from every decision point, cross overs to close dimensions via machines &/or location, etc... Heinlein also did a bunch like starting with "The Number of the Beast", although "Waldo" was another take on it.

I don't believe the scientists are real sure of what is fact or fiction, at this point, Joy, so don't feel bad. There are lots of theories, but from the little I've read, there are as many for as against most among those who say they know. I haven't a clue, either.


message 328: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments I think the closest we, as human beings, come to multiple dimensions is the feeling we get when we wake up from a very realistic dream. It's like going from one dimension to another, as we slowly wake up and realize we were merely dreaming. Just a thought.


message 329: by Werner (last edited Mar 02, 2010 08:44PM) (new)

Werner | 1554 comments I don't actually believe in a lot of the ideas of quantum physics either --I find much of it very dubious and counter-intuitive (to the extent that I understand it), and I'm not much impressed by "The Consensus of the Scientific Community!" because I know how that kind of consensus usually gets arrived at. :-) (And besides, as Jim pointed out, a lot of these theories don't really have a consensus, or anything resembling it.) But I think that the idea of alternate worlds is a cool fictional conceit, which opens up a lot of possibilities for writers.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments A Sound of Thunder was really good. There's a movie of it that's not too bad. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318081/

I read Creatures of Light and Darkness years ago, I barely remember it. I shouldn't have given it away because I'd like to read it again.


message 331: by Jackie (last edited Mar 02, 2010 08:54PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Werner, I don't put much stock in the Consensus either. It's a ruthless cutthroat business, a horrible practice in the scientific community.
What bothers me about some of these theories is this: theories are supposed to be arrived at after viewing observable and quantifiable data, not use supposition and then try to prove it with mathematical equations and known science. It seems a little backwards to me. Which is why, as much as I love science, I prefer science fiction. We can have all the suppositions we want!


message 332: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments Good point on the 'consensus' Jackie. Look at all the holes that are being poked in the Global Warming theory. A month or so ago, they found out that one report on glacier melting was full of math errors, politically motivated & plain untrue. How they could hand out a Nobel Prize on something based on reports that hadn't yet been peer reviewed is beyond me. Makes almost as much sense as giving one to Obama.


message 333: by Jackie (last edited Mar 03, 2010 07:31AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Jim, I right with you there. The Nobel Prizes have become a politically motivated joke.
Peer review is a joke too, because if you don't agree with the 'consensus' you find yourself ostracized. Many valid theories have been attacked for this reason and given no credibility all because the scientist wouldn't co-sign crap. Science shouldn't be about politicis, office or national, it should be about science.
Global warming is yet another joke. In the 90's we had record high temps but not since. If the Al Gores of the world took the time to actually research it, see the research done on the ice cores, they'd find this is a natural occurance all through Earth's geological history. It's only because Gore and Pelosi's husband will be making a fortune in their investments in alternative energies that the Global warming theory took on the mass proportions that we see now. If Gore gave a damn, his house wouldn't have been lit up like Xmas for Earth hour. One friggin hour and he couldn't be bothered to conserve energy. That should tell you something.
And the alternate energies aren't all their cracked up to be. Electic cars, yeah, most electricity comes from coal, the dirtiest of them all. The wind turbines, in Minn, they froze and were useless. Solar, too expensive and not very efficient, especially in winter months when it's needed most.
I do believe we should be careful with what we use but not for Gore's financial gain, but for the Earth that nurtures us. It makes sense to have a symbiotic relationship with her; without her we won't live.


message 334: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments No arguments here on any of it, although coal burning isn't that dirty any more. It still gets a lot of bad publicity from decades ago.

What kills me is the idea that we can all go to alternative energy. You're right about Gore. Compare his house to Bush's. It's pretty amazing.

If you look at the government's web site, you'll find that KY has about the cheapest electric in the nation, but under the proposed legislation - unless we can trade off a LOT of credits - we'll have about the highest because we're almost pure coal & they rate us as 'poor' for wind or sun for alternative energy.

I was reading an interesting article (I think it was the latest issue of Furrows, the John Deere magazine.) about a program out in CA where they are putting methane plants in areas. The fuel is cow manure. I'm not sure if that would work here because we tend to small farms, very cut up land. The article said 15 miles was about the max to ship the manure & laying pipe to move the gas to the plant is another consideration. Both tough in this state.

Ace Hardware is supposed to start selling a new wind generator this year that might be worth looking into. It's supposed to be low cost, install on a house & have a very low wind speed tolerance. I thought I'd see how it reviews in a year or two.


message 335: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jim wrote: "No arguments here on any of it, although coal burning isn't that dirty any more. It still gets a lot of bad publicity from decades ago.
...
Ace Hardware is supposed to start selling a new wind generator this year that might be worth looking into. It's supposed to be low cost, install on a house & have a very low wind speed tolerance."


I'd like to see advances in wind generators. Wind will always be with us. (We have a lot of wind on Lake George.) :)

I know of a home in Glens Falls with solar cells on its roof. The owner says she has to do her laundry during the day when the power is available to her. I guess her system doesn't store the power.

A few of the outhouses on the island campsites of Lake George use solar power to run fans which speed up the decomposition. Personally I prefer the old wooden outhouses because each one is private to each campsite, whereas the solar powered ones must be shared among the nearby campers.

I'm afraid of nuclear power plants.


message 336: by Jackie (last edited Mar 03, 2010 03:27PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Nuclear is the cleanest energy, and it's not as dangerous as we are led to believe. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were human error. Most of Europe gets it's power from nuclear for decades now. The problem still resides in where to put the spent rods. The half-life is pretty damn long. I don't foresee a solution to that.

Coal is cleaner due to efficiency in furnaces, not in electric plants, it's still the dirtiest. Methane is loaded with carbon, in fact, it is all carbon. Equal in it's carbon footprint to oil and gas.

The ethanol is not a good option either because of the space it takes as well as felling trees to do it. We need more trees, not less.

Wind is great for the areas that can maintain it year round. And those credits infuriate me, you pay someone in a third-world country to not use energy but they weren't using the energy anyway, it's nothing but a conscience soothing mechanism that does nothing to lessen energy usage.

With populations rising, energy shortages are going to be the least of the world's problems, famine will be the next big concern. And not just in third-world countries.

I don't have a grand solution. Using less is an option, and recycling. But for energy, there is no single solution, for every pro there is a con. It has to workable within localized areas.


message 337: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jackie wrote: "Nuclear is the cleanest energy, and it's not as dangerous as we are led to believe. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were human error. Most of Europe gets it's power from nuclear for decades now. ..."

I'm afraid of human error.


message 338: by Jackie (last edited Mar 03, 2010 04:03PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Me too but it doesn't make the technology dangerous. It makes people dangerous, nothing new there. It doesn't matter, the US won't go nuclear in our lifetimes.


message 339: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments There was a nuclear plant in Long Island that never did get to generate any electric because of all the protests. Silly.

There are actually more trees in the US now than there were when the colonists arrived. They're not as big & more scattered, though. We changed the environment of the East Coast fueling the Iron Age with the forests. of course, the Chestnut Blight really hurt us too. Those trees got BIG, supplied food & habitat for a ton of animals, lumber & food for us & now there are next to none.

Jackie, do you remember Heinlein's Shipstones? For those of you who haven't read his books, Shipstones were an energy source that were a perfect form of portable energy. They varied in size & powered everything from a watch to a starship. Because the guy never patented them & they couldn't be reverse engineered, the company became the real power in the human race. Wars were reflections of corporate infighting among its divisions.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Jim, that's my crazy state, LOL!
I recently read something about my area, where it said that after the colonists arrived, this whole area was completely deforested. I was shocked! We have lots of trees, I assumed they were always there. I can't even imagine the Adirondacks without trees.

I read Stranger in a Strange Land, maybe others by Heinlein but that was a long time ago. I don't exactly remember the word shipstones, but it has a vague familiarity to me. It would be nice to have them right about now, though.

I saw a movie with John Cusack called War, Inc. where companies rule the world and go to war with one another. It was satirical but still frightening nonetheless. I was an interview with Cusack and he said the idea was born out of companies like Blackwater. Touted as 'private security' in war-torn areas but in reality they're mecenaries.


message 341: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jim and Jackie, your posts are certainly thought-provoking. The Big Picture is a bit scary!


message 342: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Mar 03, 2010 08:46PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Did anyone read Everything Is Illuminated (2002) by Jonathan Safran Foer? I tried reading it but couldn't get into it. For one thing, sections of it are in caps. Hard to read. Other sections are in italics. Annoying to read. Parts of it are written in the fractured English of a non-English speaking person. Annoying after a while.

I saw the movie based on the book and at least learned the plot. It was very unusual, to say the least. It's one of those stories you ponder about afterwards.
"Everything Is Illuminated" (2005)
http://www.netflix.com/Search?oq=&amp...=

Can't wait to read the GR reviews of the book and also the critics' reviews of the movie. Hopefully, someone more articulate than myself will be able to express the inchoate thoughts which are in my head.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments I didn't read the book but I saw the movie. I don't remember much, though. Except that the grandson was a bit strange.


message 344: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Mar 04, 2010 06:04AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jackie wrote: "I didn't read the book but I saw the movie. I don't remember much, though. Except that the grandson was a bit strange."

Jackie, actually, after I started watching "Everything Is Illuminated", I realized I had already seen it. It's not the kind of film that leaves strong pictures in your mind until you see it a second time. That's when you understand the story. The first time I saw it, I remember wondering where the heck it was all going. I just wanted them to get on with the story. It seemed to drag along. The second viewing slowly jogged my memory.

PS-Yes the grandson (Elijah Wood) was strange, but the acting was very effective affective. And yes, "effective" too. :)


message 345: by Jackie (last edited Mar 04, 2010 08:11AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments I think Elijah Wood did a great job in that role. Very unusual for him. I'm pretty sure that's why I chose the movie, because he was in it. As well as Leiv Schriber.


message 346: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 3989 comments I've never heard of 'Everything is Illuminated'.

Jackie, shipstones were part of "Friday" for sure, a short story or two & some of his last books (the ones I hated).


message 347: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Mar 04, 2010 08:15AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jim wrote: "I've never heard of 'Everything is Illuminated'."

I checked out one of the GR reviews of the book Everything is Illuminated. It's at:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Below are excerpts from above-mentioned review:
====================================================
"... All of these sections have a very surreal quality. They jump around in time, different eras have glimpses into the past and future. Everything that happens is completely bizarre and makes no sense. It explores much more difficult topics, such as the nature of life, love, and art, and is in general much more philosophical and harder to get your head around.
...
"The weird thing about this book is that, at least for me, it gets frustrating to read the author's crazy attempts at philosophy. He wanders around so much, it seems like he is trying to write a little mini-story for every emotion he's every experienced in his entire life.
...
"The incoherence of it all becomes a part of the greater logic of the novel...
...
"I can't help but be annoyed by its weird narrative and pointless philosophical musings, but given that it bathes itself in its own strangeness, it raises itself up and becomes a pretty awesome book."
FROM: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
=====================================================
An amazing 32 people liked that review, including myself. The review is obviously written by someone of great intelligence and if he says that "everything that happens is completely bizarre and makes no sense"(initially), then I don't feel so bad about not being able to get into the book. Even the reviewer says "it gets frustrating".

The most I can say about the book is that it's a challenge. :)


message 348: by Jackie (last edited Mar 04, 2010 08:25AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments Jim,
A friend posted this on Buzz:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xWGil...
Of interest to our earlier discussion is at 4 minutes in. What a great idea. It sounds good to me, but it's less than a minute long at that point. I'll have to do some research first.


message 349: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11790 comments Jackie wrote: "Jim, A friend posted this on Buzz:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xWGil...
Of interest to our earlier discussion is at 4 minutes in. What a great idea. It sounds good to..."


Jackie, I hope the folks behind these movements will gather strength. We need a hero to come along and inspire the world toward accomplishing the goals of the movement. Certainly our world must have the brains for it. We need the will.

Thanks for posting the link to the video!

The expression "Resource Based Economy" is too vague. The movement needs a catchy name which will deliver its meaning more effectively. I once read an article about how important "catchy" names are, names which catch your attention and are easy to remember and understand.

How about: "SEWW: a Solution"

(S-olar E-nergy, W-ind, & W-aves)

I couldn't fit in the "geothermal" part. But that could be included in the details. The main thing is to get people's attention... especially the RIGHT people.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3926 comments The problem with the 'right' people who have the power to generate interest is that they'll only do it if they stand to gain financially. If they have investments in this area, then they'll do it.


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Books mentioned in this topic

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Authors mentioned in this topic

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Charlaine Harris (other topics)
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