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  1. #421
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Just started Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for life. An anecdote to chaos.

    So far so good. Interesting dude.

  2. #422
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    St. Louis
    The Field of Blood, by Joanne Freeman. It's about violence in Congress in the times leading up to the Civil War. Very well written.

  3. #423
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Westport, CT
    Wow. I am almost done with "Heavy" by Kiese Laymon.

    When the preface grabs you by the throat and won't let go, you know it's going to be good.

    The writing is incredible.

    It's a memoir of a young African American man who grows up in Jackson Mississippi and his path to...well, I don't want to give away too much.

    But, I strongly recommend this book.

    Have others read it?

  4. #424
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Northwest NC
    Just finished "Educated" a memoir by Tara Westover. I found this book both fascinating and frustrating as I learned about Ms. Westover's struggles to overcome her zealot family's hold over her. It's about her life growing up in a family where the government is the enemy and the "real" world is nothing but evil and is designed to pull her away from her faith and the narrow minded way her family thinks about almost everything. Raised without an education Tara somehow manages to escape to attend college and then on to graduate school. As she learns about the world outside her family's little bubble she struggles to completely break free from their hold over her, especially her father. I would definitely recommend.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  5. #425
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Virginia Beach
    I just finished reading Richard Preston's latest book called "Crisis in the Red Zone", a detailed summary of the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Mr. Preston has written other non-fiction books on infectious diseases like Ebola (The Hot Zone) and Smallpox (The Demon in the Freezer). You may recall the Ebola crisis of five years ago was the deadliest in history, and the virus ultimately made its way to Dallas and New York. It's a relevant read today because of the current, blossoming Ebola outbreak that has only recently gotten the serious attention of the WHO.

    "Crisis in the Red Zone" is fascinating, detailed and downright scary. Preston researches the heck out of the topic, travels to the "hot" spots (no pun intended) and conducts hundreds of interviews. Even with an influx of money, doctors, facilities and education, the virus can spread really easily. I gained a huge appreciation and admiration for the hospital staff and caregivers in West Africa, many of whom continued to work in the Ebola Wards knowing they would very likely catch the disease and die. It's no wonder Time Magazine named the Ebola Healthcare Workers "Person(s) of the Year" in 2014.

    A sobering read but well worth it. A two-year old eats some infected bat meat, which leads to 30k people contracting Ebola. Frightening.

  6. #426
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Anybody interested in Calculus?

    OK, I know the interest in a book about calculus is likely pretty limited -- if not non-existent -- but due to my "issues" with the subject, I decided to take a leap and I really enjoyed the book. The book is "Infinite Powers" by Steve Strogatz. It explains calculus much, much differently than what I heard freshman year and has some good technical history accounts of how it has been applied that were pretty interesting stories.

    My issues with calculus came from the facts that:
    a) I came to Duke from a tiny high school in a small town in eastern North Carolina and had never seen or heard the word calculus until I signed up for the class - which as an engineer I couldn't avoid, and
    b) My first semester class was taught by the head of the math department, and my impression was that he was not pleased to be teaching calculus to incoming freshman. Honestly the only thing I remember from the class was him saying, "Well everything on this page is intuitively obvious, let's move on to the next page." And of course everything on the next page was intuitively obvious, too. It still make me cringe to hear those words.

    Anyhow it wasn't until my fourth semester that I finally caught someone who knew how to teach, and I finally saw the light. But it was a very painful process.

    Well about thirty minutes into this book, I felt like if I had read it fifty years ago before showing up in Durham, I would have aced every one of my calc classes. So really useful book, just fifty years late.

    And the technical history stories were neat to read too. There was a nice account of the totally non-medical trained guy who figured out how to do CAT scans. Which numerous doctors refused to believe was possible (I'm guessing they understood calculus no better than I did). Also the guy who figured out how to attack the AIDS virus through calculus.

    So if you've been desperate to get back into calculus again, this is the book for you.

  7. #427
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    President Carter, by Stuart Eizenstat (his domestic policy advisor). This is a detailed and authoritative 900-page tome. But hey, I served in government during the Carter years.

    Makes the case that Carter got a lot done as president (energy, Middle East peace, wilderness areas, inflation [Volcker], etc.) but was awful at and opposed to the normal political wheeling and dealing.
    Sage Grouse

    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  8. #428
    Quote Originally Posted by left_hook_lacey View Post
    Just started Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for life. An anecdote to chaos.

    So far so good. Interesting dude.
    Yes he is....
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  9. #429
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert

    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  10. #430
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Walnut Creek, California
    Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms, by Hannah Fry.

    Fascinating account of being manipulated. Highly recommended. Author is a math prof in London. Expert on algorithms and their misuse, a la Cambridge Analytics. Pretty easy read; no math required.

  11. #431
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms, by Hannah Fry.

    Fascinating account of being manipulated. Highly recommended. Author is a math prof in London. Expert on algorithms and their misuse, a la Cambridge Analytics. Pretty easy read; no math required.
    I very much enjoyed the excerpt in The New Yorker's Sept 9 issue...can't wait to show this to my primary care doc regarding the statin issue...(which is a whole discussion in itself)...

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