Monday, February 16, 2009


Equilibrium seems to be taking hold. I should be getting back to regular blogging this week... and hey, I'm looking for extra work again, so that will be a fun topic to beat in the ground.

Meanwhile, the 100 books in 2009 quest is still going.

Teach Yourself Evolution: James Napier -I've always sort of bemoaned my education. At points it was lacking due to access to ideas. At other times it was lacking due to lack of motivation. I was a pretty poor student when I was in high school and a power drinker for much of my time in college. It's a wonder I can tie my fucking shoe (my mother would be laughing at me at that one).

Anyway, I've always had a vague interest in biology. I have some idea about evolutionary theory, but lacked anything beyond the most general knowledge that Jesus did not, in fact, ride a dinosaur.

Anyway, the book is a pretty good primer on how the basic theory works, including natural selection. It meshes very well with some other books I've been reading that deal with selective breeding. It didn't answer every question I had, but explained to me one of Vonnegut's jokes. In Timequake, Vonnegut asked his brother, a scientist, if he believed in evolution. The premise was Vonnegut was sort of flawed. Vonnegut's brother said yes. So, Vonnegut asked him why.

"It's the only game in town."

Pest Control: Bill Fitzhugh -A down on his heels exterminator named Bob Dillon (whose namesake is the rock/folk icon) is mistaken to be an international hit-man. Hilarity ensues and a real hit man gets redemption.

A pretty fun read, though plodding toward the beginning, Pest Control has to labor to set up a pretty forced idea involving a bug-fixated everyman and his struggling family. It sort of reminded me of the "King of Queens" show, but with lots and lots of insects. Still, the book is charmingly weird. The frequent, educational, and bizarre explanations about bugs is an interesting device to redirect attention and the many (and none to subtle) references to Bob Dylan the musician are pretty entertaining.

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