kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
[personal profile] kafj
I keep missing Wednesdays. Sometimes because I am out discussing what I’ve been reading. Sometimes because I am at concerts instead. Sometimes because I just forget.


Currently Reading

Cold as Death, T. J. McGregor – cosy mystery with hurricane devastation and psychics. Follows the age-old convention of having the amateur on very friendly terms with all the professionals involved, which for some reason is irritating me intensely in this case. Possibly it’s just that it seems more implausible that the victim’s mother and the policeman involved both had a psychic reading from Our Heroine than it is that Miss Silver was governess to half of England or that murders are particularly highly concentrated in St Mary Mead and Midsomer. The plot seems to be running on pure handwavium anyway.

Twenties Girl, Sophie Kinsella – reading this in bits, but I do want to finish it.

Hogfather, Terry Pratchett – I think I may not even have read this one before, just seen the TV adaptation. I like Hex in this, and the wizards are magnificently terrible as ever, but Susan never seems to be characterised quite consistently: she’s very matter-of-fact about the supernatural, except when she’s in denial, and it always feels a bit off to me.


Recently Finished

Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett – this is one of the best Watch ones, I think (unpopular opinion?) – very good on humanity, equality, prejudice and similar variations.

Annie On My Mind, Nancy Garden – such an angry, sweet, hopeful book, this. Some parts are almost too painful to read, even from thirty years afterwards. But I never quite manage to believe in the dénouement; I think the breach of privacy is so outrageous that if I were to believe it I’d lose all sympathy for the main characters.

Sparrow Story, David Rhodes. Complete disaster. I am interested how I managed to forget that this is written entirely in present tense à la Damon Runyon. I last read this ten years ago, but still...

Mary Anne, Daphne du Maurier. Rollicking. Definitely rollicking. Sex and scandal in high life. This was a rattling good yarn with an enticingly flawed protagonist. I felt that it ran headlong into a brick wall, however; the end came a little too abruptly.

Beatrice and Virgil, Yann Martel. No doubt I am an uncultured yob, but I found this pretentious and superficial and altogether too pleased with itself. I only finished it because I had to get a slow train from Liverpool Street instead of a fast train from Kings Cross.


Up Next

Dracula, Bram Stoker. Maybe Solstice, Joyce Carol Oates.


Other Media

Two Wednesdays ago I took my partner and brother to see Straight No Chaser at Cadogan Hall. Really excellent night: they are fantastic showmen as well as skilled musicians.

TV - Cosmos, original series – annoying me somewhat with its occasional ‘end of science’ assumptions – or, rather, its assumption that scientists of previous centuries were being wilfully ignorant rather than doing the best they could with the tools they had. Have got hooked on Only Connect. And I have at long last moved on to series two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (How, we ask, is anyone meant to take Spike seriously? I fall about laughing every time he opens his mouth. Cor blimey, Mary Poppins!)

Date: 2015-02-11 01:34 pm (UTC)
frith: Violet unicorn cartoon pony with a blue mane (FIM Twilight read)
From: [personal profile] frith
Scientists, or rather people as scientists are people, are and were not being willfully ignorant, they were often trying to fit the data to match the expected outcome. Stephen J Gould had a grand time telling of such misadventures in science. ^_^ For example, Gregor Mendel's peas could not have bred as true as expected. It's thought that he just rejected the exceptions as errors and thus got perfect results. Those perfect results didn't hold up to Barbara McClintock's research on maize and she eventually opted to quit publishing research on "jumping genes" as it went against what the scientific community at large expected and it was a risk to her career.

Eventually assumptions change, but not necessarily because the tools are that much better. Usually it's because some other area of study has undermined the basic assumption of how things work, and in that new light, the old data gets re-evaluated and the conclusion updated.

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kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
Kathleen Jowitt

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