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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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52 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    Inventing the Dream: California Through The Progressive Era by Kevin Starr

    I am still making my way through From a Distant Place by Don Carpenter.Report

  2. Over the past month or so, I’ve been working my way (slowly) through the collected essays of James Baldwin. I might read some more today.Report

  3. I am one episode away from finishing The Americans, but I’ve been sitting on it for two days because the baby has absolutely not cooperated.

    I think I’m going to Person of Interest next.

    Trying to figure out how, factoring in the baby, I am going to go about watching Hannibal.

    “Reading” Isaac Asimov, after having completed Michael Connelly’s “A Darkness More Than Night” which was a Harry Boesch/Terry McCaleb team-up. I’m a little bit irritated that Boesch got married a few books ago, and I still don’t have an explanation of what happened with that.Report

    • Avatar James "Herb" Pearce in reply to Will Truman says:

      How far have you gotten into the Bosch books? I read them all in a tear a few years ago, but stopped after slogging through both Echo Park and The Overlook, in which I concluded that I think Bosch should have never left the 90s.Report

      • @james-herb-pearce I am at 2001, a handful of books away from where you stopped. You’re the second person to tell me it goes downhill. Which is unfortunate, because I have Connelly/Bosch up to current and I don’t know what “sunk cost fallacy” means.Report

      • Avatar James "Herb" Pearce in reply to James "Herb" Pearce says:

        I have them all, too, but every time I go to pick up 9 Dragons, I find something else to read instead.

        My theory is that Connelly gradually lost interest in Bosch, but kept going for reasons other than creative integrity. Switching to first person for Lost Light didn’t “recharge the batteries,” so to speak, so he came up with Mickey Haller instead and put Bosch on auto-pilot.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

      Babies love Hannibal. They don’t know what’s going on anyway. It’s all colors and sounds.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

        Remember that scene in The Americans where Philip had sex with Elizabeth as Clark? Lain thought that was hilarious.

        I was getting uncomfortable watching The Following with Lain, which is like Hannibal but less so.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        That scene was not hilarious. Though your description might make it seem so. Especially if you had worked in The Wig, which should get its own standalone acknowledgement in the show’s credits.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

        Lain was jumping up and down, excitedly laughing as she watched. It was a bit jarring.

        Speaking of the wig… V sbhaq vg vagrerfgvat gung Znegun xarj nobhg vg. Abg fhecevfvat, gubhtu V qvqa’g xabj vs gung jnf fbzrguvat jurer jr jrer fhccbfrq gb fhfcraq bhe qvforyvrs be jung. Naljnl, bar bs zl svefg gubhtugf jnf gung nf n fvta bs vagvznpl fur jvyy cebonoyl jnag uvz gb gnxr vg bss va sebag bs ure. Juvpu znl or xvaq bs n ceboyrz, fvapr gurer vf n shyy urnq bs unve haqre gurer.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        V gubhtug vg jnf vagrerfgvat sbe va-fubj ernfbaf (Znegun vf abg qhzo, whfg ybaryl naq gehfgvat zbfgyl; naq gung abg-qhzoarff jvyy riraghnyyl or n ceboyrz sbe Cuvyvc) naq nyfb sbe zrgn ernfbaf; va gung fnzr rcvfbqr, gurl nyfb unq C & R nterr gb fcyvg hc, fb bar gbbx n zvffvba juvyr bar fgnlrq jvgu gur xvqf.

        Vg jnf yvxr gur jevgref jrer gnxvat fbzr bs gur zbfg boivbhf pevgvpvfzf j/e/g “oryvrinovyvgl” naq gelvat gb nqqerff gurz urnq-ba.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

        Season 3, Philip & Elizabeth vs Child Protective ServicesReport

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

        And they’re used to having human fingers in their mouths.Report

    • So I finished The Americans. Woah.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        OK, so:

        1.) Cuvyvc’f guerng gb Nexnql vf rzcgl. Gur XTO jrag nebhaq Wnerq’f cneragf gb qb gurve guvat, C & R ner ab yrff rkcraqnoyr gb gurz guna Wnerq’f cneragf jrer. C & R qvqa’g rira uryc gur thl oyrrqvat bhg va n cubar obbgu, gubhtu Cuvyvc unq fnvq ur yvxrq uvz.

        2.) Nygubhtu Wnerq’f cneragf’ qrnguf jnfa’g gur bhgpbzr gur XTO unq vagraqrq – vg jnfa’g gbgnyyl pyrne, ohg V ernq gur fvghngvba nf: XTO erpehvgrq Wnerq ivn “ubarlcbg” – gur unaqyre (be, znlor Wnerq naq gur unaqyre ernyyl qrirybcrq srryvatf sbe bar nabgure, yvxr na vanccebcevngr fghqrag-grnpure nssnve) – rvgure jnl, jura gur cneragf sbhaq bhg/bowrpgrq gb gur erpehvgzrag, n ybirybea (be cbffvoyl, cflpubgvp – va ergebfcrpg, Wnerq’f qrnq rlrf znl abg unir orra furyy-fubpx naq tevrs bire uvf cneragf’ qrngu, ohg fbzrguvat jbefr) grra tenoorq gur thaf ur xarj jrer gurer va n svg bs cnffvba, naq ur (naq gur unaqyre) jrer engvbanyvmvat vg nsgre gur snpg nf “arprffnel gb Gur Pnhfr).

        3.) Gur frpbaq-tra qrrc pbire XTO ntragf npghnyyl unf n onfvf va ernyvgl.

        4.) Gubhtu Yneevpx jnfa’g gbgnyyl n “tbbq” thl (gur F. Nzrevpn npgvivgvrf) vg’f nznmvat ubj gur fubj gheaf bhe flzcnguvrf ntnvafg uvz. Ur jnf gryyvat gur gehgu, ur qvqa’g xvyy Wnerq’f cneragf, naq ur bayl xvyyrq gur XTO ntragf jub unq orra vafgehzragny va oynpxznvyvat/hfvat uvz (jvgu gur erfhygvat qrnguf bs Nzrevpna fbyqvref) – hayvxr C & R, jub unir xvyyrq vaabprag olfgnaqref yrsg naq evtug guvf frnfba.

        Va nal bgure fubj, ur’q or gur “Fgnyybar trgf uvf eriratr ba gur onqqvrf” punenpgre – pbzcrgrag, yrguny, naq cngevbgvp – uvf bayl “jrnxarff” (uvf ubzbfrkhnyvgl, juvpu gur XTO hfrq nf n yrire) vf fbzrguvat jr qba’g va 2014 pbafvqre ‘jrnxarff’ ng nyy.Report

      • 1) V’q npghnyyl unq gur fnzr gubhtug. Shegure, XTO bssvpref jub ner abg jvyyvat gb sbyybj beqref ner yvnovyvgvrf. Vs abg gb or rkcraqrq, gura ng yrnfg yrff harkcraqnoyr. Rfcrpvnyyl vs lbh pbafvqre gung gur zrer npg bs gelvat “Frpbaq Trarengvba” npghnyyl ehaf gur evfx bs rkcbfher. Lbh’er gehfgvat n 16 lrne byq (jurerobhgf) abg gryy nalbar gur zbfg qenzngvp frperg gurl unir rire sngubzrq. Zl zvaq npghnyyl jrag nyzbfg rknpgyl jurer Ryvmnorgu’f qvq: Guvf pbhyq or rknpgyl jung Cnvtr arrqf. Ba gur bgure unaq, fur’f abg rknpgyl cerqvpgnoyr.

        2) Gung’f zl ernqvat bs gur fvghngvba.

        3) V qvq abg xabj gung.

        4) Gung’f n ernyyl tbbq cbvag, naq bar gung unq bppheerq gb zr va cnffvat. Vg’f xvaq bs cneg-naq-cnepry bs gur “Ebbgvat sbe gur onq thlf” nfcrpg bs guvf.

        N pbhcyr zber guvatf, ahzorerq sbe bhe pbairefngvbany pbairavrapr:

        5) N pbhcyr bs erpncf V’ir ernq fhttrfg gung Avan’f sngr vf nzovthbhf. Gung jnfa’g zl ernqvat bs gur fvghngvba ng nyy. Fur’f gbnfg. V pbhyq or jebat. V’z n yvggyr hapyrne ba jurgure Fgna npghnyyl unq tbggra jung ur jnf fhccbfrq gb trg naq qrpvqrq ng gur ynfg zvahgr abg gb tvir vg, be jurgure ur unq abg tbggra vg. V unq nffhzrq gur ynggre, orpnhfr trggvat vg qvq abg frrz yvxr vg jnf n tvira. Ohg vg qvq ybbx yvxr ur’q qbar… fbzrguvat. V jnf punfvat Ynva npebff gur ebbz ba gung bar. Jungrire gur pnfr, V npghnyyl qvqa’g frr gung pbzvat.

        6) Jnf gur qhqr Fgna qernzrq nobhg univat frk jvgu uvf jvsr eryrinag? Yvxr jnf vg gur thl ur xvyyrq va Frnfba 1? V pna’g erzrzore.

        Gurer ner cebonoyl zber gung V jvyy nqq naq rahzrengr nf gurl pbzr gb zr.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will-truman

        5.) Fgna tbg gur vasb, ohg qrpvqrq abg gb ghea. Naq V guvax Avan erfcrpgf gung. V guvax Avan yvirf naq jvyy or frra ntnva. Gur npgerff vf tbbq (naq…hz…nggenpgvir) naq jr’ir nyernql frra gung gur sbezre Ermvqrag gung fur senzrq tbg ernffvtarq gb jbex jvgu gur Wrjvfu fpvragvfg (Nagba?) onpx va gur HFFE. V unys-fhfcrpg jr jvyy frr Nagba naq Avan jbexvat gbtrgure arkg frnfba, cbffvoyl nf artngvirf bs C & R, haqrezvavat gur HFFE sebz jvguva (naq jbexvat ntnvafg gur Ermvqrag).

        6.) Lrnu, gung jnf gur qhqr Fgna xvyyrq jvgu Zef. Orrzna. Fgna’f fhopbafpvbhf jnf znxvat rkcyvpvg gung gur guvatf gung unq jerpxrq uvf zneevntr jrer nyy vagregjvarq. Nyfb, va uvf qernz Znegun vf gnxvat svyr sbyqref sebz gur ebobg naq chggvat gurz va ure chefr. Fgna’f fhopbafpvbhf xabjf, rira vs ur qbrfa’g.Report

      • @glyph

        5) Gung’f na vagrerfgvat cebfcrpg.

        6) Tbg vg. Unqa’g abgvprq gung nobhg Znefun, tbbq pngpu.

        7) Gur eryngvbafuvc orgjrra Fgna naq Tngg vf bar bs gur zbfg vagrerfgvat va gur frevrf. Tngg uvzfrys vf ernyyl dhvgr vagrerfgvat, juvpu vf abg jung V rkcrpg sebz n punenpgre va gung cnegvphyne ebyr. V graq gb rkcrpg bar qvzrafvba sebz gur fhcreivfbe-gb-cebgntbavfg. (Gura ntnva, Fgna vfa’g ragveryl n cebgntbavfg.)

        8) Haqre jung fpranevbf pna Znefun abg or xvyyrq ng fbzr cbvag, fubeg bs neerfg? N cneg bs zr jbaqref vs Cuvyvc unf vg va uvz gb qb vg… ohg gura bs pbhefr ur qbrf.

        9) Ubj qvq gur frcgvp qhqr qvr? Qrulqengvba be fbzrguvat? V qvqa’g dhvgr pngpu gung, bgure guna gung ur jnf qrnq.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will-truman

        7) Ubarfgyl, Tnnq vf bar bs gur fubj’f bayl jrnx cbvagf sbe zr. V whfg qba’g ohl gur npgbe nf gung punenpgre sbe jungrire ernfba.

        8) Znefun tba’ unir gb or xvyyrq fbbare be yngre, hayrff fur pbzrf pyrna naq trgf juvfxrq vagb cebgrpgvir phfgbql, ohg gung jbhyq unir gb or pybfr gb gur raq bs frevrf fvapr fur’q cerfhznoyl or noyr gb cbfvgviryl VQ C & R, jvtf be ab. V jbaqre vs vg jvyy or Cuvyvc gung qbrf vg – be vs vg jvyy or Ryvmnorgu. Fur’f yrff pybfr gb ure, naq jryy…jr’ir frra fbzr wrnybhfl. Qba’g gnxr zl zna, Znefun.

        9) Rkcbfher, V nffhzr. Cuvyvc tnir uvz n oynaxrg, ohg vg jnf irel pbyq naq ur jnf gurer ng yrnfg bireavtug. V guvax Ryvmnorgu xarj ur jnf hayvxryl gb fheivir, juvpu vf jul fur nffragrq gb Cuvyvc’f cyna (naq V unys-fhfcrpg Cuvyvc xarj gbb, ohg ur jnf qrfcrengryl ubcvat gung sbe bapr ur pbhyq rxr bhg fbzr fznyy zrepl).Report

      • V ungr gung V zvffrq guvf guernq. Tbvat gb or uneq gb genpx nyy gur ahzoref.

        V ernyyl yvxr gur vqrn gung Nagba naq Avan jvyy pbyynobengr naq fnobgntr gur fgrnygu-fgrnyvat cebtenz sebz jvguva. Ohg V pna’g vzntvar gung Avan fheivirf gur nhgubevgvrf onpx va gur HFFE.

        Yneevpx jnf fhcre perrcl naq V’z fhecevfrq C&R qvqa’g gel gb xvyy uvz ba trareny cevapvcyrf svefg. Thrff gurl whfg qvqa’g unir rabhtu gvzr gb chg gbtrgure na bcrengvba gb qb gung, nf gurl jrer evtug gb srne uvz.

        V jba’g zvff gur arj unaqyre n ovg. Fur jnf nyjnlf zber guna n yvggyr ovg perrcl gbb. Pynhqvn pyrneyl unf ure bja ntraqn, ohg fur’f cebivqrq eryvnoyr vasbezngvba naq unf frrzvatyl orra cebgrpgvir C&R, rira nsgre Ryvmnorgu orng ure hc.

        Cnvtr jbhyq npghnyyl or n irel tbbq frpbaq-trarengvba ntrag evtug abj. Evtug abj, fur’f genafsreevat ure eroryyvba ntnvafg ure cneragf gb pevgvpvfz bs gur Erntna Nqzvavfgengvba. Jung unccraf jura gur vafgvapghny arrq gb nffreg vaqrcraqrapr varivgnoyl snqrf, jura fur zbirf va gb yngre nqbyrfprapr naq vf fngvfsvrq gung fur vf ure bja crefba? Fur’f ghearq va gb n ybbfr pnaaba. Jbefr, fur’f cebgrpgvir bs Urael (va na byqre-fvoyvat fbeg bs jnl gung vapyhqrf ybgf bs fhcresvpvny pbasyvpg) naq gur xabjyrqtr bs jung uvf cneragf ernyyl ner jbhyq nofbyhgryl pehfu uvz.

        V’q ab vqrn guvf frpbaq-trarengvba ntrag pbaprcg unf fbzr onfvf va ernyvgl. Perrcl naq snfpvangvat ng gur fnzr gvzr. Vf gurer n cynpr V pna yrnea zber?

        V pnhtug Znefun fgrnyvat sbyqref va Orrzna’f qernz. V gubhtug vg jnf ernyyl shaal. Ohg vg haqreyvarf gung gurer frrzf gb or ab cngu sbe Znefun gung qbrfa’g raq jvgu ure trggvat yrnq cbvfbavat. Fur’f tbvat gb svther bhg gung Pynex vfa’g jub ur frrzrq gb or fbba rabhtu. Gura, 1) fur zvtug orpbzr n qbhoyr ntrag yvxr Avan jnf, juvpu zrnaf pbasrffvat naq gura er-tnvavat gur gehfg bs Tnnq, jub unf yrff bireg zrnaf bs crefhnfvba naq pbageby guna Nexnql qvq. Ohg Tnnq vf ernyyl uhatel sbe qrrc-pbire ntragf jurer Nexnql jnf jvyyvat gb cynl n zber cngvrag tnzr. Be, 2) Znefun tbrf nyy-va sbe gur Fbivrgf naq nssvezngviryl nqbcgf gur ebyr bs genvgbe naq fcl, rkcrpgvat rksvygengvba ng fbzr cbvag gb or havgrq creznaragyl jvgu “Pynex” onpx va gur Fbivrg Havba. Rvgure bs gubfr ebhgrf frrz qbbzrq gb raq jvgu avar zvyyvzrgref’ jbegu bs rkvg fgengrtl.

        Er: Cuvyvc chggvat ba gur Pynex jvt sbe n ebzc. Gung ghearq ernyyl htyl. Ohg bs pbhefr vg jnf tbvat gb — n glcvpny zneevntr fgenvaf ng gur abgvba bs vasvqryvgl ohg C&R unir jbexrq bhg n zhghny haqrefgnaqvat gung ubarlcbg gnpgvpf sbe gurve jbex whfg qba’g pbhag. N yvnvfba orgjrra Ryvmnorgu naq “Pynex” jnf tbvat gb rebqr gung haqrefgnaqvat naq guhf bar bs gur jnlf gurl pna znvagnva gurve bja zneevntr. Gurl whfg qvqa’g guvax gung guebhtu. VVEP, Ryvmnorgu cebcbfrq gur nffvtangvba jvgu Pynex naq Cuvyvc erfvfgrq vg, naq nf orgjrra gur gjb bs gurz, fur’f nyfb gur bar jub unq na nssnve sbe ybir, jvgu gur Oynpx Cnagure qhqr sebz Frnfba 1.

        Fb juvyr fur frrzf zber pbzzvggrq gb Gur Pnhfr, V fhfcrpg gurer vf fbzr qrrcre vafgnovyvgl jvguva Ryvmnorgu gung’f tbvat gb jbooyr bhg va shgher frnfbaf naq gung jvyy or n ybg zber qnatrebhf guna Cuvyvc’f vasnghngvba jvgu Nzrevpna perngher pbzsbegf naq pbby pnef.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        @burt-likko – Urer’f vasb ba gur Vyyrtnyf cebtenz vgfrys, naq vg gnyxf nobhg fbzr bs gur ntragf univat xvqf, gubhtu vg qbrfa’g gnyx nobhg erpehvgzrag. Znlor V ernq gung cneg va na vagreivrj jvgu gur fubjehaaref?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegals_Program

        Here’s something related to it:

        http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/05/22/3440844/could-the-plot-twist-in-the-americans-season-finale-really-happen/

        Nf sne nf Xyrue xabjf, “Gurer ner gjb pnfrf jurer gur XTO—juvpu unq qvssrerag anzrf ng qvssrerag gvzrf—erpehvgrq, be gevrq gb erpehvg, gur puvyqera bs crbcyr gung jrer npghnyyl fclvat sbe gurz. Abj va obgu bs gubfr pnfrf, gur crbcyr vaibyirq jrer abg vyyrtnyf.” Vyyrtnyf ner crbcyr yvxr Cuvyyvc naq Ryvmnorgu: n Fbivrg pvgvmra jub vasvygengrq gur Havgrq Fgngrf haqre n snyfr vqragvgl.

        Report

      • The source in the Thinkprogress article makes a great point:

        Va beqre gb syvc naq eha ntragf, crbcyr va C&R’f fvghngvba unir gb or noyr gb haqrefgnaq gurve ntragf’ crefbanyvgl sbvoyrf naq bssre fbyhgvbaf gb gurve ceboyrzf. Cneragf bs grrantref ner hahfhnyyl-cbfvgvbarq jvgu erfcrpg gb gurve bja puvyqera va gung ertneq, naq cebonoyl abg va n jnl gung jbhyq yrnq gb orvat noyr gb eryvnoyl eha ntragf ba zvffvbaf.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        And there’s the more recent case of Naan Punczna, wherein some of her colleagues allegedly were making it a family affair.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        Wow, look what rot13 does to her first name.Report

  4. It’s been a strange few weeks. David Weber’s seventh Safehold novel Like a Mighty Army touches tangentially on the number of things that have to be invented to do quality control for relatively-precise machining for interchangeable parts for guns and ammunition produced at multiple locations when you’re starting from a low-tech base (things like micrometers). That led to learning that Jesse Ramsden had produced accurate 125 threads-per-inch screws for micrometers, microscopes, and telescopes in the 1790s, and I wanted to know how he did it. So A History of the Machine by Sigvard Strandh and Studies in the History of Machine Tools by Robert Woodbury, although I jumped around in them rather than reading from end-to-end. God bless inter-library loans, since those came out of the stacks at not-particularly-nearby universities. And finally, Dava Sobel’s Longitude, a short book about William Harrison’s development of the marine chronometer, a contributing factor to the rise of the British Empire (as British captains had a much better idea of where they were on the ocean than their competitors). The politics of the Longitude Act (1714) and the Board of Longitude are actually more interesting than the tech.

    Once a nerd, always a nerd.Report

    • Avatar Peter Moore in reply to Michael Cain says:

      I liked the first few Honor Harrignton’s, but gave up as later books seemed to get less and less editing. How has Safehold held up as the series progresses?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Peter Moore says:

        The lack of editing is an interesting point. It came up years ago on Usenet, with the SF fans pretty unanimously saying that they were becoming unreadable, and Eric Flint of Baen saying that sales were still amazing, so obviously they were readable even if they didn’t meet the complainers’ unrealistic standards. It was actually very funny watching people who thought that Doc Smith’s Lensmen series were the best books ever written being called snobs.Report

      • The Safehold series is drifting into the same problems that the later Harrington books have:

        1) Every character, no matter how minor, gets a full unique name. Like a Mighty Army has a 60-page or so list of all the characters that have appeared so far in the back. This is more objectionable in the Safehold books because, even though the dialog is all written in standard English, the spelling of names is non-standard. Eg, Ehdwyrd Howsmyn rather than Edward Housman. To remind you that language drift is supposed to have happened, I suppose.

        2) The same exponential scaling up of the size of the military actions and weaponry. In LAMA the armies are up to the hundreds of thousands; the groundwork has been laid for armies over a million in the next volume.

        Plus some issues of its own:

        3) The technology-suppressing satellite system has some rather convenient blind spots, especially given that AI was supposedly available when it was set up, as well as enormously good sensor technology. Even the smallest sorts of electricity are right out, but it doesn’t recognize non-electric foundries capable of turning out enough steel for a million rifles and steam-powered ships with multi-inch armor?

        4) Unlike the Harrington series, which is reported to be fully plotted and have a definite end, there are hints that the Safehold series could go on forever, up to and including starship technology and going back out to fight the aliens that Safehold was intended to be hidden from in the first place.Report

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to Michael Cain says:

      The technology-suppressing satellite system has some rather convenient blind spots, especially given that AI was supposedly available when it was set up, as well as enormously good sensor technology. Even the smallest sorts of electricity are right out, but it doesn’t recognize non-electric foundries capable of turning out enough steel for a million rifles and steam-powered ships with multi-inch armor?
      It’s probably hand-waving, but it’s implied the AI handling that..isn’t. It’s more like a straight forward decision tree. “If X, them bomb the snot out of them” rather than “it’s not X, but it’s the same thing as X effectively, so release the hounds!”.

      I’ve always viewed it has having filters that reflected the technological and historical bias of the men and women that wrote it (the filters) — who were, quite clearly and specifically, not historians.

      As noted in the very first book, the masterminds behind the plan hadn’t realized that the Industrial Revolution started with waterwheels, not steam engines or electricity.

      Honestly, I view the Safehold series as basically a lengthy exposition of the history of warfare, circa middle-ages forward. Sure, it’s one single, compacted war that spans centuries of military and technological progress (for those not reading, they’re up to mortars, combined arm tactics, and revolvers — after starting with galleys and muskets).

      For people who aren’t historians or soldiers, it’s a light way to get the gist of how mankind has gotten better at shooting his brothers.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to morat20 says:

        Honestly, I view the Safehold series as basically a lengthy exposition of the history of warfare, circa middle-ages forward.

        Well, with a hard stop defined at some point by the “no electricity allowed” restriction. Say, at the level of the American Civil War, sans telegraph — by WWI, electricity was becoming critical: radio and telegraph for communications; batteries (and generators) for submarines; even larger ships had outgrown what could be handled by hydraulics and shifted to electric motors for many functions.

        Also a long exposition on the advantages of enlightened monarchies as a form of government. Of course, that’s one of the Weber’s big things in the Honorverse as well.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to morat20 says:

        I dunno, isn’t his Honorverse monarchy not much more powerful than England’s now? They’ve got a few powers — some quite strong — that the British Queen doesn’t, but virtually everything is still enshrined in Parliament.

        He seems to go out of his way to, well, demonize hereditary nobles. (Far more are, well, useless than useful).

        To the point where, well, the nobles in the Honorverse got really one-sided to the point where he had to deliberately introduce some that weren’t caricatures, and a big political football was moving the power of the purse to the Commons. (And Haven, which was the Boogeyman before and is now a staunch ally — was Democratic to the point where it went socialist bread-and-circuses before returning to, well, closer to American-style democracy).

        I’m not sure he finds a monarchy that appealing, however he certainly finds it useful for story-telling purposes. (Admittedly, a King can be a lot more proactive than a President for obvious reasons).Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    The Street of Crocodile Tears and still Longmire.

    My youngest brother is watching Burn Notice, and keeps sending me texts with absurd lines from the show, reminding me how awesome it is.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    An embarrassment of riches. Everything I’d ordered from the library came at once, plus Netflix now has the third seasons of Sherlock and Luther. So, naturally, I’ve been ignoring all of that in favor of a personal programing project.Report

  7. Avatar James "Herb" Pearce says:

    On Mike Dwyer’s recommendation, Finders Keepers by Craig Childs. I really enjoyed House of Rain when I read it a few years ago and Finders Keepers is no different. Unputdownable.

    On Friday, I saw Edge of Tomorrow. It was one of the rare modern films where I’m not looking at my watch phone, asking myself “When is this gonna be over?”

    Game 2 of the NBA Finals tonight. I’m leaning towards Miami, but that’s only because I’m still mad that San Antonio always manhandles my Nuggets. I have no love for the Heat. Just dislike for the Spurs.Report

  8. Avatar Maribou says:

    I have been reading 8 kajillion Minx comics and also I just started The Towers of Trebizond (MacAulay) – which veers between so-not-my-thing that I drift off, and so-my-thing that I make Jaybird listen to me read bits of it aloud because they are so lovely in phrasing and/or funny. He never thinks they are funny and he could care less about the elegant-yet-breathless phrasing. Mostly it is making me think I really need to kick her non-fiction up several notches in my reading queue.

    (I devoured Skin Game, as well, as one does.)Report

  9. Avatar DRS says:

    I finished: Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A time to Keep Silence

    I am finishing: Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube

    I am in the middle of: Christopher Kelly’s The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome

    Everyone should read Fermor; he’s wonderful.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to DRS says:

      A Time of Gifts and its follow up Between the Woods and the Water are probably the two most interesting travel books ever written. The way he takes his actions at the time, and the knowledge of things that happen later (WWII) is often breath taking. Have you read much about him, such as Ill Meet by Moonlight?Report

      • Avatar DRS in reply to aaron david says:

        No, these are the first books of his I’ve read. Not quite travelogues, though; a new type of memoir, really. Reminds me of Virginia Woolf’s diaries which were written at around the same time.Report

  10. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    I have finally, after over a year of on-and-off reading, finished de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

    I also read a very good biography of Oppenheimer entitled American Prometheus. Previously I only knew of him as the man who developed the atomic bomb, so this was very enlightening in giving me a better understanding of both Oppenheimer and the eras through which he lived. (I hadn’t known anything about him being caught up in the 1950s witch hunts, for example, although I probably should have since it seems well-known.)

    And I’ve been re-watching some of Firefly after being delighted to find the DVD of the whole series on sale for $15.Report

  11. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    This week I binge-watched all of the episodes from the mini-series Fargo that have been aired to date. I am very much hoping the team that made this show does another soon, because I am absolutely loving it.

    Just started two novels: Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light, and Jonathan Letham’s Motherless Brooklyn, both of which are incredibly inventive so far.Report

  12. Avatar morat20 says:

    Jaybird,

    I think the whole Knight thing has two parts — power over Winter (ice, cold, etc) and the physical upgrade (removal of the limiters on the human body).

    In short, he gets a boost to his supernatural powers, but his body does not become supernatural.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to morat20 says:

      Hrm. Well, they do get into the whole issue of how his standard issue supernatural physical abilities that he gets from being a wizard works on a synergistic level with the wizard knight thing…

      It just seems to me that that is a very good way to have to spend a lot of time training the new guy. Give him some danged physical powers, for goodness’ sake.Report

  13. Avatar Kim says:

    Trolling. It was epic (epic trolling is currently defined as “caused numerous suicides”).Report

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