Space Stuff Comping Up! (Reading List and Poetry)

I spent autumn getting back into my beloved science fiction and space in general.

Books I started reading:

  • The Tower and the Hive (series, sequel to the Talents trilogy) – finished two of five volumes. The Talents-universe Anne McCaffrey created just speaks to me with its unique atmosphere, slow and steady but still energetic pace, nostalgic feel, and threads of hard fiction (e.g. thorough description of life in domes on a Jupiter moon) among the crazy.
  • Spacefaring: The Human Dimension by Colin Phillinger; read the first few pages. Lovely blend of space exploration and psychology, as far as I can see. Not an easy read for tired evenings, but maybe for the upcoming holidays.
  • Cosmos, paperback version of Carl Sagan’s classic. Currently in my backpack, but as with the book above it needs some time and quiet to be truly appreciated. Hard to read on the train, but his wonderful command of metaphors and the like makes it worth the slow read an contemplation. When I find a seat in the mornings I try to read a few paragraphs to set the mood for the day.

I haven’t started Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophsics for People in a Hurry yet, but I’m looking forward to it as I thoroughly enjoy his (and his colleagues’) insights on Star Talk Radio.

My wishlist for Christmas contains mainly books, from Earth in Human Hands to Broca’s Brain.

Reading inspires me to write. I finished creating a series of haiku-styled factoids about our solar system which I’ll post as soon as I’ve decided whether to post them separately or in one big post. Apart from this I started collecting bits and pieces of thoughts on my reading material. I’ve been toying with some bigger ideas for a few months but they are not solid enough yet, though I might post fragments on their own.

 

Favourite Friday: more intelligent pastimes

After last week’s confession of guilty pleasures it’s time to tell you I don’t spend all of my free time working on lowering my I.Q.

I like reading geeky/nerdy webcomics, for example https://xkcd.com and http://geek-and-poke.com. While I don’t understand everything I do learn new things on some days.

When looking up random topics I don’t stop at reading about the photosynthesis of sea slugs, but also educate myself on medical/psychological phenomena.

Thinking and talking about complicated stuff from TV shows. One of my favourites is the line “the mathematical progression of the harmonics in each given pattern relative to its spectral equivalent” (Daniel Jackson in the Stargate SG1 episode “The Sentinel”), which I still quote occasionally because it’s so awesome. Shows with science-y stuff generally make for great conversations. At the moment we watch a lot of “Lie to me”.

Saying lines from “Macbeth” or poems by heart from time to time so I won’t forget them. In school we had to learn poems and scenes by heart sometimes, and I truly enjoyed it. Still being able to recall the sad yet beautiful brief candle monologue and the first scene with the three witches after all these years feel very satisfying.

Watching TED talks. The TED channel on Youtube is one of my favourite sources of infotainment. I like infotainment.