Dubstep (and other styles of electronic music) explained in 3 minutes.
This is what I read and heard over the past year. I beat my goal of one book per month. Maybe I should try for 24+ in 2012.
It was a very sci-fi year. Pullman’s Dark Materials books were my favourites, although I’d say this was a 4 star year on average.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
- Quicksilver - Neal Stephenson
- The Captain and the Enemy - Graham Greene
- The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov
- The Dogs of Riga - Henning Mankell
- His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman:
- The Golden Compass
- The Subtle Knife
- The Amber Spyglass
- Childhood’s End - Arthur C. Clark
- After the Party - Lisa Jewell
- Calculating God - Robert Sawyer
- Foucault’s Pendulum - Umberto Eco
- Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clark
In the non-fiction world, I seem to be on a bit of a “Ruby with Olsen” kick.
This was the year I discovered audio lectures. Most of these were heard while running in Assiniboine park.
- Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines
- No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life
- Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator
- Science Fiction - The Literature of Technological Imagination (Out of Print)
- Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History
- Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning
“I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful.
The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.“
“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”