Odds and Ends

I started school this week, it came on too quickly! This semester I am taking four classes: Economics of Women, Intro to Econometrics, World Religions, and Psych 101. They all look fairly interesting, though Econometrics is going to be quite challenging for me personally. I didn’t do all that well in Statistics, and it also uses some calculus, which I’ve only had a brief overview of.

I also finished The Shock of the New, which was fantastic, on a par with The Story of Art, and I highly recommend it. Additionally, I read Dance With Dragons with Mr. Alice in the last couple weeks, which I will not highly recommend, but merely point you to PZ Myer’s review, which is almost exactly how I felt about it.

In other news, my university made the country’s top 20 gay-friendliest schools, which I am pleased about.

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5 Responses to “Odds and Ends”

  1. Gnurk! Calculus! I have vague memories of being scared silly by the little bit of it we touched on in school, lo, these many moons ago. Looks like you’re going to be busy, busy person for some time to come!

    I’ve got a label for book-series that go that way. I call it the Amtrak Wars syndrome. Don’t know if you ever read that series, by Patrick Tilly, but that was my first experience of a series which got stretched way past the half -decent trilogy it should’ve been. It became a kind of industry in the 80s and 90s, with people like Pierce Anthony becoming masters of it. Thankfully it’s become a feature more of fantasy than SF…

    *steps off soap-box*

  2. Yeah, I’m a bit anxious about it, but I’m fairly god at maths, so I hope I’ll be alright.

    My first experience with that was the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series, and then the Terry Goodkind one. But yes, I concur that it’s generally a fantasy issue.

  3. I’m actually on one of my rare forays into fantasy at the mo. The Mammoth Book Of Seriously Comic Fantasy. Edited by Mike Ashley, so twas bound to be good, and it is

    Also re-read To Sail Beyond The Sunset, as we’re on the subject of hopelessly dragged-out subjects. It’s still as awful as it was the first time I read it…

  4. I’ll just weigh in here late as always. Though I felt the same way about the Wheel of Time. The sheer honest brutality of Martin intrigues me. I strongly think he could have ended at 5 books instead of the projected seven but… I will still claim that the first three book are some of my favorites. I love the concept that nothing is too sacred to be done away with.

    Much like reality the sheer randomness of what happens enthralls me. My love of literature has carried me from happy-ending stories through those that portray imperfect endings right into the ones that no matter how much we want it to be differently, life, particularly in war, has a way of demolishing everything we hold dear until all that we are left with is ash and memories, terrible and otherwise.

    Though he may drag on and on, stories like this are critical to grasp that when we encourage violence and war, we will never predict the outcome, and no matter how hard we try, no matter how strong we are we will never control events as we would like to. That to enter such engagements knowingly, we have placed everything on the table. Everything!

    I’m not much of a pacifist, regardless of what I have said here. I just have a realistic appraisal of War. Too much history, too many realistic views of the devastation. But my nephew, the marine recruit, could never understand the squalid part of fighting. This book gave him at least a small idea of what risk people take by doing this.

    Sorry for the rant.

    To Sail beyond the Sunset did drag on. I concur.

  5. I do have to agree with Martin’s appeal. One of the reason that I kept reading, that got me hooked was what happened to Bran and then Ned. I believe my thought process was along the lines of, “He just paralyzed one important character, and beheaded another. This dude’s got balls. Awesome.”

    Recently we lent my younger brother the series and he accosted me after reading the first bit. “He just killed the kid, pushed him out the tower! Why did you let me read this?”

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