Monthly Archives: February 2011

Review of Karen Russell’s “Swamplandia!”

Here’s a url to my review of Karen Russell’s debut novel, Swamplandia! that appeared in today’s Dallas Morning News. It’s a good, fun read, not a great literary book, closer to a Young Adult novel than most reviews are acknowledging, … Continue reading

Posted in books | Leave a comment

Aimee Bender reads “The Fake Nazi” & Timothy Egan Sees Through the Facebook Craze

So Thursday night I’m in the (not quite final, as I’m still feeling it) throes of a sinus infection, weak and tired and congested, home in my cold Pennsylvania house, shivering and threadbare, listening to the mice scrabble in the … Continue reading

Posted in Social Networking, books | Leave a comment

“Out of the Wild: Venezuela”: “Survivor” Meets “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”

For days now I’ve been pinned by a boulder of work and only last night realized I had to saw off my arm like that (dubiously motivated) Aaron Ralston dude in 127 Hours . . . . So I watched … Continue reading

Posted in Bad TV | Leave a comment

Supercomputer Cheats on “Jeopardy,” Ray Kurzweil and “The Singularity Is Near”

So I actually watched a bit of “Watson” the computer on Jeopardy, and it was obvious the computer seemed to have a huge advantage in timing, that he wasn’t pressing that buzzer gadget that slowed the humans down, particularly noticeable … Continue reading

Posted in Bad TV, books | Leave a comment

J. D. Salinger Bio Sounds Good, and a Writers Party in Austin, circa 2006

So back in 2006 I was at an opulent writers’ party, a post-event thing at the Texas Book Festival, standing next to Frank McCourt and Maureen Down, Richard Ford and Jay McInerny, who today is reviewing a new biography of … Continue reading

Posted in books | Leave a comment

Hype Aversion to Facebook & Twitter, Nod to Evgeny Morozov’s “The Net Delusion”

Leave it to the folks at the Urban Dictionary (who sometimes seem to have too much time on their hands: check out the P-words and you’ll get an idea of what I mean) to come up with a term for … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

In the Footsteps of Richard Alley: Mark Hertsgaard’s “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth”

So today’s NY Times Sunday Book Review has a review of what sounds like a good book in the climate change library, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, by Mark Hertsgaard, here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/books/review/Stephenson-t.html?_r=1&ref=books I asked Richard Alley, in our … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, books | Leave a comment

Climate Change Expert Richard Alley in the Parking Lot, Obama in the House

So yesterday President Obama visited Penn State and I wasn’t able to go, having to teach a class at that time, but the whole town (and my students) were atwitter with excitement, and irritation, because the traffic was all screwed … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Politics | Leave a comment