Goose the Blog 2.0

"Oh, ha! Sarcasm: The last refuge of sons of bitches!"


back home

by John at 4/30/2006 07:50:00 PM

Haha! No posts from The Big P. But I read a couple of interesting things today:

1) About neocons and perpetual war (at Sadly, No!)

2) About HRH King George and His Imperial Presidency (at Unclaimed Territory)

If you have the time.


gone gone gone

by John at 4/21/2006 01:47:00 PM

As many know, I'm heading out to Ol' Fiery next week to help take care of a nice old lady who just got her first cyborg implant.

Anyway, I might post something short if I can find some free or cheap wifi. Probably not, but you never can tell.

Also, I just read "Knowing Why Not to Bomb Iran Is Half the Battle." I think it's pretty good.


latest Elias photos

by John at 4/15/2006 09:54:00 PM

Get them while they're fresh.


Let's Have a War, part 2

by John at 4/13/2006 07:51:00 AM

The last post sounded better in my head.

To get the full effect, turn up the volume (loud!) and play this song on repeat.


Let's Have a War*

by John at 4/12/2006 08:08:00 AM

"Let's have a war
Sell the rights to the networks
Let's have a war
Nevermind about that last time
Let's have a war
Give life a little twist
Let's have a war
The Enemy's within.


* Fear


attack of the 30 second book reviews

by John at 4/06/2006 04:50:00 PM

Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America - Harm de Blij
I saw de Blij speaking on one of the CSPAN channels a while back and decided to read his latest book. The book isn't as interesting as the talk he was giving, but it is still pretty good. He begins by recounting the decline in the teaching of geography in American schools (it was replaced by "Social Studies") and the marginalization of geography in academia as well. Then he demonstrates through examples how a poor understanding of geography has lead to multiple foreign policy blunders in the part of the US - you can guess what some of those are. The remainder of the book focuses on the geography of many looming problems, including the notable three in the subtitle, "climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism." Not a great book, but good, and there is a lot of information in it, so you will learn something.

Ubik - Philip K. Dick
This is a real PKD mindf**k of a tale, and sincerely weird. Calling it complicated is a bit of an understatement, but basically, a group of people who have the ability to suppress psychic powers have to find a way to stop the world from degrading, and themselves along with it. Then the questions begin to arise: What is going on? Who is causing it? What exactly is Ubik? Tell me again, which ones of us are already dead? This is a good story, and the writing is pretty tight so it's not a slog to read.

Never Let Me Go - Kazou Ishiguro
Woah. I found this to be a deeply affecting book. It's been several weeks since I finished reading it and I still think about it sometimes. On the surface it's just a memoir of adolescents growing up at an English boarding school called Hailsham, and it has the all the elements of that that you'd expect - half remembered childhood incidents, teachers, first loves, etc. On the other hand, from the very first page of the novel, it is clear that there is something odd going on; something that is implictly taken for granted by the characters (and narrator) and is rarely spoken of or thought about directly. I'm trying not to give anything away, but the novel is so cleverly written that the reader just may understand the truth before it is actually revealed. And even then, that truth is just a fraction of what the story is actually about. I thought this was a brilliant book. Can you tell?

Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
This one is kind of a mess in my opinion. I recall reading some reviews of this novel that said it was very good, but as I get farther and farther away from it, I'm less and less impressed. It's a tale of magical realism meets Greek tragedy in post-bubble Japan. The heroes are a fifteen year old boy and a sixty year old, mildly-retarded man who can speak to cats. Since it's magic, the story doesn't have to make a lot of sense, and it doesn't. I'm not even sure it follows it's own internal logic, however. But what really bothered me was that the characters didn't seem like they could be real. Also, the author seems to spend a lot of time telling us his opinions, through the character Oshima, on philosophy, culture and art (literature, music, painting) which, for a noted philistine like me, was kind of a drag. On the other hand, maybe I was unhappy with the novel because I read it on the heels of Never Let Me Go, and I suppose it paled in comparison.

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind - V. S. Ramachandran
Yuris gets the nod for recommending this one. I think it's a good book, but not great. I found the writing a little stiff and the humor often seemed pasted in - sometimes I half expected to see little smilies :^) next to the funny parts. But enough being critical. The meat of this book is the author's thinking on how the human brain works, through his consideration of a wide variety of neurological disorders like phantom limbs, vision problems, and various aphasias and agnosias. That stuff is really fascinating, and some of the author's conclusions are unexpected and insightful. He tries to tie it all together at the end by summarizing what it all might mean for the concept of self. Guess what? You are not who you think you are. Following Yuris' lead, I'll recommend this for anyone with an interest in the brain and the mind.


it's actually more of a light salmon

by John at 4/03/2006 11:35:00 AM

I got my first of the new ten dollar bills yesterday. The whole thing is about the same color as the middle part (around Jackson's portrait) of the twenties that came out a couple of years ago.

Update: You can learn more about our newest paper currency design here.


P.S. Diesel Sweeties is a funny web comic. Not for kiddies, though, because it is often features mature (or immature) subject matter.

Update 2: There's no nudity or profanity in any of the above links, so they are probably work-safe.