25 February 2011


I finished Freedom by Jonathan Franzen tonight.

Franzen writes dialog in a way that is unique and real. Lots of people hate it and think it's not accurate...but i think it is eerily familiar. I see all my interactions play out in his pages. The fights, the secrets, the fear, the love. Everything you've ever said--in some way or another-is captured in his dialog. Half a dozen times while reading i found my self saying, yes...that is exactly right. Or, of course...that is just what i would think/say/do.

This book is similar to his excellent earlier novel, The Corrections. He writes it in chunks, first from this character's point of view, then from another's. You find yourself hating, loving, understanding, and feeling perplexed at these people. Somehow, in the end, you find yourself caring about each, wishing the best for them all. It's really remarkable. I would love to understand how he does it. How he crafts each character. Is it about having their storyline already laid out and just picking up each person at the right moment? Or does he write the twisting interconnected story as is? So many things to learn.

I'm always sad to see Franzen novels end but since i have a gazillion others piling up I'm moving on. Next up, the rise of theodore roosevelt. No worries Gibson, i will get to your Neuromancer soon enough.

~nerdy birdy

22 February 2011


"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples." -His Holiness the Dalai Lama


I just finished watching a Smithsonian show, "Denying the Moon Landings." People who still, 40 years later, believe that the moon landings were faked. They brought up that people thought the first photos of Old Faithful at Yellowstone were faked, that people thought the Wright brothers faked their first flight, that people still think aliens helped Egyptians build the pyramids.

I don't understand this. I find myself constantly stunned by all that humans can do. We can fly through the air at hundreds of miles an hour...we can rocket to space in under ten minutes...we can pull a tumor out of your nose (Fact....gross gross fact).

Why do so many humans love to crap all over our own achievements? The human brain is remarkable...astounding...amazing. All that we can do and create. Why arent more people blown away by this? Why dont people stand slack-jawed at the sheer power of the human brain?

Good news is, we all have a chance to worship the brain this week...watch Discovery slip the surly bonds of Earth this Thursday at 4:50 p.m. EST.

~tweet tweet goes the bird