Brett L

Heroic Mulatto

    • Make: Getting Started with Arduino– Some people make sourdough during house arrest; I hate sourdough.
    • Python for Linguists– While I already have some Python chops, I am interested in starting again from first principles with a specific focus on what I actually do with it.
    • Compositionality and Concepts in Linguistics and Psychology– An interdisciplinary study of syntax and semantics from a “cognitive” perspective. Steven Pinker is a drooling cretin who needs to keep the activation and deactivation of his diaphragm muscles within his working memory at all times in order to continue breathing.
    • Thrawn: Treason– In the third book of Zahn’s rebooted series, in contrast to the first two novels, he doesn’t characterize Thrawn as suffering from space-Asperger’s. In my opinion, this is a positive development.

mexican sharpshooter

I picked up a copy of The Forgotten Man by Amity Shales.  Its a counter-narrative to the history of the Great Depression. Covering the years from “Silent Cal“ through the beginning of the war.

Sad I have to call it a counter-narrative but as it turns out I learned in high school FDR got us out of the depression with his fireside chats and the New Deal.  Then learned in college that wasn’t true—we actually got out of the depression by bankrolling the entire Allied war machine and then crushed the European economy and were the only ones left to produce anything after the war.


Starship Troopers for the dozenth time. I watched the dumb movie for the dozenth time when it popped up on Netflix and circled back to the book to get the Verhoven out of my mouth. And I read the companion novel, Armor, by John Steakley, which is most of the hot power armor on alien insect action that Heinlein left out of Starship Troopers. (Not a criticism, they are two different things.)

I also read the middle novel of J. G. Ballard’s trilogy of frozen-souled anomie, Concrete Island. Not the masterpiece that is Crash and less apocalyptic than High-Rise, it’s still a great feel-bad book of Ballard’s best period.

Mad Scientist

The Samsung RF267ABPP Refrigerator owners’ manual (English version) is a roller-coaster tour de force that’s fun for the whole family. This exciting manual is like the RF266 manual on crack, and easily the best refrigerator manual I have read all year. This riveting, high-octane romp through the basics of cohabitating with this particular fridge was so gripping, I couldn’t put it down. 4 stars. Can’t wait for the movie to come out.