The Rocket’s Shadow by John Blaine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After reading Harold Goodwin’s The Real Book About Space Travel, I tracked down some of his Rick Brandt Science-Adventure books. Written under the pseudonym John Blaine, I can imagine this would have thrilled a post-WWII 1947 boy – yes, they were gender-binary in their targeting back then; girls had Nancy Drew and boys had the Hardy brothers. Ten years before Sputnik, the rocket to the moon in this tends more toward Swift’s or Verne’s imagination. Still, there are the elements of science that do make this a “Science-Adventure”. One serendipitous to only me cross-over, Blaine/Goodwin had the teen character Rick fiddling with a Model-T ignition coil and some batteries to deliver an electric shock and Thomas Willeford’s Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts used one in one of his steampunk creations. Not to shock, but for it’s geek value, of course!
Fun stuff I never read as a kid. I’ll keep the series in mind for a diversion or three this year.
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Bird Box by Josh Malerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I finally watched the movie the other night. It being 2019, a random non-prime year, I’m trying to be less of a curmudgeon (not a resolution, but it does takes resolve…) so I’ll just say…I watched the movie. Given some of the logical inconsistencies within the oh-so-required suspension-of-thought (when I did observe something out loud, my wife asked, “Can’t you just be in the moment?” We’ve been married almost 33 years. She knows I can’t – brain sees problems, brain asks questions. The task is to only ask them internally.) I wondered the adaptation failed or the source matter did. So I read the book. Continue reading
Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures by Nick Pyenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I grew up very close to Mystic, Connecticut, a historic 19th century whaling port. It’s a sad association, though I was fascinated with its history, and the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan moored at the museum. As I grew more aware in my teen years (do note, long before an internet), the horror of what humans did in decimating whale populations scarred my intellect forever. This book speaks to my heart. And at times, tears it. Especially when Pyenson shared how old whales can live and the age at death of two that were killed (spoiler that I’ll save for the end…) Continue reading