So I will attempt to post reviews again. I am also finishing up both a translation of Uwe Kullnick‘s stories and my actual PhD, but I find writing reviews helps me clear my mind. So they are going to be, well, maybe not very good. I will try to sustain it for longer than I have managed before, and the signs are good, because I prewrote 4 reviews already, so even if I get another breakdown or get stuck in something else, there’s material that goes up. There might also be personal essays. I am sort of aiming for once every 4 days, but we’ll see. If you want to support me doing this, there’s a Paypal Button somewhere on this site. I think I moved it to the left side of the blog at the moment. If you have suggestions, comments, love letters or poems for me, you can leave them in the comments or send them to shigekuniblog [at] rocketmail [dot] de. It’s a snazzy address, I know. I am very proud. Despite the hedging earlier, I genuinely hope you like the reviews. They are not going to all be of the same length or kinds of books, but they are all going to be written by me. Whether that’s a threat or a boon is up for you to decide.
Thank you to all readers who have stuck around. Have a nice day. First review up early tomorrow morning. We’ll go from there.
Pictured below my Russian family. I am the blonde (yup) boy held up by the very tan old man, my step-grandfather who died some 12 years ago.
From the flap of this odd find:
The Man’s Book. (…) Action, suspense and thrills are the essential qualities of all the stories which are selected, from the pick of all the publisher’s lists, by an all-male editorial board who know the kind of tough, hard-hitting reading that men prefer. By its policy of providing vigorous, virile reading of high quality, in fine bindings at low cost the MAN’S BOOK SERIES has deservedly become the outstanding publishing triumph of recent years.
I haven’t started reading the book yet, because after this introduction, what else can the book be but a letdown?
From the history of Fanta on wikipedia
Fanta originated when it became illegal to import Coca-Cola concentrate into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo. To circumvent this, Max Keith, the man in charge of Coca-Cola Deutschland during the Second World War, decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and pomace – the “leftovers of leftovers”, as Keith later recalled. The name was the result of a brief brainstorming session, which started with Keith exhorting his team to “use their imagination” (“Fantasie” in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, immediately retorted “Fanta!”
An actual study in the peer-reviewed Acta Neurochirurgica, called “Traumatic brain injuries in illustrated literature: experience from a series of over 700 head injuries in the Asterix comic books”. Click here for the paper. Cracked me up.
This is the summary
The goal of the present study was to analyze the epidemiology and specific risk factors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the Asterix illustrated comic books. Among the illustrated literature, TBI is a predominating injury pattern.
A retrospective analysis of TBI in all 34 Asterix comic books was performed by examining the initial neurological status and signs of TBI. Clinical data were correlated to information regarding the trauma mechanism, the sociocultural background of victims and offenders, and the circumstances of the traumata, to identify specific risk factors.
Seven hundred and four TBIs were identified. The majority of persons involved were adult and male. The major cause of trauma was assault (98.8%). Traumata were classified to be severe in over 50% (GCS 3–8). Different neurological deficits and signs of basal skull fractures were identified. Although over half of head-injury victims had a severe initial impairment of consciousness, no case of death or permanent neurological deficit was found. The largest group of head-injured characters was constituted by Romans (63.9%), while Gauls caused nearly 90% of the TBIs. A helmet had been worn by 70.5% of victims but had been lost in the vast majority of cases (87.7%). In 83% of cases, TBIs were caused under the influence of a doping agent called “the magic potion”.
Although over half of patients had an initially severe impairment of consciousness after TBI, no permanent deficit could be found. Roman nationality, hypoglossal paresis, lost helmet, and ingestion of the magic potion were significantly correlated with severe initial impairment of consciousness (p ≤ 0.05).
Just stolen from Mark Frauenfelder’s twitter: “The Backfire Effect” on youarenotsosmart.com.
The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.
The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.
Geoffrey Munro at the University of California and Peter Ditto at Kent State University concocted a series of fake scientific studies in 1997. One set of studies said homosexuality was probably a mental illness. The other set suggested homosexuality was normal and natural. They then separated subjects into two groups; one group said they believed homosexuality was a mental illness and one did not. Each group then read the fake studies full of pretend facts and figures suggesting their worldview was wrong. On either side of the issue, after reading studies which did not support their beliefs, most people didn’t report an epiphany, a realization they’ve been wrong all these years. Instead, they said the issue was something science couldn’t understand. When asked about other topics later on, like spanking or astrology, these same people said they no longer trusted research to determine the truth. Rather than shed their belief and face facts, they rejected science altogether.
From the Guardian:
And besides, really,” [A.C. Grayling] adds with a withering little laugh, “how can you be a militant atheist? How can you be militant non-stamp collector? This is really what it comes down to. You just don’t collect stamps. So how can you be a fundamentalist non-stamp collector? It’s like sleeping furiously.”
No, silly. It’s like militant non-smokers. That‘s what it comes down to, and that is the whole problem (well, part of it, anyway). Oh, I’m tired already. Let’s move on.
A depressing survey done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:
Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.
want some examples? Lookee here:
¶ Fifty-three percent of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation.
¶ Forty-five percent of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ.
¶ Forty-three percent of Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the foremost rabbinical authorities and philosophers, was Jewish.
How is it that adherents of religions based on reading and thinking in a time of low illiteracy rates, know so little about their own faith?