author – Michael Crichton

Just finished Congo, Crichton’s 1980 book exploring themes of communication with great apes and the possibility that man and chimpanzee had inter-bred at some point in the distant past.

What I like about Crichton is that his books are accessible by a 10-year-old yet are based on serious scientific research. He is a medical doctor by training.

Of course he has had fantastic success translating his work to film and TV. I never realized until recently that Crichton wrote and directed one of my formative early films Westworld

I liked Crichton even better after I read his autobiographical book Travels:


In some ways Crichton’s heir is Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer

Actually, (after I had written the statement above) I got the chance to ask Robert if he was influenced by Crichton and he said he had not read him since age 12. Though both have a scientific background, Crichton is “anti-Science” — in his books the scientific breakthrough always goes wrong. The dinosaurs run amok.


book – a decade of Burning Man photos

This may be the closest I ever get to the famous desert festival.

Barbara Traub’s new book Desert to Dream is an unprecedented photographic record of a decade of Burning Man celebrations. Contributions from filmmaker Les Blank, Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, Leonard Nimoy and beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti …

10 Years of Burning Man – photos – Wired magazine

If interested in the book for one of your alternative friends:

A Decade of Burning Man Photography
Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography

Satanic Purses – the myth of the War on Terror

Just heard the radical professor R.T. Naylor blast the “War on Terror”.

His research says that Osama does not have millions at his disposal. That money has long been shut off.

He states almost every claim made about the “Global War on Terrorism” is a ridiculous exaggeration.

Money, Myth, And Misinformation in the War on Terror

Book Mooch – trade used books

I heard good things about, a community for exchanging used books, so I signed up.

I was looking for something to do with my many (still-up-to-date) Lonely Planet travel guides.

BookMooch is tech millionaire John Buckman’s baby. He is doing it for the good of the universe.

I will mail any of my used books to any Book Mooch member who wants one.

Later I will request books I want mailed to me.

book – The Tailor of Panama

Normally I love John le Carré novels and have read most of his books.

This one had great potential.

I could not finish it. The dialogue, full of complex British slang, was too much work.

Le CarrĂ© is perhaps the most popular writer producing “literature” today. But in the case of Panama — I think I’ll prefer the movie.

The Tailor of Panama