A Conversation for Ask h2g2

(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8281

Cheerful Dragon

Finished Waverley, Pride & Prejudice and Making Habits. I've started The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. According to the blurb, it's the only novel he wrote in collaboration with somebody.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8282

Mr. Dreadful - But really I'm not actually your friend, but I am...

Just finished Moriarty: Hound of the D'Urbervilles, and currently reading Howl's Moving Castle.

As ever dipping in and out of the complete H. P. Lovecraft and Conan the Barbarian.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8283

Secretly Not Here Any More

I'm reading the weirdest book ever. It's called "Black Passenger Yellow Cabs: Of Exile and Excess in Japan"

It's a memoir of a Jamaican sex addict with a fetish for Japanese women. But the book itself is a weird combination of him detailing sexual encounters in hilariously outlandish ways (He, in all seriousness, refers to his "negritude") and quite interesting sociological observations about the patriarchical and sexist traditions that permeate Japanese society.

I can't recommend it. But it's a great example of the bizarre ebooks you can find for less than £2 in the Kindle shop.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8284

Beatrice

I was thinking about The Selfish Gene last night, as I couldn't sleep.

Sleep has always puzzled me, especially when it comes to natural selection. Surely spending a thrid of your time unconscious is less than ideal, so why haven't we evolved into humans who need less sleep? Maybe "sleep" isn't controlled by genes. Or maybe being a light sleeper and so able to wake at the slightest noise is as good as we've got.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8285

KB

Haven't we developed the other way? The amount of sleep we think is normal - and having it in one stretch as we think usual. They are both fairly recent developments depending on lack of predation, nice, secure houses, and the luxury of being lazy.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8286

Bagpuss

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Not quite sure what to make of it yet.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8287

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - bigeyes
>> Maybe "sleep" isn't controlled by genes. <<

I believe it is.
smiley - offtopic (Sorry but this subject needs discussion):

The sleep pattern or circadian rhythm is essentially a
reptilian brain function smiley - dragon; the pineal gland
secretes melatonin, which is a very little understood
protein that knits up the ravelled sleeve of our conscious
day.

Curiously it has been overlooked because it is a light-sensitive
protein that disappears in daylight or artificial light. Secretion is
triggered by the darkening sky of the evening and is destroyed
by the blue light spectrum of the morning sun (or the neon lights
in most research labs).

Much more research needs to be done but recent studies
into the circadian rhythm have been really rattling the cages
of known sleep science.

Melatonin is available as a 'supplement' without prescription
and known as a 'sleep aid'. But its true benefits are only now
being seen as part of our basic immune response.

On a personal anecdotal level I have been using a mere
1mg at bedtime for the past three or four months and
am sleeping sounder and feeling healthier all round.

It is especially important in light polluted areas where
naturally produced melatonin is easily 'destroyed' by any
ambient outdoor lighting or even switching on the light
in the loo in the middle of the night.

Those who take the trouble to research this online should
look for the most recent studies that have identified a
very specific range of frequencies in the blue spectrum
as the triggers that nullify melatonin.

smiley - yawnsmiley - zzz
~jwf~


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8288

U14993989

>> Surely spending a thrid of your time unconscious is less than ideal <<

Indeed and if you include those that are unconscious while awake it all begins to add up. Hopefully in time, with the aid of chemical technologies, we can begin to cure ourselves of this ancient practice, to improve both our productivity and consumption patterns to expand the market and increase our marginals.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8289

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - ok
Your irony is best when bitter.
smiley - cheers
May the sun rise and set upon thee
as it ought.
smiley - biggrin
~jwf~


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8290

Metal Chicken

'The Woman Who Died a Lot' by Jasper Fforde. A fun read, as expected.

MC


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8291

Cheerful Dragon

Reading Don't Run, Whatever You Do: My Adventures as a Safari Guide (e-book, quite amusing) and Pathfinders of the American West: The Journals of Lewis and Clark (tree book, very much a blow-by-blow account of where they went and what they did).


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8292

Bagpuss

Ringworld by Larry Niven. This is more like it. Strange aliens with alien perspectives. Hyperdrives. Teleports. 3D projections. Incredibly colossal unknown artefact. Small group of misfits risking their lives to investigate said artefact.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8293

Pastey

Ringworld is an amazing book!


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8294

Cheerful Dragon

I haven't read Ringworld for years. In fact, I'm not even sure I still have my copy. Great book, from what I remember of it.

I just checked my book database. The only Nivens on the author list are David (actor) and Jennifer. When did I get rid of Ringworld and why?smiley - erm


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8295

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - towel
Just got an email from my local library!
Terry Pratchett's Dodger is now available.
Yay!
smiley - biggrin
~jwf~


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8296

Bagpuss

Ringworld is one of those books I've heard is good, but never previously got around to reading. He seems to have done a good job of making the relationship between the four explorers as important as the Ring itself, but without making the book too soap-opera-y.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8297

Bagpuss

The New Machiavelli by H G Wells. Not entirely sure what it's going to be about, as I'm still in the middle of the narrator's formative years. I liked the passage where he explains how payment by results destroyed England's education system:

"... in the course of a few years the recurrence and permutation of questions became almost clculable, and since the practical object of the teaching was to teach people not science, but how to write answers to these questions, the industry of Grant earning assumed a form easily distinguished from any kind of genuine education whatever."

Fortunately things are very different these days. smiley - tongueincheek

Also, winning the prize for Most Inane Endnote, the good people of Penguin Classics think I need to be told that "Victorian: Refers to the period of the reign of Queen Victoria."


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8298

KB

Glad they clarified - I thought they meant it came from Melbourne. smiley - laugh

That *is* a great passage about education.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8299

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

Speaking if Machiavelli, I've been reading his "The Prince".

but I've taken a break from that to read a book about fossils instead.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 8300

egon

I'm currently reading The Woman who Died a Lot, the seventh and latest book in Jasper Fforde's Tuesday Next series during work breaks and bus rides, and The Golden Age of Death, the fifth of Amber Benson's Calliope Reaper-Jones series at home in the evenings.


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