One of the best shows on television lately. HBO’s hit rate is just phenomenal. I’m getting ready to watch the first episode of "Rome" — I hope it’s good. And I can’t wait for the new Ricky Gervais show, "Extras," which starts in a few weeks. HBO just can’t be beat lately. FX is doing great television now, too — but that’s the only other network that’s doing work anywhere near the quality of HBO.
I watched the Little League World Series championship today — man, what a game! It had everything — two small island teams playing against each other (Hawaii & Curacao), the defending champs (Curacao), a comeback from 3 runs down in the last at bat (Hawaii tied it with a spectacular suicide squeeze play and some other timely hitting), and a home run to win it for Hawaii in the bottom of the 7th (which is extra innings in LL). I found myself getting pretty wrapped up in the game — was super-excited to see the Hawaii kids not lose hope down three runs in their last at-bat and eventually come through to win. Curacao played great, too — in fact, pretty much every kid on the field was completely unbelievably great at the game.
Anyway, during the game I really got excited — was reminded by a phrase in a James Taylor song: "There is a feeling like the clenching of the fist…" — and started thinking about the times when I was a kid and really felt the thrill of a game. There were lots of times when I felt that thrill, or the pain of a loss, or even the left-out feeling of not participating. It’s interesting that you don’t get many of those moments as an adult.
And with Sam, I can’t help but wonder about his times to come — good, bad, indifferent. And I’m just incredibly excited that he has all of that in front of him. Who knows what he’ll do, who he’ll be, where he’ll go. Having a baby around is just an incredibly optimism-creating thing.
Or it could be that I’m a little loopy because of the whole no-sleep thing.
Big day! Sam’s about 6 1/2 weeks old now, and the greatest thing happened. I started sticking out my tongue at him, which consistently provoked one of two responses: he either gave me a big smile or else he stuck his tongue out back at me! Sounds like maybe not a big deal, but pretty great. Near as I can tell, it’s the first time that he really had a response to an overt stimulus from us (other than the occassional smile, sometimes stopping crying or sometimes starting crying ), and really one of the first times he got involved in playing a game. Fun!
I’ve been getting more interested in biotech lately — realized that there are lots of things happening in the world that have a high potential to affect my life (and my wife’s & son’s) that I know pretty close to nothing about. I almost didn’t read this book because the title was so lousy — but that would have been a shame, because it was a really interesting read.
The beginning is a basic overview of biotech, then the author launches into a series of profiles of the most important people in biotech to date — he likens each to an archetypal figure:
- Douglas Melton — Prometheus
- Cynthia Kenyon — Eve
- Francis Collins — Paul
- Craig Venter — Faustus
- James Watson — Zeus
- Sydney Brenner — Puck
- Paul Berg — Moses
Additionally, he talks throughout the book about the ethical questions of particular types of biotech.
Very intersting & provocative book, and used short words for biology that a software nerd like me can understand.
This is a book about the rise of American wine to world class status. Sort of a boring read, honestly. But learned a few tidbits. Like this: in the 19th century, (bad) American wine was marketed as a temperance solution — less alcoholic & insidious than the hard stuff. And I never really thought about it, but the 18th Amendment, establishing Prohibition, meant that America’s alcohol-related industries didn’t really start until the 1930s, and didn’t gain a ton of momentum until the 50s. Fortified wine was a big deal; Thunderbird was a huge seller, and the world didn’t really think much of American wine until the 70s, at the earliest. I guess the other thing that it made me think about is that the global wine industry is a living, changing thing — looks different now than it did even 5 years ago, prior to 9/11.
Not a fantastic book, but not bad if you’re interested in this type of thing.