Thursday: A book giveaway and real life stuff

Real Life has been demanding my attention this week. Today I am at a cancer diagnostics and therapeutics symposium all day. The organizers of this symposium really should have provided better signage from the parking lot. I wandered around Rutgers for half an hour quizzing the landscapers for directions. Am I hot or cold? Closer or farther away?

In any case, it’s good to know what’s going on in academia and industry. I’ll have a little more to say about that later. Lambert sent me a link to a Reuters article on failures in drug discovery that may trace back to shoddy basic research in academia.

In the meantime, we would like to announce a book give away. We have been given two copies of Rachel Maddow’s new book, Drift, for review. Katiebird has been speeding through one copy and should have a review soon. I have been going through mine more slowly since I seem to have gotten busy just when the book became available to me and I’m going to have to punt and listen to it on audible. So, we would like to give one of these copies away. It’s signed by the author. I’ll write up my review probably by tomorrow.

What I can tell you right now is that the book is well written in a fluid style that is very enjoyable to read. If you are a fan of Rachel’s show, you are familiar with her narrative style. The book is about the alarming drift that the country has taken towards maintaining a standing army and how events have changed our society in ways we hadn’t anticipated. It’s about the rise of the security industry and the how we decide who will fight our wars. Like I said, I haven’t gotten very far into the book yet but I find that her research into why Johnson used the draft in the Vietnam War made me think about how close we may have come to doing the same in the Iraq War.

Katiebird has finished the book and does have some reservations but we will get to them in the review posts. We are considering firing up our Conflucians Say blogtalkradio show to talk about books and sluts other interesting things. Raise your hand if you would find that interesting.

For the signed copy of Rachel’s book, we’re going to give it away like this:

1.) in response to this post, write in the comments thread why you want to read it.

2.) This Sunday, we will use a random number generator to pick a number that will correspond to the comment (numerically) in the thread. The owner of the winning comment will be contacted through email so be sure to use a legitimate one. We promise not to share your email address with anyone.

This way, only people who have an interest in the book are entered and the selection process is fair.

Gotta go. There’s a poster session until 10:30am.

Fire away!

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7 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t you know, the first part of the symposium is front loaded with biology, leaving the more interesting structure and chemistry presentations for the late, late afternoon, which means that all of the biologists will duck out of here before rush hour and the chemists will be stuck in their cars an extra hour on the ride home.
    {{sigh}}

  2. Things I have learned today:
    1.) biologists have identified more than 11,000 bio markers that are present in cancer cells. The NIH recognizes about 50 of them.
    2.) we know virtually nothing about the anatomy and physiology of the breast (true story) but we have developed nanodrops coated with chemo that can be injected into the ducts that accumulate into microgels.
    3.) everyone is unemployed here. Again. I don’t know of its funny or tragic that we are all trying to network with unemployed people.

  3. I stopped listening to Rachel during the primaries when she and a bunch of, well, anyway she went to the dark side in 2007 and 2008 – She seems to be back and more focused on reality.

    She’s really bright, well spoken and well educated – I heard her interviewed the other day about the book – she made some excellent points in the interview and so I’d decided that I’d like to read it and learn more. She describes how she prepares extremely well for her shows and did a ton of research for the book.

  4. I would love to read this book because I’ve realized lately that my knowledge of current events now — and all the events that I’ve witnessed over my lifetime need some synthesis. I’d like to read this book to see if it sheds some light on some of my experiences.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

  5. I was gone from work yesterday (and its powerful workplace computers), but I am back today. I think about cancer because cancer
    has been the major untimely killer in our family. Those of us who escape death by cancer in our 70s or early 80′s die of something else in their mid to late 90s. ( And were in good all-systems health otherwise except for the cancer . . . those who get cancer). So I try following these things in my lay science-buff way.

    (Mr. Mike, during the Iraq War run-up, the McClatchey Newspaper Chain was running many stories about the lack of any real intelligence, the lack of any real WMDs in Iraq, the lack of any real threat. The CFP MSM chose to ignore all of McClatchey’s reporting in hopes that none of their default-captive CFP MSM readers would find out about it. So the question arises: what is McClatchey saying about the Trayvon Martin case?)

  6. What I know about security and current events is scattered in my brain. I think the book would help center them. Focus and clarity in a book will help that, and she’s supposed to be very smart (I’ve never watched her; much of my knowledge about politics comes from blogs.)

  7. Okay, off topic but this is interesting news: A study out this week on the journal PLoS One found that just watching ballerinas dance prompted the brains of veteran spectators to mimic the muscle moves the dancers were making.
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0033343

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