Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Martin Gardner, The Cave, Bullit

Have finished Martin Gardner's Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers. While there were a few chapters i skimmed extremeley lightly, by and large it's a great book if you like math. I like that on the one hand he'll have a chapter about Trapdoor Ciphers (The early name for RSA encryption or Public-Key encryption) which is fairly gnarly stuff, and then he'll have a whole chapter just about the difficulty of teaching the concept that a Negative time a Negative is a Positive. eg -2 * -2 = 4.

I was happy to find a whole chapter devoted to Wythoff's Nim, a penny-removing game which thoroughly obsessed me for about two or three weeks earlier this year. The game turns out to reveal amazing, and almost horrifyingly unexpected properties of the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio folks. Fear it, love it, know it.

I continue to love Infinite Jest, but i should really stop reporting that. Unless i explicitely say that i am no longer loving I.J. to pieces, you can assume that i am. (phrase stolen from Martin Amis' line in Money where he says pretty much the same thing about 'unless i explicitely say i am not lighting another cigarette, etc.)

Saw The Cave with Mykle and Michelle. Even tho i was expecting it to be worse than i was expecting, it was still worse than i was expecting. I mean, it's a bad hollywood flick about monsters waiting in a cave for hundreds of years for humans to come along so they can eat them. I'm so sick of monsters which have no motivation but hunger. Come On. Subterranean triphibian monster things and all you can give them is an insatiable appatite. No culture, no curiosity, no nothing but hunger. Jeeze. I don't care if the human only want to blow them up, but .. anyway. i cease. I recommend it if you're into that sort of thing.

Saw Bullit in a public park in San Francisco's North Beach with Mykle and Kai and Michelle and this guy Mark. It was much better than i was expecting. Especially the photography. Nice attention i thought to light and shadow and such. McQueen's character was suprisingly convincingly sensitive. Or maybe i'm just a sucker for that sort of thing.


  • You are really funny.
    I am happy in my supposition/fantasy that you write this blog only for me. I swear I will read Infinite Jest AFTER the next book I read. So, It's 2 books away.
    Your reading journal is the most interesting and satisfying thing on the internet. I swear to god.

    By Blogger The Sensualist, at 2:57 PM  

  • i was about to write how i feel a twing of doubt and unsure footing re you enjoying the book, but realized that was just the automatic reaction i have whenever anything i've propped is like, uh sampled by others. except in this case the word would be indulged in. i do think you'll love or at least like it. i might be finished with my copy by two books away, but probably not.

    and yes, i do write this only for thee, sweet kai.

    By Blogger good old o, at 8:15 PM  

  • O,
    I don't mind at all that you don't write it for me. Your blog is certainly more fun to read than mine. Thank you for steering me away from the cave. I considered it looking for some much needed escapism.

    I found it coincidental that you mention multiplying negatives equalling a positive. I've always accepted that, but now I desperately need it explained to me. I've been begging for explanation in my most recent posts.

    By Blogger Robert Tomoguchi, at 7:32 AM  

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