Ernest Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer who planned to cross the Antarctic from sea-to-sea, and instead he and his crew of 28 men became trapped in pack ice. I just finished listening to Endurance by Alfred Lansing and read by Tim Pigott-Smith. This author retells the story of the incredible voyage of these men through extreme weather conditions over a period of 21 months during which none perished.
For the last few weeks I have been listening religiously to the Fall of Civilizations Podcast which I discovered also has this same podcast in a YouTube video version. I’m likely to go back and watch all these videos when I have a chance, because the story Paul Cooper (@PaulMMCooper) tells is clear, detailed and illustrated with relevant pictures of artifacts, and readings from the period and from the people who discovered the ruins. I explain here why this is such a great podcast.
A brief review of my perceptions from reading this book about one man’s experience of the Vietnam War.
This is a list of the books that I read or listened to this year along with my choice of three of these books of most importance to me.
I just finished listening to the Audible version of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan. The author gave me much more than simply another world history. He provided a perspective of world history that considers Central Asia at the center rather than the usual focus on Western Europe. This blog mentions some of my insights as a result of reading this book.
Want a quick lesson in vaccine technology and how different types of SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) vaccines work? This lecture in Vincent Racaniello’s Virology Course, previously reviewed is an excellent place to go for that information.
Jamie Metzl in Hacking Darwin makes the argument that a genetics arms race is in progress, and we must, as individuals, take responsibility for developing an international regulatory program. Such an effort will not be easy to build, but it is essential if we do not want unfettered genetic manipulation of humans and their descendants. Metzl writes that his purpose is to get readers to act, and so I am acting by writing to the US President.
A document from the Societe Internationale des Etudes de Créqui has provided significant information about Ahasverus de Créqui dit la Roche, a distant noble French/Dutch ancestor of mine who immigrated to Norway to fight agains the Swedish army between 1657 and 1676 shortly after the 30 years war, This ancestor may have brought the first morter to Norway for these battles with the Swedes. This provides a summary of that information provided in the reference to this blog.
Check out an excellent course in virology by one of the best podcasting scientists, Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., Higgins Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University.
This is a short and honest review of The Florios of Sicily: A Novel by Stefania Auci. It explains both the shortcomings and what I learned from this book, including that a Florio family, an entrepreneurial dynasty actually exists in Sicily.