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Tobacco and Parkinson’s Disease

22 Apr

Two videos from Dr. Greger lay out the relationship between Parkinson’s and Tobacco.



Umberto Eco dead at age 84

20 Feb

I was saddened to read about the death of Umberto Eco. I quoted him at the beggining of my dissertation:

“I must think it over. Perhaps I’ll have to read other books.”
“Why? To know what one book says you must read others?”
“At times this can be so. Often books speak of other books”

– From The Name of the Rose

Better engagement for paper books

18 Sep

A study in the journal Scientific Study of Literature,

“The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of reading medium and a paratext manipulation on aspects of narrative engagement. In a 2 (medium: booklet vs. iPad) by 2 (paratext: fiction vs. nonfiction) between-subjects factorial design, the study combined state oriented measures of narrative engagement and a newly developed measure of interface interference. Results indicated that, independently of prior experience with reading on electronic media, readers in the iPad condition reported dislocation within the text and awkwardness in handling their medium. Also, iPad readers who believed they were reading nonfiction were less likely to report narrative coherence and transportation, while booklet readers who believed they were reading nonfiction were, if anything, more likely to report narrative coherence. Finally, booklet (but not iPad) readers were more likely to report a close association between transportation and empathy. Implications of these findings for cognitive and emotional engagement with textual narratives on paper and tablet are discussed.”


MENSA review

6 Jun

Special thanks to Caroline McCullagh for her very nice review of my book in The MENSA Bulletin. MENSA members can read the issue here.

My interview with Ammons Scientific

11 Apr

Read it here.



15 Feb

I wish I had more time to read and I wish I had more time to reread. I often discover and remember more if I read a book twice. Stephen Marche takes this to a new level, called centireading, reading the same book 100 times:

“I have read two books more than a 100 times, for different motives and with different consequences. Hamlet I read a 100 times for my dissertation, The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse a 100 times for comfort. The experience is distinct from all other kinds of reading. I’m calling it centireading.”


“Centireading belongs to the extreme of reader experience, the ultramarathon of the bookish, but it’s not that uncommon. To a certain type of reader, exposure at the right moment to Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice or Sherlock Holmes or Dune can almost guarantee centireading.”

I am intrigued by this idea, if I had the time, I would like to try it. But I wonder what book I would choose? My first thought would be Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. I also wonder if there is a non-fiction book, such as some work of philosophy, that might be worth this kind of intense rereading.



What is the best self help book?

9 Feb

Here is a list provided by Time Magazine. I have not read any of the books on the list, yet, so I cannot prejudge them. My favorite self help book is Small Change by Larry and Susan Terkel.



Please make your suggestions in the comments!


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