Reading Review 2023

Another year, another set of books!

Norse Mythology

Neil Gaiman, 2017

I read this book because it was the selection for our book club at work. I didn’t think it would be terribly interesting, but I was completely wrong. It’s basically a collection of narratives spanning from the creation of the first god, down the Ragnorok, the end of the world. The stories were a hoot. The “gods” are very flawed people who do things that seem very un-godlike. Loki is quite the character and really does add a lot of chaos. It was interesting to hear the origin of certain things, like Thor’s hammer, Mjolner. I also kept picturing the cast from the Marvel movies throughout, and was pleasantly surprised that their characterizations in the movie seemed just about accurate. All in all, it was a very engaging narrative.

The Shattered Lens

Brandon Sanderson, 2010

Continuing Alcatraz’s adventure, this is the fourth installment. This story was exciting and engaging. It revolves around protecting the kingdom of Mokia in the free kingdoms from a Librarian attack. It had some very big surprises as it goes, and ends on some big cliffhangers leaving us wondering what is going to happen.

The Dark Talent

Brandon Sanderson, 2016

Alcatraz and his posse infiltrate the largest library outside of the Library of Alexandria, the Highbrary. This book as as exciting as it’s predecessors, but be warned, don’t read it unless you have the next one readily available as it ends with many questions that need to be answered!

Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians

Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson, 2022

The final book in the series! This volume was co-written by Janci Patterson, and is written in the voice of Bastille. It completes the story and wraps up all the loose ends. It felt like it did so satisfyingly enough. I don’t have any looming questions that remained unanswered. This book also maintained the sarcastic humor from the previous ones. So all-in-all, it was another fun read, and a must in order to complete the story.

I, Robot

Isaac Asimov, 1950

This is a classic compendium of ten robot-related short-stories penned by Isaac Asimov. The stories are loosely tied together by robot psychologist, Susan Calvin, who is relating these stories to a reporter. She herself is in many of the stories as well. Each story deals with robots or artificial intelligence (positronic brains), and examining edge cases when things go awry. Isaac Asimov created the 3 laws of robotics, and each story revolves heavily around those laws. Some I enjoyed more than others, but I didn’t dislike any at all. “Little Lost Robot” is probably the most well known. I think my favorite was “Evidence”.  They are all fun stories, and since they are short it has a real quick pace that keeps one engaged. I’m a little surprised I hadn’t read this book before. I enjoyed it a lot!

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1955

Lord of the Rings is so enjoyable. I have recently reviewed all the movies, and they amaze me by how well they are able to portray this story. There are of course differences, but I feel like the films really captured the tone. I was surprised by how much of the story dwelt on Frodo, Sam, and Smeagol. One notable difference was that of Faramir. In the book, he come across as a much more noble character. I find these books to be very uplifting even though there are dire circumstances. Even though the protagonists have the weight of the world on their shoulders, they are wholesome, honorable, and valiant. I was also touched by Frodo’s compassion toward Smeagol. He understands the awful toll that the ring has had on that pitiful creature and shows mercy where others wouldn’t. It’s a wonderful book, and no surprise that it’s a classic that will live on for ages.

Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away

Annie Duke, 2022

Quit was a book choice for our book club at work. I had not heard of it, nor was I familiar with Annie Duke. Apparently, she is somewhat well known for her success as a professional poker player. At any rate, the book was fascinating and brought to light many things that cause people choose grit when they should quit. She pulled in a lot of research, as well as real world examples of people who did quit at the appropriate times as well as others who did not, to their own detriment. Many things keep us from quitting. Society has made quitting a negative thing. Sticktoitiveness is glorified. Humans are prone to falling for the sunk cost fallacy. I thought it was a great and interesting book, and I would recommend it.

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955

The third and final installment of this saga did not disappoint! Having seen the movies, I knew where the story was going, but it was still engaging and interesting. What fascinated me the most was the added detail that we missed out on at the end of the film. The Scouring of the Shire gave some great additional information about our main characters after their journeys, and also provided a firm conclusion for Saruman and Wormtongue. Over all, I loved how true Sam’s companions were to him throughout the entire story. Sam, Merry, and Pippin are true friends to Mr. Frodo. It was a wonderful tale, and can’t recommend it enough.

Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man

William Shatner and David Fisher, 2016

I needed an audio book and stumbled upon this one, and figured, why not? It was narrated by William Shatner. It felt informal and seemed like he was recounting stories to a friend. As far as content, I certainly feel like a have a better sense of who Leonard Nimoy was. The organization drove me a bit batty because its not presented as a linear description of his life, but moves by themes. For instance, Leonard’s divorce was brought up twice, and I had to check to see if he divorced his second wife (he didn’t), or if we just got to that part of the story from two different places. At any rate, it was interesting and provided many insights into the two men and their long friendship.

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, The “Good Parts” Version

William Goldman, 1973

I love this movie. I had no idea what to expect of the book. It’s also very confusing when you look it up, because it’s supposedly based on a real book by S. Morgenstern, and it’s also listed as abridged, which lead me thinking for years that there was an unabridged version somewhere that would be a preferable version to read. Well, there isn’t. William Goldman also went on to write the screenplay for The Princess Bride, so I was a little surprised by the divergences in this book to the movie. I loved getting a little bit more back story on the main characters. Learning about Inigo’s childhood, or how the Prince got engaged to Buttercup was welcomed information. But then there are parts of the movie that are so iconic that don’t exist in the book that it’s kind of shocking when they aren’t there, like the eels, or Miracle Max’s wife. Overall though, it’s a solid book, and very funny, and worth the read!

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling, 2018

This book was chosen for the book club at work. I had not heard of this one, and had no idea what to expect going it, but it definitely proved to be interesting. The authors want to change the way the readers view the world by presenting facts, and introducing us to 10 instincts humans have when looking at data and trends that are incorrect. The book had great examples and it certainly felt credible. It validated some of the feelings I already had about the world, and it’s nice to finally be hearing that the world isn’t a terrible place that gets worse every year, but rather, the world has never been a better place. I think it’s a very good, optimistic take on doing research and understanding data. I certainly would recommend this book.

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Dava Sobel, 1995

This was a recommendation from a reader on HackerNews. I hadn’t heard of it, but I am very captivated by time keeping devices. This book outlines the need for accurate time keeping in the 1700’s, which was the need to calculate the longitude when sailing. Clocks of the era had issues and the prize that was to be awarded for anyone who was able to solve the issue of calculating the longitude. The book is primarily about John Harrison who spent his life inventing accurate time pieces, the H1 through H5. The book made me understand how navigation worked back then, and how important time keeping was. What is also astonishing are the amazing improvements Harrison brought to the field of time keeping. Clocks and watches were not new inventions, but he revolutionized the industry during his lifetime. Amazingly interesting stuff! A must read for anyone with any inclination towards engineering or history.

Pirate Latitudes

Michael Crichton, 2009

I was in need of a new audiobook, and this one presented itself. I didn’t know anything about it going it. It was a very captivating tale, but it kept changing what I thought it was going to be as it went. The first portion of the book which established the setting focused on the governor of Jamaica. It seemed like he was going to be the main character. He was just there for setting the scene and exposition as we are introduced to the protagonist privateer. The second and largest portion of the book dealt with a heist. Captain Hunter assembles his team, a ragtag group of people with versatile skills. They attempt a heist on a nearby island, and return home. The third potion took me by surprise as it turned into a Count of Monte Cristo situation where retribution was enacted in the very bloody of ways. Overall, it was a swashbuckling adventure, though a little lewd at times. Not recommended for the young readers, but captivating overall.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams, 1979

This is probably my most frequented book. In this instance, I listened to it, narrated by Stephen Fry, who also narrated the passages in the film from the early 2000’s. It was delightful. The humor in this story consistently makes me laugh out loud. I just adore it. Although I’ve read it many times, I don’t necessarily remember all the little details, and it’s surprising to me how many of those little details came through in the film. I think the film is just perfect in capturing the essence of what makes these insane books so delightful. I know some people were very critical of the movie when it came out because it added a lot to the story that isn’t present in the book, but what surprised me is how much of the movie I had forgotten was really verbatim in the book. Such a delight. I’ll probably read this one many more times in the future.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Douglas Adams, 1981

As with the previous installment of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, It’s been about a decade since my last read-through. The overall story involves Zaphod’s mission to find the true ruler of the universe. They visit the end of the universe, and Arthur and Ford cope with being sent back 2 million years in time. This book is definitely funny. I remember most of the broad plot points, but it’s the little bits of humor throughout that was funny anew. I enjoy the off-the-wall, and recurring humor used by Adams. It was a pleasure to enjoy this book again, and would of course recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first installment.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Douglas Adams, 1982

I’m still waiting for a few books that are on hold from the Library, so I’ll continue on with the Hitchhiker’s Guide series. The third installment revolves around the Krikkit wars. Very interestingly, I felt like this book really had a Doctor Who vibe to it, which doesn’t surprise me too much since I knew that Adams wrote screenplays for Doctor Who in the seventies. What did surprise me is that this idea actually came from an unproduced Doctor Who script that he penned. Neat! At any rate, I like how Adams takes ideas of philosophy and turns them upside down. I’m not sure if he’s trying to make a point, or be funny, but I suspect it’s a little bit of both. Another enjoyable tale of ludicrous improbability.

Dirk Genty’s Holistic Detective Agency

Douglas Adams, 1987

So I saw this audiobook on Libby and gave it a go, not realizing it was actually a radio drama produced for the BBC in 2007. Since it’s a radio drama and not an audio book, there were some key differences. First, it’s an edited story. Second is the use of sound effects and multiple actors. There is no narrator who says who is talking for example, so it’s really a different experience. It certainly was fun and had that zany Douglas Adams quality to it. I liked that while the story starts off with a murder investigation, it becomes much more. It winds up becoming a sci-fi story, but everything is indeed connected. It was a fun listen and would recommend it.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Douglas Adams, 1985

I am on a Douglas Adams kick it seems. I’ve read this book about a decade ago, but I couldn’t remember what it was about specifically. This is quite a departure in many ways from the other books in the series. Firstly, Zaphod and Trillian only get mentioned once in passing. The majority of the book doesn’t even have Ford in it. It, for the most part, is a love story between Arthur and “Fenny”. It was certainly interesting, and I was invested in the story. Again, this had elements in it that felt like it could have been a Doctor Who episode. Same zany sense of humor, poking fun at probability and philosophy. Overall, entertaining and recommended to people who have enjoyed the franchise thus far (but only the older readers as content-wise this was a bit more mature).

A Test of Courage

Justina Ireland, 2021

This is a young adult novel from the High Republic era of Star Wars. My son recommended it when I ran out of books. It was short. It was fine. The story centers around young Jedi who get stranded on a planet with the people who sabotaged their star cruiser. There was lots of talk about ships being targeted in hyperspace, and I expected the plot to evolve to solving that mystery, but rather the entire story ended up just being them surviving on this planet and getting off/rescued. It was fine, but felt a little light to me.

Silas Marner

George Eliot, 1861

I’ve never read this before. However, I am a big fan of the Steve Martin film, A simple Twist of Fate, which is based on this novel. I thought the story was really gripping. The start of the story in particular varies greatly from the movie. There is a religious narrative that goes throughout the story that is absent from the film. A lot of time is spent developing other characters in the story, and not just Silas Marner, which surprised me. It’s a sweet story and I love the way that the characters transform throughout. I also really appreciate how great the film adaptation was. So many moments from the book play out exactly the same on film, and it was fun comparing them. I really thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.


It felt like there were fewer books this year. A lot of the wait times for these were higher than books I’ve chosen in the past.

The stand out books for me this year were:

  • Norse Mythology
  • Longitude
  • Factfulness

Two of these were chosen by the book club at work, while the other was a suggestion I saw in a Hacker News comment.

Insects are Fascinating

One thing I enjoy photographing are insects. Insects are fascinating. When I can get a really clear photograph up close of an insect, so much detail and complexity to their anatomy is exposed, that generally can’t be appreciated with the naked eye.

Compound eyes are so neat. The geometric detail that nature produces is very pleasing. Hexagons are the bestagons. This particular fly was extremely large; one of the largest I’ve seen. He was courteous enough to stand still for a few moments on my neighbor’s car.

There are so many grasshoppers where we live. The kids love to catch them. This one is named “Joe”. I don’t know why, but that’s what he was named. He was posing very nicely on a piece of metal and I took the opportunity to take his photograph.

Not technically an insect… but fuzzy arachnids are very cute. This guy was on my car. I had a hard time getting a picture of him because he moved so much. That beautiful iridescent green is hardly noticeable from far away, but it is quite striking when you have a good up close look at him.

This wasp was enjoying our hydrangeas for what seemed like hours. This was my favorite pose he gave me. I like the way the colors turned out. If you zoom in, you can see the edges of his mandibles.
Take some time to enjoy the nature around you, even in it’s smallest form. We are surrounded by infinitesimal complexity and beauty.

Reading Review of 2022

This is a list of the books I read or listened to in 2022. Each has a small, hopefully non-spoilery review. This is to share what I read and also to help me keep track of what I have read and enjoyed!

Patriot Games

Tom Clancy, 1987

This is the first Jack Ryan novel I’ve ever read, and I loved it. I never saw the movie and had no idea what to expect. It was a wild ride. Jack Ryan is almost too perfect a protagonist, but it’s okay. It was a great political thriller and kept me wanting more the whole way through.


George Orwell, 1949

I don’t know how I made it through life without reading this before. It’s such a part of our culture that everyone knows “Big Brother” or knows about “new speak”. It was a great book, and was not AT ALL what I expected. The ending was a completely different from what I anticipated. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish I had read it sooner.

Every Tool is a Hammer

Adam Savage, 2019

I love Adam Savage. This book takes you through some of his methods and philosophies and sprinkles in anecdotes along the way. As an avid viewer of his YouTube channel, a lot of this was stuff I had heard, but there was a lot that was new. For the Mythbusters fans, I don’t think you’d find that there are as many Mythbusters stories as you might expect or want. I enjoyed it though and would recommend it.

Dune Chapterhouse

Frank Herbert, 1985

The final installment in the (original) Dune franchise. I don’t think I could have read through this one, but listening forces me to march forward. I found it a slog with too much intrigue and I just never felt invested in the story. I’m glad I can say I finished them all, but honestly they just aren’t my type of book.

Jesus the Christ

James E Talmage, 1915

I pulled this out to do some research for a talk I had to give at church and decided to read the whole thing since it has been 20 years since the last time. The book is super dense and dry, but interesting. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I really retained a whole lot into my long-term memory, but at the time, I felt like I was receiving some good insight into the ministry and life of Jesus Christ. I think it’s a great resource.

Dragon Teeth

Michael Crichton, 2017

This book was released posthumously, but was written in the 70’s apparently. It follows the fossil wars in the 1800’s and I thought it was quite gripping. It’s shorter than some of his other works, but I really liked the characters and the adventure. I would recommend it!


Michael Crichton, 1996

This was a great story about an “incident” with an airplane made by a fictitious company, and the ensuing investigation about where things went wrong. I got to learn a lot about flaps, and autopilots. It turned out to be quite the adventure, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Highly recommend!

If Chins Could Kill

Bruce Campbell, 2002

Who doesn’t love Bruce Campbell? He narrated this and it was a hoot. He touched on nearly all the things he’s done in his career, and had great anecdotes. It felt like it gave a good sense of who he is and how he views the industry. He’s a funny guy and I would recommend this book to any of his fans.

Red Rabbit

Tom Clancy, 2002

The next Jack Ryan novel (I don’t think I’m reading them in order…), this one involves an assassination plot, and a Russian informant who needs to escape the country. It was a good political thriller and I enjoyed it a lot. Not sure I liked it as much as Patriot Games, but it was a good ride. I’d recommend it.

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury, 1953

Another classic that somehow I have failed to read until this point in my life. Once again, we all know about this dystopia where books are burned. But once again, I didn’t know anything about the actual plot. It was a wild ride, and a quick read. It was interesting seeing all the people being pacified with their “parlor walls” and not having any real interest in the world around them. It was a good read and once again it didn’t go in the direction I anticipated. Highly recommend!

The Saints Volume 3

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2022

This volume of The Saints covers the early 20th century which includes the World Wars, and expansion to other countries, as well as interesting information about getting temples onto foreign soil. It is shorter than the previous entries, but still had some really interesting parts.

The World According to Star Wars

Cass R, Sunstein, 2019

This was a bit of an impulse. I ran out of things on my list, and this was available at the library. I didn’t really know what to expect going in, but it was actually a hoot. The author explores things like the economy, religion, philosophy and relates them to Star Wars. I enjoyed it a lot.

The Never Ending Story

Michael Ende, 1979

I have been familiar with the movie for most of my life, and have always liked it. My son read this book and was loving it so much, I decided to as well. It is a fun story. The movie follows the plot pretty well, but only covers the first half of the book (with some notable exceptions). The second half is a completely different story that I didn’t expect, but it was really good. There was also a lot of nuance in the themes that are more evident in the book than the movie. It was great, and I recommend it.

Moby Dick

Herman Melville, 1851

I decided to pursue this book after watching a video of Adam Savage talking about reading it, and making a diorama of a whale tale. The book is ingrained into our cultural knowledge on some level, however I was surprised while listening to it how much I really didn’t know about it. The ending wasn’t what I expected. The book for me went back and forth between immensely interesting and a bit dull. Some of it is the narrative about his voyage, then other chapters are philosophical, others are about the minutia of whaling. All in all, a worthwhile read, but some parts were more tedious than others.

A Princess of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912

This was an interesting book. I’ve read quite a few Edgar Rice Burroughs books in my day, and this narrative felt very much the same. The story was interesting, and I like his imagination and description of the foreign world. One thing I noticed while reading his Pellucidar series that I noticed is that he at times goes into great detail about how something works as a way to make it more credible. The problem is that here 100 years after it was written, it can come off as gibberish. The Martians use what he calls 8 and 9th rays (the first 7 being the 7 colors of the rainbow) and these rays are used for propulsion and some other feats of technology, and that part broke the immersion for me. But all in all, I enjoyed the story.

Alcatraz Vs. The Evil Librarians

Brandon Sanderson, 2007

My son got introduced to this from his cousins, and ready the whole series in a couple weeks. He begged me to read it as well. I’m glad I did. It’s a very witty book, full of what I would class as clever sarcasm. I like that as the narrator, Alcatraz frequently points out the tropes he is employing while narrating the story. The story is imaginative and made me laugh out loud more than any other book I’ve read in recent memory. It’s clearly a young adult novel, but I found it extremely funny and engaging.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – So You Want To Be A Jedi

Adam Gidwitz, 2017

This book was very much geared towards young children. It’s a retelling of the Empire Strikes Back intertwined with meditation tips for honing your burgeoning Jedi skills. On the positive side, it extended the training scenes with Yoda, and gave more teachings, etc., which was fun. On the negative side, many of the scenes that could have been directly quoted from the movie were not, which annoyed someone like me who has the entire film memorized. Also an odd thing I noticed, the author moved Darth Vader’s scene with the Emperor to before the Falcon chase in the asteroid field, but Vader still ordered them to leave the Asteroid field to get a better signal.

The Land the Time Forgot

Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1918

I definitely know this book by reputation. I went in thinking “Dinosaurs!” But it actually starts with a WW2 sub story filled with intrigue before getting to the aforementioned prehistoric creatures. Edgar Rice Burroughs has a style of narrating that is very familiar to me at this point, and the story is very reminiscent of the Pellucidar series, and even follows a similar narrative of finding an unexpected land, and survival in the new environment. Most of the story revolves around the proto-human civilization that lives there. It was interesting, and pretty short. Overall, I enjoyed it.

The Last Wish

Andrzej Sapkowski, 2007

A friend recommended this one, and I went in pretty blind. I have heard of The Witcher in terms of TV and video games, but am wholly unfamiliar with them. The book is like 5 shortish stories all stuck together. There are interesting characters that the protagonist meets who are clearly allusions to classic fairy tales, like the beast, Snow White, etc. Overall it was interesting. Not sure I liked it enough to continue with the subsequent books, but I’m not discounting it entirely.


Blake Crouch, 2019

This was picked as the book for the book club at work. I had never heard of it, and went in completely blind. I didn’t even know what genre it was. I’d classify it as techno thriller I think. I really enjoyed this book. It started off with good mystery, and surprisingly revealed the main mechanism of the story about half-way through. The second half was more on the thriller side of things, and was very exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.


Michael Crichton, 1999

This book caught my eye randomly. It was really enjoyable. There’s an A plot and a B plot, not to mention an opening mystery to kick everything off. The initial characters you meet end up not coming back into the story which was a little disappointing. As the book went on, I was more invested in one of the plots than the other, but I enjoyed both and felt the tension as the plots continued. It was a relief when things finally got resolved. I like how Michael Crichton does a lot of research and drops in factual tidbits along the way. I felt like I learned some things somewhat passively while enjoying the story. I would recommend this book; I thought it was great.

Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener’s Bones

Brandon Sanderson, 2008

I really enjoy the tone of these books. There is so much sarcasm, self effacing humor, and off-the-wall humor. The book seemed like it was going to drop us into a side quest at the beginning, but it ended up being the whole book which I wasn’t expecting. We got to learn a lot more about the lore/tech of the free kingdoms. We got to learn about new talents from Smedry relatives which is always amusing. I enjoyed it immensely. Read it!

Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia

Brandon Sanderson, 2009

Another fun installment of the Alcatraz adventure. I feel like each book does a good job at filling in the gaps to help us understand the world but not making the reader feel like gaps are being left open to be answered later, if that makes sense. It continues the ludicrous and sarcastic humor that I find so charming. A great read, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

The Fellowship of the Ring

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1954

I’ve seen the movies, but never read the books. They’ve always intimidated me somewhat, and people have told me that they are difficult. A friend recommended listening to the audiobook which is narrated by Andy Serkis, and they were absolutely right to do so. It was a wonderful way to listen to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also rewatched the movie so I could make some comparisons, and I was actually surprised by how well the movie portrayed the main elements of the story. The main difference I saw was in the time compression. The movie feels like it takes place over a few days, and in the book, it’s evident that everything takes a lot longer. Also, I was surprised the Frodo is 50! I really came to appreciate this world so much more and just adored the book. Looking forward to the next one as soon as I can get my hands on the next audiobook!


There were lots of good books this year. There were a few that stood out above the rest. 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 are both classics that I’ve known through reputation, but they were really great interesting and felt relatable to issues we face in society today.

I really enjoyed the thrillers, Patriot Games, Airframe. They are well written and very engaging. Chrichton in particular has a way of teaching you about a subject while also telling a thrilling story. Timeline was similar, and I really enjoyed it as well.

The Alcatraz series was a really fun surprise. I didn’t go into it expecting to enjoy it a lot, and I was wrong. It was great, and a very different pace from the other books this year.

So many great stories. I’m looking forward to 2023. If you have any recommendations, please let me know below.

Klein Bottles

A Klein bottle is like a Mobius strip, but is not bounded. It’s a manifold (meaning has no holes) surface with only 1 side. While you can’t technically create this object in 3D space, you can cheat by having a self-intersecting point. It’s a fun thing for people who are interested in topology.

I’m not a mathematician, but I enjoy learning about mathematical concepts. Over the years I’ve seen the Klein bottle come up from time to time, especially the glass representation created by Cliff Stoll. I remember first hearing about him in a video that was showcasing his under-house storage solution for his many glass Klein bottles that he sells.

I decided to buy one for myself. I had heard that the buying process was first rate, and that was no exaggeration.

Cliff himself emailed me to let me know the bottle was being shipped. Not only did he include a personalized, and very humorous letter, he included many photos of the very bottle I would be receiving!

After just a couple of days, my parcel arrived!

It included invoices, inspection paperwork, “topological propaganda,” instructions, an advertisement, and stickers. Each page is packed to the brim with mathematical humor, jokes, puns, and more. I couldn’t stop smiling as I read through it all.

I can’t recommend getting one enough. It’s an fascinating object created by an interesting person! Thank you Cliff for this exceptional experience!

Reading Review of 2021

In this post, I list and briefly review all the books I read or listened to in 2021. These are in order of how they were consumed. Since I’m doing this retrospectively, some of my recollection about the books may be hazy, but my only real goal is to vaguely convey how much I enjoyed each work.

Resistance Reborn

This book fills in the void between Episodes 8 and 9 where Poe, Leia, and the other surviving rebels rally around the galaxy looking for allies to help fight in the resistance.

I enjoyed it at the time. In retrospective, it was a little forgettable compared to other books I read this year. It’s nice that it revisits some characters we’ve met in both the movies and the other books. I’d recommend it for any Star Wars fan.

Thrawn: Treason

Thrawn starts off with an interesting mystery. Using his keen intellect, it leads to a bigger conspiracy. We get to see more Chiss, and we revisit Eli, which was nice. I really enjoyed this book, and thought it was a great read. Highly recommended.


Tarkin gives us a look at what shaped Tarkin into the character we meet in Episode 4. It gives us back story about where he grew up, and how his childhood shaped his story. I thought it was reasonably interesting, and think any Star Wars fan would enjoy it.

A Boy and His Horse

I read the Narnia novels in the now current order which is in-universe chronologically, and not in the order of when they were written, which in retrospect, I think is wrong. This book follows a story that takes place entirely while the children are ruling Narnia in the first book. While it was a fine story, I was disappointed to not get the next part of the story with Peter, Susan, or Lucy. I’d recommend it, but would also recommend reading it in publication order which puts it after the Silver Chair.

Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia

This book was very enjoyable, and was the revisit to Narnia I wanted/expected after reading the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I found it very enjoyable and would recommend it to any one who enjoyed the first installment.

Darth Plagueis

It makes me sad that this is “legends” as it, in my opinion, works very well with canonical Star Wars. This was a longer book, and at times is really more about Shiiv Palpatine than it is about Darth Plagueis. I found the entire thing very gripping and loved all that it added to the Star Wars universe. Highly recommended to any Star Wars fans.

Rebel Rising

Rebel Rising follows the story of Jyn Erso during her time living with Saw Gerrera. It takes place before and up to the main events seen in Rogue One. I honestly don’t remember a lot of details now, but I remember it being enjoyable at the time.

From a Certain Point of View

For the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, 40 short stories were commissioned showing key parts of the saga from the point of view of other characters. It was entertaining for the most parts. Some stories stood out more and stuck with me more than others. In particular, I loved one of the first stories about why the gunners didn’t fire on the escape pod because they’d have to file paper work, and also since there were no life signs, their kill ratio would go down, which would look bad. I’ll consider that canon. Some of the stories are a bit of a stretch. It’s not a necessary read, but it was mostly entertaining.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The next installment in the Chronicles of Narnia was again an enjoyable tale. This time, Edmund and Lucy are accompanied by their cousin Eustace and get transported to Narnia aboard Caspian’s ship, the Dawn Treader. Caspian is looking for the lost lords of Narnia, and they have many magnificent adventures. I really enjoyed this installment, and highly recommend it.

The High Republic: Into the Dark

This is, so far, the only High Republic book I’ve read. There is an interesting plot about a seemingly abandoned space station, mysterious transportation pods, and sentient plant life, and a Sith shrine which is exuding dark side energy. It was an interesting, new adventure in the Star Wars universe. I’m curious to see how fleshed out Disney will make the High Republic era eventually.

Star Wars Last Shot

This book is about Lando and Han in two different time periods interacting with the same crime boss, attempting to get a device/weapon/mcguffin, the Phylanx. It takes place mostly after the battle of Jakku, before episode 7. It was another novel that I thought was enjoyable while reading, but not very memorable once finishing. I still would recommend it to any Star Wars fan.

Humble Pi

I listened to this narrated by the author, Matt Parker. It was a fascinating book with many anecdotes about times when people got the maths (that’s a British term) wrong and the interesting or even devastating consequences that arose. I just loved this book and couldn’t recommend it enough.

The Princess Diarist

I listened to this one narrated by the princess herself, Carrie Fisher. She is hilarious. This book was a bit risque at times, but was fascinating. I thought it would be more about her life, but it really was mostly about her life around Star Wars. It was an enjoyable book, and made me sad that she is gone.

Children of Dune

This novel follows the story of Paul’s children. Leto II and Ghanima. It was an okay read. Dune hasn’t been my favorite franchise as it leans so heavily into the constructed lore. I realize that some people love that. For me, it makes it a little harder to get into it.

God Emperor of Dune

Of all the Dune books, this was probably my favorite. Leto the second is living as the God Emperor of Dune and is taking us down the Golden Path. I thought it had an interesting plot and I really enjoyed Leto as a character. Recommended!

The Saints Volume 1

The Saints is a book presenting the history of the early LDS saints. The content is comprised of primary sources as much as possible with secondary sources when no primary is available. I don’t usually consider myself a fan of history, but I found this very fascinating. It filled in a lot of the gaps between the stuff I did already know. It’s more a book about presenting the history and therefore isn’t preachy so it could be an interesting read for anyone interested in the history of the LDS church, even if they themselves are not members.

Heretics of Dune

I didn’t love it. I read it out of my desire for being a completionist, and because I know my brother really likes the books, but I didn’t find the narrative super compelling.


I listened to this narrated by the author, Tina Fey. It was a short book, but very humorous and engaging. She’s a very funny lady, and had some great anecdotes, and insights inter her life and career. I’d recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of 30 Rock.

The Silver Chair

This book reunites us with Eustace and an old King Caspian. Eustace and a friend from the Human realm embark on a journey to rescue Caspian’s son. I rather enjoyed this entry into the Narnia saga, and would recommend it.

The Last Battle

This was a fun one. We are reunited with Eustace, and his school mate Jill once again. In Narnia, there is a false Aslan who has been doing questionable things. Eventually the charade is revealed. It presents a nice final ending to the saga, and was a fun book. Recommended!

The Saints Volume 2

The Saints Volume 2 continues where Volume 1 left off and brings us to the cusp of the 20th century. Another interesting insight into the events and people who were integral to the early church.


All in all, I don’t regret reading any of them and enjoyed most of them. The standouts this year were:

  • Humble Pi
  • Darth Plagueis
  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader


Bill & Ted

I’m a big fan of Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure. I grew up watching the original movie frequently, and will always have a fondness for it. I recently purchased the trilogy on BluRay and watched all three films back-to-back.

While I feel that often sequels are money-grabs that try to copy the beats of a successful film in order to duplicate the former’s success (I’m looking at you Ghost Buster’s II), I feel that Bill & Ted successfully avoided this pitfall and produced sequels that are both unique and interesting. They also continue telling the over-arching story of how Bill and Ted save the world through music, making them cohesive.

In my estimation, the sequels are both successful because:

  1. They are not rehashes of the first movie (Different beats)
  2. They tell a new story while building on what came before (New plots)
  3. They are tied together because they are all part of a larger theme (Saving the world through music)

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is a very different movie from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. While the first is full of gags about time travel and a race to save their grades in their history class, the second does not focus on Bill and Ted time traveling at all. Instead the film focuses on them going to the afterlife, visiting heaven and hell, and becoming successful musicians. It uses new gags, has a new villains, and some pretty good special effects that I think still hold up pretty well.

Bill & Ted Face the Music pays homage to both previous films while not retreading them completely. It doesn’t follow the same beats, but does revisit elements of the first two films. First, Billie and Theodora go on a time travel mission to gather famous musicians, much akin to Bill and Ted gathering historical figures in the first movie. Secondly, they revisits hell, and reunite the cast with the Grim Reaper. It also has a new scenario of Bill and Ted going forward in time and visiting themselves to try to find the ultimate song.

I liked that the third film was able to take the story and prophecy into a new direction without being disrespectful to the previous films. I thought they did a great job with casting. I felt like it really nailed the tone of the previous films while also being contemporary.

In summary, I think this is a great trilogy which each film being unique, enjoyable, and not a mere copy of it’s predecessors.

Catching Up On Marvel

My friends have been badgering me to see the Marvel movies fro years, and I’ve resisted on account of having never read or been interested in comic books. I have seen Iron Man 1 and 2, but that was when they were first released, and I have not seeing anything else since then.

I watched all the movies in spaghetti order over the course of a month. I decided to write some brief notes on each one, and score them as I went. They each started with a base score of 7/10, and then I’d bump it up or down purely based on my impressions and level of enjoyment immediately after viewing.

Final Ranking

Thor: Ragnarok                     9.5/10
Captain America: The First Avenger 9.5/10
Avengers: End Game                   9/10
Iron Man 3                           9/10
Ant-Man and the Wasp                 9/10
Avengers: Infinity War             8.5/10
Spider-Man: Homecoming             8.5/10
Iron Man                             8/10
The Avengers                       7.5/10
Doctor Strange                     7.5/10
Ant-Man                            7.5/10
Black Panther                      7.5/10
Captain America: The Winter Soldier  7/10
Avengers: Age of Ultron              7/10
Captain America: Civil War           7/10
The Incredible Hulk                  7/10
Iron Man 2                           7/10
Thor                                 7/10
Thor: The Dark World               6.5/10
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2   6.5/10
Guardians of the Galaxy              6/10
Captain Marvel                     5.5/10

Thoughts per movie

Iron Man

I’ve seen this film multiple times in the past, so I am no re-watching it for this experiment. I think it’s a solid film. I loved the origin story, and felt that the casting was spot on. Tony is a very likeable jerk.

Score: 8/10

The Incredible Hulk

Wait. Edward Norton? I thought that other guy was the hulk. Oh well. This story is pretty good. I thought the opening sequence was amazing at divulging the actual origin using just a montage. Very effective and left more room for a compelling story. The fight sequences are the least interesting part to me. They dragged on a little too long. Also, so much collateral damage. I like that Mr Blue apparently has no morals. Overall, a better film than I expected. The CG hasn’t held up terribly well. Fake skin still looks shiny/plastic-like.

Watched: 3/13/19

Score: 7/10

Iron Man 2

I had seen this one once, but forgot most of it. It was another decent story. I enjoyed the arc we see from Tony where he is trying to come to grips with his mortality. On the technical side, so much of this movie is impossible. One guy, no matter how brilliant, cannot program a drone army with that much autonomy in a few weeks or days, let alone years. There are very complicated problems that need to be solved. They portray it as way too easy. Same with making a particle accelerator. Way to difficult of a problem solved way too quickly for complete suspension of disbelief. I still enjoyed it.

Watched: 3/15/19

Score: 7/10


I had low expectations. The more fantastical super heroes are not immediately appealing to me. The beginning of the movie in Asgard was not super interesting. How does their culture work? How does their tech work? It just seems like magic. Anthony Hopkins though. He’s a great actor. I like Loki, and how his motives were not predictable. I bought into the idea that he was going to betray his kingdom. I was pleasantly surprised that it was just a scheme to win father’s approval. Thor’s a jerk, but he becomes a nice guy by the end (almost too easily). The fight sequence was shorter that fight sequences in previous films, which was welcomed. Overall, better than I anticipated.

Watched: 3/20/19

Score: 7/10

Captain America: The First Avenger

I really enjoyed the feel of this movie. The World War 2 vibe was really fun and hearkened back to making it feel a bit like an Indiana Jones film. I was amazed at how scrawny they were able to make Captain Rogers appear in the first part of the film. I loved how he was only used as a marketing/morale gimmick at first before proving himself, and how his appearance resembled the original appearance in the comics.

Watched: 3/22/19

Score: 9.5/10

The Avengers

I’m writing my impressions a little after the fact, so my recollections are hazy, but I did enjoy this film. I liked seeing all the characters together and interacting. First off, so much collateral damage! That city was laid to waste. Hulk is indestructible, it seems. It took a bit to buy Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, but by the end, I think he was a good choice. Iron Man really saved the day. I enjoy Tony’s snark throughout the film. Poor Agent Coulson. I liked him. The Heli-Carrier defies a ton of laws of physics… But it’s okay, it’s just a movie. I also like Loki getting smashed by hulk. It was so sudden and unexpected. The after credits scene felt very Whedonesque with the group silently eating their shawarma.

Watched: 3/25/19

Score: 7/10

Iron Man 3

I like Tony Stark. A lot. This was a pretty darned entertaining film. I liked the Mandarin. I liked that it turned out he was an actor. That was a good plot twist I didn’t anticipate. The whole fire-person thing was a bit odd, but that’s to be expected in a comic book story. I liked the pay-off of the throwaway joke about Tony being on his 42nd suit at the beginning, and then having them all come in piloted by Jarvis to save the day. I really like him with Pepper Pots. I think they go well together. I also like how he’s continuing to see that his actions have consequences. Also the fact that he is having a hard time coping with the events of The Avengers made it feel like he’s a real person. I feel like his arc (pun intended) has been really great. Also, he got healed!

Watched: 3/26/19

Score: 9/10

Thor: The Dark World

People seem to not like this movie, and say it is forgettable. It wasn’t bad. Per the usual with Thor movies, I love Loki. He’s so layered that I have no idea what he is actually doing. I had a feeling that the apparent betrayal at the climax was an illusion, and I wasn’t disappointed. The revelation that Loki had taken Odin’s place at the end was insane. Where is Odin?! How did Loki survive?! I really like the idea of the 9 realms aligning and intersecting, and the physics break-down. Overall, it was a good movie, but it was less interesting because so little of it took place on earth.

Watched: 3/27/19

Score: 6.5/10

Guardians of the Galaxy

Man, I’ve heard people rave about this movie. It was okay I suppose. I had some beefs with it though. I certainly didn’t dislike it, but I don’t feel like it lived up to the hype. First of all, tonally and visually, I feel like it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the Marvel movies so far. It felt like some random Sci-Fi action movie. The second thing that bothered me was the amount of swearing. I think it was meant to up the comedic factor, but instead I was thinking the whole time that this wasn’t something I’d let my kids watch for a while. I really like Rocket. He was pretty great throughout, as was Star Lord. They were likeable characters. I also liked the 80’s music throughout.

Watched: 3/28/19

Score: 6/10

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

Volume Two was a bit more interesting. I liked Kurt Russell as the father, and the whole story line was interesting. I really like the development of Yondu, and how they explained the relationship between him and Star Lord better. I was sad to see him die at the end. Although I think it was pretty obvious that Star Lord’s dad was going to end up being a bad guy, it was still well done, though the final action sequence dragged on a little long. I liked this one better than the first, but still feel like it feels out of place with the rest of the Marvel universe.

Watched: 3/30/19

Score: 6.5/10

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This film was pretty good. I liked it less than the first Captain America. The tone was really well done, but the revelation that Hydra was behind shield was a bit of a downer. It feels like the problem is so large that it can’t reasonably be resolved. I like Falcon; He seems like a cool dude.

Watched: 3/31/19

Score: 7/10

Avengers: Age of Ultron

So that’s what Jarvis looks like. I loved how worried Thor looked when Captain America nudged the hammer. The bad guy was so calm and sociopathic. It was off-putting, but I think that was the intent. It was nice that the twins switched sides once they understood the ultimate plan of Ultron.

Watched: 4/4/19

Score: 7/10


I have heard lot’s about this film, both bad and good before seeing it. I was told it was more comedic, and took itself less seriously, however I found that the film was quite good, and I didn’t think the tone was out of place. The de-aging of Michael Douglas was pretty great. Again, casting was pretty top notch. I thought it was a nice touch that he was a convicted criminal for being a Robin Hood type figure, and not actually a bad or greedy person. I loved all the action sequences that took place when the characters were small. For instance, the train scene in the kid’s room, or around the model at the science facility. Obviously, the superpower in this case was pretty ridiculous, but I think the movie pulled it off, and it was good. I really enjoyed Michael Pena’s round about story telling.

Watched: 4/7/19

Score: 7.5/10

Captain America: Civil War

Oh my goodness. So there are two sides here: Those who will operate within a joint-government jurisdiction, and those who feel that that restriction will cause them to be ineffective in saving the world. I liked how they built up Tony Stark’s character with guilt and PTSD to make it feel natural for him to side with being subject to a United Nations type of oversight. I agree with Tony in this case, and think that Captain America really overstepped his boundaries even though he was ultimately right that his friend was being framed. A pretty good movie. I thought the plot was well layed out. I felt sad that the Avengers weren’t all getting along, and I disagreed with Captain America, but ti was still an exciting movie.

Watched: 4/8/19

Score: 7/10

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Not what I expected at all. Tonally it was lighter. It was almost a coming of age movie. I liked that he wasn’t an avenger. I liked his friend, and the dynamic of everything, and having to keep the secret. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that Mike Keaton (The Vulture?) was his crush’s dad. That was a great moment when it all sinks in. It was really well done. All around, I thought it was a really enjoyable movie.

Watched: 4/9/19

Score: 8.5/10

Black Panther

This is another movie where I had fairly low expectations, but was pretty blown away. At first, I was annoyed by the first glimpse of Wakanda because it annoys me when “primitive” cultures have incredible tech. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their very high tech city was concealed by some sort of holographic technology. There did seem to be a lot of vibranium available considering the entire source was a single asteroid thousands of years ago. How can they mine that little for so long? Anyway, the other thing I liked was the villain. In this case, the villain was not a mindless violent jerk who wants world domination or wants to end human life, but felt that the world could benefit from propagating Wakanda’s technology and secrets. It created a much more nuanced message of right and wrong and a more relatable antagonist. Overall, it was a good movie.

Watched: 4/10/19

Score: 7.5/10

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange was also much better than I anticipated. From the advertisements, I assumed it was some sort of magic movie ripping on the visuals of Inception and the like. I was immediately engrossed in Dr Strange’s cocky fall from surgery. I was pleased that the powers that he ended up studying were not magic, but a form of manipulating the multiverse. I liked how his cloak/cape had it’s own little personality, and I like that he developed from a character that wanted to be the best, and never lose (for his own ego) to a person who would put his life on the line to save others. It showed a slow growth throughout the movie, and I liked it. It didn’t feel sudden or fake. It was an enjoyable film.

Watched: 4/11/19

Score: 7.5/10

Thor: Ragnarok

What a ride! That movie was a perfect mix of action and comedy. It was really heavy, in the fact that Asgard was dealt such a blow, however they managed to keep it light enough that it was enjoyable. I absolutely loved Jeff Goldblum and the whole scene with Hulk. Watching Loki get uncomfortable was hilarious. There were tons of good moments, and I really enjoyed it thoroughly.

Watched: 4/12/19

Score: 9.5/10

Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos’ plan makes no sense, but that’s okay. He’s a villain, and we’ll give it to him. I loved how they took all the characters, and mashed them up into new groups. It was fun seeing new pairings interact with each other, for example, Rocket with Thor. All the side stories were interesting, and it was sad seeing Thanos get the stones one by one. I was shocked Loki died so early on! I thought for sure he was faking it and would show up at the end. Vision’s death was tragic. Tony losing SpiderMan was really hard as well. The movie was really well done, and I enjoyed it. I feel like they should have been able to defeat Thanos between all their diversified powers. Especially Dr Strange and his ability to turn back time. And make portals that sever limbs… Can’t wait to see how it end up getting resolved!

Watched: 4/13/19

Score: 8.5/10

Ant-Man and the Wasp

I really liked this movie. I liked the pacing. I liked the humor. I liked the added tension of Scott trying to not get caught breaking his house arrest, and am glad he made it through entirely and can be free (or on parole, or whatever). The daughter had way better hair this time around. I think it was pretty clear they would be rescuing the mom in this movie based on how the last movie went. It was a good story. I loved the cars and building shrinking/expanding. It was all very entertaining!

Watched: 4/14/19

Score: 9/10

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel seemed like an interesting premise, but overall, I don’t feel like the movie really worked for me. The acting felt stiff and flat throughout. Captain Marvel is also ridiculously overpowered. The de-aged Samuel L. Jackson looked great, and it was nice to see Agent Coulson again. Over-all though, the plot didn’t grip me, and it didn’t have the pacing and humor I expected from a Marvel film.

Score: 5.5/10

Avengers: End Game

It’s amazing seeing the payoff from so many films building up to this moment. The film was long, but didn’t feel long. There was so much to cover and it was all pretty exciting. I was surprised when Thanos was defeated so early on. The movie kept me guessing and I didn’t know exactly where it was going. I tried to go in pretty blind. I liked the “fat Thor” gag, but I thought it got old. I would have liked to have him do a cheesy montage and get back into shape, but it’s not a big deal. Having Ant-Man come back from the quantum realm was great. The time travel was fun, and I loved how they kept talking about time travel movies and how they were wrong. Lots of humor was interwoven which kept the movie from feeling heavy and long. In the end, the time travel felt a little mucky because it wasn’t clear to me personally if they were retrieving the infinity stones from their own timeline, or parallel timelines. It shouldn’t matter since they returned them, but I am looking forward to re-watching it. Overall, it was a good send off, and had a great balance of humor and weight, and it was a tremendous payoff for so much investment.

Score: 9/10

Hello world!

Amid the flurry that is life, a lonely webpage sits forgotten…

As life goes on, things change. In the case of website, technologies change. When I first made in the late 90’s, it was a simple, static, single-paged website. A few cool gifs, and some radical bookmarks. A bit later, I wanted to be like the trendy people, and added a guestbook. Ah, those were the days. Then, like all trends, guestbooks eventually go out of fashion. The cool thing was to add a blog. Blogs were magical. Everyone wanted one. Everyone wanted to broadcast their thoughts and feelings. I jumped on that bandwagon, but the wagon never really went anywhere.

My original blog was made using TextPattern. It was the hip new thing back in the mid 2000’s. Alas, the blog it powered sat around for 10 years, untouched by the hands that created it.

Finally, just days ago, that contents of that blog were migrated into this new WordPress home for the content. WordPress was also the fancy new tech in the 2000’s. Now it’s just good old reliable software that I am already using in other places.

But, aren’t blogs going out of style? Shouldn’t I be investing my effort into some sort of micro blogging or other social medium? Well, I guess that depends on what my goal is. I am not monetizing my website(s). I am not looking for followers. As always, core beliefs about the internet are:

  • It should be a free place where people can express themselves
  • It should not be monetized
  • It should retain it’s history
  • It should be viewed as a place to find information on any subject no matter how niche.

And that brings us here. My niche blog. It’ll probably be neglected for years at a time, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll have some thoughts or knowledge that I want to share right here. And that’s it’s here for.

Ideas I should have patented…

I have noticed that I have had some pretty good ideas growing up. Unfortunately, I neglected to ever actually pursue these ideas, thinking myself either incapable of completing or engineering these ideas, or because I simply forgot. Without Further ado, I give you the things I should have patented:

1. The scroll-ball

In the nineties, I got my first mouse with a scroll wheel. Such a novelty! So convenient for surfing the net, and equally great for working in Photoshop! Not long after having one, I thought it would be super to combine that technology with the already popular trackball, and make a super mouse that could scroll both up and down as well as left and right. Well, I never did anything with that idea, and 6 years later apple released the “Mighty Mouse.” I got my wish (but no cash… Bummer).

2. The touch-mouse

Once the “Mighty Mouse” (Now just Apple Mouse) was invented, I thought about how it was able to sense that fingers are present in either the left or right positions, thus knowing when to right versus left click. I found out that the principle of finger detection is the same technology they use for track pads on notebooks. I thought to myself that having a track pad on the top of the mouse instead of the scroll ball would be way cooler. There would be no ball to clean, etc. Well, Apple did finally do that too when they created the “Magic Mouse.” It also has multitouch capabilities as an added bonus!

3. No-Glasses 3-D Screen

Remember those cool pictures that moved when you changed the relative viewing angle? (lenticular animation) Well, that is because there are 2 or 3 images split up into vertical line segments, and spread across the whole area of the image with a prismatic lens on top which allows only one set of vertical lines to be seen at a time. Well, this seemed like a perfect technology to combine with the high-pitched LCDs. If 2 images (stereoscopic) were positioned in vertical lines and placed behind this same type of prismatic lens so that the left eye and right eye will only see isolated images, the effect of 3D would be produced. Well, I didn’t jump on this idea, and now it’s been patented and even demonstrated. This example is not exactly the same, but it uses the same principle involving a lenticular sheet, and augments it with 16 projectors.

4. The Digital Rubick’s Cube

Back in the day when I first learned to solve a Rubick’s Cube, I thought to myself that it would be quite convenient to have a a digital one capable of shuffling itself or solving itself. Well, many years later such a thing was created. It’s called the “Rubik’s Touchcube.” To bad I never saw it through to actually creating it. I must say however that mine would have been cooler…

I’m sure there are more, but this is good for now.

My cat, Ying

June 21, 1992 – December 12, 2008
I love my cat. Back in the summer of ’92, we found a fat stray cat on our porch. We decided to keep her. She was very friendly, and thus we named her “L.C.,” which is short for Love Cat. One day, we found out that she wasn’t fat at all, she was just pregnant. She had four kittens, and they were very cute. We gave 3 of them away, and kept the one we called Bluey. L.C. was going to get “fixed” to make sure there were no more unexpected presents, but lo and behold, she was already pregnant again, and this time, she had a litter of 8 kittens. Ying was one of the 8, along side Bert, both of whom we kept. The cats over the years developed their very distinct and different personalities, as well as their habits of where to sleep and generally live. Ying stayed upstairs, where, incidentally, I also resided. Out of all the cats, she was the one with whom I was most familiar and most attached. She was very loving and enjoyed sitting on tummies and kneading them with her paws. She slept on my bed, and would always be where the people were (and where the whippet wasn’t)

On December 12, 2008, my kitty, Ying, was put to sleep. She was 16 years old. She had a tumor in her abdomen, and was considered too old to be put through a treatment. Why am I telling you this? It’s my way of remembering my cat, and preserving a memory of her. My whole website was named from her back when I first purchased the domain in ’98. People probably don’t understand what Yingster” means, but to me, it represents my cat who was always there during my life growing up. She will be missed, but not forgotten.

© 2007-2015 Michael Caldwell