Book Report: Spin State

I liked Spin State, a science fiction novel by Chris Moriarty. It's science fiction but with a story in which the characters make mistakes. That's a good thing. I actually found myself thinking literature-ish thoughts, all mixed up in there with the quantum entanglement. It's good to think about quantum entanglement and human frailty at the same time. Plenty of the action takes place in a claustrophobia-inducing mine. Well, I don't think that the characters were getting claustrophobic, but I was. A tense book.

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Book Report: Nickel and Dimed

I've been having a good time this weekend, hanging out at social gatherings around various in-town out-of-towners. I guess I should report on a happy book, but instead the next book in line is Nickel and Dimed.

The author, Barbara Ehrenreich works some entry-level jobs and lives on the cheap. The next time someone tells you that we don't need to roll back welfare reform, tell them to read this book. Better yet, tell them to live this book. Move to a new city with a car and about $1500. Bootstrap your way to a life, pretending you weren't a college graduate: find a place to live, find a job. Don't run out of money. Good luck.

Ehrenreich writes about this stuff well. For me, the most eye-opening chapter was the one in which she worked with a cleaning service. What did I learn? Not only do many people treat cleaning ladies poorly--but also some cleaning services don't even do a good job of cleaning. That is, the service specifically tells their personnel to use methods that don't work well. Reading about the dirt and bacteria left behind... oh man, I was about ready to go all Howard Hughes.

The safety net is gone; some assholes get a kick out of ordering menial labor towards no purpose; we are doomed. There are funny bits, there are sad bits. It's a good read. Check it out.

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Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Even the Courts

Peter Sarrett wrote about that scary mine shaft accident in the Shelby Logan's Run game that happened a few years back. Playing these games, you hope that you won't sleepily run around someplace dangerous and injure yourself. There doesn't seem to be that much information about this accident out on the web--maybe because folks are respecting privacy. Maybe you're not supposed to post things if you're in the middle of a lawsuit?

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