Book 59: The Velocity of Honey by Jay Ingram (2003)

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Wow. Too bad I’ll never be able to show off how much I know unless I signed up as a contestant for a game show.

This is the last book that I’ll read this week. I need to study. Surely I can manage not to read for pleasure for the next three days?

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Book 58: How Life Begins by Christopher Vaughn (1996)

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After The Face, this book is only appropriate. It almost reads like a sequel even though it was written by a different author. Let’s just say what I didn’t learn by reading The Face, I learned by reading How Life Begins. The little groove thingy between your mouth and your nose, for example (i.e., part of your face). I now know it is called philtrum and it has absolutely no use whatsoever. It was formed so you could have a mouth and a nose, but other than that, useless.

This book is divided into nine chapters – one chapter for each month of pregnancy. The author also attaches pictures to give us some idea how big a fetus is at that point. It’s exciting. For the most part I already knew everything that’s in the book, but something struck me like it never did:

If the sexuality of a baby is affected by the hormones of the mother in the womb, then it isn’t so much as “God created some people gay” as it is “You’re gay because your mother messed up during her pregnancy.” Not that I’m into the whole God or homosexuality discussion. At all.

This book does nothing to change my other belief regarding abortion. My Catholic upbringing must have influenced me to an extent, but even after I gave up on Jesus I still believe – pardon, I meant I still KNOW – that a fetus is a human at the earliest stage of life. I will draw a line right at the implantation stage. Before that occurs, you’re not killing anyone. After that, yes you are. Not that I’m against abortion personally. No offense, but if you get pregnant out of stupidity I really don’t want to have your offspring running around in addition to you yourself.

Book 57: The Face by Daniel McNeill

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I picked up this book because I wanted to learn everything about face I hadn’t picked up myself in the many, many years I’ve seen faces. As it turns out, it covers a lot more than just faces. There’s history, psychology, and even philosophy, and I couldn’t stop reading this book once I started. I’ll definitely pick up some more books by the same author.

Book 52: Darwin’s Origin of Species by Janet Browne (2006)

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Another biography of Darwin. I don’t know how many more books about evolution should I read. I just felt really sorry for Alfred Russel Wallace. He rarely gets any credit, and all he did was letting Darwin to be the celebrity.

Book 51: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife (2000)

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I think I just learned more about zero than I’d ever care to know. The first part of the book is more about the history of zero, which is interesting. The second part of the book contains some math and physics mumbo jumbo, which I only skimmed through at best. Hey, I already took all the Calculus and Physics classes that I needed. I’d like to move on with life, please.

I never really thought about the concept of zero. It means null, void. It’s bizarre the way Aristotle and even Descartes refused to admit there’s a zero, a void. I find it hard to believe that the Western rejection of the concept and the Eastern acceptance made all the difference as far as their development of science went. I remember thinking in elementary school why 0 can’t be divided by 0 to get one, but that was as deep as I got. For the most part I didn’t care. Still don’t, actually.

Interesting book, though.

Book 35: The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (2006)

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 Hello, people. I’m back.

We will start today with one of the best books I have ever read. It is as informative as it is well written. It corrects several myths that have persisted and informs us on facts that we would never have bothered to look up on our own. Among other things, I learned that that we have at least nine senses, there are at least fourteen states of matter (as opposed to just solid, liquid, and gas), and Alexander Fleming wasn’t the one who discovered penicillin. A particularly memorable phrase is the authors’ description of the Oompa Loompa as “multicolored futuristic punks with Mohawks hairdos.” I’ll certainly remember that for a long, long time.

All in all, a very nice book. A quick read and I was sorry I finished it so fast.

Book 27: The Science of Harry Potter by Roger Highfield (2002)

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This is one of the more readable science books I’ve ever read. Since I do have a background in science, I’m not sure how much sense it’ll make to the general public, though. The writing both is clear but not comprehensive, if you know what I mean. Although the Harry Potter tag was what lured me into reading this book, I feel like the author could have written so much better if he didn’t constantly make the “Muggles” reference. Seriously, it gets annoying after a while.

All in all, I’d definitely get his other books. He has excellent writing.

P.S. For my faithful readers out there (because I know you exist!) this may be the beginning of the end. School is starting, I’m getting a job, and I don’t know how willing I am to risk my . . . life for the sake of reading books and watching movies.