I go home and learn some more.
Today something has shaken me again but before I mention that, there are a couple of other things worth sharing with you all...
A friend of mine recommended the Kite Runner. I got up to a certain point and stalled but then read through to the end. For anyone who wonders what anybody ever saw in Kabul as a place to live, read this book and weep for a land that got strapped onto the rack when I was in High School and has only had the rope tightened since. This is not an easy read, but I think I understand Afghanistan a little better than I did.
Some time ago, I came across a link to Alexander Mayer's site -- I don't remember where. At that time, I viewed his introductory presentation and downloaded the two longer lectures as well. And there they sat. They're heavy on the math -- not so much so that I couldn't follow them, I just needed a bit more time and attention than I could give to them at that time. Friday I was off sick and went through them. I think he's on to something... I wonder what a "real" astronomer / cosmologist thinks, but I'm inclined to believe he's solved the Red Shift problem in an acceptable way. (I also liked the Michael Crichton speech it linked to -- not because I doubt that global warming is happening, but warnings against all kinds of junk science are always worthwhile.)
Today, I was struck by an interview with James Carroll on NPR regarding his book House of War. What touched me the deepest was the story of his father assigning him to take his mother and brothers far away in case he was kept inside at the Pentagon. Next to that was his father's assertion that if we didn't, as a race, find new ways to resolve disputes, that he felt we would not survive to the end of the 20th Century. That guess has proven wrong but it shows that we've all been living with war for far too long.