This Day In History: 02/23

Saturday, February 23, 2002

I've always wondered how anyone can consider spam a viable form of advertisement. With the number of filters and Net-savvy people online, I don't see how any mass e-mailer can generate enough traffic to be successful, unless they send all their spam to AOL accounts.

I got a 102 on the last Jazz History exam. Classes like that lend credence to the not-studying approach to test-taking. I guess I should start on the final project soon, since it's due at the end of March. Hopefully there'll be an alternate test date for the final, since it's currently scheduled for the final day of exam week at 3 PM. Since I have no other exams this semester, that would be a week of sitting around doing nothing that I could spend up North getting rich and buying everyone presents.

Here's an interesting exercise for you: Below are two sound files of the same sections in a movie score for Disney's Dinosaur. One of them is straight MIDI and one of them is an actual orchestra. See if you can tell which is which. An answer will be posted tomorrow.

    Sample One (MP3, 937KB)
    Sample Two (MP3, 937KB)

"Finally, these ideas may not apply very well to the student intending only to bang rocks together randomly. That sort of thing may well be of interest, but such a composer is unlikely to be in an academic context." - Thomas Benjamin, On Teaching Composition

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Sunday, February 23, 2003

Another book I read over Christmas was Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Truthfully, I've never seen a current episode of SNL that didn't suck, but back in the days when Comedy Central had no shows and aired SNL constantly, many of the early classics were often shown. The book is simply a compendium of unedited blurbs from actors and writers of the show, listed roughly in chronological order. The stories told are very interesting, but the book really doesn't function as a good timeline of the show. It's like the interviews and dialogues fill in all the holes around a timeline which everyone should supposably be familiar with. Still, the stories are a good behind the scenes glimpse of life near the show.

I advertised a sublease on my apartment with my current students and I've already gotten a few replies back. It's nice having a 'captive audience' who will definitely be around in the summertime.

This may be doctored, but it's still funny (420KB).
404: Weapons of Mass Destruction
If he deserves a star, then we all do. When was the last time he was funny?
Tonya Harding again

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Monday, February 23, 2004

Anna and Ben are engaged as of yesterday. It's about damn time. Congratulations!

It's that time of the year again. Look for my Oscar picks starting tomorrow and running up to the ceremony on the 29th. You can read my older picks on March 24, 2002 and March 23, 2003 .

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    pay toll booth, mash theme chords, spasms of being intellectual, how to float a high templar tricks

Man accused of stealing patrol car with a crane
It's time you primates quit making a monkey out of me
Student suspended for SI Swimsuit edition
Arnold wants dirty foreigners like me to get to run for President

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    The Nominees:
    The Aviator
    House of Flying Daggers
    Passion of the Christ
    Phantom of the Opera
    A Very Long Engagement

    What will happen?
    This will be the only Oscar that Passion of the Christ gets, though it's nominated for three. Phantom of the Opera will come in second, mostly because of voters who confused its title with Passion or who had hanging chad on their ballots.
Costume Design
    The Nominees:
    The Aviator
    Finding Neverland
    Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

    What will happen?
    Troy will fail in this category simply because the whole Greek/Roman epic costumes bit has been done to death. With no Harry Potter movie to fall back on, the Academy will choose LSASoUE.
    The Nominees:
    The Aviator
    Million Dollar Baby
    Vera Drake

    What will happen?
    This could easily be the least interesting selection of nominees in the past four years. Since no clear cut winner jumps out at me, I'm going to choose The Aviator over Million Nominated Baby.
Documentary Feature
    The Nominees:
    Born into Brothels
    The Story of the Weeping Camel
    Super Size Me
    Tupac: Resurrection
    Twist of Faith

    What will happen?
    Though it won't win, Born into Brothels will use its nomination to worm its way into a boxed set with Band of Brothers in 2006. Tupac: Resurrection sounds like a blaxploitation version of Passion of the Christ but has the misfortune of not starring Richard Roundtree. You would not be visiting the URI! Zone if I didn't pick The Story of the Weeping Camel hands down.
Documentary Short Subject
    The Nominees:
    Autism is a World
    The Children of Leningradsky
    Mighty Times: The Children's March
    Sister Rose's Passion

    What will happen?
    The winner this year will be Autism is a World, leading the directors to create an all-American sequel called Autism in New York.
Film Editing
    The Nominees:
    The Aviator
    Finding Neverland
    Million Dollar Baby

    What will happen?
    No one cares about this category. Let's give it to Ray.

As you can see, I have not actually seen any of today's movies, making my predictions twice as valid.

To Be Continued...

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Marriage Day

So don't hate on me because I didn't call anyone up immediately afterwards, but I got married yesterday -- a spur-of-the-moment decision that culminated in a trip to the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg around 4 PM. Because it was so late in the day, traffic was horrible going up Route 7, but at least it's an event that will make 2/22/06 a memorable 222 day! We didn't get home until late, so I thought it'd be better to just announce it to everybody at once in today's update than to wake up people late at night just to shock them. Of course, none of this paragraph is really true, but how many of you did a double take when you read the opening phrase? Actually, today's entry is going to be titled, "Package Day".

My Amazon shopping cart finally reached critical mass last week after over a month with no purchases, so in the interests of keeping the Internet clean and uncluttered, I hit BUY and had a bunch of useless but fun goodies delivered to my door. The packaging this time around was laughably bad, with one entire flap missing on top. This orifice was protected with one of those inflatable plastic cushions wedged in and quadrupled-taped with packing tape.

Among the new distractions in the BU household:

  • The Complete Ramona Quimby Series: Pulling out that Beverly Cleary postcard back on Valentine's Day got me in a nostalgic mood so I bought this set on Amazon. I'm about halfway through now (since I can easily read a whole kids' book over a meal) and find myself instantly remembering storylines as I begin to read them. What's more interesting is that complete fragments of text, illustrations, and positions of illustrations on the page also pop out of some photographic recess of my brain. All these books are rebound, but I can even picture the original paperback covers from my youth.

  • The Complete Ralph S. Mouse Series: Another Beverly Cleary series from my youth which I read until the pages fell out of the binding and did a book report on in 3rd grade. I vaguely recall that the first book, Mouse and the Motorcycle was made into a movie, and can visualize Ralph driving the old-fashioned ambulance through the hotel with the aspirin in the back.

  • KT Tunstall: Eye to the Telescope: I picked up this CD on the strength of the single I'd heard, Suddenly I See and it's consistently solid. The musical styles are eclectic like Jem's Finally Woken CD, but her voice and instrumentation ties it all together into a coherent album. Here are a few samples:
      Stoppin' the Love (MP3)
      Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (MP3)
      Another Place to Fall (MP3)
  • Alias Assumed: I always buy an Alias book -- I feel compelled to do my part supporting the franchise. This book is a collection of essays by columnists, professors, and pop culture gurus edited by Kevin Weisman, who plays Marshall on the show.

  • The 4400: Complete First Season: "Complete" is something of a misnomer since it's only five episodes. I'd heard good things about this show, and it was only $14, so I figured, why not? I've only watched the first two episodes so far, and other than cheesy TV special effects, it's really good. The premise is that 4400 people who have gone missing since 1938 suddenly reappear all at once in 2004, and everyone is exactly the same age as they were (and no one remembers a thing). However, each person returned seems to have some strange unknown power that they didn't have before. Much of the show is character-driven like LOST, showing how the characters cope with the changes of losing years, but then you add two parts X-Files, two dashes of CSI, and stir vigorously like you're trapped in some retarded cooking metaphor. If you like any of the shows I mentioned, I think you'll like this one. And the good news, the show is coming back for a third season this year, so hopefully there will be more seasons on DVD. Who knew there were any good shows on the USA network?

  • 24: The Complete Third Season: Yeah, we're going to watch this. Hopefully we finish it in less than nine months, and it isn't just what one Amazon reviewer described as Jack Bauer's Mexican Vacation. I've heard that it starts slow but gets really good towards the end.

  • Tales of Symphonia: This Game Cube role-playing game got great reviews when it was released three years ago, and I picked it out of the bargain bin for only $20. It even comes on two discs! So far, it's a typical Japanese RPG, with a laughably bad storyline, ridiculous anime stylings, and an incomprehensible battle system, but it IS fun to play.

  • Sally Lockhart Trilogy by Philip Pullman: I remember nothing about this trilogy, Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North, and Tiger in the Well, except that I first discovered it in the Burke Branch Library after I had read every other book in the juvenile section (almost not a joke!) and that it was written for a middle schooler without any talking down. I recall it being very engrossing, but we'll see if my idealistic memory matches my reread.
  • If any of these items interest you, let me know and maybe I'll write full length reviews when I've exhausted the stash.

    One last 222 (submitted by Chris Li): In the movie, Office Space, Peter lives in apartment 222.

    Soccer takes a long-ass time.
    Sick sheep in a trash can
    Bongo and Hog

    tagged as lists | permalink | 9 comments

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Friday Fragments

    bite-sized biscuits of wisdom for the soul

    ♣ The shredder I purchased last week works pretty well, and devoured six inches of documents like a starving Art History major turned performance artist, clocking in at just under five minutes. It also has a setting that lets you destroy CDs and DVDs in seconds, which is both useful and entertaining -- truly a technical achievement on the part of the designers.

    ♣ At work, my team received a Technical Achievement Award for the five-month sprint we did for our latest release. Ironically, only three members of the team went to the company's "Let's Pretend Christmas is in January" party where the award was presented, since everyone else was too burnt out on working the very overtime that got them noticed.

    ♣ On Wednesday, everyone on the team received a miniature version of the award -- a peculiarly-shaped piece of glass with our names inscribed. This intriguing yet useless figurine now graces the top of my bookshelf, above the box of breakfast bars and slightly to the right of my Lunchbox Award. I'm hoping that on the equinox, the sun will shine through my window and refract across the figurine to show me where the buried treasure is so I can retire at 27.

    ♣ It's actually slightly to the left (not the right), but I'm writing from the perspective of the lunchbox. If you've never pretended to be a lunchbox, it's an interesting exercise. You really need to get in touch with your inner thermos, but that's just my two cents.

    ♣ Someone recently sent a check to Verizon for zero dollars after the recent stories of Verizon call center workers being unable to tell the difference between two cents and 0.02 cents. Though I think it's funny, I wouldn't want to publish my name, town, bank, and signature on the Internet for the sake of a joke. I'm sure his funds are getting hijacked as I type this.

    ♣ A recent news story told about an attempted plane hijacking in which the pilot tricked the hijacker by conspiring with the passengers in another language. After everyone else braced themselves, the pilot braked suddenly to knock the hijacker off balance, and then a stewardess threw hot coffee on him. This is exactly the reason why airport security is overkill -- nowadays, every red-blooded male and stewardess on the plane is just itching to quash any hijackings or minor rebellions to teach those terrorists a lesson.

    ♣ After reading up on several plane hijackings as training for my post-retirement career, I've deduced the biggest error they all tend to make: hijackers would encounter much less resistance from the passengers if they just sent the plane somewhere everyone wanted to go. No one honestly wants to be diverted to Cuba or Moscow, but I bet if you told the pilot to fly to the Bahamas with instructions for the authorities to meet at the gate with a case of rum, the passengers would actually aid you. Why fight to maintain your business-class trip to some boring convention when you could get forcibly diverted to a tropical beach where you can woo the native women? Trust me, for I'm an expert in native-wooing.

    ♣ In fact, my wooing powers are so legendary that I've started receiving e-mail requesting my help with the wooing. I now woo on a part-time basis and the woo income is a nice supplement to my non-wooful day job. I also work for the other side, having created a vacation retreat where the women wooees being harassed by wooers can spend a few days being wooless. I call it Lake Woobegone.

    ♣ I'll close today with this video of Nora, the piano-playing cat. Have a great weekend!

    Someone missed the study on sister kissing
    I always knew that a geek would make a great husband.
    Surgeons who play video games better at surgery

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    Monday, February 23, 2009

    Name That Tune!

    It's time for my annual Name-That-Tune contest! Past contests have incorporated crazy antics like "five songs at the same time", "only the breaks", and "only the bass lines". The new gimmick for 2009? I have uploaded 10 movies of me singing classic songs. The catch? There is no sound!

    If you can figure out the band and the song title for the tunes below, you stand to win a $25 gift certificate to Depending on how many people submit entries, there may also be runner-up prizes, as my own little stimulus package to the loyal readers of the URI! Zone.


    1. There are 26 possible points for the 10 songs. In cases of ties or teams, the prize will be split.
    2. For each of the ten songs, submit both the title and group to me, using the e-mail link at the top of the page. You can get half credit for partial answers. The deadline for your entries is Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at NOON EST.
    3. Every song in the contest was reasonably well-known and popular in its heyday. There are no trick songs or songs only I've heard of.
    4. If you plan on watching these movies a lot, download them to your own computer so they load faster (and also to preserve my website's bandwidth). If your computer is unable to view AVI movie files, let me know and we can try to correct the problem.
    11 (2MB, AVI)1st verse, 80s Rock Ballad
    22 (2MB, AVI)1st verse, 60s Rock
    32 (2MB, AVI)1st verse, 80s Pop Rock
    42 (2MB, AVI)1st verse, late 80s Rock
    52 (2MB, AVI)chorus, 90s rock
    63 (3MB, AVI)1st verse, 00s Rock
    73 (2MB, AVI)1st verse, 80s Rock
    83 (2MB, AVI)1st verse, 80s Hip-Hop
    94 (3MB, AVI)1st verse, 90s Heavy Metal
    104 (2MB, AVI)chorus, 80s Rock

    Good luck and enjoy staring at my mouth!

    Woman's weave stops a bullet
    Military?s killer robots must learn warrior code
    Google dismisses Atlantis find
    How many tunes do you think you know?

    10 (2 votes, 28.6%)

    6-9 (0 votes, 0.0%)

    1-5 (1 vote, 14.3%)

    0 (2 votes, 28.6%)

    I am blind. (2 votes, 28.6%)

    tagged as contests | permalink | 4 comments

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Museday Tuesday

    As part of this feature, which I started in 2007, I compose a very brief work (under 30 seconds) inspired by a randomly generated title from an online word generator. The composition can be for any instrumentation, and could even be a purely synthesized realization that might not be possible to perform in the real world.

    I work on the excerpt continuously for an hour and then post whatever I've managed to complete, even if it's a poorly constructed slum of a song supported by a foundation of droning double stops and abused tubas.

    Pusillanimous: (adj.) Lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    I chose to highlight the running away aspect of cowardice in this fragment written for piano, woodwinds, strings, and tuba. There should really be more oboe-tuba duets in the world.

    Elvis Presley passport highlights security flaws
    Great Dane is tallest dog of all time
    Service at sword point in "Ninja" restaurant

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    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Vocabulary Wednesday

    I lost the game on the right because I tried to be too clever, and ended up with a V and a Z.

    Indian man has 39 wives, nearly 100 children
    Australian city to expel 22,000 bats from downtown gardens
    Road toads bode ill in heavy traffic load

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    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews.

    The Office, Season Seven:
    This season was painful, almost as painful as the first. After hitting a high point around season four or so, season seven is pretty pointless. One thing that annoys me for no good reason in shows is when people make up random songs in a sitcom (Andy here or Marshall on HIMYM). This season was such a drag that when we got to the menu screen for an episode called "Andy's Play" the thought of listening to Andy singing crap actually kept me from watching any further for at least two months. I finally barreled through the rest of the season, which regained some focus towards the end but ultimately puttered out. Also, guest appearances by Will Ferrell did not help to get me on the Ferrell bandwagon.

    Final Grade: D+

    Bright Idea by Orson:
    This is a group popular in the UK that I used to listen to back on XM radio. It's catchy, forgettable, and very short. A few songs remind me of the Zutons, but not enough to look for more albums.

    Final Grade: B-

    Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future by Bird and the Bee:
    The original self-titled Bird and the Bee album I'd gotten for Christmas has continued to grow on me, especially the use of jazz harmonies and overdubbing, so I downloaded this one and ended up liking it even more. There's nothing amazing about any song on this album, but they're all irritatingly catchy, full of fat jazz harmonies and quirky, but tightly choreographed arrangements. Polite Dance Song is fairly indicative of the style.

    Final Grade: A

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    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Weekend Wrap-up

    On Friday night, we stayed in with gyros and wings from Joe's Pizzaria and started the show, Sherlock. We tend to fall on the extreme ends of the television show hipster spectrum -- either we discover shows that no one is watching yet like a normal hipster, or we enjoy a show like Sherlock only to find that everyone else liked it five years ago and doesn't care about it anymore.

    The rest of the weekend was snowbound, with Sterling getting about 8 inches before it switched over to sleet. We did some shoveling, cancelled our Saturday night plans with Katie and Joe, rewatched the movie, Awakenings, which Rebecca had never seen, and played some games.

    On Sunday, the snow melted enough for us to go to the Cranes for the Oscars and some Chipotle, but we left early before any award of note had been given -- the show felt particularly boring and sterile this year. Neil Patrick Harris has done some great hosting in the past, but last night's Oscars kind of felt like he was once again hosting the Tony Awards.

    How was your weekend?

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    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Quiz Day: Me Me Me!, Part VII

    Part I | II | III | IV | V | VI

    How much you know about me? Hover your mouse over the right column to see the correct answers.

    1 Amidst all of my superpowers, what is my fatal weakness?
    1. Constantly sick
    2. Clumsy with glassware
    3. Dyslexia
    4. Crippling social anxiety
    2 What do I always keep an extra of?
    1. Propane tanks
    2. Chapsticks
    3. Road trip detour routes
    4. Cream cheese tubs
    3 If Coldplay were the only band left in the world and they could only play one song for eternity, which song would I use my one veto on?
    1. Viva La Vida
    2. Fix You
    3. Yellow
    4. Shiver
    4 What is my currently preferred type of beer?
    1. IPAs
    2. Saisons
    3. Porters
    4. Stouts
    5 What's the average duration of my showers?
    1. Under 2 minutes
    2. 2 - 5 minutes
    3. 5 - 10 minutes
    4. Over 10 minutes
    6 What was my most commonly cooked dinner as a grad student?
    1. White Rice
    2. Totino's Pizzas
    3. Bandquet Fried Chicken
    4. Fish Sticks
    7 Which grocery store have I not regularly shopped at?
    1. Shoppers Food Warehouse
    2. Walmart
    3. Wegmans
    4. Giant
    8 What was the first season of TV on DVD I ever owned?
    1. Alias
    2. Malcolm in the Middle
    3. Friends
    4. 24
    9 What musical device is least likely to be overused in one of my compositions?
    1. Vibrato
    2. Simultaneous major/minor 3rds
    3. Pitch bending
    4. "Wrong" rhythms
    10 Which computer technology have I never worked with?
    1. SPARQL
    2. Lotus Notes
    3. Inform
    4. Perl

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    Friday, February 23, 2018

    Review Day

    There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

    Blade Runner (Final Cut) (R):
    This is one of those classic movies that I always figured I should watch but never got around to. I went in blind and found that it does not necessarily hold up well against modern movie standards. It's not bad, as minimalist sci-fi goes, but seems to spend more effort on establishing setting rather than story. It also has the Star Wars Episode 4 problem where most of the scenes are actually transitions to other scenes rather than important scenes in their own right -- there's only so many scenes of Harrison Ford walking up some stairs or landing a flying car or trying to convey emotion with a blank facial expression I can take before I start to get bored. The "Final Cut" is a little jarring because it's audibly apparent where new dialogue was added and some scenes restate dialogue from previous scenes verbatim. Overall, not bad, but a little dull compared to the movies one could be watching today. I have Blade Runner 2049 up next to watch (which is the reason I watched the original), but its 2 hr 43 minute running time violates my long movie rule and I'm struggling to get motivated to watch it.

    Final Grade: C+

    The Good Place, Season One:
    This is a pleasant, quirky little sitcom about an awful person who dies and mistakenly gets sent to the good afterlife instead of the bad one. It takes the whimsical fancy of Pushing Daisies and adds a lot more modern snark, resulting in a refreshingly funny show. The plot is allowed to evolve beyond its original premise although the twists and turns may not be hard to guess for people who have turned on a TV in their lifetime. Free on Netflix.

    Final Grade: B+

    Attune by Lenka:
    A mellow, pleasant outing from Lenka, who seems to have moved towards forgettable soundscapes rather than memorable songs. Great to have on in the background, but not as good as a car CD.

    Final Grade: C+

    Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor:
    When researching baby monitors, I was drawn by an honest review that roughly said, "In a world of shitty baby monitors, this one is pretty okay." The DXR-8 is a little pricy ($160) but not nearly as ridiculous as the ones with unnecessary heartbeat monitors or video poker features. It is great for our needs, with video, audio, and easy controls. The range of camera movement feels a bit constrained sometimes but a non-lazy person could mount it in a different location to overcome that. The video quality is perfect for status checks, and transitions seamlessly between night vision and day vision when clouds roll across the horizon. The monitor also holds a charge away from its docking station while left on all night long. There is a feature to talk to your baby through the camera, which we've shied away from doing so she doesn't get confused about our identities (she already recognizes our conversations with Alexa).

    Final Grade: B+

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    Wednesday, February 23, 2022

    What's Maia Up To Day

    Maia is solidly in the four-and-a-half year age range. She has been going to Kids Under Construction preschool since last September and loves it. (She sometimes tells us when one of her classmates acts out, but she likes to note that SHE has never had a time-out there). She's learning a lot of things I didn't learn until kindergarten, although she's also started incorporating the dreaded "like" as a pause word when she's talking.

    Her latest passion is to make signs and books by copying the words out of existing books. She wanted to have a bunny yard sale in her room, so she recalled the specific Berenstain Bears book with a Yard Sale sign in it and copied it down. Her letters are legible, which is more than I can say for my own handwriting up through high school.

    She still regularly tries to come up with jokes, mostly focused around rhyming words, and took a list of Jokes to school in the class' Alphabet Bag for the letter J. One of her more successful jokes:

    Q: What do you call broccoli touching an electric cord?
    A: A shockolli!

    One of her less successful jokes:

    Q: Why did the hook run away from the fish?
    A: Because the hook was scared of the fish!
    That's the question!

    She also likes saying the word "my" with an exaggerated Southern accent, like "I'm just doing mah thing!" or "Watch out for mah butt!"

    Maia remembers everything, and will recall random topics from long ago when triggered by other things we're discussing. Answering every single question she's ever asked has paid off and her skills of deduction are greatly improved. At 4, for example, if we arrived somewhere and I said, "No one's here yet!", she might reason, "Maybe they haven't gotten here yet." Now, she might say, "Maybe there was traffic and they are late."

    TV time remains low. She liked The Floor is Lava on Netflix briefly although the show got old pretty quickly. She liked figure skating in the Winter Olympics for short bursts of time. Otherwise she just watches both Frozen movies cyclically, trying to learn more lyrics each time. She'll play Khan Academy Kids on the iPad or Mario Kart 8 on the Switch a couple times a month, but is usually more interested in a physical activity like games or crafts.

    tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, February 23, 2024

    Review Day: Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

    There are no major spoilers in this review.

    Children of Ruin is the second book in the Children of Time series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Although it's a sequel in the sense that you need to have knowledge of what came before, it plays out more like an anthology story, laterally covering similar themes as the first book.

    The story begins on one ship out of many tasked with terraforming a new planet for mankind's salvation. Unlike the first book, the crew arrives to discover the planet already teeming with life forms that seemed to evolve without Earthlike biology. When signals from Earth stop transmitting, the five-man crew allows their mission to evolve more towards exploration and science. Uncounted years later, descendants of the protagonists from the first book arrive in this galaxy in search of other terraformed worlds.

    The tone of this book is mostly clinical and detached, as if the author is crafting a scientific report about a really cool terrarium. I felt like I was kept at arm's length (even more so than I did in the first book) so I never grew attached to the characters. However, this tone is expertly subverted at several points, where the plot dips its toes into light horror themes. I loved the creepiness of a potentially dangerous planetside menace (and its catchphrase). I had positive flashbacks to the pulpy thriller aspects of Michael Crichton's books.

    Overall, I loved all of the concepts that were explored in this book, from organisms that behave like machine learning algorithms to massive space worms bred for planetary mining. I didn't think it was totally successful as a cohesive story though, and my interest started to wane around the 3/4 mark during several consecutive chapters of backstory. As plot threads started to converge, I felt a little lost and adrift, like I had focused on the wrong elements early in the story rather than the elements that would become foundational to the conclusion.

    I like that Children of Ruin tried something different even if it didn't resonate with me personally. In spite of its flaws, I'm still willing to give the final book (Children of Memory) a try, just as soon as I get through P.L. Stuart's newest release in his Drowned Kingdom series.

    Final Grade: B-

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments


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