Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Two Books

Tori Amos - Me and a Gun

I've read Running with the Buffaloes three times; I think the only book I've read more is Contact. So when Kara Goucher, a runner at CU during that time and the wife of Buffaloes' star Adam, came out with a memoir, I put it on reserve at the library right away. 

tl;dr: The Longest Race is a depressing book. In the end, I wished her grandfather had never introduced her to running - her life may well have been happier. I'm just so sorry she went through all that abuse. If there was one book I could have Bryan Caplan read, it might be this one; maybe it would help him see that women don't have it easier than men. (I doubt it, though, since he gets off being idolized by his incel followers.)

Here's a public radio interview with Kara.

Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell has become a putz. For years after the cheating and abuses came to light, he continued to defend Alberto Salazar, the villain of Nike's Oregon Project. 

BTW, if you've ever pursued athletics seriously, or run with the goal of getting better, Running with the Buffaloes is an amazing book. Try try try not to read any spoilers beforehand (including the book's description). 

OTOH, Dan Levitt's new one, What's Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body's Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner, is a wonderful read. The description is pretty accurate:

For readers of Bill Bryson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, a wondrous, wildly ambitious, and vastly entertaining work of popular science that tells the awe-inspiring story of the elements that make up the human body, and how these building blocks of life traveled billions of miles and across billions of years to make us who we are.

Every one of us contains a billion times more atoms than all the grains of sand in the earth’s deserts. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ve got enough carbon to make 25 pounds of charcoal, enough salt to fill a saltshaker, enough chlorine to disinfect several backyard swimming pools, and enough iron to forge a 3-inch nail. But how did these elements combine to make us human?  

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