The Signal and the Noise, Nate Silver
This was very easy to read. I have seen Nate Silver on the Rachel Maddow Show a few times, so I was not surprised by this. It was still great to learn a new way of thinking about things. Even the examples that were of no interested to me in themselves, such as Baseball, were effective illustrations in Silver’s hand.

Blackout and All Clear, Connie Willis
This is one book that got divided into two books for publication. Blackout does end on a great ambiguous moment. Willis is very clever with concealing and revealing information. It seemed a little contrived at times, and was once very confusing, which I actually think is pretty good for a book that has so many things happening in it.

So, this is a time travel story where historians from Oxford University in 2060 go back to WWII to do research. I got occasionally frustrated with the characters for being confused by things that I thought were resolved clearly in a previous time book. I would have loved more of the Oxford side of things as well, as I think that would have better sold the overall premise to me. Caveats aside, once I got into the book, I devoured it. And it is fantastically evocative of England’s experience of the Second World War


Pacific Rim
I did not know that this was a film about giant robots beating up giant alien sea monsters, so it was kind of fun to watch it without those expectations. It is a film about giant robots beating up giant alien sea monsters, and it enjoys it so much it’s difficult not to get carried along by it.

The film also looks gorgeous. It was very easy to watch. I didn’t follow all the internal science or references (and too many of the characters look alike), but the film is fairly straightforward, so it was ok. All the emotional notes hit properly. Bonus hilarity watching bad fake Australian accents in an audience full of Australians.

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