READING WITH XIPHOS

Hidely-Ho boys and girls! Xiphos here trying out a new section to shamelessly garner attention and run up the site content. It’s a book section! I figured I would do this whenever the mood hit and I don’t watch anywhere near as many movies as ya’ll do and TV is slipping in quality again (thank you writers strike cocksuckers). I needed some reason to justify my status as a contributor, so I hit on doing a book section as my raison d’être.

I don’t see this as anything big or in depth, just quick hits about what I’m reading or books I like. I figure this could be a clearing house sort of place where you fine folks can leave suggestions or warnings about books and we talk about them and simultaneously increase the site content. Win! Win!

Time for the housekeeping part. I usually read between 1 and 3 books a week depending on the week and the books. I try to split between fiction and nonfiction although that isn’t a hard and fast rule. For instance, the last few weeks it has been strictly fiction but now I have a stack of books about science, history, biographies and the like. So I figure the pendulum will be swinging the other way very soon.

So are we up to speed here? Everybody clear on the article’s objectives? No questions? Good let’s get started!

I’m going to start with a couple of old favorites both of which are nonfiction. The first is titled The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark by Carl Sagan. This book is the primer for critical thinking and skepticism. That’s skepticism friends and not hollow cynicism about science, pseudoscience and how to view wild and crazy claims about woo woo subjects accurately. Sagan’s crisp first person narrative zips along and provides reams of useful information in an entertaining manner.

The next book is at or near the top of my all time favorite list. It’s called Why the West Has Won: Nine Landmark Victories in the Brutal History of Western Victory by Victor David Hanson. The book was renamed at some point and the alternative title is Carnage and Culture. Don’t be a stooge like me and get both titles. What can I say, I’m slow.

Hanson, a former classics professor in the University of California system, analyzes 9 battles from history that he thinks showcase why the “West” has been the preeminent military force for the past 2500 years. His conclusions and distinctions between the eastern and western world politically, economically, socially and militarily are quite insightful and the book is extremely well written. The battles that Hanson uses to illustrate his ideas about the “Western way of war” range from the naval engagement at Salamis in 480 BC to the ground war during the Tet offensive in 1968. The book covers land, naval and air engagement throughout history.

For the English among us Chapter 8, which might be the best chapter in my opinion, may be of special interest as it deals with both the fight at Isandhlwana and the defense of Rorke’s Drift. In about 75 pages Hanson delivers a masterful dissection of these two battles.

Don’t worry if you are not up on your history. Hanson’s writing style is such that he can pass along all the info needed to understand his larger points in a crisp and efficient manner without once making the reader feel like a fool.

I highly recommend this book. If your enjoy history like I do, you will be fascinated by this book. If you are a causal reader of history this book is still entertaining and informative and gives you pause to think about why things are the way they are.

Now that the serious stuff is out of the way here are some fiction books I’ve been burning through lately.

California Fire and Life by Don Winslow (Wiki link to author info: http://tinyurl.com/yfun6nx). I enjoy Don Winslow as a writer because he used to be a private eye so he draws from his real life experience to stock his books full of interesting outsiders, plausible mysteries and surfing. Most of his books take place around San Diego so I admit I have a bit of bias because of that but they are good and entertaining books. I’ve read a majority of Winslow’s books and they are all solid. One of the few I have not read yet is set in London. I’m looking forward to that one.

California Fire and Life is about arson investigator and claims adjuster Jack Wade (Winslow was an arson specialist) who gets drawn into a plot involving murder, arson, the Russian mob, Vietnamese gangs and corporate corruption. The book has some great descriptions of the city of San Diego and the San Diego county area. Plus it has surfing which instantly makes any book better. Same as nudity and midgets do for movies.

I found the passages about fire science and arson investigation engrossing and informative without slowing down the story and the resolution was not what one would expect but most of Winslow’s work tends to be that way. They aren’t twists or anything like that, they are just not the usual stock endings you would expect from a genre book.

Personal note, every surfing spot that Winslow mentions in his books I’ve spectacularly wiped out in and Winslow’s describes those places beautifully.

Next up is Leather Maiden by Joe R. Lansdale (Wiki link to author info: http://tinyurl.com/6edsxh). If you have not had the pleasure of reading a Lansdale book you are missing out on an experience, his books are not like anything you’ve ever read. Lansdale is probably best known for his Hap and Leonard series (fantastically fun books) but all his books share similar characteristics. They are all set in fictional east Texas towns full of wacky characters, dark deeds, secrets and ass kicking. Lansdale could be thought of as the William Faulkner of east Texas. His books are dark, violent yet funny as hell.

Leather Maiden is about a Pulitzer Prize nominee newspaperman and former Army veteran of the Iraq war and current borderline alcoholic trying to get his life together. The main character, Cason Statler, returns to his home town of Camp Rapture Texas after getting canned from his job at a Houston paper for banging his editor’s wife and step daughter (she’s adult). Statler takes a job at the local Podunk newspaper and promptly gets involved with a story about a missing and presumed dead coed from a local college.

Read Joe Lansdale for his mastery of language and the nuances of east Texas he provides. His books are pure joy. Also Lansdale wrote the short story that the movie Bubba Ho-Tep is based on.

Lastly there is Haiku by Andrew Vachss (Wiki link to authors info: http://tinyurl.com/n4df6). I don’t know how to begin to describe Vachss’ style. Hard boiled, gritty, noir doesn’t scratch the surface of his writing style which is dry, spare and Spartan. Even that sentence doesn’t really say anything because Vachss’ works are soulful and full of emotional clarity. It’s dark emotions like revenge and retribution but oddly hopeful in some unfathomable way I can’t begin to explain.

Haiku is set in “the city” and is about a tribe of homeless men led by Ho, an elderly self exiled to the streets, martial arts master. The story starts off as a half assed blackmail scheme by a member of Ho’s tribe but quickly and darkly devolves into something more. I know I sound vague but Vachss’ books are more of an experience and defy easy descriptions.

Vachss’ Burke series are my favorite works of fiction but if you are going to read any single Vachss book, check out Shella. That book will punch you in the gut and curb stomp your head. Let me give you taste of Shella, here’s the opening paragraph:

“The first time I killed someone, I was scared. Not scared to be doing it—I did it because I was scared. Shella told me it was like that for her the first time she had sex. I was fifteen that first time. Shella was nine“

The rest of the book goes pure black from there and the story is so dark that it created new shades of black.

That’s it, that’s my first book talk post. Like I said it’s not going to be weekly or anything, just whenever I have some books I would like to share. Let’s see what kind of talk we can generate. Thank you for reading this.

Mahalo,

Xiphos

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About Xiphos0311

Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.

52 responses to “READING WITH XIPHOS”

  1. Continentalop says :

    Hmmm, I guess I’m gonna have to give VDH and his book another try. I never did read it, but I have read some of his columns and never really dug his theories (I am admittedly a fan of his tival Jared Diamond and his book Guns, Germs and Steel).
    My problem with Hansen has always been that certain inherent cultural traits are what made western Europe (and their colonies and immigrants) dominate. I agree with that up to a point: I think certain traits and beliefs did help the Western World, but unlike Hansen (at least in articles) I don’t believe that these are “inherent” traits but things that developed and evolved over time. Hansen comes across as a cultural elitist where I see these cultural beliefs as the natural product of competition, experimenting and interaction. 

    VDH credits the victory of the Battle of Midway with individualism. Well, individualism wasn’t a Western concept and wasn’t something that came from the Greeks and Romans; it found birth during the Enlightenment but didn’t really flourish until the development of America. Why was individualism such a trait so identified with the USA? Well, when you live in the wide open ranges and frontier away from civilization you are expected to be independent and make your own choices, and this concept of individualism filtered back into the cities of the East (who had their own experience with it thanks to their days of being small colonies in the New World). 

    So I don’t think individualism grew from uniquely Western European traditions but from the neccessity of living in America (or Canada or Australia). It was a concept that evolved from the environment IMO. Maybe if China had colonized the New Word, the concept of Xia would have led to a similar concept of individualism. 

    But as I said before, I have only read Hansen’s articles and not his books, so maybe in it he does a better job of explaing his theory and doesn’t come across as so eurocentric and bias as he did in the articles I read. I will be fair and give him the benefit of the doubt and try his book.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I’m eating lunch right now but I’ll post a reply later on tonight. this might be an interesting discussion.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I was going to post a long rebuttal I’ve been thinking about all day but I’ve decided against it and instead I’m going to make these four points.

      1. With guys like Diamond and Hansen you bring to the books the culmination of your expiernce at the time you read them. Seeing as I’ve hump a ruck for over 20 around the world Hansen’s military points make sense to me. Now I’m not saying I agree with everything Hansen writes becasue I don’t, nor do I with anybody. I’m more reacting to his overall body of work.

      2. Jared Diamond first time I read Guns Germs and Steele I maybe agreed with 25% of his ideas and thought most of them were ill thought out and not really proven in my opinion. A couple of years later I decided to read it again in preparation to see him speak(big mistake more later) in conjunction with his follow up book, which I did not care for at all. The second time I read it because of time changes in my life and new experience I thought a little higher of it, then the talk happened.

      3. Suffice to say his pompous attitude( I’ve never went to hear anybody speak ever again) and the even more asshated attitude of the Diamond sycophants lead to some problems when I asked my question and several follow ups(one fatty followed me outside, we had words.). since then my opinion of Diamond and his work went right through the floor and this was about the time I found my first Hansen book.

      4. I’m not sure where you got the “individualism” part from. During lunch I reread the Midway section and did not find it. Hansen does mention in several parts of the book that “individual initiative” is a key component in many western armies. Could that be what you mentioned?

      • Continentalop says :

        Well, fortunately I have never heard Diamond speak and I try to make sure I never do (I made that mistake with Dawkins). Unfortunately I have heard Hansen speak and read some of his articles and the guy came across as American exceptionalist nut. Even worst, his work and his ideas were being brandished by a bunch of ultra-far right, neo-neo cons, so I can imagine that somewhat tarnished my opinion of him. 

        Now, in VDH defense it isn’t his fault that his work got politicized. I mean both Clash of Civilizations and The End of History got re-examined and used in ways the authors didn’t intend after 9-11 and the invasion of Iraq, and just because I might disagree with a scholar’s political viewpoints doesn’t mean his work is without merit (Chomsky’s work on languages is first rate). 

        I think enough time has passed for me to give him a far shake. 

        As for the Midway example, I just remembered that someone else describing Hansen’s work, so once again in all fairness he might have misrepresented or understood the original material. I will definitely have to go back to the source. 

  2. Continentalop says :

    BTW Xi, have you read THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE? I think you would dig that book.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Yes I’ve read this book years ago when it first came out. If I remember correctly the basic premise is that there is good and evil but framed in nonreligious arguments and I agree.

      • Continentalop says :

        That is the book. It describes evil as a evolutionary tool for groups and memes, and I love that book. One of my favorite non-fiction, up there with the Red Queen, 48 Laws of Power and Malcolm Gladwell’s books.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I will pick the book up again and read it its been years. I should reacquaint myself with my friend Mr. Amazon. Or maybe I’ll wait until the weekend, I was planning on hitting the library and used book store, one of those joints has to have it.

  3. Jarv says :

    Good idea.

    We all read a lot, so yeah, a good idea.

  4. Droid says :

    1-3 books a week? Fuck me. I probably average a book a month. But I agree, this is a great idea.

  5. Tom_Bando says :

    Well I have the Sagan book. It was like many of his tomes for me–kinda interesting early on, then the man’s ego gets in the way and his drone starts to interfere. It makes for some good reading though.

    A decent history book series–if somewhat Aulde Schoole(TM) are the ‘Story of Civilization’ series by Will and Ariel Durant. The part about the Sinai Sufi Giant Robots in the 900’s is the best-

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I’ll have to check out your recommendations Tom.

    • M. Blitz says :

      When I was reading T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, I had recurring dreams about bands of nomadic robots preparing for battle. They rode camels. It was pretty great.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Lawrence was one interesting dude.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        The Byzantines had a Giant Rjobot (they were vikings) that spat out Greek Fire AKA Napaulm. Best thing was they were also Stealth Technology, as they could clank out ‘Allahu Admiral Ackbar’ before setting fire to the Sultan’s navies. It was always a good time.

  6. Bartleby says :

    great idea Xi. Lansdale is great, quick reading. Very quirky and his stuff has tons more character than Coscarelli’s adaptation of Hotep (or Incident on and off a Mountain Road, for that matter) did.

    Sagan’s Demon Haunted World is interesting, and probably better than some of his other stuff. Occasionally, theres the tendency to go so far the other direction that science itself gets lifted up as some universe defining paradigm. Sagan is a bit better than most books in this venue though. Mostly, they only appeal to someone who already shares the worldview. This is true of stuff on both sides of the fence. I’d agree with the skepticism vs. cynicism critique. That sounds fair.

    You describe Haiku perfectly. Like a punch to the face is what I felt after reading it. For me, he has limited appeal, but the first read is always a pretty singular and gut-wrenching experience. If you like your noir gritty and mean and evocative, grab a copy.

    Winslow is a nice choice for the list. As a writer goes, I think he could use some polish, and his storytelling isn’t always as fluid as other writers BUT (and its a big but) he’s got such a good grasp on the technicial details and the feel/atmosphere of the private detective world, as well as all the other conjoining disciplines that might factor in, that its hard not to get drawn in and geek out over his stuff. That being said, I haven’t read this one.

    Had been toying with a Cinematropolis page that does that same thing but never had the time and resources to do it. Looks great though!

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Jonah Did you read Haiku or Shella? Both hit you with body blows but in different spots.

      Winslow gets a pass for me for anything becasue of The Death and Life of Bobby Z and the surfing angle. he writes great surfing stuff especially in The Dawn Patrol.

      Lansdale is great. Have you read his stand alone work, the Hap and Leonard stuff or both?

  7. Bartleby says :

    Oh, and Xi…Supernatural update on my end. The wife and I have now made it through the first 3 seasons and have finished the first 2 of season 4. So far, I gotta say, wow.

    Season 1 was very reminsicent of stuff that went before–X-Files and Night Stalker for the teen/20-something crowd. I liked the one-off, battling urban legends angle. Felt like a nice cozy route to go, and I really started digging it when Jeffrey Dean Morgan showed up.

    The second season was the best one so far (like so many other shows) and it fleshed out the world, expanded the characters(love Bobby) and really had some pretty freaky creatures, etc. Also, the introduction of the hell hounds and the crossroads demon was good, and the way that factored in at the end.

    The third season was the one where you could really feel the Kim Manners X-Files influence creep in. I liked it alot, but talk about dark, the whole thing is moving towards **SPOILERS** Dean going to Hell**SPOILERS.

    There seemed to be more gore in this season than previously. Xi, do you know if these eps aired on-air as they appear on dvd? Because, wow, there’s some pretty gnarly stuff in there. Specifically the Anti-Claus episode and Billy Drago removing organs. Despite the sad undercurrent of the whole thing, that last run of 5 or six eps, starting with the ‘Assault on Precint 13’ style showdown was just phenomenal. I assume they had to amp up the writing and plotting due to the writers strike. Seems like some stuff got compromised–for instance, I get the feeling that the writers might have had the first ep or so of season 4 grafted onto the end of season 3 with more time. Also, Bela Talbot gets seriously shortchanged. Please tell me she’s back at some point. Afterall, they still ain’t got the Colt and we never see the Hounds actually take her. The last scene of Season 3 though is brutal–that is not a cool way to leave people at the end of a shortened season. Geez.

    As a result, the start of season 4 seems anticlimactic. First, it’s all Event Horizon at the season 3 close and then boom, ‘welcome back, Dean’. I’m a bit nervous of the ramping up of the religious/Christian iconography because thats typically when shows lose their way. But it seems to be hewing mythological and not theological, and the idea of some big demon angel/war with a showdown between God and Lucifer could be compelling. Not to mention it’s nice to have the somewhat lighter Dean and Sam interactions back (how long can that last now that the two seem destined to be pitted against one another) and the angel Castiel seems like he could have the makings of a great character. I like that he’s a warrior, sort of a “Guy Pearce in Memento” kind of bad-ass. I was sorry to see Agent Hendrikson bite it though in season 3. He was a good returning character.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I’m going to have a longer answer later but I would like to say that the current season they use Castiel to great effect, all the hosts of the Lord actually, Catiel is a tremendous addition.

      • Bartleby says :

        all the hosts of the Lord? more angels? So, is this current season the last?

        And really was that the last of Bella?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Yes there are more Angels coming including Archangels and they all have their own agendas and that’s all I’m saying.

        As far as I remember Bella hasn’t returned but that doesn’t mean anything. Dead characters return in different ways all the time.

      • Bartleby says :

        Yea, I liked the ep with the Rise of the Witnesses, and all those old characters got trotted out. Meg, especially, was looking way better than when she was on the show initially. I like too that angels are portrayed as being more frightening and powerful than the demons…really adds something to the show in that regard. Keeps it from getting cutesy when they show up. I’m hoping for a return of the Trickster–his eps are always hilarious. One set of character’s disappearance surprises me–the gal who ran the roadside diner and her daughter. I know her son was killed and the place burned to the ground, but its odd that they were just sort of dropped after the end of season 2. Overall, though, the show does a fine job of keeping continuity and tying things together. I LOVE that ep where Dean meets the gal from his past and she’s got this tough little kid with spiked hair and a leather jacket who says things like ‘bitchin’. If I remember correctly, its the same lil’ one who played the young Speed in Speed Racer.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Season 1 was very reminsicent of stuff that went before–X-Files and Night Stalker for the teen/20-something crowd. I liked the one-off, battling urban legends angle. Felt like a nice cozy route to go, and I really started digging it when Jeffrey Dean Morgan showed up.

      The first season was much more intimate and personal in the arc. It set up all the ideas to play out in future seasons and most importantly we got to know the Brothers.

      The second season was the best one so far (like so many other shows) and it fleshed out the world, expanded the characters(love Bobby) and really had some pretty freaky creatures, etc. Also, the introduction of the hell hounds and the crossroads demon was good, and the way that factored in at the end.

      This season ramped up the story line action and set the future in stone. Many points that happened here play out in the current season.

      There seemed to be more gore in this season than previously. Xi, do you know if these eps aired on-air as they appear on dvd? Because, wow, there’s some pretty gnarly stuff in there. Specifically the Anti-Claus episode and Billy Drago removing organs. Despite the sad undercurrent of the whole thing, that last run of 5 or six eps, starting with the ‘Assault on Precint 13′ style showdown was just phenomenal. I assume they had to amp up the writing and plotting due to the writers strike. Seems like some stuff got compromised–for instance, I get the feeling that the writers might have had the first ep or so of season 4 grafted onto the end of season 3 with more time. Also, Bela Talbot gets seriously shortchanged. Please tell me she’s back at some point. Afterall, they still ain’t got the Colt and we never see the Hounds actually take her. The last scene of Season 3 though is brutal–that is not a cool way to leave people at the end of a shortened season. Geez.

      The gore was on TV they didn’t change anything on DVD. I think in a lot of ways this is the most impressive season since SN was only one of two shows to weather the strike in a good way. They put together a gut wrenching ending to the season even if they lost like 6 episodes. The Colt is a factor in the current season.

      As a result, the start of season 4 seems anticlimactic. First, it’s all Event Horizon at the season 3 close and then boom, ‘welcome back, Dean’. I’m a bit nervous of the ramping up of the religious/Christian iconography because thats typically when shows lose their way. But it seems to be hewing mythological and not theological, and the idea of some big demon angel/war with a showdown between God and Lucifer could be compelling. Not to mention it’s nice to have the somewhat lighter Dean and Sam interactions back

      I can understand the anticlimactic thought but when you view it in its proper place it bet you might change your mind. They handle the Christian/religious iconography quite well and respectfully. the writers seem to stay closer to the old testament style angels, demons and prophets. When they get into Castiels back story that becomes clear.

      is this current season the last?

      Not sure. There seems to rumblings of a sixth season but I think that would be a huge mistake after season 4 and 5.

      . One set of character’s disappearance surprises me–the gal who ran the roadside diner and her daughter.

      Jo and Ellen’s arc resolves it self in the current season in a BIG way. Great payoff.

      I LOVE that ep where Dean meets the gal from his past

      Much like the X Files I believe I like the one off episodes more so then the Mythology specific ones. Unlike the X Files the One Offs still provide info or clues important to the overall story.

      • Jarv says :

        Fucking loved season 4 of Supernatural. Maybe because I want to nail whatshername evil demon that’s boning Sam.

        Also did NOT like the last episode of it, cockteasing nonsense and all to predictable.

        However, loved Castiel, some of the angels, the Prophet and loads of other things in it.

  8. Bartleby says :

    and yes…in addition to ‘Julian Sands licking’ we can now have the addition of his more haggard, Jack-Palance crossbred brother “Billy Drago removing organs’ show up in the searches.

  9. lord bronco says :

    Xi-great idea!

    You are correct, sir-Joe R. Landsdale is a national treasure. His older horror stuff is wild-“On the Far Side of the cadillac desert With Dead Folks” is a short story he wrote during the 1980s. It was a “splatterpunk” story of the written horror genre’s version of films “torture porn”.
    Utterly depraved, as i recall.
    I just completed my list for top 10 books of the decade–but ya beat me to it!

  10. Bartleby says :

    Xi, try some Jim Butcher and let me know what you think. He writes a series called The Dresden Files which mixes fantasy with private eye fiction. It’s actually pretty darn good, all things considered. Unless of course you really detest fantasy.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Jonah I read the first book when it came out but to be honest I don’t really remember much about except it was better then that crappy TV show they made a few years ago.

  11. Continentalop says :

    For a guy who constantly claims he is dumb, you sure read and know a lot, and a lot of it is pretty eclectic.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      It’s a delaying action at best one I’m losing.

      • Jarv says :

        Don’t underestimate yourself.

        Anyway, aside from me, you’re the only other person I know that’s read nearly all the Delaware novels

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I see that there is a new Delaware novel out. I’ve got to hand it to Kellerman, he’s a consistant production machine, one book a year isn’t easy to do.

      • Jarv says :

        I think he needs a new character now, though.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I see Kellerman wrote a book with the two step brothers detective characters he introduced a few books back and he has the Peta Conner character. Granted they are spin offs from Delaware books, but in the case of Petra Conner, it’s not a bad book. I have not read the brothers yet.

      • Jarv says :

        Petra Connor is a bit meh, and he’s not great at writing from a female perspective. She’s better than Robin though- who I got truly bored of

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Yeah your right about the prospective thing and I agree about robin. I think I like the Conner series to the extent that I do is because of the Eric character. I know guys like him.

      • Continentalop says :

        I think you are just trying to lull us into a false sense of security.

        Well, it isn’t working. I’m on to you.

  12. Bartleby says :

    yea, so far the fourth season is top notch. Just caught a few more eps–the one where Dean goes back and meets his parents, including demon posessed Mitch Pileggi (Skinner from the X-Files). Am I the only one who thinks he would have been better as the yellow-eyed demon from day one?

    Also watched one called Metamorphosis, where a guy’s hunger for meat was leading to some kind of transformation. Very X-Files-y, but as you said above Xi, tied into the central storyline in a meaningful way. Thats why ultimately Supernatural is the better show. Nothing feels extraneous or convoluted for its own sake. They have kept it about as spare as they can for a storyline pushing towards the APOCALYPSE.

    Finally, watched an ep that was black and white like that X-Files ep ‘Post Modern Prometheus’. Excellent episode. One of my faves, as was the time travel one I mentioned above.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Season four is probably the most consistant season in quality. Even the clunker episodes were better then most anything on TV.

      Castiel has been a great addition. They can do so much with him. Comedy, drama, combat(current season especially) The actor is really good, surprisingly good actually.

      Wait until you get into the Croatian ep from this season or the one where Dean has to team up with Castiel and he finds out some shocking info about Castiel and tries, in the Dean manner, to fix it.

  13. Jarv says :

    You’ve got Teddy Bear Suicide to come.

    Single finest bit of telly in years.

  14. ThereWolf says :

    This will be a handy column to have around because I don’t read enough, mainly because I don’t know WHAT to read half the time. And when I do, it takes me ages to get through a book coz I usually only read on the bus on my way home from work.

    The back and forth between you and Conti that kicked off these comments was knowledgable and intelligently delivered. Made me feel quite insufficient…

    Anyway, I’m gonna look out for that Carl Sagan book.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      You will have interesting reading ahead with Sagan I believe. Its a well written book.

      • Tom_Bando says :

        I seem to remember (has book but too lazy to go get it off of shelf) that Sagan postulated that many of the old Cold War era UFO reports were concentrated along the Gulf Coast area, and the reason why that was Perhaps, was the Russki’s knew our Air Defence Lines or whatever were somewhat lax there as compared to elsewheres, so they took the time and opps to buzz Houston, Miami, Tampa, Biloxi, etc. just because they could.

        He also said that if the Feds know this is true, they should just say so officially and clear that up. And ditto the Aurora jet–at the time in the 90’s there were many ‘Aurora’ sightings, this whacky double jet exhaust stream it sposedly gave off etc was cited as evidence.

        Again, if it Wasn’t Jetfire’s whacky kid making those lines up there, then you should, Gov’t, come out and just say so.

        Personally my money’s on it being those Giant Robot Lions (who are Always being edited outta EVERYTHING durn it!) but who knows?

  15. xiphos0311 says :

    It’s been a while since I read the book but in general most skeptics attribute “UFOs” to a combination of misunderstanding aerial phenomenon, dopiness and human caused in the form of advance aircraft development.

    Ahhhh… the aurora. God bless the conspiratards, they try so so hard but they never get anything right. The Aurora was one of the code names used as cover for a part of in the construction of the FB117 stealth fighter.

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