Book Review #19

The Psychology Of Time Travel

The Book – The Psychology of Time Travel

The Author– Kate Mascarhenas (?)

The Review – Let’s start with the author’s name. It’s really Kate Flynn, but the name on the cover is Mascarhenas. That comes from the same base as ‘mask’, and ‘mascara.’ It’s a Portuguese-language nom de plume, which means “nom de plume.”

In the book, she includes the words ‘quango’ and ‘lanugo,’ neither common, even in Britain. They are valid English words, but seem as if they should be peeking out of a Romance language, like Spanish, or Italian. I’ll properly introduce you to them later.

This is a book – by a woman – for women – about women. It includes the description of an 8-year-old girl’s birthday party, where, “Her blonde ringlets hung down to the tops of her puffed sleeves, and her lacy skirt stood out straight to the side whenever she twirled around, which she did, a lot.”

The story is inhabited almost entirely by females. The only men who show up, are a male police detective and a journalist, who provide information and clues to the young woman investigating a locked-door murder.

The British authoress works in a commentary on racist attitudes in England. Our hardy, mixed-race investigator came to England as a child, from the Seychelles Islands, where she viewed herself as white. Having recently graduated University as an Engineer, she is working for the time-travel Conclave as a volunteer, but the female police constable who interviews her, regards her as colored, and assumes that she is the cleaning woman.

As usual, I was hoping for some temporal paradoxes to be solved, or some Back To The Future III suspense and manoeuvring, to prevent them. Didn’t happen! I was not surprised to not be given, even a vague hint, at how the time-travel process was accomplished, but it was invented by four women.

As a linguist, I was pleased to read that the process was powered by a newly-discovered, transuranic element called Atroposium, aptly-named after Atropos, the Greek Goddess who cut the thread of fate of mortals’ lives. Apparently the stuff was so safe and stable that it could be carried around in charcoal briquette-sized lumps, wrapped in lead foil.

While not described or explained, the time-travel process is so simple that it is used to produce a child’s toy, a Rubik’s-cube-sized box with a hole in the top. Children put candy in, and it disappears, only to return a minute later. What would happen if they stuck their finger in?

The “psychology” of the title is really just the mental stress felt by (female) time-travellers, caused by experiencing history in a non-linear way. Travelling to the past, they meet people that they know are dead. Travelling to the future, the see death certificates and gravestones for people they know are alive.

The detective/heroine goes back several times, to visit her father, who died when she was young. To her, the visits are weeks, or months, apart. I see, from his perspective, that she shows up twice the same afternoon, or on successive days. This grown woman is not his 8-year-old daughter. ‘Go away lady, you’re bothering me.’

I was expecting nothing when I ordered this book, and that’s what I got. No real time travel. No real psychology. It’s a good thing that I got it for free from the library. It had all the panache of a ‘Nurse Jane’ romance novel, full of ‘feelings.’ I feel disappointed and let down. I feel that I’ll need to read and review something with a little more OOMPH. Stay tuned; I’ll see you later.  🙂

Straight Arrow

Stright Arrow

My wife, bless her heart, is a linear thinker. I mean a, A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. linear thinker.

If we’re watching Poirot, or Miss Marple, or reruns of Columbo or Murder She Wrote, while my active and vivid imagination is distracted by red herrings, plot twists, or character development, her Laser mind points directly at the culprit.

It wasn’t the butler. It was the illegitimate son of the maid, from an affair with the Master. And she’s right 90% of the time. However…. She has trouble getting off the paved road. She reads romance novels. Several times I have heard her complain about the dénouement of a book. The story will come to a stop at a particular juncture, and it’s up to the reader to decide whether the hero will come back and marry the girl, or if he will ride off into the sunset. She gets quite upset. Enquiring minds (like hers) need to know!

It’s not that she has no sense of humor. It’s just that she is not friends with puns or word-play. My father used to describe a damp day by saying, “It tried to rain, but it missed (mist).” She occasionally repeats (?) this as, “It tried to rain, but it misted.” Literal! Literal! Literal!

My darling old Mother, who wouldn’t say ‘Shit’ if she had a mouthful, would comment about someone farting, by saying, “(That’s)Better out, than one of your eyes.” Like bread upon the waters, this one comes back as, “It’s better out that way, than out one of your eyes.” 😕 🙄

She has discovered a YouTube file that plays over 2 hours of mostly pop songs, but one of them is the old Meat Loaf song, ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That). “What is it that he won’t do?? He keeps saying that he won’t do That, but he never says what That is. If she’d just shut up and stop obsessing, she’d find out. The song, like a sentence in German with the verb at the end, is constructed. After 4 minutes of him yowling that he won’t do that, his woman cuts in, and starts singing about him being a star, and rich and famous, and how he will use it ‘to go screwing around.’ The song ends with him assuring her, “But I won’t do that.”

She likes the singer, Ed Sheeran, and watches many of his music videos. One of them has her baffled. In the video for a song called Shape of You, Sheeran is in training as a boxer – jab, jab, punch, punch. He is assisted by a curvaceous young female, who even teaches him some dance steps to aid his footwork.

She returns to her locker, finds and reads a note, stuffs some things in her bag, and leaves. Perhaps the wife hoped for some romantic entanglement. From the first time she watched it, every time, she complains, “It doesn’t make sense. Why does she leave?” Doesn’t make sense??! These are music videos – one of them, Radioactive, shows Mexican cockfighting…. with Muppets. They’re not supposed to make sense.

It might be that, in today’s #MeToo society, the song keeps insisting that he’s in love with her body – the Shape of You. No mention of her smile, her intellect, her wit and humor, her kind and supportive nature – just her body.

Always trying to be helpful, I suggested that maybe she had to go home to make supper for her husband…. or perhaps she had to go home to make supper for her wife. Don’t ask – don’t tell. Still, every time, the question was repeated. “It doesn’t make sense. Why does she leave?”

As the video progresses, Sheeran leaves the training room, and enters a fight venue – to be faced with a Sumo wrestler. 😕 He engages the Sumo giant, wearing one of those ridiculous, inflatable Sumo costumes, and gets splatted to the floor. Apparently this all makes sense to the wife, and she unquestioningly accepts it.

To finally put us all out of our misery, the son told her that the note was from Sheeran’s fight manager, telling the eye-candy that she was a distraction to his training, and to keep away…. only, she shows up at the end, and knocks the Sumo guy down with a Kung Fu drop-kick. Out of the wife’s earshot, the son admitted that his explanation was highly unlikely, but it pacified her, and we all lived happily (and quietly) ever after.

Linear thinkers are useful, and quite productive, although they can be a little dismaying. Are you a linear thinker? My own thought processes can be like a tornado aftermath.

Maze

WOW #15

Leftovers

MMM, leftovers

I recently encountered a very strange word (don’t ask how) that had me scratching my head. It is as awesome as it is mystifying. The word I’m talking about is, wait for it…

Tittynope.

Yes, you read that correctly. Tittynope. It is defined on the Merriam-Webster website as: a small amount of anything that is left over. From what I’ve gathered, it’s mostly just applicable to food, similar to the word ‘Ort’. So that leftover chicken from last night, that’s sitting in your refrigerator? That’s tittynope. You have tittynope in your fridge. Don’t you just hate when your mom serves tittynope for dinner? As you can tell, it’s really fun to use in context, especially when your 11-year-old male mind runs free.

“Excuse me, waiter, may I have a box for my tittynope?” Next time you’re at a restaurant, try that and watch your waiter or waitress’s facial expression. If they are dedicated enough to their job and too polite to ask what that is, they may just go looking around the restaurant for some kind of nipple container, probably not though. They will likely just call you a pig, but still, it’s worth a try.

My biggest question about this word is, where the Hell did it originate from? M-W doesn’t give word history, and Dictionary.com hasn’t heard of it. What was the situation that created this word?

I can just imagine some guy eating a pizza, and after he finishes, there is a little piece of leftover pepperoni on his plate.
His friend then walks up, out of the blue, and asks:  “Hey, is that a titty?”
And then the guy who ate the pizza goes:  “Nope.”
Then the other friend thinks to himself:  Hmm, Tittynope.

Then, boom, leftover food regularly starts getting called tittynope, and somehow this word makes it all the way into the dictionary. Although, I’ve never met anyone who actually knew the meaning of it, or has even heard of it for that matter. So, I am going to try to change that, one use of the word at a time.

All this writing has made me hungry for a little snack, and I can see that my friend has some tittynope on his plate. Anyway, you should be ashamed of what you’ve been thinking.   😉

 

It’s All Newton’s Fault

I’m not talking about Sir Isaac Newton. I’m referring to Newton Minow, an American who was Director of the FCC during the Kennedy Era.  In 1961, he declared television to be a vast wasteland.  This irritated many within the industry, to the point that, the SS Minnow that washed up on Gilligan’s Island was named after him.

The cost of accessing this wasteland by cable continued to increase. About 12 years ago, we dumped cable, and went with satellite TV.  Satellite rates soon followed Cable rates.  Two years ago, when the wife’s mobility problems meant that she had trouble going down to the basement rec room to watch TV, we cut the satellite cable also.

Almost 50 years of marriage means that we have little new to talk about, so we relied on books to fill the excess time. OH!  WOW!  Last year’s list of 51 books, has increased this year to 57.

Jim Wheeler’s question about rereading books had me going back to reread some old Sci-Fi. I have quite an interest in time travel and temporal paradoxes. Note toward the bottom of the reread section, the time travel group.

pebble-in-the-sky

nemesis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tunnel-in-the-sky

spacehounds-of-ipc

the-far-traveller

to-conquer-chaos

the-world-swappers

the-super-barbarians

 

armageddon-2419

the-outposter

starlight

the-dark-light-years

i-aleppo

the-world-at-the-end-of-time

renegade-of-time

serving-in-time

masters-of-time

time-raider-1-wartide

Continuing with the time travel theme, I recently bought and read

tales-of-the-time-scouts

I also purchased Book II, and will read it this year.

a-wanted-man

never-go-back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

personal                                                                                                        make-me

skeleton-coastghost-ship

treasure-of-khan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-judas-strainaltar-of-eden  the-last-oracle

devil-colony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-doomsday-key

the-emperors-tomb  the-jefferson-key

the-kings-deception

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-lincoln-myth

the-alexander-cipher the-exodus-quest

magic-breaks magic-shifts

all-the-rage hosts

fire-with-fire

crazy-english

And a couple from an up and coming author – not published yet, but look forward to them.
He’s Will Greany.

Blue On Blue

blue-on-blue

Domestic

Tank

locked-on threat-vector

command-authoritysupport-and-defend

guns-germs-and-steel  This one came highly recommended by BrainRants.

flesh-and-blood

the-crusades-from-beginning-to-end  Not what was promised.  Quite disappointing!

the-tau-ceti-agenda

hell-hath-no-fury

the-fold

robert-a-heinlein

free-short-stories-2013free-short-stories-2014

Now that you’ve spent all that time lookin’ at the pretty pitchurs, you won’t have time fer yer own readin’.  Sorry!

 

Big Talk

Stool

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two little kids, aged six and eight, decide it’s
time to learn how to swear. So, the eight year
old says to the six year old, “Okay, you say
`ass’ and I’ll say `hell'”.

All excited about their plan, they troop
downstairs, where their mother asks them what
they’d like for breakfast. “Aw, hell,” says the
eight-year-old, “gimme some Cheerios.” His mother
backhands him off the stool, sending him bawling
out of the room, and turns to the younger
brother. “What’ll you have?”

“I dunno,” quavers the six-year-old, “but you
can bet your ass it ain’t gonna be Cheerios.”

***

Is there life before coffee?

***

Fu, Bu and Chu immigrated to the US from China.
They decided to become American Citizens, and
“Americanize” their names.

Bu called himself “Buck”
Chu called himself “Chuck”
and Fu had to go back to China

***

There is a new statute in Pennsylvania that all
lawyers must be buried 20 feet under.

You see, they’ve found out that deep down all
lawyers are really good.

***

Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school
I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.

***

If you put the federal government in charge of the
Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.

***

After God had created Adam he noticed that he
looked very lonely. He decided to help. He said
“Adam, I’ve decided to make you a woman. She’ll
love you, cook for you, be sweet to you, and
understand you.” Adam said “Great! How much will
she cost me?” The answer came back, “An arm and
a leg.”

“Well,” said Adam “what can I get for a rib?”

***

How many mystery writers does it take
to screw in a light bulb?

Two: One to screw it almost all the way in and
the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

***

The kindergarten class had a homework assignment
to find out about something exciting and relate
it to the class the next day. When the time came
for the little kids to give their reports, the
teacher was calling on them one at a time.

The teacher was reluctant to call upon little
Johnnie, knowing that he sometimes could be a bit
crude. But eventually his turn came. Little
Johnnie walked up to the front of the class, and
with a piece of chalk, made a small white dot on
the blackboard, then sat back down.

Well the teacher couldn’t figure out what Johnnie
had in mind for his report on something exciting,
so she asked him just what that was. ‘It’s a
period’, Johnnie explained.

‘Well I can see that,’ she said, ‘but what is so
exciting about a period?’

‘Damned if I know,’ said Johnnie, ‘but this
morning my sister said she missed one. Then Daddy
had a heart attack and Mommy fainted.’

***

An Army sentry had been posted at a base road gate, with the firm instructions that no vehicle was to be allowed on base without a special pre-authorized sticker.

A large car rolled up with no sticker, but a military driver and an officer in the back.  “Halt.  Who goes there?” he said.  The driver replied, “It’s General Wheeler.”  “I’m sorry; you can’t enter without a sticker.”  The General says, “Nonsense son, drive on.”

The sentry stepped out to block the car and repeated, “You can’t enter the base without a sticker for your car.”  The General said, “I’m a General.  I don’t wait.  Drive on son!”

The sentry pointed his rifle at the driver’s window, leaned forward and said, “I’m new at this sir.  Do I shoot you, or the driver??”   😕