Engineered Eloquence

Think Critically, Write Things Down, Repeat

Eloquent Roundup, Week 1

May 15, 2015

Earlier today, I was reading the Tools and Toys weekly roundup and thought it was a really good idea. In addition, I realized that I often have time to tweet about articles, but I don’t always have time to sit and write a blog post about them. Those two things came together like a shock and I decided to gather my thoughts about various articles/books/etc. that I have read and each week post a postmortem, commenting where necessary and letting a block quote or title stand on its own elsewhere. I think this will also allow me a twofold path toward accountability for continuing to read and for consistent frequency of posts on this site. All in all, the variety that will present itself will be natural and organic, connected to what I read and do, which one week may be mainly book reading and another week may be recipes. Consider this Week One of an ongoing series of what I am calling Eloquent Roundups.1

Books I’m currently reading:

  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • Armageddon by Leon Uris

Recently completed books:

  • Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow (4-stars)
    • Interesting juxtaposition of stories that lend to a rather complete picture of early 1900s social settings and norms.
  • Disclosure by Michael Crichton (3-stars)
    • A surprising book in that I was not as enthusiastic about it as some other Crichton books. A necessary topic to be sure (workplace harassment), but an unnecessary amount of language and sexually explicit content for my taste.
  • Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele (5-stars)
    • Fasinating read about stereotype threat and its potentially life-changing effects on those it affects most.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (4-stars)
    • A beautiful story with surprising and welcome realism; Lexi was unhappy that it wasn’t exactly a happy ending, but remember, it is a story about kids with cancer, so you get what you paid for.

This week’s articles

This week, I read a great article about the worldwide use of coal as a power source and its future with carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Wired (originally read in print, April 2014 edition); about a Icelander brilliantly fundraising out of his kitchen window with coffee; a discussion of practices—or lack thereof—in long term SSD storage; how the US is practically an undeveloped country in terms of parental leave at the birth of a child; and the fact that the importance of reading is higher than ever, as our brains atrophy, looking at screens.

One other thing of note for this week, the Dane County prosecutor announced that he will not be prosecuting the police officer who shot and killed Tony Robinson earlier this year, so I also read a number of articles prior to the announcement and reactions after the fact; one of the reactions was particularly poignant.

  1. Being that this is the first week and I literally came up with this idea a few hours ago, I will only be listing the articles I read. Future posts within this series will come with block quotes and my personal thoughts and comments.