Genome

I’ve been slowly reading the book “Genome,” written by Matt Ridley, over the last few months, and I’m impressed.  It’s one of those kind of easier reads, sort of for people like me who are interested in specific scientific fields but aren’t super geniuses and have other things to do besides study genes, like socialize and write blogs and stuff.  It maps the chromosomes, in a questionable but still kind of neet chromosome by chromosome, chapter by chapter fashion, and documents the history that has led to the discovery of the genome and the barriers that played a part in slowing this discovery.  The best part is that it does so as if he were writing a letter to a friend, so rather than having the feeling that you’re reading out of a textbook, it’s like you’re hearing about the events as if the someone was there throughout.  The events are detailed enough to get a clean picture of what happened all these years that people have been studying genetics.  The anecdotes and personal thoughts of the author bring the tale out of the realm of strictly informative, and into a new light, one that feels a little closer to home than a textbook.  Maybe we can see the “Genome” graphic novel in the future.  Would I be the only one to buy a copy, or can we assume genetics researchers would also get a kick out of it?  Probably.  Don’t hold your breath.  Just get the regular book.

This is the one I bought. New fancy cover and everything.

Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Watchmen

So now is a good time to discuss this, because I happen to be reading the graphic novel The Watchmen right now.  Written by Alan Moore between 1986 and 1987, it was originally published as twelve issues.  I decided to get all of them at once, because I happen to be an instant-gratification-loving American.  Compared to the movie, it’s actually very similar, and if you’ve seen the movie fifty times like I have, you can see some of the instances where they will take a line from one scene of the novel and make it stick out in a significant way in a different way.  I also hear that the ending is different, but nobody tell me what happens.

The movie, however, is probably just as good, if not better, for those who don’t naturally get sucked into something like I and other fanboys do.  There is so much more info, only sort-of implied or left out of the movie, in the comics that I don’t want it to end.  I already know the story, but not the whole story, it appears.  Reading the graphic novel for me is like hearing a story from someone who gets the basic idea and some kool details, and then hearing it retold by someone that knows the whole thing.

Whatever it is about The Watchmen that has drawn so many fans can probably not be discussed all at once, so maybe somebody can lend an opinion.  For me, I’m a big fan of history, and the interesting take on the altering of the twentieth century as a result of superheroes, especially Dr. Manhattan, is what has really drawn me in.  Plus, it takes an interesting trip through the minds of people living in a time of imminent nuclear war, but I’m an English Major, so maybe I’m in a minority that looks for that kind of stuff.  From that perspective, every character in the novel has something to offer in terms of personal experience, strife, struggle, and all of that fun psychological stuff.  If you haven’t seen The Watchmen yet, or better yet read it, then get off the internet and go watch it.  Comment first.  Then go.

Just in case you were trying to think of a way the movie could have been terrible.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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