Eclectic Summer Reading and Listening For Your Vacation – 2013

1. I will never write a novel, paint a masterpiece, or win a Nobel Peace Prize, but I still want to live a productive, and even creative, life. How can one do that? When I get away on vacation, I get a chance to think of things there is no time for during the year.
2. After a year hiatus, Nancy and I returned to the Berkshire Mountains, with her Mother Marjorie. We at ate the New Town Ct. Diner and the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge Ma. We road over the covered bridge at West Cornwall, Ct. and drove back up on the 4th of July to Lime Rock Park, without Mom, to Lime Rock Park, Road Racing Capital of The East to watch the American Le Mans practice and qualifying and The Continental Tire Series sedan races. It was hot but so nice to walk from turn to turn photographing beautiful cars, in motion and stationary.
3. Here is the website URL of one of my favorite places in the world.  I raced there several times and attended two three day Skip Barber High Performance Racing Schools: Lime Rock Park:
4. Continental Tire Series:
5. And, we listened to hours of public radio interviews and TED lectures and learned a lot.
6. Where can you find information on the changes global warming is having on planting schedules and species dissemination?
7. This link goes to NPR’s show “On Point”, “An Examined Life”. This was good but limited by its 40 minute length. They did not explain the philosophies but focused on the men and their manner of living. They just missed Descartes, so they missed all modern thinkers, Leibniz, Spinoza, Newton, Galileo, Darwin, DE Vinci, and Einstein. I have posted my reading list that covers these thinkers and more. In order to enjoy this program while driving, plug your iPhone or “connected” iPad via a “utility” cable to your radio. Then click the url: you can listen to On Pont, The TED Lectures, PRX, the “Moth”, and other amazing things without static or interruption!  .
8. Don’t forget . Here is the tiny version of “An Examined Life”, above.
9. My friend David in Israel loves a good Falafel. There they eat them in PITA bread. Here is an excellent, spicy, recipe and a window into Jewish cooking. I loved my Falafels and even used canned “chick peas” which were “not recommended”.
10. Here are a couple of urls to Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony:
a.    Yelps site:; and
b.      Tanglewood’s site:
11. I again started my wonderful college course on Calculus, “Change and Motion, Calculus Made Clear”,  presented by Professor Michael Starbird. If you only watch the first six of 24 lectures (six times!) as I have, even if you took calculus, or as we called it at Linsly “advanced math”, your view of the world will change. Just pondering infinity, time, distance, space, and volume through the eyes of Zeno, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Newton will uplift you and change you:
12. More about Prof: Starbird: Wikipaedia: Michael Starbird:
13. We stumbled upon this compelling talk by the scientist and former owner of Alex the Talking Parrot. If you don’t mind shaking up your ideas on intelligent, cognitive function, and the relationship of mankind and animals, just listen to this one. Again, use your iPhone and your radio for easy listening. Not so easy if you are driving alone. Wikipaedia: Alex the Parrot: ; then I ordered the Kindle Book: “Alex and Me” by Irene Pepperberg.
14. A neat little Novel by a friend of mine? “The Autobiography of Fezziwig” by Danny Kuhn. Set in 17th Century England.
15. For some reading, here is some that will trouble you. Osoma lived for years by hiding in plain view. The incompetence and corruption of the Pakistani officials and military are stunning. “Osama’s Hidden Life”:
16. Where is technology taking us? “A Romantic View of Technology Design:, from
17. Want to believe that evolution is “just a theory”? This will make it tougher. “Thousands of Species Found in a Lake Cut Off From the World for Millions of Years”;; From
18. An excellent book on the principles of sound non-fiction writing? “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser”.
19. An excellent primer on 20 years of The Middle East until 1995 is “From Beirut to Jerusalem” by Thomas L. Friedman.
20. Understanding the world of Socrates: “The Hemlock Cup”, by Bettany Hughes. (Editor’s note: according to Kindle, I am now 65% through this book. So much for the classic view of a contemplative world in which a modern style democracy emerges.
Dirty, violent, autocratic, emerging, barely, from the tribal era and dark age that preceded it and then sliding back. Bad news for the 8 brave generals and sea captains who just lost to the Spartans. They were tried and executed by the mob in spite of Socrates’ best protestations. Even if I did not know his fate, at this stage of the book, I would be fearing things will not turn out well for him. This is a good read. I have ordered at $.99/plus $3.99 shipping paperback of the Author’s first book on Helen of Troy.  (2-25-2015) ) jbh

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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