“Some of the best and most moving Vonnegut.”—San Francisco Chronicle Slapstick presents an apocalyptic vision as seen through the eyes of the current King of Manhattan (and last President of the United States), a wickedly irreverent look at the all-too-possible results of today’s follies. But even the end of life-as-we-know-it is transformed by Kurt Vonnegut’s pen into hilarious farce—a final slapstick that may be the Almighty’s joke on us all. “Both funny and sad . . . just about perfect.”—Los Angeles Times “Imaginative and hilarious . . . a brilliant vision of our wrecked, wacked-out future.”—Hartford Courant
Flying to a favorite uncle's funeral, a middle-aged Kurt Vonnegut daydreams of one-hundred-year-old Wilbur Oriole-11 Swain, pediatrician and past United States President, who wrote history's most popular child-rearing manual and sold the original Louisian
'All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.' Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of Ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Will Felix Hoenikker's death wish come true? Will his last, fatal gift to humankind bring about the end that, for all of us, is nigh? Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global apocalypse preys on our deepest fears of witnessing the end and, worse still, surviving it . . . 'The time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is not only entertaining, he is electrocuting. You read him with enormous pleasure because he makes your hair stand on end' The New York Times
"India's future will be determined not only by economic development, but also by a dynamic traditional culture that continues to develop along its own lines -- sometimes in concert, and sometimes in conflict with material enrichment. India develops not, as one writer has suggested, "in spite of the gods." Rather, the seed for the creation and the fuel for the sustenance of IndiaÂ's economic boom lay in its traditions, and, I will argue, the animating spirit of its future lies there as well. I have neither the expertise nor the access to operate as a political correspondent, nor the desire to posture as a political pundit. During eighteen years of research, however, I have seen what I perceived as a pervasive misrepresentation of recent developments in Indian politics. More specifically, a number of recent books consistently paint the Hindu right wing in India as essentially fascist or theocratic. My observations show that these claims are untenable and misrepresent a positive development in the history of Indian democracy. To think clearly about the changes in today's India we require a new model: the bi-directional banyan tree, a symbol borrowed, ironically, from ancient Sanskrit verses. Pindar claimed, "Custom is King of all," and this serves as a succinct expression of the central thesis of this book."--Publisher's website.
Best known for her Oscar-nominated roles in the smash hits Paper Moon and Blazing Saddles, Madeline Kahn (1942–1999) was one of the most popular comedians of her time—and one of the least understood. She turned out as reserved and refined as her characters were bold and bawdy. Almost a Method actor in her approach, she took her work seriously. When crew members and audiences laughed, she asked why—as if they were laughing at her—and all her life she remained unsure of her gifts. William V. Madison examines Kahn’s film career, including not only her triumphs with Mel Brooks and Peter Bogdanovich, but also her overlooked performances in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother and Judy Berlin, her final film. Her work in television—notably her sitcoms—also comes into focus. New York theater showered her with accolades, but also with remarkably bad luck, culminating in a disastrous outing in On the Twentieth Century that wrecked her reputation on Broadway. Only with her Tony-winning performance in The Sisters Rosensweig, fifteen years later, did Kahn regain her standing. Drawing on new interviews with family, friends, and such colleagues as Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Gene Wilder, Harold Prince, and Eileen Brennan, as well as archival press and private writings, Madison uncovers Kahn’s lonely childhood and her struggles as a single woman working to provide for her erratic mother. Above all, Madison reveals the paramount importance of music in Kahn’s life. A talented singer, Kahn entertained offers for operatic engagements long after she was an established Hollywood star, and she treated each script as a score. As Kahn told one friend, her ambition was “to be the music.”
How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies
Author: Damien Broderick
Publisher: Tor Books
Category: Technology & Engineering
The rate at which technology is changing our world--not just on a global level like space travel and instant worldwide communications but on the level of what we choose to wear, where we live, and what we eat--is staggeringly fast and getting faster all the time. The rate of change has become so fast that a concept that started off sounding like science fiction has become a widely expected outcome in the near future - a singularity referred to as The Spike. At that point of singularity, the cumulative changes on all fronts will affect the existence of humanity as a species and cause a leap of evolution into a new state of being. On the other side of that divide, intelligence will be freed from the constraints of the flesh; machines will achieve a level of intelligence in excess of our own and boundless in its ultimate potential; engineering will take place at the level of molecular reconstruction, which will allow everything from food to building materials to be assembled as needed from microscopic components rather than grown or manufactured; we'll all become effectively immortal by either digitizing and uploading our minds into organic machines or by transforming our bodies into illness-free, undecaying exemplars of permanent health and vitality. The results of all these changes will be unimaginable social dislocation, a complete restructuring of human society and a great leap forward into a dazzlingly transcendent future that even SF writers have been too timid to imagine. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Does a glass of ice water filled to the brim overflow when the ice melts? Does the energy inside a sauna increase when you heat it up? What's the best way to cool your coffee—adding the creamer first or last? These and other challenging puzzlers provide a fresh—and fun—approach to learning real physics. Presenting both classic and new problems, Brainteaser Physics challenges readers to use imagination and basic physics principles to find the answers. Göran Grimvall provides detailed and accessible explanations of the solutions, sometimes correcting the standard explanations, sometimes putting a new twist on them. He provides diagrams and equations where appropriate and ends each problem by discussing a specific concept or offering an extra challenge. With Brainteaser Physics, students and veteran physicists alike can sharpen their critical and creative thinking—and have fun at the same time.