Friday, December 08, 2006

Pop Culture Roundup

I finished Spook, which was pretty enjoyable. Roach's final chapter deals with near-death experiences and whether they're real or a psychological reaction. She interviews a guy who tries to study them by hanging a computer from the ceiling of an operating room...if someone who is clinically dead wafts out of their body toward the sky, then they'll presumably see the picture on the computer screen and then relay what it was when they come back. Of course, this all assumes that when people die, they'll waft upward. Apparently no data has been collected yet. Roach ends the book with a short epilogue about the preconceived notions with which people approach these sorts of studies: if you're skeptical you'll be skeptical, if you believe in something, you'll look for what supports your belief. This theme runs throughout the book, actually. The end of Spook leaves me with Merton's Seven Storey Mountain, which details his moving around and the fascination he develops with monasteries at a fairly early age. I don't think he's hit 18 yet, and I'm almost 100 pages into it.

A lot of weeks, I'll catch House if I'm around. I don't understand the medical jargon, but House's personality and the way with which he and his team go about diagnosing patients keep me interested. Anyway, this past week's episode took me a little while to catch on. He's speaking to a room full of medical students (which includes the jerk model guy from Ten Things I Hate About You) and tries to get them to diagnose a series of leg problems. In the process he shatters a lot of their preconceptions about the medical profession. Eventually we realize that he's really telling the story of how he had to start using a cane, which involved some bait-and-switch between his wife and the doctor. Oh yeah, and Carmen Electra is involved...but no one needs a reason for that. It was a good episode.

I finally took advantage of my own permission to listen to Christmas music and grabbed Ska-La-La-La-La before heading out to my visits on Tuesday. Bunch of Believers do okay with skanking (this is a legitimate ska-related term that has no relation to other more dubious uses) up a few holiday classics, but their originals are pretty uninspired, so I usually skip over a lot of tracks.

Around the web, Bob is sort of feeling how I've been feeling.