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Summer solstice happened, so you know what that means? It's not yet Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers, but it IS the season for reading at the beach (or "shore" if you're an East Coast elite like me). Don't bother with the latest James Patterson (Bill Clinton, seriously?) or Trump expose of the hour. Read some damn science and better yourself. Now, you COULD do as my son suggests and crack open an introductory calculus textbook, OR, or, or…you could instead pick one or all from the awesome list below that I humbly title:

Seven Fanfuckingtastic Science Books for Non-Scientists That Scientists Also Dig


1 – The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha "not the Herman Hesse one" Mukherjee



As you may have heard, cancer is a bunch of bitches, not just one disease. Siddhartha Mukherjee wrote a pitch perfect tome on the subject. Dude is a doctor and a science writer (must be sexy then) and got a Pulitzer for this book. Look at it this way. You're on the beach (shore) increasing your chances of future skin cancer and some hottie of your favorite sexual persuasion notices your book. They ask "whattaya readin'?" and you raise your left eyebrow and say, "Only the Pulitzer prize-winning story of how cancer was discovered and everything about it since. Oh yeah, and it's also a Ken Burns mini-series that won't actually put you to sleep." The next thing that happens? Cake at the ocean.

2 - The Soul of an Octopus by Sy "I made Carlos cry" Montgomery



Be warned, if tako sushi is one of your favorite snacks, you might not want to read this book. Sy Montgomery is a naturalist and wonderful writer. Also, when I emailed her about how much I loved her book, she wrote me back a very nice response. Who does that these days? (The editrix does.) The science on octopuses (yes, it's not octopi like I always thought!) is in there and fascinating stuff, but what gets you is the story itself. She develops an honest to god (atheists don't capitalize that word) friendship with an octopus. I fucking cried at one point in the story. Cried. I won't give away why, you'll just have to read this really, really touching and educational book. My wife got this for me, so thanks again, Señora Sagan!

3 - A Brief History of Time by Stephen "I was on the Simpsons" Hawking



Who to go with for a book on cosmology? I mean, the lazy way would have been to list my cousin's famous book that he also adapted into a tv series where he could wear a turtleneck every week. No, I dig, Cosmos, but for my money, Stephen Hawking's book is better. Both make some very abstract ideas accessible to us non-physicists, but I think the Brit beats the American with his deeper dive into the topics while still letting us understand all the big words. Also, my cuz did the introduction so you kinda get a physicist two-fer.

4 - Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! By Richard "I have a Nobel and you don't" Feynman



Man, this one is fun. It's got the science in there, talking about his work on the Manhattan Project, giving a lecture with Einstein in the audience, and bits on mathematics. There's no real narrative through line on this one other than it's structured around events in his life. Stories range from an invention for slicing potatoes AFTER they've been cooked to that lecture with Einstein in the audience and I recall something about samba. Of interest, Richard Feynman may have won the Nobel Prize, but he was basically Mr. Pink when it came to tipping.

There were certain things I didn't like, such as tipping. I thought we should be paid more, and not have to have any tips. But when I proposed that to the boss, I got nothing but laughter. She told everybody, "Richard doesn't want his tips, hee, hee, hee; he doesn't want his tips, ha, ha, ha." The world is full of this type of dumb smart-Alec who doesn't understand anything.

5 - The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah "<insert your own joke. I got zippo> Blum



I feel like I'm stretching the "science" bucket with this one, but it is about forensic SCIENCE. If you'll go with me on this, though, WHAT a killer (I'm so punny) read. Jazz age hijinks, old timey CSI and breezy prose to go with the well-researched stories. A death by a different chemical per chapter keeps the flow going almost like a book of short stories.

6 – The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade "Don't let them bury me! I'm not dead!" Davis



Zombies in Haiti. Boom! I should have just ended with that, but you deserve a bit more in case you haven't heard of it. Wade Davis, a botanist, went to Haiti to find out what the hell the whole voodoo zombie thing was. Equal parts story of self-discovery, Haitian history, and zombie chemistry but all fascinating. Full disclosure, the dude received some criticism from his peers about his actual conclusions related to the zombie toxin. Still, great stuff and when you finish it you can watch the Martin Sheen horror movie that is sorta, kinda based on this.

7 - The Martian by Andy "I can afford a Lambo, now" Weir



Yeah, I'm cheating here. Science fiction, but really, really well-detailed and grounded in science. You probably saw the movie with Kristen Wiig and I think Matt Damon is in it. Read this one first, if you loved the movie and haven't read the book. It's mostly the same story, but you get WAY more scientific details and an extra adventure he goes on as he drives the buggy to the extraction point that the movie skips.

So obviously lots of others I could have listed but I didn't read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks yet and I'm sure you'll all tell me what I should have listed as well. Yeah, Neil De Grasse Tyson is awesome, I know, but you know what? This isn't the top 50 science books out there. Just six and a plus-one.

If you decide to purchase one or all of those, pretty please use the Amazon links in this article because we get a small percentage of your purchase price. The price of jet fuel keeps going up and the Wonkette Gulfstream is a gas guzzling bitch.

And now it is your OPEN THREAD.

Carlos Sagan

I am a biochemist MexiCAN. I also write screenplays, ever hoping to get one made.

email me at: carlossagan2018@gmail.com

follow me at: @RealCarlosSagan

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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