August 27, 2015: HSC Book Club – “The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons”

WIM Brown Bag Book Club
“The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons”
by Sam Kean
ISBN 978-0316182355
Next Meeting: Thursday, August 27, 2015, Noon to 1:00
Norris Library East Conference Room, HSC
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Please RSVP at

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August 10, 2015: UPC WIM Book Club, next book “Citizen”

WIM Brown Bag Book Club
by Claudia Rankine ISBN 978-1-55597-690-3
Next Meeting: Monday, August 10, 2015, Noon to 1:00 Location DML G 28, UPC
More information
RSVP please and thank you

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Our previous book:
Cadillac Desert coverTHMB Review, Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

Marc Reisner’s book Cadillac Desert covers the history of water in the Western United States. The book looks at the first white explorers to the grand dams, powerplants, and canals of the US Bureau of Reclamation. Reisner took great pains to document the political machinations through 1986. It is a deep dive into the transformation of the American West from a desert not fit for human life to an agricultural and urban behemoth.

Reisner didn’t hide his opinion: “The drought itself, which may end up a more costly disaster than all of these combined, qualifies best as punishment meted out to an impudent culture by an indignant God.”

He felt that careerist bureaucrats, bloated land barons, greedy politicians “tamed” the wild rivers of the West in the search for cheap water and money. As the free and plentiful water drew more and more people to the desert, the plenty of it became more and more challenged. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the realm of water; the West in the last 30 years. The issues have gotten more pressing as groundwater depletion worsened through years of drought. The state of California is only now taking some of the ideas in this book into accord. But water remains prioritized to farms. Farms which left to nature would be “reclaimed” by the desert in the blink of an eye. Population growth in the Southwest exacerbate the problem to an immeasurable degree.

What struck me through reading was how little has changed. Through a rigged political system, a few wealthy white men pull strings to make their accounts larger, and work in concert with the to affect outcomes in such a grand scale. While we can give most of the people involved the benefit of the doubt, the problems multiply as they try to solve one water issue. Dams work for so long … and then they don’t. Irrigation of the desert might not have been the country’s finest idea. So what do we do next?
Aubrey Hicks

Women speaking

“The voice is our emotional engine. It carries our energy, health, vitality, joy and intelligence. But because our voices are powered by the breath, which is instantly responsive to stress and anxiety, it can also signal our anxiety, fear and self-doubt. Using your voice to convey confidence and authority is a challenge for everyone, of course, but it often has greater implications for women and can hurt their ability to influence and lead.”
Like, totally don’t talk like this to get ahead in business?, by Gina Barnett, Fortune, July 6, 2015