|(c) Christopher Furlong, 2011|
I realize that it has been a goodly amount of time since I last posted to this blog, i.e., something like a skosh more than three months. Yikes! Well, I sorta do have an excuse, I guess. I have been super-insanely busy at work, and we are desperately short-handed to boot. As the acting director of my agency, I have had to assume a significant amount of additional responsibilities, and much of it involves traveling to and fro to meetings across much of the southwestern United States. The downside? Lots of traveling. The upside? Lots of time to read!
So far, in 2012, I have cranked out something like 30 books, with another 10-15 in the immediate to-be-read queue. I'm actually having a ball and reading some really interesting stuff too. I am getting ready to start a group-read of Charles Dickens' fourth novel, The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) with my chums in "The Readers Review" on Goodreads in late-April. Also, for the past couple of months I have been re-immersing myself in the latest state-of-knowledge associated with paleoanthropology and human origins.
As some of you may know, I am a geologist by education, and I guess you could say that I have always been a seriously interested amateur archaeologist and anthropologist. Ever since I was a child, and able to read, I've always been fascinated with the accounts of the archaeologists discovering fossils and physical evidence of early humans that have been found across Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. With today's access to on-line resources, I am now able to not only read the books that are published, but I can also delve into some of the more technical journal articles that are available on-line. I actually feel like I am actually enrolled in a graduate seminar, and I'm loving every moment of it!
Like most sciences, anthropology and archaeology and the state-of-knowledge associated with human origins changes rapidly, almost daily it seems. The integration and synthesis of data and research associated with geology, paleoclimatology, new methods of dating fossils, and particularly the advances in genetics has led to a significant increase in what we now know about our human ancestors and our biological and cultural origins. Combined with the relatively recent discovery of some important new fossils, we now have a pretty good picture of human history that reaches back some 6-7 million years!
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Amazon and I are 'hooking up' on just about a daily basis. My incredibly tolerant wife indulges my book-buying addiction with nary a reproachful word, bless her dear heart. Anyway, my 'Mount TBR' continues to grow, as nearly each day the USPS is dropping off another new tome via my Amazon orders. So, I've lots to read, lots to review, and lots of postings to add here. I'd best get busy!
I hope Spring has sprung in your area, and that the trees are leafing out and flowers blooming. Cheers!