How do you wind down after work?

July 11, 2014

On the drive home from my gig last night I started listening to an audio course entitled "Biological Anthropology-an Evolutionary Perspective". 24 Lectures, 30 minutes each... so far it's very cool stuff. 


The drive from Guelph to my home in Brantford is about an hour-ish if you keep to the speed limit. Normally this would mean I would be able to listen to 2 lectures at most... but I use a cool Android app for audiobook listening called "Smart AudioBook Player", and among its features (to date it is the only app I have actually paid for @ approx $2) it can increase or decrease the playback speed. I have discovered over time and with a little training I can listen to books and courses at up to 2x the regular speed and still absorb the content. This has increased my learning capacity (I only read non-fiction books, mostly about science, physics, neurology, biology), and has started me reading physical books again too (the ones you hold in your hands and have to turn the pages that are made of paper... remember those?).


Anyway, I found a comfortable playback speed for the professor of this course at 1.8x, and I got to listen to the first 2 lectures and got about 21 minutes into the 3rd when I got to my front door.


So far it's all been about evolution, and it is more like a recap of the things I have learned from books about evolution, Darwin, natural selection, etc. After you read a few of Richard Dawkins' books you pretty much know this stuff.


I am looking forward to hearing about the work the Professor has done with apes and monkeys. "Dr. Barbara J. King is a biological anthropologist... [her] research interests concern the social communication of the great apes, the closest living relatives to humans. She has studied ape and monkey behavior in Gabon, Kenya, and at the Language Research Center at Georgia State University."


In addition to this I am currently reading some Carl Sagan too: "Brocas Brain". I picked this book up in paperback at a book fair for... ready... $1. Sweet finding some Sagan for a buck - what a score. (Like the large hardcover copy of Sagan's "Cosmos" book I got for $1.50. That's one dollar, 50 cents). Can I just say that Carl Sagan was a genius? His writings should be mandatory reading in schools!! I've read "The Demon Haunted World" and "Pale Blue Dot" and both were amazing. Brocas Brain (written in 1979) is as relevant today as ever! Wow.


Remember folks, "Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings".




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