Andrew's Picks: "The Martian" and "The Knick"

I went on vacation several weeks ago and I intend to write about it soon.  In the meantime, Julie has already done so and posted lots of pictures, so you should check them out over at her blog,

I actually need to leave for work in a few minutes but I thought I'd give a quick shout out to my recent media picks.

The first is "The Martian", by Andy Weir.  I haven't seen the movie but I intend to.  The book is pretty fantastic.  It has that wonderful quality of good science fiction where you want to try living in the character's world.  It also inspired me to resume my secret project.  All the talk of engineering and ingenuity made me want to make a thing I've been planning for a few weeks.  I'm going to continue to keep it a secret however until I've actually started.  Right now I'm in a lengthy design phase.

Secondly, Julie and I have been watching the first season of "The Knick".  "The Knick" stars Clive Owen and is directed by Steven Soderbergh and plays on Cinemax if you aren't pirating it off the internet.  It is about the surgeons of a New York hospital at the turn of the 20th century.  I suggested it because we'd just finished watching the fourth season of American Horror Story and I wanted to find something that would hold Julie's sick attention while skewing closer to drama than horror.  The Knick fits the bill as viewers are treated to some incredibly realistic surgical scenes that underpin the remarkable climate in medicine of the era.  This was a time when germ theory and the development of anesthesia launched surgery from a practice of crude and ineffective mutilation all the way up to legitimate science.  Emboldened by sudden successes, surgeons experimented with radical and often insane techniques on humans with minimal oversight.  It was really a crazy time.  Illnesses which previously were known to be hopeless were instead met with a shrug that said "Lets give it a shot and see what happens".  Some got miracles.  Most bled out on a slab.

If you like medicine and can handle blood (lots and lots of blood) you should consider checking out the Knick.  If you really like blood and you love medical history than you definitely must watch.  Frankly, I'm shocked that Cinemax has found an audience for this shit.

Oh, and a bonus pick:  Hip-hop duo The Uncluded.  Apparently, Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock are nowcollaborating on alternative hip-hop that sounds exactly like Kimya Dawson played over Aesop Rock tracks.  I'm digging it.