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Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The extension ruler


streamsong wrote:

Yes, the scene in chapter one where Mr Fox and Marina visit Karen to tell her of her husband's death is a neat bit of writing. Would we have cared about Karen and (finding out the puzzle of what happened to Anders) without this scene?

 

 


Definitely not as much, if at all.  Karen adds the emotional pull to the story, as do the children.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters One - Three


streamsong wrote:

 

 

In chapter 2, Marina is sleeping with Mr Fox and wakes with a bad dream. And yet he is still Mr. Fox. No first name-- a la the second Mrs de Winter. Is he a nonentity--or perhaps we are to be paying attention to his last name--Fox-- as in clever or perhaps sly as a fox.  As the chapter goes on, he reveals more odd details about the Amazon research.

 

 


He was Mr. Fox to her for so long, I can understand that there would be a period of transition, from Mr. Fox, executive at the company, to "first name," her lover.  The only thing I can assume is that their relationship is not really that deep.  There remains a level of formality.  There has to be if they want to keep the relationship a secret at work, but you would think that at some point, the formality would go away in her thoughts too.  

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Freedom from reproductive pressure

Yeah, I don't have kids and there's no way I'd be willing to start having children in my 60s or 70s - my back hurts just thinking about it.

 

That's why I wish there was a bit more explanation as to WHAT exactly is the research being done (or assumed to be happening). The scientist in me is having trouble with the application of such outcomes.  Yes, women in an Amazonian tribe may bear children for most of their lifetimes, but I would also be willing to bet there is a much higher maternal mortality rate and shorter lifespan than women from the developed, Western world.


Fozzie wrote:

Melissa_W wrote:

 

 

So then, given the fact that a modernized society has lifespans averaging in the high 70s/low 80s - with menopause starting in a mid-40s or so - would you want the possibility of starting a family in your 60s, your 50s if presented with the opportunity to banish menopause?  (A shorter lifespan for the Amazonian tribe is also given as an aside - the epidemiologist in me would like to see the data for Swenson's paper)


No, I would not want that opportunity.  I had my children when I was 30 and 34.  Children are physically demanding and there is a reason that women are not able to have them later in life.  I think children benefit from financially and emotionally stable parents, but not from parents so mature as to have started physical decline, which begins at around age 40.  Also, in their 50s, many people care for aging parents, which would take away from the time parents would need to spend with children.  To everything there is a season.


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Freedom from reproductive pressure


Melissa_W wrote:

Yeah, I don't have kids and there's no way I'd be willing to start having children in my 60s or 70s - my back hurts just thinking about it.

 

That's why I wish there was a bit more explanation as to WHAT exactly is the research being done (or assumed to be happening). The scientist in me is having trouble with the application of such outcomes.  Yes, women in an Amazonian tribe may bear children for most of their lifetimes, but I would also be willing to bet there is a much higher maternal mortality rate and shorter lifespan than women from the developed, Western world.


I agree that the science is not in any way clear at this point.  I can understand why you would be bothered by that as a scientist!  It is even bugging me.

 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters One - Three

I am caught up in the sense of mystery surrounding Dr. Swenson.  Why won’t she communicate with anyone?  Is she heartless and vindictive, as Marina wonders, given her experience as an obstetrics intern with Dr. Swenson and Dr. Swenson’s lack of response to the baby in distress?  “[Marina] was not terrified that the patient would die or that she would lose the baby, she was terrified that she was doing something wrong in the eyes of Dr. Swenson.”  What a personality this Dr. Swenson must be!  Yet, “Marina suspected in the end Dr. Swenson had no idea who she was.” 

 

How did Anders die?  And what about Karen’s accusation of an artificially inflated Vogel stock price?  Is it inflated?  Has Dr. Swenson really uncovered anything scientific?  Should we be concerned that a general store in Manaus had direct billing with Vogel (as a corporate financial professional, I say, yes, it is highly irregular and we should be very concerned)?  And was anyone else shocked when Barbara defended Dr. Swenson so strongly, wondering how she can be “expected to do her work if she’s constantly being monitored.”

 

I have one wild idea that might explain things, but I won’t reveal it here.  I’ll keep reading!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Why keep sending money?

Which also brings up another issue:

 

My "day job" is in research, entirely funded by grant money which is dependent on the ability of my boss, me, and our team (i.e. anyone else we're sub-contracting/funding to help us with a study) to put out results.  If our funding agencies don't like our progress or we don't keep them up to date they can pull the plug at any time.

 

If the pharmaceutical company was so annoyed about lack of results or communication, why not just pull the plug?  Send an ultimatum instead of a check - no results = no money.


Fozzie wrote:

Melissa_W wrote:

Yeah, I don't have kids and there's no way I'd be willing to start having children in my 60s or 70s - my back hurts just thinking about it.

 

That's why I wish there was a bit more explanation as to WHAT exactly is the research being done (or assumed to be happening). The scientist in me is having trouble with the application of such outcomes.  Yes, women in an Amazonian tribe may bear children for most of their lifetimes, but I would also be willing to bet there is a much higher maternal mortality rate and shorter lifespan than women from the developed, Western world.


I agree that the science is not in any way clear at this point.  I can understand why you would be bothered by that as a scientist!  It is even bugging me.

 


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Scribe
optic_i
Posts: 750
Registered: ‎06-26-2011
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters One - Three


Fozzie wrote:

I am caught up in the sense of mystery surrounding Dr. Swenson.  Why won’t she communicate with anyone?  Is she heartless and vindictive, as Marina wonders, given her experience as an obstetrics intern with Dr. Swenson and Dr. Swenson’s lack of response to the baby in distress?  “[Marina] was not terrified that the patient would die or that she would lose the baby, she was terrified that she was doing something wrong in the eyes of Dr. Swenson.”  What a personality this Dr. Swenson must be!  Yet, “Marina suspected in the end Dr. Swenson had no idea who she was.” 

 

How did Anders die?  And what about Karen’s accusation of an artificially inflated Vogel stock price?  Is it inflated?  Has Dr. Swenson really uncovered anything scientific?  Should we be concerned that a general store in Manaus had direct billing with Vogel (as a corporate financial professional, I say, yes, it is highly irregular and we should be very concerned)?  And was anyone else shocked when Barbara defended Dr. Swenson so strongly, wondering how she can be “expected to do her work if she’s constantly being monitored.”

 

I have one wild idea that might explain things, but I won’t reveal it here.  I’ll keep reading!



Fozzie wrote:

I am caught up in the sense of mystery surrounding Dr. Swenson.  Why won’t she communicate with anyone?  Is she heartless and vindictive, as Marina wonders, given her experience as an obstetrics intern with Dr. Swenson and Dr. Swenson’s lack of response to the baby in distress?  “[Marina] was not terrified that the patient would die or that she would lose the baby, she was terrified that she was doing something wrong in the eyes of Dr. Swenson.”  What a personality this Dr. Swenson must be!  Yet, “Marina suspected in the end Dr. Swenson had no idea who she was.” 

 

How did Anders die?  And what about Karen’s accusation of an artificially inflated Vogel stock price?  Is it inflated?  Has Dr. Swenson really uncovered anything scientific?  Should we be concerned that a general store in Manaus had direct billing with Vogel (as a corporate financial professional, I say, yes, it is highly irregular and we should be very concerned)?  And was anyone else shocked when Barbara defended Dr. Swenson so strongly, wondering how she can be “expected to do her work if she’s constantly being monitored.”

 

I have one wild idea that might explain things, but I won’t reveal it here.  I’ll keep reading!


Yes this has been a very strange in relation to the Bovanders and Dr. Swensen. Why are they in her apartment ?  I get the sense that they are just drifters and ended up in Manaus because Jackie is a surfer and Barbera doesn't have anything going on in her life at all. She just follows Jackie where ever he goes. I think Dr. Swensen found them idle and alone and broke and offered them her apartment and a Vogel expense account. She signs the account when ever she turns up in Manaus again. I don't quite understand what it is about the" good " Dr. yet. But she does seem to manipulate people to get them to do what she wants. Although with the Bovandres it was pretty easy. 

Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Why keep sending money?


Melissa_W wrote:

Which also brings up another issue:

 

My "day job" is in research, entirely funded by grant money which is dependent on the ability of my boss, me, and our team (i.e. anyone else we're sub-contracting/funding to help us with a study) to put out results.  If our funding agencies don't like our progress or we don't keep them up to date they can pull the plug at any time.

 

If the pharmaceutical company was so annoyed about lack of results or communication, why not just pull the plug?  Send an ultimatum instead of a check - no results = no money.


I have worked in grants and contracts administration at a major research university and so I know exactly what you are talking about.  I don't think "the company" is paying to support Dr. Swenson, I think Mr. Fox is.  Yes, he is somehow using company money, but I think he is doing so in some sneaky way, though given my corporate financial background, I am not sure exactly how.  It could be a big corporate scandal is being kept under wraps by multiple people.

 

Mr. Fox and Dr. Swenson are tied together somehow, I think.  Maybe she has some information she could and is using to blackmail him.   I haven't come up with any other explanations.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters One - Three


optic_i wrote:


Yes this has been a very strange in relation to the Bovanders and Dr. Swensen. Why are they in her apartment ?  I get the sense that they are just drifters and ended up in Manaus because Jackie is a surfer and Barbera doesn't have anything going on in her life at all. She just follows Jackie where ever he goes. I think Dr. Swensen found them idle and alone and broke and offered them her apartment and a Vogel expense account. She signs the account when ever she turns up in Manaus again. I don't quite understand what it is about the" good " Dr. yet. But she does seem to manipulate people to get them to do what she wants. Although with the Bovandres it was pretty easy. 


I am not entirely sure that the Bovenders and Dr. Swenson met by chance.  The book is leading us to believe that, but I just find the situation so odd.  Although, given that the Bovenders are drifters, such and odd arrangement just might appeal to them and maybe they did stumble into the agreement with Dr. Swenson.

 

I do hope we get to "meet" Dr. Swenson in the book and find out more about her and her ability to affect people so.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.