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81. The Structure of Evolutionary
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82. Handbook of Teaching for Physical
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83. Research Design and Statistical
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84. Board Simulator Series (5 Volume
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85. Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices
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86. Teaching Strategies for Nurse
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87. Phlebotomy Handbook: Blood Collection
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88. Anesthesia Review: A Study Guide
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89. Reading and Understanding Research
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90. Investigations
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91. Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative
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92. Backyard Ballistics
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93. The Best American Science Writing
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94. Workbook in Practical Neonatology
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95. Getting Science Grants : Effective
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96. Conducting Research Literature
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97. Laboratory Experiments in Microbiology
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98. Design of Experiments: Statistical
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99. First, Do No Harm
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100. The Evolution of Useful Things:

81. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
by Stephen Jay Gould
list price: $45.00
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Asin: 0674006135
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Belknap Press
Sales Rank: 14137
Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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The theory of evolution is regarded as one of the greatest glimmeringsof understanding humans have ever had. It is an idea of science, not ofbelief, and therefore undergoes constant scrutiny and testing byargumentative evolutionary biologists. But while Darwinists may disagreeon a great many things, they all operate within a (thus far) successfulframework of thought first set down in The Origin of Species in 1859.

In The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, a monumental labor ofacademic love, Stephen Jay Gould attempts to define and revise thatframework. Using the clear metaphors and personable style he is so wellknown for, Gould outlines the foundation of the theory and attempts touse it to show that modern evolutionary biology has lost its way. Hethen offers his own system for reconciling Darwin's "basic logicalcommitments" with the critiques of modern scientists.

Gould's massive opus begs a new look at natural selection with the fullweight of history behind it. His opponents will find much to criticize,and orthodox, reductionist Darwinists might feel that Gould has giventhem short shrift. But as an opening monologue for the new century'sbiological debates, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory sets amountainous precedent in exhaustive scholarship, careful logic, andsheer reading pleasure. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most important book on evolutionary theory since Darwin
Gould's Structure must surely rank as one of the most important contributions to evolutionary theory since the publication of Origin of Species. In brief, this massive book consists of two parts, the first being an extensive historical review of theories of evolution beginning even before Darwin and extending up to the Modern Synthesis in the 1960s, and the second a critique of key elements in evolutionary theory as formulated by Darwin and codified in the Modern Synthesis. Theoretical controversies introduced in the historical section are shown to persist even in today's discussions. Incidentally, in the first chapter there is a 40 page "abstract" which is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book's major points.
Some of the key Darwinian conceptions and Gould's counterproposals are as follows:
1) Darwin: natural selection at the level of the individual organism is the sole, or at least by far the most important, contributor to evolution.
Gould: There is a hierarchy of natural selection, with selection at the species level, not the organismal level, as the most important for macroevolution.
2) Darwin: natural selection operating on (hereditable)variation is by far the most dominant factor in causing evolution.
Gould: constraints on hereditable variation imposed by developmental mechanisms play a very important evolutionary role (this is where Gould gives a superb discussion of some of the recent advances in evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo") integrated into evolutionary theory.)
3) Darwin: Gradual transformation over geological time spans leads to the development of new species.
Gould: In fact, the paleontological evidence is that the vast majority of species develop with great rapidity (in geological terms) and then remain stable before extinction and/or replacement by a new species (punctuated equilibrium). Additionally, global catastrophic events such as the meteorite hit at the end of the Cretaceous era cause massive, sudden, and unpredictable changes in evolution.
I really can't praise this book highly enough. Yes it is long, but Gould's keen analytic abilities and his penchant for introducing interesting analogies (such as spandrels, and their classification into "franklins" and "miltons") kept my attention throughout. This is not a conventional "textbook" of evolution; you won't find here a systematic survey of how and when various different animal groups evolved. But it is an absolutely masterful survey of the theory behind evolution, buttressed by numerous in-depth examples. However, I would strongly suggest to those without much of a background in these matters reading an introductory book like Carl Zimmer's Evolution before attempting to tackle Structure.

3-0 out of 5 stars More of the same
Gould is famous for his writings in Natural History Magazine, and he has many volumes of reprints. Over the 25 years of producing these volumes his style has changed. Originally, he 'taught' evolution, including the enormously valuable historical perspective that simply was not available elsewhere. It was wonderful reading. Gould really shines here.

But over time his style changed; his articles spent more and more column inches trying to demonstrate that his personal ideas in evolutionary theory must be true since he could find so many examples in other fields of human endeavor. Architecture is a favorite. It's not that architecture isn't interesting; I even think spandrels are interesting mathematically, too. The structural origins of spandrels really doesn't contribute as much to evolutionary thought as the presentation would suggest. His recent writing simply go too far out of the way to demonstrate that he can take any field of human knowledge (those in which he has an interest, and numerous they are) and find some connection with evolution. But, as a friend of mine says, "The juice isn't worth the squeeze."

Gould's 'big idea' has been Punctuated Equilibrium. It is an insightful view of the evolutionary record, and an important contribution to the field. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the idea of Population Thinking; how to view the world through the eyes of a biologist.

I think Gould wasn't very happy with the modest reception his big idea received. Many of his later publications, along with those of Eldredge, were more pleading than persuasive. It was A big idea, but not THE big idea. It was not a revolution in evolutionary theory; it is consistent with the modern synthesis.

Gould opens this book by telling us that it, too, is 'one long argument', as Darwin referred to his own "Origin of Species". It is also the title of a recent book by Ernst Mayr. This is an on-going, perhaps unconscious, effort of Gould's to be more Mayr-like in his writing. In many ways "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" is an attempt to replicate Mayr's "Growth of Biological Thought" and "Towards a New Philosophy of Biology".

In fact, this book begins with almost one hundred pages that seem to be a book within the book; I think Gould finished his 'big book' early and then felt compelled to write an 80 page 'paperback' introduction to it. Feel free to skip these and go right to the meat. Still, the meat is tough.

Reading Gould, the prose always seemed to get in the way of the content. TO a great extent, it still does. If you put in the effort, you will find some great ideas to think about.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting book....but long-winded and bloated
As a non-biologist I found this book tough to read. First, at nearly 1,400 pages the book suffers from a complete lack of editing or even clear sense of organization. SET does not really flow, but, rather, vomits forth sections and subsections in an unending torrent of seemingly ill-planned and overly huge chapters. Second, the book was filled with duplication, uneeded "I'm-so-smart" self-congratulation, and varied in how readable it was. It often went from being a broad conceputal overview focusing on clear theoretical argumentation -- the justification for species-level selection, for instance -- to (me at least) mind-numbing excursions into jargon-filled technical studies. The result was that Gould ended up writing a book ill suited for laymen or experts in the field -- a mish-mash resulting from writing for too broad an audience.

On the plus side, there is a hell of a lot of stuff in there. I feel I now have a fairly good grasp, for an interested layman, of evolutionary theory, especially the drawbacks of "conventional" Darwinian natural selection, and how Gould's suggested theoretical "fixes" -- punctuated equilibrium, hierarchical selection, and species selection -- improves upon Darwin. The deep historical detail Gould goes into when discussing the history of Darwinian thought is also nice, especially for an outsider with little knowledge of evolutionary theory. I also enjoyed Gould's take on "Galton's Polyhedron", explanation of "spandrels", and the connection he draws between structural constraint and selective forces -- concepts I can use when thinking about outcomes in my field, the social sciences.

On the whole, I would say SET is very rich in detail, informaton, and explanation, but gets low marks for exposition. The book could clearly benefit from further editing which is why I give it only 3 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gould fails to get out of his own way
I agree wholeheartedly with the review by "A reader from Vic, Australia." This book is a classic example of what happens when an author gets too big for his editor. The notion that he even had one must be taken as a matter of blind faith, as there is no empirical evidence for it.

Gould might well have had something important to say in this book; certainly, that was my hope when I bought it. Unfortunately, however, he was too busy stringing together endless chains of metaphors and inventing analogies -- many of which are dead ends -- to tell us what it was.

2-0 out of 5 stars For hardcore enthusiasts only
This is a massive book and a fitting final achievement for the immensely popular intellectual. I would recommend it to people who are interested in a deep understanding of Gould's point of view. Gould was undoubtedly a great thinker and his view of evolution is more complex and sophisticated than that of the vast majority of biologists. His most notable real achievement may have been counteracting certain misconceptions about Darwinism, although it is not entirely clear that anyone ever held the misconceptions he claims to have dispelled.

So, why the two stars?

1. His writing is appalling: pretentious, long-winded and cluttered with irrelevent and misleading literary and sporting analogies. For people who want to understand the arguments, rather than admire florid prose and elegant historical rambles, this is very irritating. The Chronicle quotes Gould as saying: "If I'm competent in anything, it's writing." He couldn't be more wrong.

2. The book is desperately in need of a good editor, not just to correct (1) above, but to eliminate a massive amount of repetition. Gould had no tolerance for editing, never redrafted and composed solely on a typewriter, and that shows very painfully. As Library Journal put it - "bloated, redundant and self-indulgent".

3. It's said that the book was written with the intention of establishing Gould in the popular imagination as Darwin's successor. With this aim he pulls a lot of dirty tricks on the reader, ranging from misleading metaphors, to straw men, to selective quotations. These are cleverly structured and stated with great authority, making them very difficult for the non-expert to pick.

4. Just because his view is sophisticated, complex, historical, and rich in literary allusion, doesn't mean it's correct. In fact, the vast majority of evolutionary biologists remain skeptical of Gould's claims, for good reasons that he does not explain.

In summary, the book may be worth reading for evolutionary biologists. It is a terrible book for the laypeople who are Gould's main readers. In contrast, Richard Dawkin's books are highly accessible, enjoyable, and convey core concepts very clearly. ... Read more

82. Handbook of Teaching for Physical Therapists
by Katherine F. Shepard, Gail M., Ph.D. Jensen, Joseph P. H. Black
list price: $42.95
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Asin: 0750673095
Catlog: Book (2002-02-15)
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann
Sales Rank: 194422
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83. Research Design and Statistical Analysis
by Jerome L. Myers, Arnold D. Well
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Asin: 0805840370
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Lea
Sales Rank: 187486
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84. Board Simulator Series (5 Volume Set)
by Gruber
list price: $99.00
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Asin: 0683304119
Catlog: Book (1997-01)
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Sales Rank: 344519
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85. Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices to Channel Your Inner Geek
by Simon Field, Simon Quellen Field
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Asin: 1556525206
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Sales Rank: 1600
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Step-by-step instructions to building more than 30 fascinating devices are included in this book for workbench warriors and grown-up geeks. Detailed illustrations and diagrams explain how to construct a simple radio with a soldering iron, a few basic circuits, and three shiny pennies. Instructions are included for a rotary steam engine that requires a candle, a soda can, a length of copper tubing, and just 15 minutes. To use optics to roast a hot dog, no electricity or stove is required, just a flexible plastic mirror, a wooden box, a little algebra, and a sunny day. Also included are experiments most science teachers probably never demonstrated, such as magnets that levitate in midair, metals that melt in hot water, a Van de Graaff generator made from a pair of empty soda cans, and lasers that transmit radio signals. Every experiment is followed by an explanation of the applicable physics or chemistry. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars How kids can have fun with parents and get educated too!
I have looked at a number of similar books that provide interesting science activities that are cool enough to hold a childs interest. However, most of them have moderately good things to create that take a lot of hands on time from parents. By the time the fun science project is done, the kids have lost interest. Not so with Simon Field's "Gonzo Gizmos".

The first project I attempted was a simple candle powered steamboat with my 6 y.o. daughter. After purchasing a bit of flexible 1/8 inch copper tubing at the hardware store (the hard part) we created a great working steamboat in about 15 minutes, and my daughter did most of the work. She took several baths with it putting around the tub, brought it to school for her "Show and Tell", and can even tell you how it works. I then went onto the "Gauss Rifle" with my 9 y.o. son. Wow!!!

Most of the projects take only a little time, and if you can't find the materials, he gives you a nice website to purchase them. This is a really fun book that you can dive into and get kids engaged in a few minutes with a project that will teach them real science, and will be cool enough to brag about with their friends. Moreover the layout is great. A description of the project and what it does, including great titles; then a cookbook list of materials, and where to get them; a recipe; and then a darn good description of the science behind the project. Believe me, with project titles like "The Hydrogen Bomb" (A battery powered H2O dialysis machine that after separating the Oxygen and Hydrogen is ignited with a piezo electric sparker, causes a small explosion that squirts water several feet into the air!), how could any kid resist! Moreover, how could a parent resist. Buy this and try it. It is really great. ... Read more

86. Teaching Strategies for Nurse Educators
by Sandra DeYoung
list price: $53.60
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Asin: 0130452165
Catlog: Book (2002-06-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 276155
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaching Strategies For Nurse Educators, August 19, 2003
As a future nursing educator I found this book to be indispensable. Over the past fifteen years of my nursing career, I have been in virtually every nursing educational setting. For this reason I have collected numerous books and nursing resources on the subjects of cognitive processes, learning and teaching techniques. This book by far pulls all the information together, and it will become the most utilized of my collection. The information is laid out in a logical format that starts with the basic concepts, theories, objectives and goals of learning. She then moves on to explain how to prepare and conduct classes. She concludes with the testing and evaluation process. DeYoung takes you gradually through everything you need to know to formulate and conduct a classroom setting that is both stimulating and achieves the goal of educating nurses to become critical thinking, problem-solvers. Her work employs the latest research on learning/education and at the end of every chapter she reinforces learning through case studies, critical thinking exercises and ideas for future research. Any nursing educator within the academic setting or within the clinical area would benefit from this text. She has made the material easy to understand for the beginning educator and advanced enough for the expert. I wish I had had this resource at the start of my career. I absolutely recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Parts and Not So Good Parts
Wow, I could've used this one year ago for my first nurse clinical class! This book starts off very promising. It is going to help you grab that elusive thing all teachers want, a class that doesn't put your students in a COMA. The part on learning theory is well explained with examples that pertain to us nurses. There are some basics on the nuts and bolts of instructing a class, again geared towards nursing. Part 2 is where I realize I'm not going to be teacher of the year with this book alone. After switching to patient teaching goals for awhile then we dive into multicultural concepts. I foud the chapter on multiculturalism to be ineffectual and sparse with no real expertise. I wonder why it was included in the book, perhaps it was there to meet an imposed standard. Part 3 is redeeming with some practical and useful ways to turn the learning on in the classroom. This book is useful for a new nurse educator in that she has lots of strategies to choose from with a good base understanding. The experienced instructor caught in the habit of stuffy lecturing can learn new tricks. Overall, this is a good book for beginners and a resource to expand upon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaching Strategies for Nurse Educators
Nurses are continuously involved in the education of patients, their families, students of nursing, and of one another. Teaching Strategies for Nurse Educators was written as a guide to help nurses learn how to teach effectively. To assist the reader in learning the concepts important in the teaching and learning processes, the author turns to multiple theories of learning which form the basis of understanding why and how people learn. The author notes that to be an effective teacher, a knowledge of educational theory and research, coupled with the desire to learn about teaching methods and the ability to look objectively at ones' teaching style and overall performance is a process which needs to be developed in the individual. The book provides descriptions of several learning theories associated with effectiveness in teaching and learning, and includes discussion of teaching methods and strategies. Each chapter incorporates Case Study, Critical Thinking Exercises and Ideas for Further Research. Developing critical thinking skills in the nursing profession is of paramount importance. The author addresses this issue by defining critical thinking, describes how learning this important skill can be inhibited by improper teaching methods to students in nursing school and offers strategies to enhance these essential skills. The book follows a logical sequence and states points clearly and effectively and stimulates thought on the part of the reader. References are sited throughout the text and listed at the end of each chapter. True to the Nursing Process, the book would not be complete without an evaluation of both the student learner and patient as the recipients of the information taught. Reading this book sparked my interest in education. I found this book to be both informative and stimulating; however, the breadth of topics covered was more than this reader had anticipated. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to all nurses interested in enhancing their teaching skills.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Teaching Strategies"- A Resource You Don't Want to Miss.
This book is a wonderful resource for any nurse's library whether or not she is a formal educator. This book proposes to be relevant to all nurses, whatever field they may be working. All nurses teach. DeYoung indirectly acknowledges this simple fact by successfully examining the different facets of teaching and learning, whether it is to our students, our patients, fellow nursing staff members, or to precept new graduates. The book is categorized into three sections that focus on three critical topics in education: Teaching and Learning, The Learner, and Teaching Strategies. DeYoung's 30 years of experience as a nurse educator allows her to creatively weave relevance to all realms of nursing education into each of the three sections. Concluding each chapter are three features that focus relevance to the preceding material: Case Studies, Critical Thinking Exercises and Ideas for Further Research. These features provide the reader a fresh and innovative way of proposing current questions and ethical challenges in the career of nursing today. Any nurse would find these features helpful in stimulating creative and critical thinking within their students, peers and themselves. The intimacies of the book include many examples of how the teacher/learner process is interdependent and a fluid process. It emphasizes the need to continually adapt the educational process to focus on individual learning needs in the classroom as well as in the real world of nursing. This book is a gem for those nurses and educators who no longer wish to accept the statement, "we've been doing it that way for years," as an answer to their questions. It challenges the educator to go beyond the surface and to create a learning environment that rewards research based answers to our questions as well as innovative planning and problem solving for today's nursing practice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaching strategies for nurse educators by Sandra DeYoung
Teaching strategies for nurse educators by Sandra DeYoung
The book was designed to provide a theory base to help nurses teach patients, staff, or students. This book has fourteen chapters divided into three parts: 1. teaching and learning, 2. the learner, and 3. teaching strategies. Part one focuses on good teaching, research and principles for good teaching, learning theories and concepts, and explains how to plan and conduct classes including writing objectives, selecting content and teaching methods, planning assignments and conducting the class. Part two discusses learners, motivation and readiness for learning, multicultural and gender aspects of learning and literacy. Part three presents traditional teaching strategies (lecturing, discussion, questioning, using audiovisuals, and interactive lecture), activity-based teaching strategies (cooperative learning, simulations, problem-based learning, and self-learning modules), computer teaching strategies (computer technology and learning, computer assisted and managed instruction, the Internet, and virtual reality), distance learning (advantages and disadvantages, clinical education, interactive television classes and Internet), teaching psychomotor skills, promoting and assessing critical thinking, clinical teaching, and assessing and evaluating learning. Each chapter has a case study to apply the information, critical thinking exercises, and ideas for future research. The book is well documented, scholarly, and practical. There are tables, figures, chapter divisions, bullets, and numbers to facilitate reading and understanding. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

87. Phlebotomy Handbook: Blood Collection Essentials (5th Edition)
by Diana Garza, Kathleen Becan-McBride
list price: $44.00
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Asin: 0838581412
Catlog: Book (1999-01-15)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 342237
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

KEYBENEFIT: Completely updated and revised, this leading book is the mostaccurate and up-to-date source of blood and specimen collection information fortoday's health care students and professionals.Includingsections on safety, equipment and collection, special procedures andpoint-of-care testing, quality and legal issues, this new edition provideshealth care professionals with the clinical, technical, and communicationskills and knowledge to practice blood and specimen collection safely andeffectively.Phlebotomists, nurses, nursing students, medicaltechnicians. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars good book for phelbotomy students
I think this is a pretty good book for phelbotomy students.The book goes into great depth about various blood tests and the equipment used.The language used was simple enough for laypersons to understand.This book also prepares you for the National exam.

5-0 out of 5 stars I am not a medical professional, terrific book!
As a layperson who wants to help people type thier blood with home blood typing kits, but be responsible about disposal, this books is a gem of information. The surprise for me is how much marvelous information is contaianed beyond responsible bloodletting. This book contains some anatomy, and describes the body systems. I would like to take a course on this subject, but they are available only to students of nursing, etc. With free shipping, and convenience and availibility, you can't beat this book! ... Read more

88. Anesthesia Review: A Study Guide to Anesthesia and Basics of Anesthesia
by Lorraine M. Sdrales, Ronald D. Miller, Churchill Livingstone
list price: $61.95
our price: $61.95
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Asin: 0443079781
Catlog: Book (2001-03-16)
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Sales Rank: 160768
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a question and answer review book that is cross-referenced to two of the leading textbooks in the specialty of anesthesia: Stoelting and Miller 'Basics of Anesthesia' 3e and Miller's Anesthesia 5e. Designed for use by residents preparing for board certification and for practitioners preparing for their re-certification exam, the book is presented in a straightforward format. Correct answers to all questions are given and readers are able to refer back to the corresponding section in the Miller or Stoelting and Miller books for more detailed information. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought-stimulating
I really like this book. Its design is atypical for a "question-book" in that the format is not multiple choice; rather, the author(s) intend for the reader to reflect upon their theoretical and practical knowledge-base before formulating an answer. This makes this book thought-stimulating as opposed to standard multiple choice books, which may be good, but you will most assuridly never see those "same" multiple choice questions and answer-options replicated on an actual board exam. Good book. ... Read more

89. Reading and Understanding Research
by Lawrence F. Locke, Stephen J. Silverman, Waneen Wyrick Spirduso
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
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Asin: 0761927689
Catlog: Book (2004-03-03)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sales Rank: 227669
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Book Description

Click 'Additional Materials' for downloadable sample

“The authors have hit another home run. This terrific text provides the layperson and graduate students a wonderful entrée into the research process. In eight carefully crafted and readable chapters, the reader is supported via excellent examples, group exercises, and supplemental readings to significantly improve their abilities to read, understand, and critique qualitative and quantitative research reports and research reviews.”
 —Mary O'Sullivan, Associate Dean, College of Education, Ohio State University

“This is the best book I know of on how to read and use published research. It is pervaded by common sense, a nontechnical and user-friendly approach, and an insightful treatment of key issues that other books rarely address, such as the important things you can get from research reports besides ‘results.’ This edition provides greater coverage of qualitative and mixed methods research, and an expanded, annotated bibliography. While it is aimed primarily at consumers of research, a great deal of the content will also be useful to those doing research.” 
— Joseph Maxwell, George Mason University

The book that has helped demystify qualitative and quantitative research articles for thousands of readers has now been fully updated and revised.

Reading and Understanding Research, Second Edition is based on the notion that helping to demystify the process of consuming research will not only make for better students, but will help make for better research. The authors presume no special background in research, and begin by introducing and framing the notion of reading research within a wider social context. Next they offer insight on when to seek out research, locating and selecting the right reports, and how to help evaluate research for trustworthiness. A step-by-step reading of reports from qualitative and quantitative studies follows, and the final chapters examine in greater detail the different types of research to be encountered and how to examine the research more critically. This book is ideal for a novice researcher (and those that teach them!). 

New to the Second Edition:

• A new chapter on the utilization of research
• Expanded coverage of qualitative methods
• Updated resource lists
• More coverage of the twelve steps for understanding different types of research

... Read more

90. Investigations
by Stuart A. Kauffman
list price: $21.50
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Asin: 0195121058
Catlog: Book (2002-07-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 219561
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the tradition of Schrodinger's classic What Is Life?, this book is a tour-de-force investigation of the basis of life itself, with conclusions that radically undermine the scientific approaches on which modern science rests-the approaches of Newton, Boltzman, Bohr, and Einstein. Kauffman's At Home in the Universe, which The New York Times Book Review called "passionately written" and nature named "courageous," introduced pivotal ideas about order and evolution in complex life systems. In investigations, Kauffman builds on these theories and finds that classical science does not take into account that physical systems--such as people in a biosphere--effect their dynamic environments in addition to being affected by them. These systems act on their own behalf as autonomous agents, but what defines them as such? In other words, what is life? By defining and explaining autonomous agents and work in the contexts of thermodynamics and of information theory, Kauffman supplies a novel answer to this age-old question that goes beyond traditional scientific thinking. Much of Investigations unpacks the progressively surprising implications of his definition. Kauffman lays out a foundation for a new concept of organization, and explores the requirements for the emergence of a general biology that will transcend terrestrial biology to seek laws governing biospheres anywhere in the cosmos. Moreover, he presents four candidate laws to explain how autonomous agents co-create their biosphere and the startling idea of a "co-creating" cosmos. A showcase of Kauffman's most fundamental and significant ideas, Investigations presents a new way of thinking about the basics of general biology that will change the way we understand life itself--on this planet and anywhere else in the cosmos. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars A rugged read of a book
I have followed the writings of Stuart Kauffman very closely since his first book 'Origins of Order'. The Santa Fe Institute with which he is associated is a wonderful think-tank of multi-disciplinary, but converging studies. Kauffman's contribution to this group has been huge.

I find that Kauffman's world view is compelling, resonant and deeply fascinating. This book contains the ideas within 'At Home in the Universe' and then extends them into the 'adjacent possible'.

Be prepared when reading this book to be taxed on your knowledge of cell chemistry, mathematics, thermodynamics and evolution. The rapid jumps between disciplines are handy for explaining some rather obtuse ideas, but Kauffman may isolate many readers by diving in to unelaborated detail on the idiosyncracies of these subjects. Even a brief overview of some of the terms used in his metaphors would be a great help to those without PhDs.

Personally, I buy Kauffman's worldview hook, line and sinker which makes any of his writings a must-read for me, but I am convinced that the audience for this book was not carefully considered, and as a result it seems that it is written for himself primarily. It could do with a thorough edit removing the grandiose language.

Stu, I know you can do better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life in a Complex Universe
"Investigations" marks a new phase in Stuart Kauffman's seminal work on self-organization and complexity. In this fascinating extension of his theoretical approach to the generation of order in the universe, he focusses on the idea of the autonomous agent, which forms the basis for a new and more precise definition of the living organism. The autonomous agent, according to Kauffman, is an organization of matter that extracts works from its environment in order to maintain its structural and functional integrity over time. An autonomous agent is one that does work on its own behalf. Kauffman goes into considerable physical detail to show how this is not only possible but inevitable. Because of the intimate relation between work and self-maintenance in this schema, Kauffman speaks of organisms as exemplifying a fourth law of thermodynamics that allows for increasing organizational complexity in the midst of a universe whose entropy is constantly increasing.

The fourth law explains how the diversity of the biosphere continues to increase through an exploration of "the adjacent possible," the realm of alternative organizations reachable through single mutations. In this view, the proliferation of life forms is not so much the result of chance as it is of a working out of the natural tendency of existing entities to self-organize into structures of greater and greater complexity.

Kauffman's muscular writing in "Investigations" once again demonstrates an exceptional combination of rigorous scientific logic and a poetic vision that encompasses a fertile and abundant universe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Questions which shake science
This is a great book. Not by the suggested answers to the problems related to the notion of Life, but by the questions which are asked. It breaks dogmas in physics which simply do not allow the comprehension of biology from a physical perspective. Kauffman notes limits of our actual physics, and proposes tentative ways of exploring.
This book is good for anyone with an inquisitive mind and a desire to explore the nature of Life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Confusion is Part of the Solution
Stuart Kauffman has been probing the "deep structure" of life for decades. He is one of the founding members of the Santa Fe Institute, the leading center for the emerging sciences of complexity. His work therein started in complex Boolean networks in which he found "order for free" in a void seeming to consist of nothing but chaos. This lead him to highly dynamical yet self-structuring autocatalytic sets (now known as "Kauffman sets") which eventually lead him to search for a general biology from which all of life could extrapolate. Kauffman never was much for neo-Darwinism or natural selection, and here he continues his holistic approach to self-organizing biospheres.

Investigations attempts, in part, to outline four candidate laws governing biospheres (large dynamical systems full of self-organizing autonomous agents - such as the universe itself). A lofty pursuit to be sure, givien that biospheres are teeming with so much complexity, interdependence and obscured initial states (to name just a few of the obvious pitfalls). There are also the problems, as Kauffman points out, that biospheres are "nonergodic" and their "nonequilibrium" flowing into a "persistent adjacent other."

Recondite minutia notwithstanding, Investigations is fun in a way not many books of this intellectual magnitude are. Kauffman cuts the hard science with wit and pondering of the utmost human persuasion. While he undermines the very foundations on which modern science stands (the work of Newton, Boltzman, Einstein and Bohr), Kauffman compares the geniuses of Shakespeare and Einstein ("I'm not sure whose genius is the more awesome, " he says.) and emphasizes the importance of story in understanding our lives in the universe.

With a healthy mix of speculation, cutting-edge science and hypothesis steeped in years of grappling with the hard questions, Stuart Kauffman's Investigations is sure to inspire and intrigue, as well as confound and confuse. As he says, "Oh, confusion. Perhaps a certain confusion is healthy. We have not tried to embrace all of this at once before."

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas but get this man a decent editor
Normally I'd dismiss out of hand anyone who claims to have found a fourth law of thermodynamics but from Stuart Kauffman, I'll hear what he has to say. I've been following Kauffman's work for years and his thinking is as engaging as ever. Unfortunately, his prose is not. Grandiose, clumsy and over-written, he sells his ideas short. The language is unreadably uneven as it ranges from patronising pop-sci gobbley-gook to technical minutaie of molecular biology.

Kauffman attempts to articulate something that he calls "general biology". This is simply a dressed-up term for the classic problem of the origin of life. Unfortunately, his explanation also follows the classic pop-sci strategy of explaining one mysterious thing (life) by replacing it with other equally mysterious concepts (work and semantics). In this part of the book, the writing is woefully repetitive and elliptic. No real conclusions are drawn, which is a a monumental let-down given the ego-maniacally overblown introduction. There is an intellectual abyss between Kauffman's definition of life as auto-catalytic systems with one work cycle, and real cells that undergo reproduction and darwinian evolution.

Nevertheless, there are many nuggets of gold in the later chapters. Probably the most interesting is the idea of the adjacent possible. The adjacent possible is the set of all possible chemicals that can be synthesized in one chemical step from all existing chemicals. Unlike other concepts introduced in the book, it is something that can be computed (though not exhaustively). Kauffman then proposes a fourth law of chemical thermodynamics: a chemical system advances into the adjacent-possible as fast as it can. Kauffman shows how this hypothetical fourth law can be analysed by relating this to his previous work on sustainable chemical diversity. Indeed, the best parts of the book are where Kauffman re-caps his previous work on auto-catalytic systems and genomes of real organisms, and then extends the analysis to explain his fourth law of thermodynamics.

Kauffman makes some neat analogies between the chemical adjacent-possible with economics. He points out that classical economic models of pricing rely on the assumption of a finite prestable collection of goods and services. Instead, a more fruitful model for an economy of products can be made in analogy to the ever-explanding set of catalytic chemicals. There is also a great analysis on the limits of the economy of scale where Kauffman makes a analogy between the Ksat problem and the problem of producing diverse products in a single factory. And finally, in the grand tradition of pop-sci books, there is a final chapter where all the problems of quantum mechanics and cosmology are solved with the application of one special idea. Although this last chapter is pure science fiction, the book is worth perservering as some of the ideas are original, useful and genuinely thought provoking. ... Read more

91. Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials
list price: $39.95
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Asin: 0761926879
Catlog: Book (2003-02-13)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sales Rank: 224927
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Book Description

"This book is a must for anyone teaching, or wishing to better understand, qualitative research . . . This handbook is destined to be a classic text in the field of qualitative research that belongs on every student's and researcher's bookshelf."


Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, the third volume in the paperback version of the Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd Edition, considers the tasks of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting empirical materials, and comprises the Handbook's Parts IV ("Methods of Collecting and Analyzing Empirical Materials") and V ("The Art of Interpretation, Evaluation, and Presentation").

Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials introduces the researcher to basic methods of gathering, analyzing and interpreting qualitative empirical materials. Part 1 moves from interviewing to observing, to the use of artifacts, documents and records from the past; to visual, and autoethnographic methods. It then takes up analysis methods, including computer-assisted methodologies, as well as strategies for analyzing talk, and text. Esther Madriz reads focus groups through critical feminist inquiry, and Erve Chambers discusses applied ethnography.

"This may well be 'the one book on qualitative research' that one would want to take 'to a desert island,' as the editors hope."


The Handbook of Qualitative Research, Second Edition is widely considered to be the state of the art in evaluating the field of qualitative inquiry. Now published in paperback in response to the needs of classroom teachers, Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, Second Edition will be an ideal supplement for a course on research methods, across a wide number of academic disciplines.

"The Handbook of Qualitative Research represents a major publishing event. It comprehensively gathers together and organizes rapidly-growing developments in the philosophy, theory, and method of conducting qualitative research."


... Read more

92. Backyard Ballistics
by William Gurstelle
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
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Asin: 1556523750
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Sales Rank: 451
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ordinary folks can construct 13 awesome ballistic devices in their garage or basement workshops using inexpensive household or hardware store materials and this step-by-step guide. Clear instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build projects ranging from the simple-a match-powered rocket-to the more complex-a scale-model, table-top catapult-to the offbeat-a tennis ball cannon. With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind the projects, and profiles scientists and extraordinary experimenters such as Alfred Nobel, Robert Goddard, and Isaac Newton. This book will be indispensable for the legions of backyard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fanatics who wish every day was the fourth of July. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Parents, Dont be scared
This is a great book. Just from skimming through it you can tell that a lot of thought and precaution went into it's construction. Parents may be scared seeing a book like this in the hands of their child, but don't be frightened. Most of the projects in here are pretty innocuous and saftey is paramount. The book and author STRESS proper precautions and advise saftey gear for any dangerous experiments. If you have a kid who has been playing with fire, been showing a disturbing interest in explosives or such, then buy them this book and do these projects with them! It will give kids a productive, educational and supervised outlet for these curiosities and fascinations and will give you a chance to teach them a bit about physics and further bond with them. Some young pyros grow into arsonists, others grow into firemen and physicists... you make the choice! Instead of punishing them and trying to curb their interest in such things, channel this energy into something positive.

From the perspective of an adult or adolesent this book is still great. Fun projects and lots of information make for a fun read, and an even more fun summer project. Science teachers and the like will love this book as some of these projects could prove wonderful classroom demonstrations to aid in teaching and more importantly, in getting kids' attention and perhaps sparking an interest.

Great book. more stuff like this might help the curb effects of all the negative stuff out there like the Anarchist's Cookbook and all those [explosive] websites.

A big five stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and great fun
This is one of those ultimate guy books, fun for boys 8 to 80. It brought back memories of building similar devices in my youth, although I never built anything close to the diverse collection the author has brought together and describes in this interesting book. The book contains instructions and even troubleshooting suggestions for 12 different projects, ranging from a potato canon to Greek fire to the dry-cleaner bag balloon. I remember using a compound called Bangsite 40 years ago when I was a boy that was probably calcium carbide to build a primitive canon, and he was a similar one here.

In addition to all the projects, the author does a fine job of providing a little education on the fine points of the history of many of these devices, and on some of the most important inventors in history. There are briref but very readable articles on Archimedes, Robert H. Goddard (the "father of rocketry"), Alfred Nobel, and others.

A particularly interesting section is the one on the history of the catapult. The author details its use from 400 B.C. to the 15th century. For example, we learn that last successful use of the catapult (before it was replaced by canon) was at the Battle of Rhodes in 1480, and that 500 A.D. is the earliest recorded use of gravity-powered catapults or trebouchets in the Middle East. In 1191 Richard I (the "Lion-Hearted") participated in a hard-fought battle between the Franks and the Turks in which they battered each other with 300 catapults. And torsion engines were in widespread use in the Roman army by 50 A.D. In 1450, the canon supplanted the catapult throughout Europe and its long use in warfare came to an end.

There are also interesting articles on The Roman Candle, the Medieval Crossbow, and Secret Weapons (such as missiles and rockets). At 170 pages in medium-size format, there are a lot of interesting historical facts and information in addition to all the material on the projects. This is a great idea for a book and I'm surprised no-one has ever done it before.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun
Definitely fun projects for guys! If you feel like blowing something up, but still want to be safe, this is for you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasing men of all ages!
Being an avid potato gunner, I picked this book up at the local library, and after reading it over, I just had to to get it. The book will please everyone thats into building fun projects during the lazy summer days & will provide enjoyment for hours! The book goes into very good detail with each project & stresses safety as a key thing, which is good because the projects in this book can be somewhat dangeroeus ONLY if you don't follow instructions & use common sense. I recommended this book to anyone in need for a good project to work on or just for fun! Definitly on my top 10 list.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for kids of all ages.
I bought this book for my boyfriend, and he practicaly sleeps with it. Not only does this book help you build the projects step-by-step, but it also provides the mechanics behind WHY it works in language easy enough for a ten year old to understand (with a little help on some of the vocabulary.) Would be valueable in science fairs and scouting projects as well. ... Read more

93. The Best American Science Writing 2004 (Best American Science Writing)
by Dava Sobel
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Asin: 0060726407
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 5523
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Book Description

Jennifer Kahn's "Stripped for Parts" was selected as the lead story of this year's Best American Science Writing because, as Dava Sobel, best-selling author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, reveals, "it begins with one of the most arresting openings I have ever read." In "Columbia's Last Flight," William Langewiesche recounts the February 1, 2003, space shuttle tragedy, along with the investigation into the nationwide complacency that brought the ship down. K. C. Cole's "Fun with Physics" is a profile of astrophysicist Janet Conrad that blends her personal life with professional activity. In "Desperate Measures," the doctor and writer Atul Gawande profiles the surgeon Francis Daniels Moore, whose experiments in the 1940s and '50s pushed medicine harder and farther than almost anyone had contemplated. Also included is a poem by the legendary John Updike, "Mars as Bright as Venus." The collection ends with Diane Ackerman's "ebullient" essay "We Are All a Part of Nature."

Together these twenty-three articles on a wide range of today's most current topics in science -- from biology, physics, biotechnology, and astronomy, to anthropology, genetics, evolutionary theory, and cognition‚ represent the full spectrum of scientific writing from America's most prominent science authors, proving once again that "good science writing is evidently plentiful" (Scientific American).

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94. Workbook in Practical Neonatology
by Polin
list price: $62.95
our price: $62.95
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Asin: 0721679862
Catlog: Book (2001-01-15)
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Company
Sales Rank: 457120
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical and useable book
This is a great book that lives up to it's name___ practical. I think every intern, resident, attending to be should have this book. It contains real case scenarios and avoids, too much theoretical information.

Jose Yuvienco MD ... Read more

95. Getting Science Grants : Effective Strategies for Funding Success
by Thomas R.Blackburn
list price: $30.00
our price: $30.00
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Asin: 0787967467
Catlog: Book (2003-08-08)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Sales Rank: 93857
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Getting Science Grants is your hands-on guide to writing compelling proposals that will attract funding. Written by Thomas Blackburn— a scientist, experienced grantmaker, and consultant— this book provides a step-by-step process for writing grants to support your research projects. Getting Science Grants offers you an insider's look at the motivations and inner workings of the scientific grantmaking community. No matter what your scientific discipline, Getting Science Grants will help you develop the skills you need to write dynamic proposals and

  • Learn the qualities that distinguish outstanding proposals
  • Write each section of the proposal clearly and persuasively
  • Choose the funding agencies that will give you the best chance of winning support
  • Avoid common pitfalls and mistakes when writing proposals
  • Develop productive relationships with funders
  • Reduce the chances of being turned down by funders
  • Succeed after securing your grant

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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars a "how-to" manual and more
Among the relatively few books available that focus on getting science grants, "Getting Science Grants" is unquestionably the very best of the bunch. Blackburn has the perfect mix of credentials (college professor, research scientist, grants officer) to craft this concise treatment of the whole enchilada, from concept development through proposal writing, revision, submission (and resubmission), and grant administration. Giving frank, qualified advice in friendly prose, the author succeeds in creating more than just a "how-to manual" for scientific proposal writing. In roughly a hundred pages, this book shares insight on the science research funding process that would only be acquired by a decade or more of study in the school of hard knocks. As one whose career success is significantly influenced by external funding success, I couldn't recommend Blackburn's book more strongly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must purchase for every researcher!
Getting Science Grants provides readers with a complete introduction to the grant writing/submitting process.

It is important to move beyond the perspective of being the salesperson of your research. You need to know the perspective from the other side of the granting process and what will impress your program manager in your proposal.

Thomas Blackburn is an experienced grant writer and as well as having significant experience on the other side as an assitant program administrator. Here he provides researchers with the skinny on finding funding agencies, writing excellent abstracts and proposals, preparing budgets and moving beyond very good to excellent and super proposals.

Buy it, read it and share it with your colleagues!

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading!
I found "Getting Science Grants" to be a thoroughly readable, no-nonsense little book that demystifies the grant making process. Blackburn's experience both as a researcher and as one charged with the responsibility of reviewing grant applications shows through. His book provides a step-by-step approach that, if followed, should lead to a higher probability of success and avoid wasted time and frustration occasioned by poorly prepared and submitted applications. Those just entering the sometimes perilous fight for funding will find this book indispensable, and even old hands will find it provides handy reminders of all of the points we think we know by heart, but sometimes forget to apply. This little book is a "must read" for anyone whose professional life depends on getting funding for his or her research. You simply can't afford to ignore it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grant writing-the way it *should* be
For those of us who indulge ourselves in the pursuit of science, the constant quest for funds to support our habit can occupy more time than any actual "hands on" research. Justifying ones existance to a beaurocratic body, and begging for money is at best embarassing (over here, pick ME, I'm better than all those other tossers who want your cash), and at worst, downright terrifying.
At least, that's how I felt recently as I was faced with the prospect of submitting my first ever grant application. Not only did I struggle to convince myself I had ideas and skills worth selling, I had no idea of how to go about it. Sure the application form gave a vague idea-title, abstract, background-what did they actually want to KNOW? How was I supposed to sound confident and competent without sounding like an egomaniac? How should I present a solid, reasonable proposal without it being deathly boring or promising unachievable breakthroughs?
Finding Thomas Blackburn's "Effective Strategies for Funding Sucess" was a real stroke of luck. It not only answers questions such as these in an entertaining and easily read style, it includes a series of exercises that allow you to give good (and bad) strategies a go BEFORE you face the real thing. It gives a detailed description of what most funding bodies want to find out from each section, a discussion of how these criteria can be met, and descriptions of what differentiates a bad from a good from an exceptional application. It also contains many sensible (but often overlooked) reminders such as "read the abstract again after finishing the detailed proposal section to make sure they agree with one another".
I read the book before starting, and then used it to guide me as I wrote each section, and found that I was much more confident the way I wrote than I would have been otherwise. I also found that I felt better about my own abilities as a scientist, and much less of a fraud, because the final product looked and sounded very professional. I would recommend this book to anybody who is contemplating their first application, or who finds grant writing a harrowing or unsuccessful occupation. I also think that working through the steps outlined in the book could also be used as a self-assessment tool, because having to examine ones own research in terms of funding application is a great way to check the direction and focus of what you are doing right now. I thank Dr Blackburn for providing such a readable, comprehensive and timely guide. I hope it helps many people as much as it helped me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
This book is GREAT!!!! Why do they make us learn all this by trial and error with tenure and support for our graduate students at stake!!! They should be training us in this kind of stuff in graduate school!!!! I now know why my proposals so far have not been very successful, and, better yet, I now know what I can do about it and I actually can hardly wait to get started!

You can tell from what's in the book that it was written by a real funding insider and I learned more about grant writing in the few hours I spent reading it than I have from all my previous proposal-writing efforts and discussions with colleagues and friends to date. I now understand that a successful proposal is not just about the science, as much as all of us would like to think it is. The author makes clear all the elements you really have to take into account, on top of the science, to have the kind of proposal that can compete successfully at places like NSF and NIH. He even demystifies budgets, how to interpret and handle reviews (the good, the bad, AND the ugly), networking with agencies, and what it is that a successful proposal needs to emphasize and where. He even gives you advice on how to find agencies where you have the most success so you can build a strong funding track record quickly. Lots of good insights that I never would have thought of (and I am going to take his advice!).

On top of all the excellent information in this book, like it says above, it is an EXTREMELY easy read. The author has a way of talking about the subject that makes you feel like you are chatting with a friend at the bar who is giving you the inside scoop on everything. I read it in two nights in about an hour or two each night. It doesn't get much better than this! I highly recommend everyone who has to write grants to fund their science to read this book. It will be the best investment in time and money you will ever make! ... Read more

96. Conducting Research Literature Reviews : From Paper to the Internet
by Arlene Fink
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
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Asin: 0761909052
Catlog: Book (1998-04-21)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sales Rank: 72688
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How can an individual identify and make sense of the voluminous amount of currently available information on nearly every important topic in education, health, social welfare, psychology, and business? What criteria can be used to distinguish between good and poor studies? Conducting Research Literature Reviews shows readers how to identify, interpret, and analyze published and unpublished research literature. Through the use of checklists, case examples, and exercises, author Arlene Fink unravels the intricacies of: selecting questions to maximize the efficiency of the review; identifying subject headings and key words for electronic searches; identifying the most appropriate databases; including supplementing computer and Web-based searches; identifying and dealing with unpublished studies; setting inclusion and exclusion criteria; justifying methods for reviewing only the `highest quality' literature; preparing a structured literature abstraction form; ensuring the reliability and validity of the review; synthesizing and reporting results; conducting and evaluating descriptive literature reviews; and, how to understand and evaluate the principles of meta-analysis.

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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Readable guide
This is a readable guide to executing a large-scale literature review, with special attention to the issues of doing a quantitative synthesis. It is written for people in the health professions rather than scholars, so the latter may find the treatment a bit light. ... Read more

97. Laboratory Experiments in Microbiology (6th Edition)
by Ted R. Johnson, Christine L. Case
list price: $77.00
our price: $77.00
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Asin: 0805375899
Catlog: Book (2000-08-11)
Publisher: Pearson Education
Sales Rank: 538306
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Book Description

Newly revised to accompany Microbiology: An Introduction, Seventh Edition by Tortora, Funke, and Case, this lab manual includes 57 experiments that demonstrate the broad spectrum of microbiology.Intended as a manual of basic microbiologic techniques, this popular lab manual features applications in diverse areas, including the biological sciences, the allied health sciences, agriculture, environmental science, nutrition, pharmacy, and various pre-professional programs. Experiments have been refined in this new edition to encourage readers to develop critical thinking skills as well as learn basic facts and technical skills. Material with direct application to clinical and commercial labs is included whenever possible, and increased emphasis is placed on lab safety.For college instructors and students. ... Read more

98. Design of Experiments: Statistical Principles of Research Design and Analysis
by Robert O. Kuehl
list price: $119.95
our price: $119.95
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Asin: 0534368344
Catlog: Book (1999-08-13)
Publisher: Duxbury Press
Sales Rank: 159442
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Robert Kuehl's DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTS, Second Edition, prepares students to design and analyze experiments that will help them succeed in the real world. Kuehl uses a large array of real data sets from a broad spectrum of scientific and technological fields. This approach provides realistic settings for conducting actual research projects. Next, he emphasizes the importance of developing a treatment design based on a research hypothesis as an initial step, then developing an experimental or observational study design that facilitates efficient data collection. In addition to a consistent focus on research design, Kuehl offers an interpretation for each analysis. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Statistics text for people who understand statistics
Kuehl covers a lot of statistical designs, and provides great examples and practice problems. However, the book is not "user friendly" even for student who have had several semesters coursework in regression analysis. Also, the author tends to change his notation from chapter to chapter without telling the reader, thus creating great confusion. For example "r" or "k" could signify replicate. Some sections are poorly organized. ... Read more

99. First, Do No Harm
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
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Asin: 044922290X
Catlog: Book (1994-03-02)
Publisher: Fawcett
Sales Rank: 26178
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"A powerful, true story of life and death in a major metropolitan hospital...Harrowing... An important book."
What is life worth? And what is a life worth living? At a time when America faces vital choices about the future of its health care, former NEW YORK TIMES correspondent Lisa Belkin takes a powerful and poignant look at the inner workings of Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, telling the remarkable, real-life stories of the doctors, patients, families, and hospital administrators who must ask--and ultimately answer--the most profound and heart-rendng questions about life and death.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Humanity of Doctors
I could hardly put this book down until I was finished with it. It was not just eye-opening about how some of the ethical choices in medicine must be made, including the all-too necessary financial considerations. It showed how human doctors are and how difficult it can be for them to have to make heart-wrenching decisions in which there is no right answer, especially when it is clear that, no matter which choice they make, there is not going to be a good outcome for the patient. In spite of their training and attempt to insulate themselves emotionally from their cases in order to remain objective and professional, it's not always possible. Ms. Belkin's descriptions of doctors in tears was very moving, and proved to me that those people chose the right profession, because they really do care about their patients.
I found, by searching for them on the AMA web site, that a lot of the doctors in this book are still in practice in Houston (one is in Albuquerque). This search gave absolute credence to the fact that these stories are not fiction but about real people.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Jerky look into the TRUE CARE of the Modern Hospital
This book will keep your interests suspended in a state where bed time no longer matters, reading it until it is done and the re-skimming the chapters. Based in my home town of HOUSTON, TX. It gives you perspective on the true heros of the health care system.

This book has confirmed my interests in becoming a doctor and it will serve as a symbol of my ability to serve and my longing to be the best in the field of my choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Lisa, for being fair
Having a child featured in this book, I have read it several times. Lisa did a fantastic job when she wrote this book. You will find it to be a very insightful book. Having lived through this ordeal myself, I know that Lisa tried very hard to make sure that her facts are real and accurate. If you enjoy stories about the medical field I trully believe that you will find this one hard to put down until you have finished it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Goodmedical novel
I love books about the problems of the Medical community. This one was very good. The author included factual information along with true like human interest stories of real people in Houston, Texas in the 80's. I left this book at a book exchange at The Plaza Las Glorias in Cozumel, Mexico on 10-28-00 around 9:00am and it was gone by 11:00am. I would love to know where it went. I hope Amazon prints this.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book!
Ms. Belkin follows the work of the ethics commitee at Hermann Hospital. For anyone who enjoys true medical stories and difficult biomedical ethics problems, this is a great novel. Ms. Belkin does not present solutions, since in most cases there are no "right" solutions. Instead she provides an objective account of the cases from the point of view of all parties involved. This would also be an excellent book to use for discussion in a biomedical ethics clas ... Read more

100. The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They are
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0679740392
Catlog: Book (1994-02-01)
Publisher: Vintage
Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
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This surprising book may appear to be about the simple things of life--forks, paper clips, zippers--but in fact it is a far-flung historical adventure on the evolution of common culture. To trace the fork's history, Duke University professor of civil engineering Henry Petroski travels from prehistoric times to Texas barbecue to Cardinal Richelieu to England's Industrial Revolution to the American Civil War--and beyond. Each item described offers a cultural history lesson, plus there's plenty of engineering detail for those so inclined. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Tech History book
This is a scholarly look at the history of invention. Henry Petroski is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke and has written several books of this genre. The book is well written, has many footnotes, and an eight page bibliography. While the book is not technical per se, it would probably be most enjoyable by other engineers and fans of technological history.
The author tracks the engineering and development of several common devices of everyday life. Two that he spends a lot of time on are the fork and the paper clip. There are several full chapters examining issues such as the first historical records of use, patents, and the development of companies and industries as these items became incredibly popular. Other items receiving lesser treatment include wheelbarrows, tin cans, and McDonalds hamburger containers.
This book will give you an appreciation of the time frame that great inventions occupy. Most of the items discussed here are developed over several lifetimes, or at least several working lifetimes. This alone should be very instructive to anyone trying to get a feel for the history of invention. The histories given are very detailed with names, dates, addresses, patent numbers and drawings, and the economic data (manufacturing costs, prices, etc.). If you find intriguing the question of where and how did we get all of the modern devices that we use everyday, you will enjoy this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at the development of everyday objects
Things get improved because in their current form, they do not work properly. Henry Petroski's book, The Evolution of Useful Things, traces the development of objects in our everyday life, including detailed histories of the development of the staple, the zipper, silverware, and hand tools. The book is interesting, although Petroski does tend to shy away from offering a theory of development, and instead offers a conjectures about how things might have developed. He explains, but he does not offer a theory or an argument that explains everything. Overall, though, a goos book, well researched, well illustrated, and interesting on many levels.

4-0 out of 5 stars Form follows failure
This book is an extended essay about the process of invention. In it, Petroski takes the viewpoint that the form of manufactured items is the result of an evolutionary-like process. He stresses that for any specific item, the form it has is only an arbitrary choice from many possible solutions that the inventor could have come up with. And the driving force behind invention, according to Petroski is failure- -each change in form that an invention takes is the result of trying to address some failure in what was done previously.

Petroski introduces the book with an item that very aptly demonstrates his thesis: the fork. He details the history of the development of the fork, starting with the table manners of the Middle Ages, when people were in the habit of using knives to both spear bits of food and convey them to their mouths. But in order to chop off bits of food from larger pieces, it was handy to have a second knife to hold the larger piece steady. Of course, the second knife was also like to put a hole in the larger piece, and wasn't well adapted to holding things, not until someone had the brilliant idea of making a stabilizing knife with two prongs instead of one. Eventually, this stabilizing knife began to be used for conveying food to the mouth instead of just holding food steady while cutting, and it was found that four prongs were much better suited for this task than two. Each step of the way through the history of the fork, Petroski points out how when the implement of the time failed to accomplish its intended task satisfactorily, its form was modified, until the fork took its present customary form. At the same time, however, Petroski also stresses that the current form of the fork is only one possible solution to the food conveyance problem. He compares its development to that of chopsticks, which are equally well suited to the same task, but take a very different form.

Other objects given a detailed examination in this book include paper clips, zippers, and cans for food, as well as openers for cans. In this last topic, Petroski brings out the point that objects are often developed and brought into use long before their supporting technology is even conceived of. Although tin cans came into general use during the first half of the Nineteenth Century, it was to be another 50 years before the first can opener was finally developed. Until then, producers of canned foods expected their customers to open their cans by stabbing them with hammer and chisel and (miraculously) come back for more!

Overall, I found the book somewhat interesting, and certainly illuminating. While I agree that form does follow failure in many cases, I think that Petroski is too quick to dismiss aesthetic influences in the evolution of form. He notes that some forks in modern tableware sets have only 3 tines out of a desire to look different or special, even though they aren't as efficient at conveying food as 4-tined forks. But he dismisses this as being a minor factor, unimportant for the general evolution of the fork. Perhaps he is right in the case of forks, but there are a number of other items where fashion plays a larger role. High-heeled shoes, for instance, are certainly an evolutionary wrong-turn in foot attire, but not a dead end. Colored cars are wasteful in the mass production process, as Henry Ford was quick to point out, but he learned that color options are also a selling point. Indeed, many times a better solution for achieving a task can be invented, but then never brought to market because of economics. Or the form that finally does become standard is a less than optimal solution for the task, but cheaper to manufacture than a better one. Petroski points to tableware sets with over 200 individual items, each with a separate task. He argues that each item was developed in response to some perceived failure of another form at doing the stated task, and dismisses the idea that it was simply manufacturers trying to develop new things for consumers to buy so that they would have a complete set. Personally, I'm not so sure that the manufacturers really depended entirely on failure to develop the forms of their tableware. I find it easy to imagine an artist being asked to come up with some more fancy designs that could be created in silver so that customers would have more items to purchase. Perhaps some of these new silver utensils received their titles only after they were actually created and tested to see what they might be good at. In short, I think that economics may have a stronger influence on the form of things than Petroski seems willing to grant in this book. But in any case, the book is very well researched and documented. It is amply illustrated with black-and-white photos and drawings. The text itself flows smoothly and is quite clear for general and technical readers alike although it can be a bit dry at times.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lucid Primer on Industrial Design for Everyday Folks
How does everyday discontent lead to material progres? Does form follow function? What are some common mistakes in patent writing? The Evolution of Everyday Objects, explores the hidden history of axes, spoons, paperclips, garbage bags,tin cans, and zippers for a general audience. Henry Petroski, a professor of industrial design at Duke University, also introduces unlikely heroes like Walter Hunt (the safety pin) Richard Drew (Scotch tape), and Jacob Rabinow (pick-proof lock) while celebrating the marvels of engineering and industrial design.
This lucid primer weaves a weird and wonderful tale of techincal evolution and expanding consumerism. Petroski argues that disappointment with available choices inspires inventors, engineers, and industrial designers to continually expand our consumer choices. Form, contrary to rumors, follows failure. Edison's edict seems more apt than ever.
Petroski focuses on the telling details behind both familiar success stories and the far more frequent failures of consumer objects and modern artifacts. Although this 288-page paperback lacks illustrations and might seem a bit repeative and/or simplistic to specialists, Petroski's book should appeal to aspiring inventors, engineering students, and curious readers seeking a better understanding of our modern consumer culture. You might even look at your cluttered desk, a crowded department store, and your crammed tool shed with more appreciation.

3-0 out of 5 stars A little dry, but worthwhile
Petroski's field is design, but his take on it is the history of design rather than the "science" of design as Donald Norman (of The Design of Everyday Things fame). Although their approach is different, the two men share some of the same insights into how and why objects are the way they were. But where Norman's philosophy is that an object can be designed to be "better," Petroski feels that an object will always be less than perfect. His theory, in part, is that because most objects have multiple purposes, the object can not perform any single task perfectly. This idea of the competition of purposes is best illustrated from the book by Petroski's examination of eating utensils. The perfect utensil would be one that could cut and lift food to the mouth for eating. But knifes that cut have difficulty in lifting, forks are almost useless with a soup, and a spoon doesn't cut well. By showing us the evolution of the flatware selection (which remains imperfect), Petroski gives weight to his theory.

But I'm not wholly convinced. Perhaps it's because I read Norman first that I want to defend him. I want to believe that objects can be bettered--an interface can be easier to use, etc. The difference between Norman and Petroski is also one of style. Norman's prose is almost light weight compared to the dense, multi-syllabic approach used by Petroski, and Norman wasn't afraid to use terms and ideas that were not in lay usage. It could be that Norman's short columnar structure breaks up the duty of trying to convey so much information that his is more readable prose. It could also be that Petroski likes the language of academia, even when it begins to obfuscate. From the design standpoint, both authors are worthwhile. It is important to see specific examples of real world solutions to design problems to come up with ideas for our own designs, be it a fork, a building, or software. ... Read more

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