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61. Principles of Polymer Processing
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62. In Quest of the Universe
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63. Sorting Things Out: Classification
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64. Will It Sell? How to Determine
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65. The Human Brain: An Introduction
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66. Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe
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67. Chemistry, Eighth Edition
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68. Programming ArcObjects with VBA:
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69. DARWINS BLACK BOX: THE BIOCHEMICAL
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70. Causality : Models, Reasoning,
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71. Electrical Engineering Reference
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72. Demon-Haunted World
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73. Organic Chemistry
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74. Fundamentals of Queueing Theory
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75. Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who
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76. Platelets
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77. The Scientist in the Crib : What
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78. Effective Interviewing and Interrogation
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79. Can A Smart Person Believe In
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80. The New Turing Omnibus : Sixty-Six

61. Principles of Polymer Processing (Society of Plastics Engineers Monographs)
by ZehevTadmor, Costas G.Gogos
list price: $225.00
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Asin: 0471843202
Catlog: Book (1979-02-07)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 596566
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Book Description

The first comprehensive and functionally useful engineering analysis of underlying principles and mechanisms. Takes a novel approach suggesting that any of the prevailing processing methods can be broken down into a shaping step and into a set of clearly defined elementary steps that prepare the polymeric raw material for shaping. The shaping steps include calendering and coating; die forming; mold coating; molding and casting; and secondary shaping; whereas the elementary steps are handling of particulate solids; melting; pressurization and pumping; mixing; and stripping and devolatilization. ... Read more


62. In Quest of the Universe
by Karl F. Kuhn, Theo Koupelis
list price: $94.95
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Asin: 0763708100
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Sales Rank: 85340
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Quest of the Universe, Fourth Edition is a comprehensive introduction to astronomy designed for non-science majors. The book uses the development of astronomical theories, both historical and current, to show how science works. The authors take a "planets first" approach, engaging students with an exploration of our own solar system before moving on to the stars and then to distant galaxies. With accessible writing, stunning images, and up-to-date content, In Quest of the Universe, Fourth Edition sparks a curiosity about our universe. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A high and clear path through the jungle of details.
I taught from this book (in 2 editions) for 6-7 years. Market forces assure that the content of college level astro books is quite uniform, but what sets Kuhn apart is his strong conceptual approach--he does a better job than most competitors in NOT BURYING the student under a welter of suffocating detail. He also tries to keep vocabulary to the minimum necessary. In other words, he works hard to combat that #1 demon infesting intro. college courses: factual overload. In recent years, other authors have jumped on the bandwagon of making astro texts more concise and focussed--beginning to cater to one of the strongest needs of the typical student--but Karl Kuhn was one of the first and best to blaze the conceptual trail. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars good price, clear explanation
This book is significantly cheaper than the competing books, but more important, it does a better job of explaining many topics. ... Read more


63. Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology)
by Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star
list price: $60.00
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Asin: 0262024616
Catlog: Book (1999-10-22)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Sales Rank: 580644
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Is this book sociology, anthropology, or taxonomy?Sorting Things Out, by communications theorists Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, covers a lot of conceptual ground in its effort to sort out exactly how and why we classify and categorize the things and concepts we encounter day to day.But the analysis doesn't stop there; the authors go on to explore what happens to our thinking as a result of our classifications. With great insight and precise academic language, they pick apart our information systems and language structures that lie deeper than the everyday categories we use.The authors focus first on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a widely used scheme used by health professionals worldwide, but also look at other health information systems, racial classifications used by South Africa during apartheid, and more.

Though it comes off as a bit too academic at times (by the end of the 20th century, most writers should be able to get the spelling of McDonald's restaurant right), the book has a clever charm that thoughtful readers will surely appreciate.A sly sense of humor sneaks into the writing, giving rise to the chapter title "The Kindness of Strangers," for example.After arguing that categorization is both strongly influenced by and a powerful reinforcer of ideology, it follows that revolutions (political or scientific) must change the way things are sorted in order to throw over the old system.Who knew that such simple, basic elements of thought could have such far-reaching consequences?Whether you ultimately place it with social science, linguistics, or (as the authors fear) fantasy, make sure you put Sorting Things Out in your reading pile. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A real advance in knowledge - inspiring.
Most everything in modern societies rests on rules, standards, and regulations of one kind or another. Where do these endless detailed lists and definitions come from? This book is really unprecedented in the way it takes apart the practice of rule-making and nomenclature, to show us that there is a social and cultural process that lies behind the faceless lists. For me, it was like having the curtain of OZ lifted aside, so I could see for once the messy, petty, and often political way that things are sorted into categories and labeled.

I disagee that the book is badly written. I found it better than the average academic title in studies of technology and society, where thick jargon is the primordial soup. This was one of the most original books about technological systems I have read in years, with wide application in many different fields.

3-0 out of 5 stars A diamond-studded dungheap
This tragic book is full of important ideas and significant research, but it's so poorly written you hardly notice. Other reviews kindly describe its style as "academic," but it's just bad writing. It's really shocking that publishers still consider this kind of jargon-filled nonsense acceptable to publish outside of the UMI thesis-reprint circuit. (I write professionally, so I'm not unqualified to make this assertion.)

After making a cogent point with examples and internal references, the authors feel the need to bridge to the next section with this clotted delight:

"Leaking out of the freeze frame, comes the insertion of biography, negotiation, and struggles with a shifting infrastructure of classification and treatment. Turning now to other presentation and classification of tuberculosis by a novelist and a sociologist, we will see the complex dialectic of irrevocably local biography and of standard classification."

Wha? What you mean to say is:

"This tension between personal experience and clinical priorities plays a large part in our current understanding of 'tuberculosis.' To further examine this tension, we will now examine the personal tuberculosis stories of a novelist and a sociologist."

The former kind of self-important, get-it-all-down academic writing is as embarrassing to read as adolescent poetry; they're both driven by a desire to make sure the reader gets every last nuance, and the lack of subtlety makes you want to toss the book across the room.

But the ideas buried within this book...the ideas are so sweet. If only they'd had the sense to ghostwrite this book. It could be a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars classification as discourse
This is an excellent book on classification as discourse. The authors do an excellent job of discussing this topic in terms of its social, political, and professional history and implications. It is an important title in the cultural studies of information and should be familiar to all concerned with this area of study. ... Read more


64. Will It Sell? How to Determine If Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable (Before Wasting Money on a Patent)
by James E. White
list price: $19.95
our price: $16.96
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Asin: 0967649404
Catlog: Book (2000-01-30)
Publisher: James E. White & Associates
Sales Rank: 36709
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Describes many inexpensive ways inventors can figure out, while protecting all patent rights, what their idea's real value is long before it's necessary to spend money on the patent. Dozens of Internet and other resources are provided with complete instructions for using them to your best advantage. This book is designed as the first book a new inventor should read to figure out what they need to do, where they can get help, and how to avoid the costly pitfalls that every inventor faces. The marketing information provided and the many referrals to other resources will also be valuable to experienced inventors seeking to expedite the costly process of entering an unknown market. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Prepare Yourself for the Real World of Invention
"Will It Sell?" is deap reading for the "idea person" who thought that there was a pot of gold waiting at the end of the "good idea rainbow." James E. White, author, tells you like it is--he doesn't mince words. He digs out every fact and every reason why your inventive idea can "fail," but he hopes that you will be the one-in-one-hundred-inventors whose invention won't fail.. He will be your mentor. When Jim explains a fact and each step to follow, you get the feeling that he is looking over your shoulder, correcting and helping you in your every move. "This is the book." If you think reading it is tough, then don't become an inventor. He'll tell you "how to get there," with every reference on each of the 300 pages. And he shows, like no other author, that if you fail on any one stage, don't even think about averaging-out the stages of invention to Pass. He tells the truth-- "No one said it would be easy." -- Who am I to tell you about "Will It Sell?" -- only the President of the Inventors Association of St. Louis, a large inventors' helping organization founded in 1984, that augmented in 1990 the United Inventors Association of the USA - which has over 3000 members. That's who! BUY THE BOOK - "WILL IT SELL"

5-0 out of 5 stars For anyone considering bringing their invention to market
Will It Sell? was specifically written for anyone considering bringing their invention to market. A key consideration in marketing a new idea or product is to determine its profitability, especially before investing capital on a patent. James White's practical, "reader friendly" informational manual will provide the non-specialist general reader with inexpensive techniques and practical steps to take in assessing whether or not their invention will be commercially viable. Fundamental issues are clearly addressed such as what a patentable invention is, the step for "idea development" and "product development"; advertising claims, getting professional help, even doing your own patent search. Dozens of Internet resources are provided with instructions for how best to utilize them. If you have an idea or an invention that you want to make money with, begin by a carefully reading of James White's Will It Sell?. ... Read more


65. The Human Brain: An Introduction to Its Functional Anatomy
by John, Ph.D. Nolte
list price: $57.95
our price: $57.95
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Asin: 0323013201
Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
Publisher: C.V. Mosby
Sales Rank: 42276
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Human Brain is a single-authored core introductory neuroscience text that describes the structure and function of the brain and nervous system. Includes more coverage of neurobiology and neurophysiology. Gives more clinical content, including many images depicting neurologic disorders. Features an expanded sections on higher cortical function and learning and memory. Contains a new chapter on the development, maintenance, and repair of neural connections-an explosive area of research in neuroscience. Supplies a glossary of key terms. Replaces many of the older figures with new, computer-generated illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Intro
This is an awesome textbook if you are interested in studying the human brain. It is a good introductory book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Seems like an awful lot to pay for an atlas...
It's a great INTRODUCTORY neuroanatomy text, simple and too the point, with lots of MRI's, gross sections, and cross sections. However, sometimes simplicity tends to increase the complexity of a subject. This especially holds true for neuroanatomy. One simply must learn certain details in order to grasp the big picture. This book is a little lacking in such details. I found the schematics using clay for different brain structures to be confusing (you'll see what I mean if you get the text). Also, it doesn't have a lot of clinical case material for medical students, which would have helped me. If you want a GREAT neuroanatomy text, I recommend Hal Blumenfeld's Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases. Keep in mind though that this text is tailored for the medical student in mind.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Atlas
The illustrations contained in this book are excellent. It covers the entire CNS, with great brainstem coverage. Professors use these illustrations often in over-heads and on exams. It's drawn diagrams correspond to actual dissections shown right along side of them. All Pathways and nuclei are clearly shown at a multitude of cross-sections. Truly an outstanding atlas. I gave it only 4 stars because, as a student, I would have liked more expanation behind the illustrations. It's not a great text, but it is the best brain atlas you could buy. Don't bother with any other atlas...buy this one. ... Read more


66. Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe
by Leon M. Lederman, Christopher T. Hill
list price: $29.00
our price: $19.14
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Asin: 1591022428
Catlog: Book (2004-10-31)
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Sales Rank: 9659
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Book Description

"If there is one principle that has guided the spectacular advances in our understanding of the cosmos during the last hundred years, it is the concept of symmetry. In SYMMENTRY AND THE BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE, Leon Lederman and Chris Hill have captured the essence of this simple yet profound concept and conveyed its wonders with art and precision. In accessible and entertaining language, the authors provide readers with a crystal-clear window to physics' most refined theories, allowing us all to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of the universe." BRIAN GREENE, Author of THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE and THE FABRIC OF THE COSMOS; Professor of Physics, Columbia University

"Symmetry is the way in to understanding the world; symmetry is part of beauty. Lederman and Hill, the mist skillful of guides, show us the multitude of ways in which the physical world is shaped by symmetry. They take us on a lively tour of our subtle symmetry (and understandably asymmetric) world, from planets to quarks. In Lederman and Hill's book we are led masterfully to an appreciation of the crucial role of symmetry in this world." ROALD HOFFMANN, Nobel Laureate; Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University

"An enigma of twentieth-century physics is the question of symmetry as a guiding principle of nature. Did nature start with the idea of symmetry, or is it an accidental consequence? Is symmetry, with its aesthetic appeal, a fundamental principle? In this penetrating and lucid book the authors, both top physicists, take on symmetry as a basic principle. They succeed in a marvelous way, and consequently this book is a must for the serious student of nature." MARTINUS VELTMAN, Nobel Laureate; Author of FACTS AND MYSTERIES IN ELEMENTARY PARTICLE PHYSICS

"Formidable as a snow-covered peak, the concept of symmetry looms as a central challenge to all those who would understand modern physics. In this delightful but instructive book, Leon Lederman and Christopher Hill have rendered the great service of making this concept accessible to lay readers." J. MADELEINE NASH, Author of EL NINO: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE MASTER WEATHER-MAKER. ... Read more


67. Chemistry, Eighth Edition
by Raymond Chang, Brandon Cruickshank

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Asin: 0072512644
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
Sales Rank: 35391
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Designed for the two-semester general chemistry course, the sixth edition of Chemistry provides a firm foundation in chemical concepts and principles while presenting a broad range of topics in a clear and concise manner. Taking a classical approach, this text balances theory and application and places a strong emphasis on problem solving. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Maybe if people took time to think and put ideas together...
I used this book two years ago when taking Higher Level International Baccalaureate/AP Chemistry. We thought this book was great. In my opinion, if you are into chemistry and enjoy the subject, this is the book for you. If you are not into chemistry, can not link different chapters/concepts together, or just not a huge fan, it is probably not the book for you. The people in our class who loved the book passed the IB SL/HL test and the AP test, the ones who did not like the book, did not fair so great on those tests. If you are relying on the book as a crutch in the class, eh, not great. The only complain is that in the examples he sometimes skips steps and does not fully explain the problem, but that is because you have to remember things from prior chapters. The CD is nice along with it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Chemistry 7th Edition
This book was absolutely horrible.Beyond the many typos and mathematical errors, the author skips around between topics and never really gets to the point.All of the example problems are great if your instructor only gives you problems using standard volumes, temperatures and pressures (unlike the end of chapter exercises).I normally keep my books, but this one is going at the end of the semester!

1-0 out of 5 stars do yourself a favor and find a copy of zumdahl's book
this book is the pits (it is actually worse than that).had i depended on this book to pass chemistry i would have failed SO i found an old copy of zumdahl's and everything became so much easier.

i am sure this is a fine book if you do not need to pass a class.it can be pretty entertaining, but if you need to learn something save your money.

4-0 out of 5 stars clearly written
This text is clearly written and explains basic chemical principles very well. At certain points it lacks details and depth. But for beginning students, this might be a plus. For a slightly higher level text, see Chemistry by Oxtoby, Freeman, and Block. For a somewhat more innovative approach to college level general chemistry, see the text by Moore, Stanitski, and Jurs. Cheaper resources for struggling students include: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry, Survival Guide for General Chemistry, and Chemistry for Dummies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is one of the best, I mean BEST, chemistry books I've ever come across. During AP chemistry, our class was given a choice of about 5 other books, because it was the first time the teacher was teaching AP chem. Strangly enough, I was the only one that picked Chang... and I was the only one in the class to get a 5. ... Read more


68. Programming ArcObjects with VBA: A Task-Oriented Approach
by Kang-Tsung Chang
list price: $79.95
our price: $79.95
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Asin: 0849327814
Catlog: Book (2004-07-15)
Publisher: CRC Press
Sales Rank: 299695
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69. DARWINS BLACK BOX: THE BIOCHEMICAL CHALLENGE TO EVOLUTION
by Michael J. Behe
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
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Asin: 0684834936
Catlog: Book (1998-03-20)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 2203
Average Customer Review: 3.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Virtually all serious scientists accept the truth of Darwin's theory of evolution. While the fight for its acceptance has been a long and difficult one, after a century of struggle among the cognoscenti the battle is over. Biologists are now confident that their remaining questions, such as how life on Earth began, or how the Cambrian explosion could have produced so many new species in such a short time, will be found to have Darwinian answers. They, like most of the rest of us, accept Darwin's theory to be true.

But should we? What would happen if we found something that radically challenged the now-accepted wisdom? In Darwin's Black Box, Michael Behe argues that evidence of evolution's limits has been right under our noses -- but it is so small that we have only recently been able to see it. The field of biochemistry, begun when Watson and Crick discovered the double-helical shape of DNA, has unlocked the secrets of the cell. There, biochemists have unexpectedly discovered a world of Lilliputian complexity. As Belie engagingly demonstrates, using the examples of vision, bloodclotting, cellular transport, and more, the biochemical world comprises an arsenal of chemical machines, made up of finely calibrated, interdependent parts. For Darwinian evolution to be true, there must have been a series of mutations, each of which produced its own working machine, that led to the complexity we can now see. The more complex and interdependent each machine's parts are shown to be, the harder it is to envision Darwin's gradualistic paths, Behe surveys the professional science literature and shows that it is completely silent on the subject, stymied by the elegance of the foundation of life. Could it be that there is some greater force at work?

Michael Behe is not a creationist. He believes in the scientific method, and he does not look to religious dogma for answers to these questions. But he argues persuasively that biochemical machines must have been designed -- either by God, or by some other higher intelligence. For decades science has been frustrated, trying to reconcile the astonishing discoveries of modern biochemistry to a nineteenth-century theory that cannot accommodate them. With the publication of Darwin's Black Box, it is time for scientists to allow themselves to consider exciting new possibilities, and for the rest of us to watch closely. ... Read more

Reviews (425)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Deathknell of Evolution as We Know It
Michael Behe's revelation of the profound flaw inherent in modern day evolutionary theory is nothing short of genius. He clearly illustrates his point in a manner so simple (as you can see by some of these reviews) he has left even the coolest evolutionary theorists babbling. This book has gained much attention and it is no wonder! With crippling reasoning, Behe exposes an area completely unknown to Darwin at the time he formed his theories - the microbiological level of life (Darwin used magnifying glasses!). Using examples of highly complex systems existing on this level, Behe clearly shows that such systems could not have developed in accordance with the theory of modern evolution - by gradual change over time. Evolutionary theory is based upon the principle of progressive change to form a more complex organism. Behe takes this principle to task by illustrating systems existing on the microbiological level (sometimes no bigger than a conglomeration of several cells) composed of multiple parts and functioning in highly specified ways. There is no possible way for such systems to have evolved, one, two, three, or even ten parts at a time, because without all elements functioning together, they are completely useless, or worse yet, harmful! Evolutionists cannot explain how such highly complex systems could have evolved. Such intricate and complex systems would have had to appear all at once in time. This is nothing short of a miracle - which diehard evolutionists, sadly, cannot accept. The logic in Behe's reasoning is airtight. To understand the beginning of the end of modern day evolutionary theory -- this book is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Darwinian Evolution is a Theory
As a molecular biochemist, physician and christian I found Dr. Behe's book accurate, well-written and fair. He neither preaches to those who are unbelievers, nor forces a concept of God onto the reader. Instead, he attempts to explain where and why Darwinian Evolution fails. I've gradually come to this same conclusion prior to reading his book. (As for the issue of the number of proteins in flagella, as discussed in one review, if you were to calculate even 20 proteins mutating simultaneously, using only a very short protein chain--as the likelihood is a function of protein chain length, the probability would be well over 10^50 power, in other words: impossible. I'd refer you to various Chuck Missler audio tapes for more details.)

A couple of areas where Dr. Behe did not elaborate, and perhaps would have calmed some irrate reviewers of this and his other book if he had, is the topic of micro-evolution. A perfect example of this phenomena is antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Creationism is not incompatible with this concept (and BTW, as one reviewer incorrectly stated, Scripture does not say the world is flat, nor to drink poison; a more careful reading would be in order).

Similarly, Dr. Behe did not discuss another concept of molecular evolution that also supports intelligent design: amino acid conservation. That is, the small differences between animal species with respect to amino acid substitution in hemoglobin is not necessarily an argument for microevolution, but an argument for a designer. A designer will tend to re-use parts rather than create whole new systems (eg, modular programming).

Aside from these minor topics that would further strengthen his book, Dr. Behe offers the lay reader an excellent discussion of why intelligent design is a compelling topic and needs to be placed along side of Darwinian evolution in the classroom. His discussion is definitely not a re-hash of the arguments put forth in the Scopes Monkey Trial (as in the movie "Inherit the Wind"). His logic is not poor, as one review suggested, and Dr. Behe encourages the reader to look for topics in other books. The problem is not that these books cannot be found, again as one reviewer suggested, but that the level of discussion is those books is meager at best and usually does not fully address the stated topic. In any event, you should read his book and decide for yourself.

1-0 out of 5 stars Scientific Knowledge Shouldn't Be Decided By Popular Vote
I can appreciate that Michael Behe's supporters might fail to grasp the effectiveness of some of the more technical refutations of this book that have been presented. But I'd expect others - like those of cell biologist Kenneth R. Miller, for instance - to be readily understandable by anyone capable of following Behe's own rather difficult arguments.

Miller has won several awards for outstanding teaching, and is co-author of well-received high school and college textbooks. He can communicate. He's also a conscientious Roman Catholic, acutely aware of the conflicts that can arise when sincere religious convictions confront the sometimes disturbing and often counter-intuitive findings of modern science.

A little sampler from Miller's writings may hopefully stir the more conscientious among Behe's sympathizers to look into what Miller and other interested scientists have to say about the book and about the intelligent design argument in general.

In March 2002, Miller and physicist Lawrence Krauss took part in a debate before the Ohio Board of Education. Their opponents were Stephen Meyer and Jonathan Wells, senior fellows (as is Behe) at the Discovery Institute. The Institute, ID's home base, is a 'think tank' advocating what it calls "the renewal of science and culture". Its primary funding comes from wealthy conservative Christians, notably Christian Reconstructionists Roberta and Howard Ahmanson.

Miller wrote a blow-by-blow account after the debate (the full text is on his website), in which he recalls Krauss' insight that "the two-on-two format of this presentation wouldn't render a fair picture of the sentiment in the scientific community. A more reasonable arrangement .. would have one member of the Discovery Institute on one side, and ten thousand scientists on the other .. two of the Discovery Institute's nine senior fellows were the ID speakers who were there; if they had not been there, the only place to find more advocates for ID would be back at the Discovery Institute. If Krauss or I had not been there, however, we could have been replaced by scores of scientists from just about any college or university anywhere in the state of Ohio."

In another article, "Answering the Biochemical Argument From Design" (also on his website), Miller gives Behe credit for recognizing that "the mere existence of structures and pathways that have not yet been given step-by-step Darwinian explanation does not make much of a case against evolution. Critics of evolution have laid down such challenges before, only to see them backfire when new scientific work provided exactly the evidence they had demanded. Behe himself once made a similar claim when he challenged evolutionists to produce transitional fossils linking the first fossil whales with their supposed land-based ancestors. Ironically, not one, not two, but three transitional species between whales and land-dwelling Eocene mammals had been discovered by the end of 1994 when his challenge was published."

Darwin's theory states that "evolution produces complex organs though a series of fully-functional intermediate stages. If each of the intermediate stages can be favored by natural selection, then so can the whole pathway." Behe argues that due to the "irreducible complexity" of biochemical systems like those described in his book, there can be no fully-functional intermediate stages; all parts must be present for any function at all. Miller asks, "Is there something different about biochemistry, a reason why Darwin's answer would not apply to the molecular systems that Behe cites?

"In a word, no.

"In 1998, Siegfried Musser and Sunney Chan described the evolutionary development of the cytochrome c oxidase protein pump, a complex, multipart molecular machine that plays a key role in energy transformation by the cell. In human cells, the pump consists of six proteins, each of which is necessary for the pump to function properly. It would seem to be a perfect example of irreducible complexity. Take one part away from the pump, and it no longer works. And yet, these authors were able to produce, in impressive detail, "an evolutionary tree constructed using the notion that respiratory complexity and efficiency progressively increased throughout the evolutionary process".

"In 1996, Enrique Meléndez-Hevia and his colleagues published, in the Journal of Molecular Evolution, a paper entitled "The puzzle of the Krebs citric acid cycle: Assembling the pieces of chemically feasible reactions, and opportunism in the design of metabolic pathways during evolution" .. this paper does exactly what Behe says cannot be done, even in principle - it presents a feasible proposal for its evolution from simpler biochemical systems .. what all of this means, of course, is that two principal claims of the intelligent design movement are disproved, namely that it is impossible to present a Darwinian explanation for the evolution of a complex biochemical system, and that no such papers appear in the scientific literature. It is possible, and such papers do exist."

Miller shows in detail that even systems Behe proposes as "irreducibly complex" are not so. "Nature presents many examples of fully-functional cilia that are missing key parts .. this leaves us with two points to consider: First, a wide variety of motile systems exist that are missing parts of this supposedly irreducibly complex structure; and second, biologists have known for years that each of the major components of the cilium, including proteins tubulin, dynein, and actin have distinct functions elsewhere in the cell that are unrelated to ciliary motion .. what this means, of course, is that a selectable function exists for each of the major parts of the cilium, and therefore that the argument [for irreducible complexity] is wrong."

Miller demonstrates similar difficulties with Behe's claim regarding the bacterial flagellum. He concludes, "At least four key elements of the eubacterial flagellum have other selectable functions in the cell that are unrelated to motility .. by demonstrating the existence of such functions, even in just a handful of components, we have invalidated the argument".

Miller's verdict: "Prof. Behe argues that anti-religious bias is the reason the scientific community resists the explanation of design for his observations:
I would suggest that the actual reason is much simpler. The scientific community has not embraced the explanation of design because it is quite clear, on the basis of the evidence, that it is wrong."

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
The book that basically started it all, where whispers in the scientific community against neo-Darwinism became public discourse. Whether you're an IDist or a Darwinist, this is a good book to have on the shelf just as a reference point.

A lot of people on both sides just talk pass each other, and project their image of the "other" side the way they wish to see it. When Darwinists think of Intelligent Design, they think of 7-Day Creationists who want to burn scientists at the stake. When 7-Day Creationists think of evolution, they think of that athiest Joseph Stalin shoving Christians into Gulags (and Daniel Dennet apparently thinks religious people should be in cages, so maybe that assumption isn't very far off).

Behe's book is not about the Bible, or Christianity, or Creationism, or even anti-evolution. It is anti-aimless natural selection. Behe sets up many examples w/in biology and biochemistry that show how the human cell and its processes are dependent on complex plans that could not have developed gradually. Blood coagulation requires "knowledge" of the end result in order for the process to begin. The immune system requires separate parts to evolve at the same time to meet a common goal w/in the system. There are "blueprints" w/in life that mutation and natural selection cannot explain, especially w/in the timeframe of earth's development. Does this disprove evolution? No. Does it prove the existence of God? No, not necessarily, although you'd have to provide a funky explanation involving (gasp! oh no!) metaphysics. The Power of "Life" as the Grand Unified Theory of Physics, or something. So this book does prove the need for a new explanation that is going to have to account for the borderline miraculous development of life, since life is so "irreducibly complex". Francis Crick, probably seeing the writing on the wall because of his analysis of DNA, jumped on the panspermia bandwagon early on. I always wondered why he did so, because in High School and College I was never told of the weaknesses w/in Darwinism, and here comes Crick w/ this funky idea of panspermia. Why, I thought? Crick's obviously a genius, wasn't he aware that natural selection is flawless and infallible? Now I know why. Of course, panspermia has its own problems, as it just pushes the problems of chaotic life ex nihilo back a couple of galaxies and epochs.

Behe also shows how many of the arguments against Intelligent Design are Strawmen fallacies, such as "Well, God wouldn't have done it that way!" Well, why not? That's not an observation of nature, but a metaphysical argument, and one that comes from Sartrian "bad faith". Behe takes from the bottom up, and shows how the observation of cells and cellular mechanisms leads to planning and design. The identity and characteristics of the Designer--is he perfectly Good or does he have a mean side, is he Deistic or Theistic, would he make the universe perfect from a human perspective or would he make the universe glaring w/ imperfections--is for another book and another time. Like a good Belisarius (the Byzantine commmander who ushered in the strategy of defensive warfare), Behe merely stakes out a sound corner w/in science that orthodox scientific opinion cannot explain (irreducible complexity), and he sits there, secure.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Argument, So-So Writing
Behe presents a solid challenge to a Darwinian view of how life started on Earth (though he leaves the question of how it could begin elsewhere unchallenged). Unfortunately to do this, he relies on several esoteric biochemical processes (though i think that is the only sort of biochemical processes available to a neophyte like myself). The first half of the book reads as several iterations of the same argument, though delivered with increasing amounts of sarcasm. The second half of the book, in which he delivers his answer to the questions raised earlier, seems rushed. So if you tire of the seemingly endless stream of enzymes and proteins, skip to the second part -- it's much easier reading for the layperson.

Though to say that this book disproves or even dismisses evolution and natural selection as viable scientific theories is disingenuous at best, and dishonest at worst. Behe even says that beyond a limited set of structures that appear to be evidence of intelligent design, there are many structures that are not clearly designed (and most likely aren't, he admits). To explain these structures and organisms, he gives a variety of options, ending with what is clearly natural selection, though he declines to name it as such. Finally, while criticising evolutionary proponents for attacking a straw man (the watchmaker for darwinists, Richard Dawkins for intelligent design-ists), this is exactly what he does -- since Darwin's followers haven't demonstrated a valid argument/scenario for the basic structures of the cell, then entire theory is invalid (including portions that have been experimentally shown true on an organism level).

Finally, Behe doesn't give any sort of explanation or theory for how some basic structures of the cell are evidence of design, but others are not. He implies that those not showing evidence of design could have evolved, but does not explain why some more complicated structures could be designed before other more basic structures evolved.

Enjoy this book and the questions it opens, but it is far from the final word on the origins and progression of life on Earth (just as Dawkins' books aren't, either). ... Read more


70. Causality : Models, Reasoning, and Inference
by Judea Pearl
list price: $43.00
our price: $27.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521773628
Catlog: Book (2000-03-13)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 37252
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written by one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field, this book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pioneering Book on Causality
This is a pioneering book dealing exhaustively with the subject of causation. Its contribution to the field of "Uncertainty in AI" is unmeasureable. It dealt with graphical models for reasoning in depth. For computer scientists looking for an encyclopedia of algorithms and applications on causation, there can not be a better book. I highly recommend this book for researchers in UAI. A word of caution: This is not a book for starters and those who do not have a well developed concept of uncertainty.

3-0 out of 5 stars A review of "Causality"
First off, the rating of three stars is relative to my expectations that this book would provide me with some insights in how to use graphical models for purposes of making inferences from statistical data and, in general, to facilitate the process of (machine) learning from data. And although Pearl and his colleagues have made great progress in this area, this book seems more targeted for researchers in areas outside of AI, such as economics, statistics, and medical research. Although the author gives a number of rigorous definitions to help support his notions of causality, the book is written in a somewhat abstract manner with few if any nontrivial examples (although enough trivial ones to satisfy a more general audience) to support the definitions and concepts. References to the literature are favored over mathematical proofs. Thus, aside from the references, I found this book of little use, but on the other hand, I do recommend it for its intended audience, for I do believe that graphical models can be of great use in these other areas.

Finally given the controversy and general misunderstanding about "causality", I wonder why Pearl would even use definitions like "causal model" and "...variable X is a causal influence of variable Y". His justification seems that researchers still think in terms of cause and effect, and thus it would serve them well if they had a mathematical foundation to fall back on.
Even if I did not have issue with some of the techniques and algorithms endorsed in this book, it would still seem much more appropriate to supply fresh, distinguished definitions (devoid of the "cause" word and its synonyms) and thus when future researchers use and make reference to Pearl's structural methods, they will call them as such and hopefully avoid confusion and controversy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Radically New perspective on Causation"
Choice (November 00) calls both Pearl's Causality (and Juarrero's Dynamics in Action, which Choice reviews together with Pearl), a "radically new perspective on causation and human behavior... Pearl critically reviews the major literature on causation, both in philosohy and in applied statistics in the social sciences. His formal models, nicely illustrated by practical examples, show the power of positing objectdively real causation connetions, counter to Hume's skepticism, which has dominated discussions of causality in both analytic philosophy and statistical analysis. Probabilities, Pearl argues, reflect subjective degrees of belief, whereas causal relations describe objective physical constraints. He reveals the role of substantive causes in statistical analyses in examples from medicine, economics, and policy decisions. "Both works are highly ambitious in rejecting traditional views. Although the arguments ar meticulous and represent intensive research, their criticisms of mainstream traditions are destined to arouse controversy... Juarrero and Pearl's books will greatly interest philosophers and scientists who are concerned with causality and the explanation of human behavior."

5-0 out of 5 stars The best and only on the topic
A great text, if for no other reason than the fact that it fills an important niche. Pearl does an excellent job of delineating causal models as both philosophical and statistical problems. I found the coverage of latent variable models particularly useful.

My only complaint is Pearl often makes assumptions without justifying them sufficiently. Usually, the assumptions made are reasonable or of negligible consequence, but at other times, the veracity of the assumptions is arguably core matter of the discussion. The net effect is a feeling of reading a brilliant, detailed exposition of what causal models imply observationally, undermined by doubts about the appropriateness of causality as a concept at all.

Overall, however, this a wonderful text that should be useful to anyone interested in causality or statistical modeling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding causality poses no danger!
I take issue with the previous reviewer. Pearl does not assume that the modeller is able, a priori, to determine what the correct model is. Instead, Pearl asks what conclusions can be drawn if the modeller is able to substantiate only parts of the model. By systematically changing those parts, he then obtains a full picture of what modeling assumptions "must" be substantiated before causal inferences can be derived from nonexperimental data. An anslysis of assumptions is not a license to abuse them. ... Read more


71. Electrical Engineering Reference Manual for the Electrical and Computer PE Exam
by John A. Camara
list price: $186.00
our price: $117.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1888577568
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Professional Publications, Inc.
Sales Rank: 55499
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The sixth edition of the Electrical Engineering Reference Manual has been completely revised and expanded for the new exam format. It provides a comprehensive review for the new breadth-and-depth electrical and computer PE exam, and makes studying for the exam as efficient as possible. The book's coverage of topics prepares you for the exam's scope of subject matter, and the 374 solved example problems illustrate solution methods. The manual's breadth of coverage, combined with its excellent index, make it an invaluable time-saver during the exam.

In addition, you'll find these features in the Electrical Engineering Reference Manual:

Introduction to the current exam format, content, and organization

A suggested study schedule, plus tips for successful preparation

Hundreds of table, charts, and figures providing data at your fingertips With the Reference Manual and its accompanying products, you can be confident of using the best preparation materials available for this PE exam. It won't take the work out of the preparation process, but it will make your study time as productive as possible.

For practice problems coordinated with this manual, order Practice Problems for the Electrical and Computer Engineering PE Exam (ISBN 1-888577-57-6). Both these books are part of Professional Publications's Engineering Review Series, used by over 700,000 engineers to pass their licensing exams. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Review Book for EE PE
The Electrical Engineering Reference Manual (EERM) for the Electrical and Computer PE Exam is an excellent resource. The information contained in the handbook is very broad, yet is distilled to the most important elements of each subject area. When I took the exam, the majority of test-takers used the same reference manual written for their respective disciplines.

The EERM is designed for quick and easy location of subject matter, which is important during the fast-paced PE exam. I used it for about 90% of the exam questions. The companion sample test and review questions by the same author are good review material and are more representative of the exam problems than other references I purchased. The exercise problems focus on concepts without getting bogged down in minutia. Hints for studying and taking the exam are very useful. The errata are bigger than it probably should be, but can be easily downloaded from the publisher website.

I plan on keeping my copy of the EERM as a reference manual. My other study materials are for sale. I wish I would've had the EERM during college; it would have been a big help.

By the way, I passed the PE on the first try and it's been over 20 years since I got my degree.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yarbrough helps the broadly educated BSEE pass the PE
I have owned Edition #4 of this book since 1988, and found it to be fully adequate when I sat for the PE in May 1994. It was the only book I actually used for the test. I have also found it to be an excellent concise electrical engineering reference.

Some context: I never met a test I didn't like. I graduated with BSEE from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1982 and found the P.E. to be sophomore-to-junior level with low-to-moderate difficulty and depth with no significant time pressure - one hour average per problem. With respect to the PhD-EE who commented below, I suspect that the narrow focus necessary for graduate study is not useful for a broad test like the PE. I passed the test cold twelve years after leaving school, and probably benefited from the broad treatment of EE topics and the accelerated pace at Rose which tended to cram a semester's work into 10 weeks (effectively three semesters per year). Unlike the Doctor, I found Yarbrough's treatment of Electrical Engineering closely resembled the test which included: Power, Digital logic, Communications, Integration, Filters, Op amp applications, Control systems/application of feedback, and
National Electrical Code (my 1994 test had a grounding problem).

I agree that Yarbrough's problems were more difficult than those on the PE. I strenuously disagree that it "did a fair job of reviewing areas in which one already had knowledge." It is accurate, however, to say that the book is not good at introducing new subjects. It is a *reference* and not a substitute for a semester or more of grinding through the applicable EE class.

I remember doing the following problems:
1) A freshman-level problem relating power and energy (first page of the test and shockingly rudimentary).
2) An integration problem - find the RMS value of a sine-wave 10V peak-to-peak, chopped at 65% - another freshman level problem.
3) An op amp problem - find the rise time, calculate the value of feedback resistors, draw bode plot showing frequency response.
4) A grounding problem using NEC. I DIDN'T HAVE MY NEC! But worked the problem anyway because at the time I'd been doing a lot of commercial design.
5) A Control Systems problem - classic transfer function with feedback problem.
6) A Sallen and Key low-pass filter problem.
7) A power problem - transformer regulation with non-purely-resistive load.
8) ?

A word of encouragement for prospective P.E.'s: Don't sweat the fact that you may not have prepared adequately - take it anyway. I delayed sitting for it because of this non-reason, and cost myself tens-of-thousands of dollars. Apply for it, don't tell anyone you're taking it, and go in with no pressure. If you get a 69, you'll get to take the test again. I took the test with no preparation, walked out of the afternoon session (multiple choice) with one-and-one-half hours to spare, and got a 76 (laughing when I got the notice). Real-world consulting and my classes at Rose were far, far, more difficult.

3-0 out of 5 stars Review of Yarbrough's EE Reference Manual
I have a Ph.D. in EE and several years of work experience and recently took the Profession Engineer examination in EE. I purchased this book to (a) review areas of electrical engineering with which I am familiar (e.g., circuits, devices), (b) learn enough about new areas (e.g., power transmission, motors, control systems) to pass in these areas on the Professional Engineer examination, and (c) work sample problems. I found that the book did a fair job of reviewing areas in which one already had knowledge, but was poor at introducing new subjects. There was no way I could learn much new (this varied with the topic). There are sample problems at the end of each chapter (with solutions available in a separate manual). After working real problems from a past test (available from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in Clemson, SC), I found that Yarbrough's examples were not representative and much harder than the real test. I would give this book a worse rating, but during the exam I was able to look up critical bits of information that added many points to my score. ... Read more


72. Demon-Haunted World
by CARL SAGAN, ANN DRUYAN
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345409469
Catlog: Book (1997-02-25)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 6993
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought."

 *Los Angeles Times

"POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing."

 *The Washington Post Book World

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

"COMPELLING."

 *USA Today

"A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity."

 *The Sciences

"PASSIONATE."

 *San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

... Read more

Reviews (302)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sagan's Best Work
I haven't read all of Sagan's books but out of the ones I have read, this is the one I enjoyed the most. As in his other works, Sagan comes off sounding more like a friend telling a story than an intellectual teaching science. In a very concise manner he deals with many of the nonsensical beliefs that permeate our society, such as alien abductions, the so-called face on Mars, demonology, etc. He even spends a whole chapter using the fantastic invisible dragon analogy which basically states that although you may not be able to disprove my claim that there is an invisible dragon in my garage, this does not prove that it does exist. This is a principle that should be taught in every school in America. Not being able to disprove something, whether it be the existence of Superman, Santa Claus or any one of numerous gods, does not prove that they do indeed exist. What comes through most in this book is Sagan's wonder of nature and cosmology, and his desire that the scientific method be applied to all subjects so that truth may come forward and so that ancient myths and fairy tales can be dispelled. As is evidenced by other reviews on this page, this book will cause some people great discomfort as they find their childhood beliefs obliterated with such clear and concise reasoning. Although it's interesting that Sagan's character gets criticized more so than his actual work, it's not unusual to see such knee jerk reactions occur. I'm often baffled to find that those who attack Sagan on a personal level are the same people who hold murderers like Moses, King David, and the prophet Elisha in high regard.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life changing book
Many are turned off by science since they find it to be cold, desenchanting or even a bit nihilistic. With a clever sense of humor and easy-to read writting style, Sagan proves that science can be an awe-inspiring spiritual experience, when we are confronted with the immense complexity of nature and our universe. He reminds us how to be a good skeptic: one who is open minded to new information, but will only believe after receiving proof. (Which consists of much more than anecdotal evidence )As Sagan states "I believe that the extraordinary should be pursued. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." He urges everyone to think skeptically and to express our opinions while being respectfull of others' beliefs. Unfortunately those who would benefit from more skepticism are the ones less likely to pick up this book. It takes courage to abandon the comforts of an "all-loving" ever present god, immortality, and belief in psychic powers in exchange for the truth. However, Sagan shows us how science has greatly improved the quality of life throughout history, and how the systematic search for truth can be more rewarding than blinded-faith. We should be open minded("Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence") without being gullible. And we must remember how "wishfull thinking" does not make something true.

5-0 out of 5 stars Astronomer or Sociologist?
Although Carl Sagan made a prominent name for himself as an Astronomer in the 1970's, his final contribution to the academic world was a piece that was very Sociological in nature. The thesis of the book is that America's obsession with science fiction and popular myth has curtailed the growth of the United States as a scientifically literate society. As such, Sagan's final work is laudable as one of the most poignant and effective commentaries on the Zeitgeist of American society at the turn of the 21st century.

At the beginning of "Demon-haunted", Sagan comes across as a "killjoy", who is bitter about the seemingly innocuous pleasures that many Americans indulge themselves in (Star Trek, Atlantis, Crystal Power, etc.). He points out that at the time of the book's release, "Dumb and Dumber" was the number one movie in the box office. He also spins a wonderful anecdote about his cab driver who, upon finding out that Sagan is an Astronomer, tries to demonstrate upon Sagan his scientific "fluency" through his knowledge of "Atlantis". It all seems quite funny, until Sagan points out that the cab driver got quite frustrated when Sagan challenged his belief systems about the mythical island continent. With this wonderfully concrete example, Sagan renders the reader aware of how dangerous popular myths about science can be.

As the book progresses, Sagan continually points out that a little diversion can be a dangerous thing. He points out that Americans in the 1990's would rather spend a day watching the X-files than studying real stellar constellations; or reading tripe about Atlantis, as opposed to reading scientific books about continnetal plate shift. Eventually, the "candle in the dark" analogy is revealed as an analogy for science in America, where beliefs in the supernatural often publically usurp real scientific fact.

I think the thing that shocked me the most about this book was the fact that it wakes the reader up to the "dumbing down" of the American educational system, which Sagan implies, is a factor of the general American's willingness to believe just about anything that's entertaining.

Of the more forboding points that Sagan makes, there is one that he is rightfully salient about. This is that "pure science" (that is science in its abstract form) is becoming replaced by "profit-oriented" science. To back his argument, he points out that almost none of the technology that we enjoy today would have been discovered if it were not for the pursuit of pure science. For example, he points out that without abstract study of magnetism and electricity, things such as radio and television would not be here.

Like any good social theorist, Sagan ends this book with a series of solutions that could be enacted to further the pursuit of true science. First, he calls for a return to funding initiative for non-profit oriented scientific study. Second, he comments in passing that several opportunities are being missed by the educational system to teach children the priniples of true science by using the world around them as examples. For instance, at one point, he shows the applicability of basketball to physics. In sum, Sagan proves to be a brilliant Social Theorist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review "Science hmm" from June 14, 2004 is really funny!
Firstly my take is that Carl Sagan was a brilliant man and a great author with an exceptional ability to concisely and clearly present rationality at its best.

The book, as many of the reviews have already stated, does a great job debunking many of the highly notorious fallacies in society whose foundations lie on "myths". Sagan does this by offering a skeptical approach based on pure rational and emphirical thinking. He does an even better job in conveying how society, and government specifically should operate based on informed rationality, and the "deamons" which haunt this world result when governments and people specifically (as civilizations / governments are merely a manifestation of its inhabitants) act in irrational and self-seeking ways.

Obviously this is an extremely complex and controversial subject matter; one whose essence no single book could ever truely cover effectively. That is why I think bringing up religion and faith in general detracts from his focus as I find faith is an alltogether different characteristic than irrational behavior. It may cause one to do irrational things, but it is because that person find solace in knowing what they are doing has higher purpose.

Proponents of the Truth, i.e. wisdom and the pursuit of wisdom, such as Plato and Socrates, have always treated religion and God separately, or stated that it was God's divine purpose for Man to be Just, which is an attribute that can only come from knowing the essence of a situation before acting.

And so if that aspect of Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark annoys you, I recommend Plato's Republic (as an exceptional work for morality and the pursuit of truth and wisdom).

Other than that this is a great book that provides rational explanations for of some the most famed subjects of pseudoscience.

As an aside about skeptism (not about this book):
Some people see skeptisim as form of close-mindedness, and the writer of the review from June 14 "Science hmm" exemplifies that type of person. Obviously anyone can tell that person is speaking without any basis, and its a very funny post, but also the reason why this book needs to be read (I'm sure that person, if he even read Sagan's book at all, did it with ingrained preconceived notions of the "evils of science") This guy claims all of science is narrow minded and fascist (haha) but even many who aren't completely off their rocker, think skepticism is bad. The skeptic mindset is to only take facts at face value, and only believe when sufficient evidence is provided. This is the only way to promote a rational mindset. Those who think skeptics are narrow minded truely don't understand its purpose.

Skepticism is the best way to gain knowledge and wisdom, and prevents from deviating from that cause; which leads to fallacies about our reality such as all the myths Sagan debunks.

Going back to the poster of "Science hmm" who said that all science does is bring up "more and more unanswered questions"; although I agree that "science" that is, the pursuit of knowledge and truth, does bring up more unanswered questions, the only hope for us is in finally being able to answer some of the more fundamental ones.

To end this corny (and probably obvious arguement) with a quote:
"All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike--and yet is the most precious thing we have." Albert Einstein

5-0 out of 5 stars A Candle in the Dark
Demons, UFO's, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, fairies and the like are all investigated in this incredible non-fiction book by the late Carl Sagan. Pseudoscience, and those who perpetuate it, find their place in today's society among those who want to believe in the impossible. In fact, Sagan too admits that he would love to find life on other planets, among other things (he was, after all, an advocate of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). However, science today has not been able to prove that such things exist. As the book states, "the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms."

This book challenges the reader to critically scrutinize information professed by supposed experts, and be more of a skeptic. Sagan states early on in the book that "some 95 percent of Americans are scientifically illiterate." By using the scientific method combined with a little bit of logic and common sense, one should find that it is much more difficult to be mentally taken advantage of by pseudoscience "experts." Intelligent inquiry and analysis of information presented, and those presenting it, proves to be an invaluable tool.

Nonetheless, stories regarding crop circles, area 51, and other such nonsense still abound. Sagan runs through various examples and places them under the hypothetical microscope. Once examined more closely, most of these theories and fallacious postulations crumble quite easily. What some people don't realize, and what Sagan points out, is that things just as mysterious and awe-inspiring can be found all around us, and they are indeed factual and are being investigated by those in science fields. We need not look elsewhere to find mysticism and intrigue. People are still trying to completely understand viruses and the molecular building blocks in gas in space, and if people were equally as drawn to understand real phenomena as they are fallacious theories, then more people would be working to unravel the true mysteries that are much more worthy of our efforts.

I truly feel that this is a book everyone should read. Not only does Sagan do an excellent job of attempting to popularize science, but he also tries to teach people how to think for themselves rather than to be force-fed information from less-than-trustworthy sources. The demons in this demon haunted world are both those who perpetuate such celebrated fallacies, as well as those who believe them without question. Sagan attempts to teach, in this book, how to distinguish "real science from the cheap imitation." Indeed, he does just that. ... Read more


73. Organic Chemistry
by Marye Anne Fox, James K. Whitesell
list price: $139.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0763721972
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Sales Rank: 417094
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Book Description

As in previous editions, the new third edition of Organic Chemistry succeeds in providing students with an accessible framework for understanding the complex material covered in this course. Fox and Whitesell are pioneers of the mechanistic approach, and they utilize this proven and effective pedagogy to equip students with a solid foundation to retain organic chemistry principles and apply them to practical applications in other areas of science. ... Read more


74. Fundamentals of Queueing Theory (Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics)
by DonaldGross, Carl M.Harris
list price: $110.00
our price: $110.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471170836
Catlog: Book (1998-02-06)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 353192
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This look at queueing theory stresses the fundamentals of the analytic modeling of queues. It features Excel and Quattro software that allows greater flexibility in the understanding of the nature, sensitivities and responses of waiting- line systems to parameter and environmental changes.

"...this is one of the best books available for use as a textbook for a course and for an applied reference book. Its excellent organizational structure allows quick reference to specific models and its clear presentation coupled with the use of the QTS software solidifies the understanding of the concepts being presented. I highly recommend this book to educators and applied researchers."--IEE Transactions on Operations Engineering ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Classic Queueing Theory Text
Fundamentals of Queueing Theory (third edition) by D. Gross and C. Harris is THE classic queueing text book. It is up-to-date, thorough, rigorous, intuitive, and even fun to read (for the mathematically inclined). This book can be read at different levels, none of them easy. It is intended for an audience of graduate students in operations research, industrial engineering, management science, or mathematics. There are other excellent queueing books out there, but this has to be the overall best seller! Highly recommended. ... Read more


75. Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
by Laurence Gonzales
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393326152
Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 4998
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Unique among survival books...stunning...enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading."—Penelope Purdy, Denver Post

After her plane crashes, a seventeen-year-old girl spends eleven days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?

Examining such stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death—how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not)—Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snowy mountains and the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the "stages of survival" and reveals the essence of a survivor—truths that apply not only to surviving in the wild but also to surviving life-threatening illness, relationships, the death of a loved one, running a business during uncertain times, even war.

Fascinating for any reader, and absolutely essential for anyone who takes a hike in the woods, this book will change the way we understand ourselves and the great outdoors. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

2-0 out of 5 stars Restates The Obvious..
After reading many glowing reviews of this book by self-proclaimed survival experts and others, I was looking forward to my copy. Unfortunately, I don't think this book brings anything new or astounding to the survival literature genre.

Many critics have painstakingly noted that Deep Survival does not deal with the mechanics of 'how to' survive, but rather the psychological mindset of how successful survivors dealt with their situation - it's almost as if they believe this element hasn't been dealt with by others (nonsense, of course). Indeed, many people celebrating this book seem to ridicule the idea of actually acquiring survival skills or planning for unforseen situations, as Deep Survival doesn't focus on this aspect. Despite this, some of the book's own survival stories, such as Steve Callahan's lifeboat ordeal, pay testament to the importance of someone who not possessed the correct mental attitude, but ALSO pre-acquired survival knowledge such as knowledge of edible fish and improvised sea navigation AND carried emergency equipment (three solar stills) that proved to be instrumental in his survival.

In a nutshell, the book takes 300 pages to deliver what should be three very self-evident messages: Don't bite off more than you can chew, know when it's time to quit, and don't be afraid to call for help when you're in trouble. I think most mature people can understand and practice that advice. But if you're the type of person that needs repeated examples of survival stories for this to sink in, then you need this book. Otherwise, forget it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful
Those who are focusing on whether or not Gonzales is actually instructing you on how to survive in the wild are completely missing the point of Deep Survival. As a totally urban chick who'd rather die than hike, I bought the book not because I wanted to learn about mountaineering, but to investigate why I've survived a blood disorder that has killed others. And thanks to this book, I've gotten my answer. Gonzales beautifully explains and explores the paradox that must be absorbed completely if one is to live through a catastrophe--which is that to survive something, you must surrender to it, basically fall into it, accepting all the pain and suffering, if you're ever going to get out of it. When you're able to quickly adapt to a new reality and make this new place--however frightening--your new home, you've a much better chance of surviving than the person who's in denial. For one thing, your sense of spirituality and wonder deepens, and this is a tremendous life force in and of itself. It helps you enjoy where you ARE, instead of frantically trying to get to where you think you should be. This is simply a great life lesson, whether you're lost in the woods, or just trying to live a happier existence.

He explains the paradox so well--that in order to survive, one must surrender, yet at the same time not give in. There must be a sheer raw determination to win the game, yet an acceptance of possibly losing it as well, which paradoxically, gives you an edge. And if you can muster a playful spirit on top of it all, well--then you're just golden. A *great* read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Important Book You Will Ever Read
As a person who spent 23 years in the military and many days in dangerous environments, I have to say, you must read this book slowly and memorize the lessons. Whether you are a city person or a country person, this book contains information you may need in an instant. This book explains many of the lessons I learned thought the great college of hard knocks. Had I read this book I would have been so much better prepared to face the many of the challenges I have survived. I made many decisions that lead to my survival. This book would have made that easier. Many times I was in for more danger than I understood. This book would have made my life safer. It will make your life safer. The first chapters are difficult. The end is exciting. The whole book is essential both to your knowledge and your library. Buy it here now.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was very excited when I first started reading this book because the concept is so promising. I was expecting story after story of outdoor adventures gone bad along with an analysis of why the people did (or didn't) survive. Whatever this book is, it definitely isn't that.

I gave up on this book after four chapters, so maybe it gets better later on, but the parts I read were very haphazardly put together. Accounts from real life survival stories are intermixed with the author's philosophy on survival physiology. In addition, the author often makes back references to small facts from earlier scenarios, which is very disrupting to the rhythm of the story.

I would recommend reading the annual "Accidents in North American Mountaineering" series instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Survival skills for the wilderness and life.
Deep Survival Review

Last year my family visited the west (Sedona, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Lake Powel). Upon arrival at Bryce I walked from the lodge to the canyon. Despite warning signs and the fact that I had all the information I needed right before my eyes if it had not been for a lady sitting on a bench at the edge of the canyon I warning me I would have walked right off the edge of the canyon and fallen surely to my death. I was about thee inches from the edge when she spoke to me and I 'perceived' that I was about three inches from the edge and the next step would be my last.

I thought a lot about that experience as I read Deep Survival. The author's discussions about perception of danger and the lack of it leading to deep trouble in the wilderness, on you home street or in business was invaluable. This is a wonderful thought provoking book. It caused me to think back over several trips into the wilderness I have taken and I now view them quite differently. It will also affect future explorations. This book kind of reminds me to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

My recommendation: Get this book. I originally read a library copy but I have ordered my own copy so I can mark it up and highlight important passages. If you love the adventure of life get this book so adventure does not turn into tragedy. ... Read more


76. Platelets
list price: $262.95
our price: $249.80
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Asin: 0124939511
Catlog: Book (2002-08-16)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 492560
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

2002 Best New Book in Medical Science - Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers

Platelets is a comprehensive new textbook of 61 chapters and 1,100 pages (approx.) written by over 100 world leaders in the field. Platelets is a single definitive source of state-of-the-art knowledge about platelets.There has been no textbook that specifically and fully covers the entire field of platelet biology and clinical medicine. Platelets now fills this need. Platelets encompasses: platelet biology; platelet function testing; the role of platelets in disease; inherited and acquired disorders of platelet number and function; pharmacology of antiplatelet agents; pharmacology of agents to increase platelet numbers and/or function; platelet transfusion medicine; and gene therapy.The intended audience for Platelets includes hematologists, cardiologists, stroke physicians, blood bankers, pathologists, and researchers in thrombosis and hemostasis - as well as students and fellows in these fields.

* A single comprehensive source of state-of-the-art knowledge about platelets
* Over 100 contributing authors from 13 countries
* The authors of each chapter are world leaders in their fields
* The definitive resource with 61 chapters, 1,100 pages (approx.), 12,000 references (approx.), 70 full color figures, 140 black and white figures, and 95 tables
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book in Medical Science 2002
This publication won, not just the best publication in hemostasis, not just the best publication in hematology, but in all of medical science (Assoc American Publishers, 2002). A well deserved award.

The book contains contributions from nearly all the very best and respected researchers in platelet pathophysiology. It broadly covers every aspect of platelets: from the biology, ultrastructure, biochemistry and physiology of function through to the clinical role of new platelet function analyzers in the diagnosis and management of coronary syndromes. New and emerging antiplatelet agents and clinical trials are discussed in detail.

This book will be of great benefit to both the clinician and the researcher. A landmark publication in the field. ... Read more


77. The Scientist in the Crib : What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind
by Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Patricia K. Kuhl
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0688177883
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 9265
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This exciting book by three pioneers in the new field of cognitive science discusses important discoveries about how much babies and young children know and learn, and how much parents naturally teach them. It argues that evolution designed us both to teach and learn, and that the drive to learn is our most important instinct. It also reveals as fascinating insights about our adult capacities and how even young children -- as well as adults -- use some of the same methods that allow scientists to learn so much about the world. Filled with surprise at every turn, this vivid, lucid, and often funny book gives us a new view of the inner life of children and the mysteries of the mind.

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Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars An interesting topic, but suffers from poor organization.
I bought this book because, having recently become a father, I wanted to get a better idea of what my baby thinks about and feels from people who make a living studying just that. I also wanted to know how scientists organize and practice the study of infant development; how do you observe an infant's actions and draw information about them based on what they do? (or don't do.) While The Scientist In The Crib is full of a lot of interesting anecdotes, and I certainly wouldn't question the authors' credibility, it is disappointingly organized around very general concepts as opposed to chronology, so that the thread of actual development is difficult to follow from one section to the next. This book really seems more like a series of articles, some more and some less interesting. The chapters examine what children learn about people [chapter 2], things [chapter 3], and then language [chapter 4], and then what scientists have learned about children's minds [chapter 5] and then what scientists have learned about children's brains [chapter 6](the distinction between minds and brains is probably much more meaningful if you're working in the field). There are two different sections entitled 'what newborns know.' I found myself skipping around looking for information relevant to my son and the age that he is now. I suppose if I was not so personally invested in these questions I could examine things in the lofty and generalized manner of this book, but, really, parenting is more a practical than a philosophical pursuit, and a chronological approach would have made the information (and there is a lot) much more accessible and interesting for parents.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great resource for parents and teachers
This book presents the latest research concerning child development, but does so in an accessible and friendly way. This is not a how-to book, rather containing information about how children learn and develop over time. Chapters include: What Children Learn About People; What Children Learn About Things; What Children Learn About Language; What Scientists Have Learned About Children's Minds; What Scientists Have Learned About Children's Brains.

To a small extent the book suffers from the usual dilutory effects of having multiple authors. They also try to be a bit too cute sometimes, but this does not overly detract from the book's success as a layman-friendly introduction to child development research.

There is a very useful Notes section, References, and a good Index.

My advice, for all it's worth: If you are going to get one book about child development research, get Lise Eliot's 'What's Going On In There?', which is less precious, more extensive, and better organized. If you are going to get two books, add this to your list. I find myself referring back to the former book fairly often, but I do browse through this one occasionally as well.

2-0 out of 5 stars Some good stuff, too much fuss
The book contains some interesting information, relevant to the title. Unfortunately it is very very repetitive. I found myself saying "I can't believe it is telling this again" many times.

Having said that, there are some good parts in chapter 2 and 3 that are worth reading. The introduction and chapter 4-7 are a complete waste of paper, as the 50-page-long notes and reference (who reads them nowadays? put them up on a web site if someone wants to dig deeper). I would have preferred paying the same price for a 60-page-book with the same content, but I guess the markets impose some rules in order to be able to sell...

4-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly informative, intriguing (and a bit irritating)
This is an incredible book for the reader with an open mind and a desire to learn. The authors tell us what they have learned and experienced in the field of child development and learning, and they have the credentials to be true experts and terrific sources of knowledge. I found the information they conveyed to be positively fascinating. Some of it I had either already somehow suspected, read about elsewhere, or noticed myself, but there was plenty that also surprised me, as well. It helped to know this information because just about everyone deals with children at some point, and it makes a real difference to know where they are coming from. It is also interesting information, given that WE all were children too.

The only thing I found irritating were the humorous comments scattered throughout the book. I would have rather had the information given to me without these comical references (some of which I did not get, therefore did not find funny). I repeatedly found myself trying to ignore these supposedly comical anecdotes and to just pay attention to the data they were trying to convey. I consider myself a pretty funny person, but this was annoying.

Other than that, though, this book is GREAT! A wonderful way to increase your knowledge of children and how (and when) they learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, good information
This book explains current ideas about infants and how and when they learn. It is a well organized with interesting ancedotes and humorous comments sprinkled throughout. Except for the last chapter, which gets rather philosophical, it was a page turner. I still remember their examples (of the first word 'uh-oh' and failure, or of kids confronting a candy box full of pencils). The book strives not to be the standard parenting text which is refreshing. Still, I would have preferred a summary chart of the basic developmental thresholds and the associated ages for those skills.

As a young mother of a one year old, I bought this book along with several others on toddler development. It stands out because it is not a 'how-to' parenting book. The authors leave it to the reader to decide how to act on the information. Also, the book describes in some depth how conclusions were arrived at. As a scientist myself I appreciated this, but found their arguments about the similarities between babies and scientists somewhat trite.

All in all, one of my top recommendations for parents. There is great information in an unusual, neutral format. ... Read more


78. Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques
by Nathan J. Gordon, William L. Fleisher, C. Donald Weinberg
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0122603818
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 32397
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques presents a practical, straightforward method for interviewing witnesses and victims, interrogating suspects, and accurately identifying them as truthful or untruthful. Instead of relying on intuition or a "gut feeling," interviewers will learn how to utilize four types of questions and apply accurate assessments of nonverbal behavior and verbal clues.They will also learn how to quantify their observations and numerically assess the truthfulness of each suspect, to minimize subjectivity.

Readers will also learn how to use the authors' Integrated Interrogation Technique, a 10-point, highly successful approach to obtaining court upheld confessions.The advantages and disadvantages of recording an interview or interrogation are discussed in detail, as well as some of the current legal aspects of these processes.

Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques includes numerous illustrations and pictures to enhance the reader's understanding as well as model worksheets and forms including: Consent Forms, Forensic Assessment Interview Technique Form, Numerical Evaluation Form, Sample Confession, and a Pre-employment Security Booklet.Investigators will turn to this book again and again to help find the truth in each person they interview.

*Features the authors' 10 point Integrated Interrogation Technique - a highly successful approach to obtaining court upheld confessions
*Numerous illustrations and pictures enhance the reader's understanding
*Comes with model worksheets and forms including: Consent Forms, Forensic Assessment Interview Technique Form, Numerical Evaluation Form, Sample Confession and a Pre-employment Security Booklet.
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques
I have read several books on this topic in the past. I found this book to be very interesting and easy reading. It contained excellent information applicable for anyone involved in the field of interviewing.

The book was very well organized, and answered many questions for even a trained interviewer/interrogator.

I would highly recommend it for anyone in the fields of intelligence, law enforcement, private investigations or polygraph.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Delivers
I have just finished reading this book and I am thoroughly impressed with it's attention to detail, usable procedures, and overall organization. It was a very quick read, and I now feel like an expert in the art of interrogation. I am already confidently putting these new techniques into practice and seeing results. If your goal is attaining the truth in an interview situation, buy & read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Obligatory Handbook on Interviews and Interrogations
Nathan J. Gordon, et al have authored an outstanding publication which is well documented, authoritative, well organized, and an easy read as well as a page turner. This reviewer,who has authored several textbooks on polygraph testing, highly recommends this book to anyone involved in the art and science of interviewing and interrogation. ... Read more


79. Can A Smart Person Believe In God?
by Michael Guillen
list price: $17.99
our price: $12.23
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Asin: 0785260242
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Nelson Books
Sales Rank: 7906
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Book Description

As Christians, we are often urged to turn away from scientific discovery and rely solely on the Bible as the source of our faith. On the other hand, many people in areas such as science, law, and education insist that Christian faith is lowbrow or unintelligent. But is it possible to reconcile science with what you believe about God? As someone who has grappled with the issues of science and faith in the public eye for more than a decade as a television journalist, Dr. Michael Guillen believes it is possible. In fact, by embracing the discoveries of science we can see God, the universe, and humanity in full, multidimensional glory.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a genius to enjoy this book. The bite-sized chapters are full of fascinating scientific tidbits in an easy-to-understand format. Captivating stories of the author’s childhood in the Mexican barrio of East L.A. and his work in television and research are woven throughout. There is even an entertaining SQ (Spiritual Quotient) test for readers to take.

... Read more

80. The New Turing Omnibus : Sixty-Six Excursions in Computer Science
by A. K. Dewdney
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
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Asin: 0805071660
Catlog: Book (1993-07-15)
Publisher: Owl Books
Sales Rank: 439699
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No other volume provides as broad, as thorough, or as accessible an introduction to the realm of computers as A. K. Dewdney's The Turing Omnibus.

Updated and expanded,The Turing Omnibus offers 66 concise, brilliantly written articles on the major points of interest in computer science theory, technology, and applications.New for this tour: updated information on algorithms, detecting primes, noncomputable functions, and self-replicating computers--plus completely new sections on the Mandelbrot set, genetic algorithms, the Newton-Raphson Method, neural networks that learn, DOS systems for personal computers, and computer viruses.
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars From 6 to 666 hours to understand
What you get out of the book depends upon how much you want to put into in. A reader of this book, could decide to just understand the general ideas, follow the detailed mathematics, or perhaps program on a computer (for example sorting routines, hashing and the like). Each of the excursions is well covered, sometimes witty, but at times I got bogged-down in the symbols. The chapter on "analog computation" coming in the middle of a book was a welcome relief presenting ideas of sorting, shortest path and minimum trees using spaghetti and strings without mathematics (and would be a good chapter to give to non-computer science friends if they ever make the mistake of asking you what sort of problems you think about). The chapter on neural networks, I thought was also clear. There are also some of the classic computer science problems presented such as the Tower of Hanoi, or "A man ponders how to ferry a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage across of river".

The 66 excursions cover a lot of ground, but often return to Turing machines, finite-state machines, and NP-completeness problems. I might have enjoyed more on algorithm analysis, computer languages, and game analysis. Additionally there are new topics since this 1992 publication, such as quantum computing, Bioinformatics, Internet related topics on virus and encrypting, and a raft of social questions including privacy. I hope the "Turing omnibus" refuels for another update.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brain Dessert
Dewdney is one of the most stimulating writers on applied thinking and computer science that I have had the pleasure to read. Where the standard CS textbooks are most stale, Dewdney is the most provocative. He illuminates the dark corners of abstract thought with practical puzzles and plain language. This book is written in small bite size chapters that grow in complexity around multiple ideas, one being the idea of the state machine (if you don't know what a state machine is, don't fret, Dewdney is here to help). For us programmers, he gives enough information to actually implement the algorithms and explore the universe he envisions. I was able to take two of his pages and use it as a coding exercise that turned out to be quite enjoyable.

The appeal to Dwedney and his book stems from the fact that everything he writes is game-like or puzzle-oriented; while reading him one gets the feeling that an enlightened child is guiding the learned to a new level of thinking. Dewdney takes Computer Science on an enjoyable walk through a park where he ends up teaching the discipline to rethink shortest paths and non-intersecting traversals. What's more amazing about this book is that it is perfectly suited for a coffee table where the uninitiated could accidentally pick it up and join the conversation. That is, a degree in computer science is not a prerequisite to this fascinating read. It is brain dessert.

4-0 out of 5 stars Panoramic for Computer Science
This book presents a clear panoramic for most of the computer science essential topics. I believe it is a demandable for CS student to start with. As a graduate student I find it very helpful for reviewing the computing theory. ... Read more


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