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21. Longitude: The True Story of a
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22. The Organic Chem Lab Survival
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23. The Complete Art of War (History
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24. Telecom Crash Course
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25. Mind into Matter: A New Alchemy
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26. The Golden Ratio : The Story of
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27. Bioinformatics for Dummies
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28. Rebuilt : How Becoming Part Computer
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29. West With the Night
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30. The Web That Has No Weaver : Understanding
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32. The Double Helix : A Personal
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33. The Chasm Companion : A Fieldbook
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34. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye
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35. The Craft of Scientific Presentations:
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36. At The Helm: A Laboratory Navigator
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37. How to Prepare for the OGT : Ohio
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38. Introduction to Organic Laboratory
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39. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
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40. The Bomb : A Life,

21. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
by Dava Sobel
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140258795
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 5257
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

During the great ages of exploration, "the longitude problem" was the gravest of all scientific challenges. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores; those traveling well-known routes were easy prey to pirates.

In 1714, England's Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment--from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton--had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution--a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do on land. And the race was on....
... Read more

Reviews (209)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing subject, fascinating story
With "Longitude" Dava Sobel has written a very interesting book about the greatest scientific problem of the 18th century.

As a result of the 1707-shipwreck story (with a loss of 4 out of the 5 ships), the English Parliament offered in 1714 a 20.000 pounds reward to the person that could provide a practicable and useful way of determining longitude. (If you have forgot, longitude is the "lines" that runs from pole to pole). Not being able to determining longitude was a great problem. Ships spent excessive time trying to find its way back to port, or worse men, ship and cargo were lost at sea.

John Harrison (1693-1776) spent his lifetime trying to solve the longitude mystery. Harrison was a son of a countryman, with minimal schooling, and was self-educated in watch making. He made several timepieces, which all qualified for the reward, but the reward was delayed several times by the Longitude committee whom believed that other ways of measuring longitude were the preferred ones. Ultimately after a lot of harassment and trouble, Harrison was given the reward money.

Dava Sobel has done a wonderful job in this book, capturing Harrison's fascinating character, his brilliance, preserving and hard working nature. The author has also managed to strike a perfect balance between technical jargon and personal anecdotes, and she does it in such a way permitting the lay readers of the book to admire the elegance of Harrison's discoveries. I believe it is a sign of excellent quality when an author makes learning so interesting.

I was hooked from the first page of this book and I read it in 50-page gulps at a time.

Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars John Harrison--an extraordinary person
John Harrison (1693-1776) spent his lifetime inventing and perfecting a series of timepieces to measure longitude. As Dava Sobel relates in her engaging narrative, "Longitude," until the 18th century sailors navigated by following parallels of latitude and roughly estimating distance traveled east or west. Ships routinely missed their destinations, often taking excessive time to arrive or succumbing to reefs off fogbound shores. Thousands of sailors and tons of cargo were lost.

In 1714, England's Parliament offered £20,000 (the equivalent of about $12 million today) to anyone who provided a "practicable and useful" means of determining longitude. Countless solutions were suggested, some bizarre, some impractical, some workable only on land and others far too complex.

Most astronomers believed the answer lay in the sky, but Harrison, a clockmaker, imagined a mechanical solution--a clock that would keep precise time at sea. By knowing the exact times at the Greenwich meridian and at a ship's position, one could find longitude by calculating the time difference. However, most scientists, including Isaac Newton, discounted a clock because there were too many variables at sea. Changes in temperature, air pressure, humidity and gravity would surely render a watch inaccurate.

Harrison persisted. As Dava Sobel writes, he worked on his timepiece for decades, though he suffered skepticism and ridicule. Even after completing his timepiece, an instrument we now call a chronometer, in 1759, he underwent a long series of unfair trials and demonstrations. Ultimately he triumphed.

Sobel, a science writer who contributes to Audubon, Life, Omni and other magazines, captures John Harrison's extraordinary character: brilliant, persevering and heroic in the face of adversity. He is a man you won't forget.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brief but enjoyable
This slim volume tells the story of John Harrison who, although untrained, built four revolutionary clocks that changed how ships navigate at sea. It also tells about the political fight Harrison was forced to fight to win recognition for his work.

Written in a easy-to-read, "magazine" tone the tale goes quickly, whole years pass in a couple sentences. I wanted more details and this is where the book disappoints but it may not be the authors fault The book hints that many events weren't recorded and more details just aren't available.

One technical note: I think the font used in this tiny, five by eight inch book is a little small and the page numbers, even smaller, aren't readable at a glance. Or maybe I'm getting old.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great story, but BEWARE of inaccuracies in this book.
John Harrison completes his first pendulum clock in 1713 before the age of 20. He made the gears for this out of wood which was radical for such a use, but as a carpenter, perhaps not to him---which is a mark of genius, I'd say; to reach beyond accepted norms in this manner. This he did after borrowing a book on math and the laws of motion; which he copied word for word, making his own copy. He incorporated different varieties of wood into his clock for strenth and later invented a bi-metal pendulum to counteract the expansion and compression of various individual metals. He also employed friction-free movements so as to do away with problematic lubricants. When intrigued by the puzzle of time at sea and the issue of longitude he contemplated substituting something not prone to gravity, as a pendulum of course is, to track times passing. In 1737 he creates a cantilevered clock 4 foot square. This the longitude board (which had offered a cash bonus to anyone who could devise a method in which time at sea could be kept) admired. Four years later he returns with an improved model; then starts on a 3rd model, like the previous two, also a fairly large sized clock.But there exists a problem within this book: An artisan freemason by the name of John Jefferys at the Worshipful Company of clockmakers befriends Harrison and then later presents to him a pocket watch in 1753. Then in 1755, while still working on his 3rd model, Harrison says this to the Longitude board: I have..."good reason to think" on the basis of a watch "already executed that such small machines[he's referring to pocketwatches] may be of great service with respect to longitude." He then completes version 3 in 1759. His fourth version appears just a year later, however, and is a 5 inch wide pocketwatch! The obvious inference made by the author is that after he received the pocketwatch from Jeffreys he seemingly put his version #3 on the backburner and soon started on the pocketwatch 4th version. The author does not claim Harrison copied anything from the Jeffreys model, but she certainly phrases this section so as to lend one to believe that this may have been the case; that Jefferys had a hand in the masterstroke invention Harrison eventually produced in version #4. This is not true. Harrison commissioned the watch he received from Jeffreys and was based on Harrison's specifications. It seems that Harrison simply asked Jeffreys to test an idea which he himself hadn't the time to attack just then; as he was still working on his 3rd version of a table-top prototype clock. Hence Harrison's above statement to the board in 1755 whence his ideas were validated by Jeffreys. In addition, the author plays up the part of the Astronomer Royal's part in attempting to impede Harrison from convincing the longitiude board of the efficacy of a time-piece solution to this problem over a celestial answer to this conundrum. The author also jazzes up the issue of whether Harrison received the prize the board promised to pay for a successful solution herein; even though the board supported him for upwards of 20 years as he pursued this quest. It's as if the author intentionally omitted some facts (that the Jefferys was a Harrison commission), and pumped up others (of a rival/foil on the board trying to impede Harrison and the compensation issue; implying that Harrison was jipped) just to make the story more compelling. John Harrison's story, however, is extremely compelling as it is and didn't need this extra spice served up by the author.Do read this (very short) book on how this Mr. Harrison solved the problem of knowing where one is when at sea; and if you're in London, visit the Old Royal Observatory and the Clockmakers museum (in the Guildhall) where you can see Harrison's wonderful creations in person. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Man who Captured Time so Ships could Navigate Accurately
=====>

Note: This review has been written from a city with the following position on Earth:

LATITUDE: (43 degrees 2 minutes North)
LONGITUDE: (81 degrees 9 minutes West).

In order to understand the significance of this remarkable book by Dava Sobel, the reader has to understand some words and phrases in the book's title and subtitle.

"Longitude" along with Latitude are two numbers along with compass directions that are used to fix the position of anything on the planet Earth (as in the note above). Lines of Latitude are the imaginary, parallel, horizontal lines circling the Earth with the equator (fixed by nature) being the "zero-degree parallel of latitude." Lines of Longitude or "meridians" are the imaginary lines that run top to bottom (north and south), from the Earth's North Pole to its South Pole with the "prime meridian" (established by political means) being the "zero-degree meridian of longitude." (Since the mid-1880s, the prime merdian has passed through Greenwich, England. Before this time, the imaginary line that passed through a ship's home port was usually used as the zero-degree meridian.)

Finding the latitude on land or at sea was easy and eventually a device was invented to make it even easier. But finding longitude, especially at sea on a swaying ship was difficult, a difficulty "that stumped the wisest minds of the world for the better part of human history" and was "the greatest scientific problem" of the 1700s. Ways of determining longitude astronomically were devised, but these proved to be impractical when used at sea.

England's parliament recognized that "the longitude problem" had to be solved practically since many people and valuable cargo were lost at sea when the ship's navigators lost sight of land. Thus, this parliament offered a top monetary prize that's equivalent to many millions of dollars today to anybody who could solve the problem.

Enter "a lone genius" named John Harrison (1693 to 1776). While most thought the solution to the problem was astronomical, Harrison saw time as the solution.

To calculate the longitude using time on a ship at sea, you have to realize these two facts found in this book:

(i) The Earth takes 24 hours of time to spin 360 degrees on its axis from east to west.
(ii) Noon (12:00 PM) is the highest point the sun seems to "travel" in a day.

To learn one's longitude at sea using time, as this book explains, it's necessary to do the following:

(1) Know the time it is aboard ship (local noon was normally used because of fact (ii) above).
(2) At the very same moment, know the time at a known longitude (such as at Greenwich, England).
(3) The difference in time between (1) and (2) is coverted to a longitude reading in degrees and direction (using fact (i) above).

Harrison's solution was the accurate determination of time of (2) above by inventing a reliable timepiece. This timepiece, in this case, would be set to Greenwich time. (Note that, as stated, (1) could be determined using the noon-day sun but this was not always practical. Eventually another timepiece was used to determine the ship's local noon for a particular day.) It has to be realized that this was the "era of pendulum clocks" where, on a deck of a rocking ship, "such clocks would slow down or speed up, or stop running altogether." Harrison was to capture time by building a marine clock or "timekeeper" (eventually called a "chronometer") that could be used on a ship at sea.

This book tells the "true story" of Harrison and his chronometers. (There were five built over a forty-year period. Harrison's first timekeeping device was known as H-1, his second was H-2, and so on.) Sobel uses accuracy (as evidenced by her thirty references), extensive interviews, and an engaging, mostly non-technical narrative (only essential technical detail is included) to convey a story that's filled with suspense, heroism, perfectionism, and villiany. All this in less than 200 pages!!

The only problem I had with this book is that it has hardly any pictures (photographs and illustrations). I would have liked to have seen pictures of the various people involved in this saga, maps showing where ships traveled, more photos of Harrison's amazing timepieces (both interior and exterior), and diagrams that explained important concepts. A diagram that actually showed how longitude, using a simple example, is calculated (using the steps above) would also have been helpful.

Finally, there is a good 1999 movie entitled "Longitude" based on this book. Be aware that even though this book is short, the movie is long (over three hours).

In conclusion, this book documents the exciting "true story" of how "a lone genius" solved "the longitude problem." Sobel states this more eloquently: "With his marine clocks, John Harrison tested the waters of space-time. He succeeded, against all odds, in using the fourth...dimension to link points on a three-dimensional globe. He [took] the world's whereabouts from the stars, and locked [or captured] the secret in a...watch."

<=====> ... Read more


22. The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual: A Student Guide to Techniques
by James W. Zubrick
list price: $54.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471387320
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 274435
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A paperback guide to the basic techniques of the organic chemistry lab. Zubrick includes practical lab advice presented with clarity and humor. The book describes the instruments and techniques used in organic chemistry lab. Diagrams show the reader how to make measurements, set up labs and perform meaningful experiments. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Serendipitous...
As well as being extremely detailed, intelligent and helpful, this book is hysterically funny, which makes it a joy to read and easy to understand. A nice change from the usual ...yawn... science-reference manuals. I would strongly encourage other students to take advantage of this terrific piece of work.

1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY
This book promise so much by the wide coverage of topics in Organic lab. but it delivers nothing. Aside from listing the topics in the Table of content. The seemingly knowledable Prof. Zubric presents an unorganize, incomprehensible 294 pages of something that read like a page from a low budget Comic Strip. Am shock that a well respected publishing house like John Wiley and Son would lend their reputation to a low quality like this. The author talked about every thing that are irrelevant. what is needed is a good intro. to the subject like -EXTRACTION and then the stepwise layout of professional quality discussion of headings like - Materials involved; procedure; observation; conclusion etc. he fail to approach the subject prof. The book would pass for a Book of Short Jokes. Do not waste your money. D BOOK DID NOT HELP ME IN MY CLASS ANYWAY...

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have for O-Chem Lab
Used it so much in lab, it almost became my right. VERY helpful! Easy to read with a nice twist of humor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Right On!! The Best Lab Manual Ever!!!
This book was chock full of concise, yet extremely valuable, information, and the wit with which it was presented made prelabs bearable, if not exactly fun. Thank your lab professor if this is a required book, and definitely pick it up if it's on the reccomended list (or even if it's not!).

5-0 out of 5 stars Humor in a Science Text Book: Miracles Do Happen
In this exceptional reference for first time students of organic chemistry lab, the author conveys what could be dry, boring information in a humorous, yet professional, manner. I actually found myself laughing out loud as I read a mock conversation between a lab instructor and a student about using boiling stones. Boiling stones! I never thought I'd find them humorous. Although brilliantly entertaining, Zubrick never fails to convey accurate, concise, intelligent thoughts on procedure, equipment, safety, and safety, and, oh yeah, did I mention safety? I think this actually deserves 6 or 7 stars; I know it's going to help me immensely in my lab work. ... Read more


23. The Complete Art of War (History and Warfare)
by Sun-Tzu, Sun Pin, Ralph D. Sawyer, Mei-Chun Lee Sawyer
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813330858
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 16773
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Presented here together for the first time are the greatest of the ancient Chinese classics of strategic thought: The Complete Art of War. Probably the most famous work of strategy ever written, Sun Tzu's Art of War has sold millions of copies in many languages around the world. Lost for more than 2000 years and only recently recovered, the Military Methods of Sun Pin (Sun Tzu's great-grandson) is a brilliant elaboration on his ancestor's work. Only The Complete Art of War brings the wisdom of these two ancient sages into a single volume and gives the reader a unique opportunity to master the essentials of Chinese thought on strategy, organization and leadership.

The Sun family writings on strategy have proven their value through the ages, and they continue to reward careful study. By unveiling the complex, often unexpected, interrelationships of armies locked in battle, they reveal the enduring principles of success in the struggle of life itself. With a practical index to the essential principles of strategy, and Ralph Sawyer's thoughtful chapter-by-chapter commentaries, The Complete Art of War  is designed to bring the reader new insights into the nature of human conflict.

Whether it is playing the game of politics or building a successful marriage, closing a deal or managing a large organization, making war or even making peace, The Complete Art of War  stands as one of the ultimate guides to a deeper understanding of human affairs. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The teachings of the greatest military geniuses of all time.
Sun Tzu collected his teachings into the ancient Chinese treatise on military strategy known as "The Art of War" about twenty-five hundred years ago. Afterward his teachings were passed down through the Sun family, or a group of disciples, who edited or expounded upon the original writings until they assumed their current form. Sun Pin was the great-grandson of Sun Tzu, and he used the teachings of his brilliant ancestor to develop his Treatise "Military Methods". This wonderful translation by Ralph D. Sawyer includes both of these ancient texts.

"The Art of War" has been studied the world over by military, political and business leaders seeking to understand the nature of human conflict in all it's forms. Although thousands of years old, the teachings of Sun Tzu remain relevant even today. The maxims of Sun Tzu have been applied by students of "The Art of War" to such modern conflicts as the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Sun Tzu's teachings range from the seemingly simple, such as "Someone unfamiliar with the mountains and forests cannot advance the army", to the more complex and thought provoking, such as "In order await the disordered. In tranquility await the clamorous. This is the way to control the mind." The manual covers such diverse topics as training, supplies, terrain, the seasons and the use of spys, and includes detailed commentary by China's greatest military leaders through the centuries.

"The Art of War" should be read by anyone who studies military history or strategy, and is part of the curriculum of many of the world's military academies. Studying the teachings of Sun Tzu can help you to form strategies for conflict resolution or negotiating in business, political or social endeavors through a greater understanding of human interaction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sun Tzu and Sun Pin are timeless
The Art of War is the oldest and best military treatise this world has seen. It is amazing how Sun Tzu can talk about strategy and warfare in thirteen short chapters. His book is just the best about competition and strategy. And now we get to Sun Pin, the military strategist. I have awesome respect for him. He was betrayed and mutilated by his best friend, and still, he survived. He defeated his nemesis in a great strategic way that Sun Tzu would have mostly likely done. These two are the best and if they were in this world today, they would won every war that we fight, by their ability to adapt. If you want to get Ancient Strategy and Chinese Culture, get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The publishing of both Sun Tzu's and Sun Pin's works together makes for a valuable purchase. I've found that this translation is also quite easy to follow, and the comments assist with interpretation. These works represent awesome insights into the nature of warfare.

1-0 out of 5 stars suffering
The text does not remotely fill the entire page to lengthen the book and suggest a happier price. Sun Pin's addition is severely garbled because the original text was damaged and it's contadictory. The most likely reason that Sun Pin's methods were forgotten and preserved only in a tomb was because (GEE GOLLY) people believed it wasn't worth reading. The commentary uses the word obvious extremely often among various other uneeded lengthening exercises.The author describes himself as an imaginative entrepenuer.(Sun Tzu flirts with perfection)

3-0 out of 5 stars good additional material
A nice attempt to include additional material about
the ancient chinese strategic art. I stress that it is art
since there are no analytical material here.
But the text is abridged and the translation could be improved. ... Read more


24. Telecom Crash Course
by StevenShepard, Steven Shepard
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071382135
Catlog: Book (2001-10-25)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Sales Rank: 39807
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Get a sound fix on the expanding universe of telecom

Explore the vast telecom landscape -- from standards and protocols to premise, access and transport technologies. Far more than an acronym-studded quick fix, Telecom Crash Course is a true tutorial that offers you context, connections, and the wisdom to quickly grasp key technologies, including wireless Internet, optical networking, 3G, IP, protocol layer, PSTN, ATM, spread spectrum, GPRS, and SIP. Author Steven Shepard includes lively stories that deliver important points about the markets that drive the technologies. You get rigorous technical accuracy, with explanations of each technology's economic importance. Here’s your chance to decipher the alphabet soup of telecom acronyms -- not just what they stand for, but what they mean and how they can generate profits. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction, in the opinion of a Telecom newcomer
This is a fantastic book if you want an overview that focuses on technical and some business aspects of telecommunications, and are someone that enjoys reading more techie-oriented material. (For the record, I am an MechE by training who is now working for one of the companies mentioned in the book, so this really was my entire Intro course to Telecom, and I plan to continue my learning. This book was an excellent guide for future, more in-depth subjects to pursue.)

The book does an excellent job of being ubiquitous and covering all the aspects of the telecom field that you've ever heard about. At the same, I found it easy to skip around in reading chapters, based on my own priorities in buying the book. The chapters are divided very logically into sections on the Telephone network, Access technologies, Transport options, Protocols, etc. (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you will after reading this book :).
One of my favorite aspects of the books is that the author is very good at using diagrams to supplement his text, which can be rare in more engineering/technical books. The whole picture-worth-a-thousand-words idea, especially if you take the time to go through the diagrams.
Yes, the text can require a few read-throughs - but telecommunications itself is a dense field that really requires one to be patience in reading and gain understanding of the technology. There *is* a lot of detail stuffed through out the chapters, and perhaps not everyone will care to know everything -- but that is alright, there is no harm in skipping the nitty-gritty of sections that do not interest you.

Please, please, please do not let the bad reviews of this book discourage you from checking it out. I just finished reading the entire book, and wanted to log on to share my high opinion of it.

2-0 out of 5 stars a scatterbrained mess...
First off, a word of warning: Pay heed to the reader's words from Woburn Mass, all of the 5 star reviews of this book actually are from people who are mentioned in the book's acknowledgements.

I purchased this book mostly to learn about telephony. I already know a lot about data networking, and I wanted to expand my knowledge of other aspects of telecom and optical WAN technologies like SONET and SDH. I knew I was in for trouble after reading about 50 pages. Have you ever read a technical book where you had a really hard time absorbing the info, even when you re-read the same paragraphs over and over again? Well, chances are it's not your fault, it's the author's! I can say this for sure about this book, b/c it described stuff that I already know about, and after reading it, I was more confused than before!

Part of the problem is the author's complete lack of organizational logic. On page 2, he describes all of the "techno-jargon" that permeates the telecom industry, and "often gets in the way of the relatively straightforward task of learning how all this stuff actually works". I totally agree, jargon should not obfuscate. BUT, if you're going to point out this common pitfall, you best avoid it yourself, and Shepard does not! He's all over the board, dropping terms and concepts with little or no explanation. About 10 pages in, it's already a muddled mess.

The mess gets worse. He discusses all of these different approaches to multiplexing, but doesn't take the time to explain what the basic process of multiplexing is all about until page 200! Throughout the entire book, he constantly refers to switching versus routing, but he doesn't explain the basic processes until the final 2 pages! These are just a couple examples that stuck out in my mind.

To be sure, there is some useful information to be gleaned here, but it's hard to sort out from all the "noise". Shepard gets into way too much detail on certain subjects and not enough on others, without any discernable logic. For example, he spends several pages discussing how fiber cables are manufactured, but spends less than one page discussing the basic processes of routing and switching. However, given the topic of the book, isn't the latter subject a lot more applicable? As far as I know, telecom professionals don't need to make the actual fiber cables.

This book is too technical for someone who doesn't know anything about telecom, and it's not practical enough for someone who knows a lot. If you're in between like me, you stand to gain a decent high-level overview of the industry, but the details are murky at best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Telecom Overview
As an industry outsider with limited technical experience, I found this book informative, easy-to-follow, and entertaining. My compliments to the author for a job well done.

2-0 out of 5 stars entertaining but lightweight
The author has a knack for seeing the big picture and coming up with funny metaphors to describe it (see Austrailian rules football in the other review). Also, he has a lot of friends in the business - four of the 5 star reviews below are from people listed in the acknowledgements. There is technical material here but the selection is sort of random, so you may or may not find a detailed explanation of a subject you're looking for. But his brief discussion of JPEG compression was so absurdly wrong it made me less enthusiastic about reading through the rest of his technical presentations.

I won't say this book is worthless, because he does have a marketer's flair for making business sense of technology and predicting trends, and there is probably enough material here to fill a few good magazine articles. One of them, on the psychology of computer hacking (inserted in the middle of a discussion of the OSI protocol stack), unfortunately has nothing to do with telecom. Also, the mini-Esperanto/English dictionary is entertaining but probably should have been left for the author's web site. I mean, I agree that's funny, but there are those of us who paid for a book on telecom.

5-0 out of 5 stars The complete telecom overview
If I were starting out in the telecommuncations field, this would be the first book that I'd recommend that anyone read. It gives you a high level look at: what protocols do and are used for; what the primary access technologies are; a great description of the telephony system that provides the main infrastructure of the Internet; and, the primary transport technologies that are being used today.
Because this is a "crash course" book don't look for great detail in every topic, however, if you are looking for a compendium that covers the telecomm field all in one book then this is the book you need. My networking background has been mostly in the copper and fiber optic technologies, so I found the sections about the new 802.11 wireless technologies the most interesting. But some of things that I found unique for a book like this and most fascinating are the pictures of scenes and equipment taken inside of actual telephone central offices and the anecdotes about real life happenings in the telecommuncations world. For those of you interested in the state of the telecommuncations industry, you may want to go straight to the last chapter entitled "Final Thoughts" where the author gives some very interesting comments about the industry on a global view.
So if you have anything to do with telecommunications, be it as a user, CTO, IT manager, technology student, technology teacher, marketing or sales person of telecom or buyer of telecom, then this book should have a place on your desk. ... Read more


25. Mind into Matter: A New Alchemy of Science and Spirit
by Fred Alan Wolf
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0966132769
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Moment Point Press
Sales Rank: 5597
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Might appreciate it more later
I found the book to be rather difficult to follow through the first few chapters. The middle and end of the book were easier to understand; however, there could have been more examples to clarify some of the rather complex concepts. I have recently purchased another book along the same subject line and it presents the material a little more clearly. I may reread this book later or at least compare Wolf's explanations of quantum physics to those in the other book for clarification. I don't have a physics background (except in high school), so that may have been the problem too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great work of linking science and spirituality
Only thing that lacked in the book was the non-explanasion of death as an inbuilt thing the endless fertilization. Other wise a great read. Highly recommended...

4-0 out of 5 stars Stimulating Topics on Mind, Consciousness & Quantum Physics
A little tough to understand the first few chapters, but the later half of the book was well worth the wait. Dr. Wolf has a unique way of decribing complex quantum physics concepts, such as the nature of mind, including "scripts" that represent the movement of the conscious observer through parallel worlds. A good book to take on a retreat when you want to get away and think about the deep questions of consciousness in relation to "mind".

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a clear, concise, yet humble and poetic book.
Fred Alan Wolf has removed another brick in the wall separating us from the realization of our true, divine nature. Even skeptical readers will grasp the line of reasoning that always accompanies Fred Alan Wolf's joyous speculative leaps. As our scientific community continues to advance our understanding of the underlying nature of things, we are also realizing the wisdom in the mystical traditions. Fred Alan Wolf is one of the best writers alive today in the area where advanced physics and mysticism converge. The Unity of all things is a fact, and we are all indeed One. Every time I read a book of this caliber, I am bolstered in my ability to sustain this quiet awareness for a little bit longer in the course of my life, when the noise and competition of mundane awareness distracts me and misleads me into believing otherwise. Those of us who cannot accept faith as a means of navigating through the mystery that is everywhere can take heart in the primacy of experience...the experience that comes from genuine open-minded inquiry, the experience that comes from many meditative states, from intuition, sudden glimpses of clarity that we occasionally stumble into, and the experience that comes from following the mind of someone who knows more than we do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exploring the Frontier between the Imaginal and the Real
Fred Alan Wolf's done it again! His latest book, MIND INTO MATTER, is a masterpiece of insight into the hidden workings of our magical, mysterious universe. As I read this book, I felt exhilarated to join Wolf on his journey "to find our mind" on the frontier of the imaginal and the real.

MIND INTO MATTER is structured around Wolf's explanation of the significance and meaning behind the first nine letter-symbols in the Hebrew alphabet, with a separate chapter devoted to each Hebrew letter. The book begins with the concept of Spirit within the Void, and continues onward to Creation, Animation, Resistance, Vitality, Replication, Chance, Unification, and Structure. We witness the new alchemy at work in the process of Animation, where we notice how we Think, Feel, Sense, and Intuit the world around us.

I love Wolf's playful way of describing thought experiments throughout his book, alongside fascinating research material from physicists and neurophysiological researchers that suggest how our conscious minds form memories of events. On a deep level, we are aware of all possibilities available to us, and the one we remember as being real is the one we choose to observe. Since information flows from the future to our present time, we have what we need to select the path we most desire.

To everyone who wishes to more fully grasp the breadth, depth, and height of who we truly are and how we interact with the universe, I give this book my highest recommendation. ... Read more


26. The Golden Ratio : The Story of PHI, the World's Most Astonishing Number
by MARIO LIVIO
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767908163
Catlog: Book (2003-09-23)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 1405
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887...This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio," was discovered by Euclid more than two thousand years ago because of its crucial role in the construction of the pentagram, to which magical properties had been attributed. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant, and it has been asserted that the creators of the Pyramids and the Parthenon employed it. It is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Salvador Dali's The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and poets and composers have used it in their works. It has even been found to be connected to the behavior of the stock market!

The Golden Ratio is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, including the followers of Pythagoras who believed that this proportion revealed the hand of God; astronomer Johannes Kepler, who saw phi as the greatest treasure of geometry; such Renaissance thinkers as mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa; and such masters of the modern world as Goethe, Cezanne, Bartok, and physicist Roger Penrose.Wherever his quest for the meaning of phi takes him, Mario Livio reveals the world as a place where order, beauty, and eternal mystery will always coexist.
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Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pursuing the Mysteries of the Ubiquitous Number Phi
Mario Livio, a cosmologist and art aficionado at the Hubble Space Telescope Center and the author of the previous book "The Accelerating Universe," wrote a lot about the irrational (never-ending, never-repeating) number phi, or the Golden Ratio, whose value is 1.6180339877... The story starts from these questions: Who discovered the Golden Ratio? Was phi used in the design of a Babylonian stela and Egyptian pyramids? The author pursues the answers to these questions, writing a series of his thoughts like a detective story.

Then he describes the role of the Greek mathematicians Plato and Euclid, and the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in the history of phi, together with the geometrical and arithmetical wonders connected to this number. One example of the wonders is the relation between the Fibonacci sequence and phi. The Fibonacci sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ... is defined as a series of numbers in which each term is the sum of the two preceding terms. The ratio of successive numbers of this sequence approaches phi as we go farther and farther down the sequence.

Next come the topics of phi found in nature and used in arts. The logarithmic spiral, which goes hand in hand with the Golden Radio, appears in the sunflower, the flight of a falcon, galaxies, etc. The author's study of many historical attempts to disclose the Golden Ratio in various works of art, pieces of music and poetry comes to the conclusion that ... (I have to refrain from writing the ending of the "detective story").

In the final chapter Livio considers the question: What is the reason that mathematics and numerical constants like phi play such a central role in topics ranging from fundamental theories of the universe to the stock market? Noting that the discussion about this question can fill the entire volume, the author gives a brief (but very understandable) description of the modified Platonic view and the natural selection interpretation. He also presents his personal opinion, which adopts complementarity of the above two views. This chapter whets readers' appetite for a possible next book on this topic to be written by Livio.

I strongly recommend "The Golden Ratio" to scientists, artists and laypersons that are interested in the wonders of numbers and mathematics and in their relations to arts and nature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Golden Indeed!
Following in the steps of his earlier, just as fascinating account linking cosmology and the arts ("The Accelerating Universe"), Mario Livio continues to prove he is one of the most original, exciting and literate writers of popular science today. "The Golden Ratio" is a witty and learned journey generally following the trail of the number Phi, but stopping along the way to take in subjects as diverse as philosophy, history, art, religion, the sciences, architecture, etc.

Writing about science in a way that is both knowledgeable and understandable for the common reader is an infamous hurdle, but Livio leaps over it with the greatest of ease, giving clear explanations of every potentially difficult matter and providing the scientific proofs in the appendices, for those more mathematically inclined. Overall, though, it is the great humanity of Livio's worldview that shines through the book and makes it, at least for me, one of the most memorable reads of the year.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Difficult Mathematical Concept Revealed
As a non-mathematician I appreciate any help I can get in understanding the more esoteric parts of math. The Golden Ratio is just such a concept. Fortunately, Mario Livio has shown much light on this remarkable corner of geometry in his book "The Golden Ratio."

It is little wonder that such numbers as the Golden Ratio were considered magical. The never ending, never repeating number that cannot ever be expressed as a fraction has an uncanny tendency to show up in the oddest places, not only galactic structure and nautilus shells, but in plant parts and composition of paintings and music. Unfortunately magical numerology can lead to far-fetched relationships, as to the so-called number of the beast (666), and to academicism in art. Just because the Golden Ratio results in a pleasing relationship in a composition we are not tied to always measure art on how well it fits that ratio!

Livio has illuminated the history of the Golden Ratio in such a way that much of the associated themes can be understood by the reasonably educated laymen. While some of the book can be tough sledding for most of us non-mathematicians, the gist is available to all with some effort.

Read this book to learn about the history of interpretation and misinterpretation of mathematical concepts.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great guide to an amazing number
Livio's book is really an interesting look at a number similar to pi in that's an irrational number which displays itself in various places in nature, from the arrangement of petals on a flower to the logarithmic spirals of galaxies.

Livio explains the original formulation of this number by Euclid and proceeds to address the various times in history in which it may have been employed by architects, artists and musicians.

I think this is a really good book if you're interested in reading about the most "irrational of all irrational numbers".

5-0 out of 5 stars Mathematically Profound
Broad streams of literary, historical, aethsetic and religious thought are pooled together in a concise and well-illustrated review of this powerful proportion, which recurs in the natural world in surprising places both large and small. Clearly presented mathematical proofs give the book a solid backbone. Mathematical ideas are expressed in the book through a combination of prose, appendix proofs, and plentiful illustrations & diagrams. This allows readers of varying mathematical ability and learning styles to appreciate the beautiful ideas that Livio gracefully presents. A must for serious lovers of proportion & geometry, architects, mystics, painters, graphic designers and mathematicians. ... Read more


27. Bioinformatics for Dummies
by Jean-MichelClaverie, CedricNotredame, Jean-Michel Claverie, Cedric Notredame
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764516965
Catlog: Book (2003-01-15)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 11685
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bioinformatics – the process of searching biological databases, comparing sequences, examining protein structures, and researching biological questions with a computer – is one of the marvels of modern technology that can save you months of lab work. And the most amazing part is that, if you know how, you can use highly sophisticated programs over the Internet without paying a dime and sometimes, without installing anything new on your own computer. All you need to know is how to use these technological miracles.

That's where Bioinformatics For Dummies comes in. If you want to know what bioinformatics is all about and how to use it without wading through pages of computer gibberish or taking a course full of theory, this book has the answers in plain English. You'll find out how to

  • Use Internet resources
  • Understand bioinformatics jargon
  • Research biological databases
  • Locate the sequences you need
  • Perform specific tasks, step by step

Written by two experts who helped develop the science, Bioinformatics For Dummies is all about getting things done. If you're just getting your feet wet, start at the beginning with a quick review of those necessary parts of microbiology and an overview of the tools available. If you already know what you want to do, you can go directly to a chapter that shows you how. Get the lowdown on

  • Researching and analyzing DNA and protein sequences
  • Gathering information from all published sources
  • Searching databases for similar sequences and acquiring information about gene functions through sequence comparisons
  • Producing and editing multiple sequence comparisons for presentation
  • Predicting protein structures and RNA structures
  • Doing phylogenetic analysis

With an Internet connection and Bioinformatics For Dummies, you'll discover how to peruse databases that contain virtually everything known about human biology. It's like having access to the world's largest lab, right from your desk. This book is your lab assistant – one that never takes a day off, never argues when you ask it for help, and won't demand a benefits package. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bioinformatics for Dummies by J.M. Claverie & C. Notredame
"Bioinformatics for Dummies" is an excellent resource. It is clear, easy to read, well organized and illustrated. I was particularly pleased by the colloquial tone of the writing: in addition to being informative, it was fun to read!

As a scientist who spends at least half of my time BLASTing, I also read it for accuracy and found it to almost error-free (any errors were in the figures). Additionally, most of the web pages were up-to-date, although as time passes the links will decay and web pages will change their look. In addition, the book contained enough in-depth content to teach me several new tricks of the trade.

Further, I believe the book had sufficient background material to educate the novice. To test this, I gave the manual to a material science chemist and he was able to understand the material, at least until he decided it was more than he wanted to know and quit reading.

This is a useful text for those who want to know more than an operational definition of bioinformatics and a must for the library of all bioinformatics users.

5-0 out of 5 stars Walking amongst Dummys
I'm glad I bought this book and I will continue to refer to it. The remit of the Dummies series is to provide a guide to its subject matter without any great fuss. The text focuses on practical techniques without unnecessary diversion into the detail of molecular biology or computer science. In this respect it would have been a difficult book to author, readers having come from one discipline or the other. I agree with previous reviewers that this is well worth reading before doing a bioinformatics course or degree. Bioinformatics is a new field, and this book has delivered a useful introduction to it without recourse to expensive textbooks full of unreadable filler.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great resource for teachers too!
I have used databases before (mostly NCBI, TIGR and SWISS PROT) and yet, this book (presumably for dummies) has shown me so much more(which say a lot about me)! It is accurate and gives good step by step guide to how to perform many tasks - from how to find a gene to using the analysis tools and to exploring some of the newer features of these databases - and the areas like you have never looked into before.
It is a well-researched book and the authors are clearly knowledgeable in this area.

Even though I have been for a 4-day bioinformatics course (6 months ago), which I thought was pretty good, this book still had so much to offer. Using this book, I was easily able to substitute the proteins of my interest into their examples and generated meaningful hits.

The book also covers deeper and more advanced features of BLAST, discusses sequence alignments using several types of algorithm and even has a section on 3D structures. Towards the end of book - it features a section on working with mRNA and building phylogenetics trees - which again are excellent resources for teachers involved in teaching beginners molecular biology.

I am a teacher teaching at a Pre-unversity level. The way the book is structured also lends its material to be modified into lesson materials for training students.

It is really a great book! Worth every dollar I spent on it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Get this book first, before enrolling in an expensive course
This book will get you up and running on Bioinformatics in no time. I wish I got this book before I enrolled in a $$$$$ Bioinformatics course. I got more knowledge and information from this book $$$$$ than the course! And I am just in chapter 5 of the book and I'm more than half way through that $$$$$ course.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book-- Technical without the Computer-ese
I got this book a week ago because one of my profs offered to buy it for a volunteer who was willing to check it out and then make a recommendation on it to the rest of the class. I'm glad I volunteered, and I'm encouraging my classmates to get their hands on a copy. This book wasn't boring. It was completely hands on, and it addressed the topic from the perspective of a biologist, not a technophile-- which was exactly what I needed. It helped me reconcile my love for pure science with my increasing anxiety about needing to be so darn computer proficient to have any kind of job I can apply my degree to these days. I'm glad I got a hold of it early in the semester. I think it's going to really impact my grade in the class-- Oh, and my understanding of bioinformatics! ... Read more


28. Rebuilt : How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human
by Michael Chorost
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618378294
Catlog: Book (2005-06-02)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 52378
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Michael Chorost became a cyborg on October 1, 2001, the day his new ear was booted up. Born hard of hearing in 1964, he went completely deaf in his thirties. Rather than live in silence, he chose to have a computer surgically embedded in his skull to artificially restore his hearing.

This is the story of Chorost's journey -- from deafness to hearing, from human to cyborg -- and how it transformed him. The melding of silicon and flesh has long been the stuff of science fiction. But as Chorost reveals in this witty, poignant, and illuminating memoir, fantasy is now giving way to reality.

Chorost found his new body mystifyingly mechanical: kitchen magnets stuck to his head, and he could plug himself directly into a CD player. His hearing was routinely upgraded with new software. All this forced him to confront complex questions about humans in the machine age: When the senses become programmable, can we trust what they tell us about the world? Will cochlear implants destroy the signing deaf community? And above all, are cyborgs still human?

A brilliant dispatch from the technological frontier, Rebuilt is also an ode to sound. Whether Chorost is adjusting his software in a desperate attempt to make the world sound "right" again, exploring the neurobiology of the ear, or reflecting on the simple pleasure of his mother's voice, he invites us to think about what we hear -- and how we experience the world -- in an altogether new way.

Brimming with insight and written with dry, self-deprecating humor, this quirky coming-of-age story unveils, in a way no other book has, the magnificent possibilities of a new technological era.
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars what it means to be human
I got home at 7:30pm frantic because my flight to Singapore was to
depart at 6am, and found my preordered copy of "Rebuilt" from Amazon
on the stoop.I hadn't packed and still had tons of email to go, on
top of a couple of administrative emergencies.I was hoping to get
to bed by 10pm.But instead, I stayed up until 1:30am reading
Rebuilt, left in the morning with god-knows-what-all in my luggage,
and finished it on the plane having not slept in transit at all.
This book is seriously good.It's the first book that's ever made
anything related to postmodern literary theory interesting to me.I
laughed out loud at least a half dozen times.

Yes, the book is by someone who's literally experienced one of the
first mindmelds with a computer. Yes, the book has to do with
deafness. Yes, the book looks at literature, and philosophy. But it's
really one man's story and something that touches every one of us,
which is what it means to be human--alone, together, and with
our technologies. What a masterpiece.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Amazingly Personal Look At Health and Technology
I was skeptical at first when I was given this book but once I started the book I was amazed. I went in thinking what's the big deal about getting a cochlear implant and left trying to figure out "what is reality". Chorost does a great job infusing the book with his wit. He does seem to be uniquely qualified to write about this topic (with his background in technology). The book shines when he writes about his personal experiences. Two Thumbs Up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everybody should read this book
This book isn't perfect.If I was Chorost's editor, I'd have told him to cut a few things & beef up other parts (and particularly told him "Less about the girls, more about the code"!Chorost seems to have underrated the interesting-ness of his insights as a guy who knows about software and overrated the interest of online dating; cf. "Genes, Girls and Gamow," a similar exercise...).But that said, this is one of the most striking and memorable books I've read for ages.Chorost is the perfect person to write this book, and his insights into the wonders & difficulties of the cochlear implant should be required reading for EVERYBODY who has an interest in biotechnology, language, education, neurology, etc.A real must-read. ... Read more


29. West With the Night
by Beryl Markham
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865471185
Catlog: Book (1983-05-01)
Publisher: North Point Press
Sales Rank: 3318
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.
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Reviews (79)

5-0 out of 5 stars First Aviatrix in Africa
The rule is, I found, that females can't write. I am staying away from what my own gender writes. Beryl Markham is a wonderful exception to my rule. Ernest Hemingway felt dwarfed by the authoress.
Beryl wrote in 1936, and Africa were she grew up was obviously different than now. She describes first hand encounters with lions and elephants, very interesting observations on animal behavior. She also describes the natives, and I wished she would have even gotten more into them. I love her philosophy on life and often I got the feeling she is writing right now, not 70 years ago. A great book for people curious about Africa! Put it into your collection, because you want to read it again!
Addendum April 30, 2004: After writing the above review I have learned from the biography "The Lives of Beryl Markham" by Errol Trzebinski that Beryl did not write "West with the Night", but her third husband Raoul Schumacher, a Hollywood ghostwriter.
Addendum June 15, 2004: I read "The Splendid Outcast" and in the Introduction, Mary S. Lovell, who wrote another biography on Beryl and knew her personally, does not doubt the authorship is genuine Beryl Markham.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great American Novel - Only Its A True Story From Africa
Life and love, hardship and adventure, romance and history - all beautifully woven into a delightful autobiography of an unlikely heroine. The daughter of a poor white farmer trying to eke out a living in untamed and uncharted Africa, Beryl Markham rose from very humble beginnings to become a successful horse trainer, bush pilot, and the first person to fly east-to-west across the Atlantic from England. Her fantastic life seems to be one adventure after another, coincidentally commingled with the lives of Isak Dinesen (the author and heroine of "Out of Africa") and Denys Finch Hatton (played by Robert Redford in the movie, OOA). On this level alone, that of an adventure-packed historical tale, this book is compelling. But the absolute poetry of the narrative makes it inescapable.

Ms. Markham's inimitable flair for description and metaphor are enchantingly powerful. One could truly open the book to any random page and find a treasure. No previous knowledge of plot or precedence would be vital to the enjoyment. That such extraordinary prose also reveals an incredible life provides a rich dividend. Savor the following corsage randomly plucked from the bouquet:

"Arab Ruta... is of the tribe that observes with equal respect the soft voice and the hardened hand, the fullness of a flower, the quick finality of death. His is the laughter of a free man happy at his work, a strong man with lust for living. He is not black. His skin holds the sheen and warmth of used copper. His eyes are dark and wide-spaced, his nose is full-boned and capable of arrogance.

"He is arrogant now, swinging the propeller, laying his lean hands on the curved wood, feeling an exultant kinship in the coiled resistance to his thrust.

"He swings hard. A splutter, a strangled cough from the engine like the premature stirring of a sleep-slugged labourer. In the cockpit I push gently on the throttle, easing it forward, rousing the motor, feeding it, soothing it."

My first encounter with this charming book was accidental but fortuitous. I found the paperback in an airport bookstore, and stayed engrossed and enchanted by the lyrical meanderings for the entirety of my three-hour flight. A few years later I discovered the audio version which springs to an even greater life in the voice of Julie Harris. Her reading of the horse race that proved to be a watershed moment for Ms. Markham, still has the capacity to choke me to tears, though I have listened to it many times.

A few reviewers here have given less than laudatory reviews. This book is absolutely among the top five I have ever read, and I must pity those unfortunate souls who are tone-deaf to the rhapsodic music playing among its pages. Never mind my glowing endorsement. Never mind that Ernest Hemmingway said that Beryl Markham "has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer." Just find this book and open it randomly to any page. You will quickly discover that this book is an extraordinary encounter. Don't miss it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Companion piece to Out of Africa. Should be read together
From the age of 4, Beryl Markham lived in East Africa and spent her childhood with native Maruni children as her only playmates. She was there during the same era as Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), author of Out of Africa, and reading these two books together gives a lyrical, poetic, and heart-full-of-love picture of the Africa they both knew. But it wasn't only Africa they loved; they both shared a passion for the same men: Bror Blixen (Dinesen's husband) and Denys Finch-Hatton (Dinnesen's lover), so, inevitably their paths collided at times.
Although Dinesen is more well-known and respected as a writer compared to Markham, better known as an adventurer, Markham rises to heights of poetic imagery and her writing style was praised highly by many other writers of her era, including no less than Ernest Hemingway.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Life, Well Told
I read this book when it first came out in the early 80s and have never forgotten it. I love Beryl Markham's language; and the story she has to tell is better than any fiction. She was an independent spirit, living an amazing life in an immense and beautiful land.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Special Book
I read this book on the recommendation of my husband, who had read it twice over the years, and various comments and adulations from others. I had not heard that there was controversy over the authorship of this magnificent work - but it would not have made any difference. It is a beautifully written book about a beautiful life. What more can one wish for? Whoever wrote this book had a style very little seen today. She writes with care and attention and humour, so that we can experience not only the mechanics of her exciting life, but also the self realisation she developed. The author makes me want to be alone so that I can share the silence of the soul and the environment that she describes so acutely. I have been enthusiastic with my recommendations of this work to my friends and I am sorry to read the rather sad "one star" reviews on this site. ... Read more


30. The Web That Has No Weaver : Understanding Chinese Medicine
by Ted J. Kaptchuk
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809228408
Catlog: Book (2000-04-11)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 8791
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Completely and thoroughly revised, The Web That Has No Weaver is the classic, comprehensive guide on the theory and practice of Chinese medicine. This accessible and invaluable resource has earned its place as the foremost authority in the synthesizing of Western and Eastern healing practices.

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Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars An OK source for TCM information
I had to learn TCM basics as part of my chinese martial art training. This book was invaluable in learning the basics of TCM. Ted Kaptchuk's writing is at times confusing, but overall is pretty well easy to understand.

A Great Book! 5 Stars

********************NEW COMMENTS************************
The above was my former review of this book. It is now almost a year later and I am now enrolled in Chinese Medicine school. Now that I have to know a great deal of theory, I find that this book is a bit lacking on explanation, as compared to "Foundations of Chinese Medicine : A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists" by Giovanni Maciocia. This book, I find is a much better basic explanation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) than "The Web That Has No Weaver." Apparently the California Acupuncture board uses The Web book for their exams, as well as others including Giovanni's. I wanted to correct my review now that I have some perspective and understanding in Chinese Medicine. Still a good book with 3 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening Primer on TCM and Taoist philosophy
Lent to me by an acupuncture and herbal doctor, I originally read "The Web" without any prior background and found it extremely enlightening. Thousands of years of Chinese philosophy and medicine explained by a Western doctor helps to bridge the chasm between the two approaches to medical care.

In the end, expect to be frustrated that Western medicine largely ignores what is proven to work, or steals the ideas and repackages them as "new".

The irony of the title is that Taoist philosophy acknowledges the intricate web of life, but ignores the Creator (the weaver). This is because, unlike western medicine and philosophy, Taoists do not constantly ask "why?", but instead focus solely on mapping what is. Understanding this fundamental difference may be key to understanding the Chinese mind and how to deal with their government and people.

This book gives one a sense of how much we could learn from the Chinese, and what Americans miss by ignoring a medical practice thousands of years old.

Over the course of two years since first reading, my mind repeatedly returns to lessons learned from this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Technical than you may want, but an eye-opening classic
This text is often refered to as the classic introduction to Chinese Medicine Theory. Because I am not a practitioner of Chinese medicine--or of Biomedicine--I cannot comment on its accuracy of portraying its subject matter. (I have heard that various texts abound with differing interpretations.)

I can say that the book is known as a classic, and it is HIGHLY DETAILED. It illustrates very well how Chinese Medicine is completely different from the view of health we are used to in "The West". For example, instead of diagnosing someone with cancer, or arrhythmia, or bronchitis, a diagnosis sounds something like dampness affecting the Spleen, Deficitent Kidney Yang, Congealed Blood, etc... (These are not respective equivalents for the western diagnoses cancer, et al.)

And Blood, Kidney, Spleen, Spirit, and a host of other terms that look familiar to our eyes take on larger meanings than we are used to.

What I liked best was the chapters on Meridians and on Organs, showing the organization of energy and systems of the human body.

Other later chapters got extremely detailed. While this was more than I wanted, it was fine, I just skimmed them without trying to memorize or really remember too much. Just get a basic sense of how there is a completely different approach to health and illness, which showed me that different possibilities and viewpoints always exist. I definitely enjoyed the book despite being more technical than I wanted. It opened my eyes.

(I am a massage therapist with just a pinch of training in "5 Element Theory" and Shiatsu, which is accupressure.)

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, COMPLETE, THOUGHT-PROVOKING
I found this book to be the most complete resource on Traditional Chinese Medicine. It goes through the introduction and goes to quite deep details of the basics, the diagnoses, and more. I found this book to be the best so far at explaining pulse diagnosis on a level understandable to a beginner.
This book can be read on many, many levels. It is meant to be read several times over the course of one's studies of TCM, each time getting a bit more than the last time.
Some advice to beginners like myself: If while reading this book you get stuck and feel uninterested and repelled by some part of the chapter, just skip it and move on. Don't get discouraged no matter what. You may just not be ready for that part yet. Skip it and move on to the next part. You can always come back and read it.
I found that the language of this book is very easy and flowing, there is no difficult jargon at all. It is very smooth and easy to follow.
An amazing book, I would recommend it to everyone interested in TCM!!

4-0 out of 5 stars For those studying for the California State Board...
This is a classic book for acupuncture in the U.S. In many places, it uses specific different terminology from other books. The appendixes contain a large amount of info on diagnosis and pattern differentiation. I had to pull out the patterns with unfamiliar names like "heat poison in the Liver and Gallbladder" to make sure I wasn't stumped on the test. Apart from the appendixes, however, the rest of the info is covered in other books or is too philosophical or speculative to be tested.

It's not a bad first book for those new to chinese medicine, but it assumes you want to know a lot... and you may not! ... Read more


31. The History of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) (Prentice Hall Series in Geographic Information Science)
by Timothy Foresman
list price: $112.00
our price: $112.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0138621454
Catlog: Book (1997-11-10)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Sales Rank: 507555
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Book Description

To understand the power of Geographical Information Systems and Geographical Positioning Systems today, it is essential to understand their background and history, and the needs they were designed to answer .This is the first comprehensive history of GIS for both practitioners and students.From GPS systems that help you find your destination in a rented car, to satellite imaging for locating new petroleum reserves, GIS technology is changing the world. This book brings together for the first time the expert testimonies of the pioneers, key scientists and entrepreneurs who created the GIS field and made it what it is today. It covers both the raster and vector sides of GIS development. From remote sensing to PC-based systems; from Land Information Systems to defense applications, this is the definitive history of GIS.For all GIS and GPS professional practitioners, developers and students. ... Read more


32. The Double Helix : A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
by James D. Watson
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 074321630X
Catlog: Book (2001-06-12)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 11960
Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only twenty-four, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries. With humility unspoiled by false modesty, Watson relates his and Crick's desperate efforts to beat Linus Pauling to the Holy Grail of life sciences, the identification of the basic building block of life. Never has a scientist been so truthful in capturing in words the flavor of his work. ... Read more

Reviews (65)

4-0 out of 5 stars Double Helix....Stairway to Genetics
I found the book to be the complete antithesis to the expected writings hidden behind the scientific cover. Watson and his clan's quest for the helixical structure of DNA made for an entertaining voyage within these pages. Unexpectedly, as many scientific based books that I have been privy to read lately, this book was very approachable, dare I say readable. The exploits recounted by Watson were very entertaining; they could even be considered witty and humorous although it was biosciences humor. The teamwork and competition aspects of the discovery of the double helix were unexpected but welcomed because I felt that they were the driving forces behind the people. I was impressed by Watson, Crick and Franklin all bringing something to the proverbial table even though I found it a tad bit lucky or coincidental, but that is how these things work sometimes. This, accompanied with the race against Linus Pauling (already a recognized scientist of the time) helped lend to an educational, insightful and entertaining few hours of reading about the basic structure of all of us. I felt like I took a little something with me when I was finished with this work.......and I do mean literally.

4-0 out of 5 stars REVIEW FOR PROFESSOR STEINER.
The Double Helix, by James D. Watson is a great book. I have learned a lot by reading this book. It is a simple book that contains lots of humor. I have discovered that Watson is a smart, but at the same time funny, while competing with an admired scientist, Linus Pauling. Watson makes the book fun to read because he conveys his process vividly and shows how important DNA is to the world. All of this started in a dumpy, worn down chemical lab at Cambridge University called "The Cavendish." Watson was interested in investigating the structure of DNA to gain more insight into genetics. James Watson shows that his discovery was also part of Francis Crick, his partner that helped him. However, Crick was sometimes not very helpful because he wondered off. Watson had to get use to the structure of Cambridge where they had meals and everyone sat together on a special table on an elevated platform and were expected to engage in an enlightened conversation. I also like the part where Watson is honest by showing his ignorance on X-ray crystallographic techniques. I also enjoy the sarcasm in chapter 15 where they say, "After Pauling's success, no one could claim that faith in helices implied anything but an uncomplicated brain." Also the information from page 83 describes that ratio of bases of DNA: where A-T and C-G, which is what I have learned in class. Therefore, I believe that The Double Helix is a great book worth reading because it does not contain much technical terms and is also a short book that will show important the discovery of DNA was and still is to the world.

4-0 out of 5 stars Important Discover...but not the most invigorating book
Ok. I'm giving this book a 4 because of the importance of the discover of the structure of DNA. In terms of actual reading material, however, I'd probably give it a 2 or 3. I do believe that James Watson is a great scientist, but he is not writer. His writing style is only adequete and far from interesting and he really doesn't do a great job of putting interest into the subject matter. Someone who does not have at least a little background in the general concepts or biology/organic chemistry/physics will probably not get much out of this book.

Now on to the science side of the book. Watson describes the various events that took place while he, Franscis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin worked on discovering the structure of DNA. Again, Watson does not really put much vigor into these events but does describe them realistically (science can't always do interesting). He focuses on his relationship with Crick, battles with Franklin, and competetion with Linus Pauling--the Nobel prize winning chemist who ironically get the structure of DNA wrong. Through his writing, Watson at times reveals his pompousness and his ignorance of certain scientific concepts, but overall shows his devout eagerness of discovery.

I would say that this is an important book to read if you are at all interested in science. However, it is probably too boring for just a fun read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a Science Nerd
Science and I have never been on a level playing field. We go together like jalapenos and cheesecake. When the opportunity arose to do extra credit for my biology class, I was ecstatic. That is until I found out exactly what the assignment was. I had to read a book, a scientific one of course, from a list compiled by my instructor, write a review, and post it on here on Amazon. If I wasn't so desperate for the extra points I would have torn that book list into a million pieces, but describing my need for an A as desperate would be an understatement. Naturally, I chose the book with the least amount of pages, James Watson's Double Helix. The title alone made me drowsy. I was in for a big surprise, though. I actually enjoyed the book and even learned a little bit in the process. The story was extremely well told and I found myself eagerly awaiting the answer to Mr. Watson's burning question, "What does DNA look like?"
James Watson was en exceptionally intelligent man, as was clearly demonstrated in his book by his eloquent writing style, extensive vocabulary, and impressive syntax. He was, however, not an intimidating scientist, which allowed me to relate to his story with ease. Watson was full of ideas, a quick study, and very receptive to the work of his superiors, but at the time of his brilliant discovery, he was merely a student, fighting to get funded for his research. He had studied biology, chemistry, and physics, but was not particularly fond of any of them. Unfortunately, Mr. Watson was at a disadvantage because all three disciplines were the building blocks for understanding the composition and structure of DNA.
Although James Watson was funded to research viruses while away in England, his immediate fascination with DNA quickly derailed his educational focus, and with several incorrect theories about DNA already spread, he was unquestionably discouraged from his desired area of study. The entire book boasted his bliss and reverence, having met and worked with some of the worlds most famous and respected scientists. Watson was clever enough to draw knowledge from each of them which assisted him throughout the stages of the project.
The best part about reading the book was that while I was devouring my literature, my Biology professor was covering DNA and genetics in class. I felt like the smartest kid in the world because I truly understood all the material he was discussing, thanks to Mr. Watson. The novel included supportive illustrations which assisted me in following some of the more difficult language, such as nitrogenous bases, and phosphate groups. I was astounded to know that I had a firm grasp of a minute portion of the scientific world.
I thought the book was great primarily because I could understand it. While it may sound facetious, it's absolutely true. Unless you love science, the terminology involved sounds completely foreign. I was utterly terrified just thinking about how I was going to attempt to comprehend my newfound author. My fright was quickly put to ease as I turned each page. Initially I was dreading reading a few pages per night, and soon found myself reading five chapters a night and finished the book, in its entirety, within just a few days. I would undeniably recommend this book to anyone like me who feels inferior when it comes to the sciences. It is a superb account of a scientific breakthrough intertwined with a story of friendship, inspiration, competition, and triumph.

1-0 out of 5 stars Shame on you, "Doctor" Watson
Shame on Watson for "taking" data from Rosalind Franklin and not even acknowledging it. My wife and I watched the Nova program "Secret of Photo 51" and was outraged. This book is a how Watson would like the world to believe how HE discovers the structure of DNA. Stanford refused to publish this book. Watson's ethics is questionable.

If you read this, make sure you read the books about Rosalind Franklin also in order to get the truth. ... Read more


33. The Chasm Companion : A Fieldbook to Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado
by Paul Wiefels
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0066620554
Catlog: Book (2002-08-15)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 19603
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Fans of Geoffrey Moore's Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado will certainly be attracted to The Chasm Companion, a step-by-step manual by longtime Moore associate Paul Wiefels that lays out specific ways to apply his popular tech-oriented business principles in our fast-changing world. But even those who never warmed to the earlier works--which proposed a pragmatic path for successfully navigating the ever-moving environment of "disruptive technologies that force changes in both strategy and behavior"--could find this book appealing. Designing The Chasm Companion as a hands-on field guide, Wiefels opens by explaining six "inflection points" in high-tech market development (the Early Market, the Chasm, the Bowling Alley, the Tornado, Main Street, Total Assimilation) that he and Moore insist everyone must carefully watch and properly react to as internal and external conditions evolve. He then outlines models and tools developed in the consulting practice he co-founded with Moore that enable individual corporations to carefully craft relevant strategies that they can align correctly with the appropriate market phases defined earlier. Finally, he presents initiatives (strategy validation, whole product management, marketing communications planning, and field engagement strategy) to help these firms actually implement their plans. Graphics and sidebars help Wiefels drive his points home clearly. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extends beyond high tech
Wiefels get to the heart of high tech marketing. Nothing I have read has more insights or is more useful in the practical application of marketing constructs for high tech. Anybody in high tech, indeed in marketing of any sort, can benefit from these concepts.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE guide for tech marketeers and managers
It's a very simple and clear framework to keep in mind, with VERY practical results in day-to-day activities of product management (specially for those, like me, come from "techies" backgrounds). It's reccommended to read the other 5 books of Chasm Group to fully understand the concepts, but to start using as product manager, this is THE guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tough Marketing Decisions Made Easier
Paul Wiefels has given a gift to marketing and technology executives by doing an extraordinarily difficult thing: adding yet more value to some of the most valuable marketing strategy books ever written (Geoffrey Moore's). For both readers and non-readers of Moore's books (Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, and others), The Chasm Companion is an immensely useful how-to guide to successfully marketing technology products and services. It provides thoughtful and provocative connective tissue between Moore's books for those who are already Chasm devotees, but doesn't rely on the reader already having familiarity with Moore for this book to be completely understandable and immediately actionable. The author's intimate experience with difficult technology marketing decisions saturates each chapter with a pragmatic perspective often missing from consultant-authored books. The "field guide" format insures that theory consistently supports rather than trumps practice and execution. As a strategy consultant and former Fortune 100 marketing executive, I highly recommend reading The Chasm Companion before your competitors do.

5-0 out of 5 stars For converts of The Technology Adoption Life cyle
I have been a keen student of the Chasm Group publications for a number of years and this book starts to bridge the gap between the theory of visionaries, tornados, gorillas etc and the application of the concepts in practice. The style is very readable and filled with good "common sense". I have already started using it in earnest ... Read more


34. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
by MICHAEL POLLAN
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0375760393
Catlog: Book (2002-05-28)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 2421
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a
similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
... Read more

Reviews (95)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good read, and very informative
I read this book after hearing a talk by Pollan on New Dimensions radio (in their "Bioneers" series), and I found it (like his talk) perfectly delightful. I don't agree that his use of science is misleading: he's done his homework and researched his subjects pretty thoroughly, and if he takes sides on an issue (e.g., anti-pesticide and anti-genetic-engineering), it's a reasoned conclusion rather than an unthinking bias. The book is anecdotal and impressionistic, not a closely-reasoned scientific argument, but I felt that its rather loose structure worked well: it's a fun read, he kept me interested all the way through, and I learned a surprising amount about history, botany, and horticulture. I've read several accounts of the Potato Famine, but Pollan's "take" on it was intriguing: he sees it as the world's most ghastly example of the dangers of monoculture, and I agree that it's a lesson we all need to take to heart. (But it's also a case of How A Fungus Changed The World: if the potato blight hadn't dispersed the Irish all over the world, many countries -- in Latin America, as well as the obvious contenders, Australia and the U.S. -- would be very different today.) The book is easy to read and amusing, but he also makes some important points, and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conversational prose, brimming with allusions
I just finished this lovely little book,and would highly reccommend it. If nothing else, this book prepares one for many interesting conversations. I am now knowledgable about the true Johnny Appleseed, the tulip craze of Holland, the highly specialized marijuana culture, and new developments in the genetic engineering of potatoes. (To name a few!)
The fact that Pollan is not a scientist, but an avid gardener and researcher, among other things, should be considered an asset to the reader. He avoids esoteric scientific terminology, but the text remains sophisticated because his allusions prove huge amounts of research. Each part of the book, each "desire", has its own special charm. I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. This book truly opens one's eyes to "a plant's-eye view of the world". Though by no means the be-all-end-all on this topic, it is a beautiful natural history.

4-0 out of 5 stars How passionate are you about plants?
Pollan's book was pleasurable and engaging to read. It is a book that got me to think and expanded my perspective. It places our relationship with plants in specific contexts, with a unique hybrid of sociological and genetic prose. Recommended highly for those passionate about gardening, nature, or food.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nature and Culture from a Gardener's Perspective
While you probably wouldn't want to use "The Botany of Desire" for scientific research purposes, this excellent nonfiction book effectively combines elements of science with those of history, cultural theory and mythology (from the early Greek to the Frontier American varieties). The tone is casual, not scholarly. Pollan is also a gardener, and his passion for growing things and his curiosity about life from the plant's-eye view shines through his text.
"The Botany of Desire" is a nonfiction book with an innovative structure: instead of telling a straight chronological story of the domestication of plants, Pollan instead selects four plants and tells each of their stories in turn, describing how their progress through the world has been shaped by human desires -- and the changes in those desires through history.
This book is also a travelogue of sorts: Pollan journeys through the Midwest in search of Johnny Appleseed's true life story, to Holland for the Cannabis Cup and the historical sites of "tulipomania," and to corporate factory forms to learn about genetic modification of the potato.
Most importantly, Pollan shows us around his own garden and introduces us to the plants that live there. Each of the four historical narratives begins and ends with the plant's history in his own backyard. As a host and a travel guide, Pollan takes on a fascinating journey through time, nature and culture.

I highly recommend this book to plant lovers and gardeners of all varieties, and to those who are interested in the shaping of nature by cultural forces (and vice versa). If this isn't you, it would still probably make a great gift for someone you know.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating page turner
Wildly Enthusiastic Recommend: Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
This book is really different from your average reading fare. It's a delightful mix of facts both scientific and historical, fantastical meanderings, and just plain fun. The catching premise is that plants have co-opted man into promoting their prosperity. Pollan uses four plants to illustrate this premise: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. Each chapter is a wonderfully readable story about the plant and its history intertwined with its relationship to man. The apple chapter has amazing information about Johnny Appleseed, and because as a child I wanted to be Johnny Appleseed, I found this fascinating. It reinforced my belief that I had good instincts as a kid. Then the tulip chapter gives you the details of tulip-mania in the Netherlands in the 1600s (think Internet bubble), making it seem amazing that this sort of thing keeps happening. The marijuana chapter is the funniest and most sinister in that it makes you want to get some good stuff, now. The potato chapter is the scariest - genetically modified foods. ... Read more


35. The Craft of Scientific Presentations: Critical Steps to Succeed and Critical Errors to Avoid
by Michael Alley
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0387955550
Catlog: Book (2002-12-13)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Sales Rank: 36623
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

THE CRAFT OF SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS provides a score of examples from contemporary and historical scientific presentations to show clearly what makes an oral presentation effective. It considers presentations made to persuade an audience to adopt some course of action (such as funding a proposal) as well as presentations made to communicate information, and it considers these from four perspectives: speech, structure, visual aids, and delivery. In keeping with technological innovations, it discusses computer-based projections and slide shows as well as overhead projections. In particular, it discusses ways of organizing graphics and text in projected images and of using layout and design to present the information efficiently and effectively.

Unlike other books that discuss technical presentations, this book anchors its advice in the experiences of scientists and engineers, including such successful presenters as Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, and Rita Levi-Montalcini, as well as currently active laboratory directors, scientists, and engineers.

In addition to examining successful presentations, Alley also discusses the errors that cause many scientific presentations to flounder, providing a list of ten critical errors to avoid. The insights and tools in this book will guide readers to deliver outstanding presentations.

Praise for Michael Alley's THE CRAFT OF SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS:

"Alley has revamped the way our research center makes presentations-particularly the way we design our presentation slides." DANIEL J. INMAN, DIRECTOR CENTER FOR INTELLIGENT MATERIAL SYSTEMS

"This book fills a void by illustrating key issues and difficulties in oral presentations with the experiences of others." CHRISTENE MOORE, COMMUNICATION INSTRUCTOR UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for anybody in the science or engineering field
It's well worth every penny!

5-0 out of 5 stars Textbook that is actually interesting
I give about a dozen technical presentations a year at trade shows, and I learned a lot from this book. I am changing my Powerpoint slides using many of the tips in this book, including complete sentence in the headline. I had designed my slides to help me remember my points. I should have been designing them so the audience could understand them. Besides giving me a better understanding of what I am trying to accomplish, the book was a fun read with numerous stories from the famous and not so famous. There were times it was actually hard to put the book down.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great book that kept my interest
This is the first of Michael Alley's books that I have read and I'm ordering his other two "The Craft Of..." books tonight. He is terrific at getting technical information across in an engaging and entertaining way. The book is full of short stories about scientists (some famous, like Einstein, Feynman and McClintock) and incidents, which he uses as examples to get his points across. A critical resource for anyone who gives technical presentations. I'm buying copies for each of my graduate students. ... Read more


36. At The Helm: A Laboratory Navigator
by Kathy Barker
list price: $59.00
our price: $59.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879695838
Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Sales Rank: 50250
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Newly appointed principal research investigators have to recruit, motivate, and lead a research team, manage personnel and institutional responsibilities, and compete for funding, while maintaining the outstanding scientific record that got them their position in the first place. Small wonder, then, that many principal investigators feel ill-prepared. In this book, a successor to her best-selling manual for new recruits to experimental science, At the Bench, Kathy Barker provides a guide for newly appointed leaders of research teams, and those who aspire to that role. With extensive use of interviews and a text enlivened with quotes and real-life examples, Dr. Barker discusses a wide range of management challenges and the skills that promote success. Her book is a unique and much-needed contribution to the literature of science. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for the new professor
I love this book and only wish it was published when I was first starting a faculty position. Definitely a biologist's perspective (and a lab-oriented one at that), but it covers many of the trials and tribulations of starting a new faculty position: setting up a lab, assessing priorities, making hires, managing committees, managing colleagues, etc.

The worst part of the job is often maintaining harmony in the lab (which, of course, we're never taught in graduate school), and Barker has great advice on building or rebuilding lab morale, dealing with lab member disputes, and the dreaded firing process. I recommend this book wholeheartedly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't be caught without it!
This book is extremely useful for all levels of scientists. An intresting read that will leave you feeling a whole lot wiser.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding primer to managing a laboratory
Scientific faculty are chosen for their ability to do science; not to manage it. Indeed, many young scientists fail precisely because they are unable to shift from the bench to the office. Kathy Barker's book provides a wealth of information for new investigators. The advice, gleaned from interviews with a great many scientists, from Nobel laureates to those that have failed miserably, provides an outstanding road map for those embarking on this critical new phase of their career. No postdoc will leave my lab without receiving a copy as a parting gift.

1-0 out of 5 stars waste your money on something else
I guess you will only need the trivial advice presented in this book if you lack any common sense or if you should not have become a principial investigator in the first place. I found this book more or less useless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for all research lab heads
This is a fantastic book. The author interviewed about a hundred new and seasoned lab leaders, and not only summarizes their advice clearly and succinctly, but also includes lots of anonymous quotations presenting a spectrum of opinions on any particular issue. And the book covers _many_ issues of interest to those setting up a lab, and those who wish to improve the way they run their lab. It focuses mostly on academic labs, but also presents some issues peculiar to industry. It really goes into every detail about people-managing issues.
Each chapter has tens of references to other useful books and articles. Kathy really did her homework. I can say nothing bad about the book. Get it. ... Read more


37. How to Prepare for the OGT : Ohio Graduation Test in Mathematics
by Tom Reardon
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764123696
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: Barrons Educational Series
Sales Rank: 460483
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Book Description

An accredited Ohio high school math teacher who is also a math instructor at Ohio’s Youngstown State University offers Ohio high school students comprehensive preparation for the math exit exam. The test, which is taken in stages in the tenth-through-twelfth grades, is a prerequisite for high school graduation in Ohio. This brand-new manual’s subject review opens with a chapter on number, number sense, and operations; then goes on to review patterns, functions, and algebra; geometry and spatial sense; measurement; and data analysis and probability. The manual concludes with three full-length sample Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs) with solutions for all problems. Valuable appendices offer an OGT calculator primer, an OGT mathematics reference sheet, and a glossary of mathematical terminology. The book is an excellent learning tool for individual students or for use in classrooms, featuring more than 800 OGT problems, examples and exercises with an explanation accompanying the solution of every problem. ... Read more


38. Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques (with Endsheet)
by Donald L. Pavia
list price: $129.95
our price: $124.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0030265665
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 237445
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This edition features the successful format that has characterized the previous editions. It includes essays that add relevance and interest to the experiments, and emphasis on the development of the important laboratory techniques, the use of spectroscopy and instrumental methods of analysis, a section featuring conventional-scale experiments and methods, and a wide selection of well-tested and well-written experiments. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Lab Text But Not Everyone Has To Buy It
Though a complete laboratory text with 50+ experiments, lab techniques, tables of unknowns and spectroscopy, the organic faculty prepare our own lab manual to be followed. Pavia text becomes a close handy reference for lab techniques and setup. The techniques section, which include filtration, crystallization, distillation (simple, fractional, and steam), chromatogrpahy (column, thin-layer, and gas)... should be carefully studied before conducting experiments for beginning students. Unless your organic lab course follows almost exactly the outline of experiments in this text, you can check it out from the library and read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best organic laboratory manual available!
I have taken a full course using this book and I think that it is the best one I have seen! Organic chemistry is a hard subject and this book lays it out in an understandable way. The "techniuques" section is current, readable, and the pictures are well done. The essays that accompany many of the experiments are entertaining and give good background information that helps doing the experiments more enjoyable. Probably the best section is the "identification of unknowns" section which lays out in a good logical way how to identify what you have in the lab. I think that the book also addresses and promotes a great trend in chemistry i.e. microscale research that reduces waste and promotes conservation of chemicals and the environment. ... Read more


39. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
by Thomas S. Kuhn
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226458083
Catlog: Book (1996-12-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 3091
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

There's a "Frank & Ernest" comic strip showing a chick breaking out of its shell, looking around, and saying, "Oh, wow! Paradigm shift!" Blame the late Thomas Kuhn. Few indeed are the philosophers or historians influential enough to make it into the funny papers, but Kuhn is one.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is indeed a paradigmatic work in the history of science. Kuhn's use of terms such as "paradigm shift" and "normal science," his ideas of how scientists move from disdain through doubt to acceptance of a new theory, his stress on social and psychological factors in science--all have had profound effects on historians, scientists, philosophers, critics, writers, business gurus, and even the cartoonist in the street.

Some scientists (such as Steven Weinberg and Ernst Mayr) are profoundly irritated by Kuhn, especially by the doubts he casts--or the wayhis work has been used to cast doubt--on the idea of scientific progress. Yet it has been said that the acceptance of plate tectonics in the 1960s, for instance, was sped by geologists' reluctance to be on the downside of a paradigm shift. Even Weinberg has said that "Structure has had a wider influence than any other book on the history of science." As one of Kuhn's obituaries noted, "We all live in a post-Kuhnian age." --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (74)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of the End of Modernism
Thomas Kuhn was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1922. He taught physics at Harvard, the history of science at Berkeley, and the philosophy and history of science at Princeton and MIT. His best-known book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, introduced the term "paradigm shift" into the modern vocabulary when it was first published in 1962. Kuhn's study of paradigm shifts in science makes it hard to view science as an objective discipline that steadily advances towards the truth. Instead, Kuhn shows science to be a very human enterprise where truth is as likely to be resisted as it is to be embraced.

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn defines a "paradigm" as a set of assumptions, rules, or model problems that define what the important questions are and how to go about answering them. Without a paradigm, would-be researchers are overwhelmed by the sheer mass of data. A "paradigm shift" occurs when a group of scientists reject all or part of their existing paradigm to adopt a new one. This process not only means changing assumptions: it also means reevaluating previous conclusions to see if the old facts still fit within the new paradigm.

Kuhn uses the term "normal science" to describe the work that scientists do as they work within a given paradigm. Their shared set of assumptions, rules, and model problems fairly makes it easy to see what research remains to be done. Occasionally, anomalies will appear. These are events that cannot be explained within the existing paradigm. Normal science tends to ignore anomalies. Instead, by concentrating attention on a small range very specific questions, "the paradigm forces scientists to investigate some part of nature in a detail and depth that would otherwise be unimaginable."

As more and more research is done within a given paradigm, anomalies tend to crop up. This is because the existing paradigm makes very exact predictions about the expected results, and normal science tests those predictions in ever-finer detail. At first, when the results do not match the predictions, those results are discounted. Some researchers assume the equipment was faulty and so they don't publish results that would only seem to embarrass them. Others try to account for the results by some refinement of the existing paradigm. (The classic case of this involved the medieval astronomers, who kept adding more and more "epicycles" to their Earth-centered model of the universe to explain the results they observed.) Finally, researchers are human, and have been known to simply "fudge" the data to match what the paradigm predicts. Thus, even if every experiment produced exactly the same results, the published research in that field might show a range of results.

Eventually, as the anomalies accumulate, scientists begin to acknowledge a crisis. The results no longer fit the paradigm. According to Kuhn, however, simply abandoning the paradigm is not an option. A scientist can get so frustrated with the paradigm that he abandons it to become a priest or open a bicycle shop, but in doing so, he quits being a scientist. A scientist is not a scientist without a paradigm. The only way a scientist can abandon a paradigm and still be a scientist is to adopt a new one. Kuhn calls this a "scientific revolution."
Kuhn blamed textbooks for creating a false impression of the nature of science and of the role of discovery and invention in its advance. When Kuhn first published his book, science was generally presented as an objective advance towards truth.

According to Kuhn, textbook publishers downplayed the "revolutionary" changes that had taken place in their fields. In 1962, if a textbook covered the history of science at all, it tended to make the advances look inevitable. Kuhn argued that science textbooks present an inaccurate view of the nature of science: they make it look as if science had reached its present state by a steady process, like adding bricks to a building.

The revolution is over when one paradigm displaces another, after a period of paradigm testing. According to Kuhn, however, this is not the result proving one paradigm true and another false, however. To some degree, each paradigm is able to account for all the observations that fit within its set of assumptions and rules. The great German physicist Max Planck used to say that old scientists never change their minds: they just die. Kuhn claims this goes a little too far: instead, scientists slowly convert to the new paradigm, for a number of different reasons. Eventually, if a new paradigm is successful, only a handful of hold-outs support the earlier worldview.

Kuhn's book set off a scientific revolution in its own right. People routinely speak of "paradigm shifts" now, and historians of science (and textbook writers) are much more likely to report on the kinds of controversies that were invisible before The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was published.

Kuhn concludes with a startling claim. He argues that scientific revolutions take place in a blind evolutionary process. Paradigms compete for survival, not for truth. This contradicts the "modern" assumption that mankind is steadily advancing towards the truth through science. Given Kuhn's revolutionary impact on our view of science, this book may mark the beginning of the end of the "modernism."

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended for a Reason
This book frequently pops up on a "Top 100" or "Best Science Book" or some other list for a reason: Mr. Kuhn was the first person to step back and look at the complex way in which science and scientific study have advanced over the course of humanity and try to put those observations forth in a logical manner. He succeeded brilliantly.

Mr. Kuhn's main point is that there are two phases of scientific discovery, "normal science" which is built on established principals, rounding out gaps in existing theories until the theories begin to unravel, at which point we have entered a period which will require a "paradigm shift". Mr. Kuhn takes the reader through multiple historical examples, the shifts in scientific thought brought about by Copernicus, Newton, Lavoisier and Einstein. His references are relevant and his thoughts are clearly put forth. The historical anecdotes are very entertaining and educational and do a solid job of reinforcing his point.

I must admit I was a bit concerned during the first chapter, it was a bit tough to make it through, but did a very good job of laying the groundwork and allowing a glimpse of the author's thought process. The second chapter, in which the author begins to define "normal science", immediately put me to rest as the author dove straight into making his point and proving his argument. The final three chapters pertaining to the Invisibility, Resolution and Progress of revolutions should be required reading for anyone who works in the sciences, and is immensely valuable to anyone working in any field. I have been surprised that there haven't been more straight on business interpretations of Kuhn's work (although there has obviously been much unreferenced piracy), as the spread of scientific thought is a very apt metaphor for the spread of business theory and product adoption.

This is a very good book and I highly recommend it, regardless of what field you work in, be it science, business or otherwise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosophic common sense applied to Science Evolution of Tho
The complete title of this review is "Philosophic common sense applied to Science Evolution of Thought". Basically the central thesis of Kuhn was that science evolves through paradigm shifts, and of course he conceives science as a compound of theories and laws based on the most agreeable paradigms of the epoch. I found this book refreshing and interesting from at least two perspectives, filosofically and historically. Also this book is read as a compendium of consecutive works that altogether make a coherent thesis, so it's easy reading it. Finally, Kuhn's style is very friendly and personal, so you really feel he is urging you to follow him in all his arguments. Reading this book was a great experience for me, and I highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars How and Why Organizations/Communities Resist Change
This relatively easy read while, focusing on the history of changes in scientific paradigms, really is applicable to a much wider audience. It is a recommended "must read" for anyone in the organizational facilitation or organizational development field who needs to understand how difficult it is for organizations to embrace change.
Kuhn well explains how community paradigms are formed and perpetuated, and just how difficult it is for people to accept changes to their paradigm, and why organiations facing necessary changes to their paradigm are prone to label the changes as "anomalies" so they can be discounted and avoided.

5-0 out of 5 stars should be mandatory reading for grad students in all fields
This book, more than any other, has changed the way that I think about scholarship. I am not even a student of the "hard" sciences (I study linguistic anthropology) and yet still found most of the concepts trenchant. By showing how the game is played, Kuhn raises important issues on how knowledge is produced, and the implications that follow. Real revolutions that propel fields forward are rarely achieved by discoveries of new data, but instead by viewing pre-existing data from novel perspectives. The implication is that while we should not abandon previous learning, part of genius is identifying and UNlearning implicit assumptions. The only criticism that I have is that Kuhn is not always clear as to whether he is writing descriptively or normatively. Nonetheless, this book is great. ... Read more


40. The Bomb : A Life,
by Gerard J. DeGroot
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674017242
Catlog: Book (2005-03-31)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 13014
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Book Description

Bombs are as old as hatred itself. But it was the twentieth century--one hundred years of incredible scientific progress and terrible war--that brought forth the Big One, the Bomb, humanity's most powerful and destructive invention. In The Bomb: A Life, Gerard DeGroot tells the story of this once unimaginable weapon that--at least since 8:16 a.m. on August 6, 1945--has haunted our dreams and threatened our existence.

The Bomb has killed hundreds of thousands outright, condemned many more to lingering deaths, and made vast tracts of land unfit for life. For decades it dominated the psyches of millions, becoming a touchstone of popular culture, celebrated or decried in mass political movements, films, songs, and books. DeGroot traces the life of the Bomb from its birth in turn-of-the-century physics labs of Europe to a childhood in the New Mexico desert of the 1940s, from adolescence and early adulthood in Nagasaki and Bikini, Australia and Kazakhstan to maturity in test sites and missile silos around the globe. His book portrays the Bomb's short but significant existence in all its scope, providing us with a portrait of the times and the people--from Oppenheimer to Sakharov, Stalin to Reagan--whose legacy still shapes our world.

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