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101. Atlas of Mouse Development
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102. The New Quotable Einstein
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103. Problem-Solving Strategies (Problem
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104. Why God Won't Go Away : Brain
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105. World As I See It
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106. Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and
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107. The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics
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108. Short Protocols in Molecular Biology
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109. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal
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110. MAKING THE CORPS
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111. Between Heaven and Earth
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112. The Movado History
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113. Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk
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114. Social Transformation of American
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115. Modern Physics and Ancient Faith
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116. The Man Who Changed Everything
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117. Fourth Generation R&D: Managing
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118. Science, Truth, and Democracy
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119. Children at War
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120. A Sense of the Mysterious : Science

101. Atlas of Mouse Development
by Matthew H. Kaufman
list price: $289.95
our price: $289.95
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Asin: 0124020356
Catlog: Book (1992-01-15)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 127520
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Book Description

Not since the early 1970s has there been an attempt to describe and illustrate the anatomy of the developing mouse embryo. More than ever such material is needed by biologists as they begin to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying development and differentiation. After more than ten years of painstaking work, Matt Kaufman has completed The Atlas of Mouse Development--the definitive account of mouse embryology and development.
For all those researching or studying mammalian development, The Atlas of Mouse Development will be the standard reference work for many years to come.

Key Features
* Provides a comprehensive sequential account of the development of the mouse from pre-implantation to term
* Contains clear and concise descriptions of the anatomical features relevant to each stage of development
* Large format for easy use
* Contains explanatory notes and legends, and more than 180 meticulously labeled plates, 1,300 photographs of individual histological sections, and 200 electron micrographs, illustrating:
* Intermittent serial histological sections through embryos throughout embryogenesis and organogenesis
* Differentiation of specific organs and organ systems, including the spinal cord, eyes, gonads, kidneys, lungs and skeletal system
* External appearance of intact embryos throughout development
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102. The New Quotable Einstein
by Albert Einstein
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 0691120757
Catlog: Book (2005-02-22)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 9611
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For the first time in paperback, here is a newly expanded edition of the best-selling book that was hailed as "setting a new standard" for quotation books. Tens of thousands of readers have enjoyed The Quotable Einstein and The Expanded Quotable Einstein, with translations into twenty-two languages. This updated edition--which appears on the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death--offers more than 300 new quotations, or over 1,200 altogether. Nearly all are by Einstein himself and a few are about the self-professed "lone wolf" Time magazine named "Man of the Century" at the turn of the millennium.

The New Quotable Einstein also includes a new section, "On Aging," and fresh material has been added to the appendix-from a touching account by Helen Dukas of Einstein's last days to a day-by-day summary of Johanna Fantova's telephone conversations with Einstein during the final year and a half of his life.

Also included are a poem called "Einstein," by Robert Service; and three virtually unknown verses to the song "As Time Goes By" (made famous in the movie Casablanca) that refer to Einstein. New photographs have been selected to introduce each section of the book.

Through well-documented quotations and supplementary information, The New Quotable Einstein provides a bigger and better biographical account of this multifaceted man-as son, husband, father, lover, scientist, philosopher, aging widower, humanitarian, and friend. It shows us even more vividly why the real and imagined Einstein continues to fascinate people across the world into the twenty-first century.

  • 300-plus new quotations, more than 1,200 in all
  • A day-by-day summary of Johanna Fantova's phone conversations with Einstein toward the end of his life
  • A touching account of Einstein's last days
  • A new section, "On Aging"
  • Three virtually unknown original verses of the song "As Time Goes By" (from the movie Casablanca) that refer to Einstein
  • Robert Service's poem "Einstein"
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars On the whole excellent
I was overjoyed when the first edition came out. Here in one small volume were many of Einstein's most famous lines.I was even happier when new expanded editions came out.I have used the book almost as an index to my collection of books about Einstein (and I have a dozen of them).

But I noticed one problem in the editing.In the first edition, in the chapter "On Religion, God, and Philosophy," Einstein is quoted as saying "I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of his children for their numerous stupidities, for which only he can be held responsible; in my opinion, only his nonexistence could excuse him."In the "expanded" edition, the word "only" (the first one) was removed.Well, this changes the meaning a lot, given what we know about Einstein's denial of free will in man.With the word "only" removed, God's guilt is lightened, as though suggesting there are other culprits, but in so doing she also distorts Einstein's meaning.I was startled enough by this that I went to the science library at the University of Toronto, and double-checked Einstein's words in the multivolume "Collected Papers of Albert Einstein."The word "only" appears in both the German original ("nur") and the English translation.Over and over Eisntein denied that human beings have free will, and so objectively there is no one to blame for our crimes but God - if, as Einstein said, He even existed.

Initially I suspected the editor of deleting "only" deliberately - after all, the "censored" version appears in both the second and third editions.But I'm now satisfied that this was an honest editing error and I have been reassured that it will be corrected in the next edition.

On the whole, the quotes are quite reliable.And the sources are very wide, including not only Einstein's own collected papers but the Einstein Archive and other secondary writings (such as memoirs).There must be materials that may be new and interesting even to Einstein scholars.

In his foreword Freeman Dyson claims Einstein had a "darker side" - for example, with respect to his family.Well, I'm sorry, but Einstein never pretended he was a saint.He was in some ways only an ordinary human being with a very extraordinary brain.He was certainly no great father or husband.But Einstein never asked anyone to censor his biography for him, making him look better than he was.If he cheated his wife, he did so virtually openly.So I think Dyson's point is really pointless.Besides, the term "darker side" misleads people into thinking that Einstein must have done some evil deeds which he tried to keep away from view.Newton's deceitful conduct in the priority dispute certainly suggests a nasty side to his personality.Nothing of the kind was ever in Einstein's character or conduct.Einstein had a temper, and he could be grumpy, or sexist, or rude, or over-the-top in his words on occasion.And that's about as far as his "dark side" gets. So what?He never did anything remotely criminal or unethical or even deceitful, for those of us wondering what this "dark side" means.(Incidentally, Dyson's assertion that the Japanese show "exquisite taste" in admiring Einstein and Hawking defies common sense. It's not just the Japanese but the whole world over who have such "exquisite taste"; nor is it just Einstein and Hawking whom the Japanese admire. The Japanese admire all sorts of people, some of whom would not be considered terribly heroic by us.Dyson is a great mathematical physicist, but I'm familiar enough with Dyson's many writings to know this guy doesn't always say sensible things.)Returning to Dyson's foreword, his story about armed Israeli soldiers commandeering Einstein's files at Princeton, NJ on a dark and rainy Christmas night, possibly breaking American laws, while good enough for a cheap movie scene, sounds too fantastic to be believable.His implication is that Einstein's dirty laundry is now safely and deliberately hidden in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.Unless you're a connoisseur of conspiracy theories, you can safely dismiss this notion.Unless the files are physically destroyed, archivists will dig them out sooner or later.There is no reason to believe that non-Israeli Einstein specialists are denied access to them.I can't say I'll never be surprised by new revelations, but I doubt any will be interesting enough by now because the most important of Einstein's deeds and words and beliefs are already well known.What's yet to be revealed is most likely not interesting enough.(If someone could somehow find a manuscript proving Mileva doing most of the original mathematical thinking in Special Relativity, that would be an example of interesting new revelations.)

This book is very good as a general introduction to Einstein the man and even to his physics to a limited extent.The quotes are well-chosen and cover a good range.On the other hand, I wouldn't call it an Einstein concordance.For one thing, it is too short to be any such thing.For another, only an expert about Einstein AND his physics - like Abraham Pais - is qualified to compile a "concordance."(It would help that this expert also knew Einstein personally, though this is perhaps not necessary.)

This book is thus not the real thing - but surely a handy enough substitute.Its merits still far outweigh its imperfections.Here in one handy volume you can find Einstein's views on wide range of subjects, from politics to women to pipesmoking to Germans and Jews and of course physics.Not all of us will agree with everything he said.But in my opinion, Einstein's insights in philosophy, the scientific method, and music are devastatingly penetrating.And this book gives a fair and representative sample of these.(For those of you who are really interested in Einstein's "darker side," look for his tough opinions on Germans.For me, Einstein's bitter views of Germans come closest to showing his so-called "darker" side.Close but not quite though.Given all those dumb things Germans did in his lifetime, who can blame him?)

Two indexes, one for subjects and another for key words, make this book particularly user-friendly.

Calaprice has done Einstein admirers like myself a fine service.And the timing of this edition is good.Not only is 2005 the 100th anniversary of Special Relativity (1905), but April 18, 2005 is also the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death.



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103. Problem-Solving Strategies (Problem Books in Mathematics)
by Arthur Engel
list price: $54.95
our price: $47.26
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Asin: 0387982191
Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Sales Rank: 65743
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGIES is a unique collection of competition problems from over twenty major national and international mathematical competitions for high school students. The discussion of problem solving strategies is extensive. It is written for trainers and participants of contests of all levels up to the highest level: IMO, Tournament of the Towns, and the noncalculus parts of the Putnam Competition.It will appeal to high school teachers conducting a mathematics club who need a range of simple to complex problems and to those instructors wishing to pose a "problem of the week", "problem of the month", and "research problem of the year" to their students, thus bringing a creative atmosphere into their classrooms with continuous discussions of mathematical problems.This volume is a must-have for instructors wishing to enrich their teaching with some interesting non-routine problems and for individuals who are just interested in solving difficult and challenging problems. Each chapter starts with typical examples illustrating the central concepts and is followed by a number of carefully selected problems and their solutions.Most of the solutions are complete, but some merely point to the road leading to the final solution.Very few problems have no solutions. Readers interested in increasing the effectiveness of the book can do so by working on the examples in addition to the problems thereby increasing the number of problems to over 1300.In addition to being a valuable resource of mathematical problems and solution strategies, this volume is the most complete training book on the market. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book has most topics that you see at an Olympiad
This book has a lot of topics that you see at a mathematical competition, like IMO. It has Number Theory, Geometry, Games, Combinatorics and many strategies to solve a difficult and exciting problem. I recommend this book for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book for everyone who loves mathematics
I disagree with another reviewer(Math Messiah) who thinks this is a book only for intelligent people like himslf. The problems are wide ranging and numerous and even dumb people (me, for instance) can find fun and excitement in many of them. I also have an advice for the Math Messiah who is on brink of some major discoveries: hold on to that brink, and don't drop.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent So Far
I have just started working on this book recently. I've been reading through and working on the problems in the number theory section which are excellent so far. There is a good balance between warm-up/basic training problems and hard contest problems so you won't be discouraged too easily. I have browsed through the other sections and they seem very good. Must have if you are preparing for math contests!

5-0 out of 5 stars it was fun for reading :)
it was really good book to read and the solution of them are really good. i enjoyed to read these books:)

5-0 out of 5 stars good book, if you want to be best like me you should buy it
I am best at mathematics. I have won several national titles in my country. I am at brink of discovering solutions to several unsolved problems in mathematics. I got good by competions against good young mathematicians. I think this book is very good for intelligent people, not dumb people. If you want to improve your problem solving you will buy this. ... Read more


104. Why God Won't Go Away : Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
by ANDREW MD NEWBERG, EUGENE G. D'AQUILI, VINCE RAUSE
list price: $14.00
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Asin: 034544034X
Catlog: Book (2002-03-26)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 9118
Average Customer Review: 2.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves? Even today in our technologically advanced age, more than seventy percent of Americans claim to believe in God. Why, in short, won’t God go away? In this groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d’Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: The religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain.

In Why God Won’t Go Away, Newberg and d’Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain. Blending cutting-edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, they bridge faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data. The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the “real” is nothing short of miraculous. This fascinating, eye-opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God.
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Reviews (57)

3-0 out of 5 stars Meditations effect on the Brain
This book does not try to prove the existence of God, but what it does is emphasize that there is evidence that the existence of God is at least a possibility. The authors mainly takes a view that humankind can't help but ponder the plausibility of an afterlife. Their studies mainly focus on meditative states of various religions and shows why there is some truth or common theme underlying all religions which is hard to disagree with. Where the authors and I part company however is that he believes that "all roads can lead to Rome", per se, or at least that all roads lead you to the right road.

However, the reader should focus on the neurological aspects which are interesting and where the author's strength lies. The rest is opinion, which they are certainly entitled to. The true beauty of the text is that they are able to at least able to add some physical, logical legitimacy to the notion of deep meditative states and the explanations given by those that have encountered them across various religions. To their credit, they do a decent job of adding some realism to a very controversial subject in the scientific community.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Important book for our time
This is an outstanding book. Having been brought up in a scientific household, I have long suspected that the prevalence of religion in human history can only be explained by evolutionary theory, i.e., there must be an evolutionary advantage to the brain structures that cause humans to believe in god, in the face of so much contrary evidence. This book does an elegant job of positing just such an advantage, but it also does more. It offers evidence of the precise brain structures that give rise to religious feeling, and makes a good case for how they came into being in the first place. Clearly the book will have its detractors, principally other scientists envying the authors' job of putting their hypothesis together. And it is certainly plausible that some aspects of their supporting evidence may be in need of refinement. In the main, however, they have made a major contribution to resolving one of the central issues of our time, the seeming conflict between science and religion. Moreover, they suggest a moral implication, which is that when people understand the common biological basis of religion, perhaps they will begin to realize the stupidity of religious intolerance. Can anything be more important to the survival of our species?

3-0 out of 5 stars Exciting subject
I was impressed that subject matter of this nature is gaining more widespread interest in the last few years. It seems there was a real dearth of study on the concepts of religion and the science of the brain. This book dovetails nicely then with a number of great books that have recently hit the market exploring this topic.

Horgan's "Rational Mysticism," Pinker's "The Blank Slate," and even the Dalai Lama's "Art of Happiness" were books I was reading at about the same time as this one. The cumulative effect was very thought-provoking.

This book is again refreshing because it dares to explore the relationship (all too often the struggle) between Religion and Science - concepts as old as humankind itself.

I think a truly free-thinker has to entertain ALL possibilities so as not to become a raving theophobe that excludes possible answers in the name of the deity of Science. Religion has taken its toll in human casualties throughout history, true, but we may well be living in an age that can embrace both without stigma or favouritism to the other?

The research at times appears hit and miss, even inconclusive, but a systematic approach to the world of mysticism is long over-due and for this reason the seminality of the work is to be applauded. Perhaps in time others will stand on the shoulders of this kind of study, taking it further.

A fascinating book well worth the time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Walking By Faith -- Intrigued By Science
In the epilogue to the paperback edition the authors write, "...Reality happens in the brain, and while our imaging studies do not prove the existence of a higher spiritual plane, they do indicate that to the brain, these states are as real as any other" (p.178). Therein lies the crux of this book. If you are interested in an in-depth explaination of the how, what, where etc., in fairly popular language, this is an excellent choice.

The authors argue neither "for" or "against" the actuality of God or a realm of the spiritual, they merely demonstrate how the findings of neurobiology indicate that we are hard-wired for transcendent experiences. Personally, I believe in a Creator behind, above, beneath, before, around, in, through, and energizing all of Creation, who created me and all of us with the very hard wiring that would instill in us a longing and a capacity to experience the transcendent.

My friend Darrell Johnson, professor at Regent College in Canada, puts it this way: "At the center of the universe is a relationship...It is out of that relationship that you and I were created and redeemed. And it is for that relationship that you and I were created and redeemed" (see his book Experiencing The Trinity). I have found this relationship with the transcendent through the grace and truth that have come to me through the love of Christ. I know others who have comparable but different experiences with the transcendent through other avenues.

The fact that throughout human history, long before the Jesus through whom I have found this connection walked the earth, humans have sought to engage with something greater than oursevles is not necessarily evidence that God exists. And, the apparent fact that our brains "create" the capacity to seek and experience the transcendent is not necessarily evidence that God does not exist.

Those of us who choose to take a spiritual path know better than to depend on science to prove that our experiences are real or that the God we believe in exists. Ultimately, faith is assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. As the saints and mystics in many traditions have shown us, it is typically in the unknowing and darkness that the spiritual life most deeply unfolds.

3-0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read
Not perfect, but a good read. The authors are on to something here and have done their homework. They present a well thought-out body of theories based on scientific evidence and reason, but while they deeply examine how brain structure and function relate to religious belief and experience, they do not use this as an opportunity to *invalidate* religious belief. Carefully done. ... Read more


105. World As I See It
by Albert Einstein
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
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Asin: 080650711X
Catlog: Book (1993-07-01)
Publisher: Citadel Press
Sales Rank: 14317
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Einstein revealed in these writings is witty, keenly perceptive, and deeply concerned for humanity. Einstein believed in the possibility of a peaceful world and in the high mission of science to serve human well-being. As we near the end of a century in which science has come to seem more and more remote from human values, Einstein's perspective is indispensable. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars The World As I See It
It still amazes me to think that this book exists at all, and for one very good reason: no one ever mentioned to me that Albert Einstein was a quasi-philosopher-turned-political-activist. I grew up hearing about 'Einstein the Scientist' but knew nothing of the man who spoke out about global disarmament, pacifism, and even the reconstruction of Palestine in spite of persecution at home (think Germany, 1933) and abroad. It wasn't until I stumbled upon a few quotes of his that I realized his mind worked beyond even the limits of science, and it wasn't until I stumbled across an e-book titled "The World As I See It" by Albert Einstein that I realized there were publications in his name beyond his Scientific Journals. When I saw a real copy in one of my favourite used-book shops, of course I had to buy it.

The book is really an incomplete collection of Einstein's articles and writings put together "to give a picture of a man," we are told by the editor, as "his character and opinions are being exhibited to the world in an utterly distorted form...to forestall this fate is the real object of this book." If nothing else, this collection gives a clear picture of the things that Einstein was concerned about, which speaks volumes more about his character than a biography could. Topics within the text vary greatly, though inevitably touch upon religion, personal philosophy (yes, those are two separate categories to me), and world politics.

Of particular interest to me was those articles written in pre-WWII Germany as they absolutely reek of the political turmoil of the times, which remind me greatly of the political bantering surrounding a post-9/11 United States. Specifically, there are a series of letters exchanged between Herr Einstein and the Prussian Academy of Sciences in which Einstein is accused of "atrocity-mongering" after resigning from the Academy due to the Prussian Government's inequities against individual freedom. The Academy essentially twists Einstein's actions and words in an effort to slander his good name, and each retort quid pro quo paints the formulaic picture of an irrational "authority" attacking those who speak out against them. After re-reading the articles just now, I can't help but be reminded of the Bush Administration's attacks on the Dixie Chicks after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

I would like to address each of the ideas presented within this book, but would rather save that for a proper essay as each deserves more merit than a few brief scribbles in a book review. I will say this though: Albert Einstein's theories on disarmament, world peace and global unification seem as attainable as they are idealistic when coming from the pen of such an honest, genuine, intelligent man. He speaks with complete understanding and acceptance of himself, others and the politics in between when touching upon subjects ranging between Good and Evil to The Meaning of Life to Peace, Fascism, Culture and Prosperity, and I found myself with little choice but to listen whole-heartedly and agree with the brilliance captured within these few pages.

I recommend this book to everyone (and I *rarely* recommend books) and believe it should be a mandatory-study in high school for its sheer breadth of scope in understanding the globe we call Earth as it is today, and as it should be tomorrow.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Rip-Off
Readers should be aware that this edition of "The World As I See It" is, in fact, an abridged version of the original publication. Without bothering to mention this on the title page, it has dropped the entire fifth section on "Scientific Questions," including such classic popular expositions of Einstein's basic philosophy as "Geometry and Experience" and "Principles of Research." Editing a book of Einstein's writings which deliberately excludes all mention of science is like publishing a biography of Mozart - without any reference to music.

It is, I think, significant of the dumbing down of American publishing that the German edition of the same book ("Mein Weltbild," published by Ullman) has continuously added new material on politics, fascism, Judaism, peace and science over the years! Readers who want to know what Einstein was really like should obtain a used copy of the original full version.

5-0 out of 5 stars To know Einstein's thoughts, the rest are details
To know Einstein's thoughts is to understand the nature of one of histories finest minds. Beyond all else, Albert Einstein was a man, a man of deep social & moral conscience. As I read this book, I was struck by the thought of George Santayana, "Those who do not study the past are condemned to repeat it." To be able to travel back nearly 100 years and view the world throught the mind and spirit of Einstein is a pleasure indeed. I found myself at odds with some of what Einstein thought. However, what a great experience it was to explore those thoughts and how many still appear true today. Albert Einstein once said "Imagination is more important than knowledge". The man knew what he was talking about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Humble Mind, Greatest Scientist
The book reveals, the thoughts of the great mind known as Albert Einstein. His social life was as enlightening, as his intellectual mind. He had god given gift of opening god's secrets, and he did it beautifully, and humbly. I have read this book many times, and feel divine about thinking about Albert Eintein.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great book to read, especially if intrested in Einstein
This book was a really interesting to read because I've never read any letters Albert had written, and it tells about events in his life you wouldn't ordinarily know. The only problem for me was the book didn't quite grab my attention in some parts very well. But other than that I loved the cover and the book, I would definitely recommend it. ... Read more


106. Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People
by David P. Barash Ph.D., Judith Eve Lipton M.D.
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0716740044
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: W.H. Freeman & Company
Sales Rank: 109745
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Shattering deeply held beliefs about sexual relationships in humans and other animals, The Myth of Monogamy is a much needed treatment of a sensitive issue. Written by the husband and wife team of behavioral scientist David P. Barash and psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton, it glows with wit and warmth even as it explores decades of research undermining traditional precepts of mating rituals. Evidence from genetic testing has been devastating to those seeking monogamy in the animal kingdom; even many birds, long prized as examples of fidelity, turn out to have a high incidence of extra-pair couplings. Furthermore, now that researchers have turned their attention to female sexual behavior, they are finding more and more examples of aggressive adultery-seeking in "the fairer sex." Writing about humans in the context of parental involvement, the authors find complexity and humor:

Baby people are more like baby birds than baby mammals. To be sure, newborn cats and dogs are helpless, but this helplessness doesn't last for long. By contrast, infant Homo sapiens remain helpless for months ... and then they become helpless toddlers! Who in turn graduate to being virtually helpless youngsters. (And then? Clueless adolescents.) So there may be some payoff to women in being mated to a monogamous man, after all.

Careful to separate scientific description from moral prescription, Barash and Lipton still poke a little fun at our conceptions of monogamy and other kinds of relationships as "natural" or "unnatural." Shoring themselves up against the inevitable charges that their reporting will weaken the institution of marriage, they make sure to note that monogamy works well for most of those who desire it and that one of our uniquely human traits is our ability to overcome biology in some instances. If, as some claim, monogamy has been a tool used by men to assert property rights over women, then perhaps one day The Myth of Monogamy will be seen as a milestone for women's liberation. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Truth Is Revealed, But Choice Is Always Ours
What I mean by "Truth is revealed, the choice is ours", is the theme of this review. It is also the message in the book, although many readers have misinterpreted the entire theme, believing the co-authors, David P. Barash and Judith E. Lipton, are simply feeding us hard reality and crushing dreams of blissful and faithful marriage. David and Judith are experienced, older scientists, specializing in the observation of birds and apes, with a profound understanding of logic, human emotions, sociobiology and biology in general. They both hold high degrees- Judith has an M.D. and David holds a Ph.D. It is noteworthy, also, that they are a happily married couple and have been so for many years. Their real message and theme from this outstanding book is that although by nature, humans are generally not faithful to their long-term mate (spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend), we have evolved so much that we can chose to be faithful and monogamous to our partner and truly be satisfied, fulfilled and completely happy. Monogamy is not extinct, it is rare. Half of all marriages end in divorce. When a couple has been together for many years, it's world news. It is the greatest partnership, relationship, union, and the most peaceful, happiest and fullest feeling. But it is always the individual's choice. If a partner cannot remain faithful, we now have a reason and explanation for it.

The reason why so many find it difficult to be faithful to their partner for a long time, is biological. Originally, before an evolved society with its ground rules grew from primitive communism, the homo sapien men were polygamous, especially because genetically, nature demanded variety from their offspring. Incest, of course, was formerly practiced to keep a family bloodline, true even to the highest societies, royal dynasties of ancient Egypt, etc. There was a time when free will seemed to bother no one, and men had many wives, shared partners and even shared land. But eventually, power and property was established, much like class systems, and it came to be a violation when someone "outside" the group took one of the wives from another male. Feeling of jealousy and ownership were established and so, when religion began to take over people's consciousness, they labeled this "taking", "adultery". The biological needs of women are important in the scene, as well, in fact, perhaps the most important link. Women's sex cells contain life-giving ovum, enabling them to bear children, and because they are so few and rare in them, they are selective about their sexual/romantic/etc partners. They are far more choosy because it is going to reflect on the ensuing progeny, their children. Men's sperm is abundant and cheap, and they are less selective. It's all down to our biological make-up. This book is very casual about the whole matter and contains not only very scientifically accurate truth, but very genuine humor and witty lines, making reading this book very enjoyable.

This book is very insightful, and opened my eyes about sex, relationships and the many unbreakable "differences" between men and women, such as why do women like tall men ? Why are men so attracted to larger breasts, why are men far more visual and enjoy pornography and why do women act demure and modest in order to attract their mate before showcasing their wild sexual abandon ? These all contain biological reasons. But this does not mean that men are women are not equals, nor are we forever ruled by "animal instincts". We are more intelligent than the animals and have evolved so wonderfully, that we can now chose to be married for a long time with a single mate and live happily ever after.

5-0 out of 5 stars A provocative and -- at times -- humorous look at monomgamy
In this book, authors Lipton and Barash take a look at mating patterns throughout the animal kingdom (though they seem to spend more time on behavior in birds than on other animals). The conclusions they draw can be anticipated from the title -- that monogamy is not natural, at least based on biological, physiological, anthropological, and other evidence, and in fact is not as widely practiced as once thought. However, this is not to say, as some reviewers seem to think, that they believe that monogamy is thereby unnatural. In fact, in one place they say, "...even if human beings were more rigidly controlled by their biology, it would be absurd to claim that monogamy is unnatural or abnormal, especially since it was doubtless the way most people lived..." (p. 153) And later on, they affirm that "human inclinations may be able to fit whatever matrimonial pattern happens to exist in the society they happen to experience." But monogamy does go against the grain of human nature, according to the authors, and so you have to work at it.

A delightful aspect of the book is its humor. For example: "Nothing succeeds, we are told, like success. And indeed, social success...succeeds mightily when it comes to securing extra-pair copulations. (Maybe this is what Henry Kissinger meant when he noted that 'power is the best aphrodisiac.')"

All in all, this is a very provocative book. Because it draws a conclusion that goes against the grain of our culture's (though not all human cultures') norms, some people may find it offensive (as seen from other reviews). But the authors make their case convincingly (their case being that monogamy doesn't come naturally to human beings, but that doesn't mean that it can't be done) and it would be hard to refute their argument based on the evidence of evolutionary biology, which is the framework in which they are operating.

Like any book, you shouldn't take other people's opinions at face value. Read the book and judge for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars "We are biological creatures . . . "
Keep that notion in mind as you follow the authors on their marvelous tour of sexual behaviour in all nature. Most of us were raised with the notion that humans "must" be monogamous. Often, animals such as swans or foxes were held up as examples to emulate. Barash and Lipton expose the hollow basis of these examples. The notion of human monogamy becomes a fragile ideal - nature, and we are part of nature, is anything but monogamous. In a book combining solid science and entertaining prose, this pair have produced an informal, but information-packed review of new finds in the sexual behaviour of a wealth of species.

One small flaw must be dealt with first - sexual behaviour studies must retreat from overuse of the poor screw-worm fly. The authors cannot resist numerous word plays on the poor creature's name. As the subject of an early attempt at controlling pest populations, the screw-worm fly initiated the host of studies of sexual behaviour among animals. Barash and Lipton describe sterilization of this insect as largely successful, reducing its population significantly. Screw-
worm flies are monogamous, which reinforced the notion as predominant in nature. However, a 1970s groundbreaking paper indicated monogamy might not be universal in animals. From that start a wealth of new studies demonstrated that it was monogamy that was rare, not the reverse. The screw-worm fly turned out to be a rare exception to the rule, and the basis of comparison for the later research.

Bowing to the expected abuse of "anthropomorphising" biology, the authors eschew "adultry" in favour of EPC [Extra Pair Copulation] in describing the common practice in nature. They show the distinction between "social" and "sexual" pairing. Social pairing includes nest building, territorial defence, raising offspring and other "family matters." Copulation itself, they show, has many more factors involved than simply insemination. Mates must be available, attractive or both. Age, health, even "marital status" may be taken into consideration. And these factors are weighed for "adultery" in animals! Males might need a special physiology or the ability to prevent EPC, even while seeking to achieve it on their own.

As they must, the authors arrive at last at humans. Noting how difficult research on human sexual behaviour is to document, they cite, albeit with many reservations, several noteworthy studies. If nothing else, the work proclaims that monogamy among humans is not the "norm." In relating the studies, they present anthropological data, surveys of modern societies and clinical studies. The authors grind no axes and are quick to criticise studies they feel are suspect. The dearth of valid data, however, leads them to present any plausible suggestion that seems either supportable or capable of further investigation. Throughout the narrative they insist that no predictable pattern can be applied to humans any more than with the other animals. Even our closest relatives all retain individuality among their members.

A running theme in the book is the authors' call for more research. How do female blue tits judge the ability of some males to resist winter cold more than others. "No one knows. [Yet]" and similar statements permeate the book. Anyone fearing there is little in biology left to investigate should read this. The sparseness of their references certainly supports this plea. While much work has been done, particularly in recent years, an immense range of study topics remains to be investigated. Younger readers should seriously consider the number of topics requiring clarification. A valuable book for these and many reasons.

1-0 out of 5 stars Humans are quite different from birds
What makes us different from birds and animals is our ability to feel compassion towards one another. A biological explanation of polygamy in birds and animals does little to prove that humans should mindlessly follow their own animal nature. If we did, we wouldn't be much different from animals. Ability to spare our loved ones of the deep hurt that is inevitably caused by infidelity, - and ability to restrain our animal instincts out of compassion towards another human being, - is what makes us human.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking..
Monogamy is a sensitive, yet alluring, subject from both a biological and sociological standpoint. Ever since the founding of sociobiology by people like Edward Wilson, scientists (among many others) have been intrigued by the thought of just how dominant our genetic code is with respect to our behavior, as compared to the dominance of society's enforcement of it's contrived morals. Wilson once stated that culture is on a leash held by Genes, and one could claim equally that our genes are on a leash held by society. This book is a delightfully written perspective that deals with the intersection of those two powers in a way that is both enlightened and nonjudgemental.

The authors give an excellent review of how genetic fingerprinting has dispelled the here-to-fore assumed monagamy of a host of different animal species, and quote a number of respectable studies in the process. The astounding and outstanding result is the realization of just how rare it is to find any animal species that is totally monogamous in nature, and humans are animals that happen to not be totally monogamous---by their very "nature". This begs the question "is adultery therefore natural, and hence forgivable?" Will Durant once adressed this issue by noting that many of our current vices were once indispensable virtues in the struggle for survival, and in keeping with this observation, it would seem reasonable to posit the idea that humans havent had enough time to evolve biologically or culturally beyond certain genetic features that have outlived their primal usefulness, and yet continue to stubbornly hang on--despite societal taboos. "Myth of Monogamy" is a book that helps to highlight that struggle without presuming to tell the reader what their ultimate conclusions should be. As such it remains to its end a fairly objective look at a very sensitive subject.

Finally, and gratefully, this book is well written, with generous amounts of humor thrown in to keep the reader's attention, and perhaps to help him or her to maintain a healthy perspective throughout their reading of it---I actually laughed out loud several times, which I cant say is all that common when reading a scientific text.. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. ... Read more


107. The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century
by David Salsburg
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
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Asin: 0805071342
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Owl Books (NY)
Sales Rank: 20927
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An insightful, revealing history of the magical mathematics that transformed our world.

At a summer tea party in Cambridge, England, a guest states that tea poured into milk tastes different from milk poured into tea. Her notion is shouted down by the scientific minds of the group. But one man, Ronald Fisher, proposes to scientifically test the hypothesis. There is no better person to conduct such an experiment, for Fisher is a pioneer in the field of statistics.

The Lady Tasting Tea spotlights not only Fisher's theories but also the revolutionary ideas of dozens of men and women which affect our modern everyday lives. Writing with verve and wit, David Salsburg traces breakthroughs ranging from the rise and fall of Karl Pearson's theories to the methods of quality control that rebuilt postwar Japan's economy, including a pivotal early study on the capacity of a small beer cask at the Guinness brewing factory. Brimming with intriguing tidbits and colorful characters, The Lady Tasting Tea salutes the spirit of those who dared to look at the world in a new way.
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Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully well written, entertaining, and informative
The intense media attention given to the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem a few years ago was followed by the publication of many books on mathematics for non-mathematicians. Dr. Salsburg's book is arguably among the best of them. It has many interesting and illuminating anecdotes about the most influential statisticians in the early 20th century, which is when the Statistical Revolution (as aptly called by the author) took place. Important developments are clearly explained in their historical context, and their implications for current (i.e., 21st century) scientific research are given. The student of Statistics will get to know the people behind the names mentioned in the textbooks. The book is non-technical and written for the general public, but as a statistician myself I can say that I was no less than delighted reading it. In fact, two chapters (on probit and sample selection) deal with concepts I'm using in an epidemiological manuscript!

5-0 out of 5 stars great look at statistics in the 20th Century
The Lady Tasting Tea is a new book by David Salsburg (a Ph.D. mathematical statistician, who recently retired from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Connecticut). The title of the book is taken from the famous example that R. A. Fisher used in his book "The Design of Experiments" to express the ideas and principles of statistical design to answer research questions. The subtitle "How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century" really tells what the book is about. The author relates the statistical developments of the 20th Century through descriptions of the famous statisticians and the problems they studied.

The author conveys this from the perspective of a statistician with good theoretical training and much experience in academia and industry. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and a retired Senior Research Fellow from Pfizer has published three technical books and over 50 journal articles and has taught statistics at various universities including the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Connecticut and the University of Pennsylvania.

This book is written in layman's terms and is intended for scientists and medical researchers as well as for statistician who are interested in the history of statistics. It just was published in early 2001. On the back-cover there are glowing words of praise from the epidemiologist Alvan Feinstein and from statisticians Barbara Bailar and Brad Efron. After reading their comments I decided to buy it and I found it difficult to put down.

Salsburg has met and interacted with many of the statisticians in the book and provides an interesting perspective and discussion of most of the important topics including those that head the agenda of the computer age and the 21st century. He discusses the life and work of many famous statisticians including Francis Galton, Karl Pearson, Egon Pearson, Jerzy Neyman, Abraham Wald, John Tukey, E. J. G. Pitman, Ed Deming, R. A. Fisher, George Box, David Cox, Gertrude Cox, Emil Gumbel, L. H. C. Tippett, Stella Cunliffe, Florence Nightingale David, William Sealy Gosset, Frank Wilcoxon, I. J. Good, Harold Hotelling, Morris Hansen, William Cochran, Persi Diaconis, Brad Efron, Paul Levy, Jerry Cornfield, Samuel Wilks, Andrei Kolmogorov, Guido Castelnuovo, Francesco Cantelli and Chester Bliss. Many other probabilists and statisticians are also mentioned including David Blackwell, Joseph Berkson, Herman Chernoff, Stephen Fienberg, William Madow, Nathan Mantel, Odd Aalen, Fred Mosteller, Jimmie Savage, Evelyn Fix, William Feller, Bruno deFinetti, Richard Savage, Erich Lehmann (first name mispelled), Corrado Gini, G. U. Yule, Manny Parzen, Walter Shewhart, Stephen Stigler, Nancy Mann, S. N. Roy, C. R. Rao, P. C. Mahalanobis, N. V. Smirnov, Jaroslav Hajek and Don Rubin among others.

The final chapter "The Idol with Feet of Clay" is philosophical in nature but deals with the important fact that in spite of the widespread and valuable use of the statistical methodology that was primarily created in the past century, the foundations of statistical inference and probability are still on shaky ground.

I think there is a lot of important information in this book that relates to pharmaceutical trials, including the important discussion of intention to treat, the role of epidemiology (especially retrospective case-control studies and observational studies), use of martingale methods in survival analysis, exploratory data analysis, p-values, Bayesian models, non-parametric methods, bootstrap, hypothesis tests and confidence intervals. This relates very much to my current work but the topics discussed touch all areas of science including, engineering in aerospace and manufacturing, agricultural studies, general medical research, astronomy, physics, chemistry, government (Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy etc.), educational testing, marketing and economics. I think this is a great book for MDs, medical researchers and clinicians too! It will be a good book to read for anyone involved in scientific endeavors. As a statistician I find a great deal of value in reviewing the key ideas and philosophy of the great statisticians of the 20th Century.

I also have gained new insight from Salsburg. He has given these topics a great deal of thought and has written eloquently about them. I have learned about some people that I knew nothing about like Stella Cunliffe and Guido Castelnuovo. It is also touching for me to hear about the work of my Stanford teachers, Persi Diaconis and Brad Efron and other statisticians that I have met or found influential. These personalities and many other lesser-known statisticians have influenced the field of statistics.

The book includes a timeline that provides a list in chronological order of important events and the associated personalities in the history of statistics. It starts with the birth of Karl Pearson in 1857 and ends with the death of John Tukey in 2000.

Salsburg also provides a nice bibliography that starts with an annotated section on books and papers accessible to readers who may not have strong mathematical training. The rest of the bibliography is subdivided as follows: (1) Collected works of prominent statisticians, (2)obituaries, reminiscences, and published conversations and (3) other books and article that were mentioned in this book.

The book provides interesting reading for both statisticians and non-statisticians.

4-0 out of 5 stars What happened to Frank P. Ramsey?J M Keynes?
Salsburg(S) does an excellent job discussing the historical development of the field of statistics in the 20th century.He has a way of writing that blends current statistical theory with the development of statistics over time from a historical perspective with the individuals who made it all happen,such as Neyman-Pearson and Sir Ronald Fisher.In this book he is close to Ian Hacking in the manner in which he weaves his story.This reviewer has a few quibbles.First,in S's discussion of the personalist(subjectivist)theory of probability,only de Finetti and Savage are covered.Since Frank Ramsey's 1922 and 1926 contributions to the subjective theory of probability,unfortunately combined with error filled critiques of John Maynard Keynes's logical theory of probability,were published BEFORE the work of de Finetti and Savage,he definitely deserved to have a prominent place in any book dealing with the history of probability and statistics.Second,there are a number of errors made in the all to brief discussion of Keynes and his logical theory of probability in his 1921 book,A Treatise on Probability(TP).Contrary to S(p.112,p.305),Keynes never received a doctorate in philosophy for writing the TP because the TP is not a doctoral dissertation.The TP was a thesis submitted for a fellowship, successfully, in 1909 at Cambridge.Keynes added a Part V to his thesis in the period from 1910-1914 to complete his TP.S commits another error when he chacterizes Keynesian economic policy as the manipulation of monetary policy.It is the manipulation of both fiscal and monetary policy.Finally,Keynes's probabilities are primarily intervals with a lower and an upper bound,not ordinal rankings as suggested by S.S's flawed appraisel involves a failure to translate Keynes's definition of the term "nonnumerical",which means"not by a single numeral but by two numerals".Finally,S is in too much of a hurry to take the side of Neyman,a deductivist, in his debates with Fisher,an inductivist,about significance levels(p-values) and confidence intervals.Neyman's justification for confidence intervals is badly flawed.It essentially boils down to an arbitrary "act of will" on the part of the researcher.Fisher,who was well acquanted with Keynes's logical theory of probability,realized that Neyman's "reasoning" was actually an evasion.Unfortunately,Fisher never was clear about his reservations .Fisher simply needed to come right out and say that a 95% confidence interval means that the researcher is 95% confident that the particular parameter,say the mean,lies in that interval.Of course,this conclusion follows from the proportional syllogism,which is part of the logical theory of probability.Neyman,who was a frequentist,ends up in a quagmire of his own creation because he did not want to allow any "inductive" concepts into his theory.

4-0 out of 5 stars Noble effort, and entertaining.
It should come as no surprise to any reader that a 300 page collection of anecdotes might fall a bit short in realizing the implied goal in Salsburg's subtitle. He attempts to explain the paradigmatic shift in science from a Newtonian determinism to a probabilistic worldview by focusing on the statisticians themselves. The reader is often left with a desire for more - either more explanation of the paradigm shift or more anecdotes.

Nonetheless, I found this volume entertaining. I was fascinated by the newness in this field. Certainly nothing in my education led me to believe that virtually every aspect of social science research and statistical analysis is a 20th century invention. Who would have thought that the essence of 21st century social science research would be so well-anchored in agricultural studies and, perhaps most importantly, in the quality control efforts by master brewers at Guinness?

Salsburg intends to write to a non-statistical audience in language that can be understood without mathematic symbols. In this he is only partly successful. He does avoid technical symbols and most technical jargon, but in doing so he is often too vague to make his point clear. Even with three years of graduate statistics (from a social science perspective), I often found myself unsure of his explanations.

In the final analysis, Salsburg's description of the "statistical revolution" in science is really more of a sketch than a portrait. The significances of a shift from certainty to probability cannot be easily explained, but I will give him credit for trying to do so. That he is able to deal with this shift without explicitly commenting on the implications of this shift for religion, values, meaning, and justice is perhaps one of this book's major strengths.

Unfortunately, Salsburg concludes with a critique of the statistical revolution that may weaken the impact of his stories. Those desperately holding onto a Newtonian worldview could use this critique to discount 20th century science, especially social science. If, as Salsburg suggests, we are on the cusp of another paradigm shift, any post-statistical revolution is unlikely to be advanced by those continuing to resist the statistical one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasing intro to statisctics for lay(wo)men
An intriguing story based introduction to the fast field of
statistics. No formulas but still plenty of math terms explained
as easily as possible. The life stories of many statisticians
are combinded with the history of certain statistical problems.
This book showed me how huge the field of stastics is.
Statistics and Probability seem now to be scientific issues
on not just ways for politicians to cheat the public. In
everyday life, any mention of a statistic result causes at best
a compasionate smile. But this book changed that for me and I'd
like to learn more about this topic. ... Read more


108. Short Protocols in Molecular Biology (Short Protocols in Molecular Biology)
list price: $169.00
our price: $152.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471250929
Catlog: Book (2002-10-18)
Publisher: Current Protocols
Sales Rank: 94327
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Recently expanded to 2 volumes, Short Protocols in Molecular Biology, Fifth Edition, provides condensed descriptions of more than 700 methods compiled from Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. Includes new chapters on chromatin assembly and analysis, nucleic acid arrays, generation and use of combinatorial libraries, discovery and analysis of differentially expressed genes in single cells and cell populations.

The book is specifically designed to provide quick access to step-by-step instructions for the essential methods used in every major area of molecular biological research

Short Protocols in Molecular Biology, Fifth Edition is an authoritative and indispensable guide for all life scientists, researchers, and students at the graduate and advanced undergraduate level

Expanded to 2 volumes.
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars an excellent brief reference book
This is a well-organized, clear, short reference work. Well done

4-0 out of 5 stars The (little) Red book...
Here is the little red bok.
If the big one is too expensive for you, you can always buy this. You'll find inside all the important protocols and data for molecular biology.It's up to date, and clearly presented.
Try it, and then buy the big one!

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good reference manual
This book is an essential tool for people in the scientific field such as Molecular Biology (obviously), Biochemistry, and Neuroscience. It is comprehensive and up-to-date as far as the techniques are concerned. It is good value in a sense that you don't have to buy the whole "Current Protocols Series" which costs an arm and a leg if you do. Although nowadays, a lot of "kits" are commercially available, the techniques found in this book explain principles and provide different alternatives suited for your needs. Molecular Cloning by Maniatis et al., although needs updating, is still a helpful reference in my opinion and it complements this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for any Molecular Biologist...
I originally bought this book as a secondary source of information (Maniatis has ben my bible now for a few years...) but as time has progressed I have found myself using this book more and more. The protocols are easy to follow, logically placed, give enough information so you understand what it is you are doing, are up to date, and are all in one volume. Yes, this has effectively replaced my copy of Molecular Cloning (which is in desperate need of an update). Great job! ... Read more


109. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
by Douglas R., Hofstadter
list price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465026850
Catlog: Book (1979-03-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 164570
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book applies Godel's seminal contribution to modern mathematics to the study of the human mind and the development of artificial intelligence. ... Read more

Reviews (197)

4-0 out of 5 stars Multi-faceted Thesis
Ancient runic languages scrawled onto South Pacific stones. Gödel's Incompleteness Theorum. Shifted perspectives in artistic pencil pictures. Modern artificial intelligence research. Masterpieces of Baroque harmony.
It's not often that bestselling books manage to link all of the above items in a highly satisfying blend of fact and philosophy, but Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid defies both convention and classification.
The book is such a sprawling, wide-ranging argument that it's difficult to know where to start. Personally, I most enjoyed the chapters on the location of meaning within symbols; Hofstadter's description of the essential elements of a message's structure caught my interest because it seemed applicable in many fields: literature, cryptography, and psychology, to start. I was also quite intrigued by his exploration of the brain's mode of operation: sense impressions stored as complex 'symbols.' Fascinating. The long sections on mathematics and the often goofy dialogue chapters were trying, yes, but persevere; better parts lie in store.
Hofstadter's case is best made when he follow a topic through many disciplines. Though I ultimately disagree with his position on the feasibility of artificial intelligence, he has produced a stimulating read, and I am thankful for it. It is far superior to my other late-night literary conquest of the summer (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) and I recommend it to anyone with pondering time to spare.
Oh, and as a side note: don't buy Yudkowsky's review. Nothing personal, but this isn't the only thinking man's book out there. It just investigates so many nooks and crannies that almost anyone can find something to further pursue.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
GEB is a great jumping point into issues of the philosophy of the mind, the underpinnings of mathemetical logic and the possibility of artificial intelligence and consciousness.

The book explores a number of themes - one of the most important is joining together disparate forms of 'strange loops' - paradoxical self referential constructs that pop up in in art (Escher and Bach fugues), mathematics (Godel's theorem), religion (Zen buddhism), AI and various other places.

I agree with another reviewer - everything in GEB leads towards an understanding the mind (Hofstadter's field is of course AI/cog science) - it's not just a random romp - but it's a misleading exagerration to say GEB is trying to provide a bottom-up theory!

It is true, some of the foundations of AI such as propositional logic are explored and various metaphors for the mind are developed as well as the importance of circular self-referentiality, and emergence of complex behavior from simple primitives - but the implications for AI and cognitive science are always rather vague and the HOW is mostly left as an open-ended question.

This open-endedness perhaps contributes to the rambling feeling of the book. Of course these questions are great mysteries and it's not surprising that GEB doesn't provide a neat theory to tie it all together.

At it's size it is a rather daunting book to read in one go, but since a lot of chapters are rather independent it is possible to dip into it from time to time, i find myself picking it up occasionally and re-reading random chapters, usually i notice something new to ponder on.

For me the most unique contribution of this book is the pointing out the importance of 'strange loops' in so many areas of thought (although they're never formally defined). I found myself constantly linking this idea to other things - for example Jacques Derrida's notion of deconstruction seems to me most easily understood as about creating a linguistic strange-loop to point out the limitations of language and philosophy itself.

I don't think the book has really dated much at all the central ideas are timeless and AI and cognitive science haven't advanced to a point that invalidates anything, although Fermat's theorem has now been solved.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read for all aspiring thinkers
The Atlanta Journal Constitution describes Gödel, Escher, Bach (GEB) as "A huge, sprawling literary marvel, a philosophy book, disguised as a book of entertainment, disguised as a book of instruction." That is the best one line description of this book that anybody could give. GEB is without a doubt the most interesting mathematical book that I have ever read, quickly making its place into the Top 5 books I have ever read.
The introduction of the book, "Introduction: A Musico-Logical Offering" begins by quickly discussing the three main participants in the book, Gödel, Escher, and Bach. Gödel was a mathematician who founded Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, which states, as Hofstadter paraphrases, "All consistent axiomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable propositions." This is what Hofstadter calls the pearl. This is one example of one of the recurring themes in GEB, strange loops.
Strange loops occur when you move up or down in a hierarchical manner and eventually end up exactly where you started. The first example of a strange loop comes from Bach's Endlessly rising canon. This is a musical piece that continues to rise in key, modulating through the entire chromatic scale, ending at the same key with which he began. To emphasize the loop Bach wrote in the margin, "As the modulation rises, so may the King's Glory."
The third loop in the introduction comes from an artist, Escher. Escher is famous for his paintings of paradoxes. A good example is his Waterfall; Hofstadter gives many examples of Escher's work, which truly exemplify the strange loop phenomenon.
One feature of GEB, which I was particularly fond of, is the 'little stories' in between each chapter of the book. These stories which star Achilles and the Tortoise of Lewis Carroll fame, are illustrations of the points which Hofstadter brings out in the chapters. They also serve as a guidepost to the careful reader who finds clues buried inside of these sections. Hofstadter introduces these stories by reproducing "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" by Lewis Carroll. This illustrates Zeno's paradox, another example of a strange loop.
In GEB Hofstadter comments on the trouble author's have with people skipping to the end of the book and reading the ending. He suggests that a solution to this would be to print a series of blank pages at the end, but then the reader would turn through the blank pages and find the last one with text on it. So he says to print gibberish throughout those blank pages, again a human would be smart enough to find the end of the gibberish and read there. He finally suggests that authors need to write many pages more of text than the book requires just fooling the reader into having to read the entire book. Perhaps Hofstadter employs this technique.
GEB is in itself a strange loop. It talks about the interconnectedness of things always getting more and more in depth about the topic at hand. However you are frequently brought back to the same point, similarly to Escher's paintings, Bach's rising canon, and Gödel's Incompleteness theorem. A book, which is filled with puzzles and riddles for the reader to find and answer, GEB, is a magnificently captivating book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A readable Mobius strip
If you have never read this book, then I'd like to say that it has a lot of the most greatest knowledge out there. It doesn't just deal with math, art, and music, but also with zen, philosophy, self-ref, self-rep, holism, reductionism, and everything else that is considered pure knowledge of cognitive science and general intelligence. I don't know why some of the people rating it have no idea of what's it about; it's not about Godel's theorem like many think it is, it's about consciousness and how the power of the mind and the "I" comes out of the inanimate matter that creates us. That's not it, the second part of the book talks about computer programming and AI. Can a computer program ever have a sense of self or compose meaningful music? Hofstadter's response to the second one was: "Only if that AI could go through the maze of life on it's own, fighting it's way through it and feeling the cold of a chilly night, the longing for a cherished hand, the inaccessibility of a distant town, the regenaration after a human death, the...and only then can it be considered to do so."
This book really has more than that. I can't say all of the things mentioned in it, not in this tiny little review, but I can say that you should probably read it and hopefully understand it because it truly is a masterpiece.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-science at best
I quite agree with the reviewer from East Hartford. Maybe I am not extremely eligible to comment on the portions dealing with Escher and Bach, respectively (I have no appetite for Escher. I like chamber music of Bach and somtimes play his keyboard music but my performance level is, of course, that of amateur.)
But I must say the part dealing with Gödel's Theorem of Incompleteness is *complete garbage*. I am convinced anyone with a degree of mathematics will agree with me: for those who have no background in mathematics, I assure you that Gödel's theorem concerns a problem in "formal logic" and has nothing to do with human-cogno-something.
If this book were meant to be a cult literature, that would be okay: I don't care anyway.
But if this is meant to be an entertainment for people with no scientific background, I rate this alchemy or pseudo-science at best. ... Read more


110. MAKING THE CORPS
by Thomas E. Ricks
list price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684831090
Catlog: Book (1997-11-05)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 289581
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Making the Corps visits the front lines of boot camp, Parris Island, South Carolina. Here, old values are stripped away and new, Marine Corps values are forged. Acclaimed military journalist Thomas E. Ricks follows these men from their hometowns, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America. ... Read more

Reviews (129)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Example of Marine Corps Recruit Training
This book is an absolute necessity for anyone who is even in the slightest bit interested in enlisting in the corps, or learning about the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) at Parris Island, South Carolina. Ricks presents a firsthand look at the day by day life of recruits training at Parris Island. Some will make it, others won't. Those who make it will be proud to call themselves U.S. Marines. Those who don't will go back to the civilian life. Ricks presents this firsthand account in such an extraordinary way, that you will feel like you are right there going through the grueling experience with the recruits. This true story of Platoon 3086 is presented with absolutely no bias at all. The one slight problem with the book, is that it was written during the forming of the crucible, the 54 hour intense training that makes today's Marines. Before the crucible was introduced to the corps, the warrior week was the main transformation point. I would recommend the book "Into The Crucible" by James B. Woulfe.

[NOTE: "Into the Crucible" relates to the crucible training at the San Diego MCRD, instead of at Parris Island.]

Excellent book..Combined with "Into The Crucible", it is 110% enlightening

5-0 out of 5 stars Today's USMC bootcamp & civil-military relationships.
If you want a great read about today's USMC recruit training at Parris Island, SC, and a great insight into the USMC vs. American society 'culture war,' then don't miss this OUTSTANDING book!

Ricks does a superb job of capturing the challenges and triumphs of a real platoon undergoing bootcamp at the Corps' legendary Parris Island Recruit Depot. He explores the recruits' backgrounds and responses to the transforming bootcamp experience. Unlike some other works which seem to exaggerate certain perspectives, this book is an honest, realistic and well-written collection of astute, in-depth observations. You will understand how the Corps continues to thrive while keeping their numbers small, standards high, and traditions strong.

This book also analyzes the growing cultural gap between the USMC and the very society from which it comes. Ricks did extensive research into this gap and carefully weaves it in all throughout the book. He accurately describes the USMC cultural experience and compares it to what you see and don't see in today's society. If you have never given this gap much thought, you will find yourself wondering why you never noticed it before.

Being a Marine, I loved this book. Being a part of American society, I was intrigued and entertained by this book. I recommend this book to any Marine and all citizens who ever considered becoming a Marine, running for public office, or know others who have done either one. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Three month review
Look...Ricks attempted to give the Corps more respect yet what we all must understand is that he is/was a journalist and would not bite the hand that feeds him (the military allowing him to actual write a story about a sacred place) by divulging all that happens and all that these men see in MCRD training. With that in mind, it is a good outline for delayed entry recruits or the parents of Marines to gain a little understanding. I would though suggest to get a net overview of the next four years a Marine will face, learn from and be guided by when he becomes a civilian once again is the book by P. Chadz.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some strange blindspots
Thomas Ricks' "Making the Corps" is a fascinating but also frustrating book.

On the fascinating side, it's a human interest exploration of what it means to make it through book camp. Ricks follows the recruits of Platoon 3086 through their basic training ordeal, recounting the daily routine in the life of the average grunt recruit. That part of the story is pretty familiar to most everyone--to those of us who went through basic training ourselves, and also to those who've never been in the military but who have seen the million-and-one Hollywood movies with boot camp scenes in them. Familiar as the story is, however, Ricks telling of it is gripping. He's a good writer, and knows how to capture a reader's interest.

The frustrating aspect of the book is the fact that Ricks never asks, much less answers, any of the very obvious and crucial questions his account naturally suggests. Had he done so, his book would've been more than merely a journalist's story about boot camp. It would've been a real contribution to our understanding of American culture. For make no mistake about it: the very existence of the Corps is a prism through which to observe and learn things about America that go far beyond just the military.

Let me cite just two examples of where Ricks fails to reflect on what he's witnessing.

On pp. 116-119, Ricks describes a typical Sunday morning chapel call. All of us remember them; they were routine. Some of us took them seriously, most of us probably didn't. We were just relieved for the break. Now, in the Parris Island chapel, there's a stained glass window, described by Ricks, which depicts "a Marine flamethrower, his weapon's flames billowing out in a red, organce, and yellow mass." This, to say the least, is disconcerting: in chapel, a place of worship, peace, and meditation, you've got a scene of horrible carnage (a flame-thrower, for God's sake!) enshrined. This passage in Ricks' book is a symbol for the strange dilemma that any religious military person has to face: how can the demands of the job be reconciled with faith? It's a dilemma that ripples across the entire country, especially these day now that we're in a new shooting war, and it needs to be explored. But Ricks neither reflects on it himself nor invites any of the boots he's following to do so. It's as if he doesn't even catch the incongruity.

Second example. Starting on page 200, Ricks argues that the Corps, anxious to create traditions that will build loyalty (semper fi, guys) and morale, along the way creates a strong sense of anti-Americanism in its recruits. Marines, Ricks says, are being trained as "American samurai in the way they think of themselves and in the way they relate to their nation. Like the Japanese, the ... Marines, when looking at America see a society weakened by selfishness, indiscipline, and fragmentation." (201) The upshot (as Ricks himself acknowledges) is that the Corps, dedicated to the protection of American culture, is instilling in its recruits a deep contempt for American culture. How weird is that? But instead of exploring this weirdness by asking the predictable questions--What is there about American culture that the Corps finds so offensive? How protected are we if the protectors we train disdain us? How is it that military values (or at least the Corps') are so out of step with civilian ones?--Ricks moves blithely on. It's as if his loyalty to the Corps prevents him from criticizing it in any way. But why would criticism be disloyal? Has there ever been a jarhead who hasn't criticized the Corps?

So read Ricks' book, but ask the questions he doesn't. They're important, and past and current Marines are the ones best qualified to ask them. "Semper fi" doesn't mean dumbing down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Proud to be a U.S. Marine
I have read this book and was rather intrigued and disappointed in it. The author comes out strong in discussing what the Marine Corps Boot Camp is all about then the jumps from one subject to another which makes the book disorientating.

This would have been a great book if he started out with the beginning process of how the recruit is recruited and then begins his long journey into the Marine Corps. The trials and errors of each different type of recruit could be discussed.

I found it rather confusing to know what had happened with one recruit because too many references to other recruits were discussed at the same time. If he was to write about Marine Corps Boot Camp from the prespective of an outsider looking in, then he needs to write the entire process. So much of what actually happens in it was tainted by the political values of society. That should have been placed in a different book. He jumps from one subject to another and then back to the recruits lives.

What was disappointing was telling the readers that this recruit did not make it but then left it up in the air to discuss briefly in other chapters and then finally in the later chapters. There was no discussion about the training itself. For any Marine who has been through this training, we all know that it isn't just briefly touched on. So much happens when you go through it that are not even told in this book.

The Marine Corps is ever changing and he does touch briefly what happens in the Fleet and what the aftermath of the duty stations are like, but he make the Fleet look bad in certain aspects which unfortunately is true but not all experiences are the same. Only a few make it bad. What he did not touch upon is that the every Marine went through different changes in boot camp. The boot camp that those who went before me (pre-1981) were different than those who went through now.

I agree, the Corps is changing and adapting. So if anyone is interested in writing a book about Marine Corps Boot Camp, you must understand that there are two Boot Camps, one in Parris Island and one in San Diego. Each one has its own stories and its own history. ... Read more


111. Between Heaven and Earth
by HARRIET BEINFIELD, EFREM KORN
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345379748
Catlog: Book (1992-06-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 5622
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Two of the foremost American educators and healers in the Chinese medical profession demystify Chinese medicine's centuries-odl approach to health. Combining Eastern traditions with Western sensibilities in a unique blend that is relevant today, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH opens the door to a vast storehouse of knowledge that bridges the gap between mind and body, theory and practice, professional and self-care, East and West.
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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Oriental Medicine
This book gives a good foundation for understanding how the Chinese five elements theory is used in clinical practice. The description of five-element theory is very poetically written, so the book is fun to read. There is also a good introduction to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. The chapters on acupuncture and herbal medicine are fairly technical, so if you don't have much interest in these areas, you may find the sections boring.

The main problem with the book is it's over-emphasis on the Five Elements. From what I understand, the Chinese five element theory is not regarded as important to diagnosis and treatment in TCM as the theory of yin/yang and chi (in fact, the validity of the theory is still hotly debated in China today) so its treatment here may be a bit over-emphasized.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you buy one book on Chinese Medicine, this is the one
I read this book and used it as a reference in acupuncture school. I highly recommend it to everyone, including my patients.

It gives you a basic understanding of how the organs are viewed in Chinese medicine.

For example, the heart is affected by all emotions. Thus, if you experience extreme emotions for an extended period of time, you can develop a heart Qi (energy) deficiency. This would cause insomnia, palpitations and fatigue. This can be cured with acupuncture and herbs.

If you have too much stress, your liver energy becomes stagnant, or stuck. This causes you to be even more stressed with each added stressor. Chinese medicine can fix that.

Fear affects the kidneys. Have you ever noticed how often you have to go to the bathroom when you go to the dentist? :) Your kidneys become weak and can't control your bladder.

Chinese medicine treats the root of your health issues. Your symptoms will go away once you address the underlying problems.

3-0 out of 5 stars Only One Piece of the Puzzle
I must first admit my bias: I seek to write a better intro to Chinese medicine than this, or the Web that has No Weaver...

This book talks only about "5 Phase" Chinese medicine- this is only one school of thought in Chinese medicine, and most acupuncturists don't practice it to the degree that you find described in this book.

Most acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists practice TCM, or some variation of it. There are many acupuncture styles (I mean Japanese, Korean, Tong, etc.), and herbal medicine is based on organ-system pattern diagnosis... you'll find none of that in this book.

What is in this book is good and interesting, and perhaps an ok intro to Chinese medicine, but please remember there is much much more to even getting acquainted with Chinese medicine. "The Web..." is much too philosophical and scholarly for more readers. The danger there is that no one will read the whole thing.

The danger with "Between..." is that readers will misunderstand the breadth and variation within Chinese medicine and be confused when they visit an acupuncturist who does not practice 5 phase style.

4-0 out of 5 stars FULL INTRO, MAYBE TOO FULL
I found this book to be very very full of information on TCM. Being a beginner in this area, I was amazed at the amount of material combined in this one book. However, as I read this book I tend to skip parts because of how wordy they can be. Also sometimes the discussions got a bit too involved and maybe a bit repetitive. So it is a bit on the difficult side of reading, but still an excellent addition to my library and an excellent reference guide!

5-0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and Deep
I have read a lot of books about how the universe works but this one also tells us how to live in it. This book shifts our view of medicine, providing a how-to guide for self-awareness that includes both body and mind. It is an owner's manual for our everyday lives as well as a great introduction to Chinese medicine that is well written and easy to read. ... Read more


112. The Movado History
by Fritz Von Osterhausen, Fritz Von Osterhausen
list price: $89.95
our price: $89.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764301268
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Sales Rank: 331057
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Movado is one of the world's most recognized watch brands. This lavishly illustrated book, certain to delight collectors, presents the evolution of Movado from its roots in the Jura Mountains in 1881 through more than a century of tradition and technological advancement. Over the years, Movado earned a reputation for pioneering the art of the wristwatches, high precision movements, and watches with complications, as well as water-resistant watches. Through 250 color illustrations, the book presents the most compelling designs introduced by Movado, many of which have become coveted collectors' items commanding high prices at worldwide auctions. Movado watches have been favored gifts for heads of state because they possess and reflect the best in precision technology. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars magical movado
The magical world of movado comes to light in this exceptional work on "the history of time". Very informative work with nice illustrations is all that the true movado enthusiast really needs. I strongly suggest that if you already own, or if you are considering a movado classic timepiece, that you pick up this book and spend some time on learning about the making of time. ... Read more


113. Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio
by JeffreyKluger
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152164
Catlog: Book (2005-01-27)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 29222
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The riveting story of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of the twentieth century, from the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Apollo 13.

With rivalries, reversals, and a race against time, the struggle to eradicate polio is one of the great tales of modern history. It begins with the birth of Jonas Salk, shortly before one of the worst polio epidemics in United States history. At the time, the disease was a terrifying enigma: striking from out of nowhere, it afflicted tens of thousands of children in this country each year and left them-literally overnight-paralyzed, and sometimes at death's door.

Salk was in medical school just as a president crippled by the disease, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was taking office-and providing the impetus to the drive for studies on polio. By the early 1950s, Salk had already helped create an influenza vaccine, and was hot on the trail of the polio virus. He was nearly thwarted, though, by the politics of medicine and by a rival researcher eager to discredit his proposed solution. Meanwhile, in 1952, polio was spreading in record numbers, with 57,000 cases in the United States that summer alone.

In early 1954, Salk was weighing the possibility of trials of a not-yet-perfected vaccine against-as the summer approached-the prospect of thousands more children being struck down by the disease. The results of the history-making trials were announced at a press conference on April 12, 1955: "The vaccine works." The room-and an entire nation-erupted in cheers for this singular medical achievement.

Salk became a cultural hero and icon for a whole generation. Now, at the fiftieth anniversary of the first national vaccination program-and as humanity is tantalizingly close to eradicating polio worldwide-comes this unforgettable chronicle. Salk's work was an unparalleled achievement-and it makes for a magnificent read.
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A biography of Dr. Salk and his search for the vaccine
In 2005 the U.S. celebrates its 50th anniversary of the first national polio vaccination program which helped eradicate the disease in this country: it's hard to believe a generation is growing up without ever having known the ravages of polio. New York Times writer Jeffrey Kluger's Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk And The Conquest Of Polio is both a biography of Dr. Salk and his search for the vaccine and a social history of polio. Chapters based on exclusive interviews with his friends and colleagues and access to his private papers provides new details on Salk's life and career, setting this life in context of both his times and contemporaries.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, undemanding popular science tale
The discovery of the polio vaccine seems a musty tale to tackle in this post-modern, giga-bitten age. But Jeffrey Kluger, a staff writer at Time magazine and coauthor with commander Jim Lovell of Lost Moon (the inspiration for the Tom Hanks movie Apollo 13), has a decent excuse: 2005 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Jonas Salk's breakthrough. The World Health Organization has targeted this year to eradicate the virus from the planet (a few hundred cases have lingered in Nigeria, Pakistan, and India), and the Smithsonian plans a retrospective exhibition.

Kluger nicely sketches the background for a medical achievement struck many as a miracle, and make Salk a reluctant mid-century media celebrity. When he was a child of Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York City, in 1916, more than 6,000 Americans died of polio in a year. Many more permanently lost the use of limbs. Though the numbers rose and fell, they averaged much the same for the next 40 years. Black city vehicles wrested sick children from their families and took them away to quarantine. Holiday celebrations were cancelled when the plague swept cities. Ignorance fed wild rumors such as one that blamed cats, whereupon 72,000 of them were beaten, drowned, and otherwise slaughtered by the citizens of New York.

Salk was a brilliant but odd duck. He graduated from a high school for the gifted at 15, and entered medical school by 20. During the Second World War, he was part of the team that developed the first 'flu vaccine. Detail-oriented to the point of obsessiveness, he was more polite and attentive to waiters and repairmen than peers who could do him political good.

Though muted, the story has its suspenseful turns and thrills. Competitors swear by a weakened live-virus vaccine while Salk pursues a killed-virus approach-carefully murdering yet structurally preserving the virus cells to goose the body's immune response. Test vaccines by other researchers fail, leaving dead children and ruined careers in their wake. Drug companies "improve" the vaccine Salk's team has already perfected, with procedures that lead to more polio cases. As an army of 20,000 doctors, 40,000 nurses, 1,000 support staff, 14,000 school principals and 50,000 teachers organized the 1.8 million children who would undergo the national field test in 1954, Walter Winchell's national radio broadcast called the vaccine a deadly failure, and warned that thousands of little white coffins were being readied to receive the resulting fatalities.

Slices of parallel lives punctuate the tale nicely, from the future President stricken by the disease at age 39, after which he crusades for the funding and research to battle it, to the accounts of Kluger's still-living sources: John Troan, the science reporter for the Pittsburgh Press who carefully cultivated his relationship with Salk and was rewarded with inside stories and scoops, and several interviewees who were crippled as children and participated in the first field tests.

Splendid Solution is not a heart-pounding page turner. In tone and style, it's a rather old-fashioned historical tale. But in its quiet manner, it is a terrific account, and well told.

3-0 out of 5 stars Short on Science
This book is a nice quick read for those who want a simplistic history of the Salk vaccine and the America that gave birth to it.
'Solution.." is almost devoid of hard scientific explanations. The author never adequately explains why polio emerged as such a public health threat in the post-1850 West and, simliarly, he fails to set forth the means of transmissision.
Put simply--pun intended--the book displays all the pluses and minuses of the author's journalistic background.
For a really excellent book on an infectious disease written for a general audience try "And the Band Played On" about HIV/AIDS.

1-0 out of 5 stars Cardboard characters looking for money and fame
The portrayal of Salk that arises from this book is that Salk was a political operator of the first order.The paucity of technical details and the "Oh, wow!" presentation of those few makes it very hard to assess the Salk's scientific contribution. Actually, the science of everyone involved is hurriedly brushed over.But all the key meetings, grants, confrontations, and even "chance" acquaintances - such as meeting Basil O'Connor's, chairman of the NFIP, daughter aboard ship and trying to "cheer her up" -- and Salk's reactions to these events are exhaustively recorded.It is mentioned a few times that Salk's battle-ax of a secretary actually had day-to-day control of the research group's operations.The charge of "Easy Bake" science is never convincing refuted by the author, even belatedly in the epilogue.The book was genuinely painful to read.You won't learn much about polio, but volumes about the politics of modern science.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read -Gripping, fascinating and powerful
"Splendid Solution" is a splendid book.From the opening page, the reader is swept into the world of Jonas Salk and the race to find a vaccine to prevent polio.

If you're a baby boomer, you'll remember getting the Salk or Sabin vaccine -- and marvel that our largest generation of children were protected by the efforts of Dr. Salk and his research team.If you're a parent of a baby boomer, you'll relive the horrors of summers in the 30s, 40s and 50s when the scourge of polio raced through the nation - striking at every level of society - even a future president - FDR.

Like "THE HOT ZONE" -- this is a riveting read!Highly recommended! ... Read more


114. Social Transformation of American Medicine
by Paul Starr
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465079350
Catlog: Book (1984-04-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 19005
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in American History, this is a landmark history of how the entire American health care system of doctors, hospitals, health plans, and government programs has evolved over the last two centuries. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great history of American medicine
For anyone interested in the healthcare as a profession or area of study, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Despite the 20 years since its publication, Paul Starr's Pulitzer prize winner is still relevant today and in retrospect his projections made of the future of healthcare in America are surpisingly prescient.

The first book describes the development of the medical profession in early America providing a fascinating look at the social evolution of American society. The second book delineates the rise of doctors, hospitals and medical schools in latter half of the 19th to the early 20th century with the rise of science and a professional authority. The third book shifts the focus from the doctors and to the industry that medicine became as well as the various attempts at healthcare reform in response to rising healthcare costs.

My only criticism is that Starr should have devoted more pages to the root causes behind the rising healthcare costs that drove the reforms of the 1960-70s described in the third book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blame it on the AMA
This book traces the evolution of America's disjointed healthcare system, from the horror of the early hospitals to the formation of the medical profession. It also explains how, as the early profession was fighting for the right to exist, it took virtual possession of the rest of the healthcare system. Every Democratic president since FDR has attempted some type of major healthcare reform, only to be opposed by the American Medical Association (AMA) because organized doctorhood thought it had too much to lose.

This book is an effortless read for students of sociology or those that have a great interest in the history of medicine. Published in 1983, it easily predicts some of the current problems in American healthcare, because the powerful interests that determine the delivery of healthcare are still the same. It also predicts some of the circumstances that will finally bring America around to some sort of rational, universal, healthcare coverage.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why the US has a private health care system
This Pulitzer Prize winning history of American Medicine does a lot to explain why the domain of public health is so small in the U.S., and why health in the U.S. is mostly a private, as opposed to public, matter. It takes some fortitude to get through, but it should be required reading for anyone who has ever wondered why, for better and for worse, the US is the only developed country that does not have social provision of medical care. Hint: It's not an accident. Recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars A Comprehesive History
It was a pleasure to read Starr's enlightening, comprehensive journey of medicine in it's infancy to it's state in 1985. I hope to see an updated version filling in the intervening 17 years. An excellent book. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Starr review
A very accesible read. It easily combined my interest in social history and health care. ... Read more


115. Modern Physics and Ancient Faith
by Stephen M. Barr
list price: $30.00
our price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0268034710
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Sales Rank: 15893
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Addition to the Science-Religion Dialogue
Stephen Barr has an exceptionally clear style and a gift for illustrating complex ideas and making them understandable. More significantly, here is a free mind joyfully relating the physics he loves to the faith that sustains him, unconcerned about the reaction of the "professionals."

Note: The review of Barr's book by Booklist, is not quite accurate on one point. Barr does not say that Darwin's work has swept away all versions of the Design Argument based on biology. He only says that Darwin somewhat complicated the issue. In fact, while Barr is strongly convinced that evolution happened, he says that he regards it as an "open question" whether natural selection alone can explain the evolution of life, and he attacks the "dogmatism" of many Darwinists on this issue. Moreover, he cites with approval Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box. However, Barr, being a physicist, stays away from biological arguments, except in a few passages, and sticks with his own field, as the title of his book attests.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Students of Science and Religion
Dr. Barr's book lays the key points of traditional debates between theists and materialists' on how discoveries in physics relate to or actively disprove religious beliefs.

His greatest achievement is how he stays balanced and grounded. He shows how religion is compatible with science, but does not get bogged down trying to show how a given set of scientific discoveries *proves* a particular item of religious doctrine. Many Christians have gotten into trouble for this since if they rest their religious belief on a certain piece of scientific evidence, they will be grave trouble when further scientific progress may render that evidence they used obsolete.

While at least one reviewer has accused Barr of making straw men out of the materialist philosophers, I found him fair. At one point in the beginning of the book he wrote summarization of a materialistic case against religion. The wording was rather sweeping, and the footnote said that while this denunciation was written by Barr himself, it summarizes many anti-religion arguments. He does not directly cite any of the sources that he had in mind, which is unfortunate, especially in the light of his otherwise excellent documentation. However, when Barr goes into individual arguments, he documents everything well, and takes the materialists seriously.

The key value of the book is that it helps clarify what many of the science v. religion debates are really arguing about, and the hefty endnotes will help the reader continue on his own explorations. It makes a reliable starting point. Too frequently I have gotten into debates with people of differing religious beliefs (or lack thereof) where we wind up talking past each other.This book helps cure that. When asked what he would do to help his country, Confucius said that he would first have everyone agree on their definitions.

This book helps us agree on our definitions, or at the very least, know how they differ and understand what the other side is saying.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fine Book that Covers New Ground
When I finished this book, I went back and began reading it again, something I haven't done in many years. The writing is exceptionally clear and the arguments well stated. I'm not sure of the reason for the casual dismissal of the philosophical arguments in another review; the author mentions that Peter van Inwagen went through them with him, and van Inwagen is no shrinking violet.

He discusses, for example, the anthropic principle, Godel's proof and implications of quantum mechanics vis-a-vis the human mind, and concludes that, given our present state of knowledge, theism and an immaterial mind best account for the data. Always cautions in his conclusions, he never claims that any issue is settled, always reminding us that future discoveries may supersede what we presently believe about the physical world.

Some of his arguments were completely new to me, despite the fact that I have read extensively on these issues. This is not a rehash of, for example, Penrose. It presents new material in a fresh and interesting way.

He doesn't say that science proves the existence of God, or even that in some way it gives evidence for it, rather, he says that the discoveries of the last 70 years or so are consistent with theism and free will, whereas with classical physics one could only hope that some way out could be found. One has been found.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very readable and well argued
Stephen Barr has a gift of writing about complicated philosophical or scientific issues in a clear and well readable style. Not only he has good style he presents deep arguments too. As a pretaste you might read online his excellent article: Retelling the Story of Science, http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0303/articles/barr.html

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Done and Stimulating Book on an Essential Topic
"Modern Physics and Ancient Faith" is a wonderfully readable, interesting, informative, and intellectually stimulating book on an essential topic. Mr. Barr does an unexpectedly good job of presenting some of the key principles and findings of modern physics and their implications on the battle between materialism and theism. One doesn't need to be a technical wiz to understand the issues and facts- they are presented in a way that is very easy to grasp. (This introduction into some of the principles of modern physics is one of the side benefits of reading this book!) And the arguements on both sides of the issue are presented well, with Mr. Barr clearly stating his position (i.e. that theism provides a much better explanation for the findings of modern physics than materialism) while acknowledging that there is not enough evidence to conclusively prove one side over the other. The presentation does make a strong case for theism, and it does so with solid facts and reasoning.

Overall, this is an interesting, informative, stimulating, and intellectually honest take on a topic that is important and likely to be more important as time goes on. It provides good intellectual fodder for anyone interested in these fields or this debate. ... Read more


116. The Man Who Changed Everything : The Life of James Clerk Maxwell
by BasilMahon
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 047086088X
Catlog: Book (2003-10-03)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 24914
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

‘Since Maxwell’s time, physical reality has been thought of as represented by continuous fields, and not capable of any mechanical interpretation. This change in the conception of reality is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.’

Albert Einstein

‘He is easily, to physicists, the most magical figure of the nineteenth century.’

Times Literary Supplement ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Tribute to a Truly Great Man
The scientific accomplishments of James Clerk Maxwell are astounding! To think that he was able to accomplish so much in electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, etc., in so short a life boggles the mind. This biography is well done. The writing is clear and engaging. The various scientific explanations give a good indication of how Maxwell the scientist approached and solved physical problems. His charming personality and his wittiness stand out to give one a good overall impression of Maxwell the man. Notes at the end of the book provide added information on some issues discussed in the main text. Complete with an index and a bibliography, this book should be read by anyone interested in knowing more about one of the greatest, yet less known, all-time giants of the scientific world. ... Read more


117. Fourth Generation R&D: Managing Knowledge, Technology, and Innovation
by William L.Miller, LangdonMorris
list price: $80.00
our price: $80.00
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Asin: 0471240931
Catlog: Book (1999-08-16)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 75731
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Praise for Fourth Generation R&D "A sweeping and insightful analysis of an architecture for innovation in the knowledge economy. Technologists, strategists, and organizational architects will all find this book worth reading, as will students of the modern organization." —John Seely Brown Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation "The new realities of competition beg a new approach to innovation and R&D; Fourth Generation R&D answers that challenge. With lucid arguments and detailed case studies, Fourth Generation R&D sketches a powerful new paradigm for planning and managing innovation. Every manager concerned with innovation and its role as a strategic resource—that’s to say, every manager—will profit from this new understanding." Lawrence Wilkinson President, Global Business Network "Fourth Generation R&D is a tour de force. Its sweep, depth, and use of graphics are all truly remarkable (not to mention its command of the literature on innovation). The distinctions it draws between continuous and discontinuous innovation—and between tacit and explicit knowledge—are fundamental." —John Yochelson President, The Council on Competitiveness ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Strategic management of innovation
You might be curious about what the title of this book refers to. It¡¯s rather simpler than you might guess. In a common vocabulary in business, it refers to the ¡®radical innovation¡¯. Then, you might infer that the 3rd generation R&D should be the incremental innovation. Yep. You¡¯re right. But those conventional terms don¡¯t fit completely into what authors argues. There is sufficient reason to coin such neologisms. The argument of this book goes like this. Traditional market research tends to deal with explicit knowledge. Focus group, survey, structured interview, all tackle what is pre-definable or expressible in word. But could such approaches spot the next generation product? authors question. No. customers can¡¯t put into words their gut feeling needs. They could spot it only when it appears on the market. The real breakthrough in product development, more often than not, comes in unexpected way. Thus, authors pose the question, ¡®How we should manage the uncertainty?¡¯ Put in other way, ¡®how we should manage the innovation?¡¯ R&D or product development must include incremental innovation. But in this turbulent environment, it¡¯s not enough. To be the leader in the market, not follower, one should ride ahead the tide. Then the question of R&D should be the radical innovation. Break with the identifiable trend. Then what product should be devised? All R&D begins with the product concept. But now the concept should be based on what customer¡¯s gut feeling or their tacit needs. Don¡¯t make what customer wants today. Make what they want tomorrow. At this point, you might retort: ¡®Yep. You¡¯re right. But it¡¯s easier to be told than to be done. How I could do so?¡¯ Here comes the knowledge management. Customers¡¯ tacit needs tend to be buried in noise of day-to-day information flow. There are numerous reasons for such filtering out. But all in all, to be sensitive to that kind of info, the authors maintain, is to manage the organization innovative. Knowing is not doing. Doing needs the capability to do. Then innovation requires the capability building. But it¡¯s not that simple to build up. It must face resistance inside the firm itself. Radical innovation tends to be the capability-destroying one. so developing innovative product usually comes with organizational innovation.
Above is the problem authors pose to us. I think the better title of the book is ¡®Strategic management of innovation¡¯. This book is not about the specificity of R&D, but about how to manage the firm innovative. Overall tenet of the book is so close to Nonaka & Takeuchi¡¯s ¡®The Knowledge-Creating Company¡¯. But this book is written not for academic researcher but for managers in the field. Points are made in graphic way with various case studies by authors. Nonetheless, it lacks the depth of Nonaka & Takeuchi¡¯s book. I recommend to read this book with Nonaka & Takeuchi¡¯s.

4-0 out of 5 stars great content, not so great style
The book starts out with theoretical constucts and eventually uses examples to show their relevance. I found the authors' style of writing rather awkward. The organization of the material also makes the book somewhat difficult to follow. However, the well researched material presented is worth buying the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustainable Innovation!
Authors Miller and Morris have nailed the impending transformation of R&D from its historical, product-centric past to its emerging knowledge-centric future. In addition, their focus on 'discontinuous' and 'fusion' innovation promises to lead the way for industry, in general, whose R&D functions typically produce less than one new product innovation per decade and whose new products, when they are produced, tend to fail in under four years. The authors' explicit embrace of knowledge management is also welcome, as the value of most companies now tends to rest more on the weight of their intellectual assets than on so-called 'hard' assets. Finally, this book's focus on distributed, enterprise-wide innovation signals the tearing down of R&D's overly centralized and compartmentalized profile in most firms, and offers strong support for the view that innovation should be structured as a distributed, whole-firm social process, not an administrative one. I highly recommend this book to readers interested in R&D, innovation, knowledge management, intellectual capital, organizational learning, and sustainable innovation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative Analysis of Innovation
Fourth Generation R&D makes explicit many of the concepts and processes of innovation that often seem mysterious and complex. The author's framework for innovation applies to organizations competing in accelerated and dynamic markets.

5-0 out of 5 stars Innovation algorithm
Most business leaders today understand that innovation is survival. This book gets beyond the usual trivial pablum about *being more creative* to show the kinds of mechanisms and methods that give R&D traction. If you want to stop wasting your R&D dollars and get better ROI, this book offers clear, actionable, and reliable insights. ... Read more


118. Science, Truth, and Democracy (Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science)
by Philip Kitcher
list price: $48.00
our price: $48.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195145836
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 97651
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well written, engaging, but with a fundamental oversight
Philip Kitcher again shines as a well informed philosopher of science. This book can be regarded as a sequel to his magnum opus _The Advancement of Science_. It deals with the relativists and antirealists quite well, though does presuppose some familiarity with these debates.

However, I find that Kitcher's new position on the nature of science and its relations to society at large suffers from an apparently glaring oversight. He tells us that those who have a stake in the outcome of scientific research should have a say in how it should proceed, be funded, etc.

Since we have long known (and Kitcher himself is aware of the fact) that the outcome of basic scientific research is unknown, i.e. we do not know what position (if any) it will affect, we cannot realistically adopt Kitcher's suggestion. His proposal is emmently sensible in technology, where the goal is not to know but to change or prevent change. But the history of science shows that the proposal of making basic science sensitive to people's interests _that_ way will not work. Further, it is vague, even if it could be done: how do we determine the effect? Christian conservatives like Philip Johnson would curtail or slow research into evolution because he feels it is socially undermining; biologists and
other scientists (rightly) regard this as distressing. Science *should* puncture illusions, as Kitcher points out happens. On the other hand, if the "say" is simply to be a sort of "gripe session" where people can say their piece to scientists, this is a recipe for squabble, or worse, just ignoring people, which is the (perceived) problem in the management of science now.
(I think actually that the insistence from some that science is alienating because it is undemocratic is wrong, but that's another story.)

One should not read this book, however, without a grasp of some of the issues this review sort of brings up. As another reviewer said it is sort of for the academic. I wish that weren't so: but sometimes we academics have to debate amongst ourselves a bit first, before popularizations come out. Of course this is just some of the same concerns again ... and around we go.

3-0 out of 5 stars Waving a flag and kissing a baby...
Kitcher oozes reasonableness, and so I reach for my wallet. If the best course of action was always to split the difference between two extremes, then Kitcher would be the Solomon of science policy. Unfortunately, divisions in the real world do not correspond to the poles of philosophical disagreements. This is one for the seminar room, not the corridors of power.

5-0 out of 5 stars What the world needs now is this book.
I am impressed with Kitcher, actually stunned. This book needs to be read by every politician in office. The fact that our government does in fact function much better than middle east gov's is due to separation of church and state, but now what we need is to really incorporate that idea, especially with a little more truth. The science of life is accepted as Kitcher mentions as irrefutable by all, but the truth of it is jet lag, not really here. I say yes, read this book, to anyone. I want to recommend another book very similar to this but in entertaining format which puts this subject across well, SB 1 or God By Karl Maddox. ... Read more


119. Children at War
by P.W. SINGER
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.00
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Asin: 0375423494
Catlog: Book (2005-01-11)
Publisher: Pantheon
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120. A Sense of the Mysterious : Science and the Human Spirit
by ALAN LIGHTMAN
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
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Asin: 0375423206
Catlog: Book (2005-01-18)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 6409
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