Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Outsider



The Outsider
Payton Lee | 2009-01-01 00:00:00 | Payton Lee | 297 | Fiction
A Love Triangle. Thornton, Martin, and Leigh conquer their insecurities and learn to love life with happiness and joy.
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Einstein in His Own Words



Einstein in His Own Words
Anne Rooney | 2006-11-07 00:00:00 | Gramercy | 192 | Scientists
Einstein In His Own Words collects wisdom and insight straight from the mind of the most famous genius of the 20th century. Read Einstein's thoughts and writings on a variety of subjects, including relativity, black holes, atomic energy, time travel, and more.

Insightful quotes include:

It is always delightful when a great and beautiful idea proves to be consonant with reality.

When I am judging a theory, I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

With full-color photographs and illustrations throughout, this is a lovely tribute to one of the greatest minds in modern science.
Reviews
Albert Einstein was the first and so far only scientist that was a major celebrity. The media and public followed his every move and today his name is a synonym for genius. His theories of relativity were such a radical break from accepted science that very few people understood them; it took a generation before there was general acceptance within the scientific community. Einstein was also a social and political activist; his outspoken criticism of the tense political situation after World War II led to his being criticized as an undesirable.

This book is a collection of photos and brief quotes, most of which were by Einstein. From them, you can see the depth of Einstein's interests; he was also a committed humanist and deep thinker about many things. In one of the greatest of all ironies, he was a committed pacifist yet signed a letter urging President Franklin Roosevelt to develop the atomic bomb. Although he regretted his action for the rest of his life, it was the correct thing to do; the potential horror of a nuclear-armed Nazi Germany is unthinkable.

While there is no depth to the presentation, this material about Albert Einstein is an excellent primer on his beliefs and philosophy of life.


Reviews
There are two books with the same title. One lists Einstein as the author and is a compilation of short essays on different subjects. This present book lists Anne Rooney as the author. It consists of Einstein quotes and many pictures, tied loosely together with some text by Ann Rooney. I think that the first reviewer may be confusing this book with the one by Einstein. This review is about the book by Anne Rooney.



The book is divided into many short sections, each about 2-4 pages long, with titles such as "The Early Years", "Of Mass and Energy", "Einstein and the Bomb", "Spinoza and Pantheism", "On Democracy", On Knowledge", etc. These brief sections are grouped into several categories, namely: Introduction (which covers his early life), Science, Religion, War, Politics and Philosophy. There is also a very brief "Who's who" section that gives one or two sentence identifications of all of the 39 people (ranging from Euclid to Bertrand Russell) mentioned in the book. The book is 192-pages long, with about 25% of this taken up with photos and illustrations.



I gave this book only three stars for the following reasons:

1) The information about Einstein's life is very brief and sketchy. You get far more from the Wikipedia entry. If you knew nothing about Einstein you would get only the most fragmentary picture of him from this book. You would be better advised to read one of the many Einstein biographies, and if you do not want to read a long book I would recommend "The Essential Einstein" by Priwer and Phillips.

2) The science provided in the book is sketchy and mostly useless. The book does not provide the necessary background from which to evaluate Einstein's greatness as a scientist. "The Essential Einstein" provides some useful information and enables a general reader to get a feeling of the importance of Einstein's physics, without very much mathematics or actual in-depth physics.

3) The book is actually very short. The quotes are printed in very large type, so when the space taken up by the photos and illustrations is accounted for, you are not left with very much.

4) I think that some of the information that is provided is misleading or actually wrong. For instance, Einstein's first wife Mileva is described as being disabled (she walked with a slight limp). Furthermore, Mileva may have become a difficult person to live with, probably largely due to Einstein's behavior, but I have not found support in the other biographies that I have read for the characterization, given in this book, that she was mentally ill.

5) The book has no index.



Given the above mentioned negative aspects of this book one could reasonably ask why I give the book as many as three stars. I did so because I found the sections on religion and politics to be somewhat interesting, so for me the book was not a total waste. I also found the photo's interesting and worth having.



I do not recommend this book for someone who knows little or nothing about Einstein. I would recommend it this book (and then only half heartedly) as an adjunct to other books, and then only for the pictures and the few sections that I found informative.


Reviews
Einstein wrote well on a surprisingly varied number of subjects. The heart of his writing will of course always be in his scientific work. And the true expression of that in mathematical language which most of us laymen cannot possibly comprehend. But he wrote well about scientific subjects in ordinary, understandable language. He also wrote with wit and wisdom about political subjects, about matters of morality. He once said' Common sense is that layer of prejudice deposited in the mind before eighteen years'. Yet Einstein himself had no small amount of common sense as well as the extraordinary uncommon sense( Which led him to ask questions no one before had thought to frame in the way he did.) This selection of his writing is small and yet tastefully done. What also adds to the impressiveness of the volume is the outstandingly clear and striking illustrations and pictures which fill up a good share of the pages.

If one wants a simple good short summary book on Einstein, this could be it.

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Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics and Materiality



Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics and Materiality
Tim Edensor | 2005-06-04 00:00:00 | Berg Publishers | 288 | Social Sciences
Standing in contrast to these aesthetically and socially regulated spaces are the neglected sites of industrial ruins, places on the margin which accommodate transgressive and playful activities. Providing a different aesthetic to the over-designed spaces of the city, ruins evoke an aesthetics of disorder, surprise and sensuality, offering ghostly glimpses into the past and a tactile encounter with space and materiality. Tim Edensor highlights the danger of destroying such evocative sites in order to build new developments. It is precisely their fragmentary nature and lack of fixed meaning that render ruins deeply meaningful. They blur boundaries between rural and urban, past and present and are intimately tied to memory, desire and a sense of place. Stunningly illustrated throughout, this book celebrates industrial ruins and reveals what they can tell us about ourselves and our past.

Reviews
A work of unremitting genius, by the foremost scholar of our age. Insightful and informative, this original masterpiece should be owned by every household.

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Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Mathematics)



Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Mathematics)
Daniel J. Cohen | 2007-03-01 00:00:00 | The Johns Hopkins University Press | 256 | World

Throughout history, application rather than abstraction has been the prominent driving force in mathematics. From the compass and sextant to partial differential equations, mathematical advances were spurred by the desire for better navigation tools, weaponry, and construction methods. But the religious upheaval in Victorian England and the fledgling United States opened the way for the rediscovery of pure mathematics, a tradition rooted in Ancient Greece.

In Equations from God, Daniel J. Cohen captures the origins of the rebirth of abstract mathematics in the intellectual quest to rise above common existence and touch the mind of the deity. Using an array of published and private sources, Cohen shows how philosophers and mathematicians seized upon the beautiful simplicity inherent in mathematical laws to reconnect with the divine and traces the route by which the divinely inspired mathematics of the Victorian era begot later secular philosophies.



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Big Book of Scroll Saw Woodworking: More Than 60 Projects and Techniques for Fretwork, Intarsia and Other Scroll Saw Crafts



Big Book of Scroll Saw Woodworking: More Than 60 Projects and Techniques for Fretwork, Intarsia and Other Scroll Saw Crafts
Editors of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts | 2009-12-01 00:00:00 | | 0 | Do It Yourself
This is a great book. I wasn't sure if I should get it, because I couldn't find any reviews anywhere. I decided to go for it, because it was written by the people at scroll saw magazine. I'm glad I did. I've only read the first chapter so far with basic "how to" info. I'm already seeing a huge improvement in my projects. I'm getting smoother cuts and crisper corners, and doing it at a faster pace. I can't wait to do some of the projects they provide. The only improvement I would suggest is making it spiral bound for easier photo-copying of the patterns.
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Lake and Sea Monsters (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)



Lake and Sea Monsters (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena)
Linda S. Godfrey | 2008-07-30 00:00:00 | Chelsea House Publications | 127 | Social Science

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Las Vegas (Eyewitness Travel Guides)



Las Vegas (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
DK Publishing | 2007-01-01 00:00:00 | DK Travel | 208 | Travel
"DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Las Vegas" will lead you straight to the best attractions Las Vegas has to offer. Packed with information, detailed Las Vegas maps, beautiful cutaways and floor plans of all Las Vegas' major sites, this guide explores every facet of the city known as 'the world's playground'. This fully updated and expanded Las Vegas guide provides comprehensive guidance on the best things to do in Las Vegas: from the huge flamboyant resorts, the glittering casinos of the Bellagio and MGM Grand and vast selection of shows, to the spectacular sights of the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. "The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Las Vegas" provides all the insider tips every visitor to Las Vegas needs, with dozens of reviews for Las Vegas hotels, recommendations for Las Vegas restaurants, tips for shopping, where to go to get married and all the best places for entertainment in Las Vegas. Don't miss a thing on your holiday with the "DK Eyewitness Guide to Las Vegas"
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