Profile for Neil Scott Mcnutt > Reviews

Browse

Neil Scott Mcnutt's Profile

Customer Reviews: 53
Top Reviewer Ranking: 278,049
Helpful Votes: 464




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Neil Scott Mcnutt RSS Feed (New York, NY United States)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
San Miguel
San Miguel
by T. Coraghessan Boyle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $27.95
207 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A bucolic tale well-told set in the fascinating Channel Islands off Southern California, January 17, 2013
This review is from: San Miguel (Hardcover)
TC Boyle has many writing talents. In this book he concentrates on the lives of people who have settled on the Channel Islands off the coast of California , near Santa Barbara. The time is just before and after World War 2. The Channel Islands have been a fascination for years by Scuba Divers interested in the marine life. This book is a major effort for TC Boyle in recreating that time.The 367 pages is all text, with the exception of a rough map at the beginning of the story. The rather hard life and isolation challenge the people throughout the book, particularly when the War begins. The ending is a surprise.


RNA: Life's Indispensable Molecule
RNA: Life's Indispensable Molecule
by James E. Darnell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $38.76
31 used & new from $23.18

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hard but exciting road to greatness, October 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Our expert guide is Dr. James Darnell, a honored senior scientist at the Rockefeller University in New York City. Dr. Darnell spent many years at the laboratory bench. His early work on viruses includes investigation of poliovirus at a time when there was no immunization against it, true dedication! The first chapter in his book recounts the early days of protein chemistry and chemical analysis of chromosomes, which led to the assertion that DNA was the genetic material , by Avery, Macleod, and McCarty. With the Watson and Crick model of DNA, a whole new era began. In Chapter 2, Darnell emphasizes that precise genetic information is present in both DNA and RNA. Using extracts from plant viruses, Darnell proved that the plant viruses he studied had 3% RNA and no DNA. This indicated the importance of RNA. In the bacterial genome, studies led to the discovery of "Messenger RNA" as an important template for protein synthesis. Messenger RNA permitted the rapid starting and stopping of enzyme synthesis. The concept emerged of a comma-less triplet code that must be read from a fixed starting point three bases at a time (A Nobel Prize for Severo Ochoa). The discussion continues to include "start and stop" signals, nonsense codons and mis-sense mutants when the wrong amino acid was inserted. In careful experiments, Darnell and colleagues were able to characterize four nuclear RNA species. The later discovery, by David Baltimore, of reverse transcriptase made it possible to copy RNA into DNA. Throughout Dr. Darnell's book, he has placed many drawings about the exact way that these little proteins interact with each other. These diagrams make it possible to understand the fine aspects of the interactions of these proteins, making possible a great learning experience. A short, very readable, section at the end of the book has some interesting thoughts about the origins of life.


Billy the Kid and Other Plays (Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Americas series)
Billy the Kid and Other Plays (Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Americas series)
by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.46
28 used & new from $0.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful romp with Rudolfo Anaya, July 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In his latest book, Rudolfo Anaya has given us a group of plays that are an interesting and a varied view of the culture of the Southwest. Often the point of view is from the Hispanic people but the stories are really rather universal in their appeal. They do not require a dictionary for the short and funny slang that is spoken by some of the characters. If you like to read plays, these have been performed and are polished works. Among the plays there is an enactment of the tragic relationship between Indian families and the Spaniards at the time of the conquest of Mexico. The celebration of Christmas in the Southwest style is dramatic also. One play is titled "Who killed Don Jose?" The ancient indian dances "Matachines" are featured also. A group of friends are in "Ay Compadre." The title of the book, features the story of Billy the Kid, which is presented here from an unusual and very interesting perspective. At the end of the book, the final story about "Angie" is sure to have you chuckling.as well as being thought provoking. This book is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the culture of New Mexico, in a way that has universal appeal.


The Spark Of Life: Darwin And The Primeval Soup
The Spark Of Life: Darwin And The Primeval Soup
by Christopher Wills
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.96
53 used & new from $1.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Science, as good as it gets, June 7, 2012
In 260 pages of excellent science writing, Christopher Wills and Jeffrey Bada summarize many studies related to the origin of life and how evolution impacts us today. Big questions are treated clearly, such as "Where did life on earth come from?" A chapter is devoted to early concepts about the possibility of "Spontaneous Generation" and how early microscopists tried to determine whether or not there was spontaneous generation of life from nonliving matter. The Russian scientist Alekandr Oparin, and others, reasoned that simple chemicals could be combined, in a flask, and activated by an electrical spark to produce amino acids, necessary for the beginning of life. In some of his studies Oparin found fatty substances that aggregated as "coacervates" which were colloidal gels that somewhat resembled protoplasm of living cells. The idea of life originating from the "Primordial soup" took hold and the Darwinian evolution started the progression to more complex life forms. There is a chapter on the conditions of the earth at its beginning. For example, Australian rocks 3.5 billion years old were found to contain worm-like fossils. Up to date discussions include the formation of early nucleic acids and how they evolved into more complex forms necessary for life as we know it. Early life forms are discussed along with the possibility that similar life on other planets and galaxies might exist. The crystal clear and fun writing in this book takes us to the year 2000, and gets us ready for new adventures.


Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are
Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are
by M. Zuk
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.12
74 used & new from $0.60

5.0 out of 5 stars This book could change your life, May 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Marlene Zuk has put together a fascinating and helpful book about our relationships with the biology that exists in our environment and how it can help us or hurt us. As a physician, I appreciate the detailed approach to the subject that some people may be shocked by. The relationship between our immune system and the biologic organisms in our environment is a fascinating and very timely subject. It is important to adapt to our environment including bacteria, bugs, and dirt. Our immune system needs to develop in a context of real life. Fortunately we can do that without catching too many diseases. One should not eat dirt ("Pica"), but some lightly cleaned fresh vegetables and some lactobacillous could be helpful. These suggestions are in-tune with part of this book. There are also excellent discussions about emerging threats in our environment, that are up-to-date, and important for us all. A great book!


The Great Night: A Novel
The Great Night: A Novel
by Chris Adrian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.40
45 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A woozy romp through San Francisco, April 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Chris Adrian's novel "The Great Night" is probably best enjoyed by people who have lived in San Francisco, especially during the high period from the 1960's to 1980's. The novel gives you a magical tour through the City, as recounted in different scenes, sometimes fragmentary. Portions are vividly portrayed more realistically, for example, in death in a hospital, and by contrast, to the opposite, as absurdly funny pornographic images. To get a grasp of the characters in the book does not require much knowledge about the original Shakespeare "A Midsummer Night's Dream." An excellent review of the book was published in The New York Times Book Review on Sunday May 8, 2011. The book is at its best when it drifts into a sudden surprising fantasy world. and gives you a few laughs.


Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.26
206 used & new from $3.20

5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating tale of outstanding achievement, April 18, 2012
Who does not want to have a good memory! Josh Foer recounts the many efforts through the ages to improve memory. He starts with ancient times, when an excellent internal memory was necessary, when ancient books were very scarce. Today, the ability to recite large amounts of material, without book-in-hand, is routine for actors on the stage, but for few other occasions. For most of us, written lists and Google substitute for our relatively untrained memory. Clearly most people can improve their memory by certain methods and practice. Foer describes some methods that rely on purposeful exaggeration to augment memory, by making things more exciting. We have little trouble remembering outrageous frightful things and hurtful things that happen to us. Alcohol, sleeping pills, and vacations are used to escape remembering unwanted information. Foer gives a difficult method for remembering based on the concept of an imaginary house that you mentally furnish with items that you want to or need to remember. Little mention is made of the effects of stimulants, particularly caffeine, which has long been used to make life more exciting! The book gives some examples of persons that have incredible natural memory. Certainly repetition plays a very important role, which cannot be denied for ordinary people.


Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico
Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico
by Ronald Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.02
68 used & new from $1.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful travel in a troubled region, February 5, 2012
Time among the Maya, Ronald Wright
This is a charming travelogue, particularly if you have experienced travel to some of the Maya Indian sites. Ronald Wright has given us an insight that could only be possible from someone who has spent considerable time and research into the politics and plight of the Maya people. There are some helpful maps for orientation. The writing is like a daily journal, which is charming in its observations and the attempts at a phonetic impression of the speech of the various populations that he encounters in his journey. There are references to some of the masterworks of more early explorers, such as John L. Stephens, with excellent drawings by Catherwood (Dover Publications), and the helpful translation of Popol Vuh by Dennis Tedlock. Ronald Wright gives us "food for thought" about the terrible things that have occurred in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, as various political factions have battled for control.


Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon: A Chronicle of an Incan Treasure
Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon: A Chronicle of an Incan Treasure
by Peter Lourie
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.63
44 used & new from $4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear exploration of Inca Lore, January 17, 2012
A fascinating chronicle of a search for Treasure and the discovery of oneself: You encounter an old world in the high mountains of Ecuador and feel its beauty, as well as the inner lives of people who are there. Foreigners come in the attempt to find the gold that belonged to the ancient Inca people, which is now hidden in the mountains. As you read further, the cast of characters is vividly described, at times humorous and at times sad. A great read that is clear and very well documented.


Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution
Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution
by Mary Gabriel
Edition: Hardcover
81 used & new from $2.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding Research into an Important Era, January 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Review of LOVE AND CAPITAL by Mary Gabriel

Weighing in at nearly 2.5 pounds and 600 pages, the book by Mary Gabriel has given us a remarkable in-depth insight into the era of the personal and political world in a very tumultuous era in Europe and the United States from 1837 to 1910. The book is constructed in a very reader-friendly style, beginning with some maps, and a list of characters, which gives a summary of the major characters, and how they relate to the story, for easy reference, during the complex action. It is really a love story of the people involved in the struggle to obtain many things that we take for granted, such as child labor laws, the 8-hour work day, and justice in the ability to share in the wealth of rich countries. The story centers on the life of Karl Marx and his family, and the difficulties of being a writer about complex economic issues and inequities. Another major person in the story is Friedrich Engles, who partners in many ways to support Karl Marx and his family, and without whom they would not have survived. The action takes place in several countries and in several families. There are many surprises on the way to the final pages, which leave you feeling very fortunate to be living today!


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6