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Where the Stars and Stripes and the
Where the Stars and Stripes and the
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aaron Tippin's Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly, January 29, 2002
The other reviewers have mostly done an excellent job. Aaron Tippin, like Alan Jackson (whom I also reviewed), replied to the September 11 terror with what he does best, Country Music. This one has the beat and the words that bring back the best of traditional Country but also the best of modern times and our response to indiscriminate terror. Some young people think that it's *cool* to praise New Yorkers for their courage but not to sing or dance or whistle or hum to people like Aaron and Alan whose souls express themselves in music in reacting to September 11. They probably never heard Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Mary Chapin Carpenter (in her Saturday Night at the Twist and Shout), or for that matter Beethoven who was blind and deaf but wrote the world's greatest music in the face of the dictator Napoleon (whom he told off and was spared because of his courage). Country Music is the Modern version of the old Classical Music - the old Creative Geniuses Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Chopin, Vivaldi, Verdi, Strauss, etc.
Tippin tells it like it is. He tells the good parts of America the way he experiences them. Yes, loving your wife and your nation and your dreams and your flag can be very *cool*. Try it, you'll like it!


Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time
Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time
by J. Richard Gott
Edition: Hardcover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professor Gott's Time Travel in Einstein's Universe, January 9, 2002
Professor of Astrophysics Gott of Princeton discusses one of the most creative ideas concerning the universe, time, time travel. In following him and his Ph.D. student Li-Xin Li, we read in amazingly clear language about the latest research in astrophysics and the physics of the universe (cosmology), including string theory, inflation, chaotic inflation, budding universes with and without time loops, and the older origin of these theories with Wheeler and Feynman of Princeton and their split wave advanced-retarded theory which explained quantum strangeness and the strange results of double slit diffraction experiments which seem to indicate that light "knows" the open vs closed path that lies ahead of it. In this, they carry atrophysicist Gribbin's (of Cambridge University) popular books much further. Part of the combined universes in Gott's picture appear finite like an endless circle or sphere that one can go around continually with a backwards time loop, although later universes may lack such loops....


The Universe in a Nutshell
The Universe in a Nutshell
by Stephen Hawking
Edition: Hardcover
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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell, January 7, 2002
To understand Stephen Hawking's books, it helps to know what translating from quantitative to verbal language and back does for Creative Geniuses and what it can do for most people. It awakes and stimulates associations in the brain or mind to vast worlds of knowledge of both quantitative and verbal type, and this results in new ideas and new combinations of ideas. Start with an open mind and tolerance and with the understanding that Creative Geniuses tend to be more concerned with the Spirit of the Law than with the Letter of the Law. Try to look into the Spirit of what Hawking writes. If there are words that confuse you, write them down and look up their definitions - the internet is an excellent place to search for definitions. Make flash cards and alphabetize them by the first letter or first two letters of the definition, thus organizing the words and enabling you to find words about the same topic rapidly. Don't just make index cards on one side - put about one or two lines of ordinary handwriting or typing on front and about one or two lines on the back, so that you have to guess the second half of the definition or theory or theorem or axiom or example from looking at the first half.
When you've done that, think about this. People don't become parents only in order to help their children. They also become parents to help themselves out of loneliness, to learn more about the world. You'll find that out if you become a parent. Stephen Hawking writes not just because it inspires you the reader, but because it inspires him to translate from mathematics and physics into English. It's not always a perfect translation. But you'll find that Hawking always chooses the latest topics in physics, because his popular books are a way of continuing his research which constitutes his Way of Life. If you just concentrate on the word *brane* or *p-brane* in the index of his book, and look that up on the internet and try to understand as much as you can about it in Hawking, you'll be close to one of the latest and most important fields of research in all of science. The secret is not in Hawking's pictures, but in Knowledge. If you think Knowledge is difficult, try Ignorance - it just leads to anger and violence.


Preserver (Star Trek)
Preserver (Star Trek)
by William Shatner
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Shattner's Preserver (Star Trek), August 16, 2001
I've never met a Star Trek episode or book that I didn't like, which is probably the best one can say about the modern time version of Will Rogers' "I never met a person I didn't like.* One good thing about Shattner's TV role as Captain Kirk and his series of books including Preserver is that we have one of the original Gene Rodenberry cast (who lasted all the way through the series and into seveal more)who helped very much make it what it is and was, William Shattner, interpreting things and carrying on with the help of his admirable co-authors. Another good thing in Preserver is the *Wise Aliens* - it is so in contrast with the usual Bug Eyed Monster (BEM) Sci-Fi movies! I think that it did wonders for Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. Wise People/Creatures behind the scenes, like mysterious benefactors in mystery stories (Agatha Christie had them all over the place - not just mysterious psychopaths), appeal to our good and Noble parts. Long Live Star Trek! I have to add that time and space and dimensional travel and related mysteries are really important in modern physics (quantum entanglement may involve all three). As usual, science fiction keeps up with the latest research and sometimes goes ahead.


Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI
Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI
by Candice DeLong
Edition: Hardcover
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candice DeLong's Special Agent, July 24, 2001
This is the best book that I have ever read on the FBI or law enforcement, written by a woman who not only went beyond the call of duty but did it against both *friends* (a tradition of not hiring women agents) and foes. Aside from her courage, what most impresses me is her background as head Psychiatric Nurse in a major hospital before joining the FBI, which was subsequently put to good use in profiling rapists and similar violent criminals. This "profiling" technique uses statistics and interviews with offenders to obtain patterns of attacks and attackers - personality and lifestyle sketches of the typical psychopath (less effective with new criminals who simply *panic*)which are directed toward answering why particular victims are selected while others are not, why violence escalates over time for the psychopath, what kinds of public appeals may flush out the criminal or encourage him to communicate or confess, where the criminal is likely to surface, etc. The profiling technique was pioneered by psychiatrist James Brussel in the 1950s and introduced to the FBI by Howard Teten and Patrick Mullany in the early 1970s.
Candice DeLong, who retired in July 2000, is a credit to Irish American Catholics and women and people with courage beyond the call of duty as well as mental health practitioners everywhere. I hope that women and mental health professionals and other scientists including statisticians will follow her example and consider a career in law enforcement, whether or not they believe in the sanity of politicians or in the sanity of bureaucrats.


MINDS, MACHINES, AND THE MULTIVERSE: THE QUEST FOR THE QUANTUM COMPUTER
MINDS, MACHINES, AND THE MULTIVERSE: THE QUEST FOR THE QUANTUM COMPUTER
by J.R. Brown
Edition: Hardcover
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julian Brown's Minds, Machines, and the Multiverse, June 1, 2001
The editors and other reviewers have done a good job on this book, and I will just make a few comments. I've been working on quantum computers and quantum cryptography, but I'm very oriented toward how non-experts will understand books and articles. I don't think that there is any clearer book on quantum computers than Julian Brown's, but I agree with some of the others that it will still be hard to come away with a feeling of understanding some basic ideas of the subjects. This book is, however, excellent for the fascinating history of discovery and invention, which Brown excels at revealing. Just as you don't have to know much about law to enjoy biographies of politicians, you'll probably enjoy Brown's book very much if you don't expect too much from it. It's also a good opportunity for parents to teach children (and vice versa!) to love learning and knowledge, because if you tolerate and even not get upset at a certain level of ambiguity, you just might be tempted to read a few sections over a few times and then start looking on the internet or in the libraries for more details. Scientific American can help you to get more details on some of the things that you don't understand, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days a clearer book on the technicalities will also come out - in which case it will help you to be ahead of the game by reading as much as you can of this book.
Research in the physical/mathematical sciences which is in the very new stages tends to be difficult to write up. Quantum computers and cryptography are about as new as research gets. The best creative geniuses probably are capable right now of writing up their ideas in English in such a way that most people would understand them if they try, but they're sort of in the position of a fireman who has to keep putting out fires rather than write his autobiography. The autobiographies and the clarifications will come later. One thing that you can do is to try to puzzle out who the most creative geniuses are from the book. There usually are only relative few in science/mathematics. Most scientists tend to be Ingenious Followers, just moving one step ahead of the last scientist. The Creative Geniuses jump many steps ahead, and they usually do it often. I'll give you a clue - one of the latter is David Deutsch of Oxford University's Clarendon Laboratory. Generally speaking, Great Britain and France and Belgium and the words Creative Genius in Physics/Math/Computers go together. I'm going to let you find the clues for the other Creative Geniuses for yourselves, except to mention for example that some of it has to do with Rolf Landauer of IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, who passed away in 1999 just before the book was written. You might also be surprised to find that Professor Richard Feynman of Caltech borrowed somebody else's ideas (at least John von Neumann gave people credit when he did that) - Paul Benioff's of Argonne National Labs in Illinois. Look those people up on the internet and in books and journals. Also, look up entanglement and interference in the book's index and read all the pages about them in the book - the easiest ones first perhaps. I'll just leave you with a thought (I may give some more clarifications another time). Quantum entangled people will behave exactly the same even if they are in different galaxies. It's like the *psychic twins*. If that isn't enough to turn one toward a career in science/math, I don't know what is.


American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War
American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War
by David E. Kaiser
Edition: Hardcover
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professor David Kaiser's American Tragedy, May 8, 2001
Professor David Kaiser of the Strategy and Policy Department of the Naval War College tells us the real story behind the bureaucrats who put us into Vietnam, and in doing so lives up to the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps which have generally been far ahead of the other services in their resistance to bureaucratic pressures from politicians. The CIA refused to provide Kaiser with anything but token documents, violating the Freedom of Information Act. Kaiser shows how politicians including Presidents Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson grew up under the spell of Churchill's anti-appeasement speeches to believe that the USA had to become the World Policeman. When he became President, Eisenhower began U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia covertly and the Joint Chiefs of Staff except General Shoup of the Marines were badgered into accepting this. When John F. Kennedy became President, both his Senate and Navy service led him to oppose intervention for a long time, in agreement with the U.S. Senate Democrats (Mansfield, Humphrey, etc.) and isolationist Republicans (Dirksen, etc.). The State Department Bureaucrats (who controlled the CIA) and their allies in related departments and the Joint Chiefs so badgered and pressured Kennedy that he eventually collapsed under their bombardment and agreed to intervention in Laos. When Johnson came in as President, he made full scale intervention. Some readers may recall that I have reviewed biographies of Field Marshalls Montgomery and Slim of Great Britain and Marshall/General Zhukov of Russia but not Eisenhower. The Allies produced 4 creative geniuses in World WarII: Montgomery, Slim, Zhukov, and Admiral Nimitz. Eisenhower was not one of them. He was then and later more suited to bureaucratic Ingenious Follower status than to individual Creative Genius status, like Lyndon Johnson. Our British and French allies opposed the intervention (Churchill would probably have opposed it too) not because of De Gaulle's *intransigence* as the news media claimed, but because they are the two nations with the most creative geniuses (along with Italy) in world history. When all is said and done, World War II was needed to defend the USA, but most wars are not and were not (like World War I, which was a bureaucratic war and nothing more). I hope that we start thinking more about jobs and education and environment at home and less about creating overseas what we cannot do at home.


Gladiator [VHS]
Gladiator [VHS]
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Gladiator, April 3, 2001
This review is from: Gladiator [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Gladiator completely absorbed me with not a moment's lack of interest. The beginning that starts in battle is the way human life starts - not born free but struggling and requiring courage and dedication and hard work to master and learn. The film is in the tradition of the Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables with its human suffering, and Audie Murphy's story with its incredible courage in the face of the seemingly unconquerable odds. It also gives a side of the Ancient Roman army that provides food for thought - it may well be that the army was more courageous than the politicians and their followers (does this seem to parallel modern times?) who misused it and sent it to fight their battles. I also like the idea that you need to live in other people's shoes so to speak in order to understand them - the slavery of Rome looked very different when seen from the inside than from the outside. The inconsistencies that some reviewers have noticed in the story seem to me less important than the consistencies and the similarities with our times. I would have given this film the Academy Award, although I think that it would be better to give several awards for best motion picture.


First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
by Marcus Buckingham
Edition: Hardcover
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buckingham's First Break All the Rules, February 23, 2001
The other reviewers have excellently analyzed this book, and I'd like to concentrate here on where the idea of breaking the rules fits into history. In my fields of mathematics and physics teaching and research, history shows that the most creative geniuses broke the rules but also had the most knowledge of the rules. This combination of knowledge and change characterized creative geniuses across the board, from Socrates to Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo and Cervantes and Pierre De Fermat, Beethoven and Mozart and Haydn and Schubert and Chopin, to Paul Dirac and Steven Weinberg and Stephen Hawking and Sir Roger Penrose in physics and beyond. It might be an exaggeration to say that they broke all the rules, but they broke some that nobody had thought of breaking before, and they were prepared to break any that were necessary. They were both rebels and guardians of civilization, a strange combination called the best of human life. That's where breaking all the rules in management comes from, in my opinion.


Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits, January 5, 2001
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
My Next Thirty Years is the "sleeper of the year". It's outstanding. It's finally thinking about the future and not just the present. It also compares the past and admits mistakes. That's part of the Spirit of Country. Anybody who doesn't think it's powerful hasn't been around recently.


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