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The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World
The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World
by Bryn Barnard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.73
67 used & new from $3.98

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener, April 19, 2011
Many "Really?!" moments packed in this slender (just under 40 oversized pages) but informative book.

From optics to bananas, bowing stringed instruments to using notation for zero, Islamic civilization got there first, it seems.

Barnard's orientation is historical and scientific -- religious issues aren't his subject -- so it will be interesting to see if this book is nevertheless swept up into the politics of our clash-of-civilizations moment merely for its title.

Handsome painted illustrations throughout. It's well written, with many eye-opening revelations.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2014 6:13 PM PST


The Digital Matte Painting Handbook
The Digital Matte Painting Handbook
by David B. Mattingly
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from $37.92

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mattingly's SVA course in a book, April 18, 2011
Step-by-step, screenshot-by-screenshot instruction based on Mattingly's years teaching the subject at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Lively writing, and an obviously comprehensive knowledge, make me suspect this will become the preferred text for matte painting courses. Mattingly seems to have encountered every sort of trouble a student might have, and addressed it.

Mattingly began at Disney under Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw, and so retains some of the old-school aesthetics of matte-shot design from the era of the Ellenshaws, Whitlock, and Yuricich. That's good to see in a book of digital technique.

Requires basic fluency in Photoshop, After Effects, and (to a lesser extent) Maya, so if you're a rank newbie at these, this should probably wait until you've been introduced to at least the first two.


Risen: A Supernatural Thriller
Risen: A Supernatural Thriller
by J. Knight
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss the scene in the church!, December 4, 2000
Risen pulls off a neat trick. It starts out Dave-Barry droll. Then it darkens. Then the turns and shocks come, climaxing with a twist that seems unthinkable in a thriller of this sort -- until you see Strnad's set it up so well it's perfect, logical, and emotionally acceptable, despite its horror (it happens in the church scene). I read several thrillers a year. This is in the top rank.
This is the same Jan Strnad of comics fame. He even got buddy Rich Corben to do his cover.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2012 11:45 AM PDT


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