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Profile for Nicholas C. Zakas > Reviews


Nicholas C. Zakas' Profile

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Nicholas C. Zakas RSS Feed (Silicon Valley, CA)

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The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing from Lyme Disease
The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing from Lyme Disease
by Nicola McFadzean ND
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.28
64 used & new from $17.39

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not horrible , far from good, July 9, 2014
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Based on the other reviews, I was expecting more from this book. There is some good information in the pages, but there are a lot of problems with the book as a whole.

First, the structure is pretty bad - it just seems incredibly disorganized. The first section talks about ask the benefits of the Lyme diet. That's fine except that the diet hasn't actually been introduced yet (that, inexplicably, doesn't come until the second section). Each chapter meanders aimlessly between a few related topics, often repeating sentences nearly verbatim along the way.

Second, the tone and pace are frustrating. The text is littered with exclamation points, as if everything being said is some amazing revelation. Most topics are addressed only superficially before moving into the next. These together make the book read as if it were written by a teenager on a sugar high.

Third, and perhaps the biggest sin of this book, is the author's consistent medical claims that have no sources. The whole book contains claims such as GMO foods cause changes in our DNA, artificial sweeteners are neurotoxins, etc., for which the author doesn't provide her sources. There are repeated references to "research", but never specific research or studies, only research in the abstract. After just having read books by Horowitz and Buhner, both of whom cite specific research studies, this book looks like someone's side project. That isn't too say the author is wrong, but I can't take her word on faith when it comes to treating my Lyme disease - I need the proof.

Fourth, there are sometimes contradictory pieces of information presented. First oats contain gluten and should be avoided; later she correctly says that oats don't contain gluten but frequently have big gluten contamination, so gluten-free oats are okay. Similarly, one section says to avoid granola while in another she recommends it as a snack. These types of contradictions are dangerous for people who are trying to change their diet for the better.

Last, a lot of the diet advice is just an amalgam of many duets you've heard of (gluten-free, low GI, etc.) but the coverage is quite superficial. This book alone doesn't give you anything but the most succinct introduction to these diets. If you need to implement dietary changes, you'll want to find much better books with more detail.

This isn't to say there are no redeeming qualities to this book. Throughout the pages are recommendations for high quality supplements and simple, healthful meals. Most of the information I fact-checked against Buhner and Horowitz and there's nothing truly misleading.

I came away from this book feeling that the goal was to write a book so the author could trademark "The Lyme Diet" and so tried to cram a little about a lot into a pretty small book. I have a hard time believing there was any real editing or researching, and the whole things seems like the author was rushing while attending to check ask the boxes people will look for as it relates to Lyme disease.

If you really want to learn about Lyme, pick up the books by Buhner and Horowitz. If you want to learn to eat healthier, pick up a generic book on healthy eating. There's no "Lyme diet", it's just the same advice for anyone who wants to eat healthier and reduce stress on their body.

OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer
OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer
Price: $39.95
42 used & new from $24.97

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent slicer for everything - be careful!, June 28, 2014
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I bought this primarily in an attempt to make zucchini pasta. The setup was easy, and I was slicing in no time. I was really pleasantly surprised at just how effortless it was to slice through an entire zucchini and create perfectly formed shoestring size cuts. I made note that this probably meant the blade was extremely sharp and so I passed paid extra close attention while using it and safely made it through my first recipe without so much as a scratch.

I even made it through cleaning the slicer without incident as I carefully took it apart and washed each piece. The trouble came when I tried to reassemble it after drying. I found the various blades fit extremely snug inside the slicer, and I had a hard time getting them back into their spots. I positioned my hand to get some leverage and before I knew it there was a lot of blood coming from my hand. I had cut almost halfway through my finger and ended up in acute care getting it Dermabonded.

You'll note Amazon mentions that customers frequently buy this together with cut resistant gloves - do not take this suggestion lightly. The blades are extremely sharp and cut through my finger like nothing. However, since the blade was so sharp, the cut was extremely clean and healed beautifully. You can't even tell there was once a big gash there.

If you decide to pass on the cut resistant gloves, I highly recommend you place a first aid kit with alcohol and gauze close by. Mine was, unfortunately, two flights of stairs away, so I made a bit of a mess while trying to get there. Alcohol and gauze is how they will treat a cut in acute care, so might as well get jump on that.

Right now the slicer and I are in a fight, however, I will use it again, as it's a very helpful appliance, especially when you have a large amount of cutting and slicing to do. Just be careful, those blades are sharp!

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript (Effective Software Development Series)
Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript (Effective Software Development Series)
by David Herman
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from $19.42

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intermediate book, March 15, 2014
If you've been looking for an easy way to improve your JavaScript knowledge, this book is for you. Through a series of concise, focused second, this book takes you through some of the most important best practices and language works you should know for working with JavaScript. The explanations are clear, the examples appropriate, and the selection of topics is sufficiently broad to expose you to important language concepts.

This book assumes you already know JavaScript ahead of time, as it dives right into example. For this reason, the book isn't appropriate as a first book to learn JavaScript. It is most appropriate for those who have already read a couple of beginner books and are ready to take a deeper look at the language.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2015 9:48 PM PDT

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
by Jon Duckett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.51
235 used & new from $9.52

292 of 303 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to web development, December 16, 2011
My first impression of the book is that it's beautiful. The text is large and the pages are colorful, making it very easy to thumb through when in a hurry. When I wasn't in a hurry and sat down to read it, I found that the book almost told the entire story through pictures. The words are there and technically correct, but it's the visuals in the book that really communicate information to the reader.

I admired Duckett's approach to this book. He completely dispels with the buzzwords that glitter so many books these days. There's mention of HTML5 and CSS3, for sure, but it's done in such a way that it doesn't seem gimmicky or hyped. The title of the book itself is evidence of this. Duckett clearly doesn't want you thinking about HTML 4 vs. HTML5 or CSS 2 vs. CSS3. Instead, he wants you to understand the concepts that link together web technology and good design. Some of that is done with HTML 4 and CSS 2 while some is done with HTML5 and CSS3.

This book is really targeted at beginners without a technical background, and it does an exceptional job in serving this audience. The approach is perhaps the gentlest introduction to the concept of web programming that I've ever encountered. So gentle, in fact, I think that almost anyone could pick up this book and start to make a simple web page relatively quickly. It takes you right from creating your HTML file with a text editor, through learning HTML and CSS, all the way to deploying your file and adding Google Analytics.

Sprinkled throughout the book are useful tidbits about typography, contrast, design concepts, and even how multimedia plugins such as Flash work in conjunction with a web page. The very visual nature of the book makes picking up these concepts easy, as every piece of code is accompanied with a diagram, figure, or screenshot showing the result.

If you're an experienced web developer, you'll probably want to pass on this book since it will be far too basic. However, if you're looking for a good book to introduce web development to an inexperienced web developer, or even someone who has no experience, then this book is a great place to start.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 22, 2014 5:23 PM PST

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1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to use, disappointing, November 29, 2011
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Got this because it was recommended by Amazon along with the Kindle Fire. Very disappointed. The plastic is nearly impossible to lay evenly. Unlike other screen protectors, this one comes sticky, making it incredibly difficult to apply to the screen, especially if you get it wrong the first time. Gave up after two tries, going to get a different product.

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