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John Jacobson RSS Feed (Riverside CA USA)

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The Manga Guide to Physiology (Manga Guides)
The Manga Guide to Physiology (Manga Guides)
by Keiko Koyama
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.58
74 used & new from $10.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Physiology Comic Book!, January 13, 2016
Physiology, the study of normal functions and processes in the human body, is a standard class for everyone who studies in a medically related field, and is frequently part of a biology major as well. It can be taken as part of a biology honors program in some high schools, often combined with anatomy.

While physiology is not particularly difficult to learn and understand, a lot of memorization is required, and for most students the acquisition of the required vocabulary can be challenging.

The Manga Guide to Physiology can be a useful adjunct to someone taking a physiology class, or may be a valued introduction to the concepts of physiology fro someone considering the class. We learn in different ways, the Manga approach uses a visual (think graphical novel) and written didactic approach, and combines them in story form to hold our interest. The didactic portion of each chapter is brief (~ 10 pages) but well written, and does a good job of answering some of the questions that might arise when reading the comics. Some of the chapters are merely introductory to the subject, and lack much detail. e.g. Cells, Genes, and Reproduction. But the important vocabulary is introduced, a stepping-stone to more advanced knowledge.

Many will find it easier to digest than a standard text of physiology. And the graphical presentation will likely hold their interest better than the usual textbook.

The chapters each focus on an organ system, and include:

Circulatory System
Respiratory System
Digestive System
Kidneys
Body Fluids (blood, ions in the blood stream, etc.)
Brain and Nervous system
Sensory Nervous System
Musculoskeletal System
Cells, Genes, and Reproduction
Endocrine System (glands, thyroid, adrenal, etc.)

A nine page index is included.

I don't think the book would necessarily be useful as a textbook for a physiology class, but as an introduction to the subject or adjunct resource it could be valuable for many students. And it does inject some humor into the subject, always a positive!


Rick Steves' Walk: Three Walks in Venice
Rick Steves' Walk: Three Walks in Venice
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Venice in a few hours, October 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Rick Steves covers the highlights. If you only have a day in Venice, this is a good introduction. A bonus is that it can be done without public transportation. Venice is a great city to walk. I'd recommend a cell phone with a off-line map and GPS capabilities. It'll make your walk much less frustrating.


Top Ten Sights: Bologna
Top Ten Sights: Bologna
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction, October 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A short book, but if you have little time in Bologna, if you see these sights you'll have a good introduction to the charms of the city.


How Software Works: The Magic Behind Encryption, CGI, Search Engines, and Other Everyday Technologies
How Software Works: The Magic Behind Encryption, CGI, Search Engines, and Other Everyday Technologies
Price: $14.37

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Algorithms R Us, October 7, 2015
This book is an introduction to the algorithms that underlie much of the software we use daily, often without a thought as to how it functions. This book proposes to provide the basic framework for that functionality.

The chapters cover encryption, passwords, web security, movie CGI, game graphics, data compression, search, concurency, and map routing. There is a commonality to all of these subjects, they are more similar than they may appear at first glance.

If you go to an online source on these subjects such as Wikipedia, there will inevitably be a lot of math, with formal math notations that may difficult to parse and understand. A strength of the book is that there is no math, there is no computer language code, there are only simple English explanations. Computers aren't smart, but they're very good at remembering and following directions. As you read through the chapter on encryption and PGP (pretty good privacy), the author lists the steps required to encrypt the document. Each step is not difficult to understand by itself, but when the steps are laid out in sequence, it may be difficult to remember the exact sequence and understand what is happening. Computers don't have that problem, they are very good at doing one thing at a time. And each of the steps required for strong encryption is not complicated, but when looked at as a whole, it can seem to be magic.

The group of steps for each process described in the book is an algorithm, the book is basically a description of computer algorithms that underlie much of the code that allows us to encrypt documents, compress data, create game graphics, etc.

The writing is clear but sparse. But there is no history of the development of these algorithms, there is no story to the book. I think the book will appeal to the geekiest among us who would like to know how these things work, for that purpose the book is excellent. It one tires of reading long descriptions (e.g. reading long recipes), it will perhaps be less interesting.


Mauna Loa Macadamias, Maui Onion and Garlic, 4.5 Ounce Containers
Mauna Loa Macadamias, Maui Onion and Garlic, 4.5 Ounce Containers
Price: $11.49
8 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Scrumptious, May 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A treat! When you can't go to Hawaii to get these . . . . .


Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners
by Al Sweigart
Edition: Paperback
Price: $25.45
84 used & new from $16.47

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clear and Easy to Understand Introduction to Python, May 17, 2015
What is the 'best' first programming language? If you want an entertaining hour or two, type that question into the search bar in a browser and read what comes up. While opinions differ, and are usually dependent on the personal programming history of the person answering the question, Python is commonly listed as an excellent first choice. I won't go into the listed reasons, but Python is quite easy for the beginner to understand, that can't be said for many other languages. The subtitle for this book is "Practical Programming for Total Beginners." The author delivers on his promise. The format of the book is traditional: chapters introduce certain capabilities of the system and give examples, with projects using those capabilities assigned as homework at the end of the chapter. The strength of the book is the clarity of the explanations. While many geeks have trouble explaining concepts in everyday language, Mr. Sweigart is an exception to that common problem. He has years of experience teaching programming concepts to both children and adults, and has learned to explain complex ideas in everyday language. For those who wish to learn about Python, and for those who wish to use Python to create solutions, Automate the Boring Stuff with Python is an excellent introduction. Recommended.


LED Light Bulb- 13W BrightBulb LED LightBulbs A19, High Efficiency, Lifetime Guarantee, Warm White (13W= 75-100W Traditional, Dimmable)
LED Light Bulb- 13W BrightBulb LED LightBulbs A19, High Efficiency, Lifetime Guarantee, Warm White (13W= 75-100W Traditional, Dimmable)
Offered by TheGroupDeal

4.0 out of 5 stars Well supported, March 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Nice bulbs, good support by the company, as they were anxious to replace 2 bulbs that didn't work correctly when dimmed.


Waring PCJ218 Citrus Juicer, Stainless Steel
Waring PCJ218 Citrus Juicer, Stainless Steel
7 used & new from $69.99

5.0 out of 5 stars For the long haul, March 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A great juice, our first one lasted > 25 years, hopefully this one will as well.


Feit 15PAR30L/LEDG5 LED Dimmable
Feit 15PAR30L/LEDG5 LED Dimmable
Price: $17.64
15 used & new from $17.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but worth it, March 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
instant on, bright white spectrum, a major improvement on incandescent bulbs


Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide
Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide
by Alex Reinhart
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.02
89 used & new from $12.75

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Primer on Doing Statistics Right, March 23, 2015
As the title suggests, this book is a diatribe against the misuse of statistics. While it is not a "complete" guide, it does discuss many the the errors that creep into studies published in even the most prestigious journals. Issues addressed include the use and misuse of "p" values, confidence intervals, an exploration of the meaning of "null hypothesis," power analysis, and the base rate fallacy.

While each of these chapters illuminates "gotchas" that creep into statistical analysis, perhaps the most important part of the book looks at the choice of study populations. There is a brief description of many the biases that go unrecognized, including confirmation bias, publication bias, observer bias, and reporting bias. There is a checklist designed to help the researcher avoid creating a study population that is biased toward a particular result.

The book closes with an appeal to improve the teaching of statistics. The lecture method of teaching is not effective, the author touts "peer instruction," an approach that is similar to a seminar rather than a ordered didactic lecture presentation. This is a worth while book for those interested in extracting the maximum value from their statistical analyses. It is written in an engaging manner, the case presentations are germane to the subject, and despite being an easy read, there is a great deal of solid material. Recommended!


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