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Altus Athletic Standard Lifting Hooks
Altus Athletic Standard Lifting Hooks

1.0 out of 5 stars Not a great item, July 25, 2011
I bought a pair of these at a Sports Authority last week (I was looking for lifting straps, but I guess they were out of stock). They fit around a standard Olympic bar, but I personally found them too unstable to be of much use. The actual hooks are quite thick, and you can't really get your hands around both the hooks and the bar for a stable grip. Instead, you end up with the bar resting on the two hooks, which are resting on your hands. The hooks are only wide enough to partially cover the middle and ring fingers, and your thumb and other two fingers can't wrap around the bar very easily to reinforce the grip. I ended up throwing these out and finishing my deadlift sets un-aided (and I should mention I was lifting well under a PR weight at the time).


Advanced Practical Organic Chemistry, Second Edition
Advanced Practical Organic Chemistry, Second Edition
by John Leonard
Edition: Paperback
37 used & new from $2.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, September 30, 2007
As a physical chemist/spectroscopist by training who suddenly found myself needing to synthesize & characterize some model compounds for my experiments, I found this book to be a very helpful review of modern synthetic techniques, particularly in regards to purifying starting materials, dealing with air-sensitive compounds, and monitoring the reaction's progress. Definitely a recommended reference for any chemist. It's companion, "Advanced Practical Inorganic and Metalorganic Chemistry", is also highly recommended, though if I had to choose between the two I'd say that "Advanced Practical Organic Chemistry" is most useful.


Advanced Practical Inorganic and Metalorganic Chemistry
Advanced Practical Inorganic and Metalorganic Chemistry
by Ross Errington
Edition: Paperback
Price: $85.27
36 used & new from $70.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, September 30, 2007
As a physical chemist/spectroscopist by training who suddenly found myself needing to synthesize & characterize some model compounds for my experiments, I found this book and its companion ("Advanced Practical Organic Chemistry") to be a very helpful review of modern synthetic techniques, particularly in regards to dealing with air-sensitive compounds. Definitely a recommended reference for any chemist. I feel I should stress, however, that this volume treats synthetic techniques rather broadly, without dealing with the synthesis of any particular molecule, though Chapter 13 provides references for the synthesis of many starting materials.


Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
131 used & new from $2.05

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Gaiman's Best, September 30, 2007
I'm not too familiar with Terry Pratchett, but I've read and enjoyed almost everything Neil Gaiman's written, which is why I decided to give this a shot. It started out promisingly enough--I laughed out loud 2-3 times, and the main characters, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, are interesting and well-written. The problem is after the first 200 pages or so, when the story seems to run out of steam. Most of the jokes feel "forced", and they concentrate too much on the Antichrist and his friends, which would be okay had those characters been more interesting. The Antichrist is supposed to be 11 years old at that point, but judging by the way he and his friends talk and act, I'd put them more at 6-7 tops. This was really annoying to me, and really ruined the mood. Also, the tone of the last 75 pages or so really becomes too preachy and feel-good for my tastes. I only finished it because it was so short. Overall, if you're a die-hard Gaiman (or Pratchett) fan, I'd recommend it just to round out your collection, but I can't say I'd recommend it for those who are unfamiliar with their work.


Primer
Primer
DVD ~ Shane Carruth
22 used & new from $26.18

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very cool but flawed sci-fi film, June 13, 2005
This review is from: Primer (DVD)
"Primer" is a very cool and somewhat creepy time travel film. In short, it's about two guys, Abe and Aaron, who (accidentally) build a device that allows them to travel back in time. They do the standard things a novice time traveler would to--play around with the stock market, test out some minor paradoxes, re-shape certain events in their favor, etc. Eventually, they discover that a third party knows about their device, and chaos ensues (sorry--I don't want to give away too much at this point).

The plot is extremely complex. Not only are there multiple timelines to consider, but there's a power play going on between Abe and Aaron in that whoever uses the device the most and whoever sets it earliest will have an advantage over the other in that they will have more knowledge of future events.

The film is also fairly realistic in that it doesn't rely on special effects and that it mixes just enough science fact in with the fiction in order to make it plausible. Plus, it's well-acted--you get the sense that this is how events would unfold if a time machine were really invented in someone's garage.

The reason why I gave it 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 is because the plot is a little *too* complex for such a short movie (only 76 minutes). Too much goes on behind the scenes, and the viewer is left to figure out too much for themselves. If it's too confusing, there are numerous timelines posted on the Internet that help put things in perspective.

In summary, if you like weird independent films or hard sci-fi, then you'd like this movie. My personal recommendation is that you give it a rental before buying.


Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith - PlayStation 2
Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith - PlayStation 2
Offered by Quick Buys
Price: $26.99
218 used & new from $1.85

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty fun game, but too short!, May 30, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
"Revenge of the Sith" plays a lot like "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers", so if you're familiar with that game, you'll know what to expect. However, I think it's a little superior to the LotR game, in that the combos are easier to pull off and the movements look more fluid. It really feels like you're inside the movie. Like LotR, the game features some clips from the actual movie, so if you haven't seen it, I'd suggest holding off on playing this game. In addition to the Story Missions (which involve Anakin and Obi-Wan in alternate levels), there are Bonus Missions you can unlock in which you can play as General Grievous, Yoda, and classic Darth Vader. My only complaint is that the game is far too short--I beat it and unlocked everything in two days. So I'd suggest renting it for now, and waiting until the price lowers a bit before buying.


The Terminal Man
The Terminal Man
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
93 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good!, May 2, 2005
While "Terminal Man" isn't Crichton at his best, it's still a pretty good book. It's about a man who's having seizures that make him prone to violence. He's signed up for surgery that will implant an electrode which will control these seizures. Unfortunately, the electrode is implanted in one of the pleasure centers of the brain. This positively reinforces the seizures and subconsciously teaches the patient to have them more frequently, which actually makes him more violent. It doesn't help that he's psychotic, paranoid that machines will overthrow humanity.

One of the things I admire about Crichton's work is the amount of research he puts in before writing. He presents a lot of science fact (well, it was up-to-date in the 70s) along with science fiction. He also explores some of the philosophical implications of using brain surgery to curb violent behavior, and the relationship between computers and the human brain.

My chief complaint is that the novel ends rather abruptly. Usually, I expect novels to have a short chapter at the end that tells what happened to the characters afterwards, and this one didn't. A minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.


Drawing of the Three, The (Revised Edition): The Dark Tower II
Drawing of the Three, The (Revised Edition): The Dark Tower II
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.44
57 used & new from $0.01

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great improvement over the first one..., May 2, 2005
"The Drawing of the Three" focuses on Roland gathering his "ka-tet" (his party or fellowship if you will). He meets Eddie Dean, a junkie from the 80s, and Odetta Holmes, a civil rights activist from the 60s. Eddie Dean is a cool character, I loved him right away (when Allie and Jake died in the first one, I thought "Good, now Roland can get on with his quest", but when Eddie almost died in this one, I thought "Noooooo! Not Eddie Dean!"). Odetta Holmes isn't as cool, but she is interesting (she's a double-amputee with a split personality, one of whom is extremely dangerous--what's not to like about that?). Roland is as cool as ever; he's so Stoic and tough-as-nails. I couldn't help but crack a smile as he gave some Very Bad People what they deserved. This volume puts aside the ridiculous prose of the first book, and it seems a lot shorter than it is. Quite frankly, it's hard to put down. Highly recommended. I bought the third volume today, and I can't wait to see what happens.


Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.99
482 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic sci-fi, April 24, 2005
"Ender's Game" is a hard sci-fi novel that explores, among other things, the importance of leadership and strategy in warfare and the practical challenges posed by war in free space. After successfully repelling two alien invasions thanks to superior leadership from legendary general Mazer Rackham, Earth sets up a Battle School to train the next generation of space commanders, in preparation for an anticipated Third Invasion. The training is tough and begins at a young age, forcing potential commanders to grow up too quickly.

Enter young Ender Wiggin, the novel's protagonist. Ender quickly became one of my favorite heroes in popular literature. He's smart and sensitive, but don't let that fool you. He thinks like a strategist, he plays to win, and he's willing to stand up for himself.

"Ender's Game" is very difficult to put down. It's really interesting to see Ender's thought processes as he overcomes both the grueling training and the Third Invasion, against impossible odds. I definitely plan on reading the rest of the Ender saga. Highly recommended for ANYONE, not just sci-fi addicts.


The Gunslinger: (The Dark Tower #1)(Revised Edition)
The Gunslinger: (The Dark Tower #1)(Revised Edition)
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
108 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that great, but an intro to a great series, April 21, 2005
To be honest, I almost gave up on the first book in the Dark Tower series. It just wasn't worth it. However, they told me to persist, and I would be rewarded, and it turns out that "they" were right. I'm almost done with the second book right now, and it's much better. Now, as for the first book:

PROs:
+ It's short
+ Necessary intro to a great series
+ Roland's actually a pretty cool protagonist, even in the first book, and the "man in black" is a pretty cool villain
+ Gets better as it goes--the last section is really interesting

CONs:
- Starts off slow
- The language King uses is ridiculous, especially his use of similies. This is supposed to be a serious tale, but his writing made me laugh out loud at it's sheer badness. For example: The gunslinger is apparently skilled at reloading his weapons on the fly. So how is his reloading "trick" described? "...and still the hands did their business, like overeager dogs that want to do their rolling-over trick for you not once or twice but all night..." The gunslinger's water skin is "...like a bloated sausage." You get the idea.
- The supporting characters seem to follow a logic of their own. *SPOILER* For instance: A barmaid is describing a resurrection the man in black did in her town. A man dies of drug overdose, and the man in black raises him. So what does the barmaid do? She freaks out, runs to her room, locks the door, cries, laughs hysterically, comes back down stairs, and starts talking to the re-raised man as if nothing had happened. Puh-lease! *END SPOILER*

Bottom line: The other books are good! Honest! Slam through this 300-page monstrosity, and move on to "The Drawing of the Three".


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