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Harry W. Parker "Harry W. Parker, PhD,PE" RSS Feed (Gulf Coast of Texas)
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Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace
Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace
by Nikil Saval
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.60
92 used & new from $6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cubed == OK, June 8, 2014
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Cubed was an OK but a rather blah read. I am still glad I read it though. I had only a cubical when I worked in DC once. HWP


Enlightening Symbols: A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers
Enlightening Symbols: A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers
by Joseph Mazur
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $27.30
60 used & new from $18.00

2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Symbols, June 8, 2014
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It did not seem to really grasp with concepts such as pi. I was overall disappointed in it. xx HWP


The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human
The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human
by Noah K. Strycker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.93
64 used & new from $9.49

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feathers, June 8, 2014
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It was just OK, but did not make a lasting impression on me. It was rather blah. xx xxx HWP


The Age of American Unreason
The Age of American Unreason
by Susan Jacoby
Edition: Hardcover
214 used & new from $0.03

16 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jacoby reveals herself, May 9, 2008
"The Age of American Unreason" tells us far more about its author, Susan Jacoby, than it says about our recent US history, which she describes in her own selected terms. Her put-down characterizations of our society are as largely being middlebrow, anti-intellectual, and fundamentalist. These are her own designations of the primary themes of our US society. Our society has succeeded in many, many ways in spite of her observations. Still from her New York based pseudo-intellectual society, we are largely social and cultural failures. Bah-humbug, to use a literary phrase, the failure in analysis is hers, as is very well documented in her book.

The book is not recommended for anyone under 40, who has not directly experienced the recent historic successes of our society for the most of its citizens. People over 70 may enjoy critiquing her basically ultra-liberal commentary on our society. The book study group which I lead has very much enjoyed doing so.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2009 8:24 AM PDT


Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action
Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action
by George Weigel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.84
117 used & new from $0.01

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Battleground with Jihadism, February 24, 2008
The Real Battleground with Jihadism

George Weigel correctly locates our civilization's real battle with Jihadism's attempting to destroy our nation and other nations. The battleground is in our contrasting theological concepts and the resulting actions and emotions. Jihadists view God as being remote and requiring total submission, versus Christians' view of God as our loving heavenly Father who sent his Son. These contrasting views are contained in the history and the documents of the two faiths, the Qur'an (Koran) for Islam considered to be dictated directly, word by word to one person in about 600 AD in Arabic and so not to be translated, whereas the Bible had many writers over many years, who are believed by ecclesiastical consensus to have been directly inspired by God, but who actually used the words and language of the writers' own particular historic period to document that inspiration for all.

The many confrontations with Jihadism are best understood in the context of this deep, long-term theological battle noted above. Even secular leaders and individual atheists should accept and utilize the reality of this real theological battle in their understanding and actions to be effective. Defense against the Jihadists avowed intention of eliminating non-Moslems and their culture can not be achieved by way of our military power and economic resources, as continually demonstrated by recent events. The reason for this impasse is because the battle between Jihadists and the rest of the world is asymmetric, and as per Weigel observation really theological.

Minimizing the Jihadists threat to our lives and culture will not be achieved by accommodating to their complaints against western culture, as is frequently done now, since that accommodation is regarded by them as just us acknowledging our failing and weakness with regard to Islam. We must stand firm in the applications of the rule of law, freedom in individual conscience, and social structures that are built on our Judeo-Christian history and scriptures which preceded Islam many centuries. Weigel documents how Islam's interpretation of this prior common history/heritage is very distorted by them, even wrong.

Weigel says that majority Moslem's within their own culture must work-around and then deny the Jihadists' cults for destruction for non-Moslems to truly join our global, pluralistic, contemporary world. Islam's own history of past success can serve as a basis for this correction. We of the Judeo-Christian heritage and persons of other religions must facilitate this possible transition by our frank and frequent public words both about history and contemporary concerns, plus our continued examples of social, political and material success. We must also show patience during the process of the Moslem main-stream's denying the Jihadists' their destructive positions toward themselves and the world.


Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture
Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture
by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.08
54 used & new from $1.01

5 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Food Via Domestic Coal, If Necessary, February 6, 2008
This book creates a false alarm about our future limited by fossil energy availability, energy utilization, and its impact on food production. The author says the US population has already exceeds the level of long-term sustainability. Increased malnutrition and even starvation are possibilities. The author has selected data to support his own nightmare of a very dramatic food crisis within our lifetimes.

He appears to imply that the food and energy crisis in North Korea may be an example of what will happen to the world, without discussing North Korea's dictatorial government and its military expenditures, including preparations for nuclear weapon manufacture and their delivery. He says that the increased food productivity due to the Green Revolution is largely due just to increased fossil energy usage, but new plant varieties and agricultural technologies are most important for the successes of the green revolution.

The author, D. A. Pfeiffer, does not clearly acknowledge that domestic coal, and then shale can be processed, in an environmentally benign manner, into transportation fuels and nitrogen fertilizer with proven technologies, when oil and natural gas availability becomes a truly economy limiting energy constraint for our nation.

The author has his agenda to promote permaculture and similar agricultural technologies, and blames the government and agricultural industries for these technologies not being utilized now. He does not acknowledge that less that 2% of our US population are farmers, and that they feed us in a very economical manner, as a result of large-scale agriculture, use of considerable inanimate energy, and improved technologies. In contrast, the author advices, "Sustainable agriculture, for all intents and purposes, means a return to small scale farming, where the acreage can be managed by a family, and a horse or mule with a plow." (P. 69) Which option would you choose? This reviewer labored very hard on his father's medium-sized farm until college graduation, and then I chose not to return to the farm. This choice of not to farm is made by many rural youths. For this reason our rural population declines and increases in average age.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2008 11:56 AM PDT


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