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The Lost Thing
The Lost Thing
by Shaun Tan
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from $22.59

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich design and deep message, December 22, 2006
This review is from: The Lost Thing (Hardcover)
The lost thing is about isolation and indifference. The hero of the story is a bottle-top collector that suddenly finds a very interesting thing and decides to help it find its place. It makes funny of our busy and boring day-to-day life, of how indifferent we are to what happens around us. I laugh aloud every time I read the book; Shaun's humor is so unique!

The story is told in a very special way, with lots of details in the graphics that must be observed carefully. The drawings are just wonderful; Shaun tan mixes the grey and yellow of the cities and adds a touch of color in the lost things. I believe that the book is a great adventure to children and adults alike, every reading brings new discoveries.

As the sub-title of the books reads: "A tale for those who have more important things to pay attention to".


Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
by Eva Hoffman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.34
261 used & new from $0.01

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening description of immigration and languages, December 16, 2006
I started reading this wonderful book 6 months before I left Brazil towards Israel. After finishing the first Part (Paradise) I just could not keep on reading, and I abandoned the book for a while. After I landed in Israel I re-took the book and was delighted again with the realness of it. A thought occurred to me that the reading was so descriptive of the immigration sentiment that I just could not understand it before immigrating myself.

The book helped me to understand and to organize the infinite sensations that come with the leaving/arriving to another country. How the language affects the way we think and act, how sadness and happiness are mingled into one strange feeling, how we cope and forget without noticing, and how we urge to succeed and prove that we can be part of the new country.

In addition, the book also brought to me new feelings and curiosities about my grandparents, whom also escaped from Poland and Russia in the late 40's. Hoffman describes so well how the old traditions and languages influenced the new live of those who left their country because of prejudice and persecution!

One passage that I am specially fond of: "No, I'm no patriot, nor was I ever allowed to be. And yet, the country of my childhood lives within me with a primacy that is a form of love. (...) All it has given me is the world, but that is enough. It has fed me language, perceptions, sounds, the human kind. It has given me the colors and the furrows of reality, my first loves. The absoluteness of those loves can never be recaptured: no geometry of the landscape, no haze in the air, will live in us as intensely as the landscapes that we saw as the first, and to which we gave ourselves wholly, without reservations." It reminds me of Wordsworth when he writes about Tintern Abbey.

A wonderful life-changing book.


Decisions with Multiple Objectives: Preferences and Value Tradeoffs
Decisions with Multiple Objectives: Preferences and Value Tradeoffs
by Howard Raiffa
Edition: Paperback
Price: $64.86
55 used & new from $37.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent utility and decision theory foundation, December 14, 2006
This book is a very good foundation of MCDA (Multi Criteria Decision Analysis) with all the mathematical proofs behind the theory. The authors give real life examples on the application of their model and explain the intuition of their methodology.

Although the math is a bit advanced, the authors explain step-by-step all the terminology, what makes the theory easily understandable. I have used it as a reference in a course of my M.Sc. in Operations Research and Decisions, but I believe undergraduates can understand it (not without sweating a few drops).

Personally, I believe that Keeney's book "Value Focused thinking" is more intuitive and day-to-day oriented, but the bulk of the theory is presented in this earlier book. So if you like math and economics, you should try this book first.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2007 1:23 PM PST


An Introduction to Game Theory
An Introduction to Game Theory
by Martin J. Osborne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $99.95
114 used & new from $38.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not technical, not intuitive, November 27, 2006
As part of my M.Sc. in Operations Research and Decisions, I took two courses that are developed to teach the basics and slightly advanced concepts of Game Theory: 'Models of conflict' and 'Economic models of games with incomplete information'. Since I am highly interested in the subject, I decided to buy a book that summarizes the field in an intuitive (but not shallow) way. I left the mathematical theorems and proofs for the class. The professor that teaches both courses indicated this book to me and despite the high price I decided to buy it.

I believe that I did not receive what the book promised on its description. While the book does not intend to be a mathematics coursebook, it is not an intuitive overview as well. In the end, it got stuck in middle! The book reminds me of a quote by Laurence J. Peter: "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them."

The book explains most of the theoretical concepts and gives very interesting historical information on Game Theory and its thinkers. However, it is surely TOO high-priced.


King Matt the First
King Matt the First
by Janusz Korczak
Edition: Paperback
53 used & new from $1.14

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world in the eyes of children, November 26, 2006
This review is from: King Matt the First (Paperback)
This book is a great adventure! Korczak succeeds again to describe our world in the eyes of a child; the games of power, envy, the lack of sensibility, the contempt to important things, and, most important, the beauty of life.

A child king, with no friends and no mentors in whom he can fully trust, Matt has to learn all the ways of life in the hard way. He learns, for example, that if you give too much, people (and even children!) will want more and more; everyone needs limits. He also understands that experience cannot be learned in the castle, it has to be lived outside the walls; you cannot rule an army if you have never seen the battlefields. He learns that friendship is a two-way road of trust and love; if you give you will receive. And he learns that you cannot solve all the problems of the world at once, even in the most efficient scheduled day; the body needs rest and peace of mind.

King Matt is a wonderful teacher to a healthy and ethical life, told in a simple language and amusing stories. I warmly recommend this book for children, parents, and educators.


When I Am Little Again and  The Child's Right to Respect
When I Am Little Again and The Child's Right to Respect
by Janusz Korczak
Edition: Paperback
Price: $43.78
48 used & new from $39.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back into paradise?, November 22, 2006
Well, not really. Though we sometimes wish to return to childhood and have all its privileges, we forget about the difficulties children have to confront in their day-to-day life. And they are as stressing to children as our problems are to us.

Korczak is a man who understood and loved children till his death (for more information about his life, read my review on Ghetto Diary). In this book he alerts adults to children's lack of power when confronting the world. How to deal with day-to-day fears, novelties, anxieties, and oppressing teachers?

The book reminds me of a famous quote by Pablo Picasso: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." It is our responsibility to let children grow up in a healthy creative environment, and this can be done only by respecting and understanding children's feelings. This is what this book teaches us.


Ghetto Diary
Ghetto Diary
by Janusz Korczak
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.32
57 used & new from $2.09

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love for the Children, November 22, 2006
This review is from: Ghetto Diary (Paperback)
I am a great admirer of Janusz Korczak not because of his wonderful books, but because he was firm to his beliefs until the end. He had principles and he was not ready to give up, and he paid with his life for it.

Korczak was the director of a big orphanage in Warsaw and he was very well know throughout the world for his writings in education. As the Holocaust started and life got very hard on the ghetto, Korczak worked even harder to keep on with cultural activities and day-to-day life. He was offered to escape to US, as most famous Jewish, but he believed that his children were his life and that he would rather die with them than live in a world that exterminates children cold-bloodedly. BUT, as William Blake puts it: "He who respects the Infant's faith triumph's over Hell & Death."

This book is very interesting; it provides many of the memories that Korczak wrote in the difficult days of the Second World War. It shows how desperating reality was, and how Korczak gave his soul into his fight to keep his children safe and healthy; a sad historical document with pictures of this noble man and the orphanage that made him so proud.

I have his whole collection; unfortunately for English speakers, I have found around 15 books in Hebrew while in English I found just 5. I warmly recommend this book, together with two other books that are found at Amazon: 'King Matt the First' and 'When I am little again' (see my reviews about them).


Introduction to Operations Research and Revised CD-ROM 8
Introduction to Operations Research and Revised CD-ROM 8
by Frederick S. Hillier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $178.41
23 used & new from $12.54

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best resource on Operations Research for beginners, intermediates, and advanced knowledge seekers, November 20, 2006
I hesitated a long time before I bought this book, and I am very sorry about that. I started my M.Sc. in Operations Research and Decisions at the Tel Aviv University 3 years ago, and the first course I took was Optimization. I was a new immigrant to Israel, and I had difficulty in understanding the subject in Hebrew (it is not that easy even when you master the language!) The course book was this one; therefore, I decided to put all my efforts in the book rather than in the classes. Thanks god!

IMHO, Hillier and Lieberman make it clear that Operations Research is the father/mother of all the mathematical and statistical models that support decision making. They wrote the book in a way that all these models (including game theory, Markov models, decision trees, simplex, and others) seem closely linked to, or maybe even a consequence of, the development of Operations Research. The authors do not only explain models and techniques, they tell the story of the introduction of mathematics and statistics into the decision making world.

I read this book from upside down ten times and I really enjoyed it. The examples are so well chosen and interesting that I still remember them. But the biggest advantage of the book is its wide range of subjects, each treated in-depth. I have used the book for three important courses during my masters: Optimization, Stochastic process, and Decision theory. For all these courses, this book was the most comprehensible and interesting resource (though sometimes it was only an introduction, and I had to find more detailed material). The subjects discussed on the book go from an introduction to Operations Research, through modeling techniques, linear programming (Simplex), duality theory, the transportation problem, network optimization, dynamic programming, integer programming, nonlinear programming, game theory, decision analysis, Markov chains, queueing theory, and inventory theory.

Don't hesitate, if you got to this page you probably are looking for a good resource on Operations Research. This tome serves beginners, intermediates, and advanced knowledge seekers in the field.


Industrial Ecology (2nd Edition)
Industrial Ecology (2nd Edition)
by T. E. Graedel
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from $25.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical models for Corporate Environmental Strategies, November 20, 2006
I bought this book while writing my under-graduation final project in "Corporate Environmental Strategies", which was later published in a Brazilian magazine called Industrial Ecology. The book changed the way I see environmentalism in a very important way: it made me stop discussing about the real state of the world and start worrying about improving it (in those times I had read 'The skeptical Environmentalist' by Bjorn Lomborg and 'The Ultimate Resource 2' by Julian Simon, which are great books in my opinion). I started to understand that the most important is not to define where we stand, but to make the world a better place.

Graedel and Allenby propose practical and detailed strategies in order to 'green' the production process. They start the book with a really unbiased discussion about environmentalism and slowly provide the context for the introduction of environmental processes into the industrial world (full table of contents below). The text is written in a very clear and didactic way, and the technical terms are explained from A-Z.

I strongly recommend this book for engineers, environmentalists, managers, biologists, and people who want to improve the world's environment.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Humanity and Environment.

2. The Industrial Ecology Concept.

3. Technological Change and Evolving Risk.

4. The Relevance of Biological Ecology to Technology.

5. The Status of Resources.

6. Society and Culture.

7. Governments, Laws, and Economics.

8. Industrial Product Design and Development.

9. Industrial Process Design and Operation.

10. Choosing Materials.

11. Designing for Energy Efficiency.

12. Product Delivery.

13. Environmental Interactions During Product Use.

14. Design For End of Life.

15. An Introduction to Life-Cycle Assessment.

16. The LCA Impact and Interpretation Stages.

17. Streamlining the LCA Process.

18. Using the Corporate Industrial Ecology Toolbox.

19. Managing Industrial Ecology in the Corporation.

20. Indicators and Metrics.

21. Services, Technology, and Environment.

22. Industrial Ecosystems.

23. Metabolic and Resource Analysis.

24. Systems Analysis, Models, and Scenario Development.

25. Earth Systems Engineering and Management.

26. The Future of Industrial Ecology.

Appendix A: Electronic Solder Alternatives: A Detailed Case Study.

Appendix B: Units of Measurement in Industrial Ecology.

Glossary.

Index.


The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance
The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance
by Russell Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.88
101 used & new from $0.84

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Day-to-day economics, November 20, 2006
This romance is a very reasonable and simple introduction to economics and it shows how people misinterpret the basics of this science. The heroes are a high school economics teacher and a literature teacher, which have and involving dialogue throughout the romance.

The book goes against common prototypes of economists, which are commonly taken for elitists and egoist cold blooded people. Economy itself is presented as a day-to-day subject rather than a bank manager's specialty. Roberts was also very fortunate in his choice (and presentation) of subjects for discussion in the book.

The book is amusing and it is worth for both non-economists and economists. The former will learn some basics about economics, and the later will find it a funny mirror of day-to-day discussions about economy at school, home, and everywhere.


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