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Understanding Animal Breeding (2nd Edition)
Understanding Animal Breeding (2nd Edition)
by Richard M. Bourdon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $87.63
73 used & new from $52.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Good first book on genetics, May 3, 2015
This is NOT a coffee table book, and there is some math involved, but overall it is very digestible. Here is the detailed table of contents:

1. What is the “Best” Animal?
2. How are Animal Populations Improved?
3. Mendelian Inheritance.
4. Genes in Populations.
5. Simply-Inherited and Polygenic Traits.
6. Selection for Simply-Inherited Traits.
7. The Genetic Model for Quantitative Traits.
8. Statistics and Their Application to Quantitative Traits.
9. Heritability and Repeatability.
10. Factors Affecting the Rate of Genetic Change.
11. Genetic Prediction.
12. Large-Scale Genetic Evaluation.
13. Correlated Response to Selection.
14. Multiple-Trait Selection.
15. Selection for Simply-Inherited Traits
16. Mating Strategies Based on Animal Performance: Random and Assortative Mating.
17. Mating Strategies Based on Pedigree Relationship: Inbreeding and Outbreeding.
18. Hybrid Vigor.
19. Crossbreeding Systems.
20. Biotechnology and Animal Breeding.
21. Commonsense Animal Breeding.
Answers to Odd-Numbered Problems.

Detector Circuits (Newnes Circuits Series)
Detector Circuits (Newnes Circuits Series)
by Rudolf F. Graf
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from $30.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the facts ma'am, April 25, 2015
Here's the table of contents. There is little in the way of exposition. Just the circuit and its title. Much of it is still valuable after 20 years
1 Air-Flow Detectors ____ p.1
2 Bug Detector ____ p.4
3 Decoders ____ p.6
4 Demodulators ____ p.18
5 Descramblers ____ p.22
6 Electrostatic Detector ____ p.26
7 Flow Detectors ____ p.28
8 Gas/Smoke/Vapor Detectors ____ p.32
9 Hall-Effect Detectors ____ p.47
10 Ice-Formation Detectors ____ p.54
11 Level Detectors ____ p.57
12 Lie Detector ____ p.61
13 Liquid Detectors ____ p.63
14 Metal Detectors ____ p.76
15 Miscellaneous Detectors ____ p.81
16 Moisture Detectors ____ p.89
17 Null Detector ____ p.94
18 Optical Detectors ____ p.96
19 Overspeed Detectors ____ p.104
20 Overvoltage/Current Detector ____ p.109
21 Peak Detectors ____ p.115
22 Phase Detectors ____ p.129
23 Power-Failure Detectors ____ p.135
24 Proximity Detectors ____ p.139
25 Pulse Detectors ____ p.148
26 Radar Detectors ____ p.154
27 Radiation Detectors ____ p.157
28 Rain Detectors ____ p.166
29 Stereo Balance Detectors ____ p.169
30 Telephone Detectors ____ p.172
31 Tilt/Level Detectors ____ p.179
32 Touch Detectors ____ p.183
33 Voice/Sound Detectors ____ p.197
34 Window Detectors ____ p.202
35 Zero-Crossing Detectors ____ p.210
Sources ____ p.214
Index ____ p.221

God's Not Dead
God's Not Dead
DVD ~ Kevin Sorbo
Price: $12.01
70 used & new from $4.32

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Roger Ebert was wrong..., April 19, 2015
This review is from: God's Not Dead (DVD)
... when he said the movies are a great big empathy machine. At least in this case he probably was, because this film is a great big stereotype machine.

I'll cut it some slack on acting and direction because the whole thing was shot in 20 days with probably a low budget. The screenplay itself, mainly focusing on the conflict between Christian student Josh Wheaton and his atheist philosophy professor, really has a narrow point of view. The film really paints everything with a black and white brush and makes assumptions about atheists - AND people from other faiths and countries - that cause much of the criticism of the Christian community in the first place. I know several atheists, and they are not all narcissists that abandon sick friends or people that blame God for some tragedy in their past. Many of them have a behavior code that exceeds that of Christians because they do not have a "ticket to heaven in my pocket" mentality which many Christians do have and I have observed.

Meanwhile, we get a look at what is supposed to pass for a typical Arab-American Muslim household, as dad always makes sure that his daughter Ayisha has her face totally covered when he drops her off at school. He doesn't seem to mind that she has on short sleeves and clothes that are just as revealing as her peers. Note to dad - the face is not the only physical thing about a young lady that catches the eye of young men. No matter though, because as soon as dad is out of sight. Ayisha removes the face covering. It turns out that Ayisha is a closet Christian, and when dad finds out he reacts as we would expect any Muslim man to react who is three times his daughters size - he smacks her around fist to face and then physically throws her out into the street.

Getting back to the film's main protagonist,Josh, he is now having to debate the philosophy prof in class as to the existence of God using philosophical arguments or else he will fail. The in-class debate part of the film was interesting, but I believe professor Raddison when he said they did not have pre-law at the university, because just about every action he took was completely illegal, from threatening his students with failing grades or at least greatly enhanced workloads if they did not write down "God is dead" on a piece of paper and sign it, to confronting and taunting the student Josh when he began to get his goat.

Josh makes a big deal during his portion of the debate about God allowing free will to reign on earth and that being the reason for all of the evil, and then the plot goes on to disprove exactly that by implying divine destruction of the ignition capabilities of every car that two random missionaries on their way to Disneyland touch (in one of many sideplots) so that they can be at a particular place at a crucial time. As one missionary states to the other "God has you exactly where he wants you". What happened to free will if these two are just manipulated actors in God's grandiose play? Other interesting points - apparently all atheists turn to Christ when confronted with death (a point the late Christopher Hitchens disproves), and exactly what is this generic cancer that the atheist blogger has? Inquiring minds want to know. Plus - filmmakers - I know plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, but many of us know an "I am Spartacus" moment when we see it (Josh's argument in favor of the existence of God causes everybody in the class to stand and say "God is not dead"). The great irony here - the screenwriter for Spartacus was James Dalton Trumbo, who just happened to be an atheist. I would say this film is worth watching as a curiosity if nothing else.

The Lady Eve (The Criterion Collection)
The Lady Eve (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Barbara Stanwyck
Price: $25.49
14 used & new from $21.45

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a perfect romantic comedy..., April 12, 2015
... and probably my favorite A-list film. Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda display such chemistry and play off of each other so perfectly, and I have to credit director Preston Sturges, because in another pairing of the two at about the same time, in "You Belong to Me", their chemistry - heck the whole movie - just landed with a thud.

Fonda plays Charles, somebody born to wealth, and therefore with the leisure to do whatever he wants to do without thinking about the beauty of his situation. Charles chooses to study snakes. His no-nonsense self-made man father, perfectly played by Eugene Palette, holds his egg head son in only medium esteem, to quote another film, and has therefore assigned tough guy Muggsy (William Demarest) to be his body guard since he somewhat rightly perceives that Charles has no common sense or survival instincts. Charles is naïve, Jean (Stanwyck) is a con-woman wise in the ways of the world. She starts out to fleece the guy at cards when they find themselves on the same ship, but falls in love with him in spite of herself. When Charles finds out Jean is a con artist, he rejects her and she vows revenge, which she gets in the most imaginative way possible, all the while claiming that she doesn't love Charles anymore - but she does. She is a young woman wise to the "tells" in everybody else but blind to her own true feelings.

Eric Blore, usually given to expressing himself with looks and one liners, is given a rather intricate story to tell at a crucial moment in the film and carries it off wonderfully. William Demarest has never been funnier, and poor Charles gets no end of grief from his father. Sure he's clumsy, but at one point he's blamed for having the main course dumped in his lap at a dinner party caused by two servants fighting over who is going to serve the main course.

I won't give away any more, because the story is truly part of the delight here, but just let it be said that Jean teaches Charles that you can't tell what is in the present by looking at the wrapping paper, although the real moral of this film is that people in love believe what that want to believe. Highly recommended.

Romance in Manhattan
Romance in Manhattan
DVD ~ Ginger Rogers
Price: $14.99
29 used & new from $10.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet romance of the Depression, April 12, 2015
This review is from: Romance in Manhattan (DVD)
Honestly, I never really cared for the roles Francis Lederer played, until I watched this film. He is just perfect as the optimistic Czech immigrant, Karel Novak, who is so glad to be landing in America. The Great Depression doesn't scare him, he's willing to do anything and figures he can triumph over any adversity. Fate is about to hand him that chance as he faces just about every adversity an immigrant can face. First he arrives in New York with less than the money required to get in - he thought it was fifty dollars, instead it is two hundred. Instead of being deported, he jumps out of the window of the cabin he is confined in and gets ashore before he can be discovered missing.

Hungry and broke, Karel is befriended by chorine Sylvia (Ginger Rogers), when she spots him chowing down on the donuts and coffee that she and the other girls in the show were breakfasting on. Although not dismal, Sylvia is realistic about how hard times are. An orphan and only 19 herself, Sylvia is taking care of a younger brother, Frank, who is going to be put in an orphanage if he skips school again. Frank is not skipping school to hang out with some local gang though, he just wants to work selling more papers to help out his big sister whom he can see is working so hard to support them both. Karel helps Sylvia see life a bit differently, through the eyes of an immigrant who is so happy to be in bustling New York where he believes anybody can become a millionaire.

So Frank, Sylvia, and Karel become a real threesome. Karel sells papers during the day, then gets a job as a taxi driver, and things are looking up. He's hoping to get the two hundred dollars together to give the immigration people before they catch up to him, and his bank balance is rising. But then everything begins to go wrong. There is a taxi strike and Karel is forced off the job with no pay while the strike drags on. The show Sylvia was dancing in closes, and Karel offers to help out and plunders his entire bank account covering living costs. Finally, Frank skips school AGAIN to sell papers and help out, but this time he is going to be sent to the orphanage. Worst of all a crooked lawyer plays on Karel's lack of knowledge of the law and sells out Karel to the immigration people, so he is facing deportation again.
So how is this not the most depressing film ever? Because it is a love story - that of two people trying to make it in New York in slim times - Karel and Sylvia - slowly and convincingly falling in love and having great chemistry together. It's also the story of an unconventional family unit of three - Karel, Sylvia, and Frank - who would do anything for one another. I'll let you watch and see how this all works out.

It's a heartwarming tale of a different New York from decades ago - one full of boarding houses, cops on the beat who knew everyone in the neighborhood, when donuts and coffee were considered a hearty breakfast, and people largely had good intentions. It's one of my sentimental favorites.

A Florida Enchantment
A Florida Enchantment
DVD ~ Sidney Drew
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not the first gay film, but maybe the first film with gay stereotypes..., April 12, 2015
This review is from: A Florida Enchantment (DVD-R)
... and a bunch of racial stereotypes too. The wonder of this film is, besides the unusual plot, that it is an example of rather sophisticated comedy film making in 1914 when so much film comedy consisted of throwing pies and kicking people in the pants. There is a dearth of title cards, but the acting is good enough that you can pretty easily follow the plot.

Lillian Travers (Edith Storey) of New York writes her fiancé, Dr. Fred Cassadene (Sidney Drew) of Florida, that she has come into her inheritance and that they can now marry. She is on her way. When she arrives, she finds Fred in a compromising position with a wealthy young woman. It seems the woman has designs on Fred, and uses the fact that he is the doctor at the resort where she is staying to make excuses to get close to him by feigning illness. Still, Lillian is jealous. She finds some magical seeds that are supposed to turn men into women and women into men, yet the letter that accompanies the seeds is addressed "to all women who suffer". When Fred stands her up for a date - again occupied with the young woman from the resort - she takes one of the seeds, and her inner transformation is instantaneous. The outer transformation takes awhile.

Fred does not understand why his fiancée is flirting with all of the young women and has started treating him like a rather wimpy competitor for the ladies versus a fiancé. Lillian feeds her maid a seed, pretty much against her will, in order to turn her into a valet. Lillian breaks her engagement, returns to New York with her "valet", and both of them start dressing like men and cut their hair short. Thus Lillian and the valet do not seem to see themselves as gay, but as heterosexual men who still retain some feminine physical characteristics. With Lillian now going by the name "Lawrence Talbot", for some reason she decides to return to Florida. What follows are some comical cases of mistaken identity, Lawrence being accused of murdering Lillian, Fred taking one of the seeds and - very strangely - as one of the most unattractive women in the history of the world, being chased by an apparently sex-crazed group of men down a street in broad daylight and into the bay. Can Lillian/Lawrence rescue Fred? Does she/he even want to do so? Watch and find out.

One of the hardest things to get past is the obvious huge age gap between engaged couple Lillian and Fred. Lillian is being played by a 21 year old actress, and Fred, played by Sidney Drew of the famous Drew acting family, was 51 when this film was made.

I'd recommend this one as a big step forward in the sophistication of film comedy, made a full year before "Birth of a Nation", which did the same for film drama.

Behind The Green Lights
Behind The Green Lights
DVD ~ Norman Foster
Price: $5.98
14 used & new from $2.34

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better poverty row films from the 30's I've seen, April 12, 2015
This review is from: Behind The Green Lights (DVD)
That is probably true because they had better than poverty row talent working on the film both behind and in front of the camera. Norman Foster was a triple threat - writer, director, and actor - here he's an actor playing police detective David Britten who is up and coming in the police force. He's got a mentor and friend in Detective Lt. Jim Kennedy (Purnell Pratt). Kennedy's daughter and David's fiancée is Mary Kennedy (Judith Allen), who is a young attorney working in the prestigious law firm of criminal attorney Raymond Cortell (Sidney Blackmer).

This film has such an odd title that seems to have nothing to do with the subject matter because it is supposedly loosely based on the autobiography written in 1931 of a New York City cop who was on the force from 1900-1925. That would have to be very loose, because the film is really all about the conflict set up when Mary Kennedy begins to cleverly get acquittals for the criminals that her fiancé works so cleverly to arrest. It starts with the acquittal of minor offenders, but then works up to the point where Mary manages to get a murder suspect released. Mary believes her clients are innocent, and that with her and the court system it is just brain versus brain, trick versus trick. However, her boss Raymond Cortell does not care if the client is innocent or guilty, he is purely after the money. And - not so subtly - also seems to be after Mary too by trying to alienate her from fiancé David.

Directed by Christy Cabanne, and with a good quick pace to it and good acting by most of the players, I'd recommend this one. It doesn't lag in spots or seem to lose its direction like so many of the poverty row films do.

One of the strangest things about this film - a bit of a feminist twist appears. All through the movie I kept thinking that David wants Mary to quit because - as so many of the men in these 1930's films say - "no wife of mine is going to work". Instead, Dave just wants her working for "the right kind of law firm" - one that cares about ethics. I've given away nothing by telling you this, since this is just something I noticed, not the climax of the film.

Have Gun Will Travel: The Complete Series
Have Gun Will Travel: The Complete Series
DVD ~ Have Gun Will Travel
Offered by westcoastmedia
Price: $130.34
13 used & new from $126.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better title would be "Have Wise and Moral Perspective Will Travel"..., April 12, 2015
... but that wouldn't fit well on a business card, probably would not conjure up business, and most of all, would not have attracted viewers circa 1960 who were quite keen on Westerns at the time. Richard Boone seemed tailor made for the role of Paladin - a man seemingly with no first name, no family, and whose only anchor is the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco in which he lives when he is not out on a job. He is obviously well-educated, extremely good with a gun, and has a taste for the ladies but no lady in particular, even before Sean Connery as James Bond made that kind of thing acceptable. Paladin was such a good shot that he could have easily just been a mechanical assassin for hire had he so desired, but instead, you would be quite frustrated if you requested his services, told him to kill X, and then expected him to just go out and kill X in exchange for bags of money. Instead Paladin is a problem solver and a lover of justice, using his talent with a gun to defend himself and others only when necessary. As with some other Westerns of the late 50's and early 60's, the Western theme was used to tackle some of the thorny social issues of that turbulent time without coming out and saying so.

Give this show a chance if you have the time. I think it has aged very well. Highly recommended.

Strange Marriage aka Slightly Married
Strange Marriage aka Slightly Married
DVD ~ Evalyn Knapp
Price: $5.98
15 used & new from $2.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Not that strange of a marriage for a precode but..., April 12, 2015
... it's a great showcase of Marie Prevost's talent in the talkie era, and she really got so few chances after talking films came in.

It was also a great role for Evalyn Knapp as Mary Smith, a poor out of work girl who finds herself in night court being falsely accused of prostitution after being entrapped by a police officer. She claims she was waiting on the street for a man she was planning to marry but he never showed up. The judge is not buying her story when a drunken guy in formal attire - very overdressed for night court - says he is the man. The judge calls the bluff by saying that in order to release Mary the guy (Walter Byron as Jimmy Martin) must marry her. They do get married and Jimmy sobers up on her couch and then leaves. Jimmy married her partly out of sympathy and partly out of rebellion as his mother plans on marrying him off to the member of another wealthy family that he does not even like much less love. How can she get away with this? Jimmy does not come into his own money for a couple of years and is totally dependent upon mom's income. He could get a job, but this is the Depression and there are many applicants for every job. Plus who would want to cross his wealthy mom by hiring him? There is basically every stereotype about the rich looking down on the poor in this film, and Jimmy's fiancée is a piece of work. Why does she want so badly to marry somebody who loathes her when she has her own money and is attractive enough to find somebody in "her class" to marry her for the right reasons?

Marie Prevost reappears about two thirds of the way into the film after being absent since the opening night court scene and saves Mary from some of her more unselfish instincts - the worst being not wanting to take a dime from Jimmy's family. There is a hilarious scene in which Prevost takes some of the Martin's settlement money and tries to open a bank account on Mary's behalf that really shows her flair for comedy.

This was probably supposed to be one of those "sham marriage" pictures where a couple marries for all the wrong reasons, separates, and then realizes they were in love later. I probably would have given this film an extra star if it were not for the casual way Jimmy's drunken rape of Mary is treated. It doesn't make her hate him - instead she doesn't declare her love for him until AFTER the rape! This is just a little too much for this modern viewer to swallow.

The Secret Six
The Secret Six
DVD ~ Wallace Beery
Price: $16.51
6 used & new from $12.98

4.0 out of 5 stars The atmosphere and acting are great, but that screenplay- Yikes!, April 12, 2015
This review is from: The Secret Six (DVD)
I have a hard time believing that Frances Marion - one of my favorite screenwriters of the silent and early talkie era - wrote this, it has so many holes. It's almost like someone locked Frances Marion in a closet, wrote this script, and forged her signature to it. Let me just say only one paragraph at the end of the review somewhat spoils the film. I try to leave out details in the rest of it.

First off, the film is like two different movies. At the beginning you see "Slaughterhouse" Scorpio, so-named because he is working in a slaughterhouse, take up with the gang of his pal Johnny Franks (Ralph Bellamy). Scorpio has an extra "rod", actually has it on him, and likes the idea of extra money for what seems like the relatively easy work of bootlegging and whatever violence comes with it. Upstairs to gang headquarters trudges the gang.Then all of the questions start to appear.

There is an older man, Robert Newton (Lewis Stone), in a somewhat drunken stupor, who seems to be in charge and is suspicious of the new gang member. Newton insults the gang freely for "thinking", but for some reason he is not afraid of them just shooting him and they just take these insults. Why?

Is Robert Newton head of the gang? Is Johnny Franks? Why are Johnny and Scorpio fighting over a run-down used-up looking woman who is obviously trading on rapidly diminishing if not completely depleted assets (Marjorie Rambeau as Peaches) when the beautiful Anne (Jean Harlow) is working downstairs? Why would Newton or any of the gang think that trespassing on a bigger gang's territory, headed by John Miljan as the tux-wearing piano-playing Colimo, lead to anything but violence and little or no profit - which it does? And that's just the first half of the film.

The second half of the movie, in almost one frame exactly, introduces for the first time three of MGM's biggest stars - Jean Harlow is Anne, who is a cashier at the restaurant that serves as a front for the gang, and Clark Gable and Johnny Mack Brown are two newspaper reporters, Hank and Carl, friends but trying to best each other for the biggest scoop. Anne is enlisted by Scorpio to sweet-talk Hank into not writing so much scathing material about him, and Carl seems to be on the take - but is he? Now more questions, raised not by a good plot, but by plot holes. If Newton has so little respect for Scorpio, why does he just accept him as the new gang leader? Why bother to use the courts to try Scorpio for murder and then, when that fails, that very night just use the Secret Six - who have been introduced some time before as some quasi-legal branch of law enforcement - to flood the gang with legal papers that deport practically the entire gang, disbar Newton, and indict Scorpio for tax fraud? Why the orderly arrest of Scorpio for murder but this no holds barred tommy-gun blasting surrounding and invasion of Scorpio's headquarters over all of these non-violent offenses?

Let me just say I can't even see the reason for putting the secret six in the same room. They never say anything to each other, and those skimpy masks they wear are not going to fool anybody who might know them as to who they are anymore than The Lone Ranger's mask would have fooled anybody who knew him.

And the second from the last scene is just goofy, and the only reason I have a spoiler warning on this review. There is Scorpio and his gang on death row, practically queued up, with ten minutes between the executions of all of them. Scorpio was arrested the second time around for tax fraud not did he wind up with the death penalty? Perhaps we can lay all of this nonsense at the feet of William Randolph Hearst, whose Cosmopolitan Production company backed the film and a film with a similar tone "Gabriel Over the White House". It seemed that when dealing with thugs Hearst didn't mind throwing the law books out the window and just lining everyone up and shooting them. Plus Hearst had so much money and power nobody was going to tell him - your film is goofy.

What's the last scene? Gable as reporter Carl, telling his editor he's going to sleep for a month, he's worked so hard...but, no, there's a big story brewing and he's out to cover it like the energetic trooper of a reporter he is. Huh??? How did this film start out being about gang warfare and end up being about a reporter not introduced until the film's midpoint? Inquiring minds want to know.

I'd watch this for some great acting and the great gangster film atmosphere. Then there is the irony. Plotwise there is the irony concerning how Scorpio is apprehended -I'll let you watch and find out what I'm talking about. Film history wise, there is the irony of seeing Gable and Brown as rivals on film, when in fact Gable's appearance at MGM was curtains for Johnny Mack Brown, because Gable's growly voice is what people expected Johnny Mack Brown to sound like, plus Gable just had such screen presence. I'd recommend it, but prepare to be confused.

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