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Origami Masters Bugs: How the Bug Wars Changed the Art of Origami
Origami Masters Bugs: How the Bug Wars Changed the Art of Origami
by Marcio Noguchi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.93
59 used & new from $13.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious challenge!, September 19, 2014
This is the Origami book to get for somebody who is very good at the art already, or somebody who is very smug and overconfident in their skills, and you want to really challenge them. It does cover the history of origami, and the "bug wars," but only briefly, and therefore is much more of a teaching origami book than a history piece or reading book on the topic.

By and large, I found that these directions were very clear, well illustrated, and allowed me to complete models far more difficult than I ever thought I could when I was simply skimming the book before attempting. Even the easiest models in this Origami Masters book were equal to the hardest ones I had ever done before. However, I personally had trouble with certain steps in certain models. I always find steps that say “collapse the model difficult to do, and therefore could not finish the praying mantis. I couldn't do the lady bug after I was told to “repeat steps on the other side,” because somehow I just can't mentally make that jump sometimes. I never know what the directions mean when I am told to “stretch” some part of a model, and therefore couldn't do the rhino beetle.

I will admit I am somewhere between a beginner and intermediate folder, and I have never seen more difficult origami, or models with more steps than these. The shortest amount of time I spent on any of these was 30 min, the longest was over 3 hours. The models that I completed were beautiful, except for my mosquito, which I thought looked like a Lovecraft horror because I didn't follow the leg folding directions properly, and because it was designed to have a much shorter proboscis than a real mosquito has. None of the last four were doable for me. They all looked amazing, of course. It took me 40 min to get to step 21 in one of the last four models, where I made a fatal mistake, and feared to continue on to steps the creator called “not for the faint of heart.” Several of these models in the second half of the book included a note from the creators that these took anywhere from 5-7 hours. For me, I could only imagine how long it would have taken, had I been able to do them.


Incase Sonic Around-Ear Stereo Headphones (White and Grey with Fluorescent Orange)
Incase Sonic Around-Ear Stereo Headphones (White and Grey with Fluorescent Orange)

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, May 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What I really like mostabout these headphones is that they have the lightest weight of all the over ear options I have tried. They also have the ear cups farther apart than others, and this causes them to not squeeze my head at the temples. This is very important to me as it allows me to use them while I wear my glasses.


Biblical preaching: An expositor's treasury. A comprehensive guide for timely biblical exposition from every part of the Scriptures - including over 200 sermon outlines
Biblical preaching: An expositor's treasury. A comprehensive guide for timely biblical exposition from every part of the Scriptures - including over 200 sermon outlines
by James W. Cox
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars I heard this may be reissued soon, actually, October 29, 2013
Obviously, Biblical Preaching: An Expositor's Treasury is not intended to be read from cover to cover. Editor James W. Cox includes various sections written by different preachers on how to go about writing sermons on certain portions of the bible. Organized with the section on Genesis at the beginning and Revelations at the end, Biblical Preaching has twenty chapters, some obviously covering a whole section of the bible, while others do cover only one book. It is basically a very dry academic theology style of writing, which could be a bit dense for those not used to the style. I first looked at the section on parables of Jesus, before going back to the section on Genesis to start reading the whole thing, since I liked the first part so much. I found the most helpful and relevatory sections to be those on the prodigal son, geneologies in Genesis, and the section in I Corinthians on love.

Cox gathered an interesting combination of contributors, including pastors from both traditions that use a lectionary schedule, and those where preachers choose a theme or book of the bible to focus on for a series of sermons. Some sections I found that I did not like as much, or find as helpful. Obviously, advice for sermon preparation from a different tradition from yours is less helpful, such as if it talks about choosing a theme or something, and you have to follow a lectionary. However, I also did not like the section on minor prophets, concerning apocalyptic writings. For one thing, the interpretation of the reason people would be interested in such writings was completely the opposite of what the writer of the section on Revelations used. Furthermore, all of my studies would agree with the latter. Apocalyptic writings are aimed at people suffering or persecuted, who might want to hear about life as they know it ending, or that God will surely judge their abusers. The writer talking about the old testament apocalyptic writings said that such things were the interest of bored and well-off people, also known as people who would want to have life continue as is forever.

Despite problems such as this, I found Biblical Preaching overall to be fairly helpful, especially since I don't have a full library of biblical references. It is not complete, but a good overview, and has a great deal of good references, including some in the text, so I wouldn't have to look in the bibliography when they were mentioned, and of course, I could just look for a complete work by any of the authors of my favorite sections.


Hoboes: Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps, and the Harvesting of the West
Hoboes: Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps, and the Harvesting of the West
by Mark Wyman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.21
88 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoboes: They were not alone, October 8, 2013
I was interested in reading Mark Wyman's Hoboes, Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps and the Harvesting of the West because I think that hoboes are interesting. I knew about how they lived and traveled, but not why, or what they did for money besides begging. What I mostly learned instead was the story of how America replaced slavery, and on whose work-bent backs our agricultural might was built on. A better title probably would have been Hoboes:What were they doing, and who replaced them.

Wyman organized this book by the different crops the west is known for, ordered by the chronology of each one's rise to prominence. Everything from great plains wheat to California produce is covered. However, each chapter is repetitive, because the story of the workers changes little. As speculators and landowners opened up new possibilities for agriculture, they despaired of finding the seasonal workers needed to harvest it. The instant the work was done, the workers, whether they were traditional hoboes, oriental immigrants, or migrant Mexicans, residents and landowners wanted those people to clear out immediately.

Wyman does not shy away from presenting terrible situations and inequalities in his work. Hoboes, Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps and the Harvesting of the West tells rather horrifically on p. 126 how permanently damaging cotton picking could be, despite being considered "women's work," while easier jobs such as driving horse drawn equipment was considered "men's work." Some jobs, however, were truly reserved for men because literally no one could do the exhausting work, such as fruit harvesting in California, as described on p. 206, with many miserable details. Sugar beets, the American answer to Caribbean sugar cane, appears to be just as awful to produce, only with a certain preference for children doing the work, for their small nimble fingers. Descriptions on p.170 and p. 194 tell of six year olds using machetes to chop the tops off the beets, with their knees as chopping blocks. There is also a picture of this in the photo section.

I expected photos of hoboes, and lists of grisly train riding injuries, such as appeared on p. 36, but even those were worse than I imagined. I got more than I bargained for with this book, in the best of ways. I would definitely recommend this for historical reading, especially the final chapter. It would be a good source for picking and choosing chapters to supplement other materials, especially as that would keep readers from noticing the repetitive aspects of some chapters.


SE Natural Wooden Walking Stick - Hiking Pole - 50 Inch
SE Natural Wooden Walking Stick - Hiking Pole - 50 Inch
Offered by Juvolicious
Price: $27.99
5 used & new from $18.95

4.0 out of 5 stars I actually have the 55 inch version, September 18, 2013
The first thing I noticed about this hiking pole is how lightweight it is for being wooden. Even once I was tired while hiking, it was not burdensome, even when I was carrying it. I tried dragging it by the wrist cord a few times, and this was the only thing that has caused visible wear on the rubber tip. The varnish is neither too smooth and slippery nor sticky, even when my hand was sweaty. The only problem I noticed was that because it is made out of a trunk or branch, rather than a board cut into a circle, there are a few sharp edges where branches were cut off the pole. None of these were anywhere near where I was holding the pole, fortunately. I had never used a hiking pole before, but I really liked the experience of using this one.


Sex and Subterfuge: Women Writers to 1850
Sex and Subterfuge: Women Writers to 1850
by Eva Figes
Edition: Hardcover
8 used & new from $4.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Repression and Sarcasm, August 5, 2013
As far as good academic reading goes, Sex and Subterfuge, Women Writers to 1850 was surprisingly interesting and compelling to read. It is well researched, Eva Figes has excellent insights on the topic covered, and her style of writing is very readable. My interest was held quite thoroughly throughout, and in fact, she made me want to read every book she referenced, just so I would be able to see for myself the things she was summarizing or referring to, or re read ones I already had with the interpretations she put forward in mind. For example, I had never heard of Fanny Burney or Charlotte Smith and their novels, but now I am quite curious about their novels.

Like many other readers, I have been a Jane Austen fan for a long time, but while I knew about her life and historical time period, I never really knew her literary environment. I had no idea how much she was writing with outside influences and literary models of characters and situations she had reused, rather than invented. In particular, Figes mentions literary background for the meeting between Wiloughby and Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, the first proposal of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and the way Austen talks about other novels and her home country.

Learning more about the culture of England from the late 1700s to early 1800s, particularly the treatment and expectations put on women was also illuminating. Sex and Subterfuge contains good, but brief analysis on the repression females experienced in this time period, as well as good quotes demonstrating how they felt and experienced life as they knew it. When marriage was the purpose of a woman's life according to society, but they were supposed to also feel no sexual desire, it is not surprising that there was a lot of fear surrounding such topics. I was appalled, also, by the quotes by male authors of the time, and how incredibly condescending they are in every possible way.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in feminism, literature, romance novels, the historical period, or the difference between male and female writers at that time. It is readable enough for even a high school class, I think, and certainly usable outside of a class setting, as it is a good read, and good for finding other books one might be interested in reading that are not as well known as Jane Austen's works.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Do not use with anything but Olympus brand recorders, May 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This microphone works beautifully, picking up everything I say on the phone quite clearly. Things said by the other person were quieter, and had a slightly tinny quality, as though a recording of a recording, but otherwise perfectly understandable. It is a little annoying to use, because you put it in your ear, and then hold the phone up to that ear, but otherwise, it is literally the only product I have found that will allow you to record a cell phone conversation. It did not make the conversation hard to hear while recording, either, and using the phone was basically perfectly normal. The biggest problem with this product is that it can only be trusted to work with an Olympus recorder. I tried it with a Sony, and it was absolutely not working, which meant that I ended up returning the Sony recorder and buying an Olympus one at the same price. Definitely worth it, because I intend to use these products to record phone interviews for the purposes of writing about the conversations.


Les Misérables
Les Misérables
DVD ~ Hugh Jackman
Price: $7.99
37 used & new from $3.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Even better the second time I watched !, May 1, 2013
This review is from: Les Misérables (DVD)
Imagine the scene: A father has just accidentally intercepted a love note addressed to his only child, a daughter. This letter reveals several facts: The two have only met once. She has given the young man a note confessing her love, and tell him she and her father are leaving the country. The final fact? The young man is currently involved in a rebellion against the government which he does not expect to survive. Were this a scene in any other movie or TV drama I've ever seen except Les Miserables, this father would have surely said something like "Well, that's that, and she'd better get over him as quickly as she fell for him," before destroying the letter. But this scene is from Les Miserables, which means something far more surprising happens instead. More than almost anything else, Les Mis as it is called in short form, is a story about the conflict between justice and mercy.

It is called Les Miserables, of course, because it primarily focuses on the miserable people. This is a story about the oppressed, downtrodden, from whom hope has been stolen. Characters sing, yes, but about things like being a slave, or feeling as though they are standing in their graves. The world of this musical is harsh and unforgiving. Each character faces despair, but none so thoroughly as Fantine, who, according to Anne Hathaway who played her, is the most miserable. We see her life as a terrible downslide, with no kindness shown to her till it is far too late. But of course, she is not the only outstanding character, or actor in the film. Les Mis is an extravagant production, led by the always impressive Hugh Jackman, and including some very well cast and talented newcomers to my knowledge. The scene, costumes, and singing are all brilliantly done, and the special features nicely add to my appreciation of these elements. They also made me want to go and read the original novel by Victor Hugo. Every member of this production who spoke waxed eloquent on how it was the true source of all this brilliance.

They did not, however, talk about the unique method this filming of Les Miserables used for recording the singing, which I had heard about from other sources. So as much as I recommend this movie, I also suggest getting whatever is the most deluxe edition available. This is a movie for the ages, with perennial themes of justice, love, kindness, mercy, oppression, despair, crime, rebellion, and Hugh Jackman's incredible physical strength. A true must-see, especially for the themes of grace and redemption.


Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away....
Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away....
by Chris Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.60
185 used & new from $0.25

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant art from a more enlightened age..., February 19, 2013
STAR WARS Origami is a lovely, official-looking book, with glossy cover and full color pages. Chris Alexander includes a back section of specially printed papers that will make the origami models look exactly like the originals, with all the right colors and pattern. Because of this, the book will be missing the entire back section once you are done with all of the models. Personally, I think the book would be better if spiral bound, so it would still be a functional book at that point. More than half of the models will still look fine when done with ordinary paper, and the trivia pages will also be usable after all of the fancy paper is gone. The book isn't kidding when it says it is for 8 and up, based on the reading level alone, though I would say that while I myself started doing origami at age 8, what I did then was easier than these.

My main purpose in reviewing, however, is to advise those who purchase STAR WARS Origami. If you have never done origami before, make sure you practice with plain paper before using the included papers. This way, you have the freedom to make mistakes the first time, and will already know what you are doing when you make your display models. Practice the folds shown at the beginning of the book, especially the inversion fold, as Chris Alexander utilizes it often, and I find it tricky to do at times. Also, pay close attention to the orientation of the fancy paper and when it gets turned in different directions, to be sure things end up in the right places. I personally tend to lose track of which side is which, and would end up making everything turn out wrong, because I am used to working with solid color paper.

While the level of difficulty of individual models is included, I would say that the book overall is maybe level two origami--it would be better to have some prior experience, but none of these are the super hard math based models the experts make and display at origami shows. Kids may need adult helpers to make sure they aren't skipping steps, or to help them figure out how pictures translate into what they are doing. There was only one model I could not complete due to not understanding the directions, the cloner alien from Kamino, which I thought might have failed to show what was happening in certain steps. Everything else was good, and I especially enjoyed how Slave I, Boba and Jango Fett's ship, turned out, as well as Luke's landspeeder.


The Hobbit (or There and Back Again)
The Hobbit (or There and Back Again)
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.48
154 used & new from $5.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must Buy, January 8, 2013
This is a particularly nice copy of The Hobbit, bound in green leather or something like it. Personally, I've never been quite sure why a single book would be in a box, but I suppose it does protect the lovely gold embossed cover with Tolkein's runes all over it. The full page color reproductions of Tolkien's watercolor illustrations also really added to the quality of this edition of the book. Some of them are very pretty, and were not present in my smaller copy of The Hobbit. This is definietly the collector's edition, not the small portable copy to read in waiting rooms.

It had been a while since I had read The Hobbit, so it was nice to refresh my memory of the story before seeing the movie. It has a little introduction in the beginning, which may have originally come from the Lord of the Rings, explaining dwarves and that orc and goblin are interchangable terms. I would say this edition is well worth the cost for an enthusiast willing to wait for it to come out of backorder. If you haven't read The Hobbit before, you should, whether you buy this or another copy, but be warned: there is a lot of singing and other poetry. Even the orcs sing at least once, which is odd, even if it is about torture and cannibalism and other orcish topics.


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