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Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
by John J. Ratey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.00
203 used & new from $3.73

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right mix of science and practical information, July 6, 2008
This is a brief for exercise as an element of brain fitness. The author is a Harvard Medical School Professor. There is a lot of science here --any more and I would have been lost. The idea is simply this --we are designed to be moving animals. Our brains are controlled by chemicals which must be kept in balance and cells which must be replensished and grow. Vigorous, regular exercise, like a pill we take every morning but wihtout the side effects, helps manage all of this complexity. We don't know exactly how this works but it works and is a prescription to ward off stress, depression, anxiety, dementia and other like afflictions which all have biochemical roots. In the same way that exercise benefits the heart, Dr. Raney persuasively argues it benefits the organ of the brain. My advice--read the book, go out and get a heart monitor and make vigorous exercise a standard part of your day and life.


Timex T5J031 Unisex Digital Fitness Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Timex T5J031 Unisex Digital Fitness Heart Rate Monitor Watch

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great product and functionality, July 5, 2008
This is an elementary and reliable heart rate monitor. It is easy to use and durable. I have used it since February and now routinely wear it for all exercise. The watch has a stop watch, lap timer, alarm, hrm, calorie counter, max/min/ and average heart rate counter and tracks where you are in desired heart rate zone. This is a terrific product --works well and does just what it is supposed to do. I'd recommend buying a spare battery for the chest transmitter; it wore out after about 50 hours of exercise use.


Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death
Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death
by Deborah Blum
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from $1.54

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Story; Drily Written, February 17, 2008
This is an historical account of late 19th century researchers including credible academics who investigated paranormal phenomena attemtping to find out if there was a spirit world, mental telepathy and other like occurrences. The author researched the history and the personalities thoroughly and the academic quality seems, to me, outstanding. But I struggled to get through this book. I would have thought that a history regarding seances, mediums, spiritis, and fascinating characters of the era like William James, a father of modern psychology, would have made for enormously compelling and entertaining reading. Instead, I slogged through the book giving it up several times returning to finish despite what seemed to me a turgid telling of a powerful story. The story and the characters were what forced me to read on despite the prose which did not match the vigor of the subject.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)
10 used & new from $39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Great pictures and a great camera, February 3, 2008
I bought this camera in July of 2007 and took it with me to Italy and have used it frequently since then. I blew up several pictures of scenery and have them mounted in my office. I've gotten compliments on the sharpness and colors and I am by no means a professional. This camera has a great lens and takes sharp pictures. The biggest advantage is the portability of the camera coupled with the quality of the lens and zoom. I am sure that pictures taken with a higher end SLR may be technically superior especially where there is motion and or low level lighting. But for taking pictures of people and daylight landscapes this is a great camera and value.


Easy Eloquence: Sample Thank You Notes and Sympathy Cards For Every Occasion
Easy Eloquence: Sample Thank You Notes and Sympathy Cards For Every Occasion
by Sharon Paskoff
Edition: Paperback
70 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily Useful and Easy to Use, February 20, 2007
This is a remarkably useful and timeless book --it provides easy to use models for thank you and sympathy notes. I found the author's comments, wit and distinctive voice charming and unique. I am still chuckling at her dedication and the all too true insights she has regarding gifts and how to say something just right when words seem to fail us.


24: Season 4
24: Season 4
DVD ~ Kiefer Sutherland
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $23.99
188 used & new from $0.74

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Bad There are only 5 stars, February 11, 2007
This review is from: 24: Season 4 (DVD)
This is an astonishing accomplishment. Great entertainment and an enormously creative work. Talking about the plot or saying it's suspense won't do it justice.

Like many of the other readers, I bought Season 1 got hooked, and have now watched the 4 seasons in little more than a month and am now ready for season 5. Without commericals and the ability to move from week to week without waiting, the Season is incredibly intense and addictive. I read much more than watch tv --but this is like great literature. Here's why --

1] the main character, Jack Bauer, is multi dimensional and complex; yes, he's an action hero --resourceful and ruthless, but he has a human side which is embedded in his character that makes you think about him as a person not just a stick figure;

2] the plotting is extremely intricate; it is amazing how well conceived each season is and how what happened first the prior week and then the prior year all ties together;

3] the acting is first rate --the situations at times stretch credulity but the quality of the acting makes the plot twists as believable as possible;

4] the level of suspense is unrelenting and unpredictable.

--all in all watching 24 is by analogy what it must have been like to read Dickens' when his novels were first published as periodic installments. And I think this series will endure though I am not predicting it will be watched as broadly as Dickens is read!


24: Season 1
24: Season 1
DVD ~ Kiefer Sutherland
Offered by Brandon's House of Fun
Price: $19.39
280 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great way to pass a weekend, January 1, 2007
This review is from: 24: Season 1 (DVD)
I started watching this complex thriller which involves events occurring in a 24 hour period and just finished, today, Monday. The plot is intricate and complex; the characters believable enough to keep you watching. The production values are outstanding. The tension is unrelenting. If you just want to escape by watching a unique thriller which has uncommon plot twists and surprises, watch this.


Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
by Barbara Ehrenreich
Edition: Hardcover
551 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Bait and Switch is Not What You Think, December 25, 2006
The authoress writes a first person narrative of her multi-month search for an upper level job presenting herself as an unemployed executive. She creates a fabricated identity and relates her expereinces meeting coaches, networking, going to interviews for non jobs [AFLAC and Mary Kay Cosmetics]and attending job fairs. All of this is fruitless and despite her efforts, she finds no employment. Her objective is to expose the outplacement, coaching, networking industry and the bleak reality of having to look for a job in late mid career.

I found the author's tone annoyingly condescending towards the people she met who were simply trying to make a living in an industrial sector created by today's turbulence. Some may be disreputable but she makes all of them sound like intentional charlatans. This book would have been far more valuable had it focused on the causes of executive level displacement [globalization, technology, etc.] and the impact it has on those affected. These themes were all too briefly covered. Ms. Ehrenreich is brilliant and insightful --I wondered if her condescension came through in her interviews and job searches and whether that affected the outcome of her efforts. To me, the undertone of her prose is to those she met--I'm slumming it now and let's see how stupid you are.

The Bait and Swithch to me was her presenting herself as a sincere candidate, a pose, when that she was not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2006 6:24 PM PST


Next
Next
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.11
1041 used & new from $0.01

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Ideas but not much re a solid story, December 9, 2006
This review is from: Next (Hardcover)
This is, at best, loosely termed a novel; in fact, there are multiple story lines which serve to flesh out issues relating to genetic engingeering but without much suspense, plot continuity, or character development. I read it quickly intrigued with the issues raised by the story but as a novel it falls flat. The most affecting characters are the gentically engineered Dave and Gerard, a chimpanzee and parrot, respectively. This is much more like reading a series of ongoing fables. I have enjoyed reading Michael Crichton since 1970 - his ideas here are fresh but his literary talents are not well displayed. Robert K. Sawyer currently writes on the edge of plausible science fiction which has the much greater literary quality in terms of plot and character development than displayed in Crichton's recent work.


Blackwater
Blackwater
by Kerstin Ekman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.00
174 used & new from $0.01

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Complex read burdened by an awkward translation, October 6, 2006
This review is from: Blackwater (Paperback)
This novel moves from the present to the past and back using a brutal double murder as the crime under consideration. The prose is very descriptive in terms of natural surroundings and densely written reminiscent of the style of Cold Mountain. At times, the story veers off into tangential musings about life, death and like cosmic topics; I did not think these meanderings added much to the story. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to read this book due to the complexity of the plot, the burden of what I believe is a mediocre translation and, ultimately, what to this U.S. reader was unfamiliarity with Swedish/ Norwegian and Lapp culture. I believe that the high praise and awards for this book must largely reflect the taste of readers who read it in its native tongue and understood cultural currents which, lacking prior background, I could not appreciate. If I were to sum it all up, I would subtitle my review as Lost in Translation.


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