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D. Roberts "Hadrian12" RSS Feed (Battle Creek, Michigan United States)

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I Am Titanium (Pax Black) (Volume 1)
I Am Titanium (Pax Black) (Volume 1)
by John Patrick Kennedy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
10 used & new from $10.29

3.0 out of 5 stars An invisible war, July 25, 2015
With his friend Scarlett at his side, Pax is dying of a rare disease. He is in his final days and there seems to be no hope for recovery when these mysterious beings from another dimension (known as the 'astral plane') take pity on him and decide to save him. Scarlett interferes with their efforts and finds herself roped-into the same astral powers that are granted to Pax. From there, the law of unintended consequences kicks in and seemingly everything goes awry.

Scarlett & Pax can sense these worm like entities of negative energy which are cloaked to "normal" folk. They then begin dueling with the negative energy creatures, with varied results. As such, this story is something akin to a science fiction version of the invisible war between the Seraphim & Cherubim vs. Satan's demons which the Catholics believe is going on all around us. To complicate matters, there are subplots galore about the true intentions of the astral beings.

This is a very strange story. That does not mean it is bad, but it for sure is quite far fetched. People who are fans of unconventional sci-fi may take an interest in this story. For myself, it was fun while it lasted but I don't intend to continue to read of the adventures of Pax & Scarlett.

Maleficent (1-Disc DVD)
Maleficent (1-Disc DVD)
DVD ~ Angelina Jolie
Price: $19.70
44 used & new from $8.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Payback, fairy tale style!, July 23, 2015
This review is from: Maleficent (1-Disc DVD) (DVD)
This is certainly the best Disney movie of the past 10yrs & is one of the best Disney movies of all time. It puts an unexpected twist on a tale that we were all told as children about the wicked Maleficent who shows up uninvited and places a curse on the innocent royal baby, Aurora. We all know the story: only love's true kiss will be able to awaken the young lady. Is such a thing even possible anymore? Even in the imaginary world of a fairy tale?

Angelina Jolie turns in one of the most powerful performances of her illustrious career as she "nails" the part of the magical creature who is more human than she would care to admit. Elle Fanning makes the most of her opportunity to play out every teenage girl's dream: to play the part of a fairy tale princess. While the story is quite different than the 1 we all grew up knowing, it is congruent with the fairy tale motif and keeps from becoming far fetched.

If you need a movie that will make you nostalgic for the fantasy stories of your youth, this is it. If you're looking for a family friendly movie to watch on a Friday night, this is it. If you think all fairy tales are silly & juvenile, I would urge you to give this 1 a whirl. It may just surprise you on how sophisticated a child's tale can be!

'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (Canto original series)
'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (Canto original series)
by Erwin Schrodinger
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $2.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Musings of a scientist, July 12, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Erwin Schroedinger was one of the most landmark physicists of the 20th century. If you have ever used a microwave oven, GPS, a CD / DVD player, computer or cell phone, then you can thank Schroedinger, Heisenberg, von Neumann, Turing and so many others. That these are not household names is a sad reflection on the state of our educational system (thank you anti-science Right Wingers!).

The current book offers two essays written by Schroedinger. The 1st is on the enormous debt that modern day scientists owe to the ancient Greeks. Way back then, philosophers and physicists were one-in-the-same. Naturally, Schroedinger pays homage to one of the 1st atomists, Democritus. In fact, it was Democritus who coined the term atom (literally, the Greek word means "unsplittable"). Coincidentally, in a more recent book, Leon Lederman sings the praises of Democritus in The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? and shows the nexus between his system of thought and that of experimental physicists in the present age. While it is something of an encomium on the Greeks, Schroedinger also discusses possible disadvantages of being indoctrinated into the scientific paradigm as devised by the pre-Socratics.

In the second essay, Schroedinger lists his thoughts on the haunting fear of a deterministic universe that so many philosophers of science have feared for the past few centuries. Is free will just an illusion? Or do we have control over our own fates? Do independent spheres of science have any intrinsic value if they are not used towards a more comprehensive view of nature? This is the introspective study that the great scientist engages in.

This book is a must-have for all fans of the Austrian physicist. For those who are curious about his life & times I would recommend the biography Schrödinger: Life and Thought.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $3.43
847 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The face of genocide, July 5, 2015
Anne Frank was a precocious teenager who was going through puberty. Her body was changing and she had her 1st boyfriend. She dreamed of becoming a journalist one day. She was remarkably well read for her age. She was just like any other teenage girl, with one tragic exception: as a Jewish girl during World War II, she had to live in hiding (in what she called the "Secret Annexe") from the Nazis.

Along with her family and friends, Anne dealt with the threat of being discovered as well as food shortages and the general boredom which coincides with being cooped up for years. Indirectly, while the Nazis cut her life short (eventually, the Secret Annexe was found out), they could not stop her from being a journalist. She documented WWII from ground level in her place of hiding. Her diary lists many major events during the war such as the fall of Mussolini, D-Day and much more.

In the midst of the historical events is a young lady with an inquisitive mind. She wrote "It's an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary, not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I - nor for that matter anyone else - will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen year old schoolgirl." (Page 2) She could not have been more wrong. Little did she know that her diary would become one of the most important books ever written.

Anne's story is tragic in 2 aspects. First is the obvious: this book is the memoir of a girl who didn't make it to the end of the war. Secondly, she & her family came SO close to being able to return to normalcy. D-Day raised the hopes of the clan, but the Franks (with the exception of her father, Otto) were among the last Jews to die in concentration camp.

If there are any bigots out there who read this book, if Anne's story does not reverse their bigotry then nothing will. The reason we have the DELTA FORCE, Navy SEALs and the rest is to ensure that there will never again be any people who suffer from persecution. The motto of the Green Berets is "To free the oppressed."

Obviously, it is an unattainable goal, but it is a noble one. Sadly, as I write this review there are Anne Franks living in fear across the Middle East in ISIS controlled territories. 100 years from now there will be Anne Franks living in other crises in different parts of the globe. Best we can do is not to forget Anne, and not forget them. If you want to know what the face of genocide looks like, then read this book.

Indulging Her Fantasy (Siren Publishing Allure)
Indulging Her Fantasy (Siren Publishing Allure)
Price: $4.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A full length bukkake fantasy!!, July 2, 2015
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Aurora Reagan is a proud alumni of Michigan State University. As such, she encapsulates the epitome of Spartan beauty: she is elegant, stunningly beautiful and she's built like a cheerleader. She has the brains to match as she is an accomplished businesswoman and a CEO of a top tier fashion company. At her side is her adoring boyfriend, Nicholas. She is the type of person who has everything going for her.

As they're watching a bukkake porn one night, Aurora is repulsed and she becomes angry that her boyfriend is turned-on by the spectacle. They have a big fight and she is resentful of his attitude towards the bukkake concept. She begins to wonder about this boyfriend who had up to that point been the perfect match for her.

Surprisingly, over time, she finds herself becoming aroused by the idea of being a bukkake girl. Just as people don't go to see concert pianists play "Chopsticks," so too do people not attend bukkakes for plain Janes. Shooters are only interested in bukkakes that feature pretty girls. The fact that she would have that kind of power over a room full of men is something that she finds intoxicating.

The problem, of course, is that she has a high profile and cannot afford a tabloid scandal. It will have to be, so to speak, a "confidential bukkake." But how does she go about that?

The erotic thing about this story is that it's a fully developed character who finds herself entranced by the notion of doing a bukkake girl. Aurora is NOT doing it for $$. In fact, her net worth is more than all of the shooters combined! Rather, she is doing it for HER own sake. It will be HER confidential bukkake.

While short stories such as Bukkake Girl, Cover Me: A Blonde Bukkake Fantasy and COLLEGE DORM BUKKAKE: Piper Gets Painted are all well & good, they are like fast food. By contrast, the present fantasy is like a full course meal at a 5 star restaurant. We get to actually KNOW the bukkake girl as opposed to her being a cut-out character.

On top of that, Cara Addison does the best job of describing what a real bukkake would be like. Bukkakes are erotica's counterpart to sharks engaged in a feeding-frenzy, and Cara is able to capture that aspect wonderfully.

This is a ground-breaking book and is highly recommended for anyone who is intrigued by the genres of extreme erotica and / or bukkakes. The rhythm of the book actually mimics a bukkake with its slow crescendo to sexual tension and ultimate release. Even more than being about experiencing a bukkake, this book is all about relishing life, being alive.....and walking on the wild side!

I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! (Brown Thrasher Books)
I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! (Brown Thrasher Books)
by Robert Elliott Burns
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.03
43 used & new from $7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A fugitive, but not from Justice, June 24, 2015
Robert Elliot Burns was a soldier who fought in World War I. After his return from the Great War he suffered from shell shock (what is commonly referred to these days as PTSD). He was restless and spent some time aimlessly wandering about the country. To his misfortune, one of the places he visited was Atlanta, GA.

While in Georgia he was roped into a hare brained robbery which netted < $6. He, the ringleader and another accomplice were quickly apprehended. In spite of his military service + the fact that he had no prior criminal history, Burns was sentenced to 6-10 yrs on the infamous Georgia chain gang.

Burns eventually escaped to Chicago where he married and became a successful businessman. His fortunes turned when his spiteful, jealous & vindictive wife reported his whereabouts to the Georgia department of corrections. Illinois was reluctant to extradite him as he was a model citizen in Chicago. Ultimately, a deal was reached: he would serve 90 days on the chain gang & then be set free.

Georgia was embarrassed that a Yankee had escaped its penal system, so they pulled a classic bait & switch. The feigned ignorance to the agreed upon 90 days chain gang duty. In his attempts to have his parole granted, Burns ran into delay after delay. He resolved to escape from the chain gang again ~ and he succeeded.

None of the above is "spoiler material" as it's all spelled-out in the foreward to the book. The "meat" of the story is the horrific details that he discloses about the medieval corporal punishment inflicted on the malefactors of the chain gang. From the start, Burns never got a fair shake as he was an outsider to the state of Georgia as well as a Yankee. The present book was written after his second escape while he was still on-the-run.

As such, the most remarkable part of his tale, the denouement, is omitted from the pages of this book. Eventually he was discovered once again while in hiding in New Jersey. Once more, Georgia requested extradition. This time, something unprecedented happened: the state of New Jersey declined Georgia's request and set Burns free. Burns still wanted to square matters with Georgia and finally had his sentence commuted to time already served in 1945. This allowed him to roam freely throughout the country without fear of being extradited back to GA. Again, none of the above is in the storyline of the book as it happened > the novel was written.

In our "enlightened" period, we face two ends of the spectrum to be avoided when it comes to incarceration. The first is making prisons a "Club Med" experience, and the second is to not succumbing to crafting prisons / penal codes that are designed to wreck a man or woman's soul. Also, unusually lengthy sentences should be avoided for minor transgressions. As Marcus Tullius Cicero said, "The punishment should fit the crime."

Here is a story of the need for justice being usurped by a motive for vengeance by the Georgia corrections agency. It is a "red flag" case of what should be avoided. Before reading this book, I was unaware that Georgia didn't even HAVE a regular prison until 1938 (its last men's prison having closed in 1874). In the interim, the chain gang was the sole punitive option used to mete out justice. In fact, this very book may well have had a hand in the state of Georgia reforming its justice system and building the new prison!

This is an enjoyable read, a quick read and it has a very quick pace. The reader is able to "dive right into" the turmoil that the veteran soldier found himself in after making a single ill advised decision. Nietzsche once wrote: "Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful." Here is the epitome of what can happen when there is overreach on the side of the criminal justice system and the authority figures who prefer sadism to just sentences.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2015 8:14 AM PDT

Logos: A Novel of Christianity's Origin
Logos: A Novel of Christianity's Origin
by John Neeleman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christianity long before the Edict of Milan & Council of Nicea, June 22, 2015
e most people, I am aware of the Jewish insurrection which transpired in the first century CE. It ended with the Romans, under the emperor Vespasian, put Jerusalem under siege. The city burned and ultimately many Jews who survived the siege ended up trying to hold out @ Masada (albeit unsuccessfully). While these episodes are familiar with most people who are acquainted with Roman and / or Jewish history, the present book is a "deep dive" into these events. The retaliation of the Romans is told in an exquisite 1st person detail. As such, the events are brought to life once more after lying dormant on the pages of history books for the past 2,000 yrs.

The central figure in the book is a Jewish priest / Rabbi by the name of Jacob. Jacob holds a seething hatred for the Romans, but finds himself powerless to resist them. He miraculously survives the destruction of Jerusalem and ends up wandering around the Roman controlled colonies, all the while having strange visions of a Messiah. His life is a Shakespearian tragedy squared with the continual losses he must deal with.

Along the way, Jacob interacts with historical figures such as the Jewish historian Josephus, the emperor Titus and Tiberius Julius Alexander. Jacob finds himself endlessly searching for meaning in a world that has fallen apart. From his visions, he begins to wonder if the time might be right for a new religion to emerge, one that will ultimately undercut the hegemony of the Roman empire.

Such is the framework of the current story. As a disclaimer, it should be noted that this book is not geared towards ardent Christians who wish to augment or increase their faith. Rather, the target audience would be people like myself who have an intellectual curiosity about comparative religion and / or the Roman empire. For people who are believers, this is the type of book that will showcase how your religious / historical sausage is made.

LOGOS does for the origin of Christianity what The Prophet's Scribe does for the birth of Islam. Both books are remarkable in their approach to their respective religions, and both take the readers back to ground-zero of the rise of Christianity & Islam. Man, the storytelling animal, has for so long aggrandized the lives of what Hegel would call "World historic individuals." Such is the making of myth. Such is the birth of religions.

Facials (A Steamy Picture Book)
Facials (A Steamy Picture Book)
Price: $9.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Lame, June 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A bait & switch. Random photos; it's not what you think

American Sniper (DVD+UltraViolet)
American Sniper (DVD+UltraViolet)
DVD ~ Bradley Cooper
Price: $12.99
30 used & new from $8.26

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest SEAL snipers ever, June 16, 2015
People who watch this movie generally fall into 1 of 2 camps. Fans of the movie like the fact that it extols one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history. Meanwhile, critics of the movie accuse it of revising history and putting a positive spin on an ill conceived war which has gone disastrously wrong for the United States. In this case, these views are not mutually exclusive and both camps have merits for their arguments.

That Chris Kyle is an American hero is without question. His name is up there with Audie Murphy, Nathan Hale and George S. Patton. Brad Cooper does a good job of capturing the mannerisms of a humble sailor who felt he was simply doing his job & nothing more. Some will take cheap shots @ Kyle for having to shoot women & children. I ask these Monday morning quarterbacks the following question: what, EXACTLY did you expect him to do? Allow the Marines he was assigned to protect get killed? There is an old rule in military warfare (I can't remember what it's called) that goes something like this: you can protect your men, OR you can protect civilians, but not both.

As for the Iraq war ending up as a goat-screw, that point is beyond debate @ this juncture. Even most Neocons have conceded as much. It was based on faulty premises, the politicians made catastrophic mistakes (paging Dick Cheney, Dubya & Paul Wolfowitz) and there was a fundamental misunderstanding of the rift between the Sunni & Shia Muslims. To be sure, none of this was Chris Kyle's fault, nor was it the fault of any soldier / sailor / airman or Marine. At this point, it is what it is.

There is your backdrop. On to the film. It traces the life of Kyle (mostly via flashbacks) from his childhood to meeting the love of his life to his joining the Navy, becoming a SEAL and doing 4 tours in Iraq. It is an introspective war movie that is more about Chris Kyle the man than it is about his considerable achievements.

In Greek mythology, Ajax was one of the mightiest Greek warriors who fought in the Trojan war ~ second only to Achilles. After the war was over, he was cursed by Athena and suffered from some rather bizarre hallucinations. Nowadays, we recognize Athena's curse as a metaphor for PTSD. Chris Kyle is a real-life story of Ajax. The take-away is clear: if even a brave SEAL the caliber of Kyle can get PTSD, then it can happen to anyone. In the 3,000+ yrs since the Trojan war, nothing has really changed. Hopefully, this movie may compel people coming out of war zones to seek the help they need.

In the end, the most remarkable thing about Kyle is not the number of enemy kills he has (although that is mighy impressive). Rather, it is just how HUMAN he is. We tend to forget that ultra tough DELTA Force / Green Beret / SEAL / Marine Recon / Parajumper types enjoy spending time with their family and going to their kid's baseball games as much as the rest of us. That, in short, is the heart of this story. It is, in fact, why Kyle and so many others like him put everything on the line: the compulsion to live a life of normalcy.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey
DVD ~ Dakota Johnson
Price: $14.11
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, actually it's kind of black & white, June 16, 2015
This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey (DVD)
Well, after watching this movie, I have to say that I'm not as warped as I thought I was. To be sure, BDSM has never been my gig. Nevertheless, I approached this film with a sense of curiosity. Needless to say, my curiosity was quenched.

Ana (played by Dakota Johnson) is a naive college aged woman whose life begins to cross paths with a rich billionaire named Christian (Jamie Dorman). While Christian has the social aptitude of a 12 year old, Ana nevertheless finds herself drawn to him. Despite his apathetic view of life, he obviously has a business acumen, + he's rich & handsome.

Such is the framework for us to watch as Christian leads Ana to his dark impulses and rather demented way of looking upon relationships. He does not want a girlfriend. Rather, he needs a sub. Is Ana capable of fulfilling that role? Therein is the crux of the film.

Full disclosure: the primary impetus of my wanting to watch this movie did not lay in its psychological foreplay. Rather, I mainly just wanted to see Dakota Johnson naked. I feared that it might be a classic "teaser flick" which shows "everything but...." Well, if anyone else has any of these same reservations, fret no more! Dakota Johnson has an All-American, unassuming girl-next-door beauty, which makes her perfect for the part. She also has a fabulous cheerleader body and the viewer gets to see all of it! The flick hits a Grand Slam on that topic.

While this story is listed under the Romance genre, be advised that it's certainly not a Romance in the tradition of, say, Somewhere in Time, Titanic or Serendipity. This is a totally different animal, sort of like 9 1/2 Weeks on steroids. I suppose a subtitle could be: BDSM IS ALL FUN & GAMES UNTIL SOMEONE GETS AN OWIE!!

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