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James Pernikoff RSS Feed (Marietta, Georgia USA)
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60 Minutes - Around the World in 20 Days
60 Minutes - Around the World in 20 Days

3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating program, but terrible value, October 3, 2013
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This program shows off the unique Solar Impulse aircraft, designed to fly around the world on solar power alone. The interviews with the very enthusiastic Bertrand Piccard are most entertaining. (Since this was recorded, the aircraft has successfully crossed the United States; the world flight is scheduled for 2015.)

But I cannot give more than 3 stars to any video that represents such rotten value for money. $17.95 for 12:29 is unacceptable. Amazon needs to take $10 off of all of the 60 Minutes video series. Then I might give it another star.

Note that all of these videos have sound recorded at a low level, and you'll have to raise your volume control substantially. Be sure to lower the sound level back as soon as the video is over!


60 Minutes: America's New Air Force (May 10, 2009)
60 Minutes: America's New Air Force (May 10, 2009)
Price: $17.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice program, but terrible value, October 3, 2013
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This program presents a good look at U.S. Air Force UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operations as of May 2009, focusing on operations at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, NV. It emphasizes how "pilots" sitting in trailers in the Nevada desert can deploy ordnance thousands of miles away in Afghanistan.

But I cannot give more than 3 stars to any video that represents such rotten value for money. $17.95 for 13:16 is unacceptable. Amazon needs to take $10 off of all of the 60 Minutes video series. Then I might give it another star.

One other caveat: while all of these videos have sound recorded at a low level, this one is extreme. I had to raise the volume of my TV to 3 times the normal level; then the sound quality was just fine. Be sure to lower the level back as soon as the video is over!


Bronx (Easyfinder Maps)
Bronx (Easyfinder Maps)
by Rand McNally
Edition: Map

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but now out of date, October 3, 2013
This review is from: Bronx (Easyfinder Maps) (Map)
I only wish that Rand McNally had actually published the paper version of this map; they did the four other boroughs, and showed cover art for the Bronx paper map, but it apparently was never actually published! Now they have apparently scaled back their cartography department, which is only doing state maps now; all of their new city maps are actually done by other mapmaking houses.


Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia 6th Edition (Interstate Drive)
Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia 6th Edition (Interstate Drive)
by Sandra Phillips-Posner
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: $19.00
5 used & new from $19.00

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea, flawed by inaccurate data, September 10, 2013
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I had been looking for a companion volume to the long running "Along Interstate-75", and this is it, following exactly the same format. It provides a wealth of data, but I wonder about the authors' research.

I cite some examples regarding the depiction of highway widths. In northern New Jersey, the highway, which follows the N.J. Turnpike, is shown as 3 lanes wide (implying 6 lanes total for both directions), but is actually 12 lanes wide for much of the distance down to exit 9 (and has been so for many years), and 10 lanes down to exit 8A. The presence of separate eastern and western spurs through the Meadowlands is not shown at all.

In northern Virginia, the highway is shown as 6 lanes wide between exit 160 and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that spans the Potomac River. I know from personal experience last year that most or all of this stretch is 8 lanes wide, not counting the separate reversible express lanes south of I-495, which are not shown at all.

In Florida, the road is shown as 4 lanes wide between exits 298 and about 273 (more on that below), but this stretch has been 6 lanes for at least 3 years. In south Florida, the road is shown as 6 lanes between exits 87 and 79 and between exits 66 and 14, but is at least 8 to 10 lanes wide, and some of that has been true for over 10 years. On the other hand, the road is shown as 6 lanes between exits 173 and 129, and while that is the aim, some of the widening from 4 lanes has not even begun yet!

Also, some road widths mysteriously change between exits (such as between exits 278 and 273 or between exits 249 and 244, both in Florida), so one does not know exactly where that happens. And I don't like the idea of using graduated darknesses in the color gray to denote speed limits; the use of multiple colors would be preferable. And where HOV lanes exist, the authors paint a green stripe up the middle of the road, which makes determining the total number of lanes difficult in some instances.

Since this sort of data can be corroborated by looking at satellite photos on sites like Google maps, I wonder how accurate the rest of the contents are.

One more caveat for people traveling through the Philadelphia area: the book does not cover the section of I-95 that runs from Trenton through Philly and down to Wilmington, DE, instead following the N.J. Turnpike, which is natural since most thru travelers will take that route.

Don't get me wrong; I like the concept of the book, and I will use it. A lot of information in the text portion is positively delightful. But I hope the authors do some better basic research before the 7th edition comes to press, so that I can give it a higher rating.


Tchaikovsky : Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 3
Tchaikovsky : Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 3
18 used & new from $50.85

5.0 out of 5 stars You'll become a fan, August 18, 2013
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Although the 4th and 5th were always my favorite Tchaikovsky symphonies, I'll admit that the problem with the first 3 is that they were rarely played, either on radio or in the concert hall. The only one even heard occasionally was the 2nd, and it has remained my least favorite of the cycle, because of a final movement that I find boringly repetitious. Maybe that soured me on the 1st and 3rd as well, but I always wanted a good recording of the first 3 to fill out my collection.

Well, I've found it, and it has made me a big fan of the 3rd, in particular, a delightful work played delightfully by Dorati and the LSO. I agree that the 1st is a bit stiff and too deliberate at times; the first three movements of the 2nd are just fine, but I still dislike the finale, though you probably won't hear it played better than this.

Considering the age of the recording, it sounds just fine to me, and if you want a very good set of these early Tchaikovsky symphonies, you cannot go wrong with this set.


ENCYCLOPE'DIE DES CHARS DE COMBAT MODERNES: Tome 1: United States-France-Japan-Germany (French Edition)
ENCYCLOPE'DIE DES CHARS DE COMBAT MODERNES: Tome 1: United States-France-Japan-Germany (French Edition)
by Marc Chassillan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $55.00
31 used & new from $33.87

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This must be published in English!, August 12, 2013
I do not own this book, but have seen it at model shows, and it is an excellent book, but only if you read French. I have deliberately given it a low rating to try and persuade H&C that they should still do an English-language edition (which was actually originally announced, and which I had ordered through Amazon) of both this and the companion volume.

It is sheer stupidity to do a book that contains information on U.S. tanks and not do an English-language edition! In fact, as an encyclopedia, it should have been done in English anyway. H&C needs to realize that, on a worldwide basis, they are likely to sell far more books in English than in French. They continue to make peculiar decisions as to which books to do in English. Books on entirely French subjects can be done only in French, but any volume with international appeal should also be done in English.


Consolidated P2Y Ranger (Naval Fighters)
Consolidated P2Y Ranger (Naval Fighters)
by Steve Ginter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.95
34 used & new from $21.05

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in the series, July 28, 2013
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I always appreciate a book that covers new ground, and this book does that comprehensively.

The Consolidated PBY (originally P3Y) Catalina is world-famous and has gotten a lot of press, but what about its predecessor? As the book description above suggests, this book not only covers the P2Y, but also ALL of the U.S. Navy's patrol flying boats that preceded it, going all the way back to before the First World War. These early boats are all described in words, photos, specifications and drawings by Lloyd Jones, and include the commercial Commodore airliner based on the PY Admiral.

As usual, the only possible criticism that could be levelled at a Ginter book is the lack of color aside from the covers, and perhaps someone will do a set of color schemes to go along with the book. But that is a small problem, since there is a lot of interesting and useful information here about a lot of airplanes!


The SABR Baseball List & Record Book: Baseball's Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics
The SABR Baseball List & Record Book: Baseball's Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics
by Society for American Baseball Research
Edition: Paperback
94 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable reference which needs updating, July 28, 2013
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This is a truly useful desk reference to 740 lists about Major League Baseball, separated into chapters covering batting, pitching, fielding and base-running, along with a chapter on rookie records and one on "miscellaneous" records that include those for longevity and family ties.

There is an index of all the lists, and an important index listing every player and all of the lists that he appears on. Needless to say, the name that appears on the most lists is one Babe Ruth, which should come to no surprise to anybody.

There is no text following the introduction, and no illustrations. This is clearly not a book to be "read", but rather one that should be close at hand if any question about baseball records comes up.

The only real problem is that the book dates back to 2007 and is badly in need of an update. The current state of book publishing being what it is, I can see the next edition as being solely digital and having additional cross-referencing features that would be impractical in a hard-copy edition. What about it, SABR?


Greetings from the Lincoln Highway: A Road Trip Celebration of America's First Coast-to-Coast Highway
Greetings from the Lincoln Highway: A Road Trip Celebration of America's First Coast-to-Coast Highway
by Brian Butko
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.07
31 used & new from $14.11

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine look at scenes along the "Father Road", July 28, 2013
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As someone who has lived in suburban Philadelphia and frequently visits Lancaster, PA, it has always annoyed me a bit at how much attention that Route 66 has gotten as compared to all of the other pioneering roads in America. After all, the Lincoln Highway is both longer and older!

Mr. Butko has single-handedly done a lot to bring the Lincoln Highway into the spotlight, and, while, I haven't seen his other books, I'm certain that the body of his work has done this important thoroughfare some much-needed justice.

The present book covers the road in detail from east-to-west, describing the attractions along the way (including some that no longer exist) in words and pictures. Maps for each state show the various routes that the Lincoln Highway took, and there are a number of them, which can be a bit confusing. I always associated US-30 with the Lincoln Highway, and now I know that that is only true from Philadelphia to Wyoming. Fortunately, much less of the route has been obliterated by Interstates as is the case with Route 66, so it is generally possible to drive most of the route on the actual roads. And this book should be on the seat alongside you!


College Nicknames: The Ultimate Guide
College Nicknames: The Ultimate Guide
by Cullen Vane
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.99
7 used & new from $14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, even if you're not a fan of college sports, July 10, 2013
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This is a great little book: informative, entertaining, and funny at times.

It starts by cross-referencing the nicknames of no fewer than 1592 four-year colleges in the U.S. and Canada. (There is a small problem here: some of the nicknames beginning with "Golden" are out-of-order.) They list the numbers of the most-used nicknames, how many there are per state or province, and how many begin with each letter of the alphabet.

Then come a bunch of lists grouping together related nicknames; for instance: cats, dogs, birds, politicians, trees, weather phenomena, etc. There are lists of nicknames that do not end in "s", nicknames that appear in the names of movies, TV shows and rock bands, nicknames that are also model names for cars and nicknames with alliteration (such as the Clarke College Crusaders).

The authors also assemble "rivalries" of nicknames that rhyme (Buccaneers vs Chanticleers, Lakers vs Quakers) and those that make logical sense (Judges vs Vandals, Knights vs Dragons, Sharks vs Jets). They get a little silly suggesting better nicknames for schools (Connecticut Yankees, Peace Knicks, Wabash Cannonballs). They even provide a list of suggested nicknames that, in fact, are not used by anybody (Buzzards, Cheetahs, Rhinos).

Perhaps the most interesting section gives the origin of nearly 600 nicknames, some of which are obvious, and some which are anything but. (Why is San Francisco State the Gators, since there are hardly any native to California? Well, originally they were the Golden Gaters, which makes more sense.)

There are nicknames given for defunct schools, and finally the authors pick their best and worst, which are obviously open to debate, but they're entitled to their opinions.

In short, this book is just plain fun, and that should be true even if you don't have any interest in college sports.


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