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Niall

Member Since 2010

370
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 159 ratings
  • 865 titles in library
  • 62 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
25

  • Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Taylor Gatto
    • Narrated By Michael Puttonen
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (255)

    Thirty years in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. With over 100,000 copies in print since its original publication in 2002, this book is collection of essays and speeches and includes a describes the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto's "guerrilla teaching". John Gatto was a teacher in New York City's public schools for over 30 years and was a New York State Teacher of the Year.

    Cathy D. Schouten says: "He speaks the truth because he was a cog"
    "Required reading to see why kids hate school"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Dumbing Us Down the most enjoyable?

    This book is a collection of essays that were written by a highly decorated teacher discussing the ways he was ashamed to a pert of the American schooling process- I keep remembering him talking about how he would grant permission for a child to use the bathroom knowing they did not have to go- that they just wanted water to move around but he would consider this a kind of favor to be repaid, He mostly talks about how the current system kills the natural curiosity of children and ensures that they will despise learning and intellectual topics. For those wondering the only semi solution given is home school and there really is not a lot of advice in there for people who want to start homeschooling


    What other book might you compare Dumbing Us Down to and why?

    There are some good movies that follow this theme-- The War on Kids, The Cartel -and- Waiting for Superman.


    If you could give Dumbing Us Down a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The broken format of your kids' school


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Improve Your Conversations: Think on Your Feet, Witty Banter, and Always Know What to Say with Improv Comedy Techniques

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Patrick King
    • Narrated By Jeremy Reloj
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (206)

    Improve Your Conversations teaches you how to use the ingenious framework from improv comedy and apply it directly to your everyday social interactions and conversations...and can't we learn something from the greatest improv comedians in the world, like Tina Fey and Will Ferrell? Improv comedy and memorable conversations have almost everything in common, from their premise to what makes them great to their end goals.

    Leigh Espy says: "If you really need help with the basics"
    "Just the basics repackaged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So the author starts by saying that he is a FAILED stand-up comic. So the rest of the book is about how social skills relate to IMPROV which is a totally different thing. Lessons include not changing the subject and then in the next chapter you learn that you can totally change the subject whenever you want. There really is nothing here that is not intuitive to even people who did not do improv. The largest portion of the book is the author sharing his personal story and talking about how much he loves Will Ferrell.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • How to Boost Your Physical and Mental Energy

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Kimberlee Bethany Bonura
    • Narrated By Kimberlee Bethany Bonura Ph.D. Florida State University
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (176)

    Wouldn't it be great if you could wake up every morning with an unending reserve of energy? Get a step-by-step guide and toolkit that will spark your life with a jolt of vitality. It's not just a list of "superfoods" or trendy exercises; the course takes a rigorous scientific approach to human vitality. Energy is a limited resource; learn to allocate yours in the best way possible to make the most of each day.

    marc says: "Worst great course for me"
    "meditation- the king of empty promises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is a lot of meditation. Telling yourself how to feel happier and more energetic. In addition to the reliance of meditation the bulk of the book is narration of what to think about and how to feel as it guides your meditation in real time meaning that even if you do think that meditation is rewarding (I don't) you can't follow the instructions unless you are in a quiet and safe place. Listening while commuting or doing chores are right out. I gave up after a few hours. I wanted a book on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle. This is just a bunch of guided meditation and empty promises. Even if you do think that this is useful (I don't) the writer never backs up claims with science. It is all based on anecdote and personal experience if anything.

    26 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • In Defense of a Liberal Education

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Fareed Zakaria
    • Narrated By Fareed Zakaria
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (297)
    Story
    (300)

    The liberal arts educational system is under attack. Governors in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina have announced that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts. Majors like English and history - which were once very popular and highly respected - are in steep decline, and President Obama has recently advised students to keep in mind that technical training could be more valuable than a degree in art history when deciding on an educational path.

    Howard says: "Almost"
    "85% Autobiography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The argument is a simple one. People are happier when they learn a wide variety of things, a nimble mind is a strong mind, an interested mind is a nimble mind, a liberal education feeds a nimble mind. This argument should not take that long to explain. Why is this book so long? Because this is the author's life story, the story of all his family members, friends and every professional he ever met. I never would have gotten this book if I knew that this was an autobiography

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Dr. David R. Hawkins
    • Narrated By Dr. David R. Hawkins
    Overall
    (1252)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (880)

    The publication of Power vs. Force by Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., reveals to the general public secret information heretofore only shared by the author with certain Nobelists and world leaders. Analyzing the basic nature of human thought and consciousness itself, the author makes available to everyone the key to penetrating the last barrier to the advancement of civilization and science and resolving the most crucial of all human dilemmas.

    Paul says: "Great book, good audiobook...."
    "Junk science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't care about the narrator. He was acceptable. This book is about the "science" of gaining super strength in the presence of powerful substances like vegetables but becoming super weak in the presence of weakening items like artificial sugar. Typically the item is put in a persons outstretched hand and another person will try to shove the hand. The hand will always move if it holds a "weak" substance, never moves if there is a "strong"substance.It is important to remember that you do not have to hold the substance to be affected by it. Just being in the same room will cause a profound change in a person. The book keeps saying that this has been proven in scientific studies but never references the exact studies. I have actually seen this tested several times and it always fails miserably. The JREF has for years offered a million dollars to anyone who can make this work even once, their money is safe.

    There are a hundred problems with this concept besides that it doesn't work. Isolation from weak substances is impossible. Even if you are in outer space everyone has to be in contact with thousands of substances at every moment of every day, each of which supposedly change the strength and weakness of everyone in a profound way. The book attempts to overcome this shortcoming by simply stating that these concepts are believed by some real scientists but they do not state WHY it is believed except for some experiments that no doubt never occurred. Note: real experiments have names, the team has a name, the lab has a name the experiment takes place on a date. This thing that I saw my friend do one time is anecdote- not science. Saying that an astro-physicists agrees with you means nothing. You still have to prove this nonsense, and yes that is a major argument used in this book. It is the single most easily disproved concepts in all of pseudo-science. You and your friends can do a double blind test of this in your living room if you don't believe me or those pesky skeptics.

    Do not get this book. Work like this should not e encouraged

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Josh Kaufman
    • Narrated By Josh Kaufman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (885)
    Performance
    (752)
    Story
    (752)

    In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition: how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you'll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well. What do you want to learn?

    Grady says: "Finished the thesis early in the book"
    "Filler!"
    Overall
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    For the sake of the brevity that this book promotes I will say that " this book is Josh Kaughman's TED Talk except far less charming plus seven hours of material that adds nothing to the message"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Tamny
    • Narrated By Daniel Penz
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (71)

    Forbes editor John Tamny uses entertaining stories from sports, movies, popular culture, and famous businesses to demonstrate the basic principles of economics. The Rolling Stones, the Dallas Cowboys, and Paris Hilton become examples of good and bad tax policy. The Godfather, Gone With the Wind, and The Sopranos reveal the downside of antitrust regulation while the Michigan Wolverines' 2007 loss to Appalachian State explains why regulations often fail to achieve their intended purposes.

    Branden Beasley says: "amazing modern book on economics"
    "Right wing talking ponts- poorly thought out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The entire book is a mass of talking points to promote the "job creators". This is NOT real economics. Every article is written to with the intent to convince the reader that low taxes and under regulation will lead wealth to the top where big businesses can hire more people and spend more money. It is never addressed that the big businesses are not required to hire more people or to spend more leading wealth to concentrate into fewer and fewer hands nor is it mentioned that the majority of jobs in America and the world are from small businesses. There is a lot of talk about how anyone can invent a widget and become wealthy but it is not addressed how very much harder and riskier it is for the middle and lower classes to get rich from an invention. I am not even opposed to the idea of a an economics book from a right wing perspective but this material is obviously not well thought out and the author is clearly not expecting you to think about what he says. These are not reasons to hold a conservative economic perspective, it is just a bunch of weak propaganda. Anyone who has even a vague understanding of the material will pick apart everything he says. Ridiculous book.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Train Your Brain & Mental Strength: How to Train Your Brain for Mental Toughness & 7 Core Lessons to Achieve Peak Mental Performance: (Special 2 In 1 Exclusive Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 41 mins)
    • By Jason Scotts
    • Narrated By Caroline Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Let's face it, especially these days, there's a lot going on and things are constantly coming at us to the point where overload sets in and mentally our brain is just not handling it. If that describes you, there's something you can do about it starting now. Get your hands on Train Your Brain Mental Strength: How to Train Your Brain for Mental Toughness & 7 Core Lessons to Achieve Peak Mental Performance! You can't go wrong with this audiobook because it's written to improve your cognitive skills and throughout the process your brain will not be overworked.

    Niall says: "For small children (I think)"
    "For small children (I think)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't be certain who this book was targeted towards but it is only useful as an EXTREME beginners guide to personal development. Things like "try to be happy, try to laugh and smile, think of the things you say to yourself and others, be nice to people" are the topics covered. Every three or four sentences the book announces that it is changing the subject even though it is really saying the same thing a slightly different way which makes the book even more frustrating. I actually think this might be a decent guide for children aged 8-12 or for severely emotionally or socially disabled adults. If you want to introduce your child to monitoring his/her mood and thoughts this might be a decent guide provided an adult is there for coaching but for stable and normal adults this book is useless as most of this book will have occurred to the reader naturally in the course of getting older.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Choices: How to Eliminate Fears, Phobias, Traumas and Uncomfortable Memories - With a Little NLP!

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 16 mins)
    • By Mr Russell Webster
    • Narrated By Mr Russell Webster
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This best-selling audio combines powerful music and the superb spoken word of Russell Webster to help you overcome fears, phobias, traumas, limiting beliefs, uncomfortable memories and much more. He draws heavily upon NLP, introduces you to your own unique timeline and then takes you on a relaxing journey into your past. The follow on audiobook, A Journey Along Your Timeline is a must after this introduction and induction.

    Niall says: "obvious in the extreme"
    "obvious in the extreme"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Did you know that some music is happy and some music is sad? If this has never occurred to you then this audio will play gratuitously long stretches of music and tell you how it might make you feel. If however you have already discovered that music can affect your mood than this is a total waste of time for you

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stroking A.I.D.A's Pussy: How to Create Advertising Copy Using NLP!

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Mr Russell Webster
    • Narrated By Mr Russell Webster
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    This ground-breaking audio production, featuring author and narrator, Russell Webster, takes the traditional approach of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) and adds an NLP slant to it that makes this production truly cutting edge. Applying the techniques from this audio will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your advertising, brochures, flyers and even ebay adverts!In this audio book you will learn how to make AIDA'S pussy P.U.R.R and truly maximise the effectiveness of all advertising copy that you write.

    Niall says: "absurdly bad"
    "absurdly bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not offended by vulgar humor but there is nothing of value here. The acronym AIDA does not stand for anything- it is just a way to remind you to use NLP, specifically for advertising. The book does not actually teach NLP and I am not entirely certain that the writers understand how NLP works. The phase in the title is repeated over and over even though there is no real pun. AIDA refers to NLP and Pussy refers to a cat. So be nice to a cat with NLP. Doesn't make sense? well that is all you are going to get. The author seems to be endlessly amused with himself for having come up with this useless slogan and he repeats it over and over but the only real advice is that when making commercials you should try to do things to help you be remembered. Um... duh

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • CrossFit Plus Greg Glassman Equals Fitness Fad Corruption

    • UNABRIDGED (25 mins)
    • By Trevor Clinger
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Whittle
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    This article may help you in backing up your decisions to end your membership or be preventing from joining in the first place, which may be a good thing in terms of saving you money and from the experience of lifetime medical harm.

    Niall says: "Shockingly bad"
    "Shockingly bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Total disclosure- I did crossfit for a month about two years ago and had good results and I continue to watch it on TV.

    Crossfit refers to a fitness based sport in which participants do a number exercises in a race to finish the list (which they call a WOD) first. To train for this event competitors do crossfit workouts. The workouts are designed so that most people including the obese, the elderly and super elite athletes can join in. Times are posted so everyone can compare results.

    The writer of this book constantly confuses a crossfit workout with a crossfit competition. In a full out competition everyone uses the same weight and they compete for big money on TV. At the gym you are just getting stronger. This simple confusion makes up more than half of his arguments. He makes a big deal about how different people need to lift different weights which in the gym they all do. There is a lot of talk about how beginner athletes should not compete with more advanced athletes which in the gym of course they don't. Everyone know who everyone is so I know not to compare myself to the obese or elderly folk or most of the women nor super advanced guys who look like toy action figures. I know that I can outrun the 350 pound strongman but I can't out lift him. Then there are the men who are about my size and build and fitness level and we can all compete and it's fun.

    He has some really broken arguments about the choices of exercises, especially with a kipping pull up. If you do not know what a kipping pull up is you can google it but basically it is a pullup plus momentum that uses a lot more muscles of the body. The swinging lets you pull higher and do reps faster but they will exhaust you much faster. 1 kipping pull up ( to the nipples) is about as hard as 1 traditional pull up but ten kipping pullups is harder than 40 pull-ups. Mr. Clinger goes on and on about how this kind of pull up is wrong and that it is both performed wrong and that it gives all the wrong results. That it is a separate exercise seems totally lost on him. Yes, crossfitters know what a traditional pull up is- they CHOOSE to do kipping pull ups because the workouts prefer full body movements over isolation movements.

    He spends time talking about crossfitter nutrition even though crossfit does not have an official diet. He keeps saying how bad a low carb diet is though I have never heard a crossfitter describe his diet as "low-carb" Glassman does Zone (which can be considered low carb though Glassman doesn't) and eats lots of vegetables but simply encourages people to eat naturally. The most common diet is Paleo though the current champion Rich Fronning just eats whatever he wants. Mr Clinger is just plain making stuff up.

    Everything gets compared to bodybuilding. I don't have a problem with bodybuilding but kettle-bells, calisthenics, olympic rings and aerobics are all good too. To Mr Clinger everything that is not bodybuilding (bar or dumbbell 5-15 reps- isolation exercises) is simply wrong

    There is more- much more that is wrong or illogical. The only point that I agree with is that Cross-fit has a far too relaxed attitude about Rhabdo which occurs in a small number of participants.

    There are REAL complaints to be had about cross-fit. The competitions do not have weight classes so anyone with a small frame can never compete on the national level. The schools lack uniformity so you never know how advanced the athletes or the exercises will be from one gym to another. These issues are never talked about. From what I can tell the author saw a kipping pull up- did not understand it and then he wrote the book

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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