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James

Give me science, or give me death!

San Jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 298 ratings
  • 376 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • The Frozen Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jeff Carlson
    • Narrated By Amy H. Sturgis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (46)

    Something is alive inside Jupiter's ice moon Europa. Robot probes find an ancient tunnel beneath the surface, its walls carved with strange hieroglyphics. Led by elite engineer Alexis Vonderach, a team of scientists descends into the dark...where they confront a savage race older than mankind....

    Trip Williams says: "GREAT story of first contact!"
    "A compelling story of first contact"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Frozen Sky the most enjoyable?

    Developed and realistic exobiology and alien society. The mystery and tension were satisfactorily resolve in the end. This resolution was consistent with the science of the premise. The characters were clear and likable, even the artificial intelligence. There were exciting and fun action scenes, too.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Frozen Sky?

    The scene from the beginning, where the protagonist is running for her life.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a few unjustified similarities shared by Europa and Earth life, such as hemoglobin, an endocrine system, etc.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shaman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    There is Thorn, a shaman himself. He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories - to teach those who would follow in his footsteps. There is Heather, the healer who, in many ways, holds the clan together. There is Elga, an outsider and the bringer of change. And then there is Loon, the next shaman, who is determined to find his own path. But in a world so treacherous, that journey is never simple - and where it may lead is never certain.

    Shellbin says: "His Best Since the Mars Trilogy"
    "A spectacular ice age coming of age story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Shaman the most enjoyable?

    The books deals well with mysticism without being mystical, and uses a subset of English so the reader feels the alien ways these early people without being cryptic.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sort of speculative fiction, because the main character is a human living tens of thousands of years ago, along side Mammoths and Neanderthals.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Dan Slater
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    It's the mother of all search problems: how to find a spouse, a mate, a date. The escalating marriage age and declining marriage rate mean we're spending a greater portion of our lives unattached, searching for love well into our 30s and 40s. It's no wonder that a third of America's 90 million singles are turning to dating Web sites. Once considered the realm of the lonely and desperate, sites like eHarmony, Match, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish have been embraced by pretty much every demographic.

    James says: "Heavy on anecdotes, light on algorithms"
    "Heavy on anecdotes, light on algorithms"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've been participating in the world of online dating recently. Subconsciously, I think I picked this one up as a self-help book, but it clearly isn't. I did learn valuable information, however, about the various websites and strategies out there. Included was a sort of history of dating, from the 20th to the 21st century. How the automobile and contraception changed things, etc. There is also a long chapter dedicated to the mail order bide phenomenon, and Colombian "premium foreign dating" or whatever it's called. That was kind of disturbing.

    I mostly got the feeling that author was trying to report facts without too much bias. You know, journalism. Sometimes, though, Slater would focus on describing a person's look, or personality, instead of who they are and what they did. Creative license, I suppose, but also colorful bias.

    I get thirsty for science when reading pop culture books like this. The title had the word "algorithms" on it, so I expected the book to cover some of that. It did give an overview of OK Cupid's system, which is fascinating, but I didn't learn anything new from it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Thomas S. Kuhn
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (138)

    Named one of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War" by the Times Literary Supplement, and one of the "100 Best Nonfiction" books by the Modern Library, Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a landmark of scientific thought. Written in 1962, Kuhn's book took an entirely different view of how scientists perceived and achieved changes in basic theoretical assumptions - what he termed "paradigm shifts".

    Matthew says: "Better than prior reviews led me to believe"
    "Boring"
    Overall

    This book is exceedingly boring. The same few anecdotes from history are discussed over and over, but nothing conclusive or provable is discovered. It is richly philosophical, but in the way that puts off a scientific mind and does not inspire curiosity or profound thought. If you like to read science, skip it. If you can't sleep, give it a read.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Unseen Diversity: The World of Bacteria

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Betsey Dexter Dyer
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Professor Betsey Dexter Dyer of Wheaton College examines the role of bacteria as major players in Earth's biodiversity. In the course of these fascinating lectures, Professor Dyer delves into the history of microbiology, the four billion year history of bacteria and archaea as the dominant organisms on Earth, and the place of pathogens in the greater context of the bacterial world. This course serves as both a field guide for curious naturalists and a friendly introduction to the world of bacteria and archaea.

    Lucas says: "Even THINKING about it? Go ahead and get it!"
    "Uninformative and Uninteresting"
    Overall

    This lecture is very remedial. Anyone who has taken a high school biology class will learn very little from it. The author is redundant, and the pace of the lecture is teasingly slow. However, if you want to learn how to identify bacteria by their field marks, it may be worth a listen. Some of the digressions in the lecture are comically out of place, such as the art history of Johannes Vermeer.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1761)
    Performance
    (964)
    Story
    (966)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "A valuable perspective"
    Overall

    The author communicates beautifully, to the laymen and scientifically-minded alike, a cosmologists perspective on our place in the universe, as well as the places where others might inhabit.
    Due to the way this book was compiled, of the content is a bit redundant, but that helps it sink in better, I guess.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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