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Steven

ellicott city, MD, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
332
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
12

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3677)
    Performance
    (2259)
    Story
    (2284)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Great Potential"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this would be a interesting book but it failed on almost all accounts. Great opportunity to discuss rights of individuals and their genetic code. Rights of Universities to capitalize on research and restrict indivuals. The history of cloning human cells and its implications on future research. Alas the book is mostly about a poor family who loved a family member. Avoids important issues. A complete let down.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • How An Economy Grows And Why It Crashes

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Peter D Schiff, Andrew J Schiff
    • Narrated By Peter D. Schiff, Andrew J. Schiff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (401)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (306)

    How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes uses illustration, humor, and accessible storytelling to explain complex topics of economic growth and monetary systems. In it, economic expert and bestselling author of Crash Proof, Peter Schiff teams up with his brother Andrew to apply their signature "take no prisoners" logic to expose the glaring fallacies that have become so ingrained in our country's economic conversation.

    AC says: "Educational and Entertaining"
    "This is an example of Why Economics is not science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is why economics fails. We are to learn about the authors opinions about how he thinks economics works in the real world. To do this he creates a total fictitious land and then translates from the fiction to reality. This does not work. Lets start with some basics. On his island everyone not only does every one have a job this job provides for all the basic needs. Clearly this does not exist anywhere in the real world and with such a base how can you believe all that flows from this world would translate into ours. He also ignores history. He views all regulations as bad. There was a reason regulations are created and often they solve a problem. In our recent history we have deregulated banks and savings and loans both lead to huge bailouts. I could go as with his poor explanation of why the gold standard is so important. After all in his world fish do provide a real benefit to the inhabitants they can eat it and survive. How is gold similar. It only has value because others want it not. How does he explain the tulip bubble or the internet bubble? This occurred with out any government involvement. I would leave his fantasy world in fantasy land and take no useful lessons from such dribble.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1005)
    Performance
    (709)
    Story
    (712)

    The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

    John says: "Priceless! Best book I've read in years"
    "Worse reading ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reading is so boring I could not listen to this one. I think this one is a waste of money. Even when I turned the speed up I got bored.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Charles Duhigg
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (4082)
    Performance
    (3439)
    Story
    (3405)

    At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

    Mehra says: "Nice! A guide on how to change"
    "Bad Habit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Parts were good but most was over reach. The idea that we create routines and tend to exeecute them is good and interesting. However, the definition of habit and reward get stretched beyond recognition. As an example the use Michael Phelps as an example, He has a set routine he does before a race. It is suggested the reason he wins is he follows this pattern. However, it is clear that there are a lot of swimmers who swim against him with there own habits and probably very similar but who do not win. A better case would be to talk about his habit of training. The book is an example of when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. In this case everything looks like a habit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Florence Williams
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (65)

    In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office, where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas, to the laboratory, where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk.

    aaron says: "Every Person with Boobs Should Read This!"
    "Lacking Research"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed parts of the book which were less science and more trivia. Lots of talk about toxins and measuring these toxins in people. Little science to show any real problem despite all the inuendo. Overall it seemed like some one with an agenda who took the word of research she felt had truthiness. I am not saying it might not be true but a more balanced view would be nice, or at least stating how she tried to find alternate opinions but these views were held by a small fringe.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Proust Was a Neuroscientist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (89)

    In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.

    Mark D. Jones says: "Excellent Book"
    "Good Science Bad Interpretation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is one big logical fallacy. To do scientific research and find out how the brain functions is great. However, taking this research then going back in time and finding some vague similarities to some artist then giving them credit for the discovery is absurd.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Great by Choice

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen
    • Narrated By Jim Collins
    Overall
    (751)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (628)

    The new question: Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? In Great by Choice, Collins and his colleague, Morten T. Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times. The new study: Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.

    K. Donath says: "Real Insight!!"
    "great by chance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will start off by stating I am a fan of Collins book Good to Great. It was a well research book that found ideas that have been born out by other scientific research. Great by choice is a different story. While his ideas are fun and interesting this is not research or scientific. He chose 7 companies that out performed the stock market by at least 10x. Chance would claim that there would be a small number of these companies. Of the seven none were 10xs for the last 10 years. In fact Microsoft has under performed the market while its control company apple has out performed microsoft by 1400%.

    The next problem is interpretation. With no methods to determine before hand how to decide it is easy to make things fit into your preconceived ideas. Bullets then cannons. The example of apple firing bullets with the ipod by creating it for the apple first then going big by developing for windows is just not true. In Isacsons book he states jobs never wanted to make an ipod for windows, he felt it was a way to attract windows users to apple. latter he reluctantly agreed. Yet this is used as an example of bullets before cannons.Simply not true.

    Another example is the idea that you can quantify luck. They use the example of Amgen hiring a key employee as an example of luck. If that is true then would you not have to look at ever employee who turns out well to see if it was luck and look at every employee who made a bad decision to see if their hire was luck? The other error inherent in this thinking is the idea that any event occurs independantly. To stick with the same example. They state that the employee hire was luck because he read the ad at a time when he was looking for a new job. Well why was he looking for a new job. Is his reason bad luck for the company he left?

    In scientific terms at best this is a derivation set. It shoudl be validated on another era.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - and Why We Believe Them Anyway

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Dan Gardner
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    In Future Babble, award-winning journalist Dan Gardner presents landmark research debunking the whole expert prediction industry and explores our obsession with the future. The truth is that experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys.

    Christopher says: "Sobering and Informative"
    "Just plain babble"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to like this book and thought I would correct the previous reviews. Unfortunately this is just bad science and not well researched. Some parts are accurate but lots suffer from the same problems he complains about. Yes predicting the future is difficult. However, anypne can selective cherry pick data to make a point. Yes there are lots of biases that may cause this problem. One which he does not seem to recoginize, despite talking about the origins early in the book is publication bias. People do not buy books that are about happy and cheerful outlooks. People want to read about disasters and problems. There are better books out there, I would pass on this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By The Waiter
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (203)

    According to The Waiter, 80 percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining 20 percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths.

    Waiter Rant offers the server's unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places.

    Manmit says: "Read the blog first"
    "This is a rant not a book"
    Overall

    The author offers little new info. He seems to lack an ability to realize his own faults. He tries to be like Kitchen Confidential but is a let down. His own ego gets in the way of any real insight. He insists that a patron is lying about getting ill from a meal to get out of a bill she has already paid. His medicine is incorrect. She could have had food poisoning that resolved in the time frame as a result of Staph food poisoning. He spends a page spouting incorrect medical info to bolster his point. Another point is that patron are upset to see a hair in their food. However, I doubt that people see this a a lottery ticket not to pay a bill. Yes bugs and hair happen but show a little respect for your customer.

    Overall it is a rant. A rant is an emotional attack often with no prove to its arguments. Clearly this is an egotistical persons comments. It offers as much insight as the author has to his own life, none.

    This is my first negative review.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6233)
    Performance
    (2099)
    Story
    (2105)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "A Brief review of nearly everything."
    Overall

    Excellent. Makes learning FUN.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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