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Paul

Sarnia, ON, Canada | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • An Interview with Richard Dawkins (Unabridged)

    • ORIGINAL (16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By David Freeman
    Overall
    (1297)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (412)

    An interview with Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. He is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. Dawkins was born in Nairobi of British parents and was educated at Oxford.

    Alfred says: "Let me think deeper about religions"
    "Dawkins after all."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This material was not that original, and having read and watched a lot of Dawkins, I was a little disappointed. But if you are new to him, it isn't a bad interview.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • With Amusement for All: A History of American Popular Culture since 1830

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By LeRoy Ashby
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    With Amusement for All is the first comprehensive history of two centuries of mass entertainment in the United States, covering everything from the penny press to Playboy, the NBA to NASCAR, big band to hip hop, and other topics including film, comics, television, sports, and music. Paying careful attention to matters of race, gender, class, economics, and politics, LeRoy Ashby emphasizes the complex ways in which popular culture simultaneously reflects and transforms American culture.

    Paul says: "So Much Fun!"
    "..Lacks Character."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book is read like an infomercial. That could be changed, but I am not offering to do that.


    Would you ever listen to anything by LeRoy Ashby again?

    ?


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Shallow salesmen ship tonalities.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe, depends on the director. I had hoped for decent content, but it was unreadable/'unlistenable'.


    Any additional comments?

    ...as a disclaimer I did not listen to the entire book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (190)

    We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet - having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art - while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins?

    Mark says: "Up to the usual high standard"
    "Jared Diamand is nearly always amazing..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Third Chimpanzee in three words, what would they be?

    Transformative, illuminating, provocative.


    Any additional comments?

    ....This is an excellent book.

    I am only in part 2, but... I am writing this review to vent a little. There is one theme that is being proposed regularly in explaining traits in modern humans. That is the presumptions that human beings by culture or personal preference choose their evolution. Like a bad movie that makes you fill in the plot holes, or accept it's misses this book has many inferences to the behavior of primal / pre-human tribes and how those behaviors effected evolution. Maybe it is the lack of detail, but the theories cited by Jared Diamond to explain hidden female ovulation is presented as a tool they chose to evolve for various reasons, or as something they evolved so that...

    This isn't how evolution works. Evolution works that a biological feature is selected out. That is the ones that don't survive are killed by nature, or circumstance. It isn't that the creatures themselves choose to evolve subtle variations. To some degree in mating there is some suppression of less desired traits that would occur, but over all death of a feature, ie: complete homogeneity of a feature in the human population means alternatives were wiped out. For instance in reasoning why humans have much larger penises than other primates, the notion of the small penis babies not getting bred at all seems to be very significant. Perhaps in females walking upright the vaginal canal is stretched and therefore the smaller penis genes didn't get passed on due to insufficient penetration.
    That women don't ovulate and display there dripping or inflamed genitals seems more likely to be due to reasons of disease and is certainly not an evolutionary choice or planned behavior.
    If I stand on my tippy toes my future children wont be effected by that.

    Also where genetic trade offs are concerned, for example Diamond talks about the life length gene being a trade off for many offspring. The reader is left to fill in the gap, I presumed there maybe some shared proteins or other genetic resources that are rationed somehow between creating a new baby and extending the life regenerating functions of the mother. But that is me filling in the gap.

    But it is easy to criticize. And to it's credit the topics that are being presented here are thought provoking, interesting and in some cases really turning over some fresh ground. So that that ground isn't being perfectly seeded ( to stretch the metaphor ) isn't necessarily as important as to uncover it.
    And for all it's prejudices and blind spots, there are many things in this book that are adding to my world view of people and the way they behave and why. So well worth listening to / reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chris Anderson
    • Narrated By Chris Anderson
    Overall
    (2355)
    Performance
    (1111)
    Story
    (1103)

    The New York Times best-selling author heralds the future of business in Free. In his revolutionary best seller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that, in many instances, businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them.

    Christopher says: "A fascinating listen"
    "Perspective on the digital revolution 2.0"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about FREE?

    Excellent pace. Excellent perspective. The author, ( a editor I believe at Wired ) also reads the book. And it itself is free.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gary Taubes
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (1692)
    Performance
    (1041)
    Story
    (1033)

    Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

    Igor says: "Are you looking for an attachement for the book?"
    "It won me over."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Why We Get Fat?

    The evolutionary perspective. The detailed science. Learned a lot about insulin and metabolism effects there of.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Insulin's effects on fat storage in the body.


    Any additional comments?

    The first part drags out a bit. Over all a good book. I actually switched my diet after reading / listening to it. ( And feel better for it ).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Damien Broderick, Yoon Ha Lee, Ian R MacLeod, and others
    • Narrated By Tom Dheere, Nicola Barber, Kate Baker, and others
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    An unabridged audio collection of the "best of the best" science fiction stories published in 2010 by current and emerging masters of the genre as narrated by top voice talents. Stories in this year's collection include "Under the Moons of Venus" by Damien Broderick; "The Shipmaker," winner of the 2011 British Science Ficiton Association Award for short fiction, by Aliette de Bodard; Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" by Yoon Ha Lee, "Re-Crossing the Styx" by Ian R. MacLeod; "Eight Miles" by Sean McMullen; and more.

    Linda B says: "Better than usual anthology"
    "Some good some more mondane."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Good sci-fi explores the unknown. To me, good sci-fi explores concepts of space and time, and adds characters that hold it together. Sometimes profundity is obtained. Some of these stories had enough to be good sci-fi, some ( one in particular ) seemed to be trying to hard to be profound. About half way through, and although I hope to be delighted with some of the short stories. I have been quite satisfied so far with 2/3 stories. 'The Emperor of Mars' is read really really well !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Penn Jillette
    • Narrated By Penn Jillette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1531)
    Performance
    (1383)
    Story
    (1382)

    From the larger, louder half of the world-famous magic duo Penn & Teller comes a scathingly funny reinterpretation of The Ten Commandments. They are The Penn Commandments, and they reveal one outrageous and opinionated atheist’s experience in the world.

    Stevan says: "Stevan"
    "Entertaining not particularly focused."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Penn Jillette and/or Penn Jillette?

    Yes, he is very entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    The book isn't focused on the title. Penn Jillette just uses the 10 commandments to tell stories that sometimes have a point and sometimes just don't suit. The stories however are all entertaining. And Penn Jillette reads them so, it is a good presentation. It you are looking for material on Atheism, I wouldn't recommend the book. It you want to hear some very entertaining stories about the life of a celebrity, ( raunchy ones ) then you might enjoy it. I am 90% through it, and expected more 'there is no god' and not as much "GAD, NO!" type stories. But aside from the pointlessness, it is entertaining. Thanks for the good stories Penn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hilarious

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Louis C. K.
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (131)

    Louis C.K.'s unique observations of everyday life go way beyond politically incorrect and his views of human behavior are more than hilarious in this stand-up event. Filmed at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI, C.K.'s performance proves he is every bit the title of his special.

    colleen says: "Funny but way too short"
    "Hilarious..is."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Hilarious in three words, what would they be?

    Louis is hilarious.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The ponies.


    Have you listened to any of the narrator’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes I have listened to pleanty of Louis C.K. Cable, Netflix, and some youtube ( I say somewhat ashamedly ). This is up there with both the dirtiest, and some of the funniest.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fresh Air, Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins, March 7, 2008

    • NONE (51 mins)
    • By Terry Gross
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    Hear British scientist Richard Dawkins and geneticist Francis Collins on this edition of Fresh Air. Richard Dawkins is a professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University. The New York Times has hailed him as a writer who "understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too". In his latest book, he writes about what he sees as the irrationality of a belief in God and sets down his arguments for atheism.

    Greg says: "Dominated by Dawkins"
    "Rated higher because it is Dawkins."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fresh Air, Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins, March 7, 2008?

    Dawkins is always interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    This material was not that original, and having read and watched a lot of Dawkins, I was a little disappointed. But if you are new to him, it isn't a bad interview.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spy Killer: Free Version

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 1 min)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By Lori Jablons
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (301)

    Kurt Reid may be innocent of the murder he's charged with (and of grand larceny, for that matter), but he's got no time to be thrown in jail and defend himself. Instead, Reid flees to pre-Communist China and Shanghai, the exotic city of mystery and death. Reid takes refuge in a tea house where he meets a Russian woman, Varinka Savischna, whom he manages to rescue from certain death. As beautiful as she is smart, she recruits him in her crusade against Chinese intelligence services.

    Amazon Customer says: "ugh"
    "A hero without a plot."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Spy Killer: Free Version?

    The book was written in classic spy / gritty hero style, which at times bordered on comical. However, I could have listened to the whole thing, except, there was no plot really. It was just characters. Strong characters. No plot.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    add a plot.


    Which character – as performed by Lori Jablons – was your favorite?

    Protagonist.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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