Archive for the ‘E-Book’ Category

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan (Audio Book and E-Book)

October 3, 2008

From Publishers Weekly
In a tour of our solar system, galaxy and beyond, Cornell astronomer Sagan meshes a history of astronomical discovery, a cogent brief for space exploration and an overview of life-from its origins in the oceans to humanity’s first emergence to a projected future where humans “terraform” and settle other planets and asteroids, Earth having long been swallowed by the sun. Maintaining that such relocation is inevitable, the author further argues that planetary science is of practical utility, fostering an interdisciplinary approach to looming environmental catastrophes such as “nuclear winter” (lethal cooling of Earth after a nuclear war, a widely accepted prediction first calculated by Sagan in 1982). His exploration of our place in the universe is illustrated with photographs, relief maps and paintings, including high-resolution images made by Voyager 1 and 2, as well as photos taken by the Galileo spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope and satellites orbiting Earth, which show our planet as a pale blue dot. A worthy sequel to Sagan’s Cosmos.

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from AtheistMovies
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The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins (Audio Book and E-Book)

October 3, 2008

Amazon.com Review
Just as we trace our personal family trees from parents to grandparents and so on back in time, so in The Ancestor’s Tale Richard Dawkins traces the ancestry of life. As he is at pains to point out, this is very much our human tale, our ancestry. Surprisingly, it is one that many otherwise literate people are largely unaware of. Hopefully Dawkins’s name and well deserved reputation as a best selling writer will introduce them to this wonderful saga.

The Ancestor’s Tale takes us from our immediate human ancestors back through what he calls ‘concestors,’ those shared with the apes, monkeys and other mammals and other vertebrates and beyond to the dim and distant microbial beginnings of life some 4 billion years ago. It is a remarkable story which is still very much in the process of being uncovered. And, of course from a scientist of Dawkins stature and reputation we get an insider’s knowledge of the most up-to-date science and many of those involved in the research. And, as we have come to expect of Dawkins, it is told with a passionate commitment to scientific veracity and a nose for a good story. Dawkins’s knowledge of the vast and wonderful sweep of life’s diversity is admirable. Not only does it encompass the most interesting living representatives of so many groups of organisms but also the important and informative fossil ones, many of which have only been found in recent years.

Dawkins sees his journey with its reverse chronology as ‘cast in the form of an epic pilgrimage from the present to the past [and] all roads lead to the origin of life.’ It is, to my mind, a sensible and perfectly acceptable approach although some might complain about going against the grain of evolution. The great benefit for the general reader is that it begins with the more familiar present and the animals nearest and dearest to us—our immediate human ancestors. And then it delves back into the more remote and less familiar past with its droves of lesser known and extinct fossil forms. The whole pilgrimage is divided into 40 tales, each based around a group of organisms and discusses their role in the overall story. Genetic, morphological and fossil evidence is all taken into account and illustrated with a wealth of photos and drawings of living and fossils forms, evolutionary and distributional charts and maps through time, providing a visual compliment and complement to the text. The design also allows Dawkins to make numerous running comments and characteristic asides. There are also numerous references and a good index.

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from AtheistMovies

Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray (E-Book)

October 3, 2008

This tightly argued, hugely controversial work convincingly demonstrates how the world’s three major monotheistic religions-Christianity, Judaism, and Islam-have attempted to suppress knowledge, science, pleasure, and desire, often condemning nonbelievers to death. If Nietzsche proclaimed the “Death of God,” Onfray starts from the premise that not only is God still very much alive, but increasingly controlled by fundamentalists who pose a danger to the human race. Documenting the ravages from religious intolerance over the centuries, the author makes a strong case against the three religions for demanding faith, belief, obedience and submission, and for extolling the “next life” at the expense of the here and now. Not since Nietzsche has a work so groundbreaking and explosive appeared to question the role of the world’s dominant religions.

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Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence and Security by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner (E-Book)

October 3, 2008

Summary:
Provides a comprehensive, subject specific guide to the history, uses, scientific principles, and technologies of espionage, intelligence, and security, with special emphasis placed on the current ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding this very topical subject.

Comments:
Of the approximately 800 to 850 articles in this set, I have reviewed nearly forty entries across a range of subtopics. Although I find the A-Z format to be cumbersome when attempting to link information related to a particular topic, the overall organization is logical and friendly to the average reader. The photos and article content make the set as readable as many single topic books. It is hard to turn the page without finding interesting or valuable reading on a topic recently in the news.

The set is at its best when tackling science and technology related topics. Written and edited by scientists and teachers for the general public, the articles often take the space to explain fundamental science concepts and how they relate to emerging security related technologies. The science articles are first-rate and show consistent effort to make tough and complex topics understandable.

The books set a modest goal of portraying the impact of modern science and technology on security issues, but the editors and writers achieve more by including interesting short articles on historical topics that also emphasize the impact of the science and technology on the history of espionage and intelligence. The selection of articles shows a crafted regard not to tread the well-worn path of prior books on spycraft, and the omissions allow the authors to explore fresh angles to old stories. While the political and historical articles often seem condensed, and in places oversimplified, they add readability, usefulness, and context to the more technical articles.

The non-science writing is utilitarian, but having the wide range of topics related to countries and organizations in one set is handy. Although certain articles may subtly convey a particular author’s bias, the overall tone of the book is decidedly balanced and fair. In fact, although apparently written before the conclusion of the recent war in Iraq, and the rise of issues related to the search for WMD stockpiles, the book exhibits an eerie insight into the complexities of the intelligence issues and failures related the current WMD controversy.

This is an excellent general resource for high school students and the general public. The books are a sound starter resource for undergraduate students. Libraries, newsrooms, and emergency planners would find this encyclopedia a worthwhile investment.

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The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained by Brad Steiger, Sherry Hansen Steiger (E-Book)

October 3, 2008

In 14 chapters, these volumes cover broad concepts from “Afterlife Mysteries” to “Invaders from Outer Space.” Each chapter begins with an overview and an outline of the topics and subtopics that are covered. Within the chapters, entries are generally arranged in alphabetical order. Each ends with a further reading list called “Delving Deeper.” Glossaries are appended to each chapter and cumulated in volume 3. Occasional cross-references appear in bold type within the text to refer the reader to other entries, but since the set does not have a strict A-Z arrangement, one must use the index to determine where those entries are located. Because of the set’s topical arrangement, the index is essential.

The Steigers, prolific writers on the paranormal, have written an encyclopedia for believers. The volumes are meant to “explore and describe the research of those who take such phenomena seriously.” Almost everything from mediumship to crop circles is taken at face value. Even Houdini’s attacks on phony mediums are interpreted to suggest he was taking on frauds and not real mediums. Fraud does not appear in the index, nor are alternate suggestions of how phenomena could have occurred presented. Only in a few instances is some skepticism applied.

The work covers material of interest to a large segment of the public in a way that is clear and readable. Many works in the “Delving Deeper” sections will provide the beginning student of the paranormal with good starting points. Recommended for medium-size to large public libraries and for academic libraries with comparative religion, folklore, and popular culture collections.

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The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders by Laurie J. Fundukian, Jeffrey Wilson (E-Book)

October 3, 2008

The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Second Edition, is an update to the critically acclaimed Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders and provides two volumes of understandable, yet detailed information on mental disorders and conditions.

“This edition of The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health revisits the previously published work, updating and adding overviews of new topics such as premenstrual syndrome, bullying and road rage,” said Kate Hanley, product manager at Gale, part of Cengage Learning. “All aspects of mental health are covered, from various clinical diagnoses and related treatments to effective ways for dealing with life’s common challenges.”

Featuring an easy-to-use format and written in non-technical language, the Encyclopedia includes entries for all 150 disorders classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, text revision (DSM-IV-TR). This edition also features entries for prescription, alternative and over-the-counter drugs, as well as the various therapies used to treat mental disorders.

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from RapidByte

The Joint Rolling Handbook: Expert Edition by Bobcat Press (E-Book)

October 2, 2008

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Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences (3-Volume Set) by Jay A. Siegel, Pekka J. Saukko and Geoffrey C. Knupfer (E-Book)

October 2, 2008

"The editors of this monumental undertaking have commissioned more than 200 articles to thoroughly describe topics relating to forensic science. Practically every specialty associated with forensic science is considered, including the chemical and biological examination of physical evidence, medico-legal topics, photography, crime scene analysis, ethics, and quality assurance. That the contributors are specialists from 22 countries dramatically demonstrates the international standardization that permeates the forensic sciences. The editors have taken care that the contributions are consistent in style and reading level, and that duplication of subjects is minimal. For most topics, a single article suffices, but some forensic subjects are sufficiently detailed to require several articles; for example, anthropology is covered by 13 articles spanning nearly 100 pages. Each article is cross-referenced to other articles closely related in subject matter . . . it will be essential for professionals, attorneys, and students who need accurate, detailed accounts of forensic topics. General readers, attorneys, laboratories, legal firms, and all library collections.
--CHOICE, September 2001
"...Many of the articles are very sophisticated and some are a bit more like easy reading, making this set useful for both a researcher and a general browser. However, it is apparent that the focus of this work is on explanation, application, and implication. These are not merely definitions of concepts or methods, but indications of the history and development pertinent to each topic as well as the use of this information within the legal system and the implications of this knowledge...The Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences contains information of interest and use for the professional forensic scientist as well as anyone interested in crime scene investigation and the application of scientific method to matters of the law...The Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences would be a useful addition to any public, academic, or legal collection."
--E-STREAMS, Electronic Reviews of Science & Technology References
"...A need has long been felt by almost everyone working in the field for an authoritative reference text where [s]he could find everything; something like 'Encyclopedia Britannica of Forensic Science.' The current encyclopedia,
written by 186 contributors, and spanning 3 volumes admirably fulfills this need...The value of the encyclopedia? Quite simply and plainly put - 'Extremely valuable.' This encyclopedia would be useful to researchers, students, professors - indeed everyone who is connected with forensic science in any way. In this reviewer's opinion, this encyclopedia should adorn the bookshelves of every person connected with forensic science. Highly recommended reading."
--INTERNET JOURNAL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE
"...The Encyclopedia expoldes the myth that American books are too general and don't go enough into detail...Almost every chapter has a textbook quality about it...Most admirable is that the historical background is not forgotten...There is no doubt at all as to the quality, comprehensiveness and expert knowledge... There is also a free password-protected online version available, which can be used by several seats in an institute...All of this, together with the excellent combination of forensic science with scientific criminal science and added to the consistent readability, comprehensive nature and international focus are major plus points...This work should become one of the regularly-consulted reference works of the new generation of forensic-criminal scientists."
--RECHTSMEDIZIN (German forensics journal)
"At long last, there is a single comprehensive reference work to address over 200 of the most common areas and applications of forensic science."
--DR. HENRY C. LEE, Director, Connecticut State Forensic Science Laboratory

Review
“…essential for professionals, attorneys, and students who need accurate, detailed accounts of forensic topics.”
—Richard Saferstein, Widener University, for CHOICE

“…it is apparent that the focus of this work is on explanation, application, and implication…a useful addition to any public, academic, or legal collection.”
—E-STREAMS ELECTRONIC REVIEWS

“…this encyclopedia should adorn the shelves of every person connected with forensic science. Highly recommended reading.”
—INTERNET JOURNAL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE

“…an excellent and valuable contribution…likely to set the standard for future forensic reference books.”
—JOURNAL OF CLINICAL FORENSIC MEDICINE

“This work should become one of the regularly-consulted reference works of the new generation of forensic-criminal scientists.”
–RECHTSMEDIZIN (German forensics journal) — Review

“…this will be a useful addition to both public and academic libraries, taking the fiction out of detecting.” — Donna R. Berryman, Resident Librarian, University of Illinois at Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences

“At long last, a single comprehensive reference work to address over 200 of the most common areas and applications of forensic science.” — Dr. Henry C. Lee, Director, Connecticut State Forensic Science Laboratory

Honorable Mention award, Dartmouth Medal competition, 2001. This award recognizes reference works of “outstanding quality and significance.” — American Library Association, January 2001

“…essential for professionals, attorneys, and students who need accurate, detailed accounts of forensic topics.”
-Richard Saferstein, Widener University, for CHOICE

“…it is apparent that the focus of this work is on explanation, application, and implication…a useful addition to any public, academic, or legal collection.”
-E-STREAMS ELECTRONIC REVIEWS

“…this encyclopedia should adorn the shelves of every person connected with forensic science. Highly recommended reading.”
-INTERNET JOURNAL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE

“…an excellent and valuable contribution…likely to set the standard for future forensic reference books.”
-JOURNAL OF CLINICAL FORENSIC MEDICINE

“This work should become one of the regularly-consulted reference works of the new generation of forensic-criminal scientists.”
–RECHTSMEDIZIN (German forensics journal)

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Harmony and Theory: A Comprehensive Source for All Musicians (Essential Concepts Musicians Institute) by Keith Wyatt and Carl Schroeder (E-Book)

October 2, 2008

This book is a step-by-step guide to MI’s well-known Harmony and Theory class. It includes complete lessons and analysis of: intervals, rhythms, scales, chords, key signatures; transposition, chord inversions, key centers; harmonizing the major and minor scales; and more!

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Mystic Chords: Mysticism and Psychology in Popular Music by Manish Soni (E-Book)

October 2, 2008

Rock and roll, and archetypal symbolism? Citing baby-boomer favorites including Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, the Beatles and other Rock greats, the author shows that they have drawn on the same primal source from which mythology, dreams, and poetic insight arise. Does today?s music of the masses deserve a place in the pantheon of traditional art forms, next to classical music, literature, and painting? Manish Soni shows that it does. Using illustrative references to passages from the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible, Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, Joseph Campbell and the Tao Te Ching,, he highlights some of the parallels between psychology, mysticism, religion, and contemporary art forms, as they all contribute to our human quest for greater meaning. He is persuasive in demonstrating how the same elemental well from which poetic revelation surfaced in ancient mythology is nowadays the inspirational spring for popular music. The author?s Indian heritage and his deep immersion in the Western culture, in which he was raised and educated, has given him a special perspective from which to synthesize both cultures and religious outlooks. * Manish Soni was born in New Delhi, and has lived in Moscow, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, London, Sydney, and Boston. His formal education includes a BS degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, and an MS degree from Tufts University, Massachusetts.

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