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review 2018-09-07 18:25
The Adventures of Silly Sally
Silly Sally by Wood, Audrey (1992) Hardcover - Audrey Wood

    Silly Sally is an endearing book about new friends. Silly Sally meets these new friends on her way to town, who each teach her something new. Whether it is singing, dancing, or playing leap frog she and her friends have a lot of fun. Each character in Silly Sally is unique and shares their quirkiness as a diverse group of friends. Audrey Woods use of rhyming and anthropomorphism are sure to engage students of all ages. The fun illustrations are captivating and will keep the attention of even the littlest of learners. My suggestions for activities which complement Silly Sally are,  matching characters with their actions, sequencing the appearance of characters, and recognition of vocabulary by using word sorts (open or closed). The Fountas and Pinnell reading level is a Level C.

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review 2018-08-19 16:47
The Dead Hand: "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov
Foundation (Foundation Series #1) - Isaac Asimov


If I remember rightly, Asimov's robots do indeed find a cunning way around the three laws - they invent a Zero-th Law which states that "no robot can injure humanity or through inaction allow humanity to come to harm" which doesn't directly contradict the First Law, so their brains will accept it, but has the interesting effect in moral philosophical terms of turning them from Kantians to utilitarians. So rather than being guided by an absolute "thou shalt not kill" imperative they become able to kill or harm humans if and only if they have calculated it's for the greater good. Rather than becoming brutal overlords because of this (as the other laws still apply) they end up guiding the development of humanity quietly from the shadows, taking on a role not a billion kilometers from Ian M. Banks's AIs.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2017-12-12 18:27
Pax Americana: "Double Star" by Robert A. Heinlein
Double Star - Robert A. Heinlein

Implausible and impossible to put down- like all of Heinlein's books I've read its hero is a man of action and boundless self confidence, a wisecracking all-American cowboy figure who brushes obstacles aside, a genial dictator figure who knows that as long as he's left in charge everything will be o.k. The voice is always the same - and I can see why the new wake of science fiction writers reacted against Heinlein: Aldiss, Moorcock, Ballard, Dick. Heinlein's Pax Americana and paternalism vision of the future certainly does have fascist overtones. But he's still a great storyteller, his books filled with mind-bending concepts presumably achieved without the help of the consciousness expanding substances that inspired some of his successors.

 

Yes, the Bonforte character was a very macho autocrat...Who cares? Nevertheless, “The Great Lorenzo” doesn't quite conform to the macho 'tit man' narrator as Heinlein... although the authorial voice does creep through in interesting ways in his stereotyped descriptions of Lorenzo's camp-actor personality and co...Heinlein enjoyed challenging established ways of thinking, and for most of his great period of writing liberal politics was on the rise, so he took great pleasure in poking holes in political sacred figures.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2016-12-30 15:54
Love the way this all comes together!
Suicide Squad (1987-1992, 2010) #43 - John Ostrander,Kim Yale,Geof Isherwood

Everything gets tied up neatly, the cold war comes into play, using the politics of the time to enhance the storyline and make it feel - I assume - more immediate at the time of publication.   It's even timely now, with the Russian hack during the elections, but we're not in the cold war right now.  

 

The scene where Deadshot is priced out - by a dollar - is as good as I expected.   When his fee is so large, a dollar is a true pittance, and that crack Waller makes about being offended on his behalf at his paltry fee?   Yeah, she twists the knife by offering him so little in addition, and her bravado works: he'll go with whoever pays more.

 

Batman's part in all this makes sense, and he gets to grill Lawton on if he has any moral code.   Why should he?  No one else in his world ever has.   Or as he says: no one who hires him does. 

 

Love digging deep into his character like this.   These issues are what I've been reading this comic for lately. 

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review 2016-12-30 14:09
Loving it despite my idoicy
Suicide Squad (1987-1992, 2010) #42 - John Ostrander,Kim Yale,Geof Isherwood

I manage to miss the first issue - or couple of issues - of each storyline.  I go by the covers, and managed not to pay that much attention each time, I guess.   Sighs.   Anyway, I think this proves a point I made a long time: readers can jump in at any point.   If you make the story so convoluted that a reader can't jump in mid-way, it's annoying, and it feels like a money grab.   'Start from the beginning or you will be punished by not understanding anything.'

 

I was told in no uncertain terms that it was pretty much my fault because the authors and artists wanted you to read the whole thing and that's not a bad thing on their part, and how dare I be offended by this.   My cynicism and calling things money grabs was called into question.   

 

So let's delve into this: there are many ways that comic companies can money grab.   Punishing you for not buying everything - in a story arc or crossover - is one of the most common ways.   A talented writer can give you just enough background to jump in anywhere.   It's like so many series: you tend to understand more and get more out of the character development i you read in order, but you don't have to and you aren't penalized for not doing it.   A smart company would allow writers to do this.   If I jump in on issue forty one or forty two, and like what I read, I'm likely to go back and track down the other issues.  If I'm confused as fuck, I won't.   DC has done this to me in issue one of a series, although this seems to be a more recent development.   That being said, I've jumped in the middle of a story twice, and I haven't felt nearly as confused as I have by some recent issues of DC.   Ostrander and Yale are excellent at welcoming readers any time.   It's like they appreciate them, or something...   Also, they're good enough writers that they can do this.

 

That being said, I was looking forward to the confrontation between Deadshot and Waller.   I got to the end, and realized that I'd spent a long time waiting and hadn't even noticed.   I was so into what they were doing in Vlatava, and how the team was acting together, that I didn't even realize it was going to be over so soon after Deadshot comes after Waller.

 

Looking forward to the next issue!  

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