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review 2018-11-14 08:12
Beams of Energy: "Waldo & Magic" by Robert A. Heinlein
Waldo and Magic, Inc - Robert A. Heinlein

(Original Review, 1980-08-21)


My chief objection to models which suggest we will be much better off with satellites beaming down power to the ground comes in several pieces:

1. I have been told that solar flux in the bands used by solar cells is no more than twice as high in orbit as in, for instance, the American Southwest. Granted, there is some advantage to having the power available for longer periods but even a synchronous satellite would be shadowed for ~2.3 hours a day which would not be at the minimum demand time;
 
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 
 

 

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review 2018-11-09 12:18
Numenor: Unfinished Tales" by J. R. R. Tolkien
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth - J.R.R. Tolkien,J.R.R. Tolkien

(Original Review, 1980-10-13)


The new Tolkien book is out. While I haven't read even half of it, I think I've read enough to produce a helpful review, so here goes. This book ("Unfinished Tales" by JRR Tolkien, $15 from Houghton Mifflin) is definitely not a book for a general readership, nor even for the mass Tolkien consumer, who thinks that Lord of the Rings is a swell story, but all that linguistic and historical stuff is just a lot of window-dressing. Rather than a narrative, it's really a sort of organized memory dump of Tolkien's filing cabinet [2018 EDIT: “filing cabinet” indeed!!!].
 
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 

 

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review 2018-10-25 11:12
Infinity is -1/12: "Dreams of a Final Theory" by Steven Weinberg
Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature - Steven Weinberg


(Original Review, 1992)

I wear a giant panda suit outside a Panda Burger giving out promotional leaflets. As this job is a bit easy and I can do it without too much conscious effort .....the only thing I have to watch out for is farting as it is unpleasant trapped in that panda suit .....anyhow I digress ........this gives me a LOT of time to think about serious issues such as time and the merits of having a TOE. As infinity is -1/12 it is a rather odd notion; I have come to the conclusion that it is not space and time that is curved but numbers and mathematics. Space and time is actually straight when you take this into account (as my wife would say: "I'd say that's a pretty major step up from what you're intellectually qualified for. Well done. There is an opening going for a flipper inside the joint if you are interested.")

 

 

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

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review 2018-09-21 20:36
Future Technologies: "Burning Chrome" by William Gibson
Burning Chrome - William Gibson


Hippies have known about these dangerous technologies for a long time, and the state cracks down hard on them, and not entirely without good reason either. The world cannot run (for long anyway) on raves and drugs and loud music, any fool can see that. There is also a false economy in these supposedly 'efficient' economies, because if you run a sustainable event and people attend your event in a car, you can wave goodbye to any benefits you might have yielded from the technology itself. The ubiquity of the car, and all the other rampant wasteful consumerism which often surrounds an event, cripples your efforts right from the off. This thinking is very much in a fledgling stage and has a long way to develop before it could be said to be anything more than purely experimental, but experiment we must.

 

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

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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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