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review 2018-12-18 04:18
Seriously Curious by Tom Standage (Ed.)
Seriously Curious: 109 facts and figures to turn your world upside down - Tom Standage

TITLE:    Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures that Turn Our World Upside Down

 

AUTHOR:  Tom Standage (Ed.)

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2018

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13: 9781610399937

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DESCRIPTION:

 

"Smart, savvy answers to universal questions, from the highly popular The Economist Explains and Daily Chart blogs-a treat for the knowing, the uninitiated, and the downright curious.

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures that Turn Our World Upside Down brings together the very best explainers and charts, written and created by top journalists to help us understand such brain-bending conundrums as why Swedes overpay their taxes, why America still allows child marriage, and what the link is between avocados and crime. Subjects both topical and timeless, profound and peculiar, are explained with The Economist's trademark wit and verve.

The Economist Explains and its online sister, the Daily Chart, are the two most popular blogs on The Economist's website. Together, these online giants provide answers to the kinds of questions, quirky and serious, that may be puzzling anyone interested in the world around them. Want to know why exorcisms are on the rise in France or how porn consumption changed during a false alarm missile strike warning in Hawaii? We have the answers They are sometimes surprising, often intriguing, and always enlightening.
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This book is a collection of very short, but (sometimes) interesting chapters on a hodge-podge of different subjects.  Good for filling in a few minutes here and there, but not particularly spectacular.

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review 2018-12-14 16:48
Stig of the Dump, Clive King
Stig of the Dump - Clive King,Edward Ardizzone

Initially the low stakes, slow paced ambience of this book was a shock in comparison to contemporary  world-saving, thrill-ride, kids' books but having accepted it for what it is, I found this book to be charming and by the end, delightful. It's heavily episodic, with no discernable through-plot, but Barney and Lou's adventures with Stig when they visit their grandmother are successively more extravagant and the last two chapters are particularly surprising and fun.

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review 2018-12-14 07:55
The Well-Tempered City by Jonathan F.P. Rose
The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life - Jonathan Rose

TITLE:   The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life

 

AUTHOR:  Jonathan F.P. Rose

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2016

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  9780062234728

 

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DESCRIPTION:

"In the vein of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—a visionary in urban development and renewal—champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the twenty-first century.

Cities are birthplaces of civilization; centers of culture, trade, and progress; cauldrons of opportunity—and the home of eighty percent of the world’s population by 2050. As the 21st century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migrations, education and health disparities, among many others.

 In The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—the man who “repairs the fabric of cities”—distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five-pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. These goals may never be fully achieved, but our cities will be richer and happier if we aspire to them, and if we infuse our every plan and constructive step with this intention.

A celebration of the city and an impassioned argument for its role in addressing the important issues in these volatile times, The Well-Tempered City is a reasoned, hopeful blueprint for a thriving metropolis—and the future.
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This is an interesting introductory text to what townplanners and city management should be aiming for in dealing with city planning and management.  However, I found the book too superficial and would have liked more detailed information, especially in terms of engineering specifics where some examples were used. The author also has a rather simplistic view of politics and human nature.

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text 2018-12-14 06:46
Reading progress update: I've read 132 out of 158 pages.
Stig of the Dump - Clive King,Edward Ardizzone

Skinned and Buried: best chapter yet!

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text 2018-12-13 12:00
Reading progress update: I've read 122 out of 158 pages.
Stig of the Dump - Clive King,Edward Ardizzone

Very episodic, so far.

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