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review 2017-09-12 11:37
Literature as a Strengthener of Character: "The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare" by Emma Smith
The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare (Cambridge Introductions to Literature) by Dr Emma Smith (2007-04-09) - Dr Emma Smith

Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus!


The thing about drama is that everybody has to put effort in to learn their part, then they have to work together to make the play happen. Putting on a successful performance is very hard work but the buzz children get from the performance is huge and they learn that hard work is worthwhile. The play won't work without Titania, Bottom or Puck or all the more minor parts or the person who does the lighting, the scenery, the costumes. They compete for parts but work collaboratively to achieve a result and are proud of what they achieve. What better life lessons could children learn? There is bound to be a positive knock-on effect on other subjects.  Any good play, or musical, will do this but Shakespeare has huge scope and, generally, a large cast. This is a wonderful initiative. We owe it to our pupils to open up to their imaginations a world beyond our own shores and time. The 'Metamorphoses' speak to us about the fluidity of identity and have so much to offer to teenagers confronting this issue in their own lives. They can be read with Jeffrey Eugenides' 'Middlesex' as effectively as with Shakespeare. Emma Smith is right to point to the importance of the Philomela story for 'Titus Andronicus', but the many rape narratives in the 'Metamorphoses' present serious ethical challenges in the classroom. In teaching teenagers (and not only) respect for others, you are teaching them respect for themselves. That's the main point of school and home; in their rapidly-changing world (i.e. their intellect, their bodies) these are mainstays. These are what enable them to contextualise the attacks of commerce on their minds. And anybody who thinks that good literature and art aren't great strengtheners of character is missing the point; of course, they are, because they improve human intelligence.



If you're into Shakespeare, read on.

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text 2017-09-08 17:55
Reading progress update: I've read 17 out of 880 pages.
Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 5th Edition (Library and Information Science Text) - Melissa A. Wong,Linda C. Smith

Some updates will be weird: regular text posts, as I take this in.  I'll end up not finishing this book, at least not within this class: I'm jumping to chapter five and six next and then chapter three for a class further down the line. 


Fascinating what a librarian does and doesn't do and how it happened, and yet for someone who's more into fiction than non-fiction, extra dry  as well.  


Luckily it's about time to take a break for lunch and then we'll see how far I get today.  I have about forty pages, and some short articles to read for Monday, and I have to read one syllabus for Monday and one for Tuesday, with the teacher for the Monday class - aka, the one I'm reading this for - asking us to print out the syllabus.   All incredibly doable.   

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text 2017-07-12 22:11
Review session...

Dear Booklikes friends,


I just decided that I have enough of Goodreads. I must say that I was absolutely charmed to have a social network about books where, unlike Facebook, people can connect and share about something a little more challenging than memes. But how desperate I was trying to cope with the ugly website's design... So many small links everywhere, nothing to do with the app, no way to organize anything and everything was... so beige.


Anyway, despite the lack of mobile app (I surely hope there will be one someday), Booklikes is everything I was looking for. A nice way to share reviews, talk about our discoveries, our personal projects and personalize everything of it. I am one of those who like the beauty of the books. Everything about books feels timeless and time stopper and this is why books are the absolute way out. Some books are absolutely beautiful and photogenic too.


I wanted to tell you (the few who follow me now and the future ones) that I will complete an « about » section one day and that, for now, I will be writing short reviews on the books I already have read in the past. If you see French, don't panic, English will be present as well in the best way I can write it.


Please do share, suggest and comment, I do like to discuss.


- Valérie

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text 2017-06-19 10:31
Reading progress update: I've read 55%.
Gunning for Greatness: My Life: With an Introduction by Jose Mourinho - Mesut Ozil,Jose Mourinho

Like most footballers biographies, it's a bit dull. The most interesting parts are where he talks about growing up as a son of turkish immigrants in Germany, and the fallout of his choosing German nationality over Turkish. 

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review 2017-06-19 08:58
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics, P.A. Davidson
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics - P.A. DAVIDSON,E.J. Hinch,S.H. Davis,Mark J. Ablowitz

So magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is the (classical) theory of electrically conducting fluids, which divide neatly into liquid metals and plasmas. I'm not professionally interested in liquid metals so I skipped all the material that was solely applicable to them, which is possibly as much as half of it. It's also a microcosm of one of the many problems with the book -it's scope is way too large for it's size. To get anywhere with a topic that is defined as the merging of fluid mechanics and classical electrodynamics, one must have a thorough grounding in both those separate topics first. This book tries to cover that and does it badly because they need a book each. The physics of plasmas is very different from that of liquid metals but this book tries to cover both. So really we have four books' worth of material crammed into the space of only one. That's one problem.


Next there's the mathematical treatment, which is really poor. The subject requires a strong grasp of vector calculus. This is unavoidable. The fundamental equations of the theory are non-linear and form a large set that must be solved "self-consistently" whilst describing a dynamic (i.e. time varying) system. This also, is unavoidable. In other words this ain't no easy subject. That's no excuse for lax derivations, poor or absent definitions, or equations that are actually useless because one of the parameters in them has to be "chosen appropriately" (i.e. fudged) in every specific case, with no means of doing so so much as hinted at.


Finally, the verbal description of the physics is on occasions horrendously bad (and plain wrong). This is particularly so with regard to energy, which is repeatly "destroyed" throughout the book - a task nobody else has been able to accomplish in the history of physics. The author seems simply not to know what happens to the kinetic energy of the fluids he describes when it stops being obviously visible. Heat, man! Heat! Conservation of angular momentum is similarly and even more cavalierly treated.

I can't recommend this book to anybody, unfortunately.


I have a number of other books that treat MHD. In some it's an introductory chapter, in others it's in relation to a specific context (naturally occurring plasmas). Whether these will prove better remains to be seen.

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