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review 2017-05-20 17:04
Survivor's Club: The True Story of Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz
Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz - Michael Bornstein,Debbie Bornstein Holinstat

He was born a Jew during the German invasion and Michael and his family lived in an open ghetto. Bribing a German officer, his father saved his family for many months with cash collected from their community. Eventually Michael’s family found themselves in Auschwitz, where they were the last prisoners to have their numbers etched in their arms. Michael, the youngest child in the camp is grouped with his mother (Mamishu) and grandmother (Babeshi) while his brother and father are placed in another group. Mamishu continues to care for Michael as best as she can, given the extreme conditions that they are in, hoping that one day the family will be reunited and that they will return to their home in Zarki. Meanwhile all around them, the horrors of Auschwitz descent upon them. Michael survived this ordeal as he was filmed in 1945 by the Soviets being “carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms.”

 

  1. I appreciate the author’s ability to reconstruct his family’s history and share it with others. I enjoyed reading this novel and I enjoyed the second half of this novel especially. I liked how some matters came full circle for Michael, for these matters became an emotional tie. This novel is great for individuals who like nonfiction, history, WWII, memoirs, or survival.
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review 2017-05-09 18:40
Sculpting the future
How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection - David F. Dufty

Longtime readers of the blog will recall that I've had a certain fear fascination with robots and A.I or Artifical Intelligence. You can check out my posts about books like Our Final Invention which details the growth artifical intelligence into super intelligence or In Our Own Image which is a thought experiment about what the evolution of AI will look like in the future to get an idea of what I mean. Today's book is somewhere in the middle. How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick's Robotic Resurrection by David F. Dufty covers the creation of a robotic incarnation of the famous sci-fi author which (according to its creators) has the ability to learn as it communicates with humans i.e. it is self-aware. The novelty of this machine was that it was created in the image of a man who was known for his paranoia about 'thinking' machines and that it was an artistic as much as technological acheivement. This book chronicled the creation of the android from its inception including the sculpting of the head and body by Dr. David Hanson through to its programming by Andrew Olney. (Not to mention the many volunteers from the FedEx Institute of Technology in Memphis who logged many hours helping to make this dream a reality without any compensation.) The PKD android was a sensation among scientific circles as well as among laypeople because of his realistic facial features, expressions, and his seemingly intelligent responses to questions. However, I am not convinced that he would have passed the Turing Test which proves that he was a self-aware artificially intelligent machine. Moreover, I found this book was lacking in many areas. Each of the chapters seemed to end without any real resolution and the ending fell flat. Also, one of my pet peeves is a nonfiction book without any endnotes or at the very least a bibliography and this one committed that sin. Overall, I'd say that this book would appeal to someone who hasn't done any significant research into this field and wants to dip their toe into that world but for me it didn't make the grade. 5/10

 

If you want to see the PKD android in action then you can check out the Hanson Robotics website. Be forewarned, if the idea of a seemingly artificially intelligent machine with human-like characteristics freaks you out then you shouldn't go to that website. To see what I mean, take a look at the pictures below. *shudder*

 

Source: Ascend Surgical

 

Source: Philip K. Dick Android Project

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-05-05 01:33
Only Andy Fastow could think up something like this
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald

I listened to the audio book and it is OUTSTANDING!  It's on the long side at 25 discs though very well written and engrossing.

 

I have read or listened to other books by Kurt Eichenwald and enjoyed them so when I saw he was the author of this one I borrowed it and I am happy that I did.

 

Of course anyone in America who has not lived under a rock since 1999 or 2000 knows about the collapse of Enron. This book takes you all the way back to its founding and how Ken Lay became the CEO.

 

Ken Lay was a horrible CEO in my opinion and did not understand the businesses that were created on his watch and under his nose and gave way too much power to his lieutenants.  This being said Andy Fastow is portrayed in the book as both stupid and evil while at the same time being smart enough to have earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Business he allegedly does not understand Accounting 101.

 

I'm really surprised he is now out of prison and on a speaking tour and has spoken at CU Boulder, I wonder what about?  I would not listen to a word he has to say.

 

Skilling, equally put too much faith in Fastow and was a poor COO and is portrayed as being aloof, while pushing for quarterly earnings, and emotional and likely bipolar.

 

This is a really good book that will help the reader understand all the wrong doing that went on and why the company collapsed.

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text 2017-04-29 01:04
Reading progress update: I've read 3%.
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation - Brad Ricca

COME HOME QUICKLY, RUTH HAS DISAPPEARED.

 

At the apartment, Mr. Brown tried to calm the girls down. He called the police, relating the details as Helen and Christina watched. By the time their parents came home, early the next morning, it was Valentine’s Day, 1917. And pretty Ruth Cruger, eighteen years old, was lost. Somewhere out in the snow.

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text 2017-04-29 00:57
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation - Brad Ricca

I thought of you when I read this quote from "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation" by Brad Ricca -

 

"“I like to see a woman with brains who uses them,” gruffed Doyle. “I love and honor women as wives and mothers. But I cannot approve of a campaign of destruction.”"

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/fL230j4

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