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    An Incomplete Education
    You'll find everything you forgot from school--as well as plenty you never even learned--in this all-purpose reference book, an instant classic when it first appeared in 1987. The updated version takes a whirlwind tour through 12 different disciplines, from American studies to philosophy to world history. Along the way, Judy Jones and William Wilson provide a plethora of useful information, from the plot of Othello to the difference between fission and fusion. It's not a shortcut to cultural literacy, the authors write in their introduction, but it's an excellent "way in" to the building blocks of Western civilization: the "books, music, art, philosophy, and discoveries that have, for one reason or another, managed to endure." Think of it as finishing school for your brain; study up and you'll gain a lifetime's worth of cocktail conversation--as well as a new list of books you simply must read. - 7-Jan-2003 - Hits: 617 - Rate This | Details
    Being Digital
    As the founder of MIT's Media Lab and a popular columnist for Wired, Nicholas Negroponte has amassed a following of dedicated readers. Negroponte's fans will want to get a copy of Being Digital, which is an edited version of the 18 articles he wrote for Wired about "being digital." Negroponte's text is mostly a history of media technology rather than a set of predictions for future technologies. In the beginning, he describes the evolution of CD-ROMs, multimedia, hypermedia, HDTV (high-definition television), and more. The section on interfaces is informative, offering an up-to-date history on visual interfaces, graphics, virtual reality (VR), holograms, teleconferencing hardware, the mouse and touch-sensitive interfaces, and speech recognition. - 7-Jan-2003 - Hits: 443 - Rate This | Details
    Fired, Laid Off, Out of a Job
    The official website of "Fired, Laid Off, Out of a Job," a book written specifically for those who have been or who are about to be laid off and for companies having to downsize. This book provides practical guidelines for approaching an extremely difficult situation with dignity and respect--on part of the employer and employee. - 8-Nov-2003 - Hits: 219 - Rate This | Details
    Letters from a Nut Top Rated
    Book coverWhat if you wrote to the Baseball Hall of Fame offering to donate a full set of Mickey Mantle's toenail clippings? Why, they'd be glad to have 'em--even if you are "a Level 4 bed-wetter." Cooperstown is only one of many institutions terrorized in Letters from a Nut, a collection of crazed correspondence by Ted L. Nancy. The name is a pseudonym, perhaps for Jerry Seinfeld, who wrote the introduction. Seinfeld never comes clean, but the yocks sure sound like his material. And the letters have his prints all over them--who else would write the L.A. Lakers posing as a rabid fan who wears pants with a see-through back end, "for medical reasons"? Whoever wrote it, the book's a real lark. Where else can you meet "Pip, the Mighty Squeak," a man who gambles in a giant shrimp costume, or a corn that looks like Shelley Fabares? Only inside the fevered brain of Ted L. Nancy--whether he's Jerry Seinfeld or not. - 7-Jan-2003 - Hits: 372 - Rate This | Details
    Right Here, Right Now
    When millennial spiritual hunger replaces '90s infinite perfectibility as the trend du jour, self-help guru Ashton Robinson is there to catch the breaking wave. He's a surfer--a handsome, dreadlocked black Yale grad with a palatable message ("Try Harder") and no real convictions to capsize his motivational juggernaut. Then one night while he's tripping on a heady blend of expired cough suppressant and primo weed, a gender-bending Brazilian midget turns up, seduces him, and delivers this message: "You're hiding your ashay.... God chose you and only you to bring the world to the future. It will be a lonely and difficult journey, but you can do it." Ashton does enough spotty research to find out that axe (pronounced ashay) is more or less the Yoruba equivalent of chi--spiritual life force--as expressed in the Afro-Cuban-Brazilian traditions of Candomble, Santeria, and Vodun. To this he adds a much more rigorous pursuit of Tantric sex, collects a handful of true believers, and converts his California bachelor pad into the residential headquarters of a New Age cult, complete with GAP uniforms and cough syrup sacraments. - 7-Jan-2003 - Hits: 241 - Rate This | Details
    The Limits of Privacy
    Book coverPrivacy isn't all it's made out to be, says George Washington University scholar Amitai Etzioni. "Without privacy no society can long remain free," he writes, but our communities also have other goals that sometimes must override the privacy imperative. "Should the FBI be in a position to crack the encrypted messages employed by terrorists before they use them to orchestrate the next Oklahoma City bombing?" he asks. Etzioni's answer is a resounding "yes," and he applies similar logic to a number of areas. He believes, for example, that newborn babies should undergo HIV tests without parental consent because they could benefit from immediate treatment, even though mothers worried about personal revelations might object. He also supports the various sorts of "Megan's laws" that try to protect society against sex offenders. - 7-Jan-2003 - Hits: 226 - Rate This | Details