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mine are under glass!
Viva La Legion!
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Traditional old blues haunts such as Memphis, Clarksdale and Greenville are visited, and fine artists relatively unknown at the time were recorded such as Big Jack Johnson, Booba Barnes and Lonnie Pitchford. Delta old timers Jack Owens, Bud Spires and Booker T. Laury also turn in fine, spirited performances. But for me the highlight is the attention given over to the more obscure "hill country" blues of north missisipi, featuring Jessie Mae Hemphill, R. L. Burnside and the late great Junior Kimbrough and his original juke joint in Holly Springs. Here the music extends from country blues to "drum and fife", a hypnotic musical form that predates blues all the way back to the revolutionary war, but which now faces extinction since the passing of Othar Turner (not featured here, but a close friend of Hemphill). The bonus items are very welcome, especially the extra performances by honkytonk genius Booker T. to the drunk audience comprised of Stuart and Palmer, and Lonnie Pitchford's demonstration of the diddly bow. Also included are extra audio tracks that were originally only available on the soundtrack album (now deleted).
This film helped to revive not just interest in country and acoustic blues in general, but the careers of all of the artists featured. This film is well shot, sounds great, and shares the passion and emotion of some great bluesmen and women. After this, try the "Feelin' Good" CD by Jessie Mae Hemphill. Not only is that a beautiful album, but Jessie's an invalid now who desperately needs the cash!
Meticulously researched, Palmer uses Muddy Waters as a jumping off point to explore the history and evolution of the blues as music as well as the society and culture from which it sprang. He peppers his work with amazing anecdotes, from the story of Robert Johnson, the Band meeting a dying Sonny Boy Williamson, an aging Howlin' Wolf giving a phenominal concert that add color to his story and helps make his frequent forays into musicology more tolerable to the non-musician. Best of all is the sense of time and place the book evokes, from plantations and dark swamps in rural Mississippi, to the noisy, crowed streets of South Chicago at the peak of the Great Migration, to small clubs and long forgotten juke-joints.
I read this book for the first time 10 years or so ago and have probably reread it 5 times since. I keep coming up with new things to admire about the book every time. That so much richness can be packed into such a short readable work is amazing. This book triumphs over everything else written on the subject and only leaves you wanting to explore further.
In this eponymous documentary, Palmer assumes the role of the proverbial veteran "tour guide," casually offering us expert commentary, laced with entertaining anecdotes and served up with dry Southern wit. While we do hear and see a great deal of Palmer, the film never loses its main focus-- the blues and the musicians who keep this important element of American musical heritage alive and kicking. Each of the featured artists performs one or two songs in their entirety-- in sharp contrast to so many other music documentaries, which par down their musical selections to excerpted sound bites to make room for talk, talk and more talk.
Here we find everything from down-home guitars and mouth harps being played on farm house porches to full bands--influnced by the modern Chicago-style, yet still distinctly "Pure Delta"--playing in dark, smoke-filled juke joints. True to the blues tradition, the music is hot and sweaty. You can't watch this film and sit still--you gotta shake something. Highlights: cane fife player Napoleon Strickland (you can hear more of this wonderful pre-blues tradition on TRAVELING THROUGH THE JUNGLE: NEGRO FIFE AND DRUM MUSIC FROM THE DEEP SOUTH, an album on the TESTAMENT label, and several ARHOOLIE compilations); the totally stylin' Jessie Mae Hemphill (granddaughter of Blind Sid Hemphill, the pre-blues style fiddler/quills [panpipes] player documented in the Lomax field recordings); harp player Bud Spires telling a folktale about the devil, accompanied by Jack Owen's soulful guitar picking in the cranky, individualistic Bentonia style, popularized by the early bluesman, Skip James; and Lonnie Pitchford's intense singing as he accompanies himself on the diddley bow (a raised metal string nailed to the side of a house, which you pluck with a plectrum and note with a slide).
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In this work, I use both the "senior" Merck Manual, which is written for professionals (though many nonprofessionals have been referred to it by librarians and such), and this recently developed "home" version, which I can't praise highly enough. It is literally the first text I have encountered that provides essential medical information in terms the average educated person can understand, WITHOUT writing down to people. It covers all the basic diseases and conditions and many unusual ones, including prevention where prevention is possible. Clear, understandable charts cover such topics as common blood and laboratory tests. The index is superb, so finding things is easy, whether you are coming at the topic by way of some medical jawbreaker your doctor has mentioned (myocardial infarction) or by way of what most people call it (heart attack). Any household would benefit from having this reference on its bookshelves. Even as a professional, I look in this edition first and tackle "Papa Merck" or a specialized textbook only if I need more than the basic information.
Recently my son was diagnosed on the phone by our pediatrician with chicken pox and it was made clear that they did not want to see him for a physical exam. I was given a tiny bit of information by the office staff but was still curious for more information. I spent over an hour surfing the Internet looking for information but found watered down information, repeated many times over on multiple websites, including some written by physicians intended for laypeople to use. I looked at my parenting books written by doctors (one titled "The Portable Pediatrician", no less) and was still lacking any substantial information. When I consulted the Merck Manual home edition, (which I had forgotten I bought recently and had not yet used), I was surprised at the level of information given. There are many details that I had not found elsewhere, such as number of days from exposure to outbreak, how long it takes the pox to change from first appearance to crusted over, about how long the infection lasts, and treatment suggestions. Reasons why some children have a mild outbreak vs. a severe outbreak were even provided, something I had not found anywhere else.
The information here is not dumbed down in that it is not so vague that it is not useful. There is a lot of information here but it is written in a style for the layperson to understand. I appreciated the writing style, which presents information to the non-physician without putting on airs.
Anyone who, like me, prefers to gather information and learn about things rather than making a call or office visit to their doctor to get just one opinion will appreciate owning this book. At about 1500 pages it covers many illnesses and ailments. If you are interested in this book I suggest you buy it so that you have it at your fingertips 24 hours a day, for whatever may arise. I am not suggesting this take the place of a doctor, but I know from working with physicians that there are certain calls that are non-emergent in nature that are not appreciated when the office is closed!
If you are looking for a book about children's ailments that encompasses not only western medicine but lists an array of other treatment methods, I suggest Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child: A Practical A-To-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Infants and Children by Janet Zand. I found this to be an excellent companion to the Merck manual, home edition. The Merck manual gives more information about the disease or ailment itself through a Western medicine viewpoint while the Zand's books' specialty is sharing treatment options grouped by category (herbal, homeopathic, western, etc.).
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I love the concept of the book and how it's centered around the music world. I love how the book spans the time of Emma at 3 into an adult and her life changes through all her experiences and the reader is able to understand mistakes and choices she makes through past events in her life.
The romance was great, and the mystery part as well, but I loved just the general way that Roberts wove the story. I have read quite a few (getting close to all) of her books and I still love this one the best. Next to Public Secrets, Genuine Lies would have to be my next favorite... then maybe Where the Rivers Ends, where the main characters love story kind of reminds me of Emma and Michael.
Read this book- you won't regret it!
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He has a lot of adventures on them. Ralph finds the motorcycle and during the night drives it down the hallway and has the time of his life! When Keith and his family leave the hotel, Keith asks Ralph to go home with him. Should Ralph go with Keith to be his pet, or should he stay with his family? You have to find out by reading the book.
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Bakker generally avoids using scientific jargon in the book. This is good as it opens the market for more people to read his book. Names like duck bill and horned dinosaurs are easier to remember than hadrosaur and ceratopian. Still some of Bakker's actual scientific terms are horribly inaccurate and hurt paleontology more than help it. I am talking about a certain term in particular; Brontosaurus. This name has been defunct for over 50 years and it is only in popular culture that it has lived on. Bakker uses it because it's more descriptive and because he believes that the fossil Brontosaurus excelsus is different enough from _Apatosaurus_ to warrant an entire generic distinction. Modern paleontology on the other hand, did not see the distinction then and still does not now.
While I commend Bakker's paradigm altering view of how dinosaurs were, I wish that he didn't have to make them warm-blooded in order to do it. Today's "cold-blooded" animals have a wide range of energetic behaviours that Bakker never really gives mention to. And while he does devote an entire chapter to reptilian diversity (chpt 3, which is by far the most ironic chapter in the book), the final page of that chapter, featuring a _Pristichampsus_ taking out a _Hyracotherium_, has at the end of it a caption that reads that due to its rarity, this was positive evidence that "...cold-bloodedness was a great disadvantage." It was almost as if he was saying "Reptiles are an amazingly diverse group of animals with a wide range of lifestyles and body plans. Now I will show you why dinosaurs could not possibly be reptiles." This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book. The following chapters deal with changing the popular view of dinosaurs while simultaneously removing them from the realm of "cold-bloodedness."
In order to show how dinosaurs could ONLY be "warm-bloods" Bakker relies a variety of circumstantial evidence. In the fossil record he uses predator to prey ratios to determine how active the creatures are. Besides having to deal with fossil record bias, Bakker's "control" is a living survey of a wolf spider to its prey. While Bakker knocks off interesting numbers (Wolf spiders making up 15-20% of the predator/prey population) he gives no mention of the prey themselves, so no one knows what kind of prey he was comparing the spiders to. Luckily Bakker does have a reference section that is divided up into the various chapters so one can go looking for it if one really wants to.
Then there is the use of haversian canals, stating that they indicate warm-bloodedness, when in reality all they indicate is a high level of activity (one can see these same haversian remodeling in varanid lizards). While the above was only found out recently, one of Bakker's "proofs" of warm-bloodedness is a dangerous use of taxonomy. Using the rules of punctuated equilibria Bakker states that species turn over is greater among warm-bloods than "cold-bloods." He shows this with fossil record evidence from Como Bluff Wyoming showing the average life of a species of dinosaur compared to a crocodilian (_Leidyosuchus_) and a chelonian (_Aspideretes_). Now in this modern era taxonomists have a hard enough time as it is to tell what is a new species and what is not; to use this criteria as evidence for warm-bloodedness is dangerous and a tad sloppy. This is especially so when one considers the fact that being "cold-blooded" crocodilian and chelonian fossils are less well studied than other fossils and there are bound to be more than a few taxonomic blunders in there.
Bakker does voice other ideas, such as the thought that sauropods had trunks, a thought that is OK to entertain but probably not worth serious consideration. Bakker's view of the gizzard style digestive system of a variety of dinosaurs is eye opening for those who ever wondered how a sauropod could feed itself with a mouth so small.
Then there are the contradictory parts of the book. In Bakker's haste to remove the dinosauria from the Reptilia, he unwittingly removes a group of animals that he himself admits to be real reptiles. Bakker believed (though histological and predator/prey evidence) that the pseudosuchian "crimson crocs" (beautiful name) showed the same warm-blooded evidence that dinosaurs show and should therefore be removed from the basal Reptilia on this and other shared derived characters. The problem inherent with this is that in order to do it, Bakker would also have to remove another pseudosuchian descendant, the crocodylians. These are the same creatures that in previous chapters he had been calling "cold-blooded" reptiles.
All in all the book is a good. Bakker provides his own illustrations, all of which show his creatures as dynamic animals, regardless of warm or cold-bloodedness. The ideas themselves are actually the resurrection of older ideas from the 19th century and not so much new ways of thinking, and much of Bakker's examples of warm-bloodedness should be taken with a grain of salt. I give this book a higher ranking than I normally would, because of the uproar that it caused in the area of reptilian paleontology and especially metabolism. Thanks to Bakker's book we now know that the arbitrary lines of warm and cold-blooded are not as black and white as we thought. In fact there is an increasingly growing amount of creatures that don't easily fit either definition. For that reason alone, the book is a worthy purchase, even if most of the text is of more historical value than anything else.
Robert Bakker, first of all, is probably the best popular science writer I've ever come across. His voice is accessible, full of humor and character, and he writes a lean, sharply-turned argument that's easy and fun to follow without being at all pedantic. You don't think, at all, about the welter of disparate arguments Bakker's making in this book, because he just tells them so darn well, he really does. This book is pure delight for anyone with even a passing interest in dinosaurs.
I will mention, again, that this is a pop science title. It's a summary of the sorts of things that show up in academic articles, and a broad, idea-spinning take on those issues and problems. If, reading some other reviews here, you get the impression Robert Bakker singlehandedly rethought the whole cold-bloodedness thing, well, don't get too carried away. Pop science books don't do that work. Peer-review journals are where the evidence lives, in science, and books like Dinosaur Heresies get the word out to you and me.
I would recommend this as a gift to give anyone twelve or older who has an interest in Dinosaurs. Later on someone may be enthused enough to try Jack Horner, who's slightly less accessible in my experience, and closer to the journal writers than Heresies is. Then, too, reading this book might throw you in all sorts of other directions. (I personally became really excited about prehistoric mammals.) I hate to be hackneyed, but that's what a dazzlingly good popular science book will do; it'll broaden your world and make you remember what curiosity is good for. Dinosaur Heresies does that, in spades. You'll reread it.
Misconceptions are always associated with dinosaurs, because we do NOT understand completely as to how they looked, nor will we ever, unless we go back in time and see directly. So, we have to extrapolate from the fossil record. Which then leads to interpretation, as the clues are being uncovered, it takes a good detective with a vision to put the pieces together.
I believe that Bakker has done that in this book as he paints a revolutionary picture of dinosauria. And a dynamic, robust picture it is. This book opens eyes as to how things could have been or were at that time. As more information becomes available, the tapesty of that time begins to fill in and a picture emerges. I believe that Bakker is on the right track. This book will enlighten and educate as well.
I found the text to explain well as to why Bakker believes what he believes and makes a compelling argument to that. Whether you agree or disagree with Bakker's theory, the dead bones in the right hands seem to come alive a tell a most enthralling story.
If you like dinosaurs, this is a brilliant and unquestionably well written book. There are spectacular illustrations throughout to highlight this well told story.
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Brickhill gives a firsthand account of the escape of 76 men from Sagan, a German prisoner-of-war camp, during World War II. Through tireless efforts and disheartening setbacks, the men managed to dig a lengthy tunnel 30 feet down into the earth, and 300 feet towards possible freedom. The plan, which originally called for three such tunnels, was the single largest escape in WWII history, and the efforts, patience, and bravery of the men secures their escape as one of the most noble efforts of man.
What a pity, then, that THE GREAT ESCAPE is a fairly badly written first-hand narrative, related with all the style of a person making a grocery list. Brickhill has provided the bones of an amazing story, but he neglected to provide any meat along with them.
The story couldn't help but lend itself to a fascinating read. The actions of these men could never be anything less than remarkable. But all Brickhill does is tell the story. He doesn't add any true characterization to the hundreds of people who pop in and out, resulting in a lack of empathy for these men. The reader is left wanting to know more, but is frustratingly denied the opportunity. Even the leader, Roger Bushell, is a cipher, easily interchangeable with any other character.
It is easy to see why this story makes such fertile ground for a movie. The plot is astonishing, and the complete absence of any true personality leaves the filmmakers free to make up any character they want. Roger Bushell didn't escape from Sagan, Richard Attenborough did. So did Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.
I don't want to seem as if I am making light of the situation. THE GREAT ESCAPE was a shining example of what humanity can achieve under the most strenuous circumstances. But Brickhill doesn't provide us with any reason to care. The story unfolds with all the excitement and tension of someone telling of their day at work. Simplicity in storytelling can be a fine thing, but not where the story demands so much more.
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Knowing that we saw black bears and always had to be prepared if cubs were around, made this story "real" to me. And I love stories where the girl isn't a whimp, but is allowed to be herself and is shown doing both normal activities but activities that show a more rural or self sufficent idea.
I also like the story because it is a great Mother and daughter tale and shows that even the human animal like the bear and her cub, have such caring personalities. Oh and I also indetified with the eat more berries than you pick theme.
Unless someone has tasted a sweet freshly picked blueberry or strawberry etc they have no idea how wonderful the taste and smell is and that you really cannot stop at just one. I wonder how many parents who have taken the kids along to pick berries have done so knowing that the kid will probably not produce much fruit for canning or baking, and may even come home with a tummy ache. But that it is a great outing and make for great memories.
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Old Black, the book, was a bigger book than it seemed. I counted about 35 characters counting Sam the Rodesian ridgeback dog, and, of course, Old Black himself. Not one character escapes my mind's eye. I knew them every one. Even the reporter, Paul Hardesty, was memorable, and had only a cameo (but important) appearance. Oscar and Ruby, I fell for them hard. Salt of the earth. And how I cried when ... but read it yourself. I could see why the author took that route, it was a big step up the ladder to adulthood for Jim. It took me a long time to read the whole scene because I had a hard time seeing anything.
The author truly introduced every character. And that isn't so often the case.
There was some extravagant adventure in this story, but I never once had to suspend disbelief. Old Black the horse was not overplayed into a super horse, either. Nor was that wonderful little boy Jim. And wasn't Alexandra something? Uncle Harry was right, she's a little princess. And speaking of Uncle Harry and Aunt Hazel, everybody who knows someone who has a loved one with Alzheimer's should get a copy of this book. I know in my heart that Jim's therapy would be beneficial.
There are some real heartbreaking scenes and events in this book. And some funny ones too. I thought I'd die laughing over Mr. Mehlman's "theoretical last days." And the incident involving the snake in the bathroom. My husband came in to see what I was laughing about. I told him I had been bitten by the fabled laughing snake. (Of course, he didn't get it until HE read the book.)Wasn't Harry's reaction something a man with a good sense of humor would come out with? And I can understand Matt and Jim laughing themselves sick.
I finished Old Black, lay back on the pillow and relished it a while, then started right back on page 1.
I loved the old black couple, the Jacksons, who lived on the lane to the Bradley's little weekend ranch, and was truly touched by the genuine friendship between that couple and the Bradley family. All of the characters in the story, and there are quite a few, come vividly to life. You never have to think back and ask yourself, "Now just who is this walking on stage?" You know every one of them as if you had known them a long time.
The chapters involving the visit of Jim's Aunt Hazel and Uncle Harry are precious. Aunt Hazel has Alzheimer's disease and Uncle Harry is allowing her condition to get to him. It took the intuitive therapeutic interaction of a boy with compassion for his ailing aunt to show Uncle Har! ry, by examples, how to mitigate her suffering, how to lift her spirits. There was hilarity galore in those chapters, much of it at Aunt Hazel's expense, but it was never once in bad taste.
The rescue of Sheriff Martinez in the woods by Jim and Old Black, which consumed several chapters, was an endless stream of excitement that continued to escalate right up to the very last page of chapter 24. It was a tough job for both the boy and his horse that almost proved to be impossible, but every bit of it was entirely credible.
Old Black is a beautiful piece of creative writing. The story moved. It had a start, a middle, and definitely an ending, an ending that swept along through several chapters in such a rewarding way for the reader. Briggs never takes the writer's easy way out of a single scene or event, but works his plot with fascinating detail and excellent execution. The story was a fine blend of happiness, sadness, tragedy, and humor. Every aspect of the ending was perf! ect -- all the little loose ends that had collected along t! he way were neatly tied up in the most satisfying ways one could imagine -- even better than I ever imagined.
Without giving away the REAL treat at the very end, I will say I loved the way the jealousy toward Jim by the boy on the flashy horse was disposed of. That scene was a magnificent stroke! Then there is a very nice vignette involving that same boy at the very end that had best be left for the joy of reading it first hand. At that last horse show in the Astroarena, I swear I could hear the bawling, cackli! ng, mooing, crowing, grunting . . . of the animals, I was aware of the constant announcements over the loudspeakers, I smelled every aroma of the place, saw and heard the hay carts buzzing around, felt the presence of the activity going on all about -- I was THERE!
Old Black is a fairly long book --387 pages of text -- but I flew through it way too fast to suit me. We should be able to give an extra star to special books for appearances. This one is a beauty, with a nice oil painting for the cover, a pretty full-color map of "Old Black Territory" on the front and back endpapers, and at least five dozen gorgeous illutrations, which is why I presume the book was printed on such fine paper.
When you buy Old Black, you may as well buy two and get it over with. You'll just HAVE to let certain friends read it, and you'll sure not want to part with your own special copy.
(This review was provided by the reader, who does not have a computer, to the publisher for sending on to amazon.com.)