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Book reviews for "Snailham,_George_Richard" sorted by average review score:

Special Functions
Published in Hardcover by Cambridge University Press (1999)
Authors: George E. Andrews, Richard Askey, and Ranjan Roy
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A book comes close to " A course of modern analysis "
Though this book cannot be compared to Whittaker and Watson's classic book. It comes quite close to it. I just want to comment on the the area covers are too concentrated and the rigorous manner which is the hall mark of " Modern Analysis " is lacking. Anyway, this book deserves 5 stars.

clean and concise
It has a very good style of writing for the nature of mathematics. It is clean, no unnecessary explanation or examples. In a way, one can feel something similar to Axler's. It is an excellent reference book. One should keep this book just as Axler's Linear Algebra Done Right, Numerical Recipe, DE Knuth's Art of Programming.

The best I've read
Professor Roy et al have made Special Functions clearer to me in this comprehensive volume than any previous authors I have read.

Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success, The: Surviving and Thriving in the College Classroom
Published in Paperback by Allyn & Bacon (18 December, 1998)
Authors: Richard E. Lyons, Marcella L. Kysilka, and George E. Pawlas
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Hooray for Directions
I'm about to have my first formal teaching experience at a local community college and was delighted to find a textbook written especially for part-time teachers. As a health care professional, I've had many opportunities to teach clients but this forum is brand new for me. "The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success: Surviving and Thriving in the College Classroom" provides clear, practical information written in a way that holds my interest throughout the book. Each chapter flows seamlessly into the next and provides specific methods ensuring the logical progression of thought. I don't have to re-invent the wheel.

The chapters also provide a variety of ways to make certain that the information is understood: Tips for Thriving, Focus Questions, Through the Adjuncts' Eyes and Review of Key Points reinforce specific ideas and concepts. This is an easy book to read. There is a clarity and conciseness which I found very appealing. It reads like a novel to me in that I am eager to read what is next! It truly is a step-by-step guide to a positive teaching experience.

I recommend this book to any and all who have a desire to share their expertise in a classroom setting. Just as "When the student is ready, the teacher appears, so too, when the teacher is ready the book appears." This is a book that ranks high on my list of favorites.

A Strategy for Success
"The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success." It was interesting to find that this text has the same contemporary approach that is used in business today. I have just completed an MBA program, and much of what was presented in this text mirrors what I learned during the program. This is reassuring in that it compares the academic and business environments in a similar light and reinforces that successful business practices can be applied over multiple disciplines. I noticed that many of the suggested readings are those in which I have already been exposed to during the MBA program.

I will undoubtedly consider this text as an integral part of my instructor's toolkit. It is very easy to read, straight and to the point. It's methodical approach makes it easy for the adjunct professor to understand and apply the information provided. The format and content is arranged to provide for quick reference and gives additional reading sources for a more in-depth perspective on the topics covered. The information provided offers sound practices for the college professor, as well as, for teachers at all grade levels. As a part-time teacher, I have used the text on many an occassion and have found it to be valuable in developing a win-win learning environment for both the students and myself. I would most definitely recommend the"Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success" for those teachers who want to be more effective and successful at their trade.

This book is a must for any part-time instructor.
Having reviewed several books for aspiring and new college instructors, I found The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success to be the one book that will help you most in launching your part-time teaching career. The book addresses not only the technical and logistical aspects of teaching, but the critical emotional and psychological issues that you will experience. Its contents address how to get your first teaching assignment, how to orient yourself to the college, getting the course off to a successful start, building and de-bugging exams, and how to build a long-term part-time teaching career, plus many others important to beginning instructors. Having been an adjunct instructor, I employed its strategies to obtain a full-time postion, and still use the book as a constant resource. The book is extremely reader-friendly, avoiding the "educationese" language of other books on the market, and provides many practical, hands-on examples. This book is a must for any part-time instructor.

Are We Spiritual Machines?: Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I.
Published in Paperback by Discovery Institute (2002)
Authors: Jay W. Richards, George F. Gilder, Ray Kurzweil, Thomas Ray, John Searle, William Dembski, and Michael Denton
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I love a good skirmish
I enjoy reading Kurzweil because he's an adventurous thinker. This book is particularly fun because some other fine minds take him to task. Ray holds up well because he's a reasonable thinker. Although some of his predicitions seem outlandish, they may not be. You can't read this book without engaging in a lot of interesting visualization about the future. Some of it is frightening, but there is hope as well. Will the future runaway on it's own or will we be in charge? I don't know, but I'm sure thinking about it, now.

Strong A.I. Versus Pessimism
This is Ray Kurzweil's third book concerning the future of reductionist artificial intelligence design and it's possible effects on us in the decades yet to come. In THE AGE OF SPIRITUAL MACHINES, Kurzweil's previous book, which I enjoyed also, and this volume, he uses technological trends, including Moore's law and other tools, to show that a desktop computer will have achieved human level computational ability around the year 2020. Also, Kurzweil envisions that we will be able, sometime in the next few decades, to scan human brains and download that 'software' into these advanced computers to give them human level reasoning abilities, with the speed of computer neural nets, leaving humans behind, so to speak. Accordingly, it may also be possible to scan individual brains and load that information into an advanced computer (attached to a body of some kind), giving that person a sort of immortality. This is the gist of Kurzweil's argument, I hope I got it essentially correct.

What Kuzweil means by computers someday becoming 'spiritual' is that they may become conscious, and 'strong A.I.' is the view that "any computational process sufficiently capable of altering or organizing itself can produce consciousness." The first part of this book is an introduction to all of the above views by Kurzweil, followed by criticisms by four authors, followed in turn by Kurzweil as he refutes these criticisms.

Personally, I found most of the views expounded by the critics here to be either non-sensical, or 'beside the point'. One critic says that the life support functions of the brain cannot be separated from it's information processing function. Of course it can be, even the effects of hormones can be programmed into a downloaded brain, as well as other chemicals used by brains. Another critic states that possibly evolution is in error, and yet another criticism is that our machines will not be able to contact a divine entity and would thus be inferior.... give me a break, well...perhaps this is all true and maybe pigs will one day fly over the moon unassisted. I could go on and on, but this is the job of Ray Kurzweil and he defends himself admirably in the final chapters of this volume. Kurzweil does mention in this book that brain scanning machines are improving their resolution with each new generation, and eventually will reach a point where they should be able to image individual neurons and synapses in large areas, and allow the brain 'software' to be transferred to a suitable non-biological computing medium, my only criticism of Kurzweil here is that I think he should discuss this technology more, and where it is headed, his next book would be a great place for this.

One final point, it seems to me that when a new idea appears to be difficult and complicated to achieve, the pessimist says: "This is difficult and complicated, and may not work", whereas the optimist says: "This is difficult and complicated, but may work". Only time will tell for sure.

Excellent introduction to an ongoing debate
The work, inventions, and opinions of Ray Kurzweil in the field of artificial intelligence have captured media attention and the attention of philosophers and researchers in artificial intelligence. But not only is Kurzweil one of the most brilliant and controversial of all the individuals working in artificial intelligence, he is also the most optimistic. This optimism holds not only for the future technology of artificial intelligence, predicted by Kurzweil to give independent thinking machines in the next three decades, but also for its social impact. Kurzweil believes that artificial intelligence will work for the benefit of humankind, but that this benefit will depend to a great degree on his belief that humans will take on technology that will effectively make them cybernetic.

The controversy behind Kurzweil stems from his recent book "The Age of Spirtual Machines", which is a detailed accounting of his predictions and beliefs regarding artificial intelligence. Many individuals objected to his visions and predictions, and he answers a few of them in this book. In particular, he attempts to counter the arguments against him by the philosopher John Searle, the molecular biologist Michael Denton, the philosopher William A. Dembski, and zoologist Thomas Ray. With only a few minor exceptions, Kurzweil is successful in his refutation of their assertions.

But even if Kurzweil completely refutes the arguments of these individuals, and possibly many more against him, the countering of arguments will not by itself solve the problems in artificial intelligence research. The fact remains that much work still needs to be done before we are priveleged to see the rise of intelligent machines. Kurzweil is well-aware of this, for he acknowledges this many times in this book. He points to reverse engineering of the human brain as one of the most promising strategies to bring in the robotic presence. The success or failure of this strategy will take the mind-body problem out of purely academic circles and bring it to the forefront of practical research in artificial intelligence. The 21st century will thus see the rise of the "industrial philosopher", who works in the laboratory beside the programmers, cognitive scientists, robot engineers, and neurologists.

Each reader of this book will of course have their own opinions on Kurzweil's degree of success in countering the arguments of Searle, Denton, Dembski, and Ray. But one thing is very clear: Kurzweil is no arm-chair philosopher engaging in purely academic debates on the mind-body problem. He is right in the thick of the research and development of artificial intelligence, and if the future turns out as he predicts, he will certainly be one of the individuals contributing to it. He and many others currently working in artificial intelligence are responsible for major advances in this field in just the last few years. Their ingenuity and discipline is admirable in a field that has experienced a roller coaster ride of confidence and disappointment in the preceding decades. All of these individuals have proved themselves to be superb thinking machines.

The Game That Was: The George Brace Baseball Photo Collection
Published in Hardcover by McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books (1996)
Authors: Richard Cahan, Mark Jacob, and George Brace
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Pictoral review of men who played for the love of the game!
I picked this book up and could not put it down until I read it from cover to cover. I swear I could hear the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd as I moved from page to page looking at the pictures and reading the commentary. The warmth of the pictures has made this the number one selection in my personal baseball library.

A Landslide MVB (Most Valuable Book)!
If this book's photographs represent only a fraction of Mr. Brace's total collection of negatives, then more should be rolling off the presses. Not only do they offer a great glimpse into a glorious past, the captions are equally superb. This is a work that's more than baseball: it's American history.

Required reading for any true Baseball Fan!
Had the privilege of meeting and knowing George Brace. This book is an excellent portrayal of the work of one of the world's few true gentlemen. Well written! You are correct...It is and will be a collector's item.

The History of the Musical (Unabridged)
Published in Audio Download by ()
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The greatest thing to come out since the Musical itself, Wonderful, educational, fantastic reproductions of the 19th century musicals!

The great song composers and lyricists are presented
Richard Fawkes' The History Of The Musical is a flawlessly recorded, 4 cassette, unabridged audiobook showcasing the development of the musical, from its origins in European light opera and operetta to its it's golden age in the American theater. The great song composers and lyricists are presented including Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Lloyd Webber, and Sondheim. The wonderfully narrated text by the award-winning Broadway singer Kim Criswell is enhanced with almost one hundred famous musical extracts. The History Of The Musical is a "must" for personal, academic, and community library music history and audiobook collections.

Should be twice as long
Surely there must be a medal somewhere out there for Naxos records and for author Richard Fawkes. After two superb sets of tapes and CDs titled "The History of Classical Music" and "The History of Opera," there is now available Mr. Fawkes' "The History of the Musical" (NA422712). Here we have singer/actress Kim Criswell narrating on 4 CDs or tapes just under 320 minutes of exactly what the title promises.

Starting with "The Beggar's Opera" of 1728, the history of the genre is traced up to the time of writing, meaning "Les Miserables." Along the way, we consider operetta, the English Music Hall, American vaudeville, the review, the book show, the familiar, the off-beat, the dead ends, the highly influential. And the London stage gets a good deal of attention also, thereby introducing a lot of material not very well known to those better versed in the American musical.

As with any good effort of this sort, a strong connection is drawn between the changing times and the changing concepts of what a musical should be. The importance of "Show Boat" is not glossed over, for example, nor is the other shock caused by "Pal Joey." The reliance of Lloyd Webber on staging is mentioned but not his lack of more than one fairly memorable melody per show. In general, the tone is upbeat and positive.

But this is a recording. While it could never include all the information found in a book, its dozens of recorded examples are what makes this set priceless. Where possible, the oldest "original cast" recordings are used. On the other hand, there are some strange exceptions such as "Hey there" from "Pajama Game" being sung not by John Raitt but by Ron Raines on the Jay recording. I suspect this is because Criswell is in the cast of that set.

Again, this set is in tape and CD formats. For educational purposes, the CDs offer direct access to any show under discussion--and the CDs are very generously divided into nearly 200 tracks! Very considerate of the producers. The booklet offers a nice little personal essay by Criswell. So if I have any complaint about this set, it is that I wish it were twice as long.

Take Charge of Your Child's Health: A Complete Guide to Recognizing Symptoms and Treating Minor Illnesses at Home
Published in Paperback by Crown Pub (1992)
Authors: George Wootan, Sarah J. Verney, and Richard Gabriel
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This is the book I refer to before calling the doctor.
This book is so wonderful because it gives another perspective of medicine. It is about educating parents so that they can make informed decisions about their children's healthcare, and not just rely on their doctor's opinion. I have enjoyed it because it has taught me which questions to ask my children's doctor, and even when to avoid taking my children to the doctor. (Another book that is similar, although not as thorough, is "How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor".)

Excellent! A MUST-HAVE for parents! Very informative!
This book is an essential part of our health-library! We've shared it with friends and family and everyone who has seen it has wanted their own copy for their family. This is so popular it is hard-to-get. The section about ear infections is especially useful today with so many kids being diagnosed with them. This book is a GREAT gift for parents with young children! Get a copy if you can!

Excellent desktop reference, empowering "alternatives"
Dr. Wootan enables the conscientious parent to take charge of her children's health in a practical, empowering way. In addition to basic grounding knowledge, it offers a chance to expand one's learning base i.e. to share discovering the health and working of bodies with your children so that they feel empowered to keep healthy. Guaranteed to save you money of doctor visits! Alternative or non-mainstream choices are respectfully treated and weighed against "modern" medicinal knowledge, and could encourage a waivering mind to follow it's intuition (ie to vaccinate or not to vaccinate).

The Tyger Voyage
Published in Hardcover by Random House (Merchandising) (1976)
Authors: Richard George Adams and Nicola Bayley
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Excellent book for children of any age
I received this book over 25 years ago from my uncle/godfather before I could even read. I remember being so mesmerized by the beautiful illustrations, I would make someone read it to me every night just so I could look at the pictures! It's definitely worth an out-of-print search! I got hold of another copy a few years ago which I intend to pass on to my recently-born niece!

should be reprinted!
I have a copy of this book from years ago when I was a child. I was sad to see that it is out of print, and feel sorry for the children who won't have the opportunity to experience it. I remember many a day of reading and rereading this wonderful book.

Deserves to be Reprinted!
Adventure, Poetry, Fantastically Colorful and Detailed Artwork combine in this short classic of children's literature.

It's worth an out of print search.


The Dechronization of Sam Magruder: A Novel
Published in Paperback by St. Martin's Press (1997)
Authors: George Gaylord Simpson, Joan Simpson Burns, Arthur Charles Clarke, and Richard Roe
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Time Travel and Neology
I admit it: I am a sucker for time travel stories. They don't even have to be any good. I'll still read them, and probably like them.

This book, however, is quite good. It takes the time-slip convention and turns it into a scientific "fact" by giving it a fancy sounding name: dechronization. Just the fact that it uses a pseudo-term like that would make it a favorite with me even if it was written in gibberish, but I have a thing about neology. Since reading this book, I have started slipping the word "dechronization" and all its variants into conversation whenever possible. It is my hope that one day this word will be common koine.

The other notable point of this book the reaction of Magruder to the dechronization. Since he is a chronologist, he knows that the chances of his being re-dechronized are beyond impossible. So he has absolutely no chance of seeing another person. Ever. But he doesn't give in to the hopelessness that I know I would feel. He continues to live. He takes a lesson from Robinson Crusoe, and makes a good life there in the middle of nowhere (or in this case nowhen).

All in all, I think this is a must-read for wannabe time travelers like myself. Or maybe just anyone who likes the linguistic oddities inherent in time travel.

A masterpiece
In the year 2162, the eminent chronologist Sam Magruder mysteriously disappeared while running an experiment. Some years later, while arguing about the possibility of being totally alone, the evidence is produced that Sam Magruder did not die in 2162, but was transported back in time some 80 million years! Engraved upon sandstone slabs, found in a bed of shale, is found the story of Sam Magruder's existence in the late Cretaceous period. Alone, with no hope of ever seeing another human being again, Sam survived, and this is his story.

The famous paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson penned this short story, apparently for his own amusement, but it is a masterpiece. Considering Dr. Simpson's field, I would have assumed that this story would be entirely about what Sam found in the Cretaceous, but that's only part of the story. As the opening chapter tells, this is the story of a modern (OK, future) man's coming to grips with his situation, one containing only danger and isolation.

I am sure that my words do not do justice to this story. This work is complex and fascinating beyond some lengthy works produced by noted authors. I recommend it to everyone.

A Review of "The Dechronization of Sam Magruder
The Dechronization of Sam Magruder is an intriguing story of science and adventure. It is about a scientist who constructs a time machine, is accidentally transported to the dinosaur age and is, as you may have guessed, unable to return. The story is an account of this journey through his eyes and the eyes of the future...

Life is so Good
Published in Digital by Random House ()
Authors: George Dawson and Richard Glaubman
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Warm, but only scratches the surface
I enjoyed reading about the life of George Dawson, a man whose life has spanned three centuries. However, the mere fact that he has lived so long does not necessarily a feature book make. Aside from Mr. Dawson's rail travels and working on the Mississippi, Mr. Dawson had not done much else until he took up reading at 98. He can't comment much on events of the 20th century because he couldn't read, and what he could remember was scant. The reader is presented with a view of a genuinely kind man whose outlook on life is basically positive and warm. Yet, I often could not distinguish if I was listening to Mr. Dawson, or his "co-author", Richard Glaubman. It would have been far more interesting to detail Mr. Dawson's years since he began to read. The book speaks of the large numbers of letters written to Mr. Dawson, congratulating him on his beginning his literacy venture so late in life. Why not write more about his classroom experience and how that must have transformed him recently?... or the interaction with those who now wish him well? Perhaps a second book should be in order because that is where the REAL interest in Mr. Dawson lies.

A story of the past, yet a story of a man's potential
When a friend loaned me this book, I hadn't heard about it. Once I started reading, I wondered why the book wasn't widely known. LIFE IS SO GOOD reveals, with great poignancy, how an illiterate black man earned his living for most of a century--years of wandering, taking hard labor jobs, following the rules for survival in a white man's world. At an age when white boys were getting their favorite toys, he left home to work on a white man's farm. . .truly a hired "hand," not acknowledged as a youngster who needed family, recreation, education, social development, and nurturing. We follow George Dawson as he hoards the few dollars he earns, never complaining about his plight. Unable to decipher a newspaper, George is oblivious to the progress taking place around him--automobiles, modern appliances, jobs with fringe benefits. He knows little about the historical and social revolutions permeating America. Nevertheless, he survives--and remains content. His greatest miracle, though, comes at age 98, when he learns to read. At this point, he starts to grasp what others have known all along. LIFE tugs at the reader's heartstrings. We grieve as we consider all he missed in life, we rejoice at his delayed triumphs. If you've ever considered yourself disadvantaged, read this book. You'll be blessed by George Dawson's fortitude and gratitude.

A Book For Students and Teachers of All ages
George Dawson is a remarkable man. He was the son of a slave and grew up in Texas. At the age of four he began working the family farm. At twelve he was sent out as a hired hand to help earn money for his family. He left home at twenty-one and traveled the country by rail. He worked hard all his life and encountered many hardships but there is no bitterness in this book as there is in so many memoirs today. This book is like a mini lesson in American history from a black respective. I loved this book because it showed so much perserverance and determination. George Dawson never was able to go to school as a child because he always had to work but at the age of 98 he learned to read! At 103 he was working on his G.E.D. He died in June of 2001. I read part of his story to my first grade class this year and they were fascinated. It shows how it is never too late to learn. This is the best book I have read all year.

The 1000 Hells (Kindred of the East)
Published in Paperback by White Wolf Publishing Inc. (1999)
Authors: Kraig Blackwelder, Tim Clancy, Geoffrey C. Grabowski, Lindsay Woodcock, Jack Norris, Richard E. Dansky, Bruce Baugh, Rob Kaminsky, and George Pratt
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Very excellent game sourcebook
This game sourcebook is just as you might expect by the title a very good sourcebook for the 1000 Hells. I really can't add to what has already been said, just give my support

Enter the Gates of Yomi...
This has to be one of the best books I've read through in the Kindred of the East expansion. The 1000 Hells is not to be played with lightly -- it's serious business for those who wish to commune with the likes of Emma-O, Mikaboshi, Tou Mu, Rangda, and a host of other Yama Kings (and Queens) that rule Yomi. It shows you how to create a Yama King/Queen, the type of hell s/he would rule, systems on how to go to hell (literally, no pun intended), the effects of most disciplines while in Yomi (both Kuei-jin and Cainite), even how to commune and bargain with the Rulers of Hell and become an akuma (both standard and the exquisitely monstrous princes of Hell versions). Coupled with the latter half of Killing Streets (where it discusses the Broken Mirror systems), and you have the makings of a very memorable, spine-chilling chronicle. Highly recommended.

ST Must for eastern games
Whether you are running Kndred of the East, Hengeyokai, or god forbid a Hsien chronicle, this is the best book for giving the eastern world of teeth. From the greater Akuma to the Demons of Iron and violence, this book has everything you need to bring some major havoc into your game. And if its intrigue you want this book hs plenty to offer.

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