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If you have a problem controlling your eating -- if you eat from stress, from boredom, from emotion, or if you just find it difficult to resist temptation, or stop when you start ... you HAVE to read this book. Rather than start ANOTHER "diet" next Monday like you always do, grab a copy of this book and start a new way of life.
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The writing is perceptive, insightful, and entertaining. His observations of the people he met along the river, and himself, come across as very honest. He doesn't portray himself as a hero or an expert, but as the person he really is. His dedication to completing the journey is tenuous, but his appreciation for the lasting value of the experience is sincere.
His perceptions on racial issues were objective and refreshing. Although he had preconceived notions on what he might encounter, (a black man in Nordic northern Minnesota and later in the Deep South) he judged people based on how they treated him, and the vast majority of people treated him with kindness and respect.
His descriptions of the river, towns, weather and scenery are also enjoyable, and the hardships and joys are described with equal eloquence.
I was impressed how such a greenhorn of an outdoorsman would have the boldness to tackle such an adventure. My only disappointment with the book is when he skipped some parts of the river. It was his journey to make, however, and he is honest about any shortcuts he took.
In short, this is a great book. It is worth reading to experience the journey vicariously and for the writing itself. You won't be disappointed.
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In his 179-page book, Trungpa teaches us how to know ourselves through meditation. "Meditation in the beginning is not an attempt to achieve happiness," he tells us, "nor is it an attempt to achieve mental calm or peace, though they could be by-products of meditation. Meditation should not be regarded as a vacation from irritation" (p. 46). While we may believe we are free to pursue our dreams, achieve our goals, and satisy our desires, Trungpa shows us how we are instead enslaved to our habitual patterns and negative emotions such as self-absorption (pp. 23-28), paranoia (pp. 28-29), passion (pp. 29-32), stupidity (pp. 32-35), povery (pp. 35-37) and anger (pp. 37-40). "We must be willing to be completely ordinary people," he observes, "which means accepting ourselves as we are without trying to become greater, purer, more spiritual, more insightful. If we can accept our imperfections as they are, quite ordinarily, then we can use them as part of the path. But if we try to get rid of our imperfections, then they will be enemies, obstacles on the road to our 'self-improvement'" (p. 44). And in this highly-recommended book, Trungpa teaches us how to cut through the barriers separating us from the rest of the world.
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The authors are obviously very active in the field they describe. Their self citations seem absolutely reasonable.
As the title implies, "Biological Sequence Analysis" focuses almost exlusively on sequence analysis. After a brief overview of statistics (more a reminder than an introduction), the first half of the book is devoted to alignment algorithms. These algorithms take pairs of sequences of bases making up DNA or sequences of amino acids making up proteins and provide optimal alignments of the sequences or of subsequences according to various statistical models of match likelihoods. Methods analyzed include edit distances with various substitution and gapping penalties (penalties for sections that don't match), Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) for alignment and also for classification against families, and finally, multiple sequence alignment, where alignment is generalized from pairs to sets of sequences. I found the section on building phylogenetic trees by means of hierarchical clustering to be the most fascinating section of the book (especially given its practical application to classifying wine varietals!). The remainder of the book is devoted to higher-order grammars such as context-free grammars, and their stochastic generalization. Stochastic context-free grammars are applied to the analysis of RNA secondary structure (folding). There is a good discussion of the CYK dynamic programming algorithm for non-deterministic context-free grammar parsing; an algorithm that is easily applied to finding the best parse in a probabilistic grammar. The presentations of the dynamic programming algorithms for HMM decoding, edit distance minimization, hierarchical clustering and context-free grammar parsing are as good as I've seen anywhere. They are precise, insightful, and informative without being overly subscripted. The illustrations provided are extremely helpful, including their positioning on pages where they're relevant.
This book is aimed at biologists trying to learn about algorithms, which is clear from the terse descriptions of the underlying biological problems. The technical details were so clear, though, that I was able to easily follow the algorithms even if I wasn't always sure about the genetic applications. After studying some introductions to genetics and coming back to this book, I was able to follow the application discussions much more easily. This book assumes the reader is familiar with algorithms and is comfortable manipulating a lot of statistics; a gentler introduction to exactly the same mathematics and algorithms can be found in Jurafsky and Martin's "Speech and Language Processing". For biologists who want to see how sequence statistics and algorithms applied to language, I would suggest Manning and Schuetze's "Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing". Although it is much more demanding computationally, more details on all of these algorithms, as well as some more background on the biology, along with some really nifty complexity analysis can be found in Dan Gusfield's "Algorithms on Strings, Trees and Sequences".
In these days of fly-by-night copy-editing and typesetting, I really appreciate Cambridge University Press's elegant style and attention to detail. Durbin, Eddy, Krogh and Mitchison's "Biological Sequence Analysis" is as beautiful and readable as it is useful.
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and where they got the idea of Mario. This video game empire I learned in the book, all started from an ape named donkey kong and a carpender (later turned into a plumber) named Mario. who was a bad guy and tried to save his girlfreind princess peach.
Everything you would expect is here, from Nintendo's humble beginnings as a Hanafuda playing-card company in 1889 to the release of the N64 game console in 1996. During the journey we are introduced to all of the players involved, along with their facinating bios. From Japanese president Hiroshi Yamauchi, to game design wunderkind Sigeru Miyamoto, to Nintendo of America head Minoru Arakawa...we follow the early stumbles of the fledgling company, and its rise to the top of the vicious, cut-throat videogame market with the help of some Western allies. Game Over delivers both a facinating glimpse into the operations of a Japanese conglomerate, as well as a thrill-ride though the volatile games industry. Author of the original book Sheff adopts an easy-going, if somewhat dry, prose style...but it still reads better than your typical business tome.
You know that any company as tight-lipped and controlling as Nintendo is going to try and put the thumb on any would-be biographer looking for privledged access, and while I won't go so far as to call Game Over biased towards Nintendo, it certainly does lean towards the point-of-view of its subject matter. However, saying this, the book does not gloss over the rather ruthless practices that Nintendo has engaged in, both with its facist attitude towards its licencees, as well as with its battery of high-priced, go-for-the-throat lawyers. Of course, no company can rise as quickly to the top as Nintendo and not fall into the sites of hungry barristers, and Game Over sometimes gets bogged down in the morass of litigation fired at the company. Another thing I found lacking was a real in-depth look at the battles Mother N has engaged in with its two chief rivals: Sega and Sony. While the two companies are certainly mentioned, I was looking for a detailed battle-of-the-systems between them, something that unfortunately never materializes. I had hopes that this might be covered in the added-on chapters, but Eddy's entries are little more than reminises from the people involved.
So, in the end we have a perfectly facinating peek behind the pixel curtain, into the company that created the most kid-recognizable icon since Mickey Mouse. Mario, we hardly knew ye.
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I have read this play curiously as a child, excitedly as a teenager, passionately as a college student, and lovingly as a graduate student and adult. Like all of Shakespeare's writing, it is still as fresh, and foreboding, and marvelous as ever. As a play it is first meant to be heard (cf. Hamlet says "we shall hear a play"), secondarily to be seen (which it must be), but, ah, the rich rewards of reading it at one's own pace are hard to surpass. Shakespeare is far more than just an entertainer: he is the supreme artist of the English language. The Arden edition of MACBETH is an excellent scholarly presentation, offering a bounty of helpful notes and information for both the serious and casual reader.
Which version of "Macbeth" to buy? Definitely this one. The right pages provide the original play, while the left page provides definitions for old or hard vocabulary. There are also plot summaries before each scene. In addition to page numbers, each page also indicates act and scene, making the search for certain passages extremely easy. The lines are, of course, numbered, for easy reference (if you're reading this as a school assignment.) And of course, the stage directions are included too. A very helpful edition of Shakespeare's work.
Nothing and no one intimidates Macbeth. He murders all who oppose him, including Banquo, who had been a close friend. But the witches predict doom, for Macbeth, there will be no heirs and his authority over Scotland will come to an end. Slowly as the play progresses, we discover that Macbeth's time is running up. True to the classic stylings of Shakespeare tragedy, Lady Macbeth goes insane, sleepwalking at night and ranting about bloodstained hands. For Macbeth, the honor of being a king comes with a price for his murder. He sees Banquo's ghost at a dinner and breaks down in hysteria in front of his guests, he associates with three witches who broil "eye of newt and tongue of worm", and who conjure ghotsly images among them of a bloody child. Macbeth is Shakespeare's darkest drama, tinged with foreboding, mystery and Gothic suspense. But, nevertheless, it is full of great lines, among them the soliloquy of Macbeth, "Out, out, brief candle" in which he contemplates the brevity of human life, confronting his own mortality. Macbeth has been made into films, the most striking being Roman Polansky's horrific, gruesome, R-rated movie in which Lady Macbeth sleepwalks in the nude and the three witches are dried-up, grey-haired naked women, and Macbeth's head is devilishly beheaded and stuck at the end of a pole. But even more striking in the film is that at the end, the victor, Malcolm, who has defeated Macbeth, sees the witches for advise. This says something: the cycle of murder and violenc will begin again, which is what Macbeth's grim drama seems to be saying about powerhungry men who stop at nothing to get what they want.