littleBits are modularized microchips that allow even the layperson to make electronic objects or even smart objects that utilize the internet of thinlittleBits are modularized microchips that allow even the layperson to make electronic objects or even smart objects that utilize the internet of things to allow you to, say, turn on and off your house lights from your phone while on vacation.
This book is co-written by the founder of littleBits and is half a basic introduction to littleBits and the company, and half a beginner's how-to. The how-to is really just an introduction to some of the most basic littleBits modules, how they work, and some suggested starter projects to get one creating. It is very basic and better used as a reference than a cover-to-cover read.
I've been interested in littleBits for a while now, and though I haven't ponied up the cash for any of my own yet, I found the book interesting enough to read without the little microchips right in front of me. I may check it out again when and if I get my own set of littleBits, or I may just look online for similar starter projects and how-to information....more
This was a very dry and science-y book about how talent is more about practice practice practice than any in-born, natural talent. A better and far moThis was a very dry and science-y book about how talent is more about practice practice practice than any in-born, natural talent. A better and far more accessible book on this topic is Outliers: The Story of Success.
My boyfriend was the one who originally picked up this book. But after three failed attempts to listen to the audio version, including a try with me while we were on a recent road trip, he finally gave up and asked me to just summarize it for him once I'd finished it. I also found it extremely difficult to not space out and let my mind drift away while listening. For the most part I just let those really dull moments pass by, rather than rewinding the track. There were some moments of anecdotal interest, but not really enough to justify the time spent reading.
The book in generally was organized in a way that made it hard to listen to, overall. There were no through lines, no clear thesis being argued for. The author failed to make his point up front and then support it with evidence. Instead, his arguments were meandering and convoluted....more
Wow. I don't know what I was really expecting, when I dug this thin little book out of the back of my closet to finally read. But I certainly never coWow. I don't know what I was really expecting, when I dug this thin little book out of the back of my closet to finally read. But I certainly never could have imagined what I found.
Ken Carey's "transmission" bridges the divide between science and religion, walking in sync with many other philosophies including Buddhism, The Secret, and self-actualization, etc. I was extremely surprised to find how many of my own half-formed thoughts (often showing up as themes in my writing) strongly mirrored Carey's.
This book is amazing, inspiring, and mind-altering. And definitely very interesting (for me) to realize that this kind of stuff is out there. It's not the kind of thing I would normally read and certainly not seek out. The only thing I would have changed was the length of the direct-address sections near the end of the book. There were just too many of them. I really liked the chapters with the angels, and enjoyed the first few chapters where the pronoun switched to "I". But there were just too many chapters like that, concluding the book, so that things got a bit repetitive....more
I found this fifth installment of L'Engle's Time Quintet to be disappointingly on par with A Swiftly Tilting Planet (see my review). An Acceptable TimI found this fifth installment of L'Engle's Time Quintet to be disappointingly on par with A Swiftly Tilting Planet (see my review). An Acceptable Time skips ahead a generation to follow Polly O'Keefe (the daughter of Meg Murry and Calvin O'Keefe, the protagonists of A Wrinkle in Time) on a visit to her grandparents. She and her friend Zachary Gray stumble unwittingly into the past and find themselves in the midst of growing tensions between two Native American tribes about an ongoing drought and the merits of blood sacrifice.
For me, the beginning of the book--before Polly and Zachary get stuck in the past--takes way too long and is riddled with lengthy scenes of exposition through dialogue where the adults discuss theories of time and worry unnecessarily about Polly's safety. I found Mr. and Mrs. Murry's (Polly's grandparents') old aged closed-mindedness and penchant for worry rather unbelievable when they had been (at least to my recollection) so progressively minded in previous books. L'Engle was a bit too heavy-handed with the fact that Zachary (view spoiler)[was only a romantic red herring and would end up causing trouble. I would have liked to like him first, feel some sympathy toward him, before he turned bad (hide spoiler)]. I did enjoy the Celtic warrior Tav and his dynamic relationship with Polly, (view spoiler)[particularly his conflicting desires to be with her and to sacrifice her to the gods in exchange for rain (hide spoiler)]. That was probably the most interesting part of the book.
On the whole, An Acceptable Time does not at all make me want to read the others in the O'Keefe Family series, which also feature Polly and of which An Acceptable Time is I guess considered the fourth.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is an amazing read. Winner of numerous awards and top book lists, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks masterfully weaves three stories in one: tThis is an amazing read. Winner of numerous awards and top book lists, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks masterfully weaves three stories in one: that of HeLa cells, the first cells grown successfully and indefinitely in a lab environment; that of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman and the originator of the cervical cancer cells that gave birth to HeLa, and the family she left behind; and that of Rebecca Skloot and her journey to discover the woman behind the cells and the family behind the woman.
HeLa is one of if not the most important scientific breakthroughs of modern medicine. HeLa's commercialization gave life to a billion dollar industry, while Henrietta's family couldn't even afford proper healthcare. Her husband and children didn't even know about Henrietta's immortal cells for twenty years. And, when they did find out, they still didn't know what it meant -- were clones of their mother really walking around London? Had it hurt when parts of her were blown up in an atomic bomb?
Through this biography of Henrietta and her cells, Immortal Life sheds light on the gradual progress of bioethics. (Besides the cancer treatment of Henrietta's day, the gross ethical misconduct of the medical research industry, particularly when it came to racial minorities, is one of the most shocking elements of the book.) But where to strike the balance? If one pioneering scientist hadn't taken Henrietta's amazing cells (without consent), we probably would not now have the polio or HPV vaccines, we would not know the number of chromosomes in a DNA strand, and our understanding of genetics and genetic diseases would be far far behind where it is today. ...more
Very illuminating on the issue of chemical use in our every day lives, and our government/the private sector's ignorance about their poisonous natureVery illuminating on the issue of chemical use in our every day lives, and our government/the private sector's ignorance about their poisonous nature or unwillingness to protect the public from it....more