I hate vegan books that claim that going vegan will make you lose a ton of weight, be skinny your entire life, and cure your cancer. This is one of thI hate vegan books that claim that going vegan will make you lose a ton of weight, be skinny your entire life, and cure your cancer. This is one of those books. (PS - going vegan will not necessarily do those things.) It's also sort of subtly judgemental in that the author talks about how thin she is and how amazing her life is because she eats raw, a ton of salads and drinks a lot of juice. OK... but that isn't for everyone!...more
This is truly a fascinating book that should be required reading for people getting PhDs in the physical sciences. Sure, forgery is (hopefully) exceedThis is truly a fascinating book that should be required reading for people getting PhDs in the physical sciences. Sure, forgery is (hopefully) exceedingly rare, but many issues of research ethics can be brought forth in this book, such as: How repeatable must an experiment be before you can claim that it is a success? Is it ever appropriate for a researcher to delete data points? What kind of disclosures should be made for data that has been fitted?
Scientists are generally an exceedingly skeptical group, however it's uncertain how we can be made aware of a forgery when we also assume that other scientists are honest about their work. If anything, this book makes me more committed to being a skeptic and to question the results I see even in published papers.
Pet peeve alert: apparently the copy editor to this book was not a scientist as the author lets slip "silicone" a couple of times when "silicon" was clearly meant to go. YIKES!!!...more
This book was very informative. (1) I wish I read it before I went to Trieste and (2) I wish I had more time in Trieste. I think even if 1 was satisfiThis book was very informative. (1) I wish I read it before I went to Trieste and (2) I wish I had more time in Trieste. I think even if 1 was satisfied, I wouldn't have had time to see all the great sights. That's the problem with traveling for work!...more
Eh.... good for typical tourists I think. This was the only guide book I could find that included Trieste, which is apparently not much of a tourist dEh.... good for typical tourists I think. This was the only guide book I could find that included Trieste, which is apparently not much of a tourist destination in Italy. I ripped out the phrases in the back and kept those with me the entire trip, which was helpful, but I could have just purchased a phrase book. Anyway, now I have it for "next time"!...more
Lots of fun projects I can't wait to try! Great illustrations of everything. Of course time will tell how good the instructions are when I actually trLots of fun projects I can't wait to try! Great illustrations of everything. Of course time will tell how good the instructions are when I actually try them....more
The theme of this book is to look through all of the hype surrounding healthy lifestyles and see what science actually recommends. I saw it as sort ofThe theme of this book is to look through all of the hype surrounding healthy lifestyles and see what science actually recommends. I saw it as sort of a mixture of Gina Kolata's books Ultimate Fitness and Rethinking Thin, at least as far as topic is concerned.
Caulfield first tackles the subject of fitness - what it means, and how to "get fit." To do this he speaks with personal trainers and reflects on his exercise experience as a sprinter and biker. I was hoping to see more of a critical look, or at least a bit of insight, into the papers he cites as scientific basis for his fitness thesis. I've read a lot of books about exercise, and many of the studies are faulty in many ways. It's difficult to determine what kind of exercise works for people, and many of the studies use small sample sizes of relatively fit men based on relatively strict metrics. Without explaining the studies to the reader, the reader is left to trust Caulfield implicitly, and my skeptical mind isn't convinced.
Caulfields thesis is that to get fit requires interval training mixed with a bit of resistance training. I agree that the consensus with weight training is to use heavy weights (not the "high rep low weight" mantra you hear all over the place) to build muscle. However, interval training is sort of a specific cardiovascular routine, and I think that prescribing it for all people regardless of their beginning fitness level or what their goals are is kind of foolish. For one thing, a completely sedentary individual should not look to start a life of fitness by doing 400 meter sprint intervals on a track; it makes more sense to start with short walks and maybe, if the individual is interested in running, make their way to a more tailored routine. For me, training for a marathon will include some interval training, but also long runs, base runs, hill runs, and tempo runs. Swimmers, bikers, skiiers, rowers and the like may have completely different goals. One thing you learn as a scientist is that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution, which is what Caulfield seems to believe.
Compared with the second part of the book, however, I thought the first was amazing. In the next chapter, Caulfield explores the science behind dieting. The first thing that absolutely annoyed me about this chapter was the implicit assumption that thin equals healthy. Nowhere in the book does the author look into debunking that false relationship. Recent research is showing that being healthy and thin are not related, and having a healthy lifestyle (which does not necessarily include being "thin") is more important than weight.
Second the author uses spotty evo-psych arguments that humans are hard wired into desiring flat abs... which sort of ignores the actual science of evolution and how that works.
Caulfield meets with a team of experts in the field of losing weight and goes on a calorie restricting diet. He loses weight, and is extremely excited with how simple it is, and exclaims that diets absolutely work, except that he feels hungry and miserable all the time. But it's worth it, because he lost 26 pounds! Of course, by the end of the book, the author does note that 95% of people gain back the weight, including himself, but that doesn't mean that diets don't work. Wait, what? If something doesn't work 95% of the time, how can you say that it's a success?
The third and last part of the book was about medication, both alternative and conventional. I would say that this section of the book was probably the most informed but least interesting. Science does bear out that homeopathy is not any more effective than a placebo. However, the author dismisses chiropractic techniques without looking into them (I honestly don't know if it works, but I would at least expect the author to look into it) and suggests that acupuncture might work. He then discusses the long and horrible saga of the pharmaceutical industry (without getting to in detail, which is best left for a different book) to note that even the "scientific" way that we currently use in North America to find relief and cures is not exactly scientific.
Ultimately, I would suggest skipping this book and reading Gina Kolata instead. She actually goes into the science with you, the reader, instead of asking you to take her on faith. And she doesn't come to conclusions such as "I lost 26 pounds, so diets work even though I'm miserable and am gaining back the weight as we speak!"...more
Marbles is a graphic novel memoir by Ellen Forney, a cartoonist with bipolar disorder. I think she does a great job explaining what bipolar disorder iMarbles is a graphic novel memoir by Ellen Forney, a cartoonist with bipolar disorder. I think she does a great job explaining what bipolar disorder is. More importantly, she manages to not come across as self-absorbed, which I find happens in many mental health memoirs I've read.
The illustration style is also right up my alley, simple line drawings that convey a lot of movement and emotion. The only thing I disliked about the book is the end, where the author relies on repeated similar images of herself thinking... I understand it's probably difficult to convey a lot of "thought" in a graphic novel setting, but the repetition got annoying and seemed a bit lazy. I was glad at the very end that the drawings picked up again....more
How can it be that one of the biggest financial players of the gilded age was a woman, and that nobody ever hears of her in history books when learninHow can it be that one of the biggest financial players of the gilded age was a woman, and that nobody ever hears of her in history books when learning about all the rich men? Hetty Green lived a pretty interesting life, albeit without the gory details you get from rich people these days (or maybe just Paris Hilton in general). At times the book dragged, because, well... there were really no gory details, except for a few temper tantrums here and there. But this book was definitely a great history lesson and told a fascinating story....more