I don't think there's much left to redeem this book, other than the awesome figures, including one of an "experimental telephone handset" on page 147I don't think there's much left to redeem this book, other than the awesome figures, including one of an "experimental telephone handset" on page 147 that has a pic of the phone that everybody in the universe owned in the 90s, and one of an "advanced semiconductor-laser display system" that is probably larger than my apartment and these days is now probably smaller than a pinhead....more
This book definitely shows its age, but still has some relatively decent ideas for projects to create with LEDs. The basic physics behind LED operatioThis book definitely shows its age, but still has some relatively decent ideas for projects to create with LEDs. The basic physics behind LED operation hasn't changed, but the technology is way better now than it was when this book was published in 1973. Worth a browse through this book just to check out the awesome hair and outfits on the people in the illustrations. Groovy!...more
If you're interested in how "advanced scientific calculators" were assembled in the mid-70s, then this is your book! Otherwise, I think this thing proIf you're interested in how "advanced scientific calculators" were assembled in the mid-70s, then this is your book! Otherwise, I think this thing probably belongs in a science history museum more so than a modern science library....more
One of my private students is taking a physics course that uses this textbook. I think it's part of the new wave of teaching that's moving away from pOne of my private students is taking a physics course that uses this textbook. I think it's part of the new wave of teaching that's moving away from professors standing up in a class and teaching things to students toward a model where professors do (???) and students learn on their own. That may be really helpful for some students who already have a solid grasp of math and science fundamentals, and it could be just that I see the students who are struggling and not doing well, but based on my experience tutoring, it doesn't work well for many.
This book seems to follow that model. It requires a lot of critical thinking from students without giving them necessarily a lot of information on how to solve problems. It's not difficult for me to use, because I have over 15 years of practice in doing these types of questions. I know what kind of assumptions to make and I have pretty much every physics equation glued into my brain. However, students who are just starting out with physics don't necessarily know all of the equations (which this book doesn't always provide), and they don't always feel comfortable making assumptions.
In addition, the book doesn't provide answers to any of the problems, only answers to the in-text exercises. It's very difficult to study when you can't tell if you're answering questions properly! Most books provide answers to odd-numbered problems in the back of the text with minimal explanation. This way students can work towards getting the correct answer while studying without getting spoon-fed the step-by-step instructions.
The book also uses a lot of irregular terminology, which is frustrating to say the least. I understand that we don't *have* to use any particular words to explain physical concepts, but the fact that we *do* use them means that I can talk to a physicist or engineer from the other side of the planet and we can understand each other.
I suggest to all of my students who take such a course to buy an actual textbook like Halliday Resnick & Walker's Fundamentals of Physics. It never hurts to have a backup, especially when this book does such a poor job for students who really need more of a step-by-step, hands-on approach to learning....more
And Then I Danced is the memoir of Mark Segal, an LGBT activist turned lobbyist. The first several chapters focus on the activism work and "zaps" he wAnd Then I Danced is the memoir of Mark Segal, an LGBT activist turned lobbyist. The first several chapters focus on the activism work and "zaps" he worked on in the 60s and 70s. It was really interesting to read about the things that LGBT activists had to do in order to give us the (meager) rights that we have today.
The last several chapters were (in my opinion) really boring. They consisted of a lot of name dropping and what politicians he supported and all of the famous people he met and got his picture taken with. Yawn.
Honestly, if I could rip this book in half, and just keep the first part, it'd be a great book. As it is it's mediocre at best....more
Hiking & Biking in the Fox River Valley is a compilation of trails located in Kane and McHenry Counties, which envelop the Fox River. The book isHiking & Biking in the Fox River Valley is a compilation of trails located in Kane and McHenry Counties, which envelop the Fox River. The book is formatted very awkwardly, with all of the details gathered in a table in the beginning of the book, separate from the details which are separated into sections for each trail. So if you're interested in checking out Glacial Park, you'll have to flip from pages 32 (trail information) to page 22 to see details such as how long the trails are, to page 19 to see where it's located on a map. It would be so much easier to have everything in one spot.
But most notably, this book is almost 20 years old. A lot of the trail maps are out-of-date, and the book has a lot of resources in it (such as an events calendar, running / biking shops, and running / biking / hiking groups) that are also obsolete. It's a decent resource to get ideas for places to travel, but go online to double check trail maps and details before you go....more
Positive is one of those books that make me feel like humanity isn't totally effed. It is a memoir written by a young woman who has been HIV positivePositive is one of those books that make me feel like humanity isn't totally effed. It is a memoir written by a young woman who has been HIV positive since birth.
It has the benefit of reading so much more smoothly and is a lot more captivating than a lot of memoirs of young people (defined by my unscientific metric as being noticeably younger than me) who tend to maybe have a dramatic or interesting life story, without necessarily a lot of life experience. Paige Rawl seems to have both the story and the experience, which makes Positive a very well-rounded memoir.
The thing about this book is, I really wish I could have read it when I was a teenager. I don't have HIV, but I was the victim of absolutely merciless bullying in school, my first memories of it go back to 5th grade (which meant it probably started even before that). I just didn't fit in, nothing about me was so obviously out of the status quo to get me ridiculed, it was just a giant collection of my oddness, and my generally not wanting to fit in. I didn't have the right clothes (didn't know what the right clothes were, either). I didn't listen to the right music (and didn't know what that was, either). I didn't watch sports, nor did I play them. I was smart as hell and didn't hide it. And the worst point(s) against me: I was outspoken (and a young woman). You get the idea. I think one of the fantastic things that Paige does in this book is to make the connection that children are ridiculed for every reason, including non-reasons, and they really do deserve help and support in any way possible. It is horrifying to me that children resort to suicide as a result of bullying, but I understand it, because I was in their shoes.
And I totally believe what Paige went through, as I also know first hand what schools do to help end bullying. They stick their fingers in their ears, scrunch up their eyes, and say "nah nah nah nothing happening here" as the popular kids keep beating on the rejects / freaks / weirdos / nerds / geeks / stoners / dropouts / punks / emos / whatevers with COMPLETE IMPUNITY. In fact, if the schools could have made US somehow be responsible for our own torment, it probably would have made their lives easier, and they would have done it. Ask any student who was bullied why they didn't talk to a teacher or an adult. We will say "why bother? it would have made things worse." That is the sad reality of public schools. (I can't speak for private schools, but I imagine they have their own issues.)
I thank my lucky stars that Facebook and the Internet weren't around when I was in grade school. At least when I got to go home, the bullying ended. I had over 12 hours to exist in a world that I could pretend I was somewhat in charge of. And if I needed to, I could close the door, turn the volume to 11 on my Nine Inch Nails CD, and cry without having anybody hear me. It really makes me hurt to think that children, these days, can't even escape home to have the torment stop. It continues on phones, on computers, everywhere. It is absolutely heartbreaking.
It's hard to get out of the cycle. And I think Paige does an amazing job describing what it's like. You spend years and years trying to pretend things don't bother you. You act hard and aloof. You pretend you can't hear what other people are saying about you. You don't cry, because you can't show weakness. You get home and your mask comes off, and you get angry, and listen to loud music, and all you know is that IT HURTS and it WON'T STOP. You don't want to go to school, you go anyway, you keep getting amazing grades to spite them all, or maybe you stop getting good grades because it's too stressful to keep up.
At some point, if it hasn't gotten to the point of no return, you learn how to cope. Probably not in a real healthy way, but whatever gets you through the pain of getting through 8 hours confined in a relatively small building with many people who hate you for no good reason... All the while trying to maintain your few authentic friendships, trying to stay true to who you are, trying to decide what you want to do next in your life, etc. Sadly a lot of students just don't make it that far before dropping out (drugs, suicide, dropping out, self-injury, getting totally enveloped in hate).
And then, one day, your tormenters and you both cross a stage, and you might never have to see them again. The bandaid may have come off, but there's still a wound under there. It took me a few years into college before I realized that I was still operating under the assumptions that everybody should be hating me. I mean, these people said that we were friends. But based on the way my life had operated, they must secretly want something from me (some of my bullies wanted to be my "friend" so they could cheat off of me), or that they're just waiting for some big reveal later on (some of my bullies would pretend to be my "friend" so they could just do something really douchey to me and then laugh about it later). It's hard to figure out how to navigate life when you're on an even level with your peers, and there are no ulterior motives.
And then, you learn that some people are just GOOD PEOPLE. And that is like the scene in a movie where the sun shines down and the harps start playing. There are good people in the world, and you want to be one of those good people, and if you all got together, what kind of amazing change could you make in the world?
Now with many years of hindsight, I will sometimes ask myself what I would have been like if I had never been bullied. Well, I don't know, but it certainly did something to my character that became a strength. I am my own person, and I am not dependent on other people to provide me with worth. I don't feel a need to fit in with crowds just to add another number to my Facebook friends. Basically, I am my own person, and I have a lot of strength, and that may not have happened to this degree if I hadn't spent years of my life being bullied. Unfortunately, to get there, I had to suffer, A LOT, and I also don't want to forget that and make this sound like "yay, rainbows!" because there's definitely some turds under those rainbows. I was just lucky enough to make it through the torment to a point in my life where I was able to turn it around into something that made me stronger. Not all children are so lucky.
Paige makes similar statements that, without having had HIV, or being bullied, she wouldn't have been able to go out giving talks to schools and making connections with children there, or helping other young kids know that they're not alone, advocating for better anti-bullying legislation, etc. Talk about turning those lemons into lemonade! (But again, she also mentions that it's partly out of sheer luck and fortitude that she made it to where she is now, and just because she's doing well now doesn't mean that the pain, to some level, will ever go away entirely. Scars are souvenirs we never lose.)
Anyway, that is probably the most rambling book review I've ever written, but this book really hit me. If I could have read this as a kid, I would have known that I was NOT ALONE. That, in itself, would have been worth the world to me. I'm so grateful that our world contains amazing young women like Paige Rawl who are committed to doing what they can to end stigma (for whatever reason, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender orientation, skin color, race, body size / shape, mental illness, disability, etc.)
I'm thankful that (1) Paige was able to start forging her own path, and was able to determine what strengths to bring with her, and that (2) she was able to start making such an impact on the lives of others, including by writing this book. I wish I could give her a big "you are awesome, way to go" cyber hug, and all the encouragement in the world. We really need more role models like Paige....more
A very different look into state hospitals in the mid 20th century than you'll get anywhere else. Some of the language in this book was highly stigmatA very different look into state hospitals in the mid 20th century than you'll get anywhere else. Some of the language in this book was highly stigmatizing, such as calling people without schizophrenia "normals." ...more
Rethinking Normal is a memoir written by a young woman who transitioned from male to female during her high school years. It's an interesting memoir iRethinking Normal is a memoir written by a young woman who transitioned from male to female during her high school years. It's an interesting memoir in that it captures the experience of transitioning at a young age, and the impact that has on school, friends and family. Many of the issues are the same as what you'll read in memoirs by Janet Mock or Julia Serano, but undoubtedly things are different when you're dependent on family and have to go to school every day.
That said, Katie Hill writes this memoir as a 19-year-old, so other than the transition narrative and the pretty awesome outreach she's done, there's not an awful lot of life experience that gets captured in this memoir. Lots of the book is caught up in the drama surrounding the few relationships she's had, which gets a bit tired by the end....more
This book had a really interesting premise. (view spoiler)[But how on EARTH does somebody with a fake identity have enough money to live in NYC afterThis book had a really interesting premise. (view spoiler)[But how on EARTH does somebody with a fake identity have enough money to live in NYC after running away from her parents? Seriously. The epilogue should have been left out of this book entirely. (hide spoiler)]...more
Have you ever had an internal monologue that meanders around for hours before eventually returning to where it started? Like, you're sitting around thHave you ever had an internal monologue that meanders around for hours before eventually returning to where it started? Like, you're sitting around thinking about how much your broken ankle hurts, which reminds you that you have an appointment to see your orthopedist tomorrow and you really can't forget, because that one time you forgot your dentist appointment your tooth got infected, and then you had to take that weird pill that tasted like skittles, and remember that time you and your sister ate so many skittles that your tongues started to hurt, oh yeah, and speaking of hurting, damn, that ankle.
That's like this book. The meandering is all over the place, and not in a good way like Sarah Vowell manages to pull off. You'll be reading a chapter and all of a sudden you're finding out about how the author imagines a street in Portland to be named, and maybe it has something to do with prohibition, and blah blah blah, and oh yeah, she has a hole in her brain.
Honestly, her story is interesting, and the author seems to have lived a unique life in her 35 years. But there really wasn't a heck of a lot of compelling stuff in this book. The most captivating content is packed within the first 20 pages or so, and the rest is just anticlimax. Long, meandering, confusing, anticlimax....more
An excellent guide to interesting road bike trails in IL. The routes have been created and tested by the author, so the information in this book isn'tAn excellent guide to interesting road bike trails in IL. The routes have been created and tested by the author, so the information in this book isn't something you can get from just going to a trail, forest preserve, or state park website. There are turn-by-turn instructions as well as information on local attractions, restaurants, highway and railway crossings, restrooms, and bike shops. This is a really great resource, but I will recommend double checking all of the information online before going for a ride....more
Apparently this entire book is all cross fit. So not what I was hoping for. But I guess it's a good reference if cross fit is yr thing. (Side note: maApparently this entire book is all cross fit. So not what I was hoping for. But I guess it's a good reference if cross fit is yr thing. (Side note: maybe using the Badwater ultra to hype the idea of a paleo diet isn't the greatest idea in light of Scott Jurek wining twice. Vegans ftw.)...more
A great collection of places to hike (and also bike and run, for the most part) within a few hours of Chicago in all directions. This is a great resouA great collection of places to hike (and also bike and run, for the most part) within a few hours of Chicago in all directions. This is a great resource not only for city-dwellers, but also for people living in any of the Chicago suburbs. The most recent edition was published in 2011, so the trail maps in the book are for the most part up-to-date....more
This book had a lot of potential and I was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, it was so boring that every time I finished a chapter,This book had a lot of potential and I was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, it was so boring that every time I finished a chapter, I eagerly put it down and never wanted to pick it up again. I had to skim through the last few chapters. It either should have been a WAY more interesting (and at least 100 pages shorter) memoir, or a full on self-help book. By trying to be the two things, it failed on both counts....more