**spoiler alert** Saw the movie and knew there were some missing pieces. So a 700 page book more than fills them, more than I needed. It is a straight**spoiler alert** Saw the movie and knew there were some missing pieces. So a 700 page book more than fills them, more than I needed. It is a straightforward biography with a British twist. So we get family lineage for many generations and numerous rises and falls in class. Finally, we get to his immediate family- his father serving in India. Alan grew up via British public school- the author clearly calling for an end of this institution. Alan suffers horribly including being nailed under floor boards. My main questions coming from the movie were was how was he recruited and why the team was so small. The first was that he had written and was interested in cipher, so even before the war he was corresponding with the government. On the first week of war a group of university folks started at blechily park. As to the organization, it was small 100 or so folks. Many were wrens, female military's. There were many different Germany codes. For the navy alone they had Uboat, surface ships foreign, surface domestic ops, and various weather collection. So, they started with 3 hits for army codes, navy codeshare, and diplomatic. Great initial work by the poles and the British were able to expand. Alan is critical to much of this early work, but while being more comfortable solitarily, in this work he was very much part of a large team. And he did meet Churchill and write him for more resources. The love angle was portrayed just like the book. The book did its best to provide all the mathematical background. I typically enjoy that but soon this went over my head. Yes, the movie oversimplified but that I expected ...more
I was hoping to get insights on parenting to raise a person of such character as T Roosevelt. I did not get that as outside of teddy it was a disasterI was hoping to get insights on parenting to raise a person of such character as T Roosevelt. I did not get that as outside of teddy it was a disaster. Even teddy struggled through Asma and other issues. The roosevelts were one of the 10 riches families in nyc at that time having bought up real estate after a panic. Their main business was plate glass. Teddy grew up very privileged. Trips to Egypt and Europe. His father was nominally working in the family business but was focused on his charitable works. Mother was a southern belle. ...more
I like Stuart...but this was a poor book. Basically, I learned Stuart grew up outside of Princeton in NJ. He went to William and Mary on a soccer schoI like Stuart...but this was a poor book. Basically, I learned Stuart grew up outside of Princeton in NJ. He went to William and Mary on a soccer scholarship. He grew up an outsider with a lot of psycho-babble from the author. He did a lot odd jobs and then he decided at 24 to do Standup comedy. Finally started to have success. Got a show on MTV called the John Stuart show. Then became the 2nd choice for other late night shows before landing the Daily Show....more
**spoiler alert** As I wait for book 6&7, notes on where the story left off.... Aria is an apprentice in Braavos for the dead cult...she can change**spoiler alert** As I wait for book 6&7, notes on where the story left off.... Aria is an apprentice in Braavos for the dead cult...she can change her face and just killed a guy for the cult
John Snow was just stabbed to death by the member's of the Nights Watch. Is he dead?
Stannis was marching toward Winterfell to attack Bolten. But John Snow received a letter than Stannis was defeated by Bolten. Is he dead?
Cerse has her trial tomorrow on fornication on other acts by the Church.
Jamie is with the big female knight from Tarth in the Riverlands. Is he looking for Lady Catelyn?
Sam is down at the Citadel becoming a Maester...no update this entire book.
Bryn is becoming part of the Gods woods. He can see out any heart tree and he is starting to join the trees.
Ricken is off on some island. Davos is sent to look for him.
Daenarysis is passed out in a stream bed as she walked back to the city after leaving her Dragon. She is seen by one of her blood riders to be carried back?
Tyrion, Penny, and Morton have joined one of the free companies that is sieging Meerith. Tyrion has pledged millions of dollars to join the company.
Sansa and LittleFinger are in the Vale...nothing in book 5...plan was for Sansa to marry the 2nd in line for the Vale and then littlefinger would kill the prince.
Dorn - old prince passed away and the young prince was burned up trying to steal a dragon. ...more
Margo, the female protagonist, is much like a leaf upon the river, flowing with the current throughout this story. We see glimpses of her strength, buMargo, the female protagonist, is much like a leaf upon the river, flowing with the current throughout this story. We see glimpses of her strength, but she is overall passive. Until a major change pushes her into a stronger role. I honestly enveyed Margo throughout much of the book - I wanted to live by the river. But like Margo, it is a tough choice between modern society versus the call of the river. But for the short time I was reading this, I was living on water like a modern Mark Twain. ...more
Disappointed. Great concept, a family of alligator wrestlers who are losing their amusement park. But it never fulfilled the concept. There were two cDisappointed. Great concept, a family of alligator wrestlers who are losing their amusement park. But it never fulfilled the concept. There were two completely separate narratives of the heroine, Ava, and her older brother, Kiwi. The third sibling,Father, and grandfather seem to be props. There is some interesting narrative of the geology, history, fauna of the area of southern Florida, but it is not held up by the story. ...more
My first real job was working for IBM and refurbishing computers - I did that up to 2001. Even then, I struggled with how we could make money refurbisMy first real job was working for IBM and refurbishing computers - I did that up to 2001. Even then, I struggled with how we could make money refurbishing computers in high wage countries. I found this book fascinating. Not only was it a good overview of the industry, it also showed how an industry and commodity markets work in global trade better than anything I have read previously. It also has the vignette and story style of Rose George book, but in an area that I really wanted to know more.
Globalization – scrapping and recycling follow the local labor wages. In the early 1900s, recyling was big business in the USA. America imported scrap from Europe to feed our industrial growth – old railroad stock sent to America. Scrap rags for our paper mills. Initially this was Eastern European immigrants and Jews. The author's family ran a scrap yard in the Midwest. Now, it is too expensive in WE, NA, and Japan to sort most waste and it is sold in bulk to Asia. In the late 1990s, Tiawan plants move to China and then to the interior areas. Malasia plants relocate to Indonesia.
Why is China leading in import of waste and not India? Because, there all the empty shipping containers returning to China and China needs materials. If India had a stronger export market and demand for raw materials, the scrap would flow there. The scrap for India comes from the middle east – in the empty shipping containers of Mangoes and other food from India. While wages are a big driver, demand, and shipping cost are also key drivers of this industry.
Breaking motors – Motors are filled with copper wire. Back breaking labor to break it apart, but in China, middle-age women do it. Hammers, chisels, pliers. High skilled job. At one time, Henry Ford set up a reverse assembly line to take apart his cars. Never could do it profitably (even in the 1920s) – too much labor involved.
Reduce, reuse, recycle – Main point of the book is if you hate the environmental issues of waste, just ”buy less crap”. Because economics is going to do the rest. As people become richer, re-use becomes less possible (people want new - even lower middle-class in Africa won’t buy a mobile phone that does not have 3G!). After product re-use, is component re-use. No one wants that old mobile phone, but if you get enough processors together, you can sell to a toy manufacturer. Then there is the recycle – metal, plastic, paper.
Commodity Markets – Overlaying the whole industry is the global commodity markets. It moves dramatically. The rise of Asia is just one example. But the global recession in 2008, had markets drop 40%+. Huge swings. But commodity markets are not all demand side - changes in technology (either for mining of new materials or recycling can radically change the market). One example, an American in 1930s was sorting mill scrap (the fillings off iron production) for re-use. It was awful work - $1.25 per ton sorted. Then a metallurgist found a new use for that scrap and could make a fortune selling his product. The price of mill scrap went up 100 fold. And people started mining landfills for the material.
American Cars – Outside of Henry Fords dissembly line, cars were recycled profitably in the USA until the early 1960s – Labor costs went up and American’s did want to break motors for a living. The only way to remove all the non-metal parts was to burn the car – which then caused too much air pollution. Even bigger was that steel mills needed higher quality control – 1% of copper significantly weakens steel. So, it was no longer profitable to recycle cars and no one would take them. In 1969, 70,000 cars were abandon in NYC. Over 20 million across the country.
Innovation – Long article on the development of the car shredder. Based the number of cars that could no longer be recycled profitably lead to this innovation. Recyclers were already shredding tin cans to help remove the linings. So, just a bigger shredder for cars? The first unit in 1958 was 1200’ long and used surplus motors from navy ships. Once it was know in the industry, others perfected it. Now, those that copied that original concept are trying to keep the Chinese from stealing their designs. But the car shredder solved the issue of 40 million abandoned cars dumped in the USA. And the Asia demand for steel in the late 1990s, finally had the USA caught up with that 30 year backlog. The Author toured one USA company, Omnisource. They have a car shredder. Car shredding really only recycles the steel content. But what do to with the rest? There is still valuable cooper and zinc and tin in the remainder. They are able to sort this. It even can reclaim the loose change in the car - $1.67 per car - $20 million for the 14 million cars scrapped every year.
China – There is one city in China that is the e-waste capital, Guiyu. And there is another that is the plastic recycling capital, Wen’an. Both are dirty, polluted places. China is working to clean up but also realizes it needs these places to feed their industries. One very interesting item in the book is how the author comes back to places to see improvement. As Chinese cities get richer, they improve their most polluting industries or the industries move to the poorer areas of China. As Western environmental groups push on the Chinese and other developing countries, the locals really don't care about ewaste. Their bigger issues are with getting food and putting their kids through school - ewaste is a first world concern.
It is an incredible dance between wages, commodity demand, technologies, and environmental concerns that drive this industry. But it really is just economics - supply and demand - that the author brings to together in stories of his many friends in the global scrap market.
Hard hitting memoir of a journalist who dreams that the fourth estate can make a difference, even in the blighted city of Detroit. There is a sense ofHard hitting memoir of a journalist who dreams that the fourth estate can make a difference, even in the blighted city of Detroit. There is a sense of the everyman story - of the prodigal son - who runs away from his hometown for a life of adventure. But after years as a professional journalist and seeing the world with the NYT, he finds an opportunity to move home. Not that anyone would recommend a print journalist (or anyone in the late 1990s) to move back to Detroit.
His extended family is disfunctional - middle class sliding down like the rest of the city. There is a real parallel between his family's troubles and the troubles of the city. His brother lossing his job as morgage broker becoming an $8.50 factory worker. Hating working in a factory, but needs any job he can get. His sister, a hooker, gets killed.
Charlie does well at his job. He finds a homeless person frozen in ice in an abandon warehouse. His photographer takes an amazing photo that brings the eyes on Detroit - but for the wrong reasons. It takes days to get the police to pick up the body. He also follows the corruption of Detroit city all - Kalmy Kilpatrick and parallels that to the greed of the Automakers and the country as a whole. He believes Detroit is the canary in the coal mile for the rest of the nation (I hope not).
The main narrative is how Charlie befriends a fire house. In NYC, he became close to the firefighters after 9/11 and wrote stories of their losses. In Detroit, the firefighter's equipment is poor and their is little support. When one of the firemen is killed in a fire, Charlie takes it on to help.
In NYT, when a fireman is killed in a structural fire. That structure is torn down immediately out of respect of the fallen fireman. Not in detroit - with thousands of abandon houses. He pulls all his political strings to get the house finally demolished. Then he writes articles to get focus that the fire that killed the fireman was arson and that their was only a part time investigator working the case. The final chapter is Charlie having quit the paper in frustration goes to the murder trial to finally see justice done. A final ray of hope in Detroit in that there is a court and a judges that are not lazy or incompetent to convict an insurance fraud arsen that killed a firefighter.
Loved Mr. Schlosser other books. This could have used some editing. Dragged out story of a Nuclear accident with a trident missle silo in Damascus, ArLoved Mr. Schlosser other books. This could have used some editing. Dragged out story of a Nuclear accident with a trident missle silo in Damascus, Arkansas. Mr. Schlosser is a great story teller, but this was longer than needed. - Great technical details on Nuclear Weapon design - The missile fuel for the Tridents are a very scary mix of chemicals - toxic, flammable, caustic (as a gas!), and exposive. It would burn through pressurized suits in as little as a hour - Nuclear Weapon safety systems - long history of nuclear weapon trigger design - how to make "fail-safe". Both from a hardware perspective and also from an authorization to launch.
I read George's The Big Necessity and really enjoyed it. Working in Supply Chain, I thought I would really enjoy her take on ocean shipping. Maybe I aI read George's The Big Necessity and really enjoyed it. Working in Supply Chain, I thought I would really enjoy her take on ocean shipping. Maybe I am too close to the industry and really did not enjoy this book. As with other books of this genre, it pulls together history and interesting stories around one theme with some tangible link to pull them into a cohesive book. For this one, the book really didn't hold together. Rose George had the opportunity to travel from England to Singapore on a large container ship. She focuses on the current conditions in shipping. The low wage workers, the transition of skill officers to those same low wage countries, and life away from family for long periods of time. She covers the industry transition to containers via interviews with the captain of the ship. But she also haphazardly covers some related injustices: - Treatment of merchant marines in WWII. Since they were not in uniform, treated as cowards by many on the streets. Eventhough they face worse hazards and risks in the shipping. - Flags of convenience - How ships are registered in the most lack countries for regulation. - Ocean piracy. It was almost like a separate article on piracy and the lawlessness in Somalia. - Shipwrecks - There were several stories of survival and death due to shipwrecks from WWI and WWII. The interesting part is that many modern ships do not respond to maydays as it affects their schedules. That one shocked me, especially given how poorly regulated and frequency of sinkings.
Easy and fun read. Covers the history of the rebuilding of the White house from 1949 through 1953. Really fascinating story of how close the white houEasy and fun read. Covers the history of the rebuilding of the White house from 1949 through 1953. Really fascinating story of how close the white house was to falling and/or burning down.
Why was it so bad? - Original house was well buit for the time - 1792 and 1818. 12 x 12 wooden beams, 12' wide foundations for outerwalls. Except for one critical item. The outerwalls had good foundations, but the interior walls did not and all of Washington DC is poor soil. So interior sank, while exterior leans inward. - Rebuilt in 1817 after burned down by the British and re-used a lot of material - including burned beams. - Each new president changed layout and moved doors. And they wanted it done quickly. So, doors cut into load barring walls, ducts cut through support beams. In some cases 12 x 12 beams were cut down to 2 x4s. - New technology added weight - Gas lines for lighting, then multiple heating systems. None ever removed. - 1920s update by Coolidge basically suspended the third floor from roof as already seen house was deficient. - They find sawdust from previous work inches from uninsulated electrical wiring
Tidbits: - Truman is in the bath tub one afternoon, while the Daughters of the American Revolution have a tea downstairs. The giant chandilear starts swaying on its own. - The large butler walks across the floor and finds the floor detaches partially from the supports and sways like a ship. - They have a piano fall through the floor. - They have a meeting on the condition of the house and they ask the director of buildings for DC, would he allow a house in this condition to be occupied. He says No. So, then why we would have the president of the US in a death trap?
The best part is the pictures. They keep the outer walls, but completely gut the inside. So, there is a picture of the inside of the house with only the outerwalls and a steel frame. While a dump truck and bulldozer work inside - they are tiny. Gives an impression of the size of the building and the level of work done. ...more