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Mr. S. Miettinen "Improver" (London, UK)

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Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble
Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble
by Lester R Brown
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Problem, its causes and solutions for environmentalists and businessmen alike, 4 Jun 2007
Lester R. Brown's book on global warming is superb because it goes beyond the usual doomsday predictions. It actually offers action points for saving the world.

Not a small task, but Brown succeeds admirably in describing how we can act now; Politicians can be influenced by persuading them to shift tax burden from personal taxation to environmental taxation, wind turbines can be built to gain extra income for land-owners. This solution oriented approach is convincing and works better than the typical condescending finger-pointing and blaming found in the genre.

The true gift of the book is that it teaches the megatrends of the planet under distress powerfully. Big themes such as shift of land use from food production to bioenergy, loss of water reserves, and other secondary impacts of global warming are illustrated with well-researched data and research.

The book does not have a preachy tone and is matter-of-fact. Because of this, Lester enjoys a credibility similar to Al Gore among business leaders. The book's Plan 2.0 can also be seen as a prediction for potential future business opportunities in emerging growth areas such as renewable energy equipment manufacturing, bioenergy investments and land value appreciation.

Plan 2.0 might just be the practical antidote for lessening the tragedies of global warming. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" might have never been more appropriate than in this issue.

Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
by Keith Johnstone
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human interaction masterclass for everyone, not just improvisers, 4 Jun 2007
Keith Johnstone is a visionary in the field of improvisation theatre. His concepts of status hierarchies are ground-breaking. They show that humans, like animals, are at ease with each other when the underlying status hierarchy is understood and undisputed.

However, all kinds of interesting tensions are created when the status hierarchy IS disputed. For actors, this concept from Keith's book is golden:

1) If you want to be seen as a natural performer, you need to know your status in relation to the other humans, and even things around you.

2) If you want to create interesting drama, you and your co-actors need to manipulate your statuses in interesting ways. These dynamic movements and challenges are interesting and funny for the audience.

Keith describes this and much, much more in his fascinating book. The generous use of actual improvisation situations makes the book very hands-on, funny and analytical.

Impro also expands from improvisation acting to such areas as creative writing, teaching and mask and trance work. Even the bits one does not agree with are superbly constructed and offer an insightful view on the sometimes weird and wonderful world of creative minds at work.

The improvisation actors in such shows as "Whose line is it anyway?" or London's Comedy Store borrow many of their techniques from Keith.

This book is one to read, whether you are an actor, spectator or just plain interested in smooth, congruent human interactions. Pure genius.

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