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Alexander Patterson "- twitter grahamp81" (London, England)

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Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
by Manjit Kumar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mixture of biography and text book, 23 July 2011
Manjit Kumar has taken the approach of covering the difficult, if fascinating, subject of quantum physics through the biography of the men who made mental breakthrough. In doing so he manages to keep story going and explain the intricacies of the subject. The players in the development of quantum theory are the giants of modern physics, Einstein, Bohr, Pauli and Heisenberg are all here. Not just in terms of their contribution to physics but also as people. arguably the most important discoveries of the 20th century.
We see how the arguments and disagreements drove those developments in a way that agreement and acquiescence never could have. How the intellectual exercise of explaining experimental results produced more theories for the experiments to prove or disprove.
An excellent book for anyone wanting to learn about quantum physics and the people who gave us computers, lasers and so many other things we take for granted every day as well as nuclear weapons.

Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 (Family Pack)
Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 (Family Pack)
Offered by Barcleys
Price: £189.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Improved but still some problems, 3 Dec. 2010
I need to be abel to easily exchange Microsoft Office files for so tend to use MS products on the Mac for this. For my personal use I stick with Google Apps or Open Office. I was attracted to this release by the inclusion of macro facilities in Excel. This has been a problem in some instances and i have ended up having to get my PC buddies to do prints for me.

I bought the Home and Family multi-machine pack. I only have 2 Macs but the extra £10 for installation on up to three machines was a no brainer.

First the installation was pretty painless. It did not update previous version but put in a new version. Then the upgrade started and 150mb over a slow line is no joke. Does not say much for testing if this change was needed days after release. Though I had got the Home and Student Edition both Outlook (supposed to be in the Business version only) and Microsoft Messenger were installed and appeared on the Dock. Not even Apple do that as standard with new products. No idea why anyone would opt to pay twice the price just to get Outlook when using a Mac.

Word seems to be doing what it is supposed to even though I do still struggle with the ribbon at times. I know the command is there somewhere but I just need to find it. I have had almost no use for PowerPoint but what I have done has been OK. The real problem has been with Excel. I have been doing a lot of data sorting and manipulation and getting crashes at very regular intervals. I took to saving the spreadsheet, not that complicated a one either, every few minutes because I could not afford the time to keep redoing things.

I can only hope that the next upgrade will stabilise the Excel product, maybe the reason why macros were not in there in the previous version was because of problems with stability.


Why Does E=mc2?
Why Does E=mc2?
by Brian Cox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why so many apologies?, 21 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Why Does E=mc2? (Paperback)
I come from maths and physics background and so perhaps I should have been able to derive E=mc2 for myself but the last serious physics I did was a long time ago. This book gave a good derivation of the master equation and then went on to look at the consequences and the limitations. It was very strong on the way that Newtonian mechanics broke down at the end of the 19th Century with the developments of electro-magnetism and the breakthrough of Einstein in thinking about the speed of light and why no frame of reference is absolute.

I was particularly impressed by the coverage of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, an area that has developed considerably since that area has developed considerably since my time as an undergraduate.

So why only a 3 star review? Well I almost gave up on this book several times and did indeed stop reading it for a while. The reason was the constant apologies for the use of any mathematics and the constant assurance that I didn't need to read the mathematical formule or understand their derivation. This book could have been 50 pages shorter without such patronising drivel and would have been much better for it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2010 8:03 PM GMT

First Memories of the Famous
First Memories of the Famous
by Jill Bernhardi
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful insight into lives of famous for Charity, 10 Jan. 2010
First Memories of the Famous is a delightful little book that contains well, First Memories of the Famous. Jill Bernhardi was able to persuade people as diverse as Desmond Tutu and Simon Brett to provide their first recollection along with a lot of other people who are household names. These are in turn amusing and poignant, sometimes giving an indication of their future career and sometime giving a view of another side of their personality. The illustrations by Mark Wilde are well thought out and amusing, from the cover illustration of Terence Conran's memory onwards

The book was produced to raise money for the McMillian Nurses with all profits going to the organisation. If you are buying this book second-hand consider giving a donation to the worthwhile cause.
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The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World
The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World
by Robert H Frank
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing sequel to an excellent book, 2 Jan. 2010
For anyone that has read and enjoyed the original Economic Naturalist this book is an extreme disappointment. The whole basis of the book is different; gone are the entertaining stories about how Economics can explain seemingly irrational contradictions, such as the difference in earnings between male and female models. In their place we have a set of reprints of New York Times columns, many of which predate the original book.
Frank has pulled the various columns together into themes and has added some context to each section the result is a set of collected articles which frequently go over the same ground. In some ways the themes make this worse since rather than being spread across months or years, columns on similar subjects are next to each other.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the book is that Frank seems to have forgotten his own lesson from learning Nepalese for the Peace Corps. He knows, and states in this book, that people learn better from stories and repetition. Though the repetition is here the stories have in the main been replaced by opinion. Where are the hundreds of questions and answers that Frank says his students use in their term papers?
If you enjoyed the Economic Naturalist I would recommend reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner rather than this sequel.
Overall a very disappointing book given the highly entertaining and informative tomb that it is supposed to be the return of.

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