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The Game Theory
The Game Theory
by Uri Bram
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.....but too short, 24 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Game Theory (Paperback)
To give this book an analogy I could only say that it is like going into a cheap restaurant and being dissapointed getting one very tiny, but tasty, sliver of steak and a soggy boiled potato on the side.

The steak is his easy to remember explanation of game theory and relating the Lemon Market to dating.

The soggy boiled potato is his ordinanry commentary on the aesthetics of leggings and overly drawn out conversation on the obvious promiscuity of women vs men.

There doesn't seem to be any major link between some of the chapters and by the end the conclusion tells me that I have learned loads while in fact the surface has barely been scratched.

While the style of writing is certainly enjoyable, I perhaps wish I had just gone to a more expensive restaurant and had a three course meal.


David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining essay ruined by being dragged out into a book, 13 July 2014
As with all of Gladwell's books, this is a reasonably good page turner as he knows all too well that anecdotal stories are entertaining. However the stories in this book are far far too drawn out and one wonders what is he trying the say or indeed achieve. At times I wondered if the headline of David vs Goliath had anything to do with what he was talking about.

There are some excellent thought provoking points such as is questioning if it is actually worth going to a top university. However overall it seems this was an essay that was dragged out into a book.

If you liked his previous books, I would still say it is worth a read as it will give you food for thought and another way of looking at things. Just not his best effort.


The New Power Program: New Protocols for Maximum Strength
The New Power Program: New Protocols for Maximum Strength
by Michael Colgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.07

5.0 out of 5 stars A program for athletes, 26 Jun 2014
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Best program I have ever had with an in depth explanation of muscle gain and strength with all the exercises in the book. Best money you will ever spend. Note that this is not just for gaining the body of an athlete but all round stability and strength to put those injuries to bed.


Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
by Robert D. Kaplan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timely and worth a read, 26 May 2014
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What he said. (arrow pointing up).

I just wish it was longer and have more detail as it is so interesting! How timely given the recent incursions into Vietnamese waters by the Chinese!


Own Our Oil
Own Our Oil
by Eddie Hobbs
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Mainly well written but needs more direction (and a bit of ironing), 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Own Our Oil (Paperback)
I was expecting this book to be the uneducated media style slandering of the petroleum industry in Ireland but gladly I have to say I was wrong. This book is a well written series of essays by a number of people who are clearly rather knowledgeable about the industry and of our current paltry standing in the world of fiscal regimes.

I was indeed quite surprised and happy to see this book had a lot of technical information on environment, law and the whole economic and political scenario. Indeed I was pretty amazed that the intricacies of gamma ray tools were even covered in what is one of the better quick geological introductions to oil and gas I have read. The book even has a nice bit of historical introductions including information on Bantry terminal etc.

Of criticisms I have a few:
1. The physical book itself is poor quality given the price. It seems like everyone sent a MS Word essay to the publisher and they just lumped them together. Some of the graphs are illegible, the typography of the blurb is terrible and just feels all round amateurish.
2. There are some errors. Being picky, one of the the letters from the young students states "Norway is the biggest oil and gas producer outside of the Middle East". This is far from true. I understand this is school kid but this misinformation is how things like Corrib happen.
3. The information on the companies hiding found oil seems a bit conspiracy theory to me.
4. We have a chapter on the adventures of a man gallivanting around Norway (albeit a welcome break from the technical stuff) yet there is absolutely nothing on the specific geological and engineering challenges and risks offshore of Ireland. Nothing about layers of basalt making seismic a pain in the rear, nothing about low recovery factors, not even a map of the prospects and explanation of the basins.
5. This lack of technical information makes me wonder if there has been too much looking at the finances and not enough at the geology and engineering (only one of the authors is geologist, none are engineers). Therefore I think the 80% recommended tax rate is way way way too high. 62% has halted some recent projects in the UK (Chevron Rosebank). 50% would be more appropriate or better yet I am all for the creation of state company (though the book makes it seem like Statoil had rosy beginnings which it most certainly did not - think Irish Water and multiply it by 10).

If the book makes it to a second edition, I hope these issues may be ironed out. For a good honest effort, it just squeezes 4 stars.


Sun Rise: Suncor, the Oil Sands and the Future of Energy
Sun Rise: Suncor, the Oil Sands and the Future of Energy
by Richard George
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable introduction to oil sands, 8 Feb 2014
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The book is written in more of a memoir style fashion as opposed to straight up history. However the author, Rick George as former CEO, certainly had a central part to play in rise of oil sands production. Despite this success he comes across as a very modest, knowledgeable and even somewhat inspirational person at times.

The books covers a number of topics such as environmental, historical and economical. Though like many of these books it is very light on the technical details of extraction and processing.

Reviewers elsewhere have commented that the book is more research orientated but I would disagree entirely. There are a few basic graphs indicative of the recent success of Suncor. In any case there are only two people who are going to buy this book. First those with an interest in the oil and gas industry and secondly those who look to tar the oil sand extraction process.

George does plenty to entertain and further educate the former while the latter will have to look elsewhere for a polemic.


The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Energy Revolution
The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Energy Revolution
by Gregory Zuckerman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new Prize for a new era, 2 Feb 2014
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To withdraw my heading slightly, this book is not nor could it ever be as good as The Prize given a more limited timeframe. However the author does a fine job in whipping the reader along into the ins and outs of the hydraulic fracturing business in the US.

Certainly others are correct that the technicalities of fracking are mainly overlooked. Adding a further criticism, some chapters are rather fragmented in the storytelling and indeed some of those stories seem like unnecessary additions to the book.

However the book is incredibly fascinating and well researched. The afterword itself is a very useful and appropriate ending. Ergo if you liked the Prize, buy it. If you want to go out campaigning for world peace and wind turbines perhaps it is not what you are looking for.


Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
by John B. Arden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid book but needs some re-wiring itself, 19 Jan 2014
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Oh the irony. A PhD and a lifelong of research into the workings of the brain and yet the author (or perhaps the publisher) has made one abysmal error in the publication of this book. There are no diagrams/graphs/pictures which would aid one enormously in understanding the various parts of the brain and the related electrochemical components for which I purchased this book.

Ergo one is left with a book full of forgettable abbreviations and the usual extreme sob stories, where despite any mention of silver bullets the patients often make miraculous turnarounds.

Furthermore for a man who is clearly quite intelligent, he is amongst the majority of the medical profession who are miles behind when it comes to dietary advice. He advises a patient to cut back on all sugar and then recommends a glass of OJ as an alternative. While in a nutritional sense the fructose, glucose, K and Mg in OJ, combined with other electrochemical constituents such as NaCl and Ca, are very useful metabolically he is fundamentally wrong in that is contains plenty of sugar, albeit natural.

Furthermore he trudges that weary tale of eating foods high in tryptophan before bed to convert to serotonin, then says to avoid protein? Almost every food high in tryptophan is high in protein (it is an amino acid after all).

Still he does seem to have most things right and it cements the fundamentals of success (importance of sleep, diet, mental and physical exercise) but anyone looking to elevate their brain to a high level - and not out of the trash can - can pass this one over.


Offshore Oil Drilling (Hot Topics)
Offshore Oil Drilling (Hot Topics)
by Nick Hunter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is for children, 9 Jan 2014
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I don't really see the point of the book.
It is laid out like a childrens book with very basic information yet the subject matter is Offshore Drilling? I can't quite remember when Dr. Zeuss was abandoned and kids became interested in Offshore Drilling.

Not worth a penny.


The Sports Gene: Talent, Practice and the Truth About Success
The Sports Gene: Talent, Practice and the Truth About Success
by David Epstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immeasurably enjoyable. Fantastically informative., 9 Jan 2014
Other reviewers have delved deep into the innards of the book and thus I have no intention of repeating their words but will add to the impending explosion of 5 star reviews.

To pay this a very high compliment indeed, I can only compare it to Outliers by Gladwell in terms of its enjoyment level and writing style. Perhaps even more enjoyable in that the subject matter is sport!

We are taken on a whirlwind trip across the globe and through some details on what makes athletes great by virtue of nature and - fortunately for those of use less well endowed - by nurture, all via some specifically named and scientifically verified genetics.

Perhaps my only gripe is that the scientific details are very slim besides the naming of the genes themselves and thus while gene expression is discussed, epigenetics is not covered in any depth.

However saying that, this is amongst the most enjoyable books I have read and is sure to interest professors, athletes and couch sport fans alike.


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