Leo Stewart

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The Brave: A Novel
The Brave: A Novel
The Brave: A Novel by Nicholas Evans. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 200 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
King Lear
King Lear
King Lear by William Shakespeare. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 35 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Expert F# (Expert's Voice in .NET)
Expert F# (Expert's Voice in .NET)
Expert F# (Expert's Voice in .NET) by Antonio Cisternino, Adam Granicz, et al.. Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars, with 24 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Objective-C programming category.
Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
I won't regurgitate the contents of this book as they are well-covered in other reviews. It was a good read, though at times I found the 'hip' right-on tone slightly irritating - but that might just have been the transatlantic effect. The book confirmed all of my reservations about social media and added a few more to keep me awake at night.

This subject is now going viral (as it were) and there is plenty other material available, as tecchie types wake up to the dangers of the god they once worshipped - and at whose feet a vast proportion of the world sit in rapt adoration. I've come late to the SM party and I'm not convinced I want to stay. This book certainly wouldn't encourage me

The takeaway from Zuked (for me) is that we don't have to be in thrall, we can live perfectly social and meaningful lives without the ubiquitous device near to hand. For me that's no big deal. I'm tech-light. But I fear for the generations that know no different, and the author paints a grim picture of the addictive and intrusive power of algorithms.

The last chapter in the book offers some real solutions as follows:
Accept on-line platforms for what they are and not what you'd like them to be (ie don't take them too seriously or believe the content)
Use politicians to effect change at the highest levels, and utilise the consensus among voters
Lobby members of Congress (US) or MPs in parliament
Focus on 'surveillance capitalism' when lobbying - eg in relation to healthcare data, and personal data
Educate politicians in how platforms exploit their participants
Do not babysit children with phones or tablets eg UTube Kids has age-inappropriate content
Increase the age at which children can be targeted by internet platforms from 13 to 18
Put pressure on elected representatives to minimize data harvesting, especially from third parties
Give individuals control over their own data - ie treat it as a human right
Tighten up electoral structures so that bad actors can't harm the democratic process
Prohibit micro-targeted advertising in the context of elections
Change the relationship with technology, give up Google, FB and Twitter if they are becoming addictive
Consider Apple products as an alternative - Apple Maps, Microsoft Office apps for Mac, Apple Pay
Apple gives priority to customer privacy
Avoid Amazon Alexa - no privacy guarantees
Challenge the use of educational devices in school and introduce children to natural activities outside, and healthy social interaction

That's a very superficial resume, but it gives a flavour of what the author is trying to achieve.

I had only one beef with this book and perhaps it's not a fair one, as I've noticed a similar bias in other excellent reads. In his analysis of the 2016 US election (and this book is geared completely to a US readership) the author tends to lend too much weight to the interference by Russian agents - as a deciding factor in the election of Trump. I think this is an unfortunate bias, not because I disbelieve that the tampering happened, but because that was not the full story.

My personal opinion of the POTUS is pretty robust (ie not in his favour) but I worry that some intelligent writers are a little too ready to believe that this or any other election result was down to foreign intervention. By implication this makes a mockery of the voting choices of the American electorate. How much they were influenced by technology is hard to say, but there were other forces at play. The same assumption has been made, in a different context about Brexit. I think the author betrays a lack of empathy with voters in these elections who didn't share his political preference. My point is not political, but about the need for veracity, and for tech writers not to make value judgements outside their area of expertise.

For the record I was horrified when Trump was elected, and had a much more nuanced view of our exit from the EU. It's a small point but it caused me to dock one point from what is otherwise a tour de force.
The Malta Exchange: A Novel (Cotton Malone Book 14)
The Malta Exchange: A Novel (Cotton Malone Book 14)
I love Steve Berry’s books, his clever plots, and his well-painted characters, but this one left me flat, for four reasons: one general and three specific.

In general, as a Catholic, I am used to authors such as Berry who dislike Catholicism, Christianity in general, and religion as a whole. Nothing new in our ultra-secular, materialist culture and it sells well. Criticism is good and necessary and often humorous. Few can argue that either faith in general or the Church in particular cannot benefit from it. But what I read was not criticism or poking fun but disdain. It is gratuitous, unnecessary, and in my opinion harms the story’s appeal.

Specifically, three things consistently cause the book to ring hollow throughout, taking the energy out of the book. One, all the clerics in the story are monsters. Not one or two multifaceted characters who have chosen evil in certain actions, but all grotesque caricatures. One monster cleric is believable, but all clerics being monsters makes the bad guys ridiculous and unbelievable. Silly rather than scary. That hurts the story. At least one lowly good guy priest should have been included to make it more believable. Or a priest who does evil things believing that they are good or believing that they are necessary for a greater good. Ends justifying the means, etc. Grey is a lot more interesting and believable than everything being black or white.

Second, not a single cleric or person related to the Church displays the most basic faith. Even if one believes that the Church and the Catholic faith are wholly invalid, the fact remains that priests, bishops, and archbishops do have faith. Some to be sure are cold, calculating, power hungry, and criminal, but they retain a basic faith, even if they choose evil. Even if they all lost their faith over time, they would at least speak with the language of faith, instead of the language of murderous bureaucrats as in the book.

Third, finally (spoiler alert), the plot revolves around a lost 4th century blueprint document that instructs bishops on bogus doctrines to create the Church and control the masses. Again, even if one believes that the Church, its doctrines, and religion in general are wholly invalid, it is completely unbelievable that the Church or the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem - a 906 year old Catholic lay religious order whose motto is to defend the faith and serve their Lords the poor and sick - would keep a copy of such a document. I was expecting something more clever than a piece of paper that says ‘the Church is bogus’.
Elon Musk: The Life, Lessons & Rules For Success
Elon Musk: The Life, Lessons & Rules For Success
Elon Musk is an extraordinary, inovative, inspiring and thought provoking entrepreneur ! This hand book of his success formula had left me thinking deeply about the concepts and possibility of living on Mars. I feel it is important to in-habitat Mars correctly taking in to consideration ethical and sustainability points of view for the planet. Other wise if we disturb the equilibrium of it's eco system then we may end up creating undesirable effects long term just as it is happening on Earth. However it's an exciting period in the history of man kind and Elon's insights and ideas brings this possibility closer to us.

I really admire his work ethics, determination, drive and vision as a business man. It was really reassuring to know that some of his beliefs are what I believe in too, such as a quality product will speak for it self. He doesn't believe in mass marketing and puts his profits in to improving the product and services. "People are always willing to pay a premium price for a compelling product" he says and gives the example of Apple products; this is so true !

I have throughly enjoyed reading his "Life, Lessons & Rules for Success" handbook and learning from his wisdom. I look forward to many more books from him as he expands his consciousness to higher levels.
A GISHWHES book made lovingly for Jeff Bezos
A GISHWHES book made lovingly for Jeff Bezos
A GISHWHES book made lovingly for Jeff Bezos by Julaine Wilson. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Jeff Bezos" category.
* SEXIEST MAN ALIVE! ISSUE * Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey - November 28, 2005 People SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Magazine
* SEXIEST MAN ALIVE! ISSUE * Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey - November 28, 2005 People SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Magazine
* SEXIEST MAN ALIVE! ISSUE * Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey - November 28, 2005 People SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Magazine by Norman Pearlstine. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Oprah Winfrey" category.
I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford
I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford
This wonderful book pulls Henry Ford into the present by presenting us with his deep revealing shadow. Richard Snow has chosen to create a picture of Ford that starts in his early life and leads ineluctably to the development of the Model T, which Snow describes convincingly as having invented the modern age. This isn't a new idea of course but what this book does is not only evoke a vivid picture of genius at its peak but it provides the essence of what we gained and lost through Ford's bizarre twists of character. We gained, of course, mass production and the automobile as a transformative force. And with Ford doubling the working man's salary, we also gained a middle class. (The book goes on to report on the brutality Ford later used against his workers, but that early support of the worker was an almost heartbreaking reminder of what is now being lost --US manufacturing and the working middle class.) And we probably also lost the possiblity of a global organization right after WWI. The book doesn't shy away from Ford's very weird and destructive anti-Semitism, his ruthless treatment of men who had been indispensible in his rise, nor his damaging and tragic relationship with his son. However, throughout this brilliant book I was periodically reminded of two other men, Steve Jobs and Robert Moses, who were also initially motivated by the desire to change lives for good. All three achieved monstrous changes in the fabric of society by building tangible stuff and overcoming extreme obstacles to do so. In the process, however, all three also underwent crippling psychological changes that made them, somehow, monstrous. To make this point, the important biographers of Jobs and Moses wrote very long books. Snow elegantly and kindly reveals this in far fewer pages. And it reads like a novel. (I hope some smart producer notices that the Selden patent case by itself has enough drama and character to fill a mini-series.) Snow even manages to make machinery thrilling, and this for a reader who doesn't know the difference between a monkey wrench and a monkey. I recommend buying it on the Kindle because at the end you can expand the picture of Henry Ford's face and place your finger on each side of it. You'll know what I mean when you buy this book.
Old-Fashioned Valentine Postcards: 24 Full-Color Ready-to-Mail Cards from the Collections of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village
Old-Fashioned Valentine Postcards: 24 Full-Color Ready-to-Mail Cards from the Collections of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village
天使、子供たち、ハート、お花・・・豪華なビクトリアンの世界が好きな方にはとてもお勧めです。1908年から1917年当時に実際に作られたポストカード24枚のリプロダクションです。天使(cherub)のカード16枚、子供のカード5枚、お花のみのデザイン3枚、その他1枚といった感じです(重複カウントあり)。
買う前は、表紙の絵はかわいいけれど中身はどうだろうとドキドキでしたが、届いて中を見た途端、これは正解だと思いました。アンティークのポストカードは、エンボスや色のあせ具合に味があるので、リプロダクションは本来あまり好きではないのですが、こちらの本のカードはそういうものを差し引いても、絵柄を見るだけでも楽しいコレクションだと思います。実際に使用するのはもちろん、このようなものがお好きな方へのプレゼントにしても、喜ばれると思います。
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World [Paperback] [Jun 14, 2018] Tapscott, Don,Tapscott, Alex
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World [Paperback] [Jun 14, 2018] Tapscott, Don,Tapscott, Alex
The most interesting, groundbreaking book I have read in years. This has got to be one of, if not the most, authorititive books out there on the blockchain. It does not focus on technical matters and can be read by a lay person not very familiar with how blockchain technology and cryptography work. Nor is it simply about Bitcoin (blockchains are about much more than Bitcoin). Less about how it works, than about how blockchain technology has the potential to transform the spheres of commerce, finance, management, public administration, politics, government and society in general (not to mention other applications). Must surely be compulsary reading for anyone wishing to explore how to create and exchange value, devise new business models and futureproofing in this age of information and big data. It is not however a book targeted only at e-commerce of financial services people. The authors explain how the blockchain could be a force for good, improving the outcomes for millions of people, particularly those in developing countries who are currently excluded from the financial system and the formal economy. They remind us of course that as with any other technology the blockchain is 'neutral', in that it is not inherently a 'good' or a 'bad' thing; it depends on how people choose to deploy it.
Cand Ultra Soft Adult Toothbrush, Bamboo Charcoal Bristle, Pack of 4
Cand Ultra Soft Adult Toothbrush, Bamboo Charcoal Bristle, Pack of 4
I have tried so many “soft” brushes over the years and none were really that soft and I still had bleeding when brushing (gums healthy, so this is just due to how “hard” the brushes are in my difficult to clean areas). With so many conflicting reviews, I decided to purchase 4 of the most recommended “soft” bristle brushes and compare them.

What I bought and have been using for several weeks now:
Oral-B Sensi-Soft Toothbrush Twin Pack, Colors May Vary
Cand Ultra Soft Adult Toothbrush, Bamboo Charcoal Bristle, Pack of 4
Colgate Slim Soft Charcoal Toothbrush Ultra Soft & Fine Bristles 0.01mm, Pack of 3
GUM 516 Technique Sensitive Care Toothbrush - Full - Ultra Soft (3 Toothbrushes)

Oral-B Sensi-Soft Toothbrush Twin Pack, Colors May Vary
It’s called soft, but was actually quite firm and causes bleeding at the gum line.

Cand Ultra Soft Adult Toothbrush, Bamboo Charcoal Bristle, Pack of 4
This was the softest of all brushes and, of course, caused no bleeding when brushing.

Colgate Slim Soft Charcoal Toothbrush Ultra Soft & Fine Bristles 0.01mm, Pack of 3
Very soft, so no bleeding when brushing when brushing with these. This brush is just a little firmer than the Cand Ultra Soft, but you’d have to hold both in your hand to tell any difference.

GUM 516 Technique Sensitive Care Toothbrush - Full - Ultra Soft (3 Toothbrushes)
Good overall soft brush. Covers wide area. Bristle tufts arranged at two angles, which I think helps with coverage. Practically no bleeding.

After all of these trials, I decided the best thing for me is to use a combination (I also use an electric toothbrush – Interplak (each tuft of bristles turns opposite to the adjacent tuft, thus cleaning without a lot of pressure on the gums – recommended by my periodontist years ago). I use the GUM 516 for general brushing and follow using either the Cand or Colgate Slim Soft for the gum line areas. The Interplak is just once a day and it seems to be the best program for me.
Rooster doodle-doo
Rooster doodle-doo
Not to worry if 2014’s Rooster Doodle Doo flew below your CG animated feature radar. Its direct-to-DVD release here in the US was modest at best despite receiving distribution from omnipresent Universal Pictures.

The film is actually a French Canadian production known as Le Coq de St-Victor or as that translates in English: The Rooster of St. Victor. It was released originally in Canada on February 21, 2014, comes in at a run time of 80-minutes and is in fact based upon the children’s book The Rooster of San Vito by Johanne Mercier. The piece was adapted for film and directed by Pierre Greco.

The story tells of the villagers of tiny but quaint St. Victor who are beyond fed up with the mayor's rooster, whose crow wakes them daily at 4am. After a brief bout with insomnia himself, the rooster begins to crow even earlier than usual, prompting the villagers to stop complaining and start taking action.

When the mayor unveils a golden statue of his prized pet, the villagers begin to use the public forum to demand a quick exit for said rooster- the living one, not the statue. When the mayor of a neighboring village serendipitously shows up with an offer to trade his lucky donkey for the noisy fowl, the villagers are thrilled, and, against his better judgment, convince the mayor to part with his beloved rooster.

Now, finally able to rest peacefully, the villagers quickly become acquainted with a life of laziness, opting to spend their days swimming in the mill pond rather than turning wheat into flour and playing golf rather than growing essential crops.

As you may have seen coming, before long the town begins running out of food and the neighboring village, you know- the one that convinced them to part with their rooster in the first place, suddenly benefits from a whole lot of desperation-induced business.

Realizing the error in their reasoning, Florence the baker and Lucien the carpenter have a complete change of heart and begin concocting a plan to get the rooster back.

By itself, it’s a charming little anecdote; almost the type of fable one would expect to have been handed down through the generations years and years ago. Its got irony, some clever lessons on motivation and the value of a hard day’s work. Unfortunately what it lacks is a solid enough hook to be worthy of 80-minutes of animated feature film.

While what’s there is certainly watchable, domestic audiences, (especially the younger ones) will undoubtedly feel unsure about such things as the time-frame, the locale, the characterizations and so on. I mean after all, can it be assumed modern youngsters grasp the connection between the wheat in the fields, the grain in the loft of the mill and the bread on the dinner table? And even if they could, is there much relatability to a rooster-adoring, bicycle-riding mayor who finds himself at the mercy of his disgruntled subjects to the point of being forced into a livestock exchange?

It all comes off as antiquated at best and foreign at worst. At some points, a combination of the two. To make matters worse, the pacing suffers pretty steadily throughout. There’s enough material here to make a decent 23-minute time slot but having to push it to 80-minutes means a lot of meandering around for a fairly lackluster payoff.

Perhaps most noteworthy of the project, however, is a very unique look to the art and animation style. While CG is often criticized for looking too uniformally perfect, too sterile; Rooster Doodle Doo brings a pallet and style that seems to almost combine the simplistic sensibilities of the 2D (hand drawn) era with the type of camera angles only possible through CG. It’s pretty endearing.

Overall though it is difficult to recommend Rooster Doodle Doo on account of its poor pacing and failure to ever introduce a character or plot element that can easily be latched onto. There are some very good elements present, especially within the moral of the story itself but sadly the delivery isn’t subtle or clever enough to warrant the 80-minute investment required.
One Piece: Skypeia 25-26-27
One Piece: Skypeia 25-26-27
In the past I have Purchased many One Piece volumes from Amazon but this Volume in particular was stained. The Stains were sometimes small but there were stains that covered a larger portion of the page and even spot that covered the text boxes.
The story itself was a 5/5 as would be the book if not for the stains.
The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro)
The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro)
Nora Roberts' is one of my favorite go to authors. Traditionally, her novels offer me comfort and that sense of the familiar that I have grown to know and appreciate. They have romance, intrigue and suspense while giving us a story that we can, most times, relate to. "The Last Boyfriend" is the second story in the Boonsboro Trilogy. I have to admit, any opportunity to visit this small town in Maryland....catch up on the rehab of the Inn; watching the growing Beckett family (the widower Clare and the sweet, patient Beckett, the oldest Montgomery); determine what the resident ghost (Lizzie) is trying to tell them, as well as see the growing attraction between Hope and Ryder....is a pleasure. This story centers around the growing relationship between Owen Montgomery and Avery McTavish. Owen is the sensible and extremely organized Montgomery brother. Avery, is the young strong willed, independent family friend who runs the local pizzeria. With a lifetime of memories and forgotten promises, the two find themselves fighting their growing attraction. As Avery sets her sight on making her first boyfriend her last, she must also deal with the residual effects of her mother leaving and learning to trust her heart. Owen will have to use all of the skills at his disposal to show Avery why they were meant for each other, as well as show her why the toy ring that he gave Avery years ago should be replaced with one that will mean forever.

What I will say about this installment is that I was reminded of some of the issues I had with the Sign of Seven Trilogy series. The first book in the series is fabulous, but the second is so full of explanations that it wasn't as good as it could have been. There were still a few loose ends that I would have liked resolved before they get into the story behind Ryder and Hope (the next book). I would have liked or was just hoping for some more resolution in this book, although they may address those questions that I have in the final book...like WHEN is Avery's mother going to reappear? When will the easy partnership between Willy B and Justine grow into more? What is the ghost trying to tell us? Either way, I am patiently awaiting the release of the last book in the trilogy. Hopefully I will have some of my questions answered and a sense of closure at the conclusion of the series.
Passin' Through: A Novel: Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures
Passin' Through: A Novel: Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures
Another great western by the master story teller Louis L'Amour, February 13, 2012

This review is from: Passing Through (Hardcover)
Passin Through is another great western by America's master story teller Louis L'Amour. This is the 22 Western of his I have bought and read,3 books of short stories, plus his first book of poems, a Sci fi... Haunted Mesa, the Lonesome Gods, the Last of the Breed, and The Walking Drum (see my reviews). He was much much more than a Western author. He is the only author to be awarded the Congressional Medal and The Gold Metal by President Reagan. Louis L'Amour a true master story teller.

Passin Through is about a cowboy( ex cattleman, miner, marshal and a great ranch worker) that only wanted a drink and food and is forced to defend himself, shooting and killing a man in a bar. He was only passing through the town and wanted no trouble. We see him taken the name of Passin because he kept telling everyone he was only passing through and later liked the name.

We see him protecting a 50 year old woman (the Pinkerton detective tells Passin he is mistaken on the age) and an incredibly beautiful 20 year old woman from having their ranch being taken away. NOT. The deed is bogus and the older woman was a poisoner of the man who owned the ranch. The dead man's niece comes wanting the ranch and Passin finds the real Last Will and Testament. I wont ruin the story for you.

Lots of action, gunfighting and survival techniques in the high mountains. Lots of men, plus a super fast hired gun hand are out to kill Passin. Poor Passin gets shot up a lot in this story. This story has a good mystery in it that is not too difficult to solve. I had it figured 1/3 through. Great scenery descriptions and fantastic character development. The reader empathises with the main hero. The reader wants to read more in this fast moving Western. I read the 197 book in 1 1/4 days. It's a page burner.

If you like Westerns you will love this book. Louis L'Amour said he would like to be remembered as a good story teller. INMO he was a great story teller and one of America's greatest authors. Passin' Through rated 5 stars and proudly added to our family library.
Berenstains' A Book (Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners)
Berenstains' A Book (Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners)
We have the B book and C is for Clown so we grabbed the A book for my daughter for Christmas. I personally enjoy the other better but my daughter loves this one just as much as the others often asking me to read all three in order before her bedtime. It's a fun book and stands up to the Bernstein's name.
Samurai Trilogy Part 2: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (English Subtitled)
Samurai Trilogy Part 2: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (English Subtitled)
Mi sono avvicinato a questa trilogia per 2 motivi, adoro la figura del samurai, amo il Giappone Feudale e ritengo Toshiro Mifune uno degli attori più carismatici e bravi della storia del cinema! La trilogia in questione narra le gesta del leggendario Miyamoto Musashi aka Toshiro Mifune e ripercorre il suo vissuto come uomo e come leggenda! La pellicola nonostante sia datata a cavallo tra il 1954 ed il 1956 ha una direzione artistica semplicemente meravigliosa, con una direzione fotografica ed una scenografica davvero sensazionali! Toshiro Mifune come al solito interpreta alla perfezione il suo ruolo e ci regala a conti fatti il miglior Miyamoto Musashi di sempre! Grandiosa la crescita del personaggio, grandiose le sue prove che dovrà di volta in volta affrontare e con esse assisteremmo al cambiamento della sua indole che diventerà mano a mano sempre più mite ,saggia ed autoritaria! I 3 film esistono nella sola lingua originale sottotitolati in Italiano, se siete amanti della cultura nipponica , della figura dei samurai e più in generale del buon cinema non dovete assolutamente perdervi questi magnifici film!
A Stranger Is Watching
A Stranger Is Watching
This was my first MHC and I was really looking forward to it. I honestly can't say I was very impressed.
The book had a few exciting moments but didn't really grab me as I was expecting.
I like to get into the characters but found that I wasn't really that interested. I neither liked nor disliked them so wasn't that bothered what happened to them.
The start was promising, but I couldn't make out why, for a murderer who gets his kicks from strangling his victims and was clearly itching to do the same to our heroine, suddenly decided that a bomb would be better? To cover his tracks maybe, but why not make sure she and the little boy whose eyes had apparently haunted him, weren't dead first?
I gather from the reviews that this isn't the usual MHC style so I will try another of her books and maybe she'll win me over.

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