Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Book in Review – Cat Talk

Cat Talk by: Suzanne Smither
Non-fiction: pet care, 95 pages copyright 2001

This book is a HORRIBLE book on cat care, if only for the food advice alone. Although it does state not to feed your cat onions (more deadly then chocolate to them) It does say cats like shrimps in garlic sauce, even though, garlic as a member of the onion family, is also deadly to cats, even in small amounts. Also it advocated feeding cats carbs such as pasta when carbs are bad for cats, in fact the carbs in most dry foods are often problematic for cats and cat diabetes is on the rise for the carbs that they are getting already. Furthermore, it said cats like dairy foods like ice cream and yogurt (more carbs!!!) with out pointing out that most adult cats are lactose intolerant and one should slowly and carefully introduce dairy to cats and check for signs for lactose intolerance. (Changes in behavior, appearing sick, diarrhea.)
Along with this possible deadly advice it also wastes a whole chapter on compatibility between your astrological sign and your cat’s. Which in such a short book is way too much space, as even if you’re into astrology, cats signs and connected personalities are the exactly the same as peoples! In short, I’m glad this was such a short booklet as it was a big waste of time!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Book in Review – The Hazards of Space Travel

The Hazards of Space Travel: A Tourist’s Guide, By: Neil F. Comins, Ph.D.
Non-fiction, science/ space 220 pages copyright 2007

If you ever wanted to go into space, but know that you never will, this book is for you. After reading about the millions of things that can kill you without warning in space, I never want to go there. That being said, it was a well written book. It helped you understand complex problems of space travel even if you were not an expert in the sciences involved. It did this by carefully explaining things, using simple scientific explanations, examples from real life, and the fictional log of Mack, a space traveler from the next century. The book is divided up into sections of problems one would experience based on the causes starting with the places your visiting themselves down to your own body and the people around you. Which is useful as it helps to connect the ideas of the different problems and how they work together to cause the difficulties of space travel.

Phobia of the Day:

Ithyphallophobia- the fear of erections

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Book in Review – The Chinese Alchemist

The Chinese Alchemist By: Lyn Hamilton
Fiction, mystery-archaeology 257 pages copyright 2007

This book is a twisting turning adventure that keeps surprising you to the end. In part because the author doesn’t give you the all the information you need to solve it until the end, but in this book that made me feel more connected with the main character in her frustration in just being at the edge of finding out what is going on. Also each chapter starts with a bit in the live of people from the time in which the alchemist boxes that the story revolves around were made. These bits were so interesting that I wish there was a book of only that story too. The story also talks a lot about how China is changing and not changing which is interesting giving the ways in which it has been in the news lately.

Phobia of the Day:

Hypnophobia – the fear of being hypnotized

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Book in Review – Uniforms: Why We are What We Wear

Uniforms: Why We are What We Wear By; Paul Fussell
Non-Fiction: Fashion- History 204 pages copyright 2002
This book is an interesting peek into uniforms; their history, meaning and culture. Most uniform types get a few pages about them. Military uniforms as the most emotionally charged and influenceal uniforms are discussed threw out the book. It has lots of like bits of fun information like: up until the 1940’s German executioners did their job in a white tux, and UPS workers are not allowed to take their uniforms home in part to stop them from being sold as they are considered fashionable. It also includes info on uniforms that we do not normally think of as such; blue jeans on teens, the polo of casual Friday’s, wedding gowns, etc. For all its great information and reasont publication the author’s mindset and dwelling on the past and not current uniforms in places is irksome. For starters the author is one the fought in WWII “greatest generation” men who thinks “the kids these days. . .” about things. For example, he talks about Americans dislike of uniforms compared to Europe and Japan’s love of them in the negative. He complains about groups in America like nuns and nurses abandoning their uniforms so that they look like every one else with out stating key facts. For example, most nuns that work outside a convent do not wear the “penguin suits” like some orders wear in Europe. However, often times they never wore that uniform and many nuns wear a less formal “uniform” that still clearly defines them as a nun. Nurses may not dress like Florence Nightingale or Nurse Ratchet, but in most hospital today and often in private practices nurse do wear a uniform of scrubs, something that he failed to talk about at all. Also he had a whole chapter on “Weirdoes” or “Sickos” which he defines as people who wear uniforms (especially military) ones that don’t need to. In this he talks about neo-Nazis, fetish wear, wearing camo or shirts that say things like you are police when you aren’t and war re-enactors. He then goes on to say that these people are disturbed. Especially, the war re-enactors, which in his mind are all deranged individuals that having missed a real war think it is all fun and games and should be locked away in the loony bin. (Even though, this is the exact type of book that would be read by people into re-enacting the past, if he didn’t bad mouth them so.) This is followed by a chapter on Hemingway about how he was not some crazy sicko like people who teach about history by showing it as it happened. Never mind that he was actually crazy and so into pretending that he fought in wars that he didn’t that he changed his war correspondence uniform to look more military and formed his own army unit. Overall, this made me like the book less, but not enough to not want to finish it.

Phobia of the Day:

Homilophobia – the fear of sermons

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Book in Review – Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories to be Read with the Lights on

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories to be Read with the Lights on
Edited By: Alfred Hitchcock
Fiction: mystery- suspense 402 pages copyright 1973

This is a collection of 37 short stories with mystery, crime and or suspense themes. The stories were varied, some of which we had read before due to their popularity. It also had two stories by noted children’s authors Roald Dahl and Betty Ren Wright although they were in no way children’s stories. There were a number of stories that were good, but also a number that were boring and or easy to guess what would happen.

Phobia of the Day:

Hierophobia – The fear of sacred objects

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Book in Review – Skin

Skin By: Ted Dekker
Fiction: Sci-fi, Mystery 395 pages copyright 2007

First, this book was unlike any Ted Dekker books I have read before, not that it was different in a bad way, but I just felt I needed to give a heads up to any one that had read his books before. This book was not overtly religious. In fact, it has very few religious ideas or discussion. One of the main characters was raised in a cult, but the book does not really go into it much except to explain how that negatively affected the person. There are multiple references to numbers connected with the Bible, i.e. six days of creation and 666 as evil. And there is an underlying theme of evil in the form of ugliness. But it is a book very much written in a scientific world with out any of the miracles or actual demons that you would expect in his writing. However, it still has the feel of his writings that makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

The story it’s self is about a killer on the loose in a small town in Nevada that is seeking revenge on a man there who is a police officer that has no idea who this person is or why they are out to kill him. Also do to, a snakebite and a freak outbreak of twisters (rem: Nevada, not Kansas) a brother and sister and a woman on her way to see her mother also end up in the town together. Due to mysterious circumstances a famous pro gamer is also in the town. Soon, the killer is after all of them forcing them to play his deadly game. None of them know each other (excluding the siblings) or the killer, but the killer knows them. And that is all I can say on the plot with-out giving it away. I know I really didn’t get into the Sci-Fi part of the story as it is such a major part it would give the story away, but I can say that some would say it could be more science fact then fiction. (start scary music here.)

Phobia of the Day:

Heterophobia – The fear of the opposite gender

Monday, August 06, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Phobia of the Day:

Hellenologophobia – The fear of complex scientific terms (like Hellenologophobia)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Book in Review – Eli

Eli BY: Bill Myers
Fiction: Religion/ Sci-Fi, 349 pages Copyright 2000

This book is based on two interesting premises; one, what if there really are parallel dimensions, and two, what if Jesus was born in modern times. On the first idea the author did a good job explaining the basics of the science involved to make the story believable, but didn’t get bogged down in too many details. On the second idea even the author themselves admitted to not making all the changes that would have to be for that to happen. For example, there are churches that a large number of people belong to, only they are kinda like modern Jewish temples, but the people aren’t Jewish but some different religion also based off the Jewish Bible. Also Jesus (called Eli in the story) is born in L.A. to make it easier for American readers; however, there is no way in which L.A. can be made to fit into being “Bethlehem” or even “the city of David” to fit in with the bible. He also doesn’t directly link the people and events from the Bible with the people in the book. But, although it is confusion if you’re trying to see who’s Peter or who’s Judas it is done in a way that make sense, and is true to the underlying things that were necessary to be in Jesus’ life.
As a whole were would recommend this book the people who are Christian and would like a fresh look into the life of Jesus, as by changing all the details that aren’t important it makes it easier to think about the ones that are. Also the book was a real page turner.

Phobia of the Day:

Hedonophobia – The fear of pleasure

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Book in Review –Welcome to Felicity’s World 1774

Welcome to Felicity’s World 1774: Life in Colonial America by: Catherine Gourley
Non-Fiction, history, 58 pages, 4th grade reading level, copyright 1999

Although, in the last report about a short children’s history book we complained that its shortness and numerous pictures made the book less enjoyable, we liked this short book full of pictures. First, because the pictures were smaller and were used to add information in a way more useful then words. Second, as part of the American Girl series, the book was like the end of their stories with the information on what life was like at the giving time. And as such it was much more in depth then what they cover in the novels, making it a good book to get some girl who likes the stories of Felicity.

Note: A Book in Review

We at Weird News BNI have noticed that now that we are on a book reading kick and not a book mocking one (come on admit it, we all have writers that we don’t like and titles we think sound stupid), we don’t really have any made up reviews, because of that we are changing the name of our book reviews to “A Book in Review”. Enjoy.

Phobia of the Day:

Hamartophobia – The fear of sinning