Monday, May 30, 2016

Review of Instaread Summary of "The Sleep Revolution Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time" by Arianna Huffington

Review of

Instaread Summary of The Sleep Revolution Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington 

Five out of five stars

 It is a fairly obvious truism that the American working public is in general sleep-deprived and a lot of it is due to technology. With a smartphone in our hands, we can check our email and contacts 24/7, specifically early in the morning, late at night and on weekends. This “office in the hand” situation means that we can work and be contacted for work anywhere. For many people, the last thing they do before turning off the light in bed is check their email. By checking in, their mind is in no condition to check out and sleep.
As is stated several times in the summary, for many people keeping late hours is considered a sign of their desire to succeed and be a team player, going above what is necessary. I was once admonished for objecting to the CEO’s expressed plan to put a cot in a side room so that people working late could conveniently get some nap time before sitting back down at their workstation. Some of the most successful people in computing are notorious for sending out middle of the night emails.
 There is not a single point in this summary that is factually in dispute, working long hours for extended periods of time has repeatedly been conclusively documented as being counterproductive. Tired people make mistakes that often cost more than the gain of them working the extra hours.
 The solution to this problem is simple, there needs to be a paradigm shift where it is universally acknowledged that working long hours for a long time is personally and professionally counterproductive. The badge of honor of pulling all-nighters in a caffeine fueled frenzy needs to be debunked.
 While the list of key takeaways contains some very obvious points, the overall theme is accurate and a key to increasing the overall productivity of the work force. Study after study has concluded that the productivity of the American worker is largely stagnant, much of that could be avoided if more and better sleep were a greater part of the day. 

This book was made available for free for review purposes.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review of "Lego Star Wars Mad Libs," concept created by Roger Price & Leonard Stern

Review of

Lego Star Wars Mad Libs, concept created by Roger Price & Leonard Stern ISBN 9780843170252

Five out of five stars

This is a great little workbook for young people that love the Star Wars movies. Each one of the projects takes up a single page and is based on a specific element from Star Wars. For example, there is one called “Building the Perfect Death Star.”
 The project is a short story with missing words that the reader is to fill in. The empty space is noted by an underlined gap with a hint as to the type of word that should be placed there. Hints include adjective, noun, number, plural noun and silly word.
 Working through the story gives the reader valuable exercise in the various types of word as well as how they are used to complete complex thoughts. All while having fun and revisiting scenes from the Star Wars sequence.

Review of "Moments of Revolution: Eastern Europe," photographs by David and Peter Turnley, text by Mort Rosenblum

Review of
Moments of Revolution: Eastern Europe, photographs by David and Peter Turnley, text by Mort 
Rosenblum ISBN 1556701683

Five out of five stars

Most of the time political change comes in increments, in general, dramatic political change only occurs as a consequence of a major war. Yet, there was a time when there was a seismic political shift in the world and to the amazement of all, few shots were fired when the old order died. The mighty Soviet Union, a state that murdered millions of its own citizens and held tight control over several countries for forty years, vanished with little more than a whimper. It was a time of great happiness in Eastern Europe, at the time few lamented the collapse of the Soviet order.
 That momentary ecstasy is captured in these photos of Eastern Europeans celebrating the collapse of communist rule. The photos are generally organized by country, yet there is a constant theme to all of the images. In looking through this book, it is easy to understand why the photographers won awards for their work.
 History moved at light speed in 1989 and the human tsunami that made it happen is captured in these photos.