Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
That being said, the social media bandwagon does exist, and academics are more and more being evaluated not only on their scholarly output but on the impact that output has on the field. Therefore, young scholars today probably do need to put in the effort to maximize the exposure of their research. If that is the case, this book provides clear guidelines for them to follow.
This book, Smart Pop Preview 2013, includes a sample essay from each of the books coming out later this year. They include a book about Anne McCaffrey and the Dragonriders of Pern series, one on the Munchkin card game, one on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, a book on Ender’s World, one on the Hunger Games trilogy, and several others. There even appears to be a book on fanfiction! The quality of the essays varies, but they were all enjoyable.
Obviously, my familiarity with the subjects of the books varied greatly so the essays based on books or movies I’ve read or seen were much more interesting to me. I particularly enjoyed the essay by David Brin on Anne McCaffrey – he discussed why she insisted her work was science fiction, not fantasy. The essay on the architects of the second rebellion in the Hunger Games was also interesting – it focuses on a variety of secondary characters (Haymitch, Plutarch Heavensbee, Seneca Crane, Mags, Madge Undersee, Cinna, even Katniss’ father) and what their role was in the instigation of the rebellion; basically making a case for a considerable amount of prior planning. There was also a review of the Hunger Games movie and how it translated from page to screen. My favorite, though, was the article on the history of fanfiction, basically explaining that fan fiction has a long and fairly honorable history (Shakespeare! George Elliot! The Marquis de Sade! William Makepeace Thackeray!) It seems to me that these days, it is fanfic if you post it on the net but “real” fiction if you get it published. That’s the main difference between the massive amount of fiction about Sherlock Holmes that’s posted online and the recent proliferation of books about Sherlock Holmes in the bookstores and on Amazon.
The best thing about this book is that it is a sampler – it lets you peek into a wide variety of Smart Pop’s forthcoming books and whets your appetite. I know I’m intrigued! I would definitely like to read the entire book on fan fiction, and the one on Anne McCaffrey (she was one of the authors who introduced me to science fiction). Hey! I wonder if they'll ever do one on Sherlock Holmes!
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book in exchange for a free and honest review from the author.
The problem is that not only can big data be analyzed with ease, it can also be misused. Or incorrect conclusions may easily be drawn from these analyses. Unfortunately, these interpretation errors can have enormous repercussions on society. One of Fung’s first examples is how Karl Rove and several other prominent Republicans interpreted poll results to predict that Romney would win hands down, which of course he didn’t. Basically, it’s not enough to understand data and data analysis; Fung stresses the need for “numbersense” - the ability to recognize bad data and/or bad analysis and to know when to keep going and when to stop.
Fung uses recent real-world examples - Groupon, grocery pricing, stats on health and obesity. He looks at the assertions that were made by experts and the data that the experts used to back these assertions up. He looks at what questions were asked - and what SHOULD be asked; what data was used and what data SHOULD be used, and so on. And since you can’t go and conduct your own analyses every time you read someone’s conclusions based on big data, Fung helps the reader know how to interpret those conclusions - to think about them critically rather then just accepting them because they come from an “expert.”
As a user of fairly big data sets myself, I’m already aware of some of the pitfalls. This book, however, made me think more about those issues in the context of my daily life, as opposed to my work. It’s not a quick read, but it is very interesting and the use of current real-life examples really helps keep it interesting.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.
Anyway, a teahouse entertainer who has converted to Christianity is accused of murdering a samurai at the teahouse. She asks Mateo for help and he of course agrees, demanding that she be given time to prove her innocence and claiming this is her right as a Christian. The victim’s son is greatly angered by this; he agrees but insists that Mateo does not prove the girl’s innocence in the next three days, the priest as well as the girl will be executed. Of course there’s no shortage of motives - every time you turn around, another person has reason to want the victim dead.
The two characters start out with a sort of Holmes/Watson dynamic, with Hiro following along behind Mateo. But to me, Hiro is the detective here, not Mateo - he does most of the investigating and deducing. This is not to say that Mateo is bumbling or clueless or anything, but he is a foreigner which affects his understanding of some nuances. On the other hand, the fact that he is an outsider lets him notice things that might be overlooked by someone who is part of the culture.
What I really enjoyed about this book was not so much the mystery but the setting. The mystery itself was intriguing but also fairly standard. There’s the “detective and sidekick” scenario, along with the usual twists and turns and red herrings. You’ve got the expected cast of characters - the victim’s wife, his angry and vengeful son, his strong and domineering daughter, the beautiful and winsome young suspect, the secretive owner of the teahouse, and so on. Actually, they’re pretty solid and the author describes them well; you do get a clear picture of all of them. But it’s the author’s detailed descriptions of the life and culture of 16th century Japan are wonderful and kept me interested. There is even a glossary at the back of Japanese terms used in the book, which is quite helpful! It’s a lovely window into a fascinating world that no longer exists.
It took me a while to get into this; it starts out rather slowly but eventually it did kindle my interest and I zoomed rapidly through to discover the true killer! I hope that the author does write more in this series as I do want to discover more about Hiro and Mateo.
My first book is “Buyer, Beware” which is a Style and Error mystery by Diane Vallere – I believe it’s the second in the series. Basically, Samantha Kidd was a buyer for a fancy fashion store but is currently out of work and living back in her old hometown. A new store in town Heist, is sponsoring a contest that involves stealing certain objects and Samantha and her friends pull it off! They go to the opening party to claim their prize – a major shopping spree – but Samantha discovers a body, instead – the store’s handbag buyer! Oh no! Heist’s owner offers Samantha the job, with an amazing salary and bennies, but there’s a catch – he also wants her to investigate the murder! The police aren’t thrilled at her involvement, but when they ID a suspect, she’s not convinced. She’s also juggling her shoe designer boyfriend, who’s out of the country and is not happy she’s gotten mixed up in another murder, and a sexy guy who not only helped out with the original heist but keeps involving himself in her investigation – and her life. I don’t know much about fashion but this was a great read. The characters were engaging and the mystery was very clever, with some unexpected twists and turns. I’m definitely going to check out Diane Vallere’s other books.
I *want* one! I save a lot of money thanks to coupons and sales, but I really need a better way to organize all my coupons!
Wee have a spelling checker.
It came with hour PC.
It plane lee marks four are revue
Miss steaks wee can knot sea.
- Current Mood: sleepy
Find Out Which Disney Girl You Are!
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|You scored as Belle|
Dancing furniture, singing spoons, and a man who needs a serious haircut - sound familiar? Well it should! Belle was a very independent spirit with alot on her mind, much like you are! But in life, there is a needed balance - learn when to speak your mind, and when to hold it back. Sometimes offending someone isn't the best way to go!
Feed the Hungry and Learn New Words!
It's a game - you guess at the meanings of words and for every word you get right, you earn 20 grains of rice to be donated through the UN World Food Program. 5 words = 100 grains = one bowl of rice.
The rice is paid for by the advertisers; all you do is get the words right and more rice goes to feed the hungry!
Whenever you get a word right, your vocabulary level goes up; get a word wrong and it drops. So far, my highest level is
Yes! I have my airplane ticket! I'm coming over for two weeks in late June/early July! Half of that time will be eaten up by work but I get a whole week to play in London and see LJ friends (wish_girl - this means YOU!) and friends from uni that I've not seen in ten years, and do a book crawl down CC Road, and see the DW exhibition in Earl's Court, and basically have a blast!!
*does happy dance*