Sunday Book Review : The New New Rules by Bill Maher

The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their AssThe New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass by Bill Maher

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think my review of Bill’s New Rules still hold true.

“If you enjoy Bill Maher, you will like the book. If you hate him, you will hate the book. I don’t tend to agree with a whole lot that Bill has to say, but I enjoy his humor and like that he pushes the boundaries of discussions.”

However, this go around the rules seemed less humorous. They seem more agenda filled. They were kind of tired. Maybe my tolerance for idiocy is waning or my ire for Maher is clouding my objectivity. This one just wasnt worth the read. Not even for humors sake. Unless you are a huge Maher fan, spend your time reading something else.

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Sunday Book Review : The Sports Gene by David Epstein

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic PerformanceThe Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Similar to Colvin’s Talent is Overrated and Gladwell’s Outliers, Epstein hits it out of the park digging much deeper and getting more real. He sheds more light on the notion of 10,000 hours and nature vs nurture when it comes to performance. The best part is that Epstein uses stories to give us an in depth look at genetics, physiology and sports medicine. This is an interesting space (as evidenced by the number of best sellers written about it), that we are continuing to better understand, but still has a lot of black holes.

Available on Overdrive

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Sunday Book Review : The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking by Matthew Hutson

The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and SaneThe 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane by Matthew Hutson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, I predicted it would be a self-help like book that would have me frustrated for selecting it. The title inclusion of irrational beliefs had me intrigued. I am glad that I gave it a try. This is a book about the science of “magical thinking”. You know things of religion, superstition, ritual and taboo. Why is a bat that Babe Ruth held to hit a home run, worth so much more than an identical bat made in the same period owned by an unknown 12 year old? Huston uses cognitive science to show that magical thinking is hardwired into our brains. In fact, it part of our evolutionary success. Skeptics who are actually open to science may find interest in this book. Huston also has a wicked sense of humor making for an easy read.

Available on Overdrive.

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Sunday Book Review : Next: The Future Just Happened by Michael Lewis

Next: The Future Just HappenedNext: The Future Just Happened by Michael Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy Lewis’ writing in general, but I particularly liked where he went with Next: The Future Just Happened. Showing how the Internet boom has changed everything. Telling the tale of the revolution with real life stories from those leading it. With a 13 year old son interested in technology and already making money on it, truer words couldn’t exist. The Internet exposes so much yet hides things in a way that a pre-teen can be a legal expert or a stock trader. After reading this you might have to ask yourself how aware you are of the future. Because it is now.

Available on Overdrive.

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Sunday Book Review : Aristotle for Everybody by Mortimer Adler

Aristotle for EverybodyAristotle for Everybody by Mortimer J. Adler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It claims to be for everyone, but I might suggest that it is for everyone interested in learning more about philosophy or the teachings of Aristotle. Adler does a great job of using metaphor and plain language to discuss hard topics of philosophy, but it is still philosophy. I highly recommend for those that haven’t read much Aristotle or did in high school/college and want to refresh their mind.

Available on Overdrive.

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Sunday Book Review: Lowdown A Short History of the World Cup by Mark Ryan

Lowdown: A Short History of the World CupLowdown: A Short History of the World Cup by Mark Ryan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

New to soccer? Getting ready to watch the 2014 World Cup and want to know some of the games history? This book does a great job of telling the tale of soccer through the World Cup’s view point. Highlighting the main themes and outcomes of every World Cup up until South Africa. It is a great way to get prepped for Brazil 2014!

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Sunday Book Review : Frederich Nietzsche by Richard Schacht

Frederich NietzscheFrederich Nietzsche by Richard Schacht

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good look in the life and work of Nietzsche. Anyone who is interested in philosophy and deeper thought, owes it to get over the audacity of “God is Dead” and peer into the mind of someone who truly challenged the status quo of his time. An original revolutionary. An observer of human behavior who held the creative aspect of humanity in high regard. The audio version is read by Charlton Heston.

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MailChimp Christmas Gift (Minion Handbook)

At Integrum we use MailChimp to send out our AgileWeekly Newsletter.  We love the experience and the product.  One of the things that is apparent to me is that MailChimp knows how to have fun.  I suspect it has to be one of their values.

When I stopped by Gangplank over the holiday I found a package on my desk from MailChimp.  I opened it and was AMAZED. It was a nice box set. The first thing I pulled out was the post card.

Front of Card
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Back of Card
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This would be “normal” for a company to send. Impressive. Great design. Light hearted. Kudos.

However, that was the just the tip of the iceberg. Next was a full comic “Th’ Adventoorz of Freddie & Mannie”.

Cover
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Back
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Jacket Cover
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I don’t have any idea the meaning of the comic book, but it was brilliantly designed. A pure work of art. If this was all it contained I would still be writing this post, but oh noes. MailChimp knocked it out of the park by including the Minion Handbook.

Cover
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So what might you find in such a handbook? How about the Minion Oath?
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or maybe Dressing and Grooming Standards?
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or a Frequently Asked Questions, including how to read your leader?
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If all that wasn’t enough at the back of the handbook one can find a minions notes
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I can not tell you how impressed I am by the thought, care and design found in this. I am completely perplexed what we did to deserve receiving it, but it was by far and a way the most memorable gift a vendor has ever sent as a gift.

Well done. MailChimp. Well done.

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Sunday Book Review : Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

Antifragile: Things That Gain from DisorderAntifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic book. Challenges everything you think you know about how things work. Economics and statistics turned on their heads and seen through a new light. Nassim has done a fantastic job of asking the right questions and pushing assumptions taken for granted.

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Sunday Book Review : Makers – The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson

Makers: The New Industrial RevolutionMakers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chris does a great job of laying out the hacker culture and how it has evolved into the maker movement. If you want to know how we got to here, this is a great book. It also sheds some light on what is to come. I would love to see a follow up book now that a few years have passed.

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