Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stuff that Looks Cool

Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely“A marvelous book that is both thought provoking and highly entertaining, ranging from the power of placebos to the pleasures of Pepsi. Ariely unmasks the subtle but powerful tricks that our minds play on us, and shows us how we can prevent being fooled.”

 The Upside of Irrationality, by Dan Ariely

"Ariely shows us the other side of the irrationality coin: the beneficial outcomes and pleasant surprises that often arise from irrational behavior. Although pleasant should be taken as a relative term, since the outcomes are not necessarily pleasant for the person who was behaving irrationally. Take, for example, Thomas Edison’s obsession with DC current, and his irrational hatred of AC: trying to prove how dangerous AC was, he inadvertently—with his development of the electric chair—demonstrated to the world how powerful it could be. Ariely is an engaging and efficient writer, amusing us with stories about irrational behavior while staying away from needless technical terminology and bafflegab. Thought-provoking, entertaining, and smart: a winning combination." ~David Pitt

Tokyo Vice, by Jake Adelstein

"As a journalist at Tokyo newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun during the 1990s, debut author Adelstein began with a routine, but never dull, police beat; before long, he was notorious worldwide for engaging the dirtiest, top-most villains of Japan's organized criminal underworld, the yakuza. A pragmatic but sensitive character, Adelstein's worldview takes quite a beating during his tour of duty; thanks to his immersive reporting, readers suffer with him through the choice between personal safety and a chance to confront the evil inhabiting his city. He learns that "what matters is the purity of the information, not the person providing it," considers personal and societal theories behind Tokyo's illicit and semi-illicit pastimes like "host and hostess clubs," where citizens pay for the illusion of intimacy: "The rates are not unreasonable, but the cost in human terms are incredibly high." Adelstein also examines the investigative reporter's tendency to withdraw into cynicism ("when a reporter starts to cool down, it's very hard... ever to warm up again") but faithfully sidesteps that urge, producing a deeply thought-provoking book: equal parts cultural exposé, true crime, and hard-boiled noir."

Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There, by Mark Di Vincenzo

"Buy Ketchup In May and Fly at Noon is a fun read, packed with information that can settle long-standing arguments on when to water the lawn, when to list your house or buy one, when to book a flight, when to fly to Europe, when to ask for a raise, when to send an email, when to adopt an animal, when to apply to college, when to take a foreign language, and so many other money saving, time saving helpful tips from experts world-wide.

Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

"Full-spectrum noise reduction fades background distractions and dramatically decreases engine roar on planes. Quality Bose sound reveals audio nuances you might have missed. And a lightweight, on-ear fit provides hours of comfortable listening.

Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphone technology in QC3 headphones electronically identifies, then dramatically reduces noise, while preserving the audio or tranquility you desire. Proprietary signal processing and TriPort acoustic headphone structure also assure quality audio performance--and deep low tones--from these small, lightweight headphones. It's a unique combination of benefits and technologies available only from Bose."

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything
The Assault on Reason

The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things

5th Book of Madrigals: Carlo Gesualdo, composer. This is one of the prettiest and most interesting early music CDs--a favorite of mine for many years. If you want to hear something really different, and not just the "same old" classical, try this!

Schutz: Symphoniae Sacrae Simply a beautiful recording. Double CD set. I think Verleih uns Frieden is one of the most beautiful, short pieces I've ever heard.

Lamenta: Gorgeous sounds, as always, from the Tallis Scholars.

Living Proof Straight Making No Frizz Styling Treatment, 4 oz

KitchenAid KRAV Ravioli Maker Attachment

KitchenAid RVSA Slicer/Shredder Attachment for Stand Mixers

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