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Content by W. Farnell
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Helpful Votes: 11

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Reviews Written by
W. Farnell (Halifax, Canada)

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Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Digital Sport Watch
Casio Men's W800H-1AV Classic Digital Sport Watch
Price: CDN$ 23.33
23 used & new from CDN$ 23.09

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent inexpensive watch, Aug. 21 2011
This is a nice, basic watch. It has the usual functions (time-of-day, alarm, stop watch) along with dual-time which is occasionally handy when traveling. I like the large digits which allow me to read the time even without my glasses.

Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon
Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon
by Sara Howard
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 47.12

1.0 out of 5 stars This book is abysmal, Aug. 21 2011
My initial reaction to this book was amazement that any reputable publisher would have let it escape in its present form. However, my amazement abated when some research on the Internet suggested that Strategic Book Publishing is not a reputable publisher, but don't take my word for it: plug their name into Google and consider the results yourself.

This book has excellent spelling, and the sentences are grammatically correct; after that it's all downhill. The sentences are short, choppy and written at about the grade 6 level. The tone is that of a breathless 11 year old telling you about their latest interest in a disorganized and incoherent manner with lots of pointless repetition, wild subject jumps, off-topic information and excited interjections.

Here is a typical paragraph, from chapter 31 "My Flying Career":

"Always listen, and obey your instructor. They are called 'instructors' for a reason. Ego can kill you. It just happened in Florida. A student pilot was sent out to solo. For whatever reason, he was not ready. He crashed and died. I can just imagine how his instructor felt."

Don't let the chapter number fool you: the entire book is only 106 pages long so there are a lot of short chapters. Chapter 31 is about the author learning to fly, which has nothing to do with the Apollo program. This particular paragraph tells us little about her learning to fly, but that's the way this book goes. Entering this paragraph into a text evaluation page [URL of text evaluation page deleted by Amazon] reports it as being written at the grade 5 level.

Also instructive is chapter 11, which consists of two paragraphs and a photo of "A fabulous F-1 Engine". It is not clear if all F-1 engines were fabulous or if this one was exceptional. The second and last paragraph of the chapter reads:

"I went over to the Chrysler side and I looked at what they were doing. I could not figure it out. It was weird. It was silent compared to our side, which was characterized by loud bangs, whangs, loud yells, screeches and unidentifiable noises. On the Chrysler side they did have huge scaffolding and the techs were on top of the scaffolding but they were so quiet."

I don't know how many factual errors there are in this book, but on page XV of the preface the author asserts that the transistor had not yet been invented in the 1960's. Apparently this book involved no fact checking and the author managed to become an aerospace engineer in the 1960's without being aware of the transistor which had, in fact, been invented two decades prior to the first moon landing and was at that time widely used in everything from transistor radios to the Apollo guidance computer.

I purchased this book based on the dozens of glowing reviews on Amazon dot com but on looking further I find that many of those reviewers reviewed only this book or this book and others by the same publisher. Hmmm.

Full disclosure: I didn't read the whole book. After suffering through the first few chapters I then sampled randomly throughout the rest of the book enough to verify that the writing is every bit as bad all the way to the very end.

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