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Opportunities in Architecture Careers
Opportunities in Architecture Careers
by Robert J. Piper
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.83
13 used & new from CDN$ 2.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Architectural Career Decisions, April 7 2004
In this book, noted architects Robert Piper and Richard Rush detail all important considerations related to the selection of architecture as a career. They cover the actual requirements for education, internships (generally an architect must serve a full time three year internship before taking his or her licensing examinations), and licensing. They further discuss what particular aptitudes a person should have to consider an architectural career in an excellent section where abilities in math and drawing are discussed.
My favorite feature of the book is the inclusion of information on career options beyond private practice, particularly in urban and land use planning, historic conservation, project management, and governmental regulation. Also discussed are salary ranges, requirements for school entrance, and a section on all accredited schools of architecture in the United States (110) and Canada (8). My only negative comment on the book is that internet contact information is not provided for the schools, but that is a minor point.
The target audience for this book is young people, mostly high school students, and college students with undecided majors, however, I am a mid-career professional in a totally unrelated field, who found it useful for information on career transitions (I am considering eventual early retirement from one career and returning to school in architecture, as after I complete my MBA I am considering project management as a specialty.)
The book is brief, and easily read in one sitting, but is full of practical information on this field. Anyone considering a career in architecture would be well served by reading it.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food: Highlights from Classic American Recipe Books
The Gallery of Regrettable Food: Highlights from Classic American Recipe Books
by James Lileks
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 16.65

5.0 out of 5 stars The Little Book of Gastronomic Nightmares!, April 7 2004
Columnist James Lileks has hit a home run with this pungent assemblage of comestible horrors. Noted for his amusing website ([...] the author has been collecting humorous bits of Americana for a while, and this is essentially the greatest hits of horrifying food that he has thus far uncovered. The book is very tongue in cheek and profusely illustrated with recipes for and photographs of hideous and disgusting real recipes that somebody thought were a good idea at the time, but in retrospect seem amazingly daft.
The book is divided into chapters largely by food type ("Poultry for the Glum", "All the Smart People Eat Toast", "Glop in a Pot!", etc.) but there a couple organized more by genre ("Swanson's Parade of Lost Identity", "Eat Brains and Whip Hitler!", etc.) All told there are 192 pages of revolting and hilarious monstrosities of the kitchen. Most are descriptions and photos of the dishes, while some include the actual recipes. I actually wish more of the recipes were included, as I can't imagine what ingredients make up some of these dishes, the sardine dish on p. 76, for instance, the appearance of which is accurately described as "piscine torsos in a vinyl sauce colored with melted peach crayons." Some of the recipes, on the other hand, find the reader wishing they knew a bit less about the contents of the dish, for instance on p. 31 under the heading 'Aspic Entrees', the recipes for "Tongue Mousse" and "Jellied Calf's Liver" spring to mind readily.
This book is a wonderful addition to any library; I plan on putting mine among my cookbooks for easy future reference! Highly recommended!

Bio-Dome (Widescreen)
Bio-Dome (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Pauly Shore
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 131.28
12 used & new from CDN$ 15.94

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's Just Like Seventh Grade, April 5 2004
This review is from: Bio-Dome (Widescreen) (DVD)
I watched 'Bio-Dome' under extreme protest. I didn't really expect much, but I had no idea how wretched it would truly be. Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin star as Bud and Doyle, two losers who inadvertently get trapped in the 'Bio-Dome' scientific research station and hilarity (allegedly) ensues. Adding to the agony is an early screen appearance by Jack Black.
'Bio-Dome' is essentially a glimpse of the hilarity that goes on in a seventh grade boy's locker room. Jokes about K-Y Jelly and flatulence abound, so if you think that is utterly hilarious, this movie may be for you. The only bright side to 'Bio-Dome' is this: it is the film that utterly killed Pauley Shore's screen career.

Bio-Dome (Widescreen)
Bio-Dome (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Pauly Shore
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 131.28
12 used & new from CDN$ 15.94

1.0 out of 5 stars Makes Carrot Top Seem Handsome, and Adam Sandler Seem Funny, April 4 2004
This review is from: Bio-Dome (Widescreen) (DVD)
I watched 'Bio-Dome' under extreme protest. I didn't really expect much, but I had no idea how wretched it would truly be. Pauly 'The Weasel' Shore and Stephen Baldwin star as Bud and Doyle, two losers (there's a casting surprise!) who, thinking they are going to a mall, inadvertently get trapped within a futuristic 'Bio-Dome' scientific research station, and hilarity (allegedly) ensues. This makes 'Chairman of the Board' starring Carrot Top look like a serious contender for an Academy Award. Adding to the agony is an early screen appearance by the mega-untalented Jack Black, as if Pauly and Stephen weren't more than enough to discourage you.
'Bio-Dome' is essentially a glimpse of the hilarity that goes on in a seventh grade boy's locker room. Jokes about K-Y Jelly and flatulence abound, so if you think that is utterly hilarious, this movie may be for you. The good news is this: this is the film that utterly killed Pauley Shore's screen popularity, so for that I say thank you to the producers of 'Bio-Dome' for making this pile.

Aardvark : A Guide To Contemporary Melbourne Architecture
Aardvark : A Guide To Contemporary Melbourne Architecture
by Doug Evans
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Aardvark: A Peculiar Name for a Peculiar Book, April 4 2004
'Aardvark' is the guide to contemporary Melbourne (Australia) architecture. This is the third edition of 'Aardvark', otherwise known as 'Aardvark 3', and is one of the strangest books that I have ever seen. Melbourne is one of the greatest cities in the world for unusual and beautiful modern architecture, so I leapt at the chance to own my own copy of 'Aardvark 3' without having much information to really base my decision on. The first thing you should know about this book is its unconventional nature: the book itself is about 5 1/2" x 4 3/4" x 1" in size and it is accompanied by a CD-ROM. It is also enclosed in a cardboard slipcase for a nice, if quirky, presentation. My major issue with the format is that because the pages are so tiny the information becomes rather difficult to read, especially close to the binding.
The material is generally excellent. The book is broken down geographically by region, and includes buildings of every description imaginable as well as information on their construction and the designing architectural firm. My personal favorites from an aesthetic standpoint are the eleven story office building at 91-97 William St. by Denton Corker Marshall, the beautiful Choong house (in which the apparent collision and cantilever of disparate elements is balanced perfectly against the undulation of the central spinal wall) by Biltmoderne (it is also featured on the CD-ROM), and the quirky St. Kilda Toilet Block in the St. Kilda Botanical Gardens, an unusual study in organic blending with the surroundings, by the firm of Wood Marsh.
The CD-ROM has unique color illustrations of several structures, including the Choong house, the gorgeous curvilinear Elthan Library, a study in beautiful efficiency in a compact private residence by John Wardle, and possibly my favorite of all, the exquisite Frantzeskos house also by Wood Marsh. Unfortunately, since 'Aardvark 3' was released in 1997, Windows 95 was the operating system of choice at the time, and using the CD-ROM with Windows XP is quite frustrating. The index functions do not work correctly in my personal experience, either with or without an internet connection, and the amount of information that I was able to actually see with Windows XP is a fraction of that actually available, which is a shame.
'Aardvark 3' is a valuable, if costly, little reference book on one of the most vital cities in the world for contemporary architecture. I recommend it to anyone interested in great architecture with the caveat that it is small, and the CD-ROM may prove difficult to use.

Bull’s-Eye: Unraveling the Medical Mystery of Lyme Disease
Bull’s-Eye: Unraveling the Medical Mystery of Lyme Disease
by Jonathan A. Edlow
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking the Borrelia burgdorferi Case, April 4 2004
In his book "Bull's Eye", Dr. Jonathan Edlow takes the reader through the medical detective work leading to the discovery of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent responsible for Lyme disease. It also deals with several other tick-borne illnesses such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, and babesiosis. Unlike most readers, I have a unique perspective on this work as a former suffer of Lyme disease due to a tick bite I got while hiking in the St. Croix River valley of Minnesota in 1998. Fortunately, my physician, a gifted diagnostician, promptly tested for Lyme disease, and after a treatment of antibiotics (and anti-inflammatory drugs for the migratory arthritic pain involved), I became Lyme free after a careful prescription and testing regimen. It is with that background that I read "Bull's Eye", and I heartily endorse it as the best historical treatment of Lyme disease I have yet seen. I also have the benefit of being a biologist by education, so I was already acquainted with most of the terminology involved. This book is excellent for Doctors and other medical professionals, and is totally suitable to the layman as well, although someone with limited background may end up re-reading sections and flipping to the Appendix and Glossary occasionally.
The book is really a medical detective story, and a gripping one at that. It begins with the symptoms of an unknown disease clustered around Lyme, Connecticut in the mid 1970s. Initially believed to be Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), authorities began questioning that diagnosis after demographic patterns were not consistent with JRA, and the disease exhibited significant clustering (which JRA does not do.) Initially brought to the attention of authorities by two area mothers, Polly Murray and Judith Mensch, their initial concerns were rebuffed. Through their perseverance, ultimately several teams of doctors began investigating the illness, believed to be linked to an insect vector due to the geographic distribution of the illness and the seasonality of the illness. Navy Doctors William Mast and William Burrows were quick to realize the curative effect of antibiotics on the disease, though not all doctors agreed. Notably Dr. Allan Steere of the Yale rheumatology department believed that antibiotics were not indicated until four years worth of data were analyzed. Although in 20/20 hindsight this is an obvious gaffe, I am sympathetic to the conundrum faced by Dr. Steere, as obviously he didn't want to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics. Where I am not sympathetic to Dr. Steere is in his seemingly arrogant, quick dismissal of the Navy doctors and their corporate and medical knowledge, particularly in light of their ninety percent cure rate with antibiotic therapy. I am somewhat academically amused that Steere and the Yale 'experts' were generally incorrect in most of their initial assumptions. Although I am personally grateful for the work of all the researchers involved, including Dr. Steere, I was exceptionally impressed with Mast and Burrows in addition to noted tick expert Dr. Willy Burgdorfer (after whom the Lyme disease spirochete is named) and his efforts to find the agent responsible for the disease. Working with ticks is extremely difficult: they are small, hard, and contaminated with a gazillion things. Isolating the one agent being searched for, in this case an unknown spirochete, is extraordinarily difficult.
Dr. Edlow is an excellent writer and anyone with interest in the medical field would love this book. The doctor who treated my Lyme disease recently left practice. When he left I went to see him specifically to thank him for all his efforts on my behalf and to give him a copy of "Bull's Eye." It was the least I could do.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4
DVD ~ Raul Julia
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 477.16
9 used & new from CDN$ 68.97

5.0 out of 5 stars "Whoa! A Huge Slam On Anteaters Out Of Nowhere!", April 3 2004
Three great and one horrible episode of MST with new introductions featuring Mike for each are the contents of this set. The episodes in question are 'Space Mutiny', 'Girl in the Gold Boots', 'Hamlet', and 'Overdrawn at the Memory Bank'. I am ecstatic with the package as a whole, although I personally wish that they had never done 'Hamlet', and though I have seen it twice now, I doubt seriously that I will watch it again. On a brighter note the other three episodes are absolutely delightful.
'Space Mutiny' features reused 'Battlestar Galactica' stock footage combined with interiors filmed in what appears to be a boiler room (but remember it's a futuristic spaceship!) The costumes, acting, and especially dialogue are hilarious and I never tire of seeing this episode. My favorite scene is the hula hoop dance in the nightclub which yields the following glorious chestnuts from the MST crew: "So in the future there is absolutely no shame"; and, "She's presenting like a mandrill!"
'Girl in the Gold Boots' is a cheesy gangster/musical/dance movie straight out of the 1960s. Words can't describe the plot and the inane turns taken (the dune buggy scene in particular comes to mind here), so you'll just have to watch it for yourself. The dancing is particularly delicious to watch, as are the wretched musical numbers, particularly the closing tune, which provokes Mike to say "So here's a puzzler: which of these two is worse at their craft?" as the two stars dance and sing respectively.
'Overdrawn at the Memory Bank' is the best argument I have ever seen against the NEA. This horrible made for PBS film starring the genuinely great Raul Julia concerns a misanthrope from the future stuck into the body of Daisy, a worn out old baboon ("I'm Daisy; I like rotten fruit, poetry, and flinging my filth.") Of course everything goes horribly awry and Julia as 'Aram Fingal' has to fight to get out of the computer in a bad 'Casablanca' rip off. People either love or hate this episode, and I can see both sides of the issue. I personally fall into the former camp, so I am delighted it is now on DVD! Despite the horrible made for PBS special effects, and wretched storyline, the level of writing for the MST guys us near the peak of 'Manos' here. The anteater jokes alone make the film worth watching.
'Hamlet' is a 1960 black and white German TV production badly dubbed into English, and truthfully is one of my all time least favorite episodes of MST. I find this episode to be virtually unwatchable.
I hope that another volume comes out shortly, as one can never get enough MST. All told this is one of the best investments for your entertainment dollar that you could possibly make!

No Title Available

2.0 out of 5 stars World Class Hokum, April 3 2004
I had seen this when it came out as a made for TV movie many years ago, and rewatching it recently made me realize what a horrible production it really is. I am an airline pilot, and have flown the L-1011 (and dearly love it), so it is natural that I would be able to nitpick technical material in the film. I am not going to do so, as most people wouldn't care about the technical details of airline operations, anyway. My only caveat is that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, about the film from an aviation perspective is even remotely correct.
I can deal with the technical inaccuracies if the remainder of the story is well crafted, and attempts to be true to the historical events, but I recommend that you heed well the disclaimer at the beginning of the film that certain aspects of the film have been fictionalized. I will certainly say that they have. It basically becomes a soap opera in a swamp. A very large portion of the film is told in flashback and concerns who is pregnant, who is having an affair with whom, the flight attendant, oops, I'm sorry, stewardess who is afraid to fly, etc. Even if these situations existed onboard Eastern 401 it hardly impacts the story of the crash, which is ostensibly the subject of the film.
All that leads up to the films biggest over the top departure from reality: William Shatner. Shatner plays an NTSB investigator (who is actually seen performing mostly FAA duties, but I digress) who has to solve the case. Unfortunately he doesn't have Spock along to help out with the case, though he ends up being the hero in the end, and gets to chew a lot of scenery in the process. Eddie Albert also stars as the plane's Captain, though for some reason they changed his character name to "Dunn" from the real Captain's name (Bob Loft). I have always liked Eddie Albert, but apparently his only direction in this film was to be a cranky old codger. Also notable is 'Barney Miller' regular Ron Glass as a buyer for a department store who basically wanders around the swamp in a happy delirium after the accident. Of course shock can make episodes like this happen, but I was less than convinced by the performance here.
I gave the film two stars, which is fairly generous, but I have such a soft spot for the L-1011 that I can't bear to give it only one. The crash is an interesting story, and in real life has become the definitive teaching example in Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) classes. Ultimately, the accident occurred due to everybody in the cockpit being absorbed with a minor light bulb malfunction, and leaving the airplane to its own devices with nobody flying the plane. It is worth seeing just to see some great shots of L-1011's flying around. A better film on the same crash which is a bit more realistic (up through the crash anyway) is "The Ghost of Flight 401" starring Ernest Borgnine. If you get the opportunity, try that one, it covers the crash and the paranormal aspect that was detailed in the John Fuller book, if you are interested in that angle. (...)

Dr. Strangelove: Special Edition (Bilingual)
Dr. Strangelove: Special Edition (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Peter Sellers
Price: CDN$ 8.00
29 used & new from CDN$ 4.59

5.0 out of 5 stars They're Sapping My Precious Bodily Fluids!, April 2 2004
I had seen 'Dr. Strangelove' several times prior to purchasing the Special Edition DVD, but have never enjoyed it as much. The film is the standout satire from the 1960's and possibly of all time. The film is unbelievably tightly edited and is probably Kubrick's greatest work. The single largest contribution to the success of the film is the superior casting, led by Peter Sellers in a virtuoso triple performance. Supporting Sellers are Sterling Hayden, who plays the best dark lunatic ever on film, and the brilliant George C. Scott, as General Buck Turgidson. My favorite of the smaller roles has to be that of the rather dense Colonel 'Bat' Guano, played so effectively by Keenan Wynn. Also contributing to the realism of the film were the brilliant sets which are very effective at conveying the time period and mood.
The DVD has several excellent extras, including a documentary on Kubrick, and a wonderful documentary on the making of 'Dr. Strangelove'. There are also some odd interviews, and typical features like biographies, trailers (a must see!), and subtitles.
This movie is one of the greatest films ever made, and I can't endorse it highly enough to anyone with an eye to black comedy and satire.

Bride of the Monster (Full Screen)
Bride of the Monster (Full Screen)
DVD ~ Bela Lugosi
Price: CDN$ 11.51
23 used & new from CDN$ 5.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Bela Lugosi and a Giant Rubber Octopus!, April 2 2004
'Bride of the Monster' is probably Ed Wood's genuinely best movie, though it is, of course, still a low budget piece of cinematic cheese. I love Wood, and think his films are delightful in their ingenuity, stream-of-consciousness dialogue, illogical editing, and weirdo cast members and hangers on (I particularly miss Criswell and Vampira in this one.) In 'Bride of the Monster' (originally 'Bride of the Atom') Wood weaves a tale of mayhem, aging lunatic scientists (Bela Lugosi as Dr. Eric Vornoff) and their mute giant henchmen (Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson as 'Lobo'), pretty news reporters (Dolores Fuller), and giant rubber octopi. The story is fairly irrelevant, as in most Wood films, although some see this as Ed's anti-nuclear picture, which though reasonable, is not my personal opinion. I think the nuclear backdrop in the film is a device to explain the presence of Lugosi and his plot to make 'atomic powered supermen' to take over the world, but I could be wrong and you are free to have your own interpretation.
The standout bits of unintentional comedy in this movie (present in all Wood films, though here less than most) are the colander on the head device in Vornoff's laboratory, the incredibly silly looking rubber octopus that cast members had to deal with (this is a story in itself as Ed appropriated the octopus from a major studio, but forgot to bring the device that made it work, so cast members ended up pulling the legs around them in their 'death struggle' scenes), and the now famous atomic explosion (requested by a financial backer of the film) at the end, which has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the film. Pure Ed Wood genius, in other words.
The movie is the last one ever by Bela Lugosi (the minute or so of Lugosi in 'Plan 9' was used after Bela's death), and some of his performance is excellent, particularly the beginning of the genuinely autobiographical "I have no home" speech. He also exhibits the creepy double-jointed finger movements he was famous for in 'Dracula' and they are still very creepy. The other acting, while not Oscar worthy, is also a step above the typical Wood film.
In summary, I think 'Bride of the Monster' is worth five stars for several reasons: first, it is probably Wood's genuinely best film; two, it is fun to watch in the spirit of campy old monster movies; and three, Bela Lugosi shines in his last role. Sure it's wacky, disjointed, and at times nonsensical, but if you get into the spirit of it, it's a fun film to watch by yourself, of better yet, with likeminded friends.

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