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The Walking Dead story continues where the third book left off with the inevitable confrontation between our heroes currently housed in the prison and the disgusting (redneck) camp from last issue. The story continues to become more entangled by its ever growing cast, diverging into a zombie survivor soap opera at some points during some slow paced parts… but that was just the necessary set-up for the bludgeon of an ending. Wow. I’m shocked disgusted and horrified. In some ways it was hitting a reboot button on the characters, in some ways it was simply the natural progression of the story. But it was completely in style with what I’ve come to expect from Kirkman’s Walking Dead.

If you’ve enjoyed the first three books, how could you stop reading there? Pick up the fourth one for an equally tragic continuation of humanity’s life after the apocalypse.

Making this story more interesting was the recent C-Realm Podcast discussion on Zombie fiction as a reflection of latent societal fears of human nature. Walking Dead follows in line with all good zombie stories, the atrocities committed by humans against each other overshadow the disgusting yet rather straightforward motivation of the walking undead themselves. Perhaps the greatest horror is the revelation that humans may be the true soulless sacks of meat, simply with more complex reasons for acting. The Walking Dead is the best zombie story I’ve ever experienced and I’m not sure how much more my stomach can take. But for now, bring on the 5th hardcover collection Robert Kirkman!

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After starting Hawken and Lovins’ Natural Capitalism in late October, I just finished it up today nearly two months later. Amazing book with many insights for the upcoming economist, engineer, architect, manager and leader. Natural Capitalism provides a realistic look on how to develop new business and markets around enhancing our natural capital instead of degrading it. Some interesting insights back in 1999 (when the book was originally published) are only now being realized nationally such as comments about the “Big Three” automakers and non-sustainable nature of credit markets (indirectly commented on).

Finishing this book made me wonder if we’ve been on pause for the last decade. Have we begun to address any of the approaches in this book at a national level? Is it too late? Quite possibly.

However, it has fully re-ignited my interest to have a long and exciting career as an engineer in the field of resource efficiency which I’ll hopefully be able to devote towards policy later on in a local civil elected position.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in making money in a quickly changing market.

My next read? After a brief fiction detour, Hot, Flat and Crowded by Friedman. Will be an interesting contrast to Lovins and Hawken regarding where we are at as the United States, nearly ten years after Natural Capitalism was written. In what I assume will be political commentary and a recommended course of action from Friedman, I’ll look to glean some base reference for what our federal and state policy makers will think as we head into the most crucial 6 months of US history.

This book was a great follow up after reading Cradle to Cradle on the plane to Austria, many of the same concepts were discussed in both books and McKibben was referred to multiple times in Natural Capitalism (NC). However, considering that NC was published first… I have to wonder if this article “outing” McKibben as a fraud and plagarist are true.

The most mentally revolutionary concept from Natural Capitalism? Tunneling through the cost curve,

Essentially, you can reach a point with energy efficiency that it reduces the capital cost of initial purchases. I can’t do the concept justice here but for planners and designers including this idea in college courses could reap immeasurable and exponential benefits the world over.

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Started this book over a year ago and just finished it today. How many times does Friedman have to say “the world is flat” for us to get it? I’ve never read a book with so many anecdotal and innocuous stories just to prove that the title is far from misnomer.

Most of the content just seemed like common sense after reviewing modern econ theories and histories. This resulted in skimming about 1/4 of the book, mainly the stories that repeatedly resulted in “Hey guess what, here is yet more proof that the world is flat”

I can’t bash the whole book though.

While the story of globalization presented by Friedman is about 300 pages too long, it does contain some great advice on how America can change its policies to better enhance innovation among its future workforce. Information about the perfect storm facing the American workforce was intriguing and alarming. Stories of how less developed countries can harness our new world were encouraging.

Great for someone unfamiliar with modern economic theories and initially bitter to globalization. If you’ve read anything on modern global trends and economic principles released in the last 3 years, this book is not worth the price tag. Also, if you are familiar with “The internets” you probably have already figured out most of what Friedman is talking about.

I’m sure the stories presented in this book were revolutionary a few years ago… but apparently in a flat world books about globalization go out of date rather quickly.

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This morning I began the daunting task of moving over 500 saved books in my Amazon Shopping Cart that have accumulated since 2004 over to multiple sorted wish lists. And what a task that was.Before I order anything, I’ll need to read the 20 or so books that are stacked up in my room. I’m starting with Steven Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature which has me very intrigued after the first 100 pages despite my complete lack of knowledge in the area of linguistics.

Now I can order something from Amazon without having to save everything that is in my cart, and friends or family members can see the books I’m interested in… 😉

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Books ARE Important!

Reading is important, for many different reasons….

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Will Harry Potter Die?

Both Stephen King and John Irving agree, “Don’t Kill Harry Potter“. The only statement Rowling has made on the issue is that she will be fair to the character, which is no guarantee for Harry’s survival.

Rowling also went on to state, “Some people will hate the ending, some people will love it.”

Her statement makes sense. The hardest part of being an author is endings. How do you wrap up an epic loved by millions (if not billions) of people that is several thousand pages long? But one thing is for sure,  Rowling will be judged forever upon how she ends the story of Harry Potter.

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Snape was quoted as saying,
“Yeah, I didn’t know that I would kill
Dumbledore after the first book either”

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Animals are awesome, and so are flash games. That’s why I’m a fan of Pio Pio. If you are as good as me, you’ll see this a lot,

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