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I don't know why, but I find parasites interesting. However, I wasn't exactly looking for a book on this particular subject; rather I merely stumbled upon it. When I go to the book store I typically peruse my favorite sections, one of which is science. On the shelf I came across the title "Parasite Rex"... so I picked it up "King Parasite...huh." Then I made the mistake of reading the back of the book and found out what it was about. I had to buy this book immediately!
I'm always reading, so I had to finish up a couple other books before I could start reading this one, so I waited patiently in eager anticipation. I'll usually read two or three books at a time, and when I finally got freed up, I started this book. I didn't read another book until I finished this. It is one of the most engrossing scientific books I have in my collection. Carl Zimmer is actually a phenomenal writer. I'm not a scientist, but I enjoy reading about it and it's written in a manner just about anyone should be able to understand. It's like a science report that flows, but doesn't sound overly scientific, yet it's still science!
Parasite Rex doesn't just deal with one specific parasite, like the title might suggest, rather it's a veritable tour of the parasitic world. The reader finds themselves enthralled with each creature. It really changes your perspective on the world as a whole, realizing that the major importance of sex is so that we can vary up our genetic code to better defend against such parasites. It also makes you realize that for all intents and purposes the fetuses of mammals would also be parasites as well because they force the mother to change her chemical reactions to support the fetus. Also the mother treats the fetus initially as a threat to her system. I personally found all this very fascinating and made me realize that perhaps Agent Smith in the Matrix, when he assessed the human race as a virus, probably should have identified them as a parasite.
The book is also terrifying in some regards because there are parts where it explains where parasites go wrong. Parasites are essentially programmed to thrive in specific locations in your body (or some other creatures). So a parasite that gets lodged in your brain, but it's supposed to be in your stomach could end up killing the host. Or screw up which species it attaches itself to. From what I gathered, the parasites main focus isn't to kill the host, but to feed off of the host's life, so when a parasite is in the wrong spot it executes its program, but it ends up having terrifying affects on the host.
In the end this was a phenomenal read and I can't recommend this enough. In fact I will probably read this a second time because when I read it the first time through I read it pretty quickly. One other thing this book made me not want to do is visit any location that's in the central area of the earth, such as the Amazon. Considering there have been 2,500 different parasites identified in one small location. Carl Zimmer is seriously the kind of writer we need in science to help transfer complex knowledge to the lay population.
I bought the Transformer Prime today and hate it out of the box and working in about an Hour (with battery charge time include). I absolutely love this tablet!! I have owed IPAD2 and Xoom in the past. I have had experience with several other 10inch and 7 inch pads, mostly Samsung.
This tablet stands on its own. It is sleek, fast, and brilliant all in one. I updated the operating system from Honeycomb to ICS. I was a tablet owner through all of Honeycombs ups and downs last year, so I didn't expect much from ICS. However, ICS is great! To the average user, there are only minor noticeable changes. Such as menu setup, the file system, and a few extra features. However, it seems more stable. I did experience force closes (allot) while using my apps. However, many apps have not been ported to ICS yet. So I cannot judge the device on that.
Back to the device: After experiencing the IPAD2's horrible camera, this was one of the first features I wanted to test. The rear camera is 8mps and does an excellent job of capturing still photos (I did not try it on moving subjects). There is very little pixilation. In fact the only time I noticed pixilation is if I used the zoom function to take a photo. There is also an awesome photo editing feature onboard. I like it much better than the one on my ipad 2.
The device is much lighter than my ipad 2 and very slim. It also feels very solid. The only external buttons are the volume rocker and the power on button.
I did not get to test the power of the tegra 3 chip. When I updated to ICS, the boat racing game that comes with it disappeared.
I did notice some GPS problems and WIFI issues. The GPS signal would drop every so often and the devices location based apps would stop working. What bothered me the most though was the WIFI signal? I could not get the tablets to read more than one bar, no matter where I sat in vicinity of my wireless router. I was running my IPAD 2 at the same time and it was getting full signal.
Sadly, I did return my Transformer Prime the same day. It has nothing to do with the device itself, but everything to do with the Android Market. Although Android has this great tablet now (one that finally beats IPAD), without any apps what is the point. I figure the reason you have a tablet is to use apps, but the Android market place has like 100 apps for tablets...What is up with that?
Anyways, if you do not like apps and entertainment, get this tablet! It's awesome!!!!
This might be Coulter's best book yet. In the past, she hasn't discussed the issue of race much, but when she finally got around to tackling it in Mugged", she did so masterfully.
Anyone who reads the paper or watches the news is already aware of the ridiculous double-standard when it comes to inter-racial crime reporting. Black-on-white crimes get far less coverage than white-on-black (barring celebrity involvement), and in the case of the former, the racial aspect usually isn't even reported or considered, except maybe with a passing and dismissive `police don't believe that race was a factor,' which is usually the only way to know that there was a black offender and a white victim. A good example of this is the reporting of the recent wave of black-on-white mob attacks from Baltimore to Minneapolis to Chicago to Portland to Philadelphia, etc. - where the race of the offenders/victims is usually not even mentioned. Asked why, they will haughtily say that race wasn't `germane' to the story, or something like that.
But if it's a white-on-black crime - something that is far less frequent - the racial aspect is always a perfectly legitimate and 'germane' aspect of the story. And it's is not only mentioned, it's usually in the first paragraph, if not the headline, and it's the main theme of the article.
The narrative advanced by the white liberals who dominate the media is that America is a rotten, racist country. And they craft their reporting to advance that theme. Why they do this is a whole other question, but one of the reasons is for political advantage, which is what Coulter focuses on in the book.
Democrats use the theme of racist America to mean racist Republicans, which secures them the black vote - which is often the difference in an election. They don't include themselves when they talk about racism in America. There is nothing more nauseating and less courageous than a morally conceited white person decrying white racism, often saying `we' but meaning `you.' Coulter shows that these phony, judgmental white liberal denouncers of white racism are typically guilt ridden jerks who condescendingly pander blacks and can't treat them as equals. A particularly funny example was Rachel Maddow, who always slobbers all over one of her regular black guests, showing that Maddow is clearly not comfortable around blacks, and not able to be confident enough to engage them in a respectful eye to eye manner.
The book also points out how Democrats, with the help of the press, have lied about the `Southern strategy' as well as their own racist past. In short, it shows how white liberals demagogue the race issue, and use it as a club against their ideological enemies.
Also, the book is a great reference source - with all the facts - for every issue the white liberals and black race hustlers have lied about and demagogued over the last several decades; from Elanor Bumpers to Duke Lacrosse to Tea Partiers using the N-Word 15 times.