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- B. Rose - Best Bluetooth portable boombox I've used, period.I've reviewed quite a few Bluetooth boomboxes / speakers. This unit is the size of a 'speaker' but packs the punch of a Boombox. It's solid, well-constructed, sleekly designed, easy to use, and just sounds awesome.
-- IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A WIRELESS SPEAKER FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE OR TABLET, THIS IS IT. --
- this thing sounds great. The bass is BOOMING. The unit literally throbs in my hands when I turn it up high and let the bass rip. It's the size of a girl scout cookies box, yet puts out the audio of a full-sized tabletop speaker. This thing rocks.
BUILD / FEEL:
- soft-touch plastic accents and metal construction fuse pretty seamlessly here. This unit is HEAVY. Hefting it, you get the immediate impression of solid, quality construction.
FUNCTIONALITY / DESIGN:
- functionally, this is your standard Bluetooth speaker. Sync it up and control volume from both your phone and the unit itself. It also has a built-in microphone, but I haven't used this for phone calls, and don't plan to. The weatherized design rocks. I don't plan to have this in any extreme conditions, but it's nice being able to bust this out when I'm outdoors and not fret about splashes, rain sprinkles, etc. The rechargeable battery is a must. With technology increasingly built around wireless data/audio and emphasizing portability, why would you shackle yourself to a wall socket?
- if you are looking for a portable smartphone / tablet speaker, get this. Period. Given its size and portability, this is the best value out there. There are some options for wired speakers that might slightly outperform this... but they're more expensive, and aren't portable. You won't be disappointed with this unit.
- Sam Vaknin - Maltin's Movie Guides Keep GivingMaltin's Movie Guide requires no booting, minimal "surfing", and no software, or special hardware. It is always on and it is authoritative in the best sense of the word: implying erudition, not bullying. It is updated sufficiently frequently to remain relevant in its field, though, admittedly, a web presence with real-time capsule reviews, peer-reviewed content, and user-generated commentary would have leveraged the Maltin brand to good use. An iPhone/iPad app of the Guide is a step in the right direction, hopefully to be followed by a comparable Android offering.
In an age of crowdsourcing and mob "wisdom" made available on every mobile device, why invest in a reference book? With dozens of user reviews available on websites such as imdb.com and rottentomatoes.com for each film ever shot, however obscure - why bother with Maltin's voluminous fine-print doorstopper movie guides? Because Maltin is the Britannica to imdb's Wikipedia: he offers expertise where laymen merely register opinions.
There are two Maltin movie guides: the veteran and venerated "Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide", annually published since 1996 and a lighter-weight but equally authoritative "Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide" whose second edition covers movies made no later than 1965. The Guides are mutually exclusive: most films would be listed in either book, but not in both. Each volume proffers between 10,000 (the Classics Guide) and 17,000 (the annual tome) capsule reviews of movies and what a marvel these snippets are!
Each capsule review comes replete with a plethora of information culled from hundreds of sources: date of release, viewing time in minutes, a quality rating assigned by the Guide's editors (more about them later) as well as the MPAA's parental guidance rating, credits of directors and actors involved, a brief synopsis of the plot, and even gossip, cameo appearances, anecdotes, and the social and cultural context of the work - all neatly and articulately folded into a Tweet-like 100 words or less!
The annual Guide also includes an incisive and insightful essay (in the form of an introduction) about the current state of the cinematic arts and commerce; lists of movies by topic (this year it is the Favorite Films of the New Millennium); mail-order and online sources for home videos (a USA-centric feature, admittedly); a widescreen glossary; and an index of film stars (gone is the index of movie directors, alas!) each with his or her respective oeuvre. The Classic Guide augments these offerings with "25 vintage movies you really shouldn't miss."
Back to our opening salvo: why not stick with imdb, or rottentomatoes, both of which now aggregate critics' reviews from a wide variety of sources, print and digital?
When one is faced with a health problem one consults a doctor or two (for a second opinion.) No one I have heard of confers with 10, 70, or 5000 doctors. The element of expertise is crucial. The authors-editors of the two Guides are not merely the world's leading critics (which they are) - but some of them have actually worked in the film industry, bringing to the proverbial table invaluable insights gleaned first-hand. Moreover, the usefulness, indeed indispensability of an informed impartial guide grows in an environment of cacophonic background noise and random "lists".
But surely cinema - as opposed to medicine - is a matter of taste and opinion rather than facts and figures? Well, yes and no. Filmmaking is a discipline which must be learned and assimilated methodically and in-depth. Many of its aspects are utterly objective. The same applies to film historiography. And when it comes to taste and opinion I would rather rely on Maltin's than on any Joe Schmo with a keyboard and time to kill. Even when I wholeheartedly disagree with Maltin ("Black Swan", "Blade Runner" and that's only on one page of the Guide!), I find myself challenged, enlightened, provoked, and informed by the collective intelligence and unfathomable knowledge of the crew behind the book.
No lover of the movies should go without a Maltin Guide (or two.) Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"
- Old Pro - Best book on the subject availableIt's not magic but sure seems like it.
A logical, realistic, scientific based approach explaining in detail how to take responsibility and make improvements.
If there is any hope at all, this is the trick you need, not everything is a perfect fit, nor can it be forced, but if there ever was a magic trick this is as close as it gets.
- Sara Elisabeth - A Moving StoryThis is a very honest account of Elizabeth Smart's abduction. The story of her kidnapping and abuse is harrowing and she is able to write with an openness which shows real strength of character. She describes the emotion she felt throughout her ordeal and the the things that enabled her to cope with such evil. What is amazing is that a young innocent girl who suffered so much has come through it with her beautiful nature intact and with a sense of joy and wonder at the beauty of life. She does not gloss over anything that happened to her but she has moved forward with joyfulness and appreciation for what she has and an anticipation for what is to come. She writes simply and honestly about her experience. I was inspired by her book.