Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A Very Original Review

Here is Pamellia's second review and this one is worthy of a review itself. What I fantastic way to review a book.

 

When I close my eyes
I can clearly see
The Arizona desert
Looking back at me.
 
When I feel the beginnings
Of a migraine attack
I am thankful to God
The Arizona sun's not on my back.
 
If you want to read
A book with a story to tell
Sunblind by McBride
Is the one that will ring that bell.
 
Characters are developed
Monsters most real
Twist and turns
Oh, this one's the deal.
 
The book is 5 stars
Recommended, I'd say
It's a book you can easily
Read in a day.
 
Review by Pamellia Smith
 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sputnik A Story Worth Telling

For those of you that have been following the Lazy Book Reviewer for a while you might start to be noticing a pattern forming. I quite often  get what I like to call a 'Subject Crush' and at the moment that crush is over the Cold War. I strive to maintain a good mix of genres but some times my curiosity gets the better of me. So please don't despair this crush will soon be over.





Coming into this book with little knowledge of the story of Sputnik I was not sure what I was going to find. What I got was a great story about the early years of the Cold War. The author goes to great length to give the reader a great sense of what it was like to live in these times.

From the end of World War II to the late 50's the story of Sputnik goes way beyond this watershed moment in history. Like a best-selling thriller the narrative is a delicate web of numerous stories all linking to deliver a fantastic story. This book delivers a story that in many ways exemplifies the Cold War.

4 Stars

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

New Team Member

The Lazy Book Reviewer is expanding with a new reviewer joining the team. I am pleased to introduce to you all Pamellia Smith. I for one am very excited to have Pamellia on board. But that's enough from me I will let  Pamellia introduce herself in her own words:

My name is Pamellia Smith.  I am a wife, friend, sister, musician, reader and former home-school mother.  I am a retired (fall 2013) Pastoral Director of Liturgical Music for the Roman Catholic Church.  I continue to serve on the Leadership Board for the musicians of our Diocese. 
I have always enjoyed reading.  As I have aged, I’ve found I enjoy reading more and more.  For the past few years, I have read an average of 2 books per week.  I enjoy several genre, however horror is by far my favorite.  But one can see me enjoying historical fiction, mysteries and comedy also.
 
My goal is to write an honest review for each book I read.
Here is Pamellia's first book review:

The story open in the German occupied Poland. Major Eric Kaempffer, SS Officer, has received orders to investigate The Keep at the Dinu Pass in Romania. This is a strategic sight for the German military. Captain Klaus Woermann, a military officer, has occupied the keep with his troops and odd things begin to happen. Throw in unexplained murders, a genius Jewish profession and his lovely daughter, some interesting villagers, a mysterious man with an unexplained connection to all this and you have the story of THE KEEP.



I enjoyed the story. I thought the characters were believable and well developed. The differences between the SS Nazi's politics and regular German Army were well defined and actually educational. The villagers were humble and accommodating. There were twist and turns and lots to think about. I believe the author wanted the reader to see that a person's background shapes their views and believes. Without a strong well established position and responsibilities one can be easily swayed by perverted believes and politics. I especially liked the long time rivalry between the SS officer and the Army officer.

I recommend this book to those enjoying European WWII Historical Fiction and lovers of horror.
4 Stars 

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Short & Short Of It

Once again I have delved into the world of the short story and I have found these two gems.


My Friend Asmodeus by Nathan Barnes


We all have that little voice in your head urging to say what’s on your mine regardless of what it is. Well what would you do if that voice in your head was actually a demon that gave you the power to control others and promises you world? Would you go sign yourself into the nearest looney bin or would you embrace it and see where it takes you? Nathan Barnes takes us on rollicking tale of anarchy be it only a short one.

This is my second sampling of this author’s works and I continue to be impressed. This book is the perfect length to read in one go and at the end I was wanting more. I would love to see this novella evolve into a full length novel. But at the moment all I can do is sample another one of this authors offerings.

4 Stars






Space Sushi delivers a gourmet narrative jam packed with all sorts of goodness that deliver on many levels. The only downside to this book is that it had to end; I could have gone on reading it for hours. The author delivers a very unique story that had me intrigued from the very beginning right up to the suspense filled end. It is amazing what he has managed to pack into 25 pages. So if you a looking for a highly entertaining short read this is your book.

5 Stars

Thursday, 7 August 2014

History of the Rubiks Cube

There is only 1 correct answer and 43 quintillion wrong ones for Rubiks Cube. God's algorithm is the answer that solves the puzzle in the least number of moves. One eighth of the world's population has laid hands on 'The Cube', the most popular puzzle in history and the colorful brainchild of Erno Rubik.

Erno Rubik

Enter Erno Rubik

Erno Rubik was born in Budapest, Hungary during World War II. His mother was a poet, his father
an aircraft engineer who started a company to build gliders. Rubik studied sculpture in college, but after graduating, he went back to learn architecture at a small college called the Academy of Applied Arts and Design. He remained there after his studies to teach interior design.

 

The Cube

Rubik's initial attraction to inventing the Cube was not in producing the best selling toy puzzle in history. The structural design problem interested Rubik; he asked, "How could the blocks move independently without falling apart?" In Rubik's Cube, twenty-six individual little cubes or cubies make up the big Cube. Each layer of nine cubies can twist and the layers can overlap. Any three squares in a row, except diagonally, can join a new layer. Rubik's initial attempt to use elastic bands failed, his solution was to have the blocks hold themselves together by their shape. Rubik hand carved and assembled the little cubies together. He marked each side of the big Cube with adhesive paper of a different color, and started twisting.

An Inventor Dreams

"It was wonderful, to see how, after only a few turns, the colors became mixed, apparently in random fashion. It was tremendously satisfying to watch this color parade. Like after a nice walk when you have seen many lovely sights you decide to go home, after a while I decided it was time to go home, let us put the cubes back in order. And it was at that moment that I came face to face with the Big Challenge: What is the way home?" - Erno Rubik
 
That was how the Cube as a puzzle, was invented in the spring of 1974, when the twenty-nine year old Rubik discovered it was not so easy to realign the colors to match on all six sides. He was not sure he would ever be able to return his invention to its original position. He theorized that by randomly twisting the Cube he would never be able to fix it in a lifetime, which later turns out to be more than correct. He began working out a solution, starting with aligning the eight corner cubies. He discovered certain sequences of moves for rearranging just a few cubies at a time. Within a month, he had the puzzle solved and an amazing journey lay ahead..

First Patent

Rubik applied for his Hungarian patent in January 1975 and left his invention with a small toy making cooperative in Budapest. The patent approval finally came in early 1977 and the first Cubes appeared at the end of 1977. By this time, Erno Rubik was married.
Two other people applied for similar patents at about the same time as Rubik. Terutoshi Ishige applied a year after Rubik, for a Japanese patent on a very similar cube. An American, Larry Nichols, patented a cube before Rubik, held together with magnets. Nichols' toy was rejected by all toy companies, including the Ideal Toy Corporation, which later bought the rights to Rubik's Cube.
 
Sales of the Rubik's Cube were sluggish until Hungarian businessman Tibor Laczi discovered the Cube. While having a coffee, he spied a waiter playing with the toy. Laczi an amateur mathematician was impressed. The next day he went to the state trading company, Konsumex, and asked permission to sell the Cube in the West.


Tibor Laczi on Meeting Erno Rubik

''When Rubik first walked into the room I felt like giving him some money,'' he says. ''He looked like a beggar. He was terribly dressed, and he had a cheap Hungarian cigarette hanging out of his mouth. But I knew I had a genius on my hands. I told him we could sell millions.'' - Tibor Laczi on meeting Erno Rubik

Nuremberg Toy Fair

Laczi proceeded to demonstrate the Cube at the Nuremberg toy fair, but not as an official exhibitor. Laczi walked around the fair playing with a Cube and managed to meet British toy expert Tom Kremer. Kremer thought Rubik's Cube was the wonder of the world. He later arranged an order for a million Cubes with Ideal Toy.

What's in a Name

Rubik's Cube was first called the Magic Cube (Buvuos Kocka) in Hungary. The puzzle had not been patented internationally within a year of the original patent. Patent law then prevented the possibility of an international patent. Ideal Toy wanted at least a recognizable name to copyright; of course, that arrangement put Rubik in the spotlight because the Magic Cube was renamed after its inventor.

Red Millionaire

Erno Rubik became the first self-made millionaire from the communist block. The eighties and Rubik's Cube went well together. Cubic Rubes (the name of cube fans) formed clubs to play and study solutions. A sixteen-year-old Vietnamese high school student from Los Angeles, Minh Thai won the world championship in Budapest (June 1982) by unscrambling a Cube in 22.95 seconds. The unofficial speed records may be ten seconds or less. Human experts now solve the puzzle in 24-28 moves on a regular basis.
Erno Rubik has established a foundation to help promising inventors in Hungary. He also runs the Rubik Studio, which employs a dozen people to design furniture and toys. Rubik has produced several other toys, including Rubik's Snake. He has plans to start designing computer games and continues to develop his theories on geometric structures. Seven Towns Ltd. currently holds the rights to Rubik's Cube.