Archive for January, 2013

Step by Step Sonographic Atlas of Thyroid & Appendix — Behind the Story Behind the Book

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Guest Author: Dr. Joe Antony, MD

In this short article, I will describe, in brief about what led me to writing this short textbook on sonography of thyroid and Apppendix. It all began with some e-mails I exchanged with Marveen Craig, a senior sonographer and writer based in the USA. Having already entered online publishing via my websites on sonography she suggested that it might be a wise idea to write and publish in the print media also. Having already published a major website and a number of blogs related to ultrasound imaging which fare well on the Internet I was attracted to this new opportunity.

    I realized the perils and pitfalls of publishing in the print media and that the success I had in online publishing may not hold true for print publishing. All the same I decided I must try this out. That was the origin of my entry into the world of book writing. The next thing was to select the topic of the book. I had already had considerable experience in thyroid ultrasound which prompted me to write on this topic. There are very few books that deal with the intricacies of thyroid ultrasound. In addition imaging of the appendix was also another grey area with little material or books available on this topic. That is how I decided to write on a topic or rather two topics covered in one book. As was the case with my ultrasound related website I decided to keep the book short simple and packed with images. As the saying goes, one picture is worth a 1000 words, I decided that this book would be all about educating about thyroid and Apppendix ultrasound almost entirely based on the use of high resolution sonographic images. Within a matter of months I prepared the entire groundwork for this book acquiring and assimilating the best images possible on thyroid and Apppendix sonography. I spent almost a year in reading and preparing the draft of this book. At the end of it the book was submitted to the publishers and I waited for their opinion. A short period of waiting and I got the green signal to publish the book.

   And that is about all about how and why I wrote and published this book:  Sonographic Atlas of thyroid and Apppendix. The rest is history and have never looked back.

Author’s Bio:

DR. JOE ANTONY is a well-established radiologist at Silverline Endocrinology Hospital at Cochin, India. A specialist with 22 years experience in ultrasound, Xrays and CT scan/ MRI scan, he has written the textbook “Sonographic atlas of thyroid and appendix“, and has also created his own website http://www.ultrasound-images.com/, where one can browse through the high resolution sonographic images from some of the topmost radiologists, sonographers and sonologists in the business.

Books that Help You Go Against Internet Addiction

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

It is true that today, internet is the world’s biggest and broadest source of knowledge, entertainment, brand building, commerce and education, and has definitely altered over the years the way we live, think, work and communicate. But, this vast system of networking also boasts a darker side — Addiction. Obsession of Internet Surfing, Online Gaming, Cybersex and Chat Rooms is the trash of World Wide Web that has polluted millions of young minds.

This post is our clarion call for all the netizen to prevent themselves and their younger ones from becoming the victim of such life-paralyzing addiction of internet. We have enlisted below some book titles that will help you work against Internet addiction. These books will not only work as a great source of inspiration to not to become an internet addict, but also come out like a ‘web rehab’ for those who are already trapped in the same.

Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap – For majority of North Americans, their favorite sources of entertainment are video gaming and internet surfing. And, the current scenario is they are becoming obsessed with these high-tech entertainment sources, and because of which they start isolating themselves from family and friends, ignoring reality, losing sleep, and even their career. here comes the role of this groundbreaking book. Written by a recovering video game addict Kevin Roberts, this book is based on scientific and social research, offering a step-by-step guidelines for recovery. The author complemented the book by his and others addicts’ personal stories to help obsessive gamers and surfers going against addiction.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains – With the help of this book, author Nicholas Carr asks every netizens that “As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?” He not only question but also discusses and makes points on this serious issue. Explaining how the printed books helped us to be attentive by promoting deep and creative thought, he asserts that the Internet, on contrary, encourages the quick and distracted notice of little bit information from variety of sources. He makes point that though we are becoming more skilled in technology, we’re losing our ability of concentrating, contemplating, and reflecting.

Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction–and a Winning Strategy for Recovery – Drawing on the expanding stretch of Internet Addiction, author Kimberly Young chronicles the outcomes of her three-year study of Internet abuse to present this book. She further shares in the volume the stories of dozens of lives that were devastated by an irresistible compulsion of internet surfing, MUD games, or chatting with distant and unfamiliar persons just for fun. To help Netizens find out whether they are addicts, she also offers a questionnaire, and further discusses over essential steps that will help compulsive users to regulate their Internet activities in a balanced way.

Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment – This is the book that not only help us assessing Internet Addiction but also offers course of action for its appropriate treatment.  Discussing the problems like online gaming compulsion, cybersex addiction, and gambling addiction, Kimberly Young provides a comprehensive yet latest overview of the different types of Internet addiction. Drawing on the rapid rise in media and technology use by iGeneration young adults, especially teenagers, this book appeals that an extensive attention to deal with adolescents’ internet behavior is required.

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior – The online sexual behavior is a problem that was first addressed five years back in the first edition of In the Shadows of the Net by Patrick Carnes and coauthors. Now, this new edition updated with the latest information, trends, and developments is equipped with explicit arrangement for recognizing and altering the compulsive online sexual behaviors. Through personal stories, authors shows online sex addicts that how addiction can make their life so distressful with the factors like divorce, career loss, and financial wreck. Not only this, authors also help them by setting forth a well-arranged path for breaking free from compulsive online sexual behavior, and to sustain a lifetime resumption.

Nonparametric Inference On Manifolds: An Statistical Analysis Of Shapes Of Images

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Guest Author: Abhishek Bhattacharya

Analyses of shapes of digital images play a vital role today in science and technology, and also in many aspects of our daily life. Consider for example the problem in morphometrics of determining the gender of an extinct species based on the shape of fossilized bones of a few specimens. An application in medical diagnostics can be the detection of presence or absence of a disease based on any deformation in the shape of a particular organ. Then in robotics one would need shape analysis tools to help the robot understand a particular scene. There are many such applications in diverse fields of biology, image analysis, machine vision, and many more. This book seeks to advance the analysis of images, through the statistical analysis of shapes of images.

The statistical analysis of shapes involves developing statistical inference tools on the so called spaces of shapes. These shape spaces are special geometric objects called manifolds which are very different from the real line or the higher dimensional planes. Various dimensional planes form a special category of manifolds, the so called linear or Euclidean manifolds. Most statistical literature is dedicated to the analysis of data on Euclidean manifolds and very little work exists when the data is non-linear. This book presents in a systematic manner a general theory of statistics on general manifolds with emphasis on manifolds of shapes, and with applications to diverse fields of science and engineering.

Apart from the shape spaces, another simpler manifold of interest is the sphere of one (circle), two (ball) or higher dimension. Statistical inference on spheres finds applications in directional data analysis, an application being the study of shifts in the Earth’s magnetic poles over geological time, which have an important bearing on the subject of tectonics. This book takes a fresh look in analyzing existing data pertaining to a number of such applications. The goal is to lay the framework for other future applications of this exciting emerging field of statistics.

Most of the past statistical literature on manifolds, especially that on shape spaces, has focused on parametric models which means that the data is assumed to come from a fixed class of distributions and the inference holds only if that assumption is true, which is hardly ever the case except in simulated examples. This book mainly deals with nonparametric theory of statistics on manifolds, which makes no model assumptions on the given data. The inference is shown to be asymptotically consistent irrespective of the underlying model. In all the data examples, the developed methodology seems to provide sharper inferences than do their parametric counterparts.

This book develops both nonparametric frequentist and nonparametric Bayesian inference on manifolds. For frequentist inference concepts of center and spread are defined on manifolds and their properties studied like uniqueness, consistency and asymptotic distribution. Confidence regions are constructed and hypothesis testing performed based on these properties. Their bootstrap counterparts are also used.

For Bayesian inference, nonparametric Bayes procedures are developed for functional inference on manifolds including nonparametric density estimation, regression, classification and hypothesis testing.

The developed methods are applied to manifolds of special interest such as spheres, projective spaces and spaces of various notions of shapes such as similarity shapes, reflection similarity shapes, affine shapes and projective shapes.

This book is suitable for graduate students in mathematics, statistics, engineering and computer science who have taken a graduate course in asymptotic statistics and differential geometry. For such students special topic courses may be based on it. This book is also meant to serve as a reference for researchers in the areas mentioned. For the benefit of the readers two appendices are provided on differential geometry and one each on nonparametric Bayes inference and some commonly used parametric models on spheres and shape spaces. These models play a significant role in constructing nonparametric Bayes priors for density estimation and shape classification in the book chapters.

The book “Nonparametric Inference on Manifolds is the result of the joint efforts by Prof. Abhishek Bhattacharya (Indian Statistical Institute) and Prof. Rabi Bhattacharya (University of Arizona). It is published in 2012 as an Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) monograph by Cambridge University Press.

These IMS monographs are research monographs of high quality on any branch of statistics or probability of sufficient interest to warrant publication as books. Some concern relatively traditional topics in need of up-to-date assessment while others are on emerging themes. In all cases the objective is to provide a balanced view of the field.

Our Guest author, Dr. Abhishek Bhattacharya is Assistant Professor in the Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics Unit (SMU) at the Indian Statistical Institute. He has written several articles for leading journals like IMS collections, AMS proceedings, Sankhya, Bayesian Statistics, Biometrika, JMVA, AISM and JASA including this Cambridge University Press book. Details of his work can be accessed from his webpage http://www.isical.ac.in/~abhishek/.

7 Must-read Books on Holocaust

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

January 27, the coming Sunday, is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. As proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 1 November 2005, this day is an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust, the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of 6 million Jews, 2 million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

As per the war records, 27 January is the date in 1945 when the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops.

So, on the coming Sunday, let’s remember the victims of holocaust through the work of literature. Here is a list of 7 must-read books on Holocaust that give you an account of that horrifying and sobering scenes of the Nazi Germany. Take a look:

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - This is an Autobiography of Anne Frank. Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic as a powerful reminder of the horrors of the holocaust in Nazis occupying Holland and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, when Nazis overpowered the Holland, Anne Frank, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding with another family. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences she had during this period.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Set during World War II in Germany, this groundbreaking novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Night by Elie Wiesel - This is a terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family…the death of his innocence…and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as The Diary Of Anne Frank, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas   by John BoyneThis is a story of Bruno, a school boy, who with his family moves to a new house that is far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. Just a tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy wearing striped pajamas, whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally - This famous book recreates the true story of Oskar Schindler, the Czech-born southern German industrialist who risked his life to save over 1,100 of his Jewish factory workers from the death camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. Based on the recollections of the Schindlerjuden (Schindler’s Jews), Schindler himself, and other witnesses, this documentary novel recounts the lives of the flamboyant profiteer and womanizer Schindler; Schindler’s long-suffering wife, Emilie; the brutal SS (Nazi secret service) commandant Amon Goeth; Schindler’s quietly courageous factory manager, Itzhak Stern; and dozens of other Jews who underwent the horrors of the Nazi machinery.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli - “The best brief account of the Auschwitz experience available.”—The New York Review of Books.

When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz in a prison camp. A Jew, a medical doctor, and a prisoner, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared from death for a grimmer fate to perform scientific research on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele popularly regarded as the “Angel of Death”. Miraculously, he survived to archive his petrifying experiences under Nazis and came up with this book.

Well, this is our selection of best books on holocaust. But, if you have in your mind some other title(s) as the best account of horrendous holocaust, you’re most welcome to mention the same in the comment section.

Guest Post: Morality, Jus Post Bellum, and International Law: Post-war Issues

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Guest Authors: Larry May and Andrew T. Forcehimes

There are well recognized moral and legal problems concerning the initiation as well as the conduct of war or armed conflict. But the moral and legal problems that arise at the end of armed conflict or war has not until recently been given serious attention. Having joined the significant debate in law and philosophy about jus ad bellum and the jus in bello, the complicated issues of jus post bellum are now beginning to be explored. The collection of essays in Morality, Jus Post Bellum, and International Law brings together some of the leading legal, political and moral theorists to discuss the normative issues that arise when war concludes and when a society strives to transition to peace.

            Given the focus on this transitional period, there is considerable overlap between transitional justice and jus post bellum. Transitional justice concerns the normative considerations that apply to a society that is moving from a repressive, non-democratic society to one that is non-repressive and democratic. Most of the repressive societies that are in this state of transition are also societies emerging from a period of mass atrocity or from a civil war. Since societies are trying to regain peace after a period of war or armed conflict, one of the most important questions for both emerging fields of inquiry is when it is justified to prosecute political and military leaders who have clearly caused harm. And if there are to be such trials, which often make tensions worse in the society in question, how and where should they be conducted? And how should we treat reparation pleas, which likewise threaten to disrupt fragile peace-building processes?  The collection begins with essays that provide specific answers to these questions.

            We then turn to essays that discuss specific, often practical, issues involved in the transition from war, mass atrocity, or repressive regimes, to a just and lasting peace. Should all non-democratic regimes be toppled, or is it sufficient for a regime simply to be less repressive than before, having transitioned to a now thoroughly peaceful state that is protective of human rights? Are there moral reasons for thinking that soldiers should be relieved of responsibility so as to advance the goal of peace-building? And, how should we view cases of economic actors as well as child soldiers?

            We round out our collection by turning to a question concerning the field of jus post bellum itself. Should it be regarded as a distinct and helpful field of inquiry? Or, is it theoretically useless and pragmatically worrisome? The anthology thus concludes with three pieces, the first two, one by a philosopher and one by a lawyer, offer significant skeptical challenges to the very idea of jus post bellum. And in the final essay we (the editors) attempt to address this skepticism.

Authors’ Bio:

Larry May is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, as well as Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Charles Sturt and Australian National Universities. He is the author of Crimes Against Humanity: A Normative Account (Cambridge University Press, 2005), War Crimes and Just War (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Aggression and Crimes against Peace (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Genocide: A Normative Account (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Global Justice and Due Process (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He is also the editor of International Criminal Law and Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Andrew T. Forcehimes is currently working on his PhD in philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He has published articles on deliberative democracy, multiculturalism and decision theory.

 

Popular Books From the 21st Century Nobel Laureates in Literature

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

Earlier on last month, we published a blog-post on the 21st century winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and today we thought of coming up with a list of their most popular book. This list follows the chronological order. Take a look:

One Man’s Bible – This is a novel written by Gao Xingjian, the winner of Nobel Prize in Literature, 2000. It is a fictionalized account of Xingjian’s life under the Chinese Communist regime where daily life is riddled with paranoia and fear, and government propaganda turns citizens against one another. This novel is a profound meditation on the essence of writing, on exile, on the effects of political oppression on the human spirit, and on how the human spirit can triumph.

In a Free State - No writer has rendered our boundary less, post-colonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, a 2001 Nobel Laureate in Literature. This masterwork of Naipaul is a masterful and stylishly rendered narrative of emigration, dislocation, and dread, accompanied by four supporting narratives. By turns funny and terrifying, sorrowful and unsparing, In A Free State presents Naipaul at his best.

Fatelessness - A book by the 2002 winner of Nobel Prize in Literature, the Hungarian author Imre Kertész. It is the story of 14 years old Georg Koves who is plucked from his home in a Jewish section of Budapest and without any particular malice, placed on a train to Auschwitz. He does not understand the reason for his fate. He doesn’t particularly think of himself as Jewish. And his fellow prisoners, who decry his lack of Yiddish, keep telling him, “You are no Jew.” In the lowest circle of the Holocaust, Georg remains an outsider.

Haunting, evocative, and all the more horrifying for its rigorous avoidance of sentiment, Fatelessness is a masterpiece on holocaust.

Life & Times of Michael K - A 1983 novel by South Africa-born writer J. M. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 2003, this book also won the Booker Prize for 1983. The novel is a story of hare lipped, simple gardener Michael K, who makes an arduous journey from civil war-ridden urban South Africa to his mother’s rural birthplace, during apartheid era, in the 1970-80s.

The Piano Teacher - First published in 1983, this is a novel by Austrian Nobel Laureate (2004) in Literature, Elfriede Jelinek. The novel follows protagonist Erika Kohut, a sexually and emotionally repressed piano teacher, as she enters into a sadomasochistic relationship with her student, Walter Klemmer, the results of which are disastrous.

The Birthday Party - Nobel Prize-winning (2005) English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor, Harold Pinter was one of the most influential modern British dramatists. And, The Birthday Party is the second full-length play by Pinter and one of Pinter’s best-known and most-frequently performed plays. It is a story about Stanley Webber, an erstwhile piano player in his 30s, who lives in a rundown boarding house, run by Meg and Petey Boles, in an English seaside town. Two sinister strangers, Goldberg and McCann, who arrive supposedly on his birthday and who appear to have come looking for him, turn Stanley’s apparently innocuous birthday party organized by Meg into a nightmare.

My Name Is Red - A 1998 novel by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk that contributed prominently to the author’s acclamation as the winner of Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006. At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, the novel is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, taking readers to a journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power.

The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. But, panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears.

The Grass Is SingingSet in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) under white rule, this first novel by British writer Doris Lessing is at once a riveting chronicle of human disintegration, a beautifully understated social critique, and a brilliant depiction of the quiet horror of one woman’s struggle against a ruthless fate. Ms. Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Interrogation - The first novel of French Nobel Laureate in Literature (2008) J. M. G. Le Clézio, it is a tale about a troubled man named Adam Pollo who “struggles to contextualize what he sees” and “to negotiate often disturbing ideas while simultaneously navigating through, for him, life’s absurdity and emptiness”.

The Hunger Angel - A masterful new novel from the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, Herta Müller, a Romanian-born German novelist and poet. It is hailed by Nobel Prize Committee for depicting the “landscape of the dispossessed” with “the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose”. Based on Müller’s interviews with many deportees from her home village of Nitzkydorf in Romania, it includes fragments offered during her childhood by her mother; and excerpts from her interactions with the poet Oskar Pastior who was a deportee from Sibiu Romania for five years.

The Time of the Hero - The first novel published by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, it is a powerful social satire which outraged the authorities of the author’s native Peru. Set among a community of cadets in a Lima military school (the Leoncio Prado Military Academy), this novel is notable for its experimental and complex employment of multiple perspectives.

The Great Enigma - It is a comprehensive collection of poems of one of the world’s greatest living writers, Tomas Transtromer, a Swedish poet, and the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. This volume gathers all the poems Tomas Transtromer has published, so far. Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer has had a profound influence around the world, an influence that has steadily grown and has now attained a prominence comparable to that of Pablo Neruda’s during his lifetime.

Red Sorghum - The acclaimed novel of love and resistance during late 1930s China by Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature. Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty, as the Chinese battle both Japanese invaders and each other in the turbulent 1930s.

Preference, Value, Choice and Welfare: A Philosophical Insight to Economics

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Guest Author: Daniel M. Hausman

Preference, Value, Choice and Welfare (PVCW), which is the winner of the American Philosophical Association’s 2012 Joseph B. Gittler award for the best work in philosophy of social science, is concerned with the concept of preferences as used in everyday talk and especially in economics. Preference is not only the central concept in mainstream positive economics; it is equally central to mainstream normative economics. I argue that preferences, as employed in mainstream economics, are total subjective comparative evaluations. They are subjective, because they combine with beliefs to explain choices among feasible alternatives. Unlike desires, they are comparative (people prefers one state of affairs to another), and because economists take preferences in combination with beliefs to determine choices, they must be total comparisons – that is, comparisons that take into account everything that the agent takes to be relevant. Preferences are evaluations, rather than judgments or mere expressions of taste, because tastes do not exhaust the considerations relevant to choice, and judgments do not by themselves motivate action.  Because preferences are total comparisons, they are cognitively demanding. Indeed the standard axioms of completeness and transitivity impose extravagant cognitive demands, and Amartya Sen is right to doubt whether it is always useful to model agents as capable of adjudicating all of the many considerations influencing the evaluation of alternatives and as possessing a single preference ranking. Despite the idealization it requires, this notion of preferences and what I call the “standard” model of choice that depends on it are useful tools for social scientists, including especially economists. But I do not argue that the standard model is the only fruitful way of modeling choice. Indeed, there are questions concerning, for example, agency and self-governance that the standard model does not help to answer. In my view, the choice between the economist’s model of choice and competing models with multiple preference rankings or with emotions, perceptions and drives in place of preferences and beliefs turns on their usefulness for the purposes at hand, not on their truth.

            Although part 2 of PVCW begins with a critique of the view that preference satisfaction constitutes welfare, it offers a qualified defense of the welfare economist’s reliance on information concerning preferences to draw conclusions concerning welfare. Without committing themselves to any theory of welfare, economists can infer from the preferences of self-interested, well-informed and rational individuals what is good for them. (Since individuals are not always self-interested, their beliefs are often false, and their rationality often tenuous, this is far from a blanket defense!) Part 3 makes a foray into the psychological complexities of choice and argues that they do not preclude modeling a good deal of action, as economists do, as determined by preferences, beliefs and constraints.  At the same time, these complexities show that the economist’s model of choice leaves many questions open. Tying preference so closely to choice evades rather than solves the hard problems in explaining, predicting, and evaluating choices. The problems reappear as soon as one asks – as economists often should – how preferences are determined and modified.

Author’s Bio: Daniel M. Hausman is the Herbert A. Simon and Hilldale Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research has centered on epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues lying at the boundaries between economics and philosophy and metaphysical questions concerning the nature of causation. He is currently working on questions concerning how to value health. In 2009, Hausman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Crazy Readers and Their Bizarre Bookmarks

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

Last day on Printsasia Facebook wall, we asked our readers what’s the most bizarre item they’ve ever used as a bookmark. And, the answers we received brought us a face splitting grin, though took us by surprise. Now, with an intent to share our joy with you, we’ve made a list of those bizarre items (as bookmarks) along with our personal comments in bracket (just for fun), for a quick glance. This list includes things that are more weird than we had anticipated, further cleaving our belief that booklovers are a little bit crazy. Here goes the list:

Needle (how??)

Grocery receipts and a scrunchie (on separate occasions though…)

Cigarette paper! (Spoiling the book smell)

Feather (a nice pick)

Dry leaf (a correct substitute)

A hair clip (harmful for pages)

Piece of flower (lovely marking)

A comb with hair (eww!!)

Kremil S tablet (so..so)

Condom wrapper (????…)

A toothpick (unused is ok but…)

Charger cable (real bizarre)

A french fry (please, have mercy on books)

Payslip (please read without stress)

A lesser book (two books at one time, good one)

Unused pantyliner (no comments…)

Compact mirror (Please, concentrate on reading)

Safety pin (too small to be a bookmark)

10 pound note (can be used to buy a bookmark)

Emery boards (good one)

A package of bobbi pins (Why, this?)

A CD case! (too hard for books)

Wrapped slice of gum (Better chew it)

A cucumber slice (Oh!, please)

A coffee stirrer (Good while reading with coffee)

Reese’s cardboard (——-)

A squashed bug! (perhaps the craziest one)

Now, we welcome you all to add more stuff by posting your comments below.

5 Essential Books on Hypnotism

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

Hypnosis is a proven technique that allows people to reprogram their own or others’ subconscious to change unwanted behaviors. While in reality a hypnotist widely use this therapy to help people overcome life’s challenges, hypnosis is depicted in fiction as a tool of negative stereotypes of either control for criminal profit and murder or as a method of seduction.

Today, we have shortlisted some essential Books on Hypnotism for those who are in awe of hypnosis.  

For those who want to practice hypnotism:

Hypnosis for Beginners: Reach New Levels of Awareness & Achievement - This friendly introductory guide to hypnosis will show you how to achieve your dreams using hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Completely relaxing and natural, hypnosis is a highly effective way to reach personal goals, overcome phobias and fears, eliminate bad habits, improve memory—the possibilities are nearly endless! Using the easy step-by-step instructions in this book, you will quickly be able to hypnotize yourself or others.

Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself with Your Eyes Open - Most books on self-hypnosis require the reader to memorize or record scripts, then put the book aside while they do their hypnosis work. But this volume is the only self-hypnosis book that allows you to hypnotize yourself as you read with your eyes wide open, without putting down the book. The author’s fail-proof method allows you to put yourself into a hypnotic state and then use that state to improve your life in myriad ways. And because the hypnotic state is induced while you read, you remain aware of your surroundings and can bring yourself back to normal consciousness slowly and gently, using the instructions provided.

If you wish to read hypnosis, following titles would be the great pick:

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism - Author, Georgia Byng mesmerizes audiences with an entrancing tale about a down-and-out but extraordinary orphan Molly Moon who hypnotizes her way to big-time adventures. When Molly finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants. But when Molly finds out that her only pal in the orphanage, Rocky, has been suddenly adopted in New York, she hypnotizes her way to the city, into Broadway stardom, and unfortunately, into a wicked professor’s plot to rob a high-security bank. Thankfully, though, she and Rocky finally meet up, and with a few surprises, the two hatch a plan to set things right for themselves and for their orphanage.

An Inconvenient Wife - Mrs. Lucy Carelton, who comes from one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in 1880s New York City, has been completely undone by her nerves. Her ambitious husband, a nouveau riche stockbroker, drags her from one doctor to another in search of the cure until they’ve reached a charismatic neurologist Victor Seth, a champion in hypnotism. Seth sets about freeing Lucy from her mental ailment, convincing himself that his techniques, including his handy way with an electrotherapy wand, are all in the name of science, but even he is unprepared for the new Lucy who emerges as a passionate, calculating, amoral creature of large appetites. It is a rich blend of suspense, social history (America in the 1880s), and passion.

And, now –

If you want to know how Hypnosis really works (and, no, it has nothing to do with waving of hands or other similar nonsense), and if you want to know the “magic” behind Ericksonian techniques and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, you will want to read the book, Monsters and Magical Sticks: There is No Such Thing as Hypnosis. From one of the true masters of Hypnotherapy, this is one book that can really change your life. We highly recommend this book, as if you read it, you will learn something useful for your life and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Most Popular Books on Optimism

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

 

Author: Sherry Helms

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

― Winston S. Churchill

We all feel low in the spirit for some reason at every once in a while, finding our heart and hope sinking down the deep. And, at that time we need nothing but to embrace a source of positivity with open arms. Here is a list of 6 most popular Books on Optimism that help us find our proclivity for the positive thinking brimming with hope. Let’s have a glance through it:

Begin with Yes: A short conversation that will change your life forever - The Law of Attraction tells us that whatever we focus our attention on, consciously or not, we attract into our lives. Think happy thoughts, enjoy happy experiences. Now, get yourself introduced with the Law of Action, a principle that reverses the order – and is equally powerful: What we do affects how we think, and the kinds of experiences we have. When we take small, manageable steps, we feel more positive and our lives flow more smoothly. In this short, engaging conversation, counselor, mentor, and motivational speaker Paul Boynton maps out a surprisingly easy, logical, and liberating alternate route to a better life.

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life - Known as the father of the new science of positive psychology, Martin E.P. Seligman draws on more than twenty years of clinical research to demonstrate how optimism enchances the quality of life, and how anyone can learn to practice it. Offering many simple techniques, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I—give-up” habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue. These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, and make you happier.

The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain - Pessimism has very short life, and is easily escapable because our brain is naturally pre-wired with optimism, asserts Tali Sharot, one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today, in this book.   Optimism, she shows, may in fact be crucial to our existence. In this absorbing exploration, Sharot takes an in-depth, clarifying look at how the brain generates hope, why we’re able to move forward after trauma, and how the brains of optimists are different from those of pessimists.

The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results - This book help you sharpen your skills and shape attitudes to achieve high levels of success personally and professionally. Terry L. Paulson offers in this book, some tangible, proven techniques for turning life’s obstacles into opportunities with confidence and competence. Each chapter provides new ways to sharpen your own skills and help others to face ever-present organizational and personal challenges with the kind of positive attitude that leads to resilience and results. All in all, this book offers much needed relief, hope, and practical tools for everyone who feels trapped and powerless in the face of current economic conditions.

How Full Is Your Bucket? - Optimism can make a natural habit when it’s in practice from the early childhood. This is an incredible book on optimism for kids. Through the story of a little boy named Felix, this charming book explains to children how being kind not only helps others, it helps them, too. As he goes about his day, Felix interacts with different people — his sister Anna, his grandfather, other family and friends. Some people are happy, but others are grumpy or sad. Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix’ grandfather explains why the happy people make Felix feel good, while the others leave him feeling bad — and how Felix himself is affecting others, whether he means to or not.

Everything Is Going to Be OK - A little inspiration goes a long way. It’s the end of the naughties, and things are starting to look up: cropping up everywhere are messages of sincerity, optimism, and hope, and the good cheer has spread to the world of art and design. Featuring work from a diverse roster of indie artists, designers, and crafters—including beloved figures such as Mike Perry, Marian Bantjes, Marc Johns, Enormous Champion, and Yee-Haw Industries, this hip take on the classic cheer-you-up gift book is the perfect visual treat for anyone whose spirits need a little lift from time to time. Here are some insight from the book:

 

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