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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think

     Forget those doom and gloom predictions about the future! Author Peter H. Diamandis, the chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, chairman of Singularity University and founder of several space and high tech companies, makes use of his expertise in a wide range of sciences and technologies to reassure us that the time is fast approaching when all of humanity’s basic needs will be met and then some.

     In co-authorship with award-winning journalist Steven Kotler, Diamandis describes how the knowledge bases in such areas as artificial intelligence, robotics, computing, digital manufacturing, medicine, nanotechnology, energy, food production, and many others have been growing exponentially. In turn, solutions will be developed for such problems as water and air pollution, starvation, scarcity of medical care and limited educational opportunities. Strengthening social forces such as the DIY innovator, Technophilanthropists (such as Bill Gates), and the Rising Billion (third world citizens who will advance thanks to their cell phone and Internet connections), will provide the impetus.

     Detailed references and notes and a comprehensive index at the end of the book support the reader’s further research.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Books About Interior Decoration

     Are you looking to make changes in your home’s interior design? Get some new ideas when you check out these books.
      Home Design: a Layer-by-Layer Approach to Turning Your Ideas into the Home of Your Dreams is written by Sabrina Soto, an HGTV television personality. She shows the reader how to streamline the interior design process by “layering” the decorating elements one on top of the other. She begins with the first layer, understanding your space and planning your design, and continues with choosing colors, selecting surface treatments, organizing with storage, editing furniture, selecting textiles, and developing a lighting plan, until she reaches the final layer with choosing accents. A large collection of color photos illustrate Soto’s design ideas; the easy-to-read text also is helpful.
      Step-By-Step Home Design & Decorating is written by Clare Steel, an interior designer from the United Kingdom, who has written for several decorating magazines and property and design websites. Her book focuses on the practical side of design: from planning the layout of a bathroom, to evaluation and selection of kitchen appliances, refinishing wooden floors, selecting window treatments and sewing curtains, hanging wallpaper, setting up display space in a child’s bedroom, choosing lighting fixtures, and much, much more. The work continues with redecorating the outdoor space: planning electrical and water features, selecting hard landscaping, and choosing plants and furniture. Large color photos and detailed drawings accompany the logically organized text; sidebars offer additional information.