The World is Flat [7 out of 10]

The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman I really enjoyed this book, even though at time I found it very lengthy. It discusses the fact that technology, such as the world wide web and fiber optic cables, is shrinking the world even more than the industrial revolution of the 1900’s. Friedman uses the success of certain Indian companies, such as Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, and Infosys Technologies, as example to show the possibilities that the flatten world offers. He presents, in the first part of his book, the ten flatteners that are reshaping the world as we know it today. I liked the examples he presented in the book and found his way of explaining technology really easy to understand. He chose his examples really carefully, and he seemed to have had a lot of experiences worth sharing with the reader.

In my opinion, the main problem with the book is that it could have been about 100 pages shorter (this newly edited/expanded version is about 580 pages long). And usually I don’t mind lengthy books, because it helps me really understand the points, but I found that some of the ideas were repeated and/or some of the subjects were out of scope. I don’t really care to give any particular examples here, but I felt that at many points in the book. Overall though, it was a really good book. Well worth buying and reading. One can only grow and learn a lot about the new world by reading it. Admittedly though, it scares me to think of the future after reading the book.

Thumbs up to Friedman, he captured my attention and I will surely pick up a copy of his next publication. He is a very talented writer.

Night at the Museum [7.8 out of 10]

Ben Stiller - Night at the Museum

We finally got to watch Night at the Museum, and even though it was clearly made for a younger/tinier audience, I have to admit that I was impressed with most of it. For one thing, the special effects were really well done and I really enjoyed watching all of the characters coming to life (yeah… the T-rex is well done!). Also, the story is pretty much straight out of a kid’s imagination. Who, as a kid, hasn’t dreamed of seeing all the things they see at a museum come to life? It’s very cool that they have put that on film for us to enjoy.

Otherwise, what made the movie work for me was Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Rickey Gervais, and Dick Van Dyke, of course. The cast was a lot of fun. All in all, it’s more of a kid’s movie, but every once in a while, that’s just what we need: A feel-good movie. A movie that brings back the kid in us and makes us feel younger again, sort of like Dick Van Dyke in the movie!

Neither Here Nor There [8 out of 10]

Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson Another great book by Bryson. This time about his travels in Europe. I love the way Bill Bryson just tells you about his trip and all the anecdotes with such an honest tone. However, it does tend to be pretty much the same from cities to cities, which consist of finding an hotel, usually way too expensive, wandering around the city, visiting a church or two and then starting to drink. Luckily for us, the drinking part is always accompanied by one of those funny moments that will make you laugh out loud in the bus while reading.

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Comedian [9 out of 10]

The Comedian, 2002
Director: Christian Charles
Main Actors: Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn, & Orny Adams

Bonnie is gone at her parent’s cottage for the long weekend, and so things are kind of boring here. I had to stay over in Montreal to help my dad, my uncle, and my brother with putting up the new roof. We finished yesterday, and so I am now stuck at home until tuesday without Bonnie. It’s pretty boring here without Bonnie, and so I decided to rewatch this movie. I had seen it a couple of times already, but it was still very good.

It’s basically a documentary about what it is to be a comedian with Jerry Seinfeld. It’s actually very well done because it follows Jerry, after his decision to throw away all of his material and start from scratch, and a relatively new comedian Orny Adams. Because it is filmed as a documentary, it gives the viewer a good idea of what life is as a comedian, or a glimpse of it at least. And not any comedian, we get scences with conversations between Jerry and Ray Romano, Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, and many more. Also another very interesting angle in the movie is to see a big star like Jerry struggling to deliver a new set of jokes, while comparing this with Orny Adam’s struggle to deliver and grow as a comedian.

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Book Review: Freakonomics [8.7 out of 10]

Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of EverythingA classic in its kind. A book on the kind of economics that can only truly be described as Freakonomics. Intelligently written by Stephen J. Dubner, it is the story of the many riddles that Steven D. Levitt’s brain has been struggling to answer for the past couple of years.

Authors: Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Year: 2005
Number of Pages: 207 pages (+ Suppl. Notes)
Publishers: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

I had just finished reading Freakonomics, and, already, I wanted more. The nonchalant writing style Dubner has in this book, and the way he tells the stories of Levitt’s numbers and studies simply makes you want to have more. It makes you want to study economics, but most of all, it gives you a whole new perspective on some of today’s problems in society. The main thing that fascinated me was the way the book was written. The surprising titles, and the even more surprising links between subject you would never have though had connections. What they have called Freakonomics. The book is filled with striking examples of the authors’ creative use of economic theory. They have also included at the beginning of each chapters in the book a glimpse of Levitt’s life, which usually links the idea of the chapters. Here are a couple of quotes from the book, which I hope you enjoy and makes you want to read it even more:

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