Book Review: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Growing up I loved to read fiction, especially fantasy novels.  I don’t know what happened but over the last five years it seems like the only thing I truly enjoy more is a great work of non-fiction loaded with explanations, facts and lessons learned.  Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond fits at the top of the list of must reads.  When my friend Yoav Shapira first mentioned this book it sounded exactly like something right in the middle of this sweet spot.  Afterall, this book is the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction! Guns, Germs, and Steel tells the story of mankind over the last 11,000 years.  This is the story of the domestication of man.  If you have ever wondered why the ancient people of the...

Book Review: Lords of Finance

I recently read Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World. I realize that isn’t my typical reading material, but it was a fascinating read nonetheless.  Over the last few years I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t just read for enjoyment.  Previously I mostly read fantasy and science fiction novels, but now if there isn’t some sort of educational value that I can get out of the reading then I’m just not interested.  This book falls right into that bucket. I first learned about this book on Time Magazine’s Best Business Books of 2009 list.  While reading through the short write-ups of each book this one really stood out as something of interest.  One thing we all have heard before is that history repeats itself. ...

Why Avatar Will Change the Way We Go To the Movies

Earlier this week I went and saw the movie Avatar in 3D.  Now 3D movies are nothing new and they seem to go in and out of style faster than tie-dye shirts.  I think they first popped up in the 50’s, right?  The 3D experience has never been one of those things that have been able to get a foothold for many reasons, but this time around it felt like the technology has finally come of age. I’m not saying that Avatar was the greatest movie of all time.  I’ll still continue to give that title to Forrest Gump.  It was also an extremely predictable title following all the “required” plot structure that we enjoy in our movies.  Now this doesn’t make it a bad movie, it was an absolutely amazing movie. Where I want to be so bold is...

Rollercoaster Review and Marketing Lessons: Six Flags New England

Last Saturday Heather, Ben, Dan, Krystal and I went to Six Flags New England for the day. So Six Flags New England is probably three quarters across the state from Boston. It only took about an hour and a half to get to Springfield, MA where Six Flags is located with just a straight shot along the Mass Pike. We made it a goal to ride every rollercoaster because after all, that is the whole point of going to an amusement park right… the rollercoasters!? So here is my review of the rides. First of all it probably needs to be stated that I am extremely critical of my rides. Rollercoasters Batman – The Dark Knight: This ride allows you to sit in open facing chairs, and we had the pleasure of riding on the front row. Definitely enjoyed this coaster a lot,...

Mass Effect: Video Game Review

I spent the better part of the last three weekends playing a role playing game (RPG) by the name of Mass Effect. All I can say is WOW! This is by no means a new or recent game as it came out the end of 2007 and has won its fair share of game awards including The New York Times Game of the year. Needless to say I dropped close to 40 hours on the game. And it really cut into my productivity time especially on the weekends, but wow, what an experience. I’m such a sucker for sci-fi as my review of Battlestar Galactica will attest. The makers of Mass Effect, Bioware, have made a few amazing RPGs before this one like the amazing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but everything about this game spoke of an epic. The story was top notch, the exploration,...

JCVD: Movie Review

We all remember those lazy Sunday’s on TBS where they have the “Movies for Guys Who Like Movies” and all the movies seem to include one of three actors, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, or Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Ok so maybe only I remember those days.  Jean-Claude Van Damme was just that guy who could put a hurting on anyone and in boxing terms “pound for pound the baddest man in Hollywood”!  Sorry Arnold, but JCVD could probably run circles around your tree truck sized legs and you wouldn’t even know what hit you. I watched JCVD over the weekend and was really impressed by this movie.  Here is a movie star older and openly knowing that his best days are behind him, sorry Stallone but you just aren’t the...