Tag Archives: amazon

Kurt’s review of “The Martian” by Andy Weir

Oh. My. Gosh.

I love, love, love this book!

Okay, so I’m a nerdy NASA engineer. Of course I loved it.  But I know all you non-nerdy folks will also love this book.  And here’s why:

It’s interesting & engaging

It’s a survival story set in one of the harshest locations imaginable.  So many things can go wrong … and so many of them do go wrong.  Every step of the way.  It’s nearly constant edge of your seat entertainment.  Add in some NASA politics and a few personality conflicts and you’ve got yourself a real pager turner.

It’s funny.  No, it’s hilarious

The narrator … the astronaut who gets stranded on Mars … has a terrific sense of humor throughout the entire book.  He’s quite a character and his personality stays upbeat despite his less than ideal circumstances.  Much of the narration is of him logging his daily activities into a computer system in which he has no idea whether anyone will ever read or not.  He’s basically talking to himself for much of the book and it’s quite humorous.

It’s technical, but not in a bad way

There’s a constant stream of problem solving throughout the book.  But I don’t think it will make your eyes roll back in your head.  Most of the time the details are given in a way that the layperson can understand.  Sometimes the narrator even “dumbs” down the technical details for the reader.

It’s real

Well, mostly real.  This is science fiction, but it is not your typical far-fetched or far-futuristic science fiction.  Much of this story could occur today using technology that we actually use today or technology that we are developing and testing today for use on future Mars missions.  Most of the engineering solutions are also real and possible today using current technology.  There is very little hand-waving here.  And it is very satisfying.

Note: This book is not for kids.  The narrator … the astronaut who gets stranded on Mars … curses like a sailor throughout the entire book.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s a very interesting and engaging read that is difficult to put down.  It’s entertaining for engineers and non-engineers alike.

Click below to order the book for yourself.  You can buy it in paper or digital formats from Amazon, the most popular online store in the world!

Thanks for your interest.


My Favorite Amazon Links

Seriously, what did we do before we could buy anything we want directly on the Internet with just a few clicks? One feature that makes Amazon way better than many other online retailers is the customer feedback system. Here are some of my favorite Amazon sections.

Amazon MP3: You can buy just about any song you want instantly for just a dollar or two.  The selection is incredible!

Audible: Oh my gosh, I love Audible. And I’m so glad that Amazon bought it several years ago. They are the worlds largest audio book retailer. You can instantly purchase audio books and listen to them on your phone or tablet or computer immediately. I listen to audio books on my phone while travelling and sometimes during my daily commute to and from work. It is so cool!

Amazon Electronics: The place to go for all your electronics needs! This is not cheap junk … this is name brand and high quality merchandise!

Amazon Instant Video: You can immediately stream just about any popular show that you can think of! It’s a great service!

Amazon Local: Have you heard of Amazon Local? It’s relatively new and you can save money right there in your own home town! Sort of like Groupon, but not as big. But give it time.

Amazon Top Rated Products: Just for fun, click here to see the current list of top rated products for sale on Amazon.

Have fun shopping!


1950’s Peoria Cinema Club Films

A few years ago my dad transferred some of my grandfather’s old silent films that he and his friends from the Peoria Cinema Club had made from the original edited films onto VHS format. I recently transferred them onto DVD and then stumbled across a website called CreateSpace where you can publish and sell your own DVDs. They do a nice job of printing the packaging and also printing onto the DVD itself, and they also set you up a store to sell your DVD. They even let you upload a 30 second trailer that they stream to potential customers. That’s a nice touch.

.CreateSpace website with DVD for sale

So if you’re interested in watching some historic 1950’s Peoria Cinema Club films, just go to the below link and order yourself a copy. It will only cost you $9.50 plus shipping. What a bargain! https://www.createspace.com/243975

.DVD cover Peoria Cinema Club

2/17/2008 Addendum: As if CreateSpace wasn’t cool enough, they are also affiliated with Amazon, one of the largest online stores in the world! So you can buy this 1950’s Peoria Cinema Club DVD from either the CreateSpace store linked above or you can purchase it from Amazon.com! (http://www.amazon.com/1950s-Peoria-Cinema-Club-Films/dp/B0013TPGE2/)

.Amazon screenshot of 1950's Peoria Cinema Club Films DVD

We can all help search for missing avation pioneer Steve Fossett

Over the past few days, I’ve spent most of my lunch break looking for missing aviation pioneer Steve Fossett. Did I hop in a jeep/plane/helicopter and go cross country searching in the Nevada desert? No, I looked for Steve Fossett from the comfort of my office cubicle. If you want to help with the massive online search effort, just visit Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website, sign in, and start looking at the newly released satellite images: http://www.mturk.com/mturk/preview?groupId=9TSZK4G35XEZJZG21T60

. Looking for Steve Fossett