The Practical Scholar

Higher thinking that will change your REAL life

It Ain't Easy Bein' Vegan (3)

8:56 AM by , under , ,

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The Amazing Nook E-Reader (2)

3:08 PM by , under , , , ,

I purchased one of the Barnes & Noble NOOK WiFi editions a little over a week ago, and it is an absolutely awesome tool. I was mildly interested in e-readers when they were first introduced a couple years ago, but due to pricing I never seriously considered buying one. Barnes & Noble has just lowered the price both on the WiFi + 3G and also on the new WiFi only model. I have been meaning to read some of the classics that I had never gotten around to, and I was delighted to find out that the Barnes & Nobles Classics Series books are almost all available as free eBook downloads. This and the reduced price were great motivation for me to finally pick up my own Nook. After a few days of reading with my new Nook, I decided that a decent cover was a must-have accessory, especially since I plan to take it to school with me to kill time between classes. After doing some research, I selected this classic leather cover.

 It is a great compromise between durability and good looks. I was pretty surprised by how snuggly the Nook fits into this cover. There is a cutout at the bottom for access to the mini-usb port and headphone jack so that you don't ever have to remove your Nook from its cover. The front and back leaves of the cover are firm enough to reasonably protect the Nook, but still feel comfortable to hold, similar to a leather bound book.

Key Features:

  • The E-Ink screen has amazing clarity and contrast and is as easy on your eyes as a standard book
  • There is a built in mp3 player so that you can listen to your favorite music while you read without having mobile device overload
  • Free access to AT&T WiFi hotspots all over the nation, and free access to the 3G network for the WiFi + 3G model
  • Color touch screen for navigation and data entry is a novel item that gives the Nook a notch up over the competition: Amazon Kindle

Most importantly, the Nook is associated with the largest book retailer in the country. Barnes & Noble has always provided wonderful environment and service, and the Nook is only an expansion of this. If you take the Nook into and Barnes & Noble store, you can browse any of the eBooks in the library for free the same way you would page through the books on the shelf. You can have all the benefits of a cutting-edge device without losing the coffee shop reading experience you've come to love. Bottom line: The Nook is great product that just makes sense to have if you love reading.

*This product review was not solicited by Barnes&Noble in any way.

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Random Thought Courtesy of Aristotle (0)

3:00 PM by , under , , ,

I have spent the majority of today milling over various treatments of Aristotle's Poetics and Sophocles' Antigone for a paper I'm writing. The topic of thought is: what makes a true tragic hero? And, as an application to the play Antigone, is it Creon or Antigone that serves the role of tragic hero? I love the way in which the actions and consequences of both Creon and Antigone are so intertwined, and in the end I have concluded that both characters represent a portion of the tragic hero paradigm. Of all the things I have read an quoted throughout the course of the day, one particular idea really stuck with me:

"Now character determines men's
qualities,but it is by their actions
that they are happy or the reverse."
- Aristotle, Poetics

I found it to be rather profound to think about the fact that our actions, and not our thoughts are what determine our destiny. Our thoughts and values are abstract elements and can only affect this physical world we live in through our actions. Therefore we should carefully consider our every action even if we are certain about the quality or our intentions, because you never know which ill made choice may be the tragic flaw that leads to downfall. The remedy: Seek wisdom not blind religion.

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