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Justin's Smash King

Page history last edited by JustinB 14 years, 5 months ago





     Blink is a book that deals entirely with the unconscious mind. It delves into the unknowns of unconscious problem solving and dives deep into the method of looking at something and right away making a snap decision that is entirely correct. Blink tells about how powerful the unconscious part of your mind is and shows you the values of using it on a daily basis. It proves to you that sometimes, the snap judgment that you come to, can be more accurate than you spending weeks or months of thought on the same topic.



1.) "The part of our brain that leaps to conclusions like this is call our adaptive unconscious, and the study of this kind of decision making is one of the most important new fields in psychology."

2.) "...whenever we're faced with making a decision quickly and under stress we use that second part of our brain."

3.)  "Blink is concerned with the very smallest components of our everyday lives-the content and origin of those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress."

4.) "Thin-slicing refers to the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience."

5.) "Sure enough, as the psychologist Samuel Gosling has shown, judging people's personalities is a really good example of how surprisingly effective thin-slicing can be."



Thin-slicing: the abilty of our unconscious toin situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience.

Unconcious: not consciously realized, planned, or done.

Cognition: the act or process of knowing; perceiving



     When you choose a new book how long do you really take to check it out of the library to take it home and read it? Do you sit there, read both the back and front cover, judge the title page on a scale from one ten, and then read the first one hundred pages and the last ten pages? My guess is no. If you are like me, then you choose the book from looking at the front cover and title, and possible reading the back cover of the book. If you use my method, than you thin slice, just like everyone else in the world. Thin-slicing is the ability of a person to make an unconscious decision and stick with it. This can prove to be very helpful or detrimental to a person. For instance, an example of when this would be helpful to a person is when something is wrong, and you know it, you can feel it, but you just can't explain why it is wrong. This is the good part of thin-slicing. An example of when thin-slicing would be bad to use is when you see a person and you judge them based on appearance. Thin-slicing is an everyday part of life and everyone, everywhere does it. Everyone makes unconscious decisions and goes with them without even knowing where the decision came from or how it applies to the current situation.


          Blink explores all of these theories and much more. It gives examples of how thin-slicing is used to determine if newly will remain together for many years, how car salesman use them to judge those who they are going to sell cars to, and even goes as far as to apply the concept to how we got one of our presidents. The unconscious mind is a powerful tool of the human body. Its speed and accuracy is unmatched by even the best super computers, and you probably didn't even know that you use it about three hundred times a day to make a decision about someone or something. You unconscious mind controls you. It makes you prejudice when you think you are not, affects your marriage, and directly correlates to how old you feel. For example, in the book Blink, it describes many situations when the unconscious mind take affect in a person. One example of this is when people in their mid to late twenties are taken into a room and are read a list of words. However, what the people don't know about the words is that they are designed to put the idea of either kindness or impatience into a person's head. This is done entirely by word choice. The testers are then told to go down the hall to see another person who was supposed to test them. However, the other person that was to test them is completely engaged in conversation with one of her peers. The studies show that all of the people that were read the list of kind words waited the ten minutes until the person was done talking to get a turn. Basically stating, those that were read the kind words were kind and did not interrupt the conversation. On the other hand, those that were read the list of words that relate to impatience interrupted the person who was supposed to test them within a time span of about seven minutes. This test was one of many that proved how powerful the unconscious mind is. Just by hearing a list of words that the test takers probably thought nothing of, their entire attitude was shifted.


          Blink delves fully into every detail about the unconscious mind and gives the reader an appreciation for how thier mind works and just how powerful the unconscious thought can be. After reading this book, I will never doubt my decisions again. This book gives the reader insight into just how powerful a tool their mind is. It lets everyone know that even though they might not take the time to think out all of their decisions, their mind is powerful enough to give them complete insight into a situation in under a second, analyzing every possible in and out of a situation and making the best decision in the "Blink" of an eye, then sending the information to your body on how to act. The unconscious mind is an amazing thing, I think it is time that we all start utilizing it.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 


Back of Book Summary: He's a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of the mental hospital and takes over... He's a lusty, profane, life-loving fighter who rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Big Nurse. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women. At every turn he openly defies her rule. The contest starts as sport (with McMurphy taking bets on the outcome) but soon it develops into a grim struggle for minds and hearts of the men, into an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Big Nurse, backed by the full power of authority...McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will.



1.) He stops jiggling around and hangs his head again. "All I know is that they were there when I went to bed and gone when I got up. Gone slick as a whistle...."(88)

2.) "And she'd (Big Nurse) put all of the Acutes in a trance by sitting there in silence for twenty minutes after the question, quiet as an electric alarm about to go off, waiting for somebody to start telling something about themselves." (49)

3.) "I was picked up for drunk and disorderly and I have been here eight years, and eight months." (148)

4.) "He opened the doctor's desk found some instruments and cut his throat. The poor miserable, misunderstood boy killed himself. He's there now, in the doctor's chair with his throat cut." (266)

5.) "The Big Nurse tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine. The slightest thing messy or out of kilter or in the way ties into a white knot of tight smile fury. She walks around with that same doll smile crimped between her chin and her nose and that same calm whir coming from her eyes, but down inside of her she's tense as steel. I know, I can feel it. And she don't relax a hair till she get the nuisance attended to-what she calls "adjusted to surroundings." (30)



Insane: not sane; not sound of mind; mentally deranged

Group Therapy: psychotherapy in which a number of patients discuss their problems together, usually under the leadership of a therapist, using shared knowledge and experiences to provide constructive feedback about maladaptive behavior.

Suicide: the intentional taking of one's own life.

Menace: a person whose actions, attitudes, or ideas are considered dangerous or harmful



One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a riveting tale about a corrupt mental hospital where one patient is admitted and his intention is to utterly disrupt the order of the entire institution. This man's name is McMurphy, and he brings in women, gambling, and wine into a mental hospital run by the tyrant Nurse Ratchet. In this mental hospital turned circus, all of the residents must choose who to follow and which path to take. The one of obedience or the one of fun.

     To me, this book was really good. I found it very hard to put it down. Between the thrilling story plot and the unmatched tenacity of McMurphy, this book made it very easy for one to delve headfirst into the tyranny and corruption that is the mental hospital.





War by Candlelight is a collection of short stories written by Daniel Alarco'n. Most of these stories are pretty vulgar and they all capture how hard it is to live life in cities and rural communites. The stories in this book are all compelling and one can really understand how much of a brillant writer Daniel Alarco'n is. 


First Short Story: Flood



1.) "We called it the University because it's where you went when you finished high school. There were two kinds of prisoner's there: terrorists and delinquents" (3).

2.) "They weren't going to take the University back. They  were going to set it on fire. They began the cataclysm. Renan didn't turn away. The walls crumbled to ash and tanks fired cannon shots. There was singing. The bombs fell and we felt the dry mountains shake" (15).



1.) Inquisitor: a person who investigates in an official capacity

2.) Slogan: a distinctive cry, phrase, or motto of any party, group, manufacturer, or person; catchword or catch phrase



     Flood captures a violent community after a flood has all but overtaken their houses and land. Renan, who is the main character of the story, throws a rock into the air after the opposing sides of the street have a brawl after the flood. The rock supposedly hits a rival kid on the other side of the street in the head and the kid dies. He is then taken to the University, which is the same as a prison, and left there until he gets two visitors. They are his best friends and what they basically try to do is to convince the security guards to let them go. However, it is a time of war and the security guards are not to apt to just let one of their prisoners go. Eventually, his two friends leave and the University is set on fire, with Renan in it, due to the war that is raging in the neighborhood.

     This short story was really good. The comradary that was portrayed was amazing and the reality of a corrupt community racked by the conflict of war was extremely evident. This was easily the best of the short stories in the book.


Short Story Two: City of Clowns



1.) "Then, from the Plaza San Martin, the whole world was running toward me, and past me on to the Plaza Mayor. Metal gates closed with clangs and crashes all along the Jiron. Business were shuttered with customers inside. The cop disappeared. I imagined the worse: a drunken mob of soccer fans wrecking and looting, raping and robbing" (31).

2.) "Then it came from everywhere at once: from the narrows between crumbling buildings, and from the roofs as well, kids tossing overhand and underhand, unloading balloons two at a time. Water splashed through the cracked windows. The sidewalks glistened, littered with the exploded insides of red and green and white balloons. The primary target, I soon realized, was not our bus, or any bus, or, as is often the case, a young woman in a white shirt. Instead, on the sidewalk, dodging water balloons, there was a clown" (24).



1.) Vender: a person or agency that sells.

2.) Protest: an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid



     This is a story about a boy named Chino who lives in a  small town that he describes as being a town of death where coal mining is the chief industry and poverty rules. Eventually, he moves into a big town and as soon as he finishes college, his father dies. Chino was never close to his father and his death did not seem to phase him. As a little boy, Chino was part of many scams that his father would conduct. Bluntly stated, they would rob houses together.

     For a news article, Chino has to report on the life of clowns in the city. To do this he dresses like a clown and follows two professional clowns around for one day. He falls in love with the ability to be ignored by everyone. He loves the feeling of invisibilty that comes with being a clown.

     Eventually, he makes up with his mother, who he hadn't talked to since his fathers death, and that is where the story ends.


Short Story Three: Third Avenue Suicide



1.) "They'd been living in the apartment for ten days when David was first asked to disappear. This was the arrangement, what they'd agreed upon, and he would do without complain. His things were put away, hidden in the corners of the closet, or under the bed, or in the bottom drawer where Reena's mother was unlikely to look" (57)

2.) "They had been living in the city's darkest studio apartment for two months when Reena awoke one morning, tired. She'd had the flu or something, and was taking too long to get over it" (63).



1.) Hindi: the most widely spoken of the modern Indic vernaculars, esp. its best-known variety, Western Hindi.

2.) Yoga: a school of Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle.



     This short story is about a boy named David who is living with his girlfriend Reena. Reena is Hindu and she has been dating David for about three years. Reena has not told her mother because she wants her to marry a Hindu man. When they move in together, Reena's mom frequently visits, so David has to disappear.

     One day, Reena wakes up sick and is not getting better. She goes to many doctors and they don't know what is wrong with her. Throughout the entire time that she is sick, her mom is coming over almost everyday, and Reena shows no sign of getting better. She still does not want to tell her mom about David, and David is getting sick and tired of taking care of a bed ladden Reena who won't even introduce him to her mother. That is where the story ends.


     In my opinion, these are the three best short stories in War by Candlelight so they are the only ones I am going to talk about. In all, there are nine short stories and they are all good.



This is the book Gifts. I hated it because I thought the ending was horrible and the plot of the story seemed to follow the blind character of Orrec around for one hundred pages. I really don't have anything good to say about this crappy book. The best way to describe the plot of the story is through pictures since this book was a lot about imagery. Before I delve into that though, I will explain it a bit. There are Uplanders and Lowlanders. Uplanders have powers and Lowlanders don't. The Uplanders have a variety of gifts that I will explain through pictures. Orrecs mom and dad meet and have him. Orrec gift does not arrive until later in his life and he is unable to control it so he is blindfolded for three years. He later discovered that he never actually had the gift and that his father tricked him because he was ashamed that his son didn't the gift. The town is raided, his father is killed, he gets married, and then moves to the lowlands. IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!!



One of the powers or gifts that the people had in this book was the ability to look at anything and for it to burst into flame. However, this was not the main ability and was never actually present in the book. It was just mentioned, what a bummer. The next three powers played the most important role in the book.



The first major power of the book is the power of Orrec and his father. They have the power of undoing. This power is the power to kill anything they want by unmaking it and in animals this means taking their bodies apart, primarily bones. This power is the one that Orrec can't control and he unknowingly kills a snake and his dog and he also destroys an entire hillside. However, the conclusion he came to was that this was done by his father because his father was ashamed that his son could not use the gift. Canoc, Orrecs father, set Orrec up by using the undoing when Orric was around to convince Orrec that is was him doing it. Orrec said that he did it without wanting to and could not do it if he tried so Canoc said that his gift was wild, beyond his control. So he blindfolded Orrec because the power could only be used if the target was seen. This fooled everyone into thinking that Orrec gift was so powerful that he could not yet control it. Eventually Orrec realized that he never had the power of undoing, took off the blind fold, and yelled at his father. 



The second major power of this story is the gift of the calling. This is the ability to get animals to obey you. Most people use this ability for the hunt when the person with the gift calls animals down from the mountain and they slaughter the animal. The only person that does not use the gift to that purpose in the story is Gry, who is Orrec's best friend who he eventually weds. She hates the idea of calling animals to their death and refuses to go on the hunt with her mother. 



The third major power in this book is called the withering and it is the ability to make someone slowly die. However, it takes a while for the users of this gift cast the spell so they have to make sure the person is sleeping. Orrec neighbors in the bordering country invited them over for dinner. They had the power of withering and were therefore afraid of Orrec and his family. In an attempt to ruin the family, Ogge, who is the bordering neighbor, casts the spell over Melle, Orrecs mother, and she soon dies. This prompts a lot of hatred between Orrec's remaining family and Ogge.



Overall the ending of the book had multiple emotional endings. It was happy because Orrec came to a realization and because their country was not destroyed by their neighbors. It was shocking because everyone found out that Orrec never had the gift to begin with and it was sad because Orrec's dad died.

This book was really disappointing to me because throughout most of it, Orrec was blind. Don't read it.



Dean Koontz: The Taking 

Back of Book Summary: On the morning that marks the end of the world they have known, Molly and Neil Sloan awaken to the drumbear of rain on their roof. A luminous silvery downpour is drenching their small California mount an town. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now, in the moody purple dawn, the Young couple cannot shake the sense of something terribly wrong. As the hours pass, Molly and Neil listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. By nighfall, their little town loses all contact with the outside world. A thick fog transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. And soon the Sloan's and their neighbors will be forced to draw on reserves of courage and humanity they never knew they had. For within the mist gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a shattering instant what is happening to their world...something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency.


1.) "Everday in the old world, so recently vanished, The news had been full of stories of suicide bombers, street-gang shootings, men who killed pregnant wives, mothers who drowned their children, tennager who shot their classmates. She remembered reading once that the average time served for murder in the Old United Sates had  been seven years." (page 404)

2.) "Between the conception and creation. Between the emotions and the response. Falls the shadow." (page 399)

3.) "In my beginning is my end."

4.) "Waste and void. Waste and void. And darkness on the face of the deep."

5.) "Through the dark cold and empty desolation..."

6.) "The corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year."

7.) "We are born with the dead: See, they return and bring us with them."

8.) "But at my back in a cold blast I hear the rattle of bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear."

9.) "In my beginning is my end."

10.) "An extraterrestrial species, hundreds or thousands of years more advanced than us, would possess technology that would appear to us to be not the result of applied science but entirely supernatural, pure magic."

11.) "A species capable of merciless destruction committed in the night just passed, however, must be without conscience, without remorse, incurably sociopath."

12.) "The mystery of evil is too deep to be illuminated by the light of reason."

13.) "With the stick, she worked a translation under the first line that she had engraved: My name is legion, is Lucifer, is Abbadon, is Satan, eater of souls."

14.) "Tutelary. A guardian, a protector, especially one with special powers. Although it wasn't an archaic word, it wasn't one that she remembered having used before in either her writing or conversation; yet it had come into her mind as precisely the right word to ward off the ET in the bank vault. Tutelary."

15.) "When you're alone in the middle of the night and you wake in a a sweat and a hell of a fright." 

16.) "Molly's knees weakened at the prospect of seeing again the hollow-pumpkin head, the empty sockets of the jack-o'-lantern eyes, the teeth broken jagged by the bucking barrel of the 12-gauge."

17.) "The curiousity and wonder that earlier compelled her to venture among the coyotes had curdled into tepidation. With uncharacteristic timidity, she yearned to return to bed, to shrink among the covers, to sleep away the freak storm and wake by the light of a normal day."

18.) "Something in the rain-swept forest fightened them. Evidently, this fear was so intense that they dared not respond to it with their customary snarls, raided hackles, and counterchallenges."


Reflection: This book is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. It was sooooooo suspenseful and kept me wanting to read it thorughout the entire book. Usually a book gets boring in the middle and I begrudgingly have to read it so I can do my self select project, but that didn't happen with this book. It was so good. Read it!!!!!!!!!


Summary: The book starts out in the middle of the night. Molly wakes up because the rain outside in pounding on her roof really bad. She goes outside onto the porch and she can tell that something is wrong because there are wolves on the porch and they are allowing her to be around them. They are afraid of something in the forest. She goes to wake up her husband Neil and he is in a cold sweat screaming about some kind of huge mountain in the sky. They go downstairs and turn on the tv to find that all over the world, weather patterns are acting stragely. Neil calls his brother in Hawaii to find out that they are held up in the local church, defending themselves against "devils."

     They pack the car and drive over to their neighbors house where they find his head blown off in the bathroom and his huge bathroom door ripped off its hinges. Something scared him so bad that he killed himself. On the way out of his house, they encounter him again, moving. Something has taken control of his body and a shot fired from Neil's shotgun only temporaily subdues it. They run out of the house, get into the car and drive into the nearest town. There,  the real horror begins to take form as walking corpses are encountered, fire in set loose, demons roam free, and the devil could be behind this all. Read this!!! You will not regret it.


play ball with the Demons ...                    ... devil over there. Cute, huh         










Comments (9)

Calli S said

at 9:41 am on Mar 3, 2009

Why will you never doubt your decisions again? What if you had the chance to make a choice and you chose one that brought on tumoil and heartache and when you made that decision, you could see some of the outcome. Would you not doubt that decision?

Stephanie P said

at 9:55 am on Mar 3, 2009

I don't think it's always wise to just go with the first thing that pops into our head. Sometimes, sure, like in an emergency situation, and we shouldn't analyze too much either because then we'll never actually do anything. It's a balance.

David M said

at 3:24 pm on Mar 3, 2009

justin will always be the smash king

paul bonnell said

at 7:58 pm on Oct 7, 2009

Isn't _Blink_ filled with wonderful case studies and vignettes and stories? I find it most appropriate to our discussions about the Art of Seeing. I like too, how you point out that thin-slicing has both positive and negative ramifications.

JustinB said

at 2:07 pm on Oct 8, 2009

The entire "Blink" book is basically case studies analyzing how the human brain works.

Erik said

at 3:34 pm on Nov 23, 2009

You read some interesting books, I should check some of those out. I've read some other books by Ursela Le Guin, she's a pretty good author.

Ande said

at 10:59 am on Nov 24, 2009

seriously, you do read some interesting books. i'm gonna have you choose one for me next time lol

Ande said

at 3:24 pm on Nov 24, 2009

dude, where is number 13? you just wrote 13 and thats it

Zane said

at 3:59 pm on Dec 11, 2009

is the Dean Koontz book really scary?

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