Some 6,000 entries spanning a millennium of history cover various artistic styles, forms, and personalities associated with the arts, from classical architecture to dance. Defines artistic movements and key terms in the performing, musical, literary, and visual arts, and includes chronologies tracing the development of specific areas within the arts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This glossary of terms and personal names for the general reader treats literature and the visual and performing arts, including fashion, design, architecture, and photography. The concisely written entries provide sufficient detail to satisfy most generalist inquirers
Approximately 6,000 entries range in time from ancient Egypt to the 1990s. Heavily Western in coverage, the slight British emphasis will cause no difficulty. Symbols within entries indicate topics and persons having their own entries. There are no entries for individual works of art, although biographical entries may mention works by title. Approximately 100 biographical entries include a one-or two-sentence quotation by the subject in a sidebar. Probably more useful are the chronological tables listing major developments in various fields (dance, pottery and porcelain, works of Thomas Hardy, Academy Award winners, etc.)
Reminiscent of the Oxford companions in style and format, the "Dictionary of the Arts" is a comprehensive, straightforward reference book that will receive steady use in public, academic, and high-school libraries
Based on the book of the same name ["RBB" S 1 94], this interactive CD utilizes animation, film clips, slides, and sound to provide biological facts and explanations of psychological, cultural, legal, and moral questions about sex. In addition to the book's 250-plus entries, which were written by Dr. Ruth and more than 50 other researchers and practitioners, the CD features a three-dimensional tour of the human reproductive system. A textless slide show ranges through a wide array of sex-related images: movie stills, biological slides, gay rights parades, a tampon, AIDS-related posters, erotic art from the "Kama Sutra", and an old leather wallet with a condom ring showing, to name a few
The "tour" begins in an animated version of Dr. Ruth's office, which houses "an old radio, a television set, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a telephone directory, an anatomy chart, a diploma, and a clipboard. Clicking a mouse on any of these objects leads into some segment of the product. The diploma provides a biography of Dr. Ruth herself, featuring various phases of her interesting life. Clicking on the television brings up a menu of animated or filmed topics, such as impotence, putting on a condom, masturbation, and virginity. The visuals are high quality and feature cutaways and zooms. The dictionary and the encyclopedia allow access to alphabetically arranged entries from the book; searching by keyword points to multiple entries that discuss that term. The radio and the telephone lead to recordings from Dr. Ruth's nationally syndicated radio show. The clipboard offers an interactive sex quiz that is informative and fun: Dr. Ruth rewards correct answers with encouraging comments, and incorrect answers result in her typically nonjudgmental "I wouldn't have said that.
The CD arrived with no directions other than installation instructions. Using the MPC for Windows version was easy, once the reviewer played around with the mouse and uncovered the hidden clues linked with the objects on the desk and around the office. After that, everything was menu driven. System requirements for this version are a 486SX/25 running Windows 3.1 or later, 4MB of RAM, 5MB hard-drive space available, a double-speed CD-ROM drive, a 256 color Super VGA monitor, and a SoundBlaster or compatible sound card with Windows drivers. Technical support by phone is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.5:00 p.m. Pacific Time; there is 24-hour BBS support via CompuServ or Internet
Adults and young people who enjoy Dr. Ruth's books and shows will have fun and learn with this product. Others will find it informative but might not appreciate Dr. Ruth's mannerisms and opinions. Schools, for example, will want to be aware that she advocates contraception, and some might find her flippancy possibly misleading for young people. For example, encouraging the user to take the fertility tour, she says, "Click around. That you can do without a condom!
Another caution: while the visual effects enhance this item, the sound effects might be annoying. "Burps" accompany moves from question to question in the sequential portions, and the slide show is accompanied by upbeat, but intrusive and incredibly repetitive, music.