I bought this book with great expectations and was genuinely disappointed. It would have been very funny except for the exces...moreUnfortunate and flawed...
I bought this book with great expectations and was genuinely disappointed. It would have been very funny except for the excessive profanity. I am one who believes that foul language detracts from good humor. At first I resorted to redacting all the "F" words with my black marker, but about half-way through the book, I gave up and threw the book in the garbage can.
The writer has a gift for humor. The artwork made it funnier still, but I couldn't get past the language. If you're listening, Miss Brosh, clean up your act and you will have many more readers. You definitely have potential.
One star because I have to give it at least one star to rate it. This version? I don't recommend it to anyone. If the author decides to rewrite it in a cleaner more reader-friendly version, then I would happily give it full stars for good humor and creativity.(less)
White Horse explores the unintended consequences of dabbling with nature, particularly weather and biology (pharmaceuticals, in particular). The autho...moreWhite Horse explores the unintended consequences of dabbling with nature, particularly weather and biology (pharmaceuticals, in particular). The author tells the story with the "then" and "now" technique, switching from one to the other to gradually construct the plot. The main character, Zoe, starts the tale in the "now," setting the scene of what the world has become-- a dangerous lawless land where governments have mostly crumbled, where people struggle to survive, where monsters lurk...creatures who were once human but who have mutated in some way or another into something frightening or simply freakish. Bit by piece, she recalls the events that led up to the current state of affairs, beginning with a sealed clay pot that mysteriously shows up in her apartment.
It's a compelling tale filled with life and death, violence, suspense, love, mercy, kindness and betrayal... along with some unexpected twists.
Warnings for language and (of course) violence. This book has a sequel (Red Horse), not yet released. But don't worry, the story winds up satisfactorily and doesn't leave you hanging in the wind, wondering what happens next.(less)
John Taylor Gatto was awarded Teacher of the Year in the New York City school system -- twice. I would say that qualifies him to know something about...moreJohn Taylor Gatto was awarded Teacher of the Year in the New York City school system -- twice. I would say that qualifies him to know something about teaching as well as the system within which he functions.
Gatto is convinced our public school education system is broken. We're graduating illiterate kids year after year, and the only solution we're ever given is to throw more money at the problem. Gatto contends that a federal one-size-fits-all school system cannot meet the needs of America's children, primarily because children are individuals with different needs, skills, and aptitudes. A system that forces them all into the same mold is doomed to failure. We probably all agree that the system needs major reform, and the sooner the better.
Gatto's ideas about what that reform should look like may surprise you...coming from a public school teacher. For starters, he advocates abolishing the federal Department of Education and returning the school system to its former owners-- cities and states, but primarily parents! The author's ideas are bold, and like all bold ideas, challenge the status quo. But once failure is entrenched in an institution, only bold and "radical" ideas are strong enough to effect change.
Our education system can be fixed, but it will require the will to do so. Parents must be willing to once again take responsibility for the education of their children. They are the real experts when it comes to what their kids need. Put the power to educate back into the hands of parents and we're bound to see a transformation for the better.
This is a fairly short book and a quick read. There are five chapters (essays) plus some intros, forewords and postscripts. I highly recommend it. (less)
Abiotic oil. Ever heard of it? How about "fossil fuel?" Everybody knows about fossil fuel-- formed from decayed plants and animals hundreds of million...moreAbiotic oil. Ever heard of it? How about "fossil fuel?" Everybody knows about fossil fuel-- formed from decayed plants and animals hundreds of millions of years ago. It's a fact, right? Um, no. It's not. It's TAUGHT as a fact, but it is in fact still a theory. No one has yet been able to recreate oil out of decayed plants and animals. That sticky point, alone, keeps "fossil fuel" in the "theory" category.
On the other hand, have you ever heard of synthetic oil? You might even put it in your automobile. Seventy-five or so years ago, Nazi German was powering their war machine with synthetic oil. In 1951 the Russian scientific community rejected the notion of "fossil" origins of oil and advanced the theory that the origins of oil were "a-biotic," formed deep in the earth through chemical processes.
This book dares to challenge the "settled science" of fossil fuel and explore another possibility.
Wouldn't it change the way we see energy if, indeed, oil is actually a renewable resource that the earth is constantly producing deep underground? This theory would certainly explain why, suddenly, scientists have discovered what may possibly turn out to be a larger reservoir of oil under the central United States than exists in Saudi Arabia. This discovery is estimated to supply enough oil to take care of energy needs for the next hundred years or more.
What about "global warming?" you may ask. At least as many scientists believe it's a hoax as those who beleive it to be true. I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to wonder if the scientists in this country haven't been bought out by the politicians. They don't seem to be interested in new information, especially when it goes against their established conclusions.
Jerome Corsi's book is heavily sourced and definitely worth reading...particularly if you don't think that fossil theory makes a whole lot of sense. My only caviat is that the electronic version is full of typos. It didn't go through a very robust proofreading process. Nevertheless, the substance of the information is worth muddling through the occasional convoluted sentence structure or misspelled word. Hopefully the print editions are better.
The book is fairly short - seven chapters in all plus an introduction.
Whatever you think you know about soy will be turned upside down with this book. For starters, haven't you heard that in China, people have been eatin...moreWhatever you think you know about soy will be turned upside down with this book. For starters, haven't you heard that in China, people have been eating soy for thousands of years...and see how thin and mostly healthy they are? No cancer to speak of (at least in non-Westernized areas). Long life. Gotta be the soy, right? Not really. As a matter of fact, most non-Westernized Asian people eat soy very sparingly. And when they do, it's been fermented for a year or two -- no kidding. Traditional soy sauce ferments in vats for about a year and a half to break down all the undigestible elements of the soy bean.
You see, soy beans are not food. Their crowning glory is their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil so that it can be absorbed by other plants, which require this nutriet to thrive. In a word, soy beans are fertilizer. When was the last time you thought it would be nice to eat some fertilizer? I didn't think so.
Soy beans were only eaten by the very poor--the very very poor--in Asia as an alternative to starving...until fairly recently, that is. The Whole Soy Story starts by providing a brief history of the soy bean's Asian origins. It wasn't until an enterprising Seventh Day Adventist missionary to China back in the early 1900s discovered that soy has a good amount of protein in it and figured out a way to torture this bean into a food product that soy began to be eaten in larger amounts as a meat substitute(they're non-meat eaters).
What didn't come to light until later was all the damage soy is capable of in the human body. Yes, soy is about 30% protein (if memory serves), but it's very difficult to digest--it has a "scouring" effect on the GI tract (and causes gas, to boot). Recent studies in China have connected soy to a significant increase in bladder cancer. Trypsin inhibitors in soy protein put stress on the pancreas and there are four recent studies that link soy estrogens with infant leukemia. Does that sound like "health food" to you?!
Believe it or not, there are even more negatives (an actual book's worth) about soy, but I'll let you read about it yourself.
So how did soy get such a good reputation if it has all these problems? Marketing. If you haven't figured it out by now, every industry--whether it's soy or corn or milk or sugar or toothpaste--has a team of scientists on its payroll cranking out studies on a regular basis that show how their product reduces cancer or helps you lose weight or makes you 25% more likely to live longer. Add to that a gullible Press eager to spread this wonderful new information to the masses, and what you get is a lot of scary misinformation.
Soy is big business these days. It's one of the largest monocrops in the U.S. and there's tons of money in it. For this reason, soy in some form or other has crept into just about every processed food product there is, either in the form of soy oil or soy protein isolate. Fortunately, as a classified allergen, products must be labeled "contains soy" if they have any soy in them at all. Although if you choose to avoid it, you may find yourself with nothing left to eat except real food (what a ghastly thought!)
If you're on the fence about the virtues of soy, this book is a must read. It is well-written and thoroughly researched. I guarantee you will become a label-reader once you learn the truth. (less)