I was lucky enough to get the hardback, as that has some pictures in (whereas the paperback one, apparently, does not). However, not having the picturI was lucky enough to get the hardback, as that has some pictures in (whereas the paperback one, apparently, does not). However, not having the pictures in would not detract from the read.
I was drawn to this book when I came across the author's name in my "Cosmos" research, although I must admit that I do not usually read "modern" books ha ha! I prefer Aristotle and the likes, but here goes on the review.
Firstly, you do not have to be an astrophysicist to be able to understand this, although I am conversant with their "shop" talk, I do like books that offer a wider readership level, and this book does give it across in a neat way. A great title too, inspired by the famous photograph of the Earth of the same name. I gather this is, in fact, a sequel to his classic Cosmos, but I haven't read that one.
Here, in this book, Carl Sagan imparts his insights on numerous things from the quantum to the cosmic. When I read it I felt as if Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise was the voice reading it out to me, as it is journey in time and space - a space odyssey!
In essence, after the first few chapters extolling space travel and how we should embark on more investigations, the basic message of this book is that the destiny of humanity is to expand out to the stars.
A lot of what is in this has been covered in greater detail in more up to date research papers, so to some it may have a dated look and feel to it. Admittedly, I did skip or speed read some of it, as I was scanning for the meat on the bone. All in all, a worthy book to read even today.
Awesome account of a childhood nightmare! Such a powerful insight into the mind of a child during wartime and how, now, that child has overcome such aAwesome account of a childhood nightmare! Such a powerful insight into the mind of a child during wartime and how, now, that child has overcome such atrocities to become a man and now an author. If anything, this is a true story of positivity, showing how if victimship is unclaimed, then the past can become a powerful beacon of hope to many....more
Most of the UK was snowed in, so I decided to hop a plane to Spain, one of my favorite destinations. At this time of year my usual residence there isMost of the UK was snowed in, so I decided to hop a plane to Spain, one of my favorite destinations. At this time of year my usual residence there is just ticking over until it hits March onwards, so I managed to get a booking in a fairly well rated hotel. Of course, off the hoof I didn’t take any books with me, but after trawling the hotel’s bookshelves I decided to pick this particular book.
What initially attracted me to it was the main title, First Global Village. Hmmm, I thought, looks interesting. Then the sub-title followed: How Portugal Changed the World. Aahhhh, right! Oh well, I may as well read something about the Mediterranean while I was here, although this book was about Portugal I still felt an affinity with it as I had visited Portugal a number of times and, anyway, it was only a stone’s throw from Spain.
I must admit, I was rather taken by the author’s own biographical write-up of himself; in fact he seemed a very interesting character. Alas, that section was short-lived but since I had the book with me on the balcony of my suite, I felt it respectful to continue reading, and I’m so pleased I did.
Wow! Martin Page, the author, reveals a lot of interesting facts about the history of Portugal, and he starts way back in the period of A.D. I must admit that although I excelled at English History as a subject in my later school years, I was not au fait with the history of Portugal, so Martin could have been telling me anything and I would have to take it on board as fact, although after speaking with another guest in the hotel, I discovered that the book apparently has many historical errors! Ah well, that’s always the problem with writing non-fiction! If you get it wrong then you hold yourself up for ransom to the geeks of the world who know it all. But nonetheless, a historical inconsistency here and there didn’t detract from the overall picture the book gave. So with that in mind, I would advise checking relevant snatches you may wish to use from this book against a trusted source before extolling the virtues of your knowledge of Portuguese history.
What drew me in, hook, line and sinker, to the writing within this book, though, was the personal narrative of Martin Page. I think if this were to have been written by an historian with academic letters after his or her name then it may have lost some of the personal translation the author intended. When I say “translation”, I don’t mean in the translation of the language (as Martin was English), what I mean is how it was written from Martin’s viewpoint. The book is more a cosy insight into how Portugal really did change the world.
I had to give a wry smile at how Martin mentioned “soul food” and how slaves from Africa were fed this offal (well cooked and presented, which is not what I was laughing at), and hence forth was adopted as such and is what it is today because of that (which is what I was laughing at - how soul food originated from Portugal and not Africa). Then we have Japanese sushi, which originates from Portugal! I had to have a great big belly laugh at this. I mean, everyone believing the Japanese designed this fish dish! Also I had always thought that the Emperor Hadrian was Roman - not so! I discovered from Martin that Hadrian was an Iberian, from Cadiz! There were also numerous revelations about Christopher Columbus (Portuguese: Cristóvão Colombo), but I will not spoil any of this for the potential reader.
All in all, a book full of idiosyncratic revelations that would score you no points in any conversation, but would, though, make you smile at how the world was, indeed, changed by Portugal.
What I found within the book was akin to my own writing style, in that the grammar and punctuation were somewhat rebellious. However the book is perceived, if you look upon it as entertaining and informative then that is how to read it. And, as such, I was thoroughly entertained by the late Martin Page, rest his soul. ...more
I rate this highly, but of course many may say that because I am the author that I would say that. I expect excellence of myself, I would not put my nI rate this highly, but of course many may say that because I am the author that I would say that. I expect excellence of myself, I would not put my name to something that was not worth your effort in reading.
If I seem a little over the top about the Success Plan then that is because I am excited for you! Few other tools will be as beneficial in your life as this Success Plan. Step by step, it offers you the opportunity to take your life that one step higher each time you apply what is within.
My goal is to help you develop your strengths and to overcome your weaknesses. The object is to increase your ability as an individual; it is going to help to improve your self-esteem, confidence, and positive communication and all this will lead to an improved lifestyle for you.
There are numerous plans for success available to buy, however with this Success Plan the difference is simple. I will show you, step-by-step, how to obtain the correct mindset and how to discover how to find out exactly what you want out of life, what you are capable of, and how to get it, and all for free!
Within this Six Part Success Plan I will teach you how to communicate and how to read other peoples communication signals, and amongst other things I will show you, step-by-step with a specific action plan, exactly how you are going to succeed.
When you start to learn the hidden secrets to live a better life you will be able to take control of where you are going, finances and happiness. All of this is just one simple step away. With this Six Part Success Plan, attaining success has never been easier!
I believe that these kinds of principles should be taught in schools, as what better way to educate the young about how to secure success? If you are serious about changing your life for the better then this Success Plan is right up your street. ...more
The Rubáiyát is not just full of poetic expression, it is a depiction of a deeper joy within ourselves. It does not just delve into the limited controThe Rubáiyát is not just full of poetic expression, it is a depiction of a deeper joy within ourselves. It does not just delve into the limited control we have over our destiny, it shows that life is to be enjoyed ... as death is inevitable. This is food for the soul....more
Indeed, some may find this to be a pleasure or a pain to read. Given that the theory of instincts was covered by Freud in some earlier works, it was nIndeed, some may find this to be a pleasure or a pain to read. Given that the theory of instincts was covered by Freud in some earlier works, it was no surprise to find him covering some old ground here. Although I am sure that the pleasure principle is well known, basically it is the suggestion that people have an instinctive urge toward experiencing pleasure and shielding themselves from pain.
Of course, any book by Freud would not be complete without touching upon the subject of dreams, and he does not disappoint in this short book (which is really an essay). His theory of dreams and its relation to traumatic experiences is touched upon, although I was not too into the examples he gave based on war related trauma. However, it was his take on non-war related trauma which interested me more - neuroses are chiefly brought about by surprise or fright! It would seem to me that Freud is preoccupied with trauma, which is not surprising as this book was written not long after World War One.
The reader is given an example of a child’s (in fact Freud’s grandson) action in repeatedly (compulsion to repeat ) throwing a toy away and then only to retrieve it is the child’s illustrating the absence of his mother and his attempt to return to the situation as to regain control, which Freud’s psychoanalytic theory on this describes it as compulsive repetition - the unlikable situation of his mother’s going away is rewarded by the pleasurable moment of her return.
A distinction drawn on the basis of dissimilarity, compared to the pleasure principle, is how Freud sees it that one regains control by virtue of reliving or repeating unpleasant events, which what the child was supposedly doing with the toy he was repeatedly throwing away and retrieving.
I did not fully subscribe to the biological theory of the death drive, which Freud postulates by virtue of how the psyche impulsively repeats traumatic events.
In short, the book is saying something else which I fully subscribe to, and that is: we can take something negative and turn it into something positive! It is all about control of the situation. We have to weigh up benefit and loss. Then we have the overflowing desire within us, and that, at times, unpleasant acts can give rise to pleasant results. By all means, read it in a different light, but I always look to pull the positive out of a situation, and although this book did not tick all of my boxes I still found something of value within it. ...more
I rate this book by one of my favorite authors so highly because it examines belief in some detail. Belief in and of itself is neutral, but when theyI rate this book by one of my favorite authors so highly because it examines belief in some detail. Belief in and of itself is neutral, but when they either help or hinder the fulfillment of your dreams, then they are either positive or negative, respectively. Beliefs that empower you or allow you, drive you forward, while those that do otherwise, hold you back.
We can take a lesson from this book, that if your beliefs drive you toward your dreams faster, then you should encourage them, entertain them, and enjoy them. They will inspire you and give you the strength to go on even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. They give you the power of confident righteousness, they arm you and give you the courage to go on.
Sadly, however, such beliefs are known to only a few, or are obeyed by so few. The vast majority prefer to wallow in self-restricting beliefs. They allow negative beliefs to build walls around themselves, cutting themselves off from wonders.
The Greek philosopher Plato illustrates this point perfectly in his book “The Allegory of the Cave,” and in it Plato describes a group of people who have been chained in a cave their whole lives, facing a blank wall. Behind them is a great fire which casts their own shadows on that wall before them. Because they know no better, the chained people believe those shadows are real, have form and independent existence.
He suggests that the true philosopher is someone who has freed themselves from their chains, is able to turn around and see the fire, and, through correct reasoning, is able to discern the true nature of the world. This philosopher is not fooled by the shadows, therefore, understanding that they have no independent existence beyond the people whose shadows they are.
As a consequence, I believe, one must ask oneself, therefore, which of our own beliefs serve us, and which hinder us. While one has the power to change one’s life and world for the better, we must also accept responsibility for those things which have hurt us and kept us back. Such beliefs have created mental obstructions which keep us from our true potential, arising as they have from one’s own negativity and ignorance.
They have kept us from seeing the many opportunities that are already there, and that have always been there for the taking. But like those people in Plato’s cave, we have turned ourselves from the light, and believe the shadows of ourselves to be the true nature of the world, believing that they are real and absolute. No one but our self chained us to that dark place in our mind. Only we have done that. Therefore, only we can free our self as do the true philosophers.
Unless we do, we place upon our self such self-restricting beliefs which are very destructive, and which result in idleness and in procrastination. We may not always recognize it as such, however, as we make excuse after excuse to put off till tomorrow what you can start doing right this very moment. Such a powerful message from Plato warrants five stars from me. ...more