Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Importance of Sleep

So many people I know complain about not getting enough sleep, yet it is essential to good health.  If you fall into that category, you’ll be interested in a new book Nodding Off: The Science of Sleep from Cradle to Grave by sleep researcher Alice Gregory of Goldsmiths, University of London. I discovered this work

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Around the World in 80 Trees

If you’re interested in a summer read and are a nature lover, I’ve just stumbled across an interesting-sounding book.  Entitled Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori, the author uses plant science to explain how trees affect our everyday lives.   You can  guess some of the contents — California redwoods certainly deserve

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Revisiting President Eisenhower

During my recent trip to Asia, I was able to read Eisenhower: Soldier and President by Stephen E. Ambrose.  Dwight Eisenhower was the first president I remember, and the only presidential library I ever visited.  His presidency is easy to overlook, coming between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman on one side and John Kennedy

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Saving the World, One Cauliflower Stem at a Time

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but on April 20, 2016, I wrote “A Simple Way to Feed The World.”  Based on a National Geographic magazine cover story of March 2016 (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/03/global-food-waste-statistics/ ), “Too Good To Waste: How Ugly Food Can Help Feed the Planet,” it discussed the challenges of having two billion more

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Where is Pumbaa When We Need Him?

Maybe I’ve spent too much time around teenage boys, but an April 6, 2018 podcast segment of the NPR program Science Friday got my attention — an interview with Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti, authors of Does It Fart? The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence. Yes, this is serious science.  Specifically, it’s called “flatology” —

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The Secret Lives of Trees

One of the hallmarks  of the Disney animated TV show “Darkwing Duck” was a cadre of eccentric villains, like Dr. Reginald Bushroot, a vengeful botanist who became part plant after a failed experiment (http://darkwingduck.wikia.com/wiki/Bushroot).  I recalled this when I read about a German forester who is giving plants credit for some very human characteristics. Peter

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The Gatekeepers — My Next Read

Who really runs our government?  Of course, there are the major actors.  The president sets broad policy and makes major decisions, congressional leaders play a huge role, and one Supreme Court justice can change the course of history.  Then there is the Federal Reserve. But there are many people in support roles who can make

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The Right Way To Do Youth Sports?

I’ve been athletic all my life, but sometimes with very little success, so I’ve seen both sides, particularly in youth sports.  I was in Little League, where the competition for a team hat (never mind a uniform) was so fierce I rarely got one.  People in my hometown were such rabid fans other local communities

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Book Review — Homo Deus (with spoilers)

If you’ve ever wondered what Bill Gates reads, he has been publishing annual reading lists (for example, https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Best-Books-2017 ).  Earlier this year, I saw his summer reading list (https://qz.com/988136/bill-gates-book-list-2017-recommended-books-for-summer-reading/) and picked out Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. This is definitely an intellectual book that puts a unique spin on human

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