Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Economics of Slavery

If you are running a business, you would want to closely track your assets. How can you improve productivity? How can you increase an asset’s value? At what point does the cost of maintenance exceed the return? These are all important questions. Now, what if these assets you are tracking are people? Or, more accurately,

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Taking Love Too Far

I realize this is not a good topic for the middle of a quarantine, but is it possible to show too much love? Apparently so. Our bodies are very complex and anything can go wrong. For example, the current PBS show “The Gene: An Intimate History” by documentarian Ken Burns (https://www.pbs.org/show/gene/) is exploring some genetic

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The Origin of Quarantine

In the course of being quarantined and following everything that was happening around the world, I ran across some interesting explanations for the origin of the term itself. The actual  word “quarantine” is derived from the Italian quaranta, meaning “forty.” It is traced back to the language of Venice, Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries. During

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So What If It Isn’t Real?

“Only God Can Make a Diamond” makes a good advertising slogan, but it’s no longer true. Now diamonds can be made in a laboratory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_diamond). But should synthetic diamonds be considered real? How many romances have broken up because the diamond wasn’t natural? Or if you see an animal skeleton in a natural history museum,

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Why Trust Science?

Why trust Science? This has become a pertinent question, especially in the current political climate. Science has a role in so many aspects of our lives, from our jobs to our health to our environment. Yet, despite being able to time solar eclipses down to the second, there seems to be more distrust of what

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Interaction Before Electronics

I remember the software package that came with my first computer had an interactive game on CD. How the game progressed depended upon which answers you gave at critical points. This was my first exposure to interactivity. So I was surprised to learn that interactivity predated computer technology. There was a series of books from

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Mapping the Imagination

When you were a kid, did you ever play pirates and draw a treasure map purely from your imagination? Adults do that, too. If you are a writer, fictional map-making can be the key to your story, as in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Or it can be an important embellishment, like Harry Potter’s Marauder’s

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