Monday, April 23, 2018

Star Trek: Envoy, a Captain Sulu Adventure by L. A. Graf - Book Report #226

At first I was disappointing by the short, one hour, run time of the audio book.

But it was well produced and narrated by none other than George Takei.  So I was in.

The story is set in the time period of Captain Sulu's command of the USS Excelsior.

Starfleet Command orders Sulu to board a shuttle and travel to a nearby starbase to assist in the final stages of a peace treaty between the Krikiki and the Den-Kai races who have been at war for decades.

When he finds out what his part in the peace process entails, Sulu finds himself in a battle between his personal morals and the greater good. 

This is the kind of subject matter that makes Star Trek so very special.

I enjoyed the story very much and found the one hour duration similar to watching an episode of the TV series.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Men of Good Will by Ben Bova

An interesting treat of a story.

What happens when you use weapons, designed on Earth, and fire them on the moon?

A funny and sobering look at orbital mechanics. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Fast Food Genocide by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. - Book Report #225

This was a fascinating exploration of the modern diet, it's effects on our bodies and on our society.

Dr. Fuhrman explains that the phenomenon of fast food and highly processed foods are really a product from the end of World War II.  It was the military that encouraged and funded the push to create shelf-stable, packaged foods so they could feed the troops.

With that newly created technology the food we ate was forever changed and our way of life along with it.  Convenience foods, by their very nature, has kept us from thinking about what we are eating.

The medical community has been focused on drugs to treat the symptoms instead of superior diet to prevent the conditions.

The good news is that all the healthy alternatives are pretty easy to come by.

In my experience, to eat healthy, you really have to work at it.  It's not just about reading labels, which is a good first step, but you have to cook your own food.  That's the bottom line - you are going to spend a lot of time in front of a cutting board.  Get yourself some good knives because they are essential for making the journey from opening a package to preparing food from scratch.

All that work is worth it though.  I have lost 25 pounds, my cholesterol is now normal and my blood pressure has also come down.  I feel better and have more energy at the end of the day.

In the book Dr. Fuhrman explains how and why our cities are built the way they are and the political influence the large food manufacturers, cattle associations, dairy boards and fertilizer companies have.  This all plays against us in facilitating a change in diet.  Nobody is evil in this, but the evidence is growing that proves the "frankenfoods" described are killing us slowly.

Instead of finding this all depressing, which it is, it has served to light a fire in my wish to improve my health by making the effort to improve what I put in my shopping cart.  When I put my weekly shopping on the belt, at the checkout, I am impressed by how much of it is alive and green.  I look back to how I used to shop, even five years ago, and the experience is completely different.

Books like this one can change lives.

Highly recommended.

Dr. Fuhrman's website is:

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Last Decision by Ben Bova

Space Opera!

The Emporer of the Hundred Worlds is faced with a daunting and risky decision. 

Should he save the Earth from the sun?  The sun is dying and will burn the planet to ash if interventions are not made to stabilize it. 

The Emporer hears arguments from his advisors and those from his inner circle. 

The implications of the task are deep and far-reaching. 

There was a gentleness in the story that I enjoyed very much. It was a political story at its core but it had all kinds of technology in the background to make it fun.  This one story feels as though it occupies a small corner of a vast canvas. 

I liked the size of it.  I would be happy to revisit this place again. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. - Book Review #224

I am a big fan of Dr. Fuhrman's message.

It all boils down to this:  Eat Your Vegetables, Eat Lots of Them and Eat Them All the Time.

From his other books, Eat for Health and Eat to Live he explains the multitude of benefits that a plant-based diet can provide.

In Super Immunity he zeros in on just the benefits of how his "nutritarian" diet enhances, benefits and strengthens the immune system.

If you you take a closer look at the paleo diet, or more to the point, how cavemen really ate, you'll discover they were not eating as much meat as was believed.  There is growing evidence that the whole notion of roasting meat on a stick was not how they ate at all.  Between kills they had to rely on what the could find in the environment; namely roots, nuts, seeds and other plants.

This is what our DNA is tuned for.

By providing the body with foods that are rich in nutrients we give it the resources it needs to fight off infections, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

He has never said not to eat animal-based foods but to eat them very sparingly because of the detrimental effects animal proteins have on the body.

Dr. Fuhrman's books have always struck a chord with me because there is something in his arguments that make perfect sense.  You just have to look at our teeth and jaws to see that we have much more in common with a cow than we do with a wolf.  Or look at the diets of primates, our closest relatives, to see what they eat.

Through his many books Dr. Fuhrman is proving that plant-based eating is what we need to fight many diseases and to live long, productive lives.

Highly recommended.

Dr. Fuhrman's website is:

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Vince’s Dragon by Ben Bova

I will admit that I’ve never read a story quite like this one.

Bova has a surprising sense of humour. 

What if there was a dragon?  

What if this dragon befriends a lowly Mafia flunky?

Great fun. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Slight Miscalculation by Ben Bova

Here’s a cute story about a scientist who develops a system to predict earthquakes.

But he’s having a little trouble with a part of his equation. 

Word gets around that an earthquake is coming.  On the day of the predicted disaster the flaw in the equation is revealed. 

It brought a smile to my face. Good fun.

Ben Bova's website -

Ben Bova

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Escape! by Ben Bova

I had a feeling I would enjoy Bova’s short works.

Here we explore a re-imagined penal system. 

A young man is sent to The Center which is run by a kind-hearted director who created the facility to help inmates learn the skills needed to re-enter society. 

The Center runs incredibly well with the help of an AI.  Having been written in 1970 it is amazing to see how very close we are today to achieving this kind of advancement. 

I found the story well told. I could see it adapted into a movie very easily.

Ben Bova's website -

Ben Bova

Monday, March 19, 2018

Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser - Book Report #223

How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

Well this came as a surprise to me.  When I was adding labels to this post the author's name came up as a pre-selection.


Yup.  I've read this book before and completely forgot about it.  The difference today is that I enjoyed it as an audiobook.  

After reading the old post from 2015 I find that the book made the same impression on me now as it did then.

Let me lead you back to that post for a review.

Edward Glaeser's website -

Edward Glaeser