Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Some Sleep Required

   Sleep is very necessary for health. It is during sleep that our body repairs. But sleep is not inactivity. During the down time our brain is very much at work.
   Most of us don’t get enough and suffer for it. It isn’t something you can store up or catch up on. An acute lack of sleep damages our brain, it seems.
   Let me post something she records in the book. “Health is deeply intertwined with culture: what we eat, how active we are, how much we sleep,” says US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
   This book is on a very important subject.
   Huffington divides her book in two parts. Part one is six chapters covering the basics- the problem and the work of the brain during sleep. I found her chapter on the purpose of the dream state to be informative.
   The second part is concerning what is being done to answer the dilemma.
   The first 286 pages are the text. The next 105 contain the three appendixes, the acknowledgements, the notes and the index.
   Back in April 2015 I reviewed Huffington’s “Thrive.” This is a much better book, in my opinion. It should be read by all people interested in the subject, which should be everybody. It is that important.
   This book was sent to me without charge by Blogging for Books.Com for the purpose of this review. All opinions are those of the reviewer and not those of the publisher.
   The publisher is Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC

Rise of The Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

When someone mentions the early days of the space program they tend to think of men. But far before there was a space program there were the pioneers. And they weren’t men.
 It should be. Women have as much a place in the history of the space project as do the men.
In fact back before the Second World War there was a group of women who were casting their eyes to the skies. And they had only their math skills and a pencil and notebooks to work with. They were called human computers. Their job was to calculate jet velocities and plot missile trajectories.  
These women were known as computers. That designation was given because they computed numbers. They were mostly women because men were being seen as engineers. These women became the programmers.
There was no machine. That came later.
IBM was the one to provide the machine which had to have a language it could understand.  FORTRAN was that language. Directions were keypunched into the machine .
Later HAL became the language.
They were hired because they were good in math.
After the war their interests shifted to getting something called a rocket out of the atmosphere. They formed a company known as JPL. The word rocket was never used because that wasn’t the emphasis the government wanted.
The idea of calling them computers started a long time before the 40’s. Early astronomers in the 1700s would need computers to predict the return of Halley’s Comet. It was during the First World War that men and women worked as “ballistic computers” as they calculated the range of rifles, machine guns, and mortars on the battle field. During our depression years 450 people were working as computers as a part of the Works Progress Administration.
So it was nothing new.
Our space program could not have progressed as far if we didn’t have them. But they were pretty much unknown. So having this story reaching from the 1940’s to the present is needed.
It is a delight to read the development of our program following the women. It was not always easy for them, since ether also fell in live, had families, and held down their job. This was something not held against the men.
I would recommend this book for all who want a better picture of the history of exploration.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Oppositre of Spoiled by Ron Lieber

 It seems everyone is interested in money and how to keep it. Some have lots of money and it just slips through their fingers. Others don’t have so much but are able to leave an inheritance to the generation that follows.
   There has to be an easy way to understand how that is done.
   Ron Lieber offers a basic book on the proper use of money.
   Really every school should have a couple of courses offered to help young and old how to properly handle the coins and paper that pass through their hands. They haven’t in the past and that may be one reason we have so much debt and section 11’s today.
   How do you explain finances in a way that is understandable?  When is the best time to start the discussion?
   In the United States we are aware of the divide between the rich and the not so rich. And it doesn’t have to be in observable actions. Sometimes it is in ways we treat others.
   Our children are watching.
   They observe how we use our money. Do we spend more than we make or do we carefully handle what we have?
   This book helps a person think through the question.
    I enjoyed the idea of teaching giving. Start with three jars labeled give, save, and spend. Then explain to the child that a portion of each allowance is to be divided evenly between the three jars.
   They have the freedom to use the spending jar anyway they wish, but once it is gone it is gone until it is replenished.
   I found this easy to follow and it seems to be useful.
   When your child asks you a question like” are we rich?” you could just ask back, “why do you ask?” Find out why they are asking. And answer only what they are asking. But do have the conversation.
Don’t change the subject.
   This book will help firm you up to what needs to be covered. As I said above, it is easy to understand and I found it enjoyable.
   It is written more for the parent than the child.
   It is published by HarperCollins and 213 pages with notes, bibliography, and index adding 26 extra pages.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

There Will Be Stars by Billy Coffey

   Coffey once again spins a tale centered in the town of Mattingly. I have looked at this area before back in 2014 when I reviewed The Devil Walks in Mattingly. This time around the story is easier to follow.
   The main character is Bobby Barnes who along with six other characters keep living the same day over and over again. They are not allowed to die. There is uncompleted business each has. Until they complete the task, they cannot be released to death.
   Bobby is the character we see the action through. He notices the decay coming around him and strives to escape before all is destroyed. Where ever he is appears to be a place of danger.
   Time seems to play a part in the plot.
    I am not sure I understand the message. Each book has a message or else it wouldn’t be published.
    The fly leaf suggests the search for truth. If so, it wasn’t clear to me. What was clear to me is Coffey writes stories about a place called Mattingly attempting to convey some truth.
     I would recommend this book as a good read.
     I was sent this book free from Book Look Bloggers for the purpose of a review. I was not required to fall in love with it in order to keep my position as a reviewer.
I review for BookLook Bloggers