Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein) Review

Verdict: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

Buy Stranger in A Strange Land (R.A. Heinlein)Stranger in a Strange Land is a sci-fi novel written in 1961 by Robert A. Heinlein, and this particular edition includes the approximately 60,000 words removed from the original pblication draft.

The text has a classical tint to it, imparted by use of expressions quite specific for the era in which it was written. This is one of those works that use the means of genre only as the decorum in which the eternal human themes will unfold. You won’t find in it the extensive world-building characteristic to the genre, so its five-hundred plus pages may seem like a surprising lot.

Continue reading

The Road Less Traveled (M. Scott Peck, M.D.) Review

Verdict: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

The Road Less TraveledI can’t remember who recommended The Road Less Traveled to me, but I’m truly grateful to have gotten to read it.  It’s subtitled A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth, its author was an American psychiatrist, and it made history – it is now a classic title.

M. Scott Peck resolves to redefine classic concepts, and to connect the psyche with the spiritual side of the human being, using the means of psychotherapy. His own experience with psychotherapy (at the giving end), lends his book great authenticity, and his final goal is releasing his readers from chains they may not even know they are tied with. The book is written in an accessible style, but permeated by the manner and reservation specific to academics, alternating lecture with friendly discussion and clinical case presentations.

Continue reading

Odissea

This is a superb little composition with origins that remain pretty obscure (despite Wikipedia), aside that it belongs to an Italian musician by the name of Carlo Marrale.

The two renditions below are almost opposite in vocal performance dynamics, from the canonical bel canto approach, by a two-tenor duet, to the unorthodox approach of a great metal singer (if not the greatest), who’s actually a baritone, but whose flawless technique allows him to reach those impressive tenor highs with unbelievable accuracy and beauty.

See which you like most.

Do We Still Need to Socialize?

In “real” life, that is. And the “real” here might not be the best choice of word. Shall it be replaced with “physical” (or “physically existent”), as the proper antonym to “virtual” when we speak of our digital existence? “Virtual” does not mean not existent or not real.

We’re being told that online socializing is eroding our social skills and destroying physical relationships. That is mostly rue.

Continue reading

All children are born with a direct connection to the shutter buttons of all the photo cameras in the world: as soon as you release the shutter, the child moves.

Very rarely, this connection malfunctions — that’s when you actually get a good picture.

Dr Paul Offit Discusses Vaccines and the Anti-Vaccine Movement

The eminent pediatrician and Infectious Disease expert discusses vaccines and the anti-vaccine movement in this Medscape video feature.

In summary, the harm caused by the anti-vaccination movement is not insignificant, with outbreaks of disease at a scale not seen for decades, but we may see improvements in the future, as the public goes past the vaccine scare. Mass-media is primarily responsible (irresponsible, rather), for proffering incomplete or plain false information in a manipulative fashion, and Dr Mehmet Oz (a fellow Pennsylvania University alumnus), an otherwise upstanding physician, has a “disappointing” view on vaccination, and uses his tremendous popularity, and his media platform in a detrimental way.

How To Recognize Alternative “Medicine” Quackery

Alternative “medicine” is an alternative to science, therefore a risky, poorly documented, potentially hazardous system operating outside the boundaries of harsh demands placed upon academic medicine, and science in general.

Here is a list to help you recognize fake healing systems, fraudulent healers, and plain old snake oil medical “science”.

Continue reading