Alex Kerley and the Terror of Bigfoot

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This book is part of the Monster Hunters series by Douglas Tanner, which is aimed at adolescents and young adults.  I decided to read it, because 44 is young.  Right?

Anyway, it was an interesting book.

The main character, Alec, discovers his dad works for a top secret government agency in charge of tracking and dealing with monsters, when a family vacation inadvertently turns into a hunt for Bigfoot.

The book is well written and full of twist and turns that will keep the reader’s attention.  If you are young or youngish, I would recommend this book.

Alexander Hamilton – A Controversial Man

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I enjoyed reading this book about Alexander Hamilton.  He tends to be overlooked or only briefly mentioned in history book; however, he is one of our Founding Fathers and played an important role in the early years of the United States of America.

Here are a few notes from the book:

  • Alexander Hamilton was too controversial, too disliked, and had too many enemies at a time when adversaries used weapons as well as word to express their views, to be one of the Founding Fathers who made it to the presidency.
  • He believed in a strong central government, because he was suspicious of the will of the mob.
  • Alexander Hamilton an aide-de-camp to General George Washington, who was so impressed with the young man’s astute administrative abilities that when he became president, he named Hamilton as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Alexander Hamilton fought for the federal government to assume the debts of the individual states, and for the establishment of a mint.
  • His political reputation was soiled by an affair with a married woman whose husband extorted money from his wife’s lover and then tried to implicate Hamilton in a corrupt financial scheme.
  • Alexander Hamilton would have cringed at the size of the national debt; he believed that a nation’s overall strength came from a sound financial foundation.

Aging by Design

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According to Theodore Goldsmith he wrote Aging by Design because, “We cannot hope to understand or most effectively treat and prevent age-related diseases without understanding aging.”

The author covers two modern theories for why we age.  He discusses the pros, cons, and implications for each theory.

  1.  In the programmed aging theories, organisms purposely self-limit their lifespans and processes what amount to suicide mechanisms to accomplish this function.
  2. Aging is the result of the body’s inability to better combat deteriorative processes that affect all organized systems, such as wear-and-tear, oxidation, other molecular damage, or accumulation of toxic byproducts.

Before, reading this book I never considered the benefits of age related research or how that research could help find cures for common diseases that plague mankind.  This book  was eye-opening and put medical research in a whole new light for me.

I highly recommend this book.

Aging and Disability: Transitions into Residential Care

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The book Aging and Disability:  Transitions into Residential Care is full of useful information that is presented in an organized and concise manner.

Here are a few of the main points:

There are certain personality traits that make it easier for people to successfully transition to residential care:  feeling in control of their lives, valuing strong bonds with friends/family, and viewing change as a challenge rather than as a threat.

The features of successful aging are:  having a sense of purpose, interacting with others, opportunities for personal growth, self-acceptance, and autonomy.

Once an individual is placed in residential care, they still need their family.  The family should be available to check on the quality of care their loved one is receiving, provide companionship, and assist with financial management needs.

Age of Enlightenment

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I enjoyed reading this book.  It is well written, easy to read, and interesting.

Here are a few of the main points:

  • Enlightenment was born of the idea that all human beings share the same basic needs and as such should enjoy the same rights and privileges.
  • Enlightenment began around the 1680s and lasted until the early 1800s.
  • Enlightenment was the direct result of the Renaissance and the Reformation.
  • The Scientific Revolution would never have taken place had it not been for the philosophical groundwork of the Enlightenment.
  • Enlightenment was simply an idea; the idea that a better understanding of our world and the people who occupy it, could lead to the progression of our species and the betterment of the human condition on earth.
  • While the leading figures of the Enlightenment were considered philosophers rather than scientist, many of these figures had backgrounds in science.  Scientific advancement is only possible through empirical processes and rational thought, as such became strongly associated with the reason-based philosophies of Enlightenment thinkers.