September 5, 2014 | madame librarian
There is something about a non-fiction book that challenges people to change, to reflect upon their lives, to explore new worlds...
'Grunt' tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries-- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise-- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.
The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds-- from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome-- unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children .
Eric Liddell's story as the Olympic gold medalist was told in the Academy Award winning film Chariots of Fire. Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Yet Liddell triumped in a new event and won a gold medal. Liddell ran - and lived - for the glory of his God. After the Olympics, he dedicated himself to missionary work in China. He and thousands of other westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp. Once imprisoned, Liddell did what he was born to do, practice his faith and his sport..