A coherent treatise on entropy, syntropy and the creative connection that shows how the universe’s disorder ultimately leads...



Scientist Land and educator Jarman (co-authors Breakpoint and Beyond, Mastering the Future—Today, 1993) examine the more disturbing implications of the law of entropy.

Entropy, second in the laws of thermodynamics, may invite feelings of existential angst when applied to all aspects of life. “All processes in the universe manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system,” the authors write. In other words, they say, “the whole lot of the universe is designed to break down and fall apart.” A chance encounter with a morose former seminarian in an Irish pub introduced the authors to this rather bleak concept, and their efforts to make sense of it resulted in this work. Land and Jarman begin by thoroughly defining entropy in the words of top-notch scientists, which should be recognizable and understandable to even the least scientifically educated. They then move on to the introduction of syntropy, a term attributedto Albert Szent-Gyorgyi that relates to a re-ordering of the universe—“becoming more ordered, more interdependently connected with the environment.” Finally, Land and Jarman show how “Creative Connecting” provides the link between chaos and order, making entropy not a source of despair but rather the necessary precursor to all that is beautiful in the universe. While Land and Jarman fulfill their promise of presenting their theories in an approachable manner, they include too many explanations of entropy. Their pointed comments on how “our inborn capability for creativity”is suppressed rather than nurtured through the American educational system seem particularly relevant and timely due to the current debate over the Common Core curriculum. Despite the authors’ best intentions and deft writing, their work still may not appeal to general readers, although the tone of the second half approximates a self-help book: “We can successfully overcome the great, often thought to be insurmountable, challenges of our modern world. Creativity, resources and will are all we need.”

A coherent treatise on entropy, syntropy and the creative connection that shows how the universe’s disorder ultimately leads to order and personal completion.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: 167

Publisher: Humanist Press

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.



In the ninth book in the Bluford young-adult series, a young Latino man walks away from violence—but at great personal cost.

In a large Southern California city, 16-year-old Martin Luna hangs out on the fringes of gang life. He’s disaffected, fatherless and increasingly drawn into the orbit of the older, rougher Frankie. When a stray bullet kills Martin’s adored 8-year-old brother, Huero, Martin seems to be heading into a life of crime. But Martin’s mother, determined not to lose another son, moves him to another neighborhood—the fictional town of Bluford, where he attends the racially diverse Bluford High. At his new school, the still-grieving Martin quickly makes enemies and gets into trouble. But he also makes friends with a kind English teacher and catches the eye of Vicky, a smart, pretty and outgoing Bluford student. Martin’s first-person narration supplies much of the book’s power. His dialogue is plain, but realistic and believable, and the authors wisely avoid the temptation to lard his speech with dated and potentially embarrassing slang. The author draws a vivid and affecting picture of Martin’s pain and confusion, bringing a tight-lipped teenager to life. In fact, Martin’s character is so well drawn that when he realizes the truth about his friend Frankie, readers won’t feel as if they are watching an after-school special, but as though they are observing the natural progression of Martin’s personal growth. This short novel appears to be aimed at urban teens who don’t often see their neighborhoods portrayed in young-adult fiction, but its sophisticated characters and affecting story will likely have much wider appeal.

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2004

ISBN: 978-1591940173

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Townsend Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2013

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