Bursting with information, this intriguing, if uneven, book delivers a wealth of scientific and spiritual subjects for...


Seven Universal Principles and the Seventh Sense

Butto (Unified Integrative Medicine, 2014, etc.) offers a treatise on the overlapping worlds of science and healing.

Stating at the outset that it is obvious “that chemistry and physics are not enough to solve the riddle or explain the full complexity of the physiology of the human body,” the author, a cardiologist, makes it clear that he will attempt to fill some of the holes. Outlining, as the title indicates, seven principles that “embrace the universe and unify the forces of physics, biology, physiology, religion, and spirituality,” the book explores a wide variety of fields. Those who read the introduction will likely wonder whether such unification could be possible in less than 200 pages. Whether providing a discussion of the golden ratio (“two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller”) or stomach chi (“an example of rebellious stomach chi would be hiccups or vomiting”), the volume offers a plethora of information. Linking all that material to create “the principle of oneness” is no simple task, however, and the work presents its share of hits and misses. At its best, when focusing on lesser-known phenomena, there is undoubtedly a lot to uncover. Even those well versed in the world of quarks may, for instance, be surprised to find that an organization called the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Institute once investigated the ways in which human consciousness affected random processes. Statements from the author such as “I have been using the seventh sense since 1990” and that this sense “helped me step beyond the boundaries of the physical and reach a level on which I could detect and understand energy” are likely to produce skepticism in some readers, though the main purpose of the book is to bridge the gap between the established and the esoteric. The success of this enterprise depends greatly on a reader’s willingness to see items such as the logarithmic nature of a flower and the “balance between the male and female energies” determining the sex of a baby combined into one text.

Bursting with information, this intriguing, if uneven, book delivers a wealth of scientific and spiritual subjects for readers to ponder.

Pub Date: April 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5049-3920-1

Page Count: 164

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2016

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.


A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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