CoachV's Book Corner

Have not seen Netflix version of book 1 yet.
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The 4th Wing is a good read.

I read Wonder, its pretty good.

Just finished “Into Africa” — Stanley’s search for Livingstone, missing in Africa for years. Pretty good. Recommended.

In the mid-1860s, exploration had reached a plateau. The seas and continents had been mapped, the globe circumnavigated. Yet one vexing puzzle remained unsolved: what was the source of the mighty Nile river? Aiming to settle the mystery once and for all, Great Britain called upon its legendary explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, who had spent years in Africa as a missionary. In March 1866, Livingstone steered a massive expedition into the heart of Africa. In his path lay nearly impenetrable, uncharted terrain, hostile cannibals, and deadly predators. Within weeks, the explorer had vanished without a trace. Years passed with no word.

Also finished “Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation”. Had new (to me) details on well-known financial manias like the Dutch Tulip Bulbs Craze. This book might be too duplicative for those already familiar with financial bubbles.

Wow! This is a real-life page-turner. Newby writes very engagingly about her ordeal with Lyme Disease and her difficulties in getting it correctly diagnosed & treated. Book was so interesting to me that I read it one sitting — Recommended.

From the Amazon review:

While on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Kris Newby was bitten by an unseen tick. That one bite changed her life forever, pulling her into the abyss of a devastating illness that took ten doctors to diagnose and years to recover: Newby had become one of the 300,000 Americans who are afflicted with Lyme disease each year… As a science writer, she was driven to understand why this disease is so misunderstood, and its patients so mistreated. (bold added)

It took my client a trip to the Mayo clinic to be diagnosed with Lyme. She was misdiagnosed so many times in the Houston area, it’s scary. It had progressed so far she is totally disabled and will shorten her lifespan significantly

That title makes it sound like lyme disease was/is a biological weapon.

Is that what the author is asserting? Or am I reading the title wrong.

There’s a theory that Lyme was bioengineered

If you like WWII history then Silent Victory by Clay Blair Jr. is about the US submarine war in the Pacific. It’s very complete and covers every patrol by every boat.

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Here are my long-winded thoughts about that —

Author Newby strikes me as an honest & engaging writer. She criss-crosses the country following the trail of Lyme Disease’s possible origins by interviewing researchers, attending conferences, & reading archives. She’s open, thorough, presents facts, and — when she hits a dead end — speculates reasonably.

She does not find definitive, smoking-gun proof that Lyme Disease is an intentionally or accidentally released bioweapon. She does make a strong case that we bioengineered ticks to each carry multiple, hard-to-detect pathogens. See this exchange (p.117) with a key researcher —

I checked… to see if my theory was correct: “The virus lowers the antigen, so you can’t test for it?” “That is it,” he said. “So, are you saying, if you infected a … population, they wouldn’t be able to figure out what was wrong?” “Yeah.” (bold added)

This scenario — ticks carrying multiple hard-to-detect pathogens & patients testing negative — possibly describes the experience of many Lyme Disease victims: years spent in debilitating agony while desperately searching for a diagnosis. For heart-breaking examples, see the movie links at bottom.

Newby describes her own infection as being caused by 2, perhaps 3, pathogens (p.89). It took her a year, ten doctors, & $60K. Then she faced a multi-year recovery.

Her conclusion says it well: “As I left Montana, I knew that some people would find it difficult to come to terms with the stories I was putting on paper. But I also knew that only by understanding the truth can we find a way forward to fix our current problems and possibly avoid repeating these mistakes.”

Read it for yourselves, it’s a page-turner.

Separately, here are trailers & the full movie for “Under Our Skin”, a documentary about victims of Lyme Disease.

Trailer —
Long Trailer —
Full Movie —

Going to Spain from France was a yearly trip for us since we were kids. Back in the 70’s as soon as you crossed the border we were immediately followed by “La guardia civil”
I had friends in the Basque areas of France and Spain and friends in Catalonia. These were not good times for freedom. We still had great times despite all of the dictatorship bs. El caudillo/franco was a ruthless dictator. After WWII many nazis “relocated” to Spain.
To this day Spain is still a “fragmented” country with forever strong regional identities.

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