Thursday, August 30, 2012

{Review} Teaching Algebra to Chickens by Don Peckham

ISBN #: 978-0615420929
Page Count: 147
Copyright: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Donald E. Peckham

(Taken from back cover)

Have you ever stopped to wonder how the universe can go on forever? How once upon a time there was nothingness and yet everything that now exists was somehow created out of that nothingness? Have you ever wondered if there's a master designer God, the universe, the Force, or whatever you'd like to call it that made everything? And if this ultimate being made everything, then who made him?

And then there's the smaller stuff: How does our brain work? Why are we so different from animals or are we? Do gender differences really matter? Why is there war? What will happen to humans if we destroy our environment? What happens when we die?

The fact is that life is filled with endless unanswerable questions, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask them. Join author Don Peckham as he ponders those things in life that defy explanation and the things that seem beyond our comprehension. While we think we may know the answers, Don will challenge you to look past those beliefs that you readily accept and question their validity. We may not be able to answer every question that life raises any better than a chicken can learn algebra, but we can open our awareness to a place of wonder and respect for the unanswerable.

Charlene's Review:

As a self-professed "octogenarian," Mr. Peckham brings his life experience to the pages of this book, in a memoir of sorts, that brings to the forefront all the unanswerable questions of the universe. Some are humorous, some are controversial, and many are just good old-fashioned common sense. This is a man with a no-holds-barred mentality, that gives it to you as he sees it.

By far, I appreciated his humor the most. When speaking of the galaxies around us, he says, "There is a googol more galaxies out there. And what is a googol? No, it's not an internet search engine." I also enjoyed his Prodigy version of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." "Scintillate, scintillate, globular vivific..."

On controversy: "If we don't try to learn with open minds we'll never discover the answer and we'll end up fighting and hating each other forever. What's the good in that?" He also says, " ... one thing we have proven beyond a doubt is that 'as far as we know' often doesn't go far enough."

I enjoyed seeing things from a new perspective and thought this was an enlightening book. As to the title, Mr. Peckham sums his book up with these words:

"For in the end, if we don't ask questions, we really are nothing more than chickens who can't learn algebra."

*A physical copy of this book was supplied through the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

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