Dr. John Gamble is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Law at Penn State’s Behrend College in Erie and Director of Honors Programs. He is the author of approximately 100 publications and recently won Penn State’s most prestigious award for teaching, the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Dr. Gamble has stuttered all of his life. As a result, he believes words are precious and should not be taken for granted; this motivated him to write NO BULL INFORMATION. His dream for the book is that parents and grandparents will teach their children and grandchildren NBI techniques and demand clear, concise information from political leaders and service and product providers.
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About the Book:
In his new book, NO BULL INFORMATION, Dr. John Gamble challenges readers to confront the Information Age by abandoning simplistic thinking and taking a measured approach that requires asking questions to analyze and understand complicated issues, to identify and avoid word traps, and to effectively dissect and comprehend numbers frequently used to confuse voters and consumers.
Gamble uses humor and a wise cartoon character, Arnbi, to guide the reader through the maze of political doublespeak, expert-celebrity pitches of products, and healthcare options, among other issues.
With a focus on helping Americans to become better prepared to deal with the massive amounts of information that they face on a daily basis, NO BULL INFORMATION (NBI) instructs readers in developing “a new type of literacy.” NBI seeks to create an educated citizenry that can sift through information, identify the facts, and determine the best way to manage those facts. Gamble asserts that the super citizens who accept the challenge of NBI will make better decisions, which will lead to a reduction in financial disasters and government inefficiency.
Gamble’s cartoon sidekick, Arnbi, supports the NBI movement by offering targeted advice that summarizes many of the key principles outlined in NO BULL INFORMATION, including:
- Too bad, but “simple” is a square peg that seldom fits into the round hole that is our modern world.
- Facts are necessary but they must be put into context (PUTFiC).
- Vested interests are everywhere—recognize them.
Breaking down words and numbers is the foundation of NBI. In one section of the book, Gamble walks the reader through a basic lesson in understanding percentages and statistics. “You need to understand numbers enough not to be deceived.” In one intriguing illustration, Gamble compares the Pentagon’s budget of $700 billion to a two-liter bottle and a proposed $20 million in spending to one drop of water from an eyedropper placed in that bottle. “It is a helpful strategy for understanding large numbers that are thrown at us every day by politicians and salespeople.”
Stressing the necessity of analytical thinking, Gamble explores the use of words in “bull-laden” information and the need to guard against what the author calls “landmine words and phrases”; for example, quite frankly, my good friend, clinical studies prove, award winning, and as seen on TV.
Gamble uses guidance survey and focus cards to demonstrate how readers can practice NBI in their daily lives. The cards cover nine areas each (Survey cards: sampling, word warnings, vested interests, etc. Focus cards: infomercials, supermarkets, credit, etc.). The cards include questions that help the reader to analyze a particular situation (buying a new cell phone, for example) and offer guidance for making decisions.
“I have been a college professor for more than thirty years. I am convinced that there are serious problems with the way information is presented and understood,” Gamble says. “This affects all Americans. I am writing for and to them.”
The idea for NO BULL INFORMATION came to Gamble about ten years ago as he observed the difficulty his Penn State undergraduate students were having adjusting to the Information Age. “NBI was inspired by hundreds of students in scores of classes I have taught. It was an iterative process: a class inspired an idea for NBI that I took back to class to test before including it in the book.”
Gamble believes that people who read NO BULL INFORMATION will “gain a sense of empowerment, like a life preserver when we feel we are drowning in a mass of information.”
For More Information
- No Bull Information is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, John. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
I guess I am a weird bird. As a college professor, I’ve published a number of books and articles, all with established, conventional houses. My current endeavor, No Bull Informational, is published by Morgan•James, a different kind of publisher.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
My earlier academic-oriented works usually got accepted very quickly. NBI took longer.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
With Morgan•James, things went quickly because the book was essentially finished when I singed he contract.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
When I was beginning as a professor (more than 30 years ago), I was unsure whether I could succeed in the profession I had chosen. Publishing was essential to promotion and tenure in the kind of universities in which I wanted to work. So I was happy and relieved when I began to believe I could pursue the career I had chosen.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
Again, I first was published in the 1970s. I allowed myself a few weeks of self-satisfaction but then worked into the mode where I realized research, writing and publishing were going to be continuous part of my life.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
Since I have had tenure for years and Penn State has awarded me the title of “Distinguished Professor,” I have the opportunity to try different things, to take risks, to look for linkages between my teaching and research. That is what I have done in NBI.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
The publishing industry has been transformed by the information age. There are more things published by any measure we use. With “self publishing” and related outlets, it is easier and cheaper to get work published but there is so much available, it is more difficult for readers to find you, to discover a golden needle is a massive haystack
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
I suspect I am unusual in my answer. For me, especially with the NBI book, it is seeing things come together after a long, arduous process. And it’s seeing my Penn State students taking the advice offered in NBI.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Keep at it. Understand and think seriously about criticisms offered. But don’t take criticism personally and remember there will be sages and fools among your critics. Finally, don’t overlook a huge factor, one that is unfair and over which you have limited control— luck.
Book 3: Seven Forbidden Arts Series
Passion always comes with a price.
All he could offer was thirty days of passion.
He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.
Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.
He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.
* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.
Contact Charmaine at:
Were you on line at Studio 54? Did you ever swap drugs for gold in Tangiers? Or try on a dog collar at the Botany Club? Ever marry a countess or a Playboy playmate? Meet Barry. He did all of that and a lot more. He’s had many ups and downs and has probably forgotten more than you’ve fantasized, but this book is what he can recall…
Thus goes the pitch of Barry Hornig’s candid, compelling, revealing, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Without a Net: a True Tales of Prison, Penthouses, and Playmates (Köehler Books, 2015), which, from idea to polished manuscript, took him eight years to complete.
“Without a Net is the story of a young man from a middle class background who shoots for the stars and goes after things that aren’t attainable, and when he thinks he has them, they get taken away,” states Hornig. “In the process, he winds up incarcerated, threatened with guns, and succumbs to addictions, but through a powerful series of visualizations he manages to manifest somebody who helps him change his whole life around through love and compassion. And through that, he is able to help other people.” Hornig’s over-the-top life is told with honesty, self-mockery, hope, and more than a little Jewish humor.
The decision to write this memoir came about from Hornig’s anger about his great ups and downs in life and the question, “Why do they continue to happen to me?” He needed to get it out of his system. Through writing, he hoped to see life more clearly and get rid of some of the anger and pain. He decided he wouldn’t misdirect his energy by looking back, but instead concentrate on looking forward and benefit from lessons learned, and it worked. “I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out,” says Hornig. “I believe that with determination, visualization, and the right partner, you can emerge from any darkness, live an interesting and fruitful life, and recover your sanity and your spiritual balance.”
In addition to his personal journey, the book offers a kaleidoscope of America from its triumphant and proud years in the 50s to a more recent time when – from Hornig’s perspective – “A great power has been shamefully falling apart. We’ve killed all our heroes, and there’s nobody to look up to. Violence never wins. And Gordon Gekko was wrong; greed is not good. (Sorry, Oliver.)”
Writing Without a Net had its challenges. From telling the truth, to stirring the hot coals, to old temptations re-awakening, to unsupportive peers telling him he was wasting his time and would never finish the book, Hornig admirably stuck to his vision through it all and came through the other side with a completed manuscript and a renewed sense of reality.
Besides the obvious painful, emotional journey of having to access his troubled past, Hornig’s challenge included the fact that he’s dyslexic. Because of this, he decided to work with Michael Claibourne, who helped him organize his thoughts and pen his words. Claibourne loved his life story and had been urging him for quite a while to write it all down. It seemed just as exciting as any of the screenplays they were working on. “My creative process was a form of channeling with Michael, who acted as interviewer, scribe and psychiatrist,” adds Hornig. “We wrote this memoir from Topanga Canyon to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Montana, and New York City. Sometimes lying down and sometimes sitting up. In person, over the phone, and over the net. It was complex but clear. I tried to be truthful and honest with all the subjects.”
In spite of help from his writing partner, as well as support from his spouse and family, becoming an author has been overwhelming for Hornig, to say the least. “I can’t quite wrap my head around it,” he says. “All I did was tell a story. We’ll see what happens from there, and I’ll leave it up to my audience.” He’s looking forward to sharing some of his experiences in this journey with younger people, and hopes that this book puts him in a venue where he can talk to them. “I want to spread the news: it’s never too late.” He hopes readers will learn from his story and even find themselves in it, and realize that even the most destructive impulses can be overcome. “I have been able to forgive the people who wronged me, and forgive myself for wronging the people that I wronged – both the ones who are dead and the ones who are still alive. And looking back now through the other end of the telescope, it’s all very clear.”
Barry Hornig currently divides his time between Santa Monica, California, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he owns a gallery of fine art rugs. He is a professional sports fisherman, an expert on the paranormal, has talked with beings from space, had visions in Masar-i-Sharif, has been blessed by Muktananda, and hugged by Ammachi. “I have so many more stories to tell… and they’re not all autobiographical” states the author on what lurks on the horizon. “Screenplays, movies, all with messages. I am hoping that with this book my other story work will be taken seriously. And that in turn the other work will get out and more lessons will be learned.”
Connect with Barry Hornig on the web:
My article originally appeared in Blogcritics.
Originally posted on Plug Your Book!:
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Author: Gabriel Valjan
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1N73WGy
About the Book:
Bianca is in Naples for Turning To Stone, the fourth book in the Roma Series from author Gabriel Valjan. Loki, her mysterious contact, is now giving Bianca baffling anagrams. They seem to lead to a charismatic entrepreneur who has a plan to partner with organized crime to manipulate the euro and American dollar. Against a backdrop of gritty streets, financial speculation, and a group of female assassins on motorcycles, Bianca and her friends discover that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.
Excerpt from Turning To Stone by Gabriel Valjan1
He was back at work.
Farrugia and Noelle had had a beautiful meal together, an even more beautiful night in bed together. It almost made him…
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