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August 8: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

By on Aug 8, 2014 in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In this week’s 60-second read we meet Orin Varneys, Director of OSSIS (the Office of Special Strategic Intelligence Services), and get a look into the formative relationship between him and protagonist Bobby Austin.   Director Varneys’ office was impressive by anyone’s standards, but Varneys radiated such imposing authority and gravitas that he overshadowed it. Orin Varneys stood five feet seven inches tall and appeared to be in his mid-forties. Although portly now, his build was still so broad and thick that no one would be surprised to learn that he went through college on a wrestling scholarship. His almost square head was far too large for his body and looked suitable for mounting in a hunting lodge. Thinning black hair was oiled and combed straight back, and his small dark eyes were set wide on his head, almost like a fish. His mouth was a long lateral slit with no discernible lips and his ears were large, swollen looking items. While his teeth were peculiarly small, he appeared to have many more than was usual and they were badly stained, probably from too much cigar smoking. Varneys rose from the chair behind his ebony Louis XVI desk and motioned perfunctorily to Uhlman and Bobby to take the two seats in front of him. They sat down, as he did, and Varneys proceeded to just stare at Bobby. He said nothing to him. He just kept staring intently at him with his shiny dark eyes. He propped his left elbow on the desk, rested his chin in his left hand and then stared some more. When a seemingly inordinate amount of time had passed, Varneys said, “So, finally, I meet Robert James Austin. John, why didn’t you let Austin and me get together years ago? Shame on you.” Varneys laughed. Uhlman managed a mechanical smile. “You know, director, on the trip to D.C., I was thinking how strange it is,” Bobby said. “You’re a person whose had such a major influence on my life, and yet we’ve never met or even spoken with each other. You came into my life at age five and now I’m twenty. All these years have passed. That’s quite extraordinary when you think about it.” “I prefer to be behind the camera. That’s where I perform best.” “I see. You’re the wizard behind the curtain. The puppet master.” “I don’t see myself that way. But I understand the analogy. I have a job to do and I try to do it as effectively as possible.”     For more, you can purchase the book here. Related: August 1: 60-second Read from Miracle...

August 1: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

By on Aug 1, 2014 in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

It’s already August, the last full month of summer, and many are starting to look back at memories of this past summer. In that spirit I wanted this week’s 60-second read to echo that sentiment of reflection. The following excerpt of Miracle Man takes a look at protagonist Robert James Austin’s tough start, as he dreams about his rocky entry into the world.   Eventually, Bobby fell asleep. It didn’t take long for the nightmares to kick-in with full force and now there was new material with which he could be terrorized. It was as if he were there at his own birth watching it all unfold, his newborn cries echoing eerily through an abandoned factory building in which his mother, a teenage drug addict, lay on a blood stained blanket on the cold concrete floor. His cries seemed so small, so inconsequential, so pitiful as they reverberated through the decrepit cavernous structure. There was no welcome for him. No teary eyed parents, filled with gratitude and wonderment. No doctors and nursing staff officiously performing their duties. No incubator to warm its new occupant. There was only silence punctuated by the urgent cries of a tiny human being thrust into a world that didn’t want or need him. A nursing student, a friend of the mother, he presumed, did her best to clean him with the paper towels and bottled water she pulled out of a bag from a convenience store. With difficulty, she cut his umbilical cord with a cheap scissor. She triple-wrapped him from head to toe in a too-big bed sheet she had taken from the hospital where she studied. Only his doll-like face remained visible. His mother didn’t want to hold him or even look at him, and she didn’t seem to be in very good shape after the birth. The father—-well who knew who the father was anyway? The bedraggled young man who was standing there, shifting nervously, perspiration pouring out of his pasty face, wasn’t acting like the baby was his.   For more, you can purchase the book here. Related: July 25: 60-second Read from Miracle...

July 25: 60-second Read from Miracle Man

By on Jul 25, 2014 in Big Pharma, Book Excerpts | 0 comments

For this week’s excerpt of Miracle Man we delve into Bobby’s struggle against big pharma, and his motivation to transform into a true “Miracle Man” by curing diseases that big pharma wished to treat, not cure.   Over the next few months, Bobby immersed himself in researching various diseases and the progress that had been made in science’s efforts to find cures. He was dismayed. Tens of billions of dollars had been spent on research and where were the cures? No major disease had been cured in decades. Research seemed to be fragmented, unfocused and uncoordinated, with much duplication of effort, and researchers going off on their own tangents, distracted by forays into matters of general academic interest. Cure research appeared to be a self-perpetuating industry of its own with no sense of urgency but lots of people making a living from it. And more often than not, the thrust was not to find a cure, but to create a treatment—a product that could be sold. Ongoing treatments with drugs rather than cures seemed to be the focal point. Keep selling those pills day after day rather than eradicate the need for them. Was that cynicism or reality? Bobby didn’t know.     For more, you can purchase the book here. Related: 4 Quotes from “Miracle Man” Robert James Austin that Unmask Big...

July 11: 60-Second Read From “Miracle Man”

By on Jul 11, 2014 in Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In this week’s 60-second read protagonist Robert James Austin’s potential is unveiled during his first official round of IQ testing. His foster parents, Edith and Peter, learn from Dr. John Uhlman just how smart Austin, their little “Miracle Man,” really is:   Uhlman leaned further forward and tapped his desk with his forefinger for emphasis as he spoke. “The results of the exams are nothing short of astounding. Robert is like the Grand Canyon; he’s one-of-a-kind. I don’t believe there has ever been anyone who possesses the magnitude of raw intelligence that Robert has.” “How can that be?” asked Peter as he shook his head from side to side. Uhlman sat back in his chair. “Frankly, we don’t know. There’s no plausible explanation for something like this. The more we study human intelligence, the more we realize how little we know.” “Well, what does that mean in practical terms?” Peter asked. Uhlman handed Peter and Edith a sheet of paper. “Here’s a list of some of the great geniuses in history and their actual tested IQs, or comparative-history determined IQs, based on Catharine Cox’ renown analysis. These are widely accepted in the scientific community as being accurate.” Edith and Peter read the names and the corresponding number:   William Sidis: 300 Johann Von Goethe: 225 Leonardo da Vinci: 225 Kim Ung-Yong: 210 Nathan Leopold: 210 Hypatia: 210 Christopher Langan: 210 Emanuel Swedenborg: 205 Gottfried Leibniz: 205 Francis Galton: 200 Michael Kearney: 200 John Stuart Mill: 200 Hugo Grotius: 200 Thomas Wolsey: 200 Michael Grost: 200 Isaac Newton: 190 Albert Einstein: 180   Uhlman continued, “Now, in comparison, Robert’s IQ is so high that we here at Mayo can’t accurately quantify it, and Drs. Draper, Knoll and Massey reached the same conclusion. And I have to tell you, if you’ll excuse the immodesty, that my staff and I are at the pinnacle of expertise in the field of intelligence measurement.” “Do you have any idea?” asked Peter. “We can only begin to estimate Robert’s minimum intelligence. This we put at 550-600, but I’m confident that this is inordinately minimized. Now in IQ terms, every fifteen points higher is a standard deviation off the mean, which means that a 200 or 300 point differential in IQ between Robert and the highest person on the list, William Siddis, represents not just twice, but a quantum leap in the intelligence level. A veritable different species altogether.” “How could this happen? It just doesn’t make any sense,” Edith said.   For more, you can purchase the book here.   Related: June 27: 60-Second Read From “Miracle Man” ...

What the Face of Big Pharma Truly Looks Like, a Look at Protagonist Colum McAlister

By on Jul 2, 2014 in Big Pharma, Book Excerpts | 0 comments

In the following excerpt of Miracle Man, big pharma is given a human face through antagonist Colum McAlister, CEO of the pharma company Bushings, who rallies his colleagues against the scientific advances of Robert James Austin:   Framed by the library’s imposing fireplace, McAlister spoke as if Obermeir had never uttered a word. “Gentlemen, I love our industry and I know you do too. I’ve given my life to it. I started out as a stock boy at a warehouse loading dock when I was seventeen. And now, Austin is destroying our business. Nobody knows who this guy is or where he came from. Some say he’s a mutant. For all we know, he’s an alien. But who cares? He’s going to cost a million people their jobs and destroy the nest-eggs of tens of millions of our shareholders. If he keeps going on like he has—the only thing left for us to manufacture will be tampons and laxatives. So we have to confront realities. We’ve been entrusted to run our companies and to do what’s best for our shareholders. That’s our job and we’re paid well to do it. Austin’s our competitor and we have to beat him. It’s really no more complicated than that. I hope I have your support.” With the exception of Obermeir, all of the CEOs present agreed that Robert James Austin was the enemy and the enemy had to be stopped.     For more, you can purchase the book here.   Related: June 27: 60-Second Read From Miracle Man...