The story opens on an oppressively hot day with a poor little newspaper boy, Charley, playing with a "burning glass" (a magnifying glass) which he uses to concentrate sunlight onto a small focal spot, thus intensifying the heat on some paper until it burns a hole, perhaps a portent of things to come. He is noticed by a recluse scientist, Dr. Robold, who takes interest in Charley's scientific curiosity and calls him a young Archimedes, referring to the ancient Greek who, as legend tells, used a "burning glass" from shore to set enemy ships ablaze as they were approaching. Charley has no parents to care for him. Dr. Robold takes Charley away from his pitiful life, to a mountain retreat in Colorado.
A harrowing investigation of the tortuous path our food products take—from slaughter to SpamOn the production line in American packing-houses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Under pressure to increase supply, the supervisors of meat-processing plants have routinely accelerated the pace of conveyors, leading to inhumane…
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