Archives: science

“The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century” by Robert Lomas

This is an excellent non-academic biography (no source notes) of Nikola Tesla. I knew of Tesla, but it was nice to read his story from beginning to end. Lomas is obviously sympathetic towards Tesla, but I don’t care what you say, there is no way to spin Tesla’s story in such a way as to • Read More »

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“The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge

Rating: 1/3. Wow. This book is the perfect example of how writing style can totally obscure (nay, all but obliterate) an otherwise sound and fascinating message. I found this book physically painful to read. Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with the fundamental thesis of the book. My problem is with the presentation. I will seek out another (much better) book on the subject and will report back when I find it. If you want to hear my rant, read on, otherwise, feel free to stop here.

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“Panic Virus” by Seth Mnookin

This book is a history of both vaccination itself and its opponents. The take-away message is that the media is not the place to go for truly balanced and accurate information about science and health. They are far more interested in ratings and catchy headlines than truth. Epidemiology is not something you can just pick • Read More »

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“How I Killed Pluto” by Mike Brown

Rating: 3/5. Very informative account of how Pluto was eventually demoted and why. The only problem is the book is padded by about half with extraneous and distracting very personal details about Dr. Brown himself. If you’re the type of person that likes a little autobiography mixed in with your journalism, then this book is right up your alley. If not, it’s still a very worthy read, but be prepared to squirm a little.

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