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Entries Tagged as 'science'

Greg Conti : Googling Security – How Much Does Google Know About You?

30 May 2011 · No Comments

I can’t remember where I saw Googling Security reviewed*, but the review made a strong impression. It exposed at least a couple of the provocative tidbits in the book, like that even if you personally refuse to use Google’s Gmail service on privacy grounds, as soon as a friend sends you a message with Gmail, [...]

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Tags: business · c-author · g-title · science

Janna Levin : How the Universe Got Its Spots

23 Apr 2011 · 2 Comments

How the Universe Got Its Spots is either the most unusual science book I’ve ever read, or the most science-oriented memoir. I was delighted by both aspects. Levin, a no-nonsense, for-real, theoretical cosmologist grapples with, among other things, the shape of the universe, her acknowledgedly irrational preference for it to be finite, and a relationship [...]

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Tags: h-title · l-author · science

Daniel H. Pink : Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

29 Mar 2011 · No Comments

Pink is an engaging writer, and I certainly was entertained by and learned useful things from Drive. It examines the difference between extrinsic motivation (e.g., “I want to earn a million by the the time I’m 35″) and intrinsic motivation (e.g., “I want to be the best criminal lawyer in the state.”), and argues, with [...]

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Tags: business · d-title · p-author · psychology · sociology

Eduardo Porter : The Price of Everything

21 Feb 2011 · No Comments

There are a lot of intriguing concepts in The Price of Everything, but I was bothered throughout by logic that seemed sloppy. But on the other hand, I mistrust my judgement a little bit because I had a vehement, irrational, negative emotional reaction to some of the book’s content.
Porter’s key concept is that [...]

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Tags: economics · p-author · p-title · sociology

Philip Plait: Death from the Skies!

21 Dec 2010 · No Comments

Death from the Skies!’s nine chapters all follow the same pattern: a brief, moderately sensationalized depiction of an astronomical disaster followed by a somewhat more sober discussion of the event, with an emphasis on how likely and/or subject to mitigation it is. The book more-or-less progresses from near-term potential events (like a meteor collision) to [...]

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Tags: d-title · p-author · science

Mary Roach: Packing for Mars – The Curious Science of Life in the Void

02 Oct 2010 · No Comments

I enjoyed Packing for Mars a lot, and it made me guffaw and snort repeatedly — but it’s the first of Roach’s books that make me feel like her approach is in danger of becoming a schtick.
Packing for Mars devotes a chapter apiece to several aspects of the ticklish business of getting human beings [...]

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Tags: p-title · r-author · science

Stephen R. Braun: Buzz – The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine

21 Jul 2010 · No Comments

Braun’s lucid, entertaining, and informative book is evenly split between discussion of two molecules, ethyl alcohol and caffeine, and how they behave in the human body (particularly the brain). Despite its subtitle, it’s much longer on “science” than on “lore,” but Braun doesn’t assume any particular background in organic or neuro-chemistry; Buzz is readily accessible [...]

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Tags: b-author · b-title · science

Tom Standage: The Neptune File

03 Jul 2009 · No Comments

In The Neptune File, Standage expertly balances personal drama and the intellectual excitement of a radical new idea. The new idea rests on the notion that the eccentricities of Uranus’s orbit can only be explained by the gravitational pull of another planet. What makes it so radical is that mathemeticians work out where the new [...]

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Tags: history · n-title · s-author · science

Steven Johnson: Mind Wide Open

29 Jun 2009 · 2 Comments

Steven Johnson opens his whirlwind tour of modern brain science asserting his intent to deliver a “long-decay” idea in each chapter: the sort of thought that will resonate with you after you finish the book, even possibly altering your behavior.
And he delivers at least a few that stick for me. I learned things about the [...]

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Tags: autobiography · j-author · m-title · science

Steven Johnson: The Ghost Map

14 Jun 2009 · No Comments

The Ghost Map is the sort of book that could be filed in a number of sections of a bookstore or library. Its wide-ranging approach convinced me that I need to read everything else Johnson writes. It’s nominally the history of the London cholera epidemic of 1854, and of the two men who traced it [...]

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Tags: history · j-author · science