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Old 03-02-2011, 10:52 AM   #151
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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Will post tonight when I get home.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:46 PM   #152
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I'm currently reading "Stiff" by Mary Roach and loving it....well except for the smell.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #153
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This is a long thread, and I did do a "search forum", but it seems no one has suggested The Disappearing Spoon, which I read as a downloaded library book.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:15 PM   #154
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As promised, here is an account of my (not very deep, I'm afraid) explorations into the history of science.

I think I first got interested in this subject a few years ago, when I read at about the same time two excellent, and very different, works of fiction: An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears, and The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. In both books, I got a glimpse of a pre-modern or maybe proto-modern thinking struggling to make sense of the world. And I started wondering: when did we become modern, how, and why?

Bruno Latour's answer is that We Have Never Been Modern. I was drawn to the catchy title (being French, and a child of the 60s, I tend to have a positive bias toward iconoclast standpoints) but rather disappointed by the book. I have to believe Latour knows what he is talking about, but apparently his idea of popular science is to repeat an idea several times (in a very lively and witty manner) without ever bothering to prove it. Or at least not in a way that I could understand and adhere to.

On the other hand, Latour also wrote Laboratory Life, an account of his studies of scientists in their natural habitat, which I hope is more rewarding, but haven't read yet.

Feeling more and more intrigued but frustrated by Latour's book, I moved on to a book that Latour cites many times, Leviathan and the Air-Pump by Stephen Shapin. That's more like it: an exploration of the links between the social and political world and the development of science, through a case study of Boyle's experiments with his air-pump and his political and scientific disagreements with Thomas Hobbes, in the context of an England recovering from years of civil war. A fascinating period, by the way, which is also described in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle.

That's as far as I went on this subject for a while, and maybe it's enough for one post. More later, probably.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:34 PM   #155
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A few that have not been mentioned yet, but might be of interest. I have no idea if any are available as ebboks.

The Brotherhood of the Bomb http://www.amazon.com/Brotherhood-Bomb-Loyalties-Oppenheimer-Lawrence/dp/080506589X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299093267&sr=1-1 The story behind the development of the bomb and the major players; Oppenheimer et al.

If mathematics interests you

Pi: A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number http://www.amazon.com/Pi-Biography-Worlds-Mysterious-Number/dp/1591022002/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299093444&sr=1-1 A book devoted to the number π Worth reading just for the anecdote of the time when the legislature of a mid-western state that mid-20th century passed a law that would have set the value to a rational number based on some cranks claim of a proof of this. Fortunately an actual mathematician persuaded to the governor to veto the bill.

The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers http://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Fibonacci-Numbers-Alfred-Posamentier/dp/1591024757/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299093750&sr=1-4

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Paper-Sci...9093862&sr=1-1


Also a few of my list from this thread http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...2&postcount=74
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #156
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This is a long thread, and I did do a "search forum", but it seems no one has suggested The Disappearing Spoon, which I read as a downloaded library book.
The title segment from that book, demonstrated:

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Old 03-02-2011, 04:19 PM   #157
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The Dank Side of the Moon
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The title segment from that book, demonstrated:

Ooooh! Fun!
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:39 AM   #158
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This thread is GREAT!! These are the kind of books I usually read, and I was in desperate need of a few good recomendations. So thanks a bunch everyone.

Let me ask this while I'm doing this post, even though it's off-topic: My laptop is 'broke' and all I have is that laptop and an Archos 7o Internet Tablet that I'm using now. The vast majority of my ebooks are on my laptops hardrive in a Calibre library. I can't get my laptop to boot up so I can't get to ebooks that way. Does anybody know anyway to get my books from Calibre over the net or something? If anyone has an idea, or has the time and knows about computers and will help me, send me a PM or an email and I'll give more details about what happens when I turn my laptop on. My email is prodygi@live.com

Thanks
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:51 AM   #159
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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This thread is GREAT!! These are the kind of books I usually read, and I was in desperate need of a few good recomendations. So thanks a bunch everyone.

Let me ask this while I'm doing this post, even though it's off-topic: My laptop is 'broke' and all I have is that laptop and an Archos 7o Internet Tablet that I'm using now. The vast majority of my ebooks are on my laptops hardrive in a Calibre library. I can't get my laptop to boot up so I can't get to ebooks that way. Does anybody know anyway to get my books from Calibre over the net or something? If anyone has an idea, or has the time and knows about computers and will help me, send me a PM or an email and I'll give more details about what happens when I turn my laptop on. My email is prodygi@live.com

Thanks
Yes, it's a great thread.

As far as your laptop, if it won't boot then you are not going to be able to access the books stored in the Calibre directory/db on the hard drive (unless you pull that drive and connect it to a computer that will boot).

Did I mention Mary Roach recently?

I'm about 3/4 through "Stiff" and loving it. She has a great way of presenting interesting and detailed information along with a great sense of humor!
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:14 PM   #160
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The vast majority of my ebooks are on my laptops hardrive in a Calibre library. I can't get my laptop to boot up so I can't get to ebooks that way.
Your best hope is to pull the HD from the laptop and put it in another computer as a slave drive. If it isn't the drive itself that is bad, you'll be able to recover the files. Looking at the specs for the Archos 7o Internet Tablet, it seems like it should be able to read data from an external USB drive, so you could buy something like this for your laptop drive.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #161
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I really enjoyed Stiff, but because I found her later work much more breezy I'm iffy on Packing for Mars. Any opinions?

(Also, I don't visit MR often, but I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread. Thanks to everyone for the great recommendations!)

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Old 03-12-2011, 01:51 PM   #162
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Obvious reasons made me think of the book The Orphan Tsunami of 1700-- my copy is a slightly less than legitimate digital copy, so I checked to see if there is a legit ebook version, and found that it is a free Google book as a downloadable PDF:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Xow...page&q&f=false
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:31 PM   #163
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Cassidy mentioned the Brian Green book in the What we're reading thread. Don't know more that.
It was Hidden Realities and a very interesting read. I've got both Mars and Stiff by Mary Roach on my TBR list; probably get to them after I've finished At Home which, like most Bryson books, is very interesting
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:28 PM   #164
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The Dank Side of the Moon
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Stiff by Mary Roach was great. I have not started "Packing for Mars" yet, distracted by a few other things, but on my to-read-soon list.
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:17 PM   #165
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I have Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc on my TBR pile. Am looking forward to it, but has anyone here read it yet?
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