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Old 05-03-2012, 12:35 PM   #286
WT Sharpe
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Carl Zimmer's A planet of viruses is the free e-bok of the month at University of Chicago Press. And in ePub format too (with DRM).
I just downloaded the free Bluefire Reader iPad app and will be reading it on that.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:09 PM   #287
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I don't know if this qualifies, as it's more philosophy than science, but I just finished the book Too Big to Know, and it was absolutely wonderful. It's a long discussion on how the internet has changed no just how we seek knowledge but the share of knowledge itself. '
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:34 PM   #288
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^Nice. Did you read Everything is Miscellaneous? Wondering if it would be a worthwhile background book to pick up on knowledge, information, and retrieval issues.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #289
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Carl Zimmer's A planet of viruses is the free e-bok of the month at University of Chicago Press. And in ePub format too (with DRM).

Thanks. I just downloaded it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #290
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Just finished

http://www.amazon.com/A-Planet-Virus.../dp/0226983358

Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer which I picked up as a free ebook a while back. 4/5 stars. Excellent writing as usual. He truly explores the world of viruses and make you realize not only are they everywhere but they may be responsible for life itself. One interesting tid-bit humans would not be able to reproduce is we did not have certain viruses in our bodies and dna.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #291
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Not an ebook unfortunately, but one I ran across (recommended by Gardner Dozois in the Years Best SF 29 which came out today: http://www.amazon.com/Years-Best-Sci...4&sr=1-1)looks extremely interesting and I'll likely buy it in paper.

Denying Science: Conspiracy Theories, Media Distortions, and the War Against Reality by John Grant

Book Description
Publication Date: August 23, 2011

Is global warming just scaremongering by climatologists conspiring to protect their jobs?
Is evolution "just a theory"?
Is autism caused by vaccinations?

The answer to all of these questions is, of course, no. The scientific evidence is now in, and it's conclusive, on these and many more issues that are fundamental to our knowledge and wellbeing. But you'd never know this if all of your information came from the popular media or your upbringing and immediate circle of influence didn't include critical thinking and basic scientific literacy.

As prolific popular science and science fiction writer John Grant shows in this witty book with a very serious message, our culture has in recent decades been characterized by a widespread antagonism toward science and the not-always-welcome messages it brings. Large sections of the supposedly sophisticated populations in the developed nations are in an active state of denial. Not only do they deny scientific evidence but they also call into question the very competence of science as a descriptor of reality. In short, they deny reality.

Grant surveys the gamut of clearly unscientific ideas concerning the food we eat, the medicines and potions we are either afraid of or advised to take, our sex preferences, and a host of other issues that are raised by various panics, urban legends, and a general climate of misinformation. He also examines how special interests, from agribusiness to pharmaceutical companies to creationists, actively work to distort or suppress scientific findings.

While the tendency may be to laugh at some of the ridiculous notions catalogued in Grant's overview of bogus ideas, the overall picture he creates is anything but funny. Denying Science reminds the reader that the future of free, increasingly complex societies depends on an educated citizenry that is able to think clearly and critically based on reliable information.


http://www.amazon.com/Denying-Scienc.../dp/1616143991

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Old 08-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #292
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Just finished Here's Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos; an excellent non-fiction on the history of mathematics. Interesting and thought provoking. He covers all aspects of math and its history. For example, I learned from this book that the Arabic number system we use isn't Arabic at all but rather Indian that simply spread to Arabia. Europeans discovered it during the Crusades and assumed it had originated there.

He also covers how people have used math to beat the odds in casinos. And how Suduku got started.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:57 PM   #293
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Just finished Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow. Nice overview of the present state of our understanding of the unconscious motivations behind our behavior and the choices we make.

Quote:
PHILOSOPHERS HAVE FOR centuries debated the nature of “reality,” and whether the world we experience is real or an illusion. But modern neuroscience teaches us that, in a way, all our perceptions must be considered illusions. That’s because we perceive the world only indirectly, by processing and interpreting the raw data of our senses. That’s what our unconscious processing does for us—it creates a model of the world.
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But we are aware of only our conscious influences, and so have only partial information. As a result, our view of ourselves and our motivations, and of society, is like a jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #294
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I've been re-reading again "The Immense Journey" by Loren Eiseley as I walk a lunchtime. May what an incredible mind and way with words. If you haven't read this collection of essays, what are you waiting on????

http://www.amazon.com/Immense-Journe.../dp/0394701577
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #295
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Just read The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav and it was an excellent explanation of all aspects of quantum mechanics. And Zukav has a delightful sense of humor that made the book all the more readable.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:26 PM   #296
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Just read The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav and it was an excellent explanation of all aspects of quantum mechanics. And Zukav has a delightful sense of humor that made the book all the more readable.
Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:50 AM   #297
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I just finished reading The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Happens by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

I greatly enjoyed reading this work, and it definitely expanded my knowledge about quantum mechanics and the principles behind it. But, this book is definitely not for the faint of heart, it hovers on the far edge of popular science, with the already not so light subject of quantum mechanics described and discussed thoroughly, with more than a flavor of mathematics. Many of the theories behind quantum mechanics are described in depth and when possible experiments confirming the theories are discussed.

I originally bought this book to understand the Higgs boson a bit better. And indeed, the last chapter of the book deals with the Higgs boson and explains how it gives mass to all the other particles. I did not get the feeling, however, that the theory behind the Higgs boson was as well and in depth explained as some of the concepts toughed upon earlier in the book.

Overall, I would recommend the book for those interested in quantum mechanics in general, but probably not as a first book to be read on the subject.

I have some hopes for better understanding the Higgs boson by reading The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World by Sean Carroll, but consider the current price still a bit steep (and have plenty more on my TBR list).
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:27 AM   #298
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I have some hopes for better understanding the Higgs boson by reading The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World by Sean Carroll, but consider the current price still a bit steep (and have plenty more on my TBR list).
I bought this for 99p in Amazon's "12 Days of Kindle" Christmas sale. Haven't read it yet. It does sound interesting.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:45 AM   #299
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I bought this for 99p in Amazon's "12 Days of Kindle" Christmas sale. Haven't read it yet. It does sound interesting.
99p?! I paid full price for that on preorder! . It's interesting; Sean Carroll is quite a good science popularizer (besides being an accompished physicist).
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #300
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99p?! I paid full price for that on preorder! . It's interesting; Sean Carroll is quite a good science popularizer (besides being an accompished physicist).
Indeed, I've read 'From eternity to here' from Carroll, which describes time and entropy very well. So, I have high hopes for the other book, though the arrow of time seems to be his daily business and the Higgs boson just a side interest.
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