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Old 07-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #331
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Just finished Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life, by David Grinspoon and it was excellent!
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:56 AM   #332
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I am currently reading The Stardust Revolution by Jacob Berkowitz.

The decision to buy was based on the description on Amazon, and the very reasonable kindle price when compared with the hardcover.

I was slightly put of by the preface, it sounded a bit to vague and spiritual to me. However, the main text very quickly made up for it. It basically turn around the origin of matter -- how did carbon, oxygen, iron and the rest of the elements of the periodic table get into existence and incorporated in our bodies.

At the same time, the book manages to describe the scientist involved in the quests to solve the different questions sprouting from the one mentioned above.

Overall, I feel it's a great book and would recommend it to those interested in biology, physics, chemistry or astronomic -- a wide public
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:04 AM   #333
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...I was slightly put of by the preface, it sounded a bit to vague and spiritual to me....
Publications from Prometheus Books rarely fall into the category of spiritual unless it be that kind of 'spirituality' exhibited by Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawkings, Spinoza, et al.

That looks interesting.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:12 AM   #334
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I am currently reading The Stardust Revolution by Jacob Berkowitz....
I just found a fascinating article on the author's website with what has to be one of the most intriguing titles ever: "Bernie Madoff and the Origins of Life".
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:33 AM   #335
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Just finished The Truth in Small Doses: Why We're Losing the War on Cancer-and How to Win It

It's a tremendous combination of good writing and nine years of research.

There currently are thirty reviews at Amazon and three at Barnes and Noble. All five star. And in the three weeks since it appeared, it has also gotten rave professional reviews.

This one isn't quite a rave, and it says something nice about author Clifton Leaf that he posted a thank you to the blogger anyway:

http://www.pharmagellan.com/how-to-c...-clifton-leaf/

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Old 08-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #336
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Steve, thanks for the reco. Just put that one on my TBR list.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #337
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Just a heads up -- The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012 is on sale in Kindle format for $.99 if any of you are interested in picking it up.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #338
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U.S. Linky: http://www.amazon.com/American-Scien...e+writing+2012

It's a good one too! It is focused primarily on biology, psychology, brain, society ... not a lot of physics or chemistry but still very interesting. I paid full price as I always pre-order!

New one is due out October 8 (along with the other Best American XXX collections)

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Old 08-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #339
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Just a heads up -- The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012 is on sale in Kindle format for $.99 if any of you are interested in picking it up.
Well, thanks a lot. Now the To-Be-Read collection in my Kindle is even longer by one.

No, seriously—

Where else can someone like me get an education like that for 99¢?

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 08-07-2013 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:56 PM   #340
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Seriously! It's wonderful stuff! I'm pretty sure they did the same thing last year just before the new edition came out, but then the price goes back up....

I just noticed that the Best American Short Stories 2012 is 99 cents as well.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:12 AM   #341
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This Explains Everything: 150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works by John Brockman is discounted to $1.99 everywhere I've looked:

Quote:

Drawn from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, This Explains Everything will revolutionize your understanding of the world.

What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?

This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), posed to the world's most influential minds. Flowing from the horizons of physics, economics, psychology, neuroscience, and more, This Explains Everything presents 150 of the most surprising and brilliant theories of the way of our minds, societies, and universe work.

Jared Diamond on biological electricity • Nassim Nicholas Taleb on positive stress • Steven Pinker on the deep genetic roots of human conflict • Richard Dawkins on pattern recognition • Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek on simplicity • Lisa Randall on the Higgs mechanism • BRIAN Eno on the limits of intuition • Richard Thaler on the power of commitment • V. S. Ramachandran on the "neural code" of consciousness • Nobel Prize winner ERIC KANDEL on the power of psychotherapy • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on "Lord Acton's Dictum" • Lawrence M. Krauss on the unification of electricity and magnetism • plus contributions by Martin J. Rees • Kevin Kelly • Clay Shirky • Daniel C. Dennett • Sherry Turkle • Philip Zimbardo • Lee Smolin • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein • Seth Lloyd • Stewart Brand • George Dyson • Matt Ridley
This is an ebook of the edge.org question of 2012. As I follow edge.org and this has contributions by many popular science writers & luminaries, I'll be adding this to my ever more bloated TBR list.

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Old 09-12-2013, 06:54 AM   #342
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This Explains Everything: 150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works by John Brockman is discounted to $1.99 everywhere I've looked:



This is an ebook of the edge.org question of 2012. As I follow edge.org and this has contributions by many popular science writers & luminaries, I'll be adding this to my ever more bloated TBR list.
Thank you, this looks wonderful!
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:55 AM   #343
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This Explains Everything: 150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works by John Brockman is discounted to $1.99 everywhere I've looked....

This is an ebook of the edge.org question of 2012. As I follow edge.org and this has contributions by many popular science writers & luminaries, I'll be adding this to my ever more bloated TBR list.
Added to my own ever more bloated list as well. There are a lot of first rate thinkers in that book to be only $1.99. Just got mine from Amazon.

Thanks for posting that.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #344
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Brilliant Blunders:

Quote:
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. Nobody’s perfect. Not even some of the greatest geniuses in history, as Mario Livio tells us in this marvelous story of scientific error and breakthrough.

Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein were all brilliant scientists. Each made groundbreaking contributions to his field—but each also stumbled badly. Darwin’s theory of natural selection shouldn’t have worked, according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Not until Gregor Mendel’s work was known would there be a mechanism to explain natural selection. How could Darwin be both wrong and right? Lord Kelvin, Britain’s leading scientific intellect at the time, gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling, the world’s premier chemist (who would win the Nobel Prize in chemistry) constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a “Big Bang” origin to the universe (ironically, the caustic name he gave to this event endured long after his erroneous objections were disproven). And Albert Einstein, whose name is synonymous with genius, speculated incorrectly about the forces that hold the universe in equilibrium—and that speculation opened the door to brilliant conceptual leaps. These five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth itself, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains, the scientific process advances through error. Mistakes are essential to progress.

Brilliant Blunders is a singular tour through the world of science and scientific achievement—and a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists.
http://www.amazon.com/Brilliant-Blun...dp/1439192367/

Blog/review of book here: http://blogs.plos.org/thestudentblog...ok-to-blunder/
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:00 AM   #345
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Richard Dawkins' Reading Recommendations.

(the Daniel Dennett book is already on my wish list)

Quote:
Richard Dawkins: By the Book
Published: September 12, 2013

The author of “The God Delusion” and “An Appetite for Wonder” doesn’t care for “Pride and Prejudice”: “I can’t get excited about who is going to marry whom, and how rich they are.”

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

I’ve been reading autobiographies to get me in the mood for writing my own and show me how it’s done: Tolstoy (at one time my own memoir was to have been called, at my wife’s suggestion, “Childhood, Boyhood, Truth”); Mark Twain; Bertrand Russell; that engaging maverick Herb Silverman; Edward O. Wilson, elder statesman of my subject. But the best new book I have read is Daniel Dennett’s “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.” A philosopher of Dennett’s caliber has nothing to fear from clarity and openness. He is out to enlighten and explain, and therefore has no need or desire to language it up like those obscurantist philosophers, often of “Continental” tradition, for whom obscurity is valued as a protective screen, or even admired for its own sake. I once heard of a philosopher who gushed an “Oh, thank you!” when a woman at a party said she found his book hard to understand. Dennett is the opposite. He works hard at being understood, and makes brilliant use of intuition pumps (his own coining) to that end. The book includes a helpful roundup of several of his earlier themes, and is as good as its intriguing title promises.

Who are your favorite contemporary writers and thinkers?

I’ve already mentioned Dan Dennett. I’ll add Steven Pinker, A. C. Grayling, Daniel Kahneman, Jared Diamond, Matt Ridley, Lawrence Krauss, Martin Rees, Jerry Coyne — indeed quite a few of the luminaries that grace the Edge online salon conducted by John Brockman (the Man with the Golden Address Book). All share the same honest commitment to real-world truth, and the belief that discovering it is the business of scientists — and philosophers who take the trouble to learn science. Many of these “Third Culture” thinkers write very well. (Why is the Nobel Prize in Literature almost always given to a novelist, never a scientist? Why should we prefer our literature to be about things that didn’t happen? Wouldn’t, say, Steven Pinker be a good candidate for the literature prize?)
...
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/bo...anted=all&_r=0
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