- Micrographia, Robert Hooke
- The Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin
- Never at Rest, Richard Westfall
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman
- Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney
- The Devil's Doctor, Philip Ball
- The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes
- Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, Dennis Overbye
- Physics for Entertainment, Yakov Perelman
- 1-2-3 Infinity, George Gamow
- The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
- Warmth Disperses, Time Passes, Hans Christian von Bayer
- Alice in Quantumland, Robert Gilmore
- Where Does the Weirdness Go? David Lindley
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
- A Force of Nature, Richard Rhodes
- Black Holes and Time Warps, Kip Thorne
- A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
- Universal Foam, Sidney Perkowitz
- Vermeer's Camera, Philip Steadman
- The Code Book, Simon Singh
- The Elements of Murder, John Emsley
- Soul Made Flesh, Carl Zimmer
- Time's Arrow, Martin Amis
- The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, George Johnson
- Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman
- Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
- The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, Lisa Jardine
- A Matter of Degrees, Gino Segre
- The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss
- E=mc2, David Bodanis
- Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife
- Absolute Zero: The Conquest of Cold, Tom Shachtman
- A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, Janna Levin
- Warped Passages, Lisa Randall
- Apollo's Fire, Michael Sims
- Flatland, Edward Abbott
- Fermat's Last Theorem, Amir Aczel
- Stiff, Mary Roach
- Astroturf, M.G. Lord
- The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
- Longitude, Dava Sobel
- The First Three Minutes, Steven Weinberg
- The Mummy Congress, Heather Pringle
- The Accelerating Universe, Mario Livio
- Math and the Mona Lisa, Bulent Atalay
- This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin
- The Executioner's Current, Richard Moran
- Krakatoa, Simon Winchester
- Pythagorus' Trousers, Margaret Wertheim
- Neuromancer, William Gibson
- The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios
- The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump, Sandra Hempel
- Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Katrina Firlik
- Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps, Peter Galison
- The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
- The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
- The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker
- An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears
- Consilience, E.O. Wilson
- Wonderful Life, Stephen J. Gould
- Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard
- Fire in the Brain, Ronald K. Siegel
- The Life of a Cell, Lewis Thomas
- Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris
- Storm World, Chris Mooney
- The Carbon Age, Eric Roston
- The Black Hole Wars, Leonard Susskind
- Copenhagen, Michael Frayn
- From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne
- Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson
- Chaos, James Gleick
- Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos
- The Physics of NASCAR, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
- Subtle is the Lord, Abraham Pais
- Ascent of Man, Jacob Bronowski
- Basin and Range, John McPhee
- Beak of the Finch, Jonathan Weiner
- Chance and Necessity, Jacques Monod
- Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation, Olivia Judson
- Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Sean Carroll
- Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, Carl Zimmer
- Genome, Matt Ridley
- Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
- It Ain't Necessarily So, Richard Lewontin
- On Growth and Form, D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson
- Phantoms in the Brain, VS Ramachandran
- The Ancestor's Tale, Richard Dawkins
- The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution, Elisabeth Lloyd
- The Eighth Day of Creation, Horace Freeland Judson
- The Great Devonian Controversy, Martin Rudwick
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver Sacks
- The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould
- The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment, Richard Lewontin
- Time, Love, Memory, Jonathan Weiner
- Voyaging and The Power of Place, Janet Browne
- Woman: An Intimate Geography, Natalie Angier
August 2008 Archives
Uncovered a few more pictures of my California trip. I know, you are breathless with excitement....
On our way to Sonoma Valley, we swung by Muir Woods to take a walk among the redwoods. I've alwys said there are two things I've seen that made me dizzy with wonder, that no picture could ever capture - Uluru (Ayer's Rock) and redwood trees:
And did you know that Muir Forest had its own ladybug vacation spot? These little guys and girls were everywhere:
And here are some real pictures, taken with a camera by our very gracious host. A couple more of the sad Wolf House ruins:
And a couple more of the Sugarload hike, including one with the deer before they skitter off. Is there anything more graceful looking as it bounds through the woods than a deer? I think not.
Been awhile since I've done one:
Things I Loathe
- Driving 45 in a 55, forced to crawl behind a slowpoke
- Laryngitis. While traveling. At a developer's conference.
- The devoutly religious who defend their actions by invoking a "Higher Power", then get all bent out of shape when you ask them to prove this "Higher Power". As Christopher Hitchens says, "What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof."
- Being forced to merge onto a 65 MPH highway at 30 MPH
Things I Love
- Wildly enthusiastic greetings from kids and dog when coming home from traveling. The wife is merely relieved.
- blip.fm - quick, use it now before the RIAA gets its ugly paws on it, and stomps down to squash it like it did with muxtape :(
- Recovering (mostly) from laryngitis
- Getting back to playing hockey
- A good drive in golf. Especially if it is followed up by a good second shot, which is an even rarer happening.
It has been an outrageously busy couple of weeks, with some hope of relief now that it is done. A quick pictorial, but you'll have to excuse the awful quality. My Samsung u740, as a camera makes a great phone.
Drive to Down East Maine for a couple of anniversary parties, held on Grand Lake Stream. Great weather, good to see the relatives.
Drive 8+ hours to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where we had a cottage on a lake. This is for the annual Storyland visit, but the cottage turned out to be nearly 2 hours away - it's amazing how far things can get even in a small state when there are no highways connecting them! This is the Kancangus "Highway", one of those windy 55 MPH roads where you're lucky to be approach 45 due to the slowpokes on the road. Nice views, but at the cost of an explosively high blood pressure.
But we had a good time once we got the traveling done and had suprisingly good weather for what has been a generally pretty sucky summer, weather-wise. Some lazy times on the beach at the lake, a little fishing, a little reading.
I didn't get nearly as much reading done as I had hoped. The only book I finished wasn't even one I brought. They had lots of books at the cottage and I couldn't resist One Fearful Yellow Eye, an early book in the Travis McGee canon. It was a typically great entry in the series, which right to the end was entertaining, even if I felt it devolved into too much pointless violence. But the early ones especially were filled with the incredibly pointed, curmudgeon, interior dialogs the series was famous for, and this one was no exception. A nice story of sex, blackmail, tragedy and violence. Perfect vacation book.
I was back for one whole day, whereupon I flew out to San Francisco for the Intel Developers Conference. On the way, my sore and swollen throat, which deserved its own emergency room visit the night before, devolved into my very first case of laryngitis, so while at the conference all I could do was croak like a frog. Just great.
But it was a good conference, learning lots about new Intel software and hardware, and included a great talk by the head of Dreamworks, complete with two 3D movie scenes. The first one was an adaptation of the escape by the evil leopard from the prison and the second one was a preview for the upcoming Monsters Vs. Aliens. Cool stuff! And it looked great in 3D.
Spent the next day doing touristy stuff in San Fran. Rode the cable cars for the first time, ate at Fisherman's Wharf, bought knick knacks:
Then we drove out to Sonoma Valley to stay with a co-workers friend.
We did some hiking, wine tasting, fine eating. It was a blast. I really enjoyed the Jack London State Park, which included the heartbreaking story of Wolf House, a grand mansion London and his wife Charmian built that burned down a month before they moved in. Needless to say, they were heartbroken and it very may well have contributed to London's premature demise at the age of 40 just a couple of years later of a failed kidney. Great hikes with interesting buildings.
The next day we hiked at Sugarloaf State Park, which included some very nice vistas, as well as deer. We got very close to four or five, which scampered nicely through the woods.
I bought a case of wine, from various wineries we went to, including Paradise Ridge, Ravenswood, Mayo, Teldeschi, and St. Francis. I bought mostly zinfandels, but my haul also includied a rose, a couple of zin ports, a barbera and a couple of syrahs. And they even survived the ride back in the luggage compartment, after I bought a wine shipper. Didn't realize that United has begun charging for baggage - US$15 for the first bag and US$25 for the second! It had been awhile since I checked baggage. Now I know another reason not to.
But the major haul was scoring a bottle of St. George Absinthe! Woo Hoo! That's very hard, if not impossible, to get here on the east coast. Watch for a full review on InAbsinthia. I was also able to recommend a bottle of Obsello for our host.
But after a couple of days of wine tasting and hiking, it was time to go home. And that was via the red eye. I did manage to sleep a bit and the flight, a non-stop one, was uneventful, so I can hardly complain. But I'm still recovering and probably ought to go to bed.