August 2008 Archives

Pop-Sci meme

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As found on Pharyngula, a "Pop-Sci" book meme. You can get an unannotated list here. Be sure to tag your post with 'pop-sci books' so we can find other posts.

  1. Micrographia, Robert Hooke
  2. The Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin
  3. Never at Rest, Richard Westfall
  4. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman
  5. Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney
  6. The Devil's Doctor, Philip Ball
  7. The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes
  8. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, Dennis Overbye
  9. Physics for Entertainment, Yakov Perelman
  10. 1-2-3 Infinity, George Gamow
  11. The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
  12. Warmth Disperses, Time Passes, Hans Christian von Bayer
  13. Alice in Quantumland, Robert Gilmore
  14. Where Does the Weirdness Go? David Lindley
  15. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
  16. A Force of Nature, Richard Rhodes
  17. Black Holes and Time Warps, Kip Thorne
  18. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  19. Universal Foam, Sidney Perkowitz
  20. Vermeer's Camera, Philip Steadman
  21. The Code Book, Simon Singh
  22. The Elements of Murder, John Emsley
  23. Soul Made Flesh, Carl Zimmer
  24. Time's Arrow, Martin Amis
  25. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, George Johnson
  26. Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman
  27. Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
  28. The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, Lisa Jardine
  29. A Matter of Degrees, Gino Segre
  30. The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss
  31. E=mc2, David Bodanis
  32. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife
  33. Absolute Zero: The Conquest of Cold, Tom Shachtman
  34. A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, Janna Levin
  35. Warped Passages, Lisa Randall
  36. Apollo's Fire, Michael Sims
  37. Flatland, Edward Abbott
  38. Fermat's Last Theorem, Amir Aczel
  39. Stiff, Mary Roach
  40. Astroturf, M.G. Lord
  41. The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
  42. Longitude, Dava Sobel
  43. The First Three Minutes, Steven Weinberg
  44. The Mummy Congress, Heather Pringle
  45. The Accelerating Universe, Mario Livio
  46. Math and the Mona Lisa, Bulent Atalay
  47. This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin
  48. The Executioner's Current, Richard Moran
  49. Krakatoa, Simon Winchester
  50. Pythagorus' Trousers, Margaret Wertheim
  51. Neuromancer, William Gibson
  52. The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios
  53. The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump, Sandra Hempel
  54. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Katrina Firlik
  55.  Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps, Peter Galison
  56. The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
  57. The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
  58. The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker
  59. An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears
  60. Consilience, E.O. Wilson
  61. Wonderful Life, Stephen J. Gould
  62. Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard
  63. Fire in the Brain, Ronald K. Siegel
  64. The Life of a Cell, Lewis Thomas
  65. Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris
  66. Storm World, Chris Mooney
  67. The Carbon Age, Eric Roston
  68. The Black Hole Wars, Leonard Susskind
  69. Copenhagen, Michael Frayn
  70. From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne
  71. Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson
  72. Chaos, James Gleick
  73. Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos
  74. The Physics of NASCAR, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
  75. Subtle is the Lord, Abraham Pais
  76. Ascent of Man, Jacob Bronowski
  77. Basin and Range, John McPhee
  78. Beak of the Finch, Jonathan Weiner
  79. Chance and Necessity, Jacques Monod
  80. Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation, Olivia Judson
  81. Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Sean Carroll
  82. Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, Carl Zimmer
  83. Genome, Matt Ridley
  84. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
  85. It Ain't Necessarily So, Richard Lewontin
  86. On Growth and Form, D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson
  87. Phantoms in the Brain, VS Ramachandran
  88. The Ancestor's Tale, Richard Dawkins
  89. The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution, Elisabeth Lloyd
  90. The Eighth Day of Creation, Horace Freeland Judson
  91. The Great Devonian Controversy, Martin Rudwick
  92. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver Sacks
  93. The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould
  94. The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment, Richard Lewontin
  95. Time, Love, Memory, Jonathan Weiner
  96. Voyaging and The Power of Place, Janet Browne
  97. Woman: An Intimate Geography, Natalie Angier

California Dreaming

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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 here's one of some of us picking some wines up at the new Paradise Ridge tasting office:
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.
Sugarloaf hikingSugarloaf deer

Things For Tuesday, Aug. 26

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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.
  • - 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.

Running On Empty


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.

One Fearful Yellow Eye
John D. Macdonald

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:

Cable CarCable Car 3

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.
Jack London Winery remainsJack London vineyardJack Londons GraveWolf House RuinsWolf House ruins, Front

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.
Sugarloaf St. Park hikeSugarloaf hike 2

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.

Paris For President

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See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Good Enough For These Idiots


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This page is an archive of entries from August 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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