book review

Category archives for book review

Someone shoot me if I ever use the term NP-complete in a sentence. Or at least if I ever use the term in a conversation with “civilians.” Such is the dilemma of reading and reviewing a wonderful book like Lance Fortnow’s The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible. I’ll be tempted…

What kind of place has Canada become? The kind of place that closes world-class research facilities in the arctic and in lake country. (Thanks, Ontario!) The kind of place where the government actively muzzles it’s own scientists and librarians, the scientists for wanting to share their research and librarians who want to talk about the…

Every once in a while a review copy of a book comes over the transom and it just makes your day. Nothing else that could happen is going to put a damper on the bright sunny mood that springs from such a happy moment. One that arrived a few days ago that I can wait…

Jonathan Fetter-Vorm’s Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb is a real gem of a graphic novel, yet another stunning exemplar of what is possible with the graphic novel format. As I’ve often said, there are basically two kinds of science graphic novels — those that use the format to illustrate the same…

The Best Science Writing Online 2012 edited by Jennifer Ouellette and Bora Zivkovic is decended from the old Open Laboratory series of anthologies which featured the fifty best science blog posts (and a poem and a cartoon) from the year in question. The series as a whole was organized by Bora Zivkovic and each year…

Ignorance: How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein is a short book. I wish I could say it was also a sharp shock of a book, but not quite. This is a classic case of a book that cries out to be shorter — in this case from a decent slim hardcover reduced down to…

Reading Diary: Open Access by Peter Suber

Scholars who grew up with the internet are steadily replacing those that grew up without it. Scholars who expect to put everything they write online, who expect to find everything they need online, and who expect unlocked content that they may read, search, link, copy, cut/paste, crawl, print, and redistribute, are replacing those who never…

You know the old saying about the weather — everybody complains but nobody does anything about it! Well, the same can be said about climate change — everybody complains but nobody does anything about it. And that’s partly because of political gridlock, denial and inaction at the highest levels across numerous jurisdictions around the world.…

I feel a little weird reviewing this book. It’s a TED book, you see. What’s a TED book, you ask. I’ll let TED tell you: Shorter than a novel, but longer than an magazine article — a TED Book is a great way to feed your craving for ideas anytime. TED Books are short original…

John MacCormick’s new book, Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers, is very good. You should buy it and read it. Among all the debates about whether or not absolutely everybody must without question learn to program (pro, con), it’s perhaps a good idea to pause and take a…

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