reading diary

Category archives for reading diary

Extremophiles are fun! Basically, they’re the biggest, smallest, hardiest and definitely the oddest bunch of beasties to be found anywhere on this planet. The Palumbi father and son team — one scientist and one writer — bring us this fun little book on the extremophiles of the sea. And literally, the book covers all the…

Two recentish entries into the growing field of graphic novel scientific biographies, both very good, both suitable for a wide audience: Darwin: A Graphic Biography by Eugene Byrne and Simon Gurr and Mind Afire: The Visions of Tesla by Abigail Samoun and Elizabeth Haidle. If I had to count one of these a little bit…

Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson’s book The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future is pretty obviously not a science book. Rather, it’s a book about Canadian politics. But of course here in Canada these days, it’s hard to talk about science without talking…

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a book snob, a strange thing to say for a lifetime comics/science fiction/fantasy/horror/mystery fan, but there you go. Perhaps more precisely, I’m a snob about books versus other media. But in my defense I’ll maintain that I’m getting better as I get older — more tolerant and accepting and…

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…

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…

A year of books: 2012

I’m including here a list of all the books I’ve read in 2012, as well as some commentary my year in reading. I always enjoy when people post these sorts of lists online and actually rather enjoy doing so myself. I’ve been doing this for a few years now: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.…

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…

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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