Books

Category archives for Books

Great disasters are great stories, great moments in time, great tests of technology, humanity, society, government, and luck. Fifty years ago it was probably true to say that our understanding of great disasters was thin, not well developed because of the relative infrequency of the events, and not very useful, not knowledge that we could…

How to learn Python programming

Your objective is to learn Python programming. Everybody has to learn Python. You are looking for a book that will make that easier for you. One possibility, one that I’ll recommend for most people in this situation, is Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming. To cut to the chase, there are two…

Asking for a friend… But seriously, this is a real question. For example, several years ago, Herbert Weinstein tossed his wife out the window of their Manhattan apartment, after killing her, following an argument. He was well known to be a non violent person, and there was really no good reason for him to murder…

Last October I reviewed Scratch Programming Playground, by Al Sweigart. You will recall that Scratch is a programming language that uses drag and drop elements to construct a program. Individual objecgts, including “sprites” that can move around on the screen, as well as static graphic elements, sounds, etc. get their own code, and this code…

Reading Around Trump Induced Depression

This is not a time to be distracted, to turn away from politics, to eschew activism. In fact, if you are an American Citizen, you have to look back at your life and recognize that you screwed up, in two ways. First, whatever time you spent agitating and activating and acting out, turns out, was…

Write Computer Games In Python

Ah yes, I remember it well. “Hammurabi, Hammurabi, I beg to report to you, In Year 1, 0 people have starved. 101 people came to the city The population is now 124 We harvested 4.5 bushels per acre We planted 998 acres of wheat But rats at 300 bushels of wheat You now have a…

A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos This is a concept that has always fascinated me, ever since reading some stuff about the Periodic Table of Elements. Check it out: Over the last forty years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the Universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as…

In homage to Carrie Fisher: Read a book

You have already heard the sad news that Carrie Fisher had died, at a young age, after suffering one or more heart attacks. To honor her, you are probably going to go watch some old Star Wars movies. But I have a different suggestion. The woman was a prolific and accomplished author (and more) and…

California’s Amazing Geology

California’s Amazing Geology by Don Prothero is an amazing book about — wait for it — California’s geology! California is one of the most geologically interesting and complex geopolitical units in the world. But so is Minnesota, and Minnesota is boring, geologically, for most people. Why? Because Minnesota is all eroded down and flattened out…

The CS Detective by Jeremy Kubica

The CS Detective: An Algorithmic Tale of Crime, Conspiracy, and Computation by Jeremy Kubica is the tory of disgraced ex-detective and hardboiled private eye Frank Runtime. Frank Runtime knows REGEX and is not afraid to use it. From the publishers: When a robbery hits police headquarters, it’s up to Frank Runtime and his extensive search…