Books

Category archives for Books

Several thousand scientists at a handful of different research centers spent a gazillion hours and a huge pile of money searching for the Higgs Boson. But, nobody really cares that much about the Higgs Boson. The important thing is the Higgs Field. The Higgs Field is this thing that is everywhere, as these spooky quantum…

Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis: Volume 1 – The Physical Climate is a new book you may be interested in, authored in part by my friend John Cook of Skeptical Science. Importantly, the project deals not only with climate change, but also, with important aspects of the politics of climate change and with climate…

People who do a lot of field work end up with interesting stories to tell, especially if the fieldwork is diverse and the conditions are adverse. Often, the sort of thing people want to know about is very different from the repertoire of available stories, but as long as the expectations of the audience is…

Messing with your iMac

These days it is hard to find an “aftermarket” computer book that does a better job than Google in providing information for messing with ever (and rapidly) evolving and changing software. Master Your Mac: Simple Ways to Tweak, Customize, and Secure OS X by Matt Cone, which is published in 2013, i.e., the future, actually…

Power, Sex, Suicide

Mitochondria are cool, important, and fascinating. You know the basic story. Mitochondria are the result of endosymbiosis. A bacterim or bacteria-like organism insinuated itself into another bacterium or bacteria-like organism. The former was small, the latter large. A relationship started up whereby the smaller one became an organelle in the larger one, and Eukaryotic life…

Kids Science Books

I’ve got kids ranging from zero to 12 years of age to find gifts for this season. I’ve got most of them covered, and science books have figured in this effort in a bigger way than usual this year. I’m impressed with the number of climate change choices that have become available. Know a Republican…

I remember finding out about the Tethys Sea and being really excited. I was just beginning my studies of Old World prehistory, Africa, and Human Evolution. What I learned about was the remnant sea separating Africa and Eurasia called Tethys, though it is much more than that (see below). Imagine a Eurasia with no Alps,…

The Power of The Sea

On June 6th, 1944, some 160,000 soldiers aboard about 5,000 boats of diverse design crossed the English Channel and carried out the Invasion of Normandy, one of the more important events in recent history. Many of the soldiers were so sick from choppy seas that leaving the boats and walking or running into German gunfire…

The Jewel Hunter by Chris Goodie is the story, generally chronological, of one man’s quest to observe, in nature, every known species of a rare and typically elusive bird: the Pittas. Oh, and all in one year. For a birder, this is the rough equivalent of buying some impossible to pay for sports car as…

When I was in 5th grade one of my classmates announced that she and her family (they were a family of singing folksingers) planned to take a trip in a boat they had built around the continent. In that class were were all required to give talks on various topics of our choosing, and she…