book review

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Lego Technic Builder’s Guide

The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide by Pawet “Sariel” Kmiec (Second Edition) tells you how to build machines, models, robots, etc. that will work. You need to construct these things in a way that ensures they won’t easily fall apart, and that requires a certain amount of engineering. There are some fairly expensive and specialized…

Large hairy elephants got me into paleoanthropology, eventually. I had a strong interest in science, and it was nurtured and expanded by my frequent visits to the New York State Museum, and there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind, anywhere, that the coolest exhibit at that museum was the Cohoes Mastodon exhibit. Barbarians eventually…

The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals ,by Donald R. Prothero, is the first extinct animal book that you, dear reader, are going to give to someone for the holidays. This book is an interesting idea. Never mind the field guide part for a moment. This isn’t really set up like a field guide, though…

I just received two books that I will be reviewing in more detail later, but wanted to let you know about now. Coding Projects in Scratch: A step by step guide by DK Publishers is a new scratch coding book. I got a copy a couple of days ago and have been going through it,…

Children Just Like Me: Book Review

Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World is a new edition of DK’s famous diversity for children book. From the publisher: Children Just Like Me is an amazing children’s book showing everyday life through the eyes and words of children around the world. Offering a remarkable insight into the lives…

Scratch Programming Playground: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games is a brand new offering from No Starch Press. Never mind all the other programming books for kids, this is the best so far. It helps that the Scratch Programming environment is so easy to use and allows such creative development, and it also helps…

My friend Paul Douglas calls himself an albino unicorn. He is a Republican (one of my few Republican friends!) and an evangelical Christian (one of my few evangelical Christian friends!) who is extremely well informed about climate change, and who acts on a day to day basis as a climate warrior, informing people of the…

The Outdoor Science Lab for Kids

The Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments for the Yard, Garden, Playground, and Park is a good guide to home science experiments for kids, usually with adult involvement, ranging across a fairly wide range of age but mainly, I’d say, middle school for unsupervised work, or pretty much any age if supervised. All…

Very Smart Birds, Very Smart Bird Book

Crows are smart. Anyone who watches them for a while can figure this out. But that is true of a lot of things. Your baby is smart (not really). Your dog is smart (not really). Ants are smart (sort of). It takes a certain degree of objective research, as well as some serious philosophy of…

Grunt: The science of humans at war

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach explores, from a scientific perspective, the gear, technologies, and methods used to keep soldiers alive, or at least less injured, overheated, starved or thirsted to death, killed by gasses, and so on. Roach is a well known and quite funny science writer who also…