Book Review: What’s It Like in Space? by Ariel Waldman


Author: Ariel Waldman Title: What’s It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There Publication Info: Chronicle Books (2016) Summary/Review: I received a free advanced reading copy of this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. One of my favorite science writers, Ariel Waldman, collects anecdotes and quotes from astronauts about their experience in space…

Podcast of the Week: “Mosquitoes Must Die” from To The Best of Our Knowledge


First, the To the Best of Our Knowledge podcast “Mosquitoes Must Die” makes me think of Caephus from Jesus Christ Superstar.  “Must die, must die, mosquitoes must die!” Second, to hear this series of experts seriously consider completely eradicating an entire species is astonishing.  There’s just so much hubris to consider that it would not have…

Podcast of the Week: “The Fix” – Radiolab


I started listening to podcasts regularly a decade or so ago. I have a running list of podcasts I regularly listen on the Panorama of the Mountains home page and I’ve written about them many times before.  At the time I started subscribing, I thought podcasts were the next big thing and I was just…

Book Review: What If? by Randall Munroe


Author: Randall Munroe Title:What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Publication Info: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 Summary/Review: This book contains the sentence: “Aroldis Chapman could probably throw a golf ball about sixteen giraffes high.” That alone makes it worth reading. The creator of the webcomic xkcd, Randall Munroe uses math and science to investigate…

Movie Review: Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage (1999)


Title: Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage Release Date: 1999 Director: David Clark, Al Giddings Production Co: IMAX, Mandalay Media Arts, National Science Foundation Country: USA Language: English Genre: Documentary | Nature | IMAX Rating: *** 1/2 Another great IMAX film experience at the Boston Museum of Science.  The film immerses one in the lunar landscape of the Galapagos Islands with it’s…

Book Review: The Information by James Gleick


Author: James Gleick Title: The Information Publication Info: New York : Books on Tape, 2011 Summary/Review: The Information is a sweeping historical / scientific / technological account of information across time and disciplines.  From talking drums, language, DNA, telegraphs, and bytes to  Claude Shannon, Charles Babbage, Ada Byron, Samuel Morse, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and John…

Book Review: A Tear at the Edge of Creation by Marcelo Gleiser


Author: Marcelo Gleiser Title: A Tear at the Edge of Creation Publication Info: New York, NY : Free Press, 2010. ISBN: 1439108323 Summary/Review: Gleiser’s work is an attempt to offer an alternate route to the scientific notions of Grand Unifying Theories and symmetry in nature with the idea that the truth may be found in an asymmetric universe.  Gleiser…

Photopost: Museum of Science


A few photos from a visit to Boston’s Museum of Science with my son this weekend. Escalator innards.      

Book Review: God After Darwin by John F. Haught


Author: John F. Haught Title: God After Darwin Publication Info: Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 2000. ISBN: 0813367239 Summary/Review: This is a complicated book which I didn’t thoroughly comprehend so I may not be able to justice to it in a review.  Nevertheless, it tackles an issue near and dear to me that is how to reconcile the theory of…

Book Review: The lost art of walking by Geoff Nicholson


Author: Geoff  Nicholson Title: The lost art of walking : the history, science, philosophy, and literature of pedestrianism Publication Info: New York : Riverhead Books, 2008 ISBN: 9781594489983 Summary/Review:   Geoff  Nicholson takes on the quotidian topic of walking, something just about everyone can do, although there who some who can who fail to exercise the ability regularly….

Book Review: Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us by Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman


Author: Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman Title: Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us Publication Info: HighBridge Company (2011) ISBN: 1611744881 Summary/Review: This Library Thing Early Reviewers audiobook ask what the following things have in common: listening to someone else’s cell phone conversation, Zinedine Zidane’s World Cup Final, Huntington’s chorea, Joba Chamberlain & midges, chili…

Book Review: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach


Author: Mary Roach Title: Packing for Mars Publication Info: New York : W.W. Norton, c2010. ISBN: 9780393068474 Summary/Review: With plans for long-term space exploration afoot, Mary Roach explores the many challenges of putting human beings in space.  This is less the physics of rocket propulsion and more the psychological and cultural  problems of human space…

Book Review: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson


Author: Steven Johnson Title: Where good ideas come from : the natural history of innovation Publication Info: New York : Riverhead, 2010. ISBN: 9781594487712 Previously read by the same author: Emergence Summary/Review: I’m pleased I won a copy of this book by one of my favorite science writers through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. …

Book Reviews: Out of our heads by Alva Noë


Author: Alva Noë Title: Out of our heads : why you are not your brain, and other lessons from the biology of consciousness Publication Info: ISBN: 9780809074655 Summary/Review:  I thought I’d like this  much more, but I was disappointed.  Noë’s premise is a philosophical examination of the science of the mind and posits that we…

Book Review: 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense by Michael Brooks


Author: Michael Brooks Title: 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time Publication Info: New York : Doubleday, c2008. ISBN: 9780385520683 Summary/Review: This book is a collection of essays about scientific anomalies which are currently puzzling the scientific community.  I think Brooks is deliberately provocative in choosing these 13…

Book Review: How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer


Author: Jonah Lehrer Title: How We Decide Publication Info: Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged Lib Ed (2009), Edition: Library, Audio CD ISBN: 1423376471 Summary/Review: This book is an entertaining summary of the neuroscience behind human decision making.  Lehrer fills the book with lots of vivid stories of airline pilots, athletes and military personnel making split-second…

Book Review: What’s Next: Dispatches on the Future of Science


Author: edited by Max Brockman Title: What’s Next: Dispatches on the Future of Science Publication Info: New York : Vintage Books, 2009. ISBN:  9780307389312 Summary/Review: This short book is a collection of essays about the future of science and was a nice illuminating read.  Oddly enough, much of the material was already familiar to a…

Book Review: The Making of the Fittest


Author: Sean B. Carroll Title: The Making of the Fittest Publication Info: Tantor Media (2007), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD ISBN: 1400103150 Summary/Review: This book is a primer on how natural selection works.  Carroll approaches this topic from a mathematical perspective through statistics and probability, but does so in layperson’s terms (which means I can just…

RadioLab Listening Party @ MOS


Last night I attend a special even at the Museum of Science, a listening party for the public radio show RadioLab.  For the uninitiated, RadioLab is a show produced by WNYC in New York that ask questions and tell stories centered on an idea, usually related to science.  If you like This American Life, I’d…