Category: Books

The Dark Forest

The Dark Forest is hands down the best work of sci-fi I’ve ever read – and that’s saying something. The characters and plot, combined with the science, make this an unbelievable work. I rate this a 5/5. Go. Read. It. Now. Plot: The race to same Earth and humans is on. From one improbable solution to the […]

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? aka Blade Runner introduces Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is tasked with bringing in androids. I rate this a 5/5.  Plot: You need to round up some androids. The trouble is, there’s no way to distinguish an android from a human. Or is there? Craft: The writing is strong. Nice use […]

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem blends Quantum Mechanics and Classical Physics into a story with a fascinating premise. The characters and plot, combined with the science, make this first book in the series, one you must read. I rate this a 4/5.  Plot: So you send out a signal and now someone wants to annihilate you. Sounds like a Stephen […]

YA Book Review: Air

AIR, by Ryan Gattis, is one of the best books I’ve read all year. Grey is a guy who loves to get air – to ride his bicycle as fast as possible before taking off of a ramp or other stable structure and doing flips or other risky stunts. He doesn’t do this to be […]

Dice and Cats in One Physics Book

Einstein’s dice and Schrodinger’s cat in one book? What could be more? Be still my heart! I’ll post a review once I’ve finished the book. Meanwhile, here’s a review from the New York Times. | New York Times Sunday Book Review

Cookbook: Meat on the Side

Nikki Dinki is my all-time favorite Next Food Network Star contestant. Her philosophy is that meat should not be the focus of a meal. This is a perfect approach for those trying to better-balance their plates while controlling Type 2. The book is slated for release in early 2016. You can read all about it […]

Reading for the Scientific Mind

I’ve been enjoying dystopian literature of late. Dystopian literature deals with events in a flawed future. Everything is in place for the Utopia generations have hoped to achieve. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, something has gone terribly wrong. The Dystopian Novels I’ll be writing about are: The Time Machine, H.G. Wells, 1895 Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1932 […]

Reading for the Scientific Mind

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber is above all a poignant love story. It explores the bonds between Peter and Beatrice Leigh as they are tested by their very separate experiences in two very different environments.

Reading for the Scientific Mind

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer is the first in a trilogy about a place known as Area X. In the same way that nearly everyone over the age of 10 has an opinion about Area 54, the wider society in Annihilation believes a catastrophic environmental event occurred in Area X. Authorities have neither confirmed nor denied the rumors; […]

Q&A Penguins

I’ve just been reading a fantastic book about penguins. Smithsonian Q&A Penguins by Lloyd Spencer Davis has everything I’ve been wondering about. It’s written in accessible language. It’s also fun to read. I’ve read a lot about marine mammals, and I was wishing there was a similar volume that included penguins. The best I could […]

Quantum What?

My mission as a science writer is to make the complex simple. It frustrates me when I encounter well-educated people who insist there is no simple way to explain x, y, or z. Having written an entire book about applied fluid dynamics for laypeople, I also frankly find this hard to believe. SO – one ongoing project of […]

Science Fiction and Science

Three men, working independently in three different countries, were at the forefront of liquid-fueled rocket development. Although all three did their work at the start of the 20th century, none of them knew of the others’ work in time to use that work in their investigations, yet all three had one important thing in common.

Bridge Book

I’ve been having a splendid time researching my book on the science of bridges. My most recent research has been into spectacular bridge failures. I have to say, I will be looking at bridges in an entirely new way from now on – which is not a good thing, but an inevitable part of my job. […]

Complex Math Simply?

Steven Strogatz is the Schurman Professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. He has an impressive list of honors that include MIT’s highest teaching prize. According to the bio on his Web site, Strogatz is “passionate about public outreach and loves sharing the beauty of math and science with a wide audience.” Check it out.

My Book is Out!

Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky begins with the theories of Aristotle and Archimedes, moving on to examine the work of Froude and Taylor, the early aviators and the Wright Brothers, Goddard and the other rocket men, and the computational fluid dynamic models of our time. It examines the ways each used fluid dynamic principles in the design of their vessels.

Carb-Counted Meals

Eating well while watching carbs is essential for any diabetic — Type 1, Pre, or Type 2. But let’s face it, life is hectic for most of us as it is. Carb counting meals in advance is not likely to be the first thing we run to do when we have some spare time. Carb […]

Rounding Third

My book about applied fluid dynamics is due to my editor at Springer Verlag tomorrow. I’ll be back to post more about the amazing world of science right after that incredible moment!

The Fastest Man in the World

I’ve just started reading “The Perfection Point,” by John Brenkus — host of ESPN’s Sport Science. The first chapter calculates the maximum speed for the 100-meter sprint. Using the actual performance of Beijing Olympic championship runner Usian Bolt of Jamaica as a starting point, Brenkus arrives at a theoretical maximum fastest time of 8.99 minutes. Of […]

Extra Virgin Olive Oil #1

I’ve just finished listening to “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of OliveOil” by Tom Mueller. Mueller lives in Italy and writes for The New Yorker, among others. His book is an exhaustive tome on the history, virtues, and adulteration of olive oil. I’ve been interested in this topic for about three years. Ever since […]

INTERVIEW: David Williams – Stories in Stone

Hey!  Here’s my interview with David Williams, author of Stories in Stone.  It’s a fantastic book – full of interesting stories about the stone used in the cities of the US.  For the techno-geek, there are plenty of details about the technology used to acquire and transport the stone.  In keeping with my interests in […]

The Speed and Power of Ships

I finally found a 1910 edition of The Speed and Power of Ships (by David Watson Taylor) to go with my 1943 edition!  I needed it to see what changes, if any, had been made to the initial assumptions section.  I also wanted to see whose work Taylor referenced in the original edition.  It was […]

Stories in Stone Blog Tour!

I recently read an excellent book – Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams.  In his book, Williams takes an in-depth, historical look at stone and stone-faced buildings in cities around the US.  Given that I’ve been searching out fossils in stone buildings with my kids for years, this book was […]

What Does It Mean To Be Lucky?

I’ve never been a believer in luck – good, bad, or otherwise – so it came as a surprise to me when a woman who had just played a card game with my then three-year-old asked if he was a lucky child. I didn’t have an answer so she went on to explain he’d lost […]