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What are you reading?
Posted: 30 April 2011 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 196 ]
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I read Mike Brown’s book too. I was a quick read, humorous and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Posted: 30 April 2011 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 197 ]
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DarronS - 30 April 2011 07:42 AM

Hey traveler, I have that book. It is pretty good, but I have seen better astronomy texts. For anyone who is interested enough to buy a college astronomy text I recommend any of the ones written by William Kaufman. They turn up at used bookstores at good prices. The Chaisson/MacMillan book has a lot of errors in the graphs. I’ve used it the last two semesters in my college astronomy classes, and while it is a good textbook the Kaufmann books are much better.

I tried reading The Planets by Dava Sobel, but after wading through the chapter on Jupiter I put it back on the bookshelf. I had recommended this book to a few people after skimming through it, but after spending more time with the book I found a few fact errors in the early chapters, and the Jupiter chapter went completely off the deep end talking about Galileo’s astrological charts and how they could have predicted greatness for him. Then Sobel got even deeper by discussing the astrological implications of the date of the Galileo probe launch. I apologize to anyone who wasted money on that book due to my recommendation.

I just finished reading How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming by Mike Brown. An excellent read, and very informative on how his team discovered Eris and why the decision to demote Pluto was correct.

Thanks Darron! Are the errors in the 7th edition???

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Posted: 30 April 2011 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 198 ]
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Yeah, I have the seventh edition. Our professor and I spotted one error in the chapter on solar system debris. There is a graphic that shows dinosaur killing meteorites hitting Earth every 10 million years. We know they don’t strike that often.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 199 ]
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At the moment, I’m re-reading Norman Friedman’s “U.S. Submarines After 1945.”

A nice little refresher for an old deckplate sailor like me who likes reading design histories for naval vessels.

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Posted: 30 April 2011 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 200 ]
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I am now reading

Hofstadter: Gödel, Escher, Bach

Joshi & Schultz: Lord of a Visible World

Hoffer, Ramesh & Topi: Modern Database Management

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Posted: 06 May 2011 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 201 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 28 April 2011 06:16 PM
George - 27 April 2011 08:24 AM

To all the parents and skeptics, there is a new book out by Bryan Caplan, called Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. Looks interesting.

You mean this guy’s advocating we make yet more kids?   shock

I still haven’t read the book but I just came across an article by Caplan that might (might!  grin ) answer your question. Have a look at it. I think it’s worth the read:

POPULATION, FERTILITY, AND LIBERTY
by BRYAN CAPLAN
LEAD ESSAY
May 2nd, 2011

[...]
Could rising population be a cause of rising prosperity?

Yes. Economists’ central discovery about economic growth is that new ideas are more important than labor or capital.[7] The main reason we’re richer than we used to be is that we know more than we used to know. We know how one man can grow food for hundreds. We know how to build flying machines. We know how to build iPhones. Best of all: Once one person discovers a new idea, billions can cheaply adopt it.

[...]

This is, as usual, not the place to continue the discussion and I will open a new tread on the topic once I get to Caplan’s book. But in the meantime, CC, organize your thoughts and get ready…  wink

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Posted: 06 May 2011 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 202 ]
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I took a break from Supersense (because a book I wanted to read more was available at the library wink) and I’m now reading Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. It’s a fun and interesting read. However, it’s definitely put me off of ever wanting to go into space. cheese

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 06 May 2011 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 203 ]
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Funny - PBK is reading Packing for Mars this month on their “FaceBookClub” - I haven’t picked it up yet but may do, as Stiff was a surprisingly great read.

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If my ideas had shapes, my head would hurt a lot more. - a professor who shall remain anonymous

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Posted: 08 May 2011 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 204 ]
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I find her writing style really enjoyable; it’s funny and informative. The first book of hers I read was Bonk, interesting, strange and disturbing. wink

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 14 May 2011 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 205 ]
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Shamanism by Mircea Eliade

The Quran translation by M. M. Pickthall (the free iPhone app)

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (free here http://www.cca.org/cm/picnic.pdf )

Demon Haunted World by Sagan and Dryan

Roman Warfare by Adrian Goldsworthy

[ Edited: 15 May 2011 06:34 AM by michaelb ]
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Posted: 02 June 2011 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 206 ]
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The last book I read was Molvania: a Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry.

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 02 June 2011 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 207 ]
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Welcome back, DM.  I was beginning to worry about you.

Occam

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Posted: 04 June 2011 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 208 ]
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Presently reading Michael Shermer’s “The Believing Brain.” Well worth it too.

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Posted: 04 June 2011 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 209 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 04 June 2011 11:04 AM

Presently reading Michael Shermer’s “The Believing Brain.” Well worth it too.

I just purchased it. I plan to start reading it tonight. Glad to see you give it a thumbs up.

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Posted: 04 June 2011 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 210 ]
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I started biography Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science by Charles Coulston Gillispie, Robert Fox, Ivor Grattan-Guinness.  It caught my eye, and it was originally published as a part of the Dictionary of Scientific Biography - Vol 15, a more expensive copy.  It looks like the authors are capable of handling Laplace’s works (math, physics, in French) well.  Looks like a good one, if you appreciate Laplace’s works.  grin

[ Edited: 04 June 2011 08:24 PM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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