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review 2018-03-02 05:25
I still lack the foundational fluency promised
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson

As much as I liked this and learned from this, I can't imagine I'll remember much in even a week or two unless I buy a copy and decide to study astrophysics, which I don't plan on doing. So while I was promised a "foundational fluency," I don't really think I got the fluency part of it from one listen followed by one read of this short book.

I was easily able to keep up with things I already had some basis for, which turned out to be more of the mathematical side than the cosmology side. I learned some interesting facts about naming, history, some theories that I thought had more foundation than they do (multiverse.) I like the idea of just being a computer simulation. That would explain a lot.

Once we got into the Department of (more) Exotic Happenings, despite listening then reading intently, I was not really able to hold tightly to the concepts. I was once more impressed with Einstein for somehow knowing about the cosmological constant, despite jettisoning it and calling it the biggest blunder of his life. I really did stop to think about how smart he was to figure out, then put aside for lack of proof, something that would only have more evidence in 1998.

So while this was interesting, and it was told like a story (some of which is drawn from other Tyson essays or speeches I'd heard before,) it's not going to be easy to remember, and without careful study, I still lack that foundational fluency in astrophysics and cosmology.

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review 2018-02-02 00:00
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson This book was not only enlightening it was also fun to read. The author managed to take a lot of very complex science and present it in such a way that it is easily understandable. After reading this book I definately plan to read more by this author. A really enjoyable read!
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review 2018-01-30 03:05
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson

I may not be the target audience since although I'm basically a layman when it comes to astrophysics, I have been known to actively seek it out. Overall it was a good, concise overview, although I was a little disappointed that Tyson didn't mention that the Russians also had satellites in orbit to detect gamma rays from nuclear detonations (it's one of those funny cold war stories). But then I guess it wouldn't have been as concise as it was.


I did find it odd that some parts appeared to be strangely familiar until I realized that he reused a few of his examples from the lecture series I recently listened to (I guess they're his go-to examples).


The writing also had its quirky lines, although I only noted one of the page numbers to refer back to it, so I'll leave you with this from by 87:

"So dark matter is our frenemy."

If that sounds interesting but weird, maybe you should give the book a try. I'm not sure it would be something I'd want to refer back to, though, so if you're already generally familiar with the current state of astrophysics, you may want to check out a library copy like I did.

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url 2018-01-24 15:42
Best Nonfiction Books of 2017 (per overdrive for library ebooks)
Convergence: The Idea at the Heart of Science - Peter Watson
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America - Richard Rothstein
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women - Kate Moore
How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain - Lisa Feldman Barrett
Rescuing Penny Jane: One Shelter Volunteer, Countless Dogs, and the Quest to Find Them All Homes - Amy Sutherland
Dying: A Memoir - Cory Taylor
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation - Randall Fuller
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

I just linked a few, no particular order or topic.  See the link for full list.  Lots of political ones.  And book pages have more suggested reads on them ... I think I will be going down the rabbithole of my library wishlists ...

Source: lfpl.overdrive.com/collection/109107
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review 2018-01-17 03:40
My Favorite Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson
My Favorite Universe - Neil deGrasse Tyson

This is part of the Great Courses series and although the video version would most certainly be better, Neil deGrasse Tyson is a pretty good lecturer. There isn't too much that's new here for someone with a general interest in astronomy, but it's always fun to revisit the old favourite topics, and I did learn a few historical details. It was probably worth listening to this just for the rant about flying saucers not needing landing strips and the comment about Phobos being a "poor little thing" (or whatever the quote actually was...I couldn't find it again).


For general astronomy, I still recommend the Astronomy Cast podcast.


[Aside: Guys! I have the new laptop! The sad news is that it looks like my old hard drive is dead, so I've lost everything since my last back up.]

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