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Search tags: Neil-Degrasse-Tyson
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review 2018-05-29 16:32
Shining a Light on Dark Matter
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Exactly as the title implies, this collection of essays is a breezy overview of the major topics of astrophysics for a general audience. If you have watched Tyson's update of the science television series Cosmos, then a lot of this will be familiar territory. Tyson's fascinations with particle physics, astronomy, and the deep history of life on Earth are covered here. His almost evangelical love of science is on display as well. I highly recommend the chapter on dark matter which provides a very clear explanation of a very murky topic.

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review 2018-03-28 02:38
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Overall, I enjoyed this book. 

I picked up this audiobook from the library, like a true person in a hurry, to listen to in the car when traveling for work. I really enjoy learning about space and especially love books like this, written for people who aren't astrophysicists. The chapters are pretty short and condensed, which are perfect for people in a hurry. The tone of the book is very engaging and combines poetic language, scientific fact, and humorous jokes to make a very interesting read. 

The audiobook is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I don't know if I ever picked up on it before, but Neil deGrasse Tyson has an incredibly soothing voice. Unfortunately, this soothing voice was a little too calming at times and I found myself zoning out while listening to the audiobook. It's not that the book was boring at all. It was fantastically interesting. But that man has such a comforting voice, I just couldn't grasp a lot of the information. Obviously this is not a criticism of the book, more of an observation. You have been warned.

I will also say that there are tons of facts thrown at you pretty quickly. It's a lot to take in. For me, the audiobook didn't work, because I learn better being able to see the words I'm reading. I can get away with listening to fiction and memoirs, but apparently astrophysics is a lot for me to take in while driving. Especially the numbers. I really blanked anytime a ridiculous number came up. It's just one of those things I need to see in order to take in and understand. I think I'm going to find a physical copy of this book and reread it. I learned a lot, but I don't think I could recall even half of what was in the book. Having said that, this book is still good enough that I already want to reread it. 

It is a very good book with a very good mission, but I would recommend analyzing your learning style before getting the audiobook. If you're like me and learn better visually, you might want to just stick to the physical book. 
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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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