Thursday, December 30, 2010

science for dummies

Ld put Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything on my new Ipad. Finished it up this afternoon. A fascinating read and very accessible. Seriously, I could not put it down.
Did you know that:
It isn’t easy to become a fossil,
there is more life under the earth than on top of it,
men will never reach the edge of our solar system,
there is no point trying to hide from your bacteria,
there is nothing we can do about asteroids,
we are energy,…

I love a book that shakes up my thinking. The world doesn’t look quite the same after reading this. Even ld. He is such a fine specimen of superbly arranged atoms, a thing I never ever fully supposed.

In a bit of synchronicity perhaps now I am ready to tackle the final list.

VI. Science & Technology
Physical Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Life Science

Life Sciences
Aristotle, On the Parts of Animals, Generation of Animals
Pliny the Elder, Natural History*
Theophrastus, De Causis Plantarum
Roger Bacon, Philosophy of Nature
William Harvey, Circulation of the Blood
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Orlando Beccari, Wanderings in the Great Forest of Borneo
Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s 9th Symphony; Lives of a Cell
James D. Watson, The Double Helix
Benoit Mandelbrot, The Fractile Geometry of Nature

Physical Sciences
Alhazen, Optics
Apollonius of Perga, On Conic Sections
Archimedes, Works
Euclid, Elements
Nicomachus of Gerasa, Introduction to Arithmetic
Ptolemy, Almagest
Copernicus, On the Revolutions
Galileo, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina;
John McPhee, Basin and Range
Jacques Monod, The Origins of Molecular Biology
George Gaylord Simpson, Splendid Isolation: The Curious History of the South American Mammal
John Gribbin, The Scientists (aka Science, A History)
Alfred Crosby, The Columbian Exchange; Ecological Imperialism
Yann Martel, The Life of Pi
Margaret Talladge May, Galen on Usefulness of the Parts of the Body
Natalie Angier, The Canon: A Whirligig tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
Leonard Euler, Introduction to Analysis of the Infinite
William Harvey, Circulation of the Blood
Christian Huygens, Treatise on Light
Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica*
Charles Saunders Peirce, “How to Make Our Ideas Clear”; “The Fixation of Belief”; Mathematical Philosophy
Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and General Theory ; The Meaning of Starry Messenger; Assayer; Dialogue Concerning the Two World Systems
Johannes Kepler, Harmonies of the World; Epitome of Copernican Astronomy
René Descartes, Discourse on Method
Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s 9th Symphony; Lives of a Cell
William Dunham, Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe; Infinite in All Directions
Paul Erdos, The Art of Counting
Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law; QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Madison Smartt Ball, Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution
Daniel Boorstin, The Discoverers
Douglas Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Richard Bellman, Eye of the Hurricane: An Autobiography
Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain
Robert Kanigel, The Man Who knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
Constance Reed, Hilbert
Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem
Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, The Elegant Universe Relativity ; The World as I See It
Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
David Hilbert, The Foundations of Geometry
Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine
Jacob Klein, Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origins of Algebra
Jacques Monod, The Origins of Molecular Biology
Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Stephen M. Stigler, The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900
John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior
Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes
John Gribbin, The Scientists (aka Science, A History)
E. F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful
James Gleick, Chaos – Making a New Science
Claude Shannon, The Mathematical Theory of Communication
Robert March, Physics for Poets
Paul Hoffman, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth

Scientific Venues
Suggestions of places to visit in Physical and Life Sciences categories:
• Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum (L)
• BYU Planetarium (P)
• Eyring Science Building Pendulum Court (P)
• Crandall Printing Museum (P)
• Technological Exhibits at the BYU Museum of Art (P/L)
• BYU Museum of Peoples and Cultures (L)
• Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point (L)
• Thanksgiving Point Botanical Gardens (L)
• Hogle Zoo (L)
But really the sky is the limit...
• NASA rocket launch.
• Microchip Factories
• Textile Factories
• Museums of Natural History
• Quality zoos and aquaria
• Huntington Botanical Gardens—San Marino, California
• Pasteur Museum – Paris
• Nature Centers at National Parks
• Fossil Digs
• National Museum of Natural History – Washington D.C.
• National Air and Space Museum – Washington D.C.
• Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza – Florence, Italy

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