Book report #12 (2022)

When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamín Labatut. Translation by Adrian Nathan West. Pub 2020 This book was an impulse purchase. At the bookstore to collect some books for work, I overheard the clerk telling another customer about this one and was intrigued by her effusive praise for the strange science and compelling... Continue Reading →

Book report #28 (2021)

Everything in Its Place, by Oliver Sacks. Pub 2019 A now-former work colleague recommended Oliver Sacks as good reading. As this same person had recommended Harari's Sapiens, which was excellent, I took their advice again and was not disappointed. This is the most recent of Sacks' books, a posthumous one. It is a collection of essays... Continue Reading →

Book report #17 (2021)

A Scientific Romance, by Ronald Wright. Pub 1997 I first read this book pre-2000, so not too long after it was published. It became a Desert Island book, one that I always list as an all-time favourite. Like others on this year's list for me, it's a favourite that I had not read in many... Continue Reading →

Book report #15 (2021)

Maxwell's Demon, by Steven Hall. Pub 2021 This was a surprise find for me at the bookstore last month. I was looking for a copy of Hall's Raw Shark Texts that I read a few years ago to send to a friend (my own copy was a Kindle version). When I went online to order... Continue Reading →

Book report #7 (2021)

The Confidence Game, by Maria Konnikova.  Pub 2016 I've read several long-form articles by this author, and wanted to read this one to try to understand a) my own gullibility, and b) the psychology of some I've encountered at work - people who fake or mask something about themselves to get a job, and then... Continue Reading →

Book report #6 (2020)

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Pub 2008 I read this book with a friend at work; he chose it as something we could each read and then talk about. I should have been wary - the last time I did this, the book was The Tipping Point, also by Malcolm Gladwell. That book was remarkable in... Continue Reading →

Book report #3 (2020)

Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari. Pub 2011 (English translation 2014) I chose this book after seeing it on Bill Gates’ top-ten book list, reading a bit about it, and then finding it during my January top-up splurge. I was daunted by the length of it (466 pages), and skeptical about getting through it. A previous... Continue Reading →

Early experiences in science

April 27th is Tell-a-Story Day. It is also what would have been my Pop’s 71st birthday. Time for another story with him. Pop did his PhD in the mid- to late-Seventies, on the topic of cocaine. Specifically, the study looked at the effects of coca leaf extracts on the physiology of rats, as a way to understand... Continue Reading →

Vax On

Lately I've been poking the vaccination debate beehive on social media sites. Mostly, this comes from my own auto-response to reading non-scientific nonsense - it bugs me when I read or hear someone basing the argument for their irresponsible behaviour on bad science, conspiracy theory or freedom of choice. Why is it that we allow... Continue Reading →

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