Category Archives: science

You are not so smart, and animals are not so dumb: a science twofer

Last week I read You Are Not So Smart, an often interesting if sometimes trivial review of how mental shortcuts get us in trouble. My reading of Suspicious Minds led into this, and they shared some common ground. The shortcuts … Continue reading

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Suspicious Minds

Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories304 pages© 2015 Rob Brotherton We’re caught in a trap, and we can’t walk out*. Our brains orient us towards belief. No sex, no political leaning, no cultural demographic has a monopoly on conspiracy … Continue reading

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Mary Roach in bed, Frank Underwood’s crib notes, and a love story for libraries

It’s been a week of …very different books here. First up, Mary Roach’s Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. All of Roach’s previous other works, all mostly-humorous attempts to review the science of taboo or often overlooked subject, … Continue reading

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The Forest Unseen

In his Becoming Wild, Carl Safina remarked, “How long and rich a morning can be if you bring yourself fully to it. Come to a decent place. Bring nothing to tempt your attention away. Immerse in the timelessness of reality. … Continue reading

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Becoming Wild

Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace© 2020 Carl Safina375 pages In Becoming Wild, ecologist Carl Safina recounts his time spent with field scientists studying cetaceans, macaws, and chimpanzees, to share insights and speculation about … Continue reading

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Selections from “Becoming Wild”

“Until now, culture has remained a largely hidden, unappreciated layer of wild lives. Yet for many species, culture is both crucial and fragile. Long before a population declines to numbers low enough to seem threatened with extinction, their special cultural … Continue reading

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Lives in Ruins

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble© 2014 Marilyn Johnson272 pages Archaeology’s blend of history and science, topped off with a bit of danger, is a winsome combination. For those curious about it, Marilyn Johnson’s account … Continue reading

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An Elegant Defense

An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System © 2019  Matt Ritchel 488 pages Back in January, long before the pandemic was on my mind (or anyone else’s outside of China),  I watched a charming and educational … Continue reading

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Of stars and saints (again)

(“Again” because last year I had a similar post called ‘Of stars and saints‘.) Recently I’ve finished two books which were aimed at more youthful audiences (middle/high school, not sure), so I’m presenting them together. The first is Hands of … Continue reading

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Aerial Geology

Aerial Geology: A High Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks © 2017 Mary Caperton Morton 308 pages   It was love at first sight, me and this book. There  I was, cruising BooksAMillion … Continue reading

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