John Graham-Cumming's The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive
is a geek initiation in 505 pages. Identifying 128 sites of nerdy interest (with strong clusters in the UK and US), the Atlas
could also be called 2^7 places to go and have your mind blown before you die.
From Charles Babbage's pickled brain (Royal College of Surgeons Hunterian Museum, London) to the lockpickers' paradise at the John M Mossman Lock Collection in NYC to place to see the prime-number-oriented magicicadas spawn to the Magnetic North Pole, the Atlas covers a gamut from the historical to the wondrous. It even takes note of some of my local haunts, including the wonderful, solemn and beautiful Bunhill Cemetery, resting place of Thomas "Bayesian filtering" Bayes and his patron, Richard Price, the inventor of actuary. It does a particularly good job on Bletchley Park, site of Alan Turing and co's codebreaking efforts during WWII (part of the proceeds from each Atlas sold go to fund restoration efforts at Bletchley, which is sadly neglected by the British government).
Each site in the Atlas is accompanied by a sprightly and well-explained lesson in history, science and technology, from the functioning of diesel, two-stroke and four-stroke engines to the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory to the way that antibiotics work to the basis for the Davy lamp.
Whether you're off on a trip or just want to do some armchair exploring and learning, the Geek Atlas is a wonderful piece of reading, and an education besides.
The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive (Amazon)
The Geek Atlas (author's site)
Publisher of Geek's Atlas to help save Bletchley Park
Timothy writes, “Diego Gómez is a Colombian conservation biologist. When he was a college student, he shared a single research paper online so that others could read and learn from it, just as he did. Diego was criminally prosecuted for copyright infringement, and faced up to 8 years in prison.”
Sometimes, in the course of his work, University of Florida molecular geneticist Martin Cohn must travel with unusual items like a 3D-printed mouse penis. Similarly, University of Massachusetts biologist Diane Kelly totes around anatomical models like a mold of a dolphin vagina. They’re not alone in the odd science-related items they must fly with, from […]
Rod McCullom at Undark has a terrific overview of the perpetual “virtual lineup,” where half of all American adults “are enrolled in unregulated facial recognition networks used by state and local law enforcement agencies.”
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]