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
Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions — it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions […]
In a curious study, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles showed that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) — altering brain activity by zapping specific regions with magnetic pulses — can apparently increase people’s libido, at least briefly. Neuroscientist Nicole Prause and her colleagues targeted the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (at the left temple), a […]
Ever wonder what an embryonic bat’s skeleton would look like if the cartilage were dyed with alcian blue stain? Wonder no more.
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]
Five Star Christmas Tree Co is providing the easiest way yet to decorate for the holidays. This company will actually deliver a Christmas tree or wreath straight to your front door for a reasonable price.This direct to your door service includes your choice of Fraser fir trees, ranging from 3 to 7 feet tall. So whether you live […]