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
Stephen Hawking’s final paper that he and his colleagues completed just days before his death has now been published. It’s titled “Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair,” co-authored with Sasha Haco, Malcolm J. Perry, and Andrew Strominger, about the black hole information paradox. Here is the abstract: A set of infinitesimal VirasoroL⊗VirasoroR diffeomorphisms are presented […]
Caltech researchers developed the illusion above to illustrate postdiction, a sensory phenomenon “in which a stimulus that occurs later can retroactively affect our perceptions of an earlier event.” From Caltech Matters: “Illusions are a really interesting window into the brain,” says first author Noelle Stiles (PhD ’15), a visitor in biology and biological engineering and […]
Gone, obviously. Tom Scocca: Using our advanced technology, it is possible to look up the beaches in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Rise Viewer, and to imagine what will happen if we visit them, or try to visit them, in the future—when the sea levels have risen three feet, or six feet, […]
Speed reading isn’t just an innate skill possessed by a lucky few. Anyone can learn to speed read, and the benefits are endless. The brain can process more information than most people have time to soak up, but you can make that time now with the 2018 Award-Winning Speed Reading Bundle. The first half of […]
Sure, you could use the same old PowerPoint templates for your next business presentation. It’s not like you have bosses or investors to impress. Oh wait, you do? Time to augment that slideshow with Slideshop – the presentation tool that can individualize your pitch while saving you time. Compatible with PowerPoint, Keynote and Google Slides, […]
Multinational companies have used the no-nonsense methodologies of Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma to oil a smooth-running operation for years. What is it? Six Sigma (and its offshoot, Lean Six Sigma) apply the principles of science to business, teaching managers to methodically target waste, maximize output and streamline the flow from producer to consumer. […]