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Book Review

Over the Edge

Brian Hayes

In Deepwater Horizon, engineers Earl Boebert and James M. Blossom reexamine one of the most horrifying technological disasters of recent memory: the blowout of an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico that destroyed a drilling rig, killed 11 crew members, and led to the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history.

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Explosive Truths

James G. Lewis

When Mount St. Helens exploded in May 1980, predicting volcanic eruptions was still a nascent science. As Steve Olson demonstrates in Eruption, the lack of clear scientific guidance and an absence of straightforward jurisdictional relationships fostered government inaction at all levels, with disastrous results.

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Stats and Fiction

Katie L. Burke

Andy Field’s An Adventure in Statistics, provides solid statistical instruction, and it does so like no other textbook: Field has embedded his lessons in a novel-length science fiction story illustrated with graphic-novel artwork.

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Soviet Blocks

Jesse Schell

The story behind the pioneering game Tetris is complex, spanning the worlds of technology, psychology, entertainment, politics, and business. Thirty years on, two books tell the tale: The Tetris Effect, by technology journalist Dan Ackerman, and Tetris, by Ignatz Award–winning cartoonist Box Brown. Each ushers readers along a distinct and enlightening path.

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Deconstructing Disaster

Daniel P. Aldrich

Casual observers of catastrophe continue to distinguish between human-caused and natural disasters, but in either case consider them to be unforeseeable events. Two recent books—Love Canal, by Richard Newman, and The Cure for Catastrophe, by Robert Muir-Wood—might change some minds.

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From Little Acorns

Peter H. Raven

Plants are essential to human life, which means their health and propagation are vital to us. Yet their seeds mostly escape our notice. Carolyn Fry aims to remedy this. Her book Seeds reveals the humble seed in all its fascinating, colorful detail.

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Of Essays and Assays

Katie L. Burke

In The Science Writers’ Essay Handbook, Michelle Nijhuis explores the similarities between the writing process and the scientific process, offering a wealth of practical writing advice along the way.

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Salem’s Savant

Daniel S. Silver

An Enlightenment mathematician and astronomer, Nathaniel Bowditch improved many areas of life in the early American republic and earned praise both at home and abroad. Yet today his work has largely been forgotten. In Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers, Tamara Plakins Thornton reminds readers why Bowditch was so influential and ponders his legacy.

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Before the Selfie Stick

Dianne Timblin

Critic and theorist Peter Buse’s examination of the cultural history of Polaroid technology, The Camera Does the Rest, considers the societal forces at work as the company succeeded and failed, from the launch of its first camera in 1948 to its considerably paler existence today.

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Colonial Vaxxers

Ryan Seals

Many, if not most, popular histories attempt to identify a particular set of antecedent causes and imbue them with an agency to explain later events—to find, in a way, the pivotal events leading up to the pivotal events. In The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics, Stephen Coss trains his focus on Boston during the years 1720 through 1722.

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Total Records : 1271


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