11 April 2016

Recent reading

I'm a bookaholic, I confess.  I have far more books than are strictly needed.  And I'm acquiring more essentially all the time.  (The freebies available via google, ibooks, kindle, nook, and many other venues don't exactly slow down my acquisition.)  On the other hand, I do eventually read them.  From recent (-ish) reading:

Hands on Meteorology by Zbigniew Sorbjan -- a book with something of everything for meteorology and middle school students (or older).  Some history, some biography, and a substantial chunk of hands on meteorology.  Plenty of experiments that you can do with minimal experience and equipment. 

Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving, Sanjoy Mahajan -- To get through to the end of this book, you'll want at least integral calculus.  But I mention it here because a) some of you have that background and b) those who don't: consider the title.  You can choose to consider mathematical problem solving as being something like a mixed martial arts, steel cage, match.  No holds barred either.  While math is often taught as a matter of exactness, and the one and only one correct answer, there's a broad swath in which coming up with a pretty good approximation is an excellent thing.  In practice, this is an enormous swath of science*.  See also my old post Fermi Estimate Challenge.

Native American Crafts and Skills, 2nd Ed., David Montgomery -- It's easy to make, say, a house when you already have plans, bricks, saws, (pre-cut!) lumber, plumbing, electricity, and so on.  But what do you do when you only have stone tools?  How about when you also have to make the tools themselves?  There's some serious intelligence involved in solving these problems.  This book has some of the solutions.  In a few cases, such as the shape and orientation of a Tipi, there's also a connection to meteorology and climate.

What We know About Climate Change, Kerry Emanuel -- This is a far smaller book than I expected from the title.  It also includes no math.  It's a good place to start reading on climate.  It won't take you long, and won't bury you in detail or math.

More to come ...

* Post to come about Ted Fujita, and his 'chapter one' rule.

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