Picks

Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time

When I bought this book, I didn't realize how complementary to my Pick for Marchit would turn out to be. I thought that Poincare's "maps" referred to were his geometric depictions of deterministic chaotic systems, which he was first to discover, and the book was going to be largely about mathematics.

Uncle Tungsten: Memoirs of a Chemical Boyhood

I was finally impelled to read "Uncle Tungsten", which had been recommended by innumerable chemist friends, because of the opportunity to meet the author at the ACS meeting in New York last month.

The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint

It's about time that somebody should write this book, and there is no better "somebody" for the job than Edward Tufte, author of thoughtful and beautiful books about the presentation of scientific data (see Hal's Picks for August, 1998 and

The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works

Who doesn't like Harry Potter? I suppose there must be some such person, but it is hard to criticize a book series that has youngsters eager to gobble up 700 pages, even if they were not as creative and entertaining as they are. If you have read some or all of the books, I'm sure that you noticed all the science they contain. No? Me neither.

Bottled Twaddle: Is Bottled Water Tapped Out?

Why would someone spend more for a quart of water than a gallon of gasoline? Perhaps you would pay even more if you were dying of thirst and the only available water was in the hands of an evil extortionist. But why do so, if there is abundant, safe, tasty, and cheap water provided by a public utility?