Category Archives: Friday Science

A Field Guide to Topaz and Associated Minerals of the Thomas Range, Utah (Topaz Mountain), Volume 1: by John Holfert et alia: A Short Review

Topaz is one of those beautiful minerals which, at its best, is water clear and appears in many different colours, including a pale blue, a delicate yellow and a watery light brown vaguely reminiscent of a nice dry sherry. As … Continue reading

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Packing for Mars, by Mary Roach: A Short Review

I received a postcard from a publisher recently, and the advertised content, I have to say, was not as interesting to me as the postage that they used to send it. Instead of a boring postage meter, or one of … Continue reading

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Rocks and Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks), by Chris Pellant: A Review

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life with a variety of different field guides, especially mineralogy field guides. In fact, I’ve already reviewed the first one that I ever owned elsewhere. Furthermore, if I run across a new one … Continue reading

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The Ascent of Man, by Jacob Bronowski: A Review

Before James Burke’s The Day the Universe Changed, before Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and before David Attenborough’s Life on Earth or any other great multi-part science and nature documentary that you care to name, there was 1973’s The Ascent of Man. Intended as a complementary … Continue reading

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Snowball Earth, by Gabrielle Walker: A Review

A good, solidly written book with no major flaws of composition, Snowball Earth tells the story of Paul Hoffman, an irascible geologist behind a new theory of the role played by geology and climate to kickstart the development of complex life on … Continue reading

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Rocks and Minerals, by Herbert S. Zim: A Review

The Rocks and Minerals Golden Guide was one of my first rock and mineral books when I was quite young, and it holds a fondly-lit place in my memory for that reason, certainly. Nostalgia is a powerful trap, and one of … Continue reading

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Six Easy Pieces, by Richard Feynman: A Short Review

After starting Six Easy Pieces some time ago and then setting it aside for other books, I swept through the final four chapters rather quickly. This is the sort of book that most scientifically literate but physics-weak individuals – myself included – … Continue reading

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