Tag Archives: 21st Century

Fifty Minerals That Changes the Course of History, by Eric Chaline: A Review

There should be a good deal to like in a book that promises to review the minerals that have changed the course of history. Minerals, and mineralogy as a science, have led to countless developments in human history, and there … Continue reading

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Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements from Arsenic to Zinc, by Hugh Aldersey-Williams: A Review

  One of my general rules in reading is to be wary of books that call themselves “a cultural history.” These books, like those calling themselves “social histories” or, indeed, those written by sociologists, can be perfectly reasonable and servicable … Continue reading

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1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, by Eric Cline: A Review

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I was a big fan of documentaries when I was in my teens; it was one of the quirks of growing up in the household that I did. But one that made a lasting impression on … Continue reading

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Written in Dead Wax, by Andrew Cartmel: A Review

I set the mood to write this review somewhat more deliberately than usual. I made myself a cup of coffee and some toast with good marmalade, and carefully selected one of the few Everest classical LPs that I own (as … Continue reading

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The Knowledge Web, by James Burke: A Review

The Knowledge Web is a dizzying tour through the history of science and technology, yet thanks to its origins in the pre-“Information Age” culture of research and presentation, it generally succeeds as well as its predecessors, Connections and Connections 2. Why is … Continue reading

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The Typewriter Revolution, by Richard Polt: A Review

Although it was one of the most revolutionary machines of the 19th century, the typewriter has been much derided by the increasingly technologically-focussed cognoscenti of the early 21st century. Since the 1980s, we’ve had the expressions digital revolution and / … Continue reading

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Nerd Do Well, by Simon Pegg: A Review

First, the standard disclaimer. I’ve enjoyed Simon Pegg’s work for years, from his radio appearances on BBC Radio 4’s The 99p Challenge to television in Big Train and Spaced, and into the world of films like Shaun of the Dead and Hot … Continue reading

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