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Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm, like, so much smarter

I am happy to say I just finished a wonderful book which actually made me smarter. Or at least made me feel smarter. For my birthday, my co-workers gave me Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, which treats how the universe, the earth and life came to be. It's a subject that I find incredibly interesting (hey, one of my electives in college was a geo-bio course on the history of the earth), but most books on it are incredibly intimidating to a physics idiot such as myself. Bryson, mostly known for his humourous travel books (The Lost Continent is a favorite of mine), brings the subject down to a true layperson's (i.e., my) level. Read it to understand how our whole existence came to be and how it works.

Funny anecdote: When I was telling the Guitar Hero how fascinating I found the concept of space curving to be (that is, if you shoot an arrow far out into space, it will eventually curve back), his response was "You didn't know that? We learned that in school." Guess a few hours of physics back in high school wouldn't have been so off the wall.

Funniest visual I got from the book: guinea pigs the size of rhinos. That totally rocks.


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