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Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

April 28, 2012 Leave a comment

BlinkBlink by Malcolm Gladwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting book on how humans make immediate decisions without a lot of obvious information. It opened up a lot of interesting ideas to pursue and offers a number of links to other books I want to read.

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Book Review: The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and FearThe Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear by Seth Mnookin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very dense read. It is an excellent report on the panic caused by the anti-vaccination crowd. Parents want someone to blame when their child is autistic. They want some miracle cure which are many times offered by people outside of the scientific community. I would recommend it to people who are interested in the vaccination vs. autism issue and how science has been overwhelmed by woo. I learned a lot about how talk shows and others in the media have spread misinformation by media savvy people.

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Book Review: Escape from the Ivory Tower by Nancy Barron

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I saw this book in the book raffle at Science Online 2012. I didn’t get it in the raffle, but decided to buy it later. I’m glad I did. My longer review is on Goodreads.

There is a lot to like about this book for scientists or technologists who are leery of working with the media. It should be on the list of to-read books for many scientists who want the public to know about their work.

Book Review: Here is a Human Being by Misha Angrist

Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal GenomicsHere Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was fascinated by the genome for years, but didn’t have a lot of background. This book gives me some answers, but even more questions about how personalized medicine will be handled in the future.

Angrist gives us a first-person account of his PGP-10 experience. (PGP-10 is the first 10 individuals to publish their complete genomes.) The account was easy to read as it flows like a stream of conscientiousness tale. It is personal and you actually get an idea of the personalities of people he follows in the book.

As an IRB member, a scientist, and a computer geek, I have been very wary of the way that NIH has handled the problems with identity in the genome world. DNA is the ultimate identity and yet collection of samples seems to go on and is even encouraged by NIH grants. Even with GINA, I have reservations about it. GINA can be changed or annulled by future policy makers. Everything can change quickly.

I very much enjoyed reading it and look forward to finding more genome literature in the future.

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Story Review: The Omega Upgrade by Raima Larter

The Omega Upgrade - A Short StoryThe Omega Upgrade – A Short Story by Raima Larter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really like short stories when they are done well. This one is very well crafted. It was a weekend freebie for kindle download that I saw on Google+. Larter is in my Science On-line Conference circle and I just happened to see her post.

The story revolves around an older person’s view of changing technology. This is something I can relate to as a geezer geek. The feeling that we shouldn’t have to accept all these new fangled devices and networks, but just use what we think is good enough is a feeling I have had at times. That said, I am an early adopter in many things tech, but you never get over the feeling.

Larter has written a fun story with a good bit of wisdom on how people react to constantly changing technology in our lives.

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Book Review: Before the Lights Go Out by Maggie Koerth-Baker

February 26, 2012 1 comment

I reviewed the book Before the Lights Go Out by Maggie Koerth-Baker on Goodreads. I got a preview copy at the Science Online 2012 conference in January 2012. Excellent reporting from a member of the Boing-Boing crew.

Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers UsBefore the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us by Maggie Koerth-baker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Science Online 2012 Book List Links

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I kept losing links to the Science Online 2012 and other non fiction and science books so I plan to post the links here.

My Reading List from Science On-line 2012

  • The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess: Race, Religion, and DNA by Jeff Wheelwright – ReadMy Review
  • Before The Lights Go Out by Maggie Koerth-Baker – My Review
  • Escape From the Ivory Tower by Nancy Baron – To Read
  • Here Is A Human Being by Misha Angrist – Reading Now
  • The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin
  • The Calculus Diaries
  • Geek Dad
  • Pink Boots and a Machete
  • Life In The Treetops by Margaret Lowman