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Thursday, September 22, 2005

I want to be a scientist... again

and I guess Bill Bryson's latest book must be infecting quite a few others too with the same result.

'A short history of nearly everything' is different from most other history and science books in a very fundamental way - the passion shows - a passion that is not limited to just the theories and the logic, but also to the scientists, thinkers, philosophers, cheaters, braggers, and other varieties of people that have populated the subject. Bryson knows all those dead and alive comfortably on a first name basis, and revers all elements that build our universe with an overwhelming wonder. So if up till now you weren't exactly impressed by the atom, things are in for a mojor overhaul by the time he's done with you.

How Bryson managed to amass the knowledge that he has, in just a couple of years, is quite simply, baffling. He found out what the Earth weighs, and when it was figured out what it weighs, and how it was figured out incorrectly at first, and then correctly, and who were doing all this figuring out, and why. And then he does the same with the Earth's age. And then ditto for the galaxy. And then for the atom. And this, of course, is just the beginning of his obsessive inquisitivesness about the world.

Read Bryson for a fresh take on the world and its majesty. Or to enjoy his lilted writing style. Or the hilarious quotations sprinkled all over. There's a reason for everyone!

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