Thursday, April 9, 2015

Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku

A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

A fascinating exploration of the science of the impossible—from death rays and force fields to invisibility cloaks—revealing to what extent such technologies might be achievable decades or millennia into the future.

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility.

In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. 
From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals—and the limits—of the laws of physics as we know them today.
He ranks the impossible technologies by categories—Class I, II, and III, depending on when they might be achieved, within the next century, millennia, or perhaps never.

 In a compelling and thought-provoking narrative, he explains:
  • How the science of optics and electromagnetism may one day enable us to bend light around an object, like a stream flowing around a boulder, making the object invisible to observers “downstream”
  • How ramjet rockets, laser sails, antimatter engines, and nanorockets may one day take us to the nearby stars
  •  How telepathy and psychokinesis, once considered pseudoscience, may one day be possible using advances in MRI, computers, superconductivity, and nanotechnology.
  • Why a time machine is apparently consistent with the known laws of quantum physics, although it would take an unbelievably advanced civilization to actually build one.
Kaku uses his discussion of each technology as a jumping-off point to explain the science behind it. 
An extraordinary scientific adventure, Physics of the Impossible takes readers on an unforgettable, mesmerizing journey into the world of science that both enlightens and entertains.

 [Book Description Source: Goodreads]
Goodreads Rating - 4.05 out of 5 (16,711 Ratings, 789 Reviews)

My Rating:  3 out of 5. 

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Conquest of Happiness - Bertrand Russell

The Conquest Of Happiness explains the causes of unhappiness and happiness, and then shows what it takes to live happily.
Summary Of The Book
It is the quest of every person to be happy. 
Yet, happiness always seems elusive, ephemeral. 
It vanishes in almost an instant, it is never a constant state.
All philosophies explore this basic search, for constant happiness.
The British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote this book, The Conquest Of Happiness, to show readers the path to achieve this aim. 
He hoped to explain some common sense ideas that will enable them to find happiness in life.
The book first explores causes for unhappiness. 
He focuses on normal, everyday kind of discontent and unhappiness, which do not have any real external cause.
 Instead, he points out, it is the result of the person’s own views and attitudes.
The author goes into many causes like boredom, competition, excitement, fatigue, sense of sin, and fear of public opinion. 
He says that people often crave excitement as a way to happiness, confusing boredom with a sense of unhappiness. 
He says excitement is not really a way to happiness.
He points out that many people confuse unhappiness with a state of wisdom. 
They assume a wise person has learnt from experience that life is shallow and has no meaning and is therefore unhappy. 
He also says being obsessed with success to the point of sacrificing so many other things of value also leads to unhappiness.
He then goes into the causes of happiness. 
He says that the ways to happiness are to take an interest in people, in having enthusiasm for life, to find pleasure in work, to show affection, to realize the value of family relationships. 
While work might not be normally viewed as a cause for happiness, it is one because it helps pass the time, the work itself might be a source of pleasure, and it also provides an opportunity for success. 
To be happy, each person should also take an interest in other people, other things, without self-interest.
The Conquest Of Happiness thus tries to show the readers the way to happiness by first showing them the causes of unhappiness and then getting rid of them.
It then shows the causes for happiness.
It is thus a practical guide to help people learn to be happy whatever their circumstance in life is.

[Book Summary Source:]

Goodreads Rating - 3.99 out of 5 (3506 Ratings, 260 Reviews)

My Rating:  3 out of 5.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals of Software by Max Kanat-Alexander

Good software development results in simple code. 
Unfortunately, much of the code existing in the world today is far too complex. 

This concise guide helps you understand the fundamentals of good software development through universal laws--principles you can apply to any programming language or project from here to eternity.

Whether you're a junior programmer, senior software engineer, or non-technical manager, you'll learn how to create a sound plan for your software project, and make better decisions about the pattern and structure of your system.

  • Learn what differentiates great programmers from poor programmers
  • Understand the ultimate purpose of software and the goals of good software design
  • Determine the value of your decisions now and in the future
  • Examine real-world examples that demonstrate how a system changes over time
  • Learn to allow for the most change in the environment with the least change in the software
  • Make easier changes in the future by keeping your code simpler now
  • Understand why to write tests and what tests to write.
 [Book Description Source:]
Goodreads Rating - 3.47 out of 5 (169 Ratings, 40 Reviews)

My Rating:  3 out of 5. 

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Carry On, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse

Carry On, Jeeves is an anthology of ten short stories, some previously published in the Saturday Evening Post and a few rewritten versions from the My Man Jeeves collection. 
It is considered to be a part of the Jeeves canon.
Summary Of The Book
Carry On, Jeeves is a classic collection of stories primarily about Jeeves and Wooster. Many of the stories are set in New York and feature the author’s regular characters like Anatole, Aunt Dahlia, Bingo Little and Sir Roderick Glossop. 
Some of the stories that appear in this collection are Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg, Jeeves Takes Charge, Clustering Round Young Bingo, The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy and Bertie Changes His Mind.
Jeeves Takes Charge introduces the reader to Jeeves and his arrival into Bertie Wooster’s life. 
He is employed as a replacement to Wooster’s previous valet who was caught thieving. 
The story also features Lady Florence Craye and briefly introduces the reader to Blandings Castle and Lord Emsworth. 
His very first task, once he takes charge of the Wooster household, is to come up with a cure for Bertie’s horrible hangover.
He concocts a mixture of Worcester Sauce, raw egg and red pepper and coaxes him to give it a try adding that other men have found it be very refreshing after a late evening. 
This sets the stage for one of the sharpest, funniest and touching partnerships ever seen in the history of English literature.


Goodreads Rating - 4.28 out of 5 (11203 Ratings, 594 Reviews)

My Rating:  4 out of 5.

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