Natalie Angier is an American nonfiction writer and a science journalist for The New York Times Video: Natalie Angier – The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science (May 16, Panel discussion with Neil Turok, Michael D. Griffin, Nadia El-Awady and Stewart Brand, at the Quantum to Cosmos festival. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Science is underappreciated and undervalued in a The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science – Kindle edition by Natalie Angier. Download it once and read it on your Kindle. Natalie Angier, a science writer for the New York Times, has written a wonderful book called The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful.

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You know the joke that angire “sip, don’t gulp”? I’ve read about several of these subjects before in some other entertaining books. And perhaps I loathed every second of my multiple tries at reading this because I’m no fun. Dec 10, Chelsea rated it it was ok Shelves: And, perhaps for that reason alone, I enjoyed this book. Angier preach to the as yet unconverted, and the generally uninformed.

Sure there are some gems in there, but I’d rather stay poor than fervently forage such feces.

Natalie Angier

Angier’s sparkling prose and memorable metaphors bring the science to life, reigniting our own childhood delight in discovering how the world works. She devotes many pages to the busy activity inside every cell, ranging from protein synthesis to cell division to natapie with other cells. In fact, the subject areas Angier chooses to describe are somewhat intuitive and logically ordered for the most part.

Well, that’s exactly what The Canon is supposed to be, the newest book by Pulitzer winner and New York Times columnist Natalie Angier, in which she approached a whole series of scientists and asked them, “What are the four or five most basic things about your profession that you wish the general public all knew?

It held my interest which otherwise would have flagged. Dec 08, Elazar rated it did not like it.

The primary purpose of a column is to entertain. Basically, just don’t read it. I might not have had as much of a problem with it had I felt like she intended to Perhaps I hated this book because I have a science background.


Why is it that worldly Manhattan sophisticates feel a working knowledge of the arts is a prerequisite for a fulfilled existence, but that the sciences are irrelevant, something for nerdy adults with no social skills to obsess eel Perhaps I hated this book because I have a science background.

Instead, I got a ‘science for beginners’. I found myself reading a half a chapter – a chapter at most – every day, but no more. By all means, could we focus on the basics of science, and leave the hammering of morals for some other book? Jul 17, Peggie rated it liked it. My first bite was all I remembered and dreamed it could be. We eel our lives or our jobs are complex. But what we laymen and laywomen consider complex pales in comparison to the vast body of knowledge that we call science.

General Motors International award for writing about cancer. But when the freq You know the joke that goes “sip, don’t gulp”?

The writing is breezy and not stilted, using metaphors instead of math to explain difficult topics. The biggest reason for this seemed to be to avoid scaring any unwary readers with “math” or “hard” science. Sometimes the best explainers of a topic are outsiders or laymen, rather than practitioners in the field.

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

That’s okay once in a while, and I understand the desire to liven up what could be written in a very dull way, but it’s a constant stream and you just want to put your hands on her shoulders, look her in the eye, and with a gentle tone tell her to stop trying so hard and if that doesn’t work, scream “knock it off!!! Look no further – there’s your should.

I have always been an “arts and letters” person, and faked my way through high school chemistry with lots of help and free answers from a friend. I confess, I expected something entirely different under the name “The Canon”.

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier

She was going to explain the why of things rather than just listing off a bunch of facts. Not only is this annoying, it is self-defeating. I really am grateful that I know more about physics and chemistry now than I did before. Clears up a lot of bunk, and would be useful as a refresher to get a handle on each subject. It was also nice to read a primer on geology and astronomy.


Overall though, I encourage and applaud her work as science basics need to be written about and read, and I’m sure some people love her writing style. She mixes jokes, puns and one-liners in with natapie science facts at a ratio of about one to one. Well, that’s interesting, yes, but so angifr The premise of The Canon, illustrated by the author’s sister cancelling her children’s science museum membership as they reach adolescence, is that there is an imbalance to be redressed.

It takes the doctrinaire sloth of the second law of thermodynamics, the tendency of every system to get frowzier over time, and hammers it into a magic, all-purpose, purpose-making machine that turns around and breaks entropy at the knees.

Today, clotting is like professional baseball. This site uses cookies. Apr 06, Joe rated it did not like it Recommends it for: She then takes every attempt to disparage the use of mathematics in science – which seems to contradict her higher purpose.

Seussical nonsensicall-ness that extended to making up words, a ludicrous love of alliteration just like that last two clauses, in fact, but found in virtually every paragraphand pop culture allusions so obscure that I spent more time on the semiotics than the science. The author breaks the book into nine chapters which deal with the basic areas of science — Physics, Chemistry, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, Geology and Astronomy — along with three chapters needed to help understand the other six — on thinking scientifically, on probabilities and statistics, and on calibration and measuring.

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