It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
With over 150p remaining this book, which has never been easy, is getting to be a real strain - in large part because I've lost all faith in the author's basic premise.
The author claims that the imbalance between occurrence of matter and anti-matter in the universe is understood; I didn't think so - must investigate further.
If I've got this right, Hughes is saying the Patriarchy came about because men were jealous of women's "magical" power of creating new life; I've never been jealous of that, but then, it's not really considered magical anymore, is it?
These poems are written in a remarkably modern idiom, considering they were composed circa mid 19th Century.
This book tries to cover a lot of territory in a short space; biography of Darwin, discussion of his scientific ideas and how they fit into the history of evolutionary theory right up to the present, somewhat discordant look at the conflict between Christian fundamentalists' literalist take on Genesis vs. the scientific consensus of an ancient Earth and evolution of species, also right up to the present.
This inevitably means that the book is somewhat superficial and is probably weakest on the biographical front. The scientific angle is entry-level and probably good as such but will seem a little patronising to people already familiar with the basic ideas. It's also slightly out of date in that it pays no heed to modern epigenetics or the whole Gould vs. Dawkins controversy.
I wanted a much deeper insight into the character of the man, but that doesn't make it a bad book, just the wrong book. It might be just what you are looking for.
The author's opinion that one doesn't need a physics background to follow this book seems to me to be hopelessly wrong; someone who hasn't at least read a good popular account of relativity theory and quantum mechanics is not gonna have a clue about the scientific discussion.
Abbott's classic, exuberant look at life in two dimensions and how hard it would be to understand a third deserves a wide audience; much wider than stereotypical maths or science nerds. Not only does it remind us that our direct perceptions are limited and limiting, it also acts as a severe critique and satire on Victorian society and hubris that we would do well to take note of even today. Finally, it ends on a bit of a downer note, telling us how visionaries are often treated as crazy.
Pericles rocks up in rusty armour and without a shield; is roundly disparaged by all but King Simonides.
The scientific discussion is pretty much entry-level; it's probably great for those who've never read anything on the subject before - but I have! Again, wrong book, not bad book. However, a few glimpses of the kind of thing I wanted have shone through; Darwin spending 8 years on mollusc anatomy and classification; writing a list of pros and cons on the topic of getting married. Suffering anxiety and depression.