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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic…

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Superb, wonderful, this book is to Tyson what Cosmos was to Sagan. An absolute must-read for any science lover, either beginner or with formal education. ( )
  yakov.perelman | May 18, 2016 |
I enjoy reading about physics and astrophysics. And while I don't have much of a mathematical background in those sciences (beyond the basics), I took enough classes in high school and undergrad (and have read enough books with interest) that I feel like I know a thing or two about what goes on up there.

Tyson (whom I find utterly charming on television) doesn't break any new ground in science -- this isn't a book about string theory or any other single cutting-edge topic. (Most of it's not even about black holes.) What this book is, rather, is a series of science essays, each one tackling one specific piece of the astrophysics puzzle and explaining it in a very approachable, understandable way. In doing this, Tyson builds up a fairly detailed picture of how the universe works without ever getting too complicated or dull.

So while I felt like I had been exposed to much of this information in the past (in a liberal arts sort of way), I really appreciated the science refresher and I appreciated being taken away from my mundane day-to-day back to a place where I could appreciate space and science. It's something I used to enjoy -- but it's hard to find the time to fit into an otherwise rather busy life.

My only criticism is about the last two sections, which were mostly about earthly concerns such as lack of public scientific literacy and the place of religion and intelligent design in science. Tyson and I are on the exact same page on these issues and he, of course, can make his arguments much more elegantly than I could. But. I really don't need to be convinced of these issues and I really just wanted to hear more about the actual science. And it ended the book on a kind oddly combative note.

So: Great book! It's a relatively quick and easy read given the subject matter and Tyson's almost as charming on the printed page as he is on TV. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
One of the lessons I learned from this book is that you can learn a lot about the universe from a stick in the mud. Literally. If you enjoy watching Neil deGrasse Tyson, you'll probably enjoy reading him too. ( )
  Michael_Rose | Jan 10, 2016 |
I love this book!
I have always been very fond of astronomy and this book simplifies all those concepts and theories that usually give people headaches. Also, DeGrasse uses humor which makes the reading even easier and more enjoyable.
You do not need to study astronomy to enjoy this book, all you need is thirst for knowledge.
Although, I do think Dr. deGrasse should have explained the black hole phenomenom with more depth. I took an astronomy class last semester and this book explains the basics of what the black hole theory is but lacks important details of the topic. I think Dr. deGrasse purposely omitted detail because such details tend to be very complex and this book is about providing the avarage person with basic understanding.
Overall great book! ( )
  karlapre | Jan 7, 2015 |
Pretty serious science here. I'm an engineer by training and astronomy has always been an interest so I was able to follow his essays. But deGrasse sprinkles in lots of humor especially in making comparisons. This I think will help the non-scientist in reading the book. I highly recommend it to anyone who looks up and wonders what's going on up there. ( )
  capewood | Dec 8, 2014 |
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My own suspicion is that the Universe

is not only queerer than we suppose,

but queerer than we can suppose.


Possible Worlds (1927)
My own suspicion is that the Universe
is not only queerer than we suppose,
but queerer than we can suppose.

Possible Worlds (1927)
First words
I see the universe not as a collection of objects, theories, and phenomena, but as a vast stage of actors driven by intricate twists of story line and plot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393330168, Paperback)

A vibrant collection of essays on the cosmos from the nation's best-known astrophysicist. “One of today’s best popularizers of science.”—Kirkus Reviews.

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics. The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. "Holy Wars" examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. "The Search for Life in the Universe" explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And "Hollywood Nights" assails the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right.

Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:14 -0400)

A collection of essays on the cosmos, written by an American Museum of Natural History astrophysicist, includes "Holy Wars," "Ends of the World," and "Hollywood Nights."

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393062244, 0393330168

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