Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Panic In Level 4

alright, so here we have yet another book from the mcnally robinson insert. this book is by robert preston, who wrote the hot zone which is the true account of the ebola virus. if i am not mistaken, the hot zone was the inspiration for the movie OUTBREAK with dustin hoffmann. anyway, so preston is a nonfiction/sciency/journalismy type of guy and this book is a collection of a few of his articles that have been dressed up and revamped and updated a little for the book. in general, this book was excellent. i thought it was brave of him to start with the article about the brothers chudnovsky, who built a super computer and were able to calculate pi to over 2 billion digits, a world record. i found this to be one of the best articles in the book, but i think a lot of people would pass on the book because of it, since i have found that the sweeping majority of the population has a strange aversion to mathematics. (?)
i would recommend this book to pretty much anyone with half a brain, and i was impressed that he did very little over explaining of basic scientific concepts for the lay person, which i was prepared to tolerate and not looking forward to. the only other thing i really have to say about it is it really should have a warning on the jacket or something because some of the topics get a little graphic and gruesome... not to mention some of the photos. (example: photo of a guy who has a disease that caused him to eat off his own lips and rip out his own teeth). BUT if you can handle that sort of thing, it is a very interesting, well written and overall absorbing read.

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