"Unfortunately, finding great scientific places to visit isn't as easy as finding homes of long-dead poets, painters, or writers," notes Graham-Cumming, a self-described wandering programmer. "This is a pity, because if there's one thing that makes science stand apart, it's the willingness of scientists to freely share what they do."
And unlike many travel books, this one is written for scientists. "In the technical descriptions, I've tried to simplify the science without dumbing it down to the point of using analogies and metaphors instead of actually describing ideas," writes Graham-Cumming. "So as you flip through the book, you'll see the sorts of pictures you'd find in a travel guide, but also a lot of diagrams and equations. (Any reader who doesn't want to deal with the equations can safely read the first part of each chapter.)
Each site in The Geek Atlas focuses on discoveries or inventions, and includes information about the people and the science behind them. Full of interesting photos and illustrations, the book is organized geographically by country (by state within the U.S.), and comes complete with latitudes and longitudes for GPS devices.
The destinations covered in The Geek Atlas include:
Every site in this book has genuine scientific, mathematical, or technological interest--places guaranteed to make every geek's heart beat a little faster.
"One thing that I've been asked by reviewers again and again is to recommend one single must-see place. Picking one place is next to impossible--there's just so much great science out there--but I will admit to shedding a tear every time I see the Difference Engine at the Science Museum in London (Chapter 77)," writes Graham-Cumming. "It's mathematics in motion and arithmetic in action."
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John Graham-Cumming is a wandering programmer who's lived in the UK, California, New York and France. Along the way he's worked for a succession of technology start-ups, written the award-winning open source POPFile email program and churned out articles for publications such as The Guardian newspaper, Dr Dobbs, and Linux Magazine. He is the proud owner of a three-letter domain name where he hosts his web site: http://www.jgc.org.
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596523206
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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