The Narratives of Science Part I

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Our Universe

“In France, a chemist named Pilatre de Rozier tested the flammability of hydrogen by gulping a mouthful and blowing across an open flame, proving at a stroke that hydrogen is indeed explosively combustible and that eyebrows are not necessarily a permanent feature of one’s face.” 
 Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

If you stop by my blog OnTheRoad you will find that I have included Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything” in my 2013 Reading Program.  Each year, I choose one book with a scientific flair as a way to stretch my mind beyond my obvious love of all things poetic, musical, and artistic. Bill Bryson cleverly weaves the stories of the great scientists with the most difficult and perplexing questions of the universe. It truly is pure entertainment all the way through.  I will be providing a more thorough review via a post on OnTheRoad.

But for this week, I want to look more closely at the men and women of science.  “A Short History of Nearly Everything” was stuffed with names that, I am loath to confess at my lofty age, I never heard of before.  A week is not enough time to do justice to these great men and women; there will be other series throughout the coming year.

Of one thing I am certain:  I will find plenty of things poetic, musical and artistic in the Narratives of Science.

When the poet Paul Valery once asked Albert Einstein if he kept a notebook to record his ideas, Einstein looked at him with mild but genuine surprise.”Oh, that’s not necessary,” he replied. “It’s so seldom I have one.” 
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything