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Reading – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – 19 in a series

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – 19 in a series

Reading -  Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson - 19 in a series

It takes a special talent to explain science — and write a book on highly scientific topics — without erring in 2 possible ways. Typically science books for the layman go into far too much detail with far too much technical jargon and quickly leave the reader disheartened. They want to understand, but without a good intermediary to help bridge the gap from expert to everyman, they fail.

Secondly, science can be explained in such a simplistic way that the reader is left wondering about its importance to the world and also, perhaps, about why scientists find it so difficult to make theoretical and experiential headway into the particular topic. Scientists are always trying to find the “sweet spot” between over complication and oversimplification and it is a difficult path to walk.

Thankfully, Neil Degrasse Dyson has, for whatever reasons, been blessed with the ability to clearly explain complicated scientific concepts to the average person without either talking over their heads or, even worse, talking down to them. This collection of essays holds together nicely as a book, something that doesn’t always happen. Thinking back over my reading there were perhaps 2 times when I lost the thread of what was being discussed, but a quick re-read of a particularly troublesome section seemed to clear it up, at least enough for my purposes. When I read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking† there were many times when I felt hopelessly lost in the world of theoretical physics, but Astrophysics for People in a Hurry kept me involved, enlightened and educated throughout.

While many of us will never have a need for a deep knowledge of Astrophysics, I am a great believer in knowing a little about a lot. Learning new theories, reading new books and absorbing new ideas keeps us growing throughout our lives. Pick up a copy of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and I think you will enjoy the trip through the cosmos in all its, sometimes confusing, glory.

From Amazon.com…

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Categories: Books, Education, Science Tags:

A Penguin Encounter at the Santa Barbara Zoo – Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) [Video] (3:23)

May 24th, 2018 Comments off

A penguin encounter with Cito, a Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I was attending the Island Fox Conservation Working Group Conference at the zoo and these keepers gave us a special treat by bringing Cito out for some interaction and an informative talk. It was great to be so “up-close and personal” with such an amazing animal.

A Penguin Encounter at the Santa Barbara Zoo - Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) [Video] (3:23)

 

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Learn more about penguins with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Reading – Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser – 15 in a series

April 3rd, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser – 15 in a series

This is an amazing memoir of 2 amazing women who learned fairly early in life that girls do indeed code (or program). They found each other during a “Girls Who Code” program and together helped change the world in a unique way — not only showing the programming can be a talent and profession but also addressing a women’s issue (menstruation stigma) that they had faced directly.

Tampon Run is a small, side-scrolling game that they created during the workshop, but it soon took on its own energy and power and led to international exposure for both Andrea and Sophie.

Read this engaging story told from 2 unique perspectives and learn how early experiences can shape the life and career of anyone.

Reading - Girl Code by by Andrea Gonzales  and Sophie Houser - 15 in a series

Play the game

Reading - Girl Code by by Andrea Gonzales  and Sophie Houser - 15 in a series

Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser

** My version of this book was available from the Los Angeles Public Library in print and ebook versions.

From Amazon.com…

Perfect for aspiring coders everywhere, Girl Code is the story of two teenage tech phenoms who met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world famous. The book also includes bonus content to help you start coding!

Fans of funny and inspiring books like Maya Van Wagenen’s Popular and Caroline Paul’s Gutsy Girl will love hearing about Andrea “Andy” Gonzales and Sophie Houser’s journey from average teens to powerhouses.

Through the success of their video game, Andy and Sophie got unprecedented access to some of the biggest start-ups and tech companies, and now they’re sharing what they’ve seen. Their video game and their commitment to inspiring young women have been covered by the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, CNN, Teen Vogue, Jezebel, the Today show, and many more.

Get ready for an inside look at the tech industry, the true power of coding, and some of the amazing women who are shaping the world. Andy and Sophie reveal not only what they’ve learned about opportunities in science and technology but also the true value of discovering your own voice and creativity.

A Junior Library Guild selection

A Children’s Book Council Best STEM Trade Book for Students K-12

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Categories: Books, Business, Make, Science, Technology Tags:

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): Back Again – 1 in a series from My Word

January 1st, 2018 Comments off

On YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

Watch YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

Another Arduino sandwich – this time the INA219 current sensor module, an Arduino Pro Mini and a 128×32 OLED. Part of my 18650 current monitoring project.


Learn more about Arduino with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

Goldiblox Award Winning Construction Kits for Girls! | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #12

November 12th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From GoldieBlox…

GoldieBlox is the award-winning children’s multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Through the integration of storytelling and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles, GoldieBlox creates toys,books, apps, videos, animation and merchandise; the tools that empower girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures.

Since its founding in 2012, GoldieBlox has been recognized as a leader in children’s entertainment and has reached billions of consumers through TV, radio and digital as the first start-up with a Super Bowl commercial and a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2014, Fast Company named GoldieBlox to its list of Most Innovative Companies, and GoldieBlox was recognized with The Toy Industry Association’s Toy of the Year and Apple’s iOS App of the Year awards. In 2015, GoldieBlox won Parents Magazine’s Toy of the Year and founder, Debbie Sterling, was inducted by President Obama as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, honored by the National Retail Foundation as one of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future,” and by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work inspiring girls.

Goldiblox Award Winning Construction Kits for Girls!

Goldiblox 1

Goldiblox 2

 

Find many more Goldiblox kits on Amazon.com

 * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Arduino Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #5

November 5th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From Douglas…

Just like the Raspberry Pi kit OI shared earlier, this Arduino Starter Kit provides both the main Arduino board and a host of accessories to let you start making projects right out of the box. I recently purchased my first Arduino and I have found that it got me interested in technology all over again. Even as a die hard tech hobbyist and a technology consultant, the joy of making your own projects — and getting them working — helped me recapture my enjoyment of technology all over again. 


Elegoo UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial

Even more Arduino Boards and Components available on Amazon.com

Learn more about Arduino with these books and products

 

Arduino Boards and Components via Amazon

Arduino Boards and Components via eBay

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Learn about HAM Radio/Amateur Radio at the next Hackerspace LA Meetup – August 31, 2016 @ 7 pm

August 19th, 2016 Comments off

 HAM and CB Radio Basics

Come and see what HAM radio is all about along with Hackerspace LA!

Is HAM radio still relevant in this day of cell phones and high-speed Internet connections wherever you go? You Bet! From emergency communication services during natural disasters to communicating with the International Space Station and student satellites in space, HAM radio bridges huge distances in science and between people.

Lynn O’Connell and Jennifer Oliver O’Connell will cover basic amateur radio theory and requirements to get you going on your way to enjoying this hobby.  

We’ll also have radios on display and knowledgeable individuals that will be happy to answer any question you may have about HAM. 

Our Speakers:

Hackerspacela logo

Join us at a Hackerspace Los Angeles weekly meet up.  Come by and mingle with like-minded people and see what others are working on.  Find out what planned activities we have and how you can participate.  

If you are interested in helping us establish a permanent location in the San Fernando Valley you need to be here to help us plan this and make it happen. 
We’ll still be holding classes/workshops of various interests once a month.  I will be posting the schedule later in the week and will be announced in separate meetup for each of the workshops.

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): Splashing – 7 in a series from My Word [Video] (0:54)

July 11th, 2016 Comments off

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): Splashing – 7 in a series from My Word 

This Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) has become an almost daily visitor to the garden in the last few weeks, so I’ll be sharing a series of video clips of its behaviors for those interested in raptors.

In this video, an initial splash in the birdbath..

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): Splashing - 7 in a series from My Word

 

More information on Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooper):

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): A Splash in the Birdbath – 6 in a series from My Word

July 8th, 2016 Comments off

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): A Splash in the Birdbath – 6 in a series from My Word 

This Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) has become an almost daily visitor to the garden in the last few weeks, so I’ll be sharing a series of video clips of its behaviors for those interested in raptors.

In this video, an initial splash in the birdbath..

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): A Splash in the Birdbath - 6 in a series from My Word

 

More information on Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooper):

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