2016 Q2

What is Life? by Erwin Schrödinger

The What Is Life cover

Schrodinger (the one with the cat) wrote a popular science book in 1944 about the building blocks of life.  The book was very interesting from a historical perspective.

Coding for Public Service

CodeHS helps high school students learn to code by working with schools and providing high quality instructional materials and tutors.  They are collecting a bunch of stories about people coding for their jobs, "Coding in the Wild," with the goal of getting students interested in programming.  Here's what I wrote for them.


Pierce Brown: Red Rising

The Red Rising cover

Red Rising is a trilogy about a slave uprising on Mars.  In the book, humanity colonized the solar system, but when doing so, they genetically engineered different people into different "colors," with golds at the top of the hierarchy and reds at the bottom.  I didn't like the start of the first book, but once I got into it, the trilogy was good.

Before I talk about what I liked, some things I didn't like:

The Three-Body Problem: Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem cover

The Three-Body Problem is a scientifically plausible book about human contact with aliens. It was a very good read.

The book is split between Maoist and modern China. It has some interesting historical vignettes about the cultural revolution, though if you're already familiar with the history, you probably won't learn much since the book doesn't go very deep.

Taylor Branch - Parting the Waters : America in the King Years 1954-63

Great story, but I don't like how it's written.  Before I speak to the things I learned, my criticisms:

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