What We Are Reading Today: A Brief History of Time

What We Are Reading Today: A Brief History of Time
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Updated 30 November 2021

What We Are Reading Today: A Brief History of Time

What We Are Reading Today: A Brief History of Time

Author: Stephen Hawking

Cosmology is the scientific study involving the origin and expansion of the universe, a branch of astronomy that delves into the stages of life and the structures that bind us into the physical realm.
In “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking provides an enlightening mixture of philosophy and factual narrative on cosmology in simple language, appealing to the existential nature of the everyday reader.
Published in 1988, the book discusses the physics of the universe, from black holes to string theory, addressing concepts embedded in today’s popular culture.
Hawking’s brilliance in relaying the secrets of the universe shows as he takes the reader on a journey through time and space.
To date, the book has sold over 10 million copies around the world, has been translated into numerous languages, and was a Times of London bestseller for a staggering 237 weeks.


What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms
Updated 26 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

What We Are Reading Today: Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

Author: Angele Christin

When the news moved online, journalists suddenly learned what their audiences actually liked, through algorithmic technologies that scrutinize web traffic and activity.

Has this advent of audience metrics changed journalists’ work practices and professional identities? In Metrics at Work, Angele Christin documents the ways that journalists grapple with audience data in the form of clicks, and analyzes how new forms of clickbait journalism travel across national borders.

Drawing on four years of fieldwork in web newsrooms in the US and France, including more than 100 interviews with journalists, Christin reveals many similarities among the media groups examined—their editorial goals, technological tools, and even office furniture.

Yet she uncovers crucial and paradoxical differences in how American and French journalists understand audience analytics and how these affect the news produced in each country.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley

What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley
Updated 24 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley

What We Are Reading Today: The Annotated Hodgkin and Huxley

Authors: Indira M. Raman and David L. Ferster

The origin of everything known about how neurons and muscles generate electrical signals can be traced back to five revolutionary papers, published in the Journal of Physiology in 1952 by Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley.

The principles they revealed remain cornerstones of the discipline, summarized in every introductory neuroscience and physiology course.

Since that era, however, scientific practice, technology, and presentation have changed extensively. It is difficult for the modern reader to appreciate Hodgkin and Huxley’s rigorous scientific thought, elegant experimental design, ingenious analysis, and beautiful writing.

This book provides the first annotated edition of these papers, offering essential background on everything, from terminology, equations, and electronics, to the greater historical and scientific context surrounding the work.

 


What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz
Updated 23 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

What We Are Reading Today: No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

Americans revere the constitution even as they argue fiercely over its original toleration of racial slavery.

Some historians have charged that slaveholders actually enshrined human bondage at the nation’s founding.

Sean Wilentz shares the dismay but sees the constitution and slavery differently. Although the proslavery side won important concessions, he asserts, antislavery impulses also influenced the framers’ work.

“No Property in Man” invites fresh debate about the political and legal struggles over slavery that began during the Revolution and concluded with the Confederacy’s defeat.

It drives straight to the heart of the most contentious and enduring issue in all of American history, according to a review on goodreads.com.


What We Are Reading Today: Lost in the Valley of Death 

What We Are Reading Today: Lost in the Valley of Death 
Updated 23 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Lost in the Valley of Death 

What We Are Reading Today: Lost in the Valley of Death 

Author: Harley Rustad

Lost in the Valley of Death is about one man’s search to find himself, in a country where for many Westerners the path to spiritual enlightenment can prove fraught, even treacherous.
“But it is also a story about all of us and the ways, sometimes extreme, we seek fulfillment in life,” said a review on goodreads.com.
Lost in the Valley of Death includes 16 pages of color photographs.
“Expertly investigated and brilliantly written by Canadian magazine editor and writer Harley Rustad, this was without a doubt one of the best works of nonfiction,” said the review.
It is an “utterly fascinating and enthralling mixture of biography, travel memoir, and unsolved mystery,” said the review.
“The writing was really good and engaging. The author presents the story fairly and passionately.”
In August 2016, an experienced American trekker named Justin Alexander Shetler ascended to a high Himalayan lake on a pilgrimage in the Parvati Valley of northern India, never to be heard from again. Rustad tells his story.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock

What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock
Updated 22 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock

What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock

Author: Richard F. Katz

Magma genesis and segregation have shaped Earth since its formation more than 4.5 billion years ago. Now, for the first time, the mathematical theory describing the physics of magmatism is presented in a single volume. The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock offers a detailed overview that emphasizes the fundamental physical insights gained through an analysis of simplified problems. This textbook brings together such topics as fluid dynamics, rock mechanics, thermodynamics and petrology, geochemical transport, plate tectonics, and numerical modeling. End-of-chapter exercises and solutions as well as online Python notebooks provide material for courses at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level.
This book focuses on the partial melting of Earth’s asthenosphere, but the theory presented is also more broadly relevant to natural systems where partial melting occurs, including ice sheets and the deep crust.