The world is never finished catching up with Vaclav Smil. In his latest and perhaps most readable book, “Invention and Innovation,” the prolific author — a favorite of Bill Gates — pens an insightful and fact-filled jaunt through the history of human invention, says a review published on Goodreads.com.
Impatient with the hype that so often accompanies innovation, Smil offers in this book a clear-eyed corrective to the overpromises that accompany everything from new cures for diseases to AI.
Drawing on his vast knowledge, Smil explains the difference between invention and innovation.
“Into the Amazon” is a thrilling biography of Candido Rondon, a Brazilian explorer, scientist, and conservationist who was alive during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries.
Rondon is by any measure the greatest tropical explorer in history.
Between 1890 and 1930, he navigated scores of previously unmapped rivers, traversed untrodden mountain ranges, and hacked his way through jungles so inhospitable that even native peoples had avoided them — and led former President Theodore Roosevelt and his son, Kermit, on their celebrated “River of Doubt” journey in 1913–14.
Author William Lawrence Rohter, Jr. — known as Larry Rohter — is an American journalist who was a South American bureau chief for The New York Times from 1999 to 2007.
Previously, he was Caribbean and Latin American correspondent of the Times from 1994 to 1999. He now writes about cultural topics.
The book was extremely well-written and researched. It was interesting, easy to read, and full of details that portrayed Rondon in an honest light, highlighting both his shining characteristics as well as the occasional mistakes.
Based on more than 20 years of experience and 40 years of research, this book presents a practical, proven strategy for creating and meeting goals that has been used by more than 1 million people to achieve extraordinary things in life, says a review published on goodreads.com.
Author Brian Tracy explains the seven key elements of goal setting and the 12 steps necessary to set and accomplish goals of any size. Using simple language and real-life examples, Tracy shows how to do the crucial work of determining one’s strengths, values, and true goals.
What We Are Reading Today: ‘The Enjoyment of Math’
Updated 08 June 2023
Authors: Hans Rademacher and Otto Toeplitz
What is so special about the number 30? Do the prime numbers go on forever? Are there more whole numbers than even numbers? “The Enjoyment of Math” explores these and other captivating problems and puzzles, introducing readers to some of the most fundamental ideas in mathematics. With an incisive foreword by Alex Kontorovich, this Princeton Science Library edition shares the enjoyment of math with a new generation of readers.
REVIEW: ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is a sprawling masterpiece
Updated 08 June 2023
LONDON: In 2017, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” broke records and received glowing critical acclaim. It sold about 30 million copies and set the benchmark for open world exploration games for the Nintendo Switch.
The recent release of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” had big shoes to fill, but it has already surpassed expectations, selling over 10 million copies within three days of its release.
There is a trend in games reviews to estimate how much time a game will take to complete, but with the new “Zelda” game this is almost impossible. Talk on social media is replete with gamers who have already spent 60 hours on it without really proceeding along the main narrative arc of the story.
Indeed, such is the enormity and complexity of the world that you are dropped into that it is almost a daunting game to invest in. But if you have the time — and, of course, the portability of the Switch allows for a supreme flexibility — then a world of wonder awaits.
Within five minutes of taking on the role of Link, the famous elfin like hero, you have lost the Princess Zelda that you have sworn to protect, had your sword reduced to a useless husk, and lost an arm in the process of unleashing an ancient evil lying dormant below Hyrule Castle.
Link awakes in a kingdom in the sky tended to by a benevolent ghost who replaces the missing limb with a powerful version of his own allowing Link a series of game changing powers. These are the essential difference from previous Zelda titles as the new arm allows Link to manipulate his environment, build unique weapons, reverse time, and ascend through solid structures.
The new powers are then unleashed on the vast open world of Hyrule and the floating islands in the sky above. Here more traditional challenges await from solving puzzle shrines, defeating a range of enemies, and completing a seemingly infinite number of quests from the major to the minor.
In addition to Link’s new arm powers, the game introduces “Zonai devices” that allow the hero to build rafts, gliders, sleds and more to navigate the huge gaming arena. However, a quicker alternative is to fast travel between shrines, but far more rewarding is the capture and taming of wild horses who can be named and stabled.
World exploring rewards curiosity and the approach to crafting ranges from making clothes suitable for the variety of environments, putting together all manner of weapons, to cooking meals that can see you through the tougher tests that lie ahead.
The storyline is the classic good versus evil, but the impact of the release of the evil — what the characters call “the gloom” — is skilfully done and makes the landscape feels suitable distinct from the game the preceded it.
This Zelda may not be a pickup and play, but its magnificent depth can easily be lost within.
For centuries, mathematicians the world over have tried, and failed, to solve the zeta-3 problem.
Math genius Leonhard Euler attempted it in the 1700s and came up short.
The straightforward puzzle considers if there exists a simple symbolic formula for the following: 1+(1/2)^3+(1/3)^3+(1/4)^3+… . But why is this issue — the sum of the reciprocals of the positive integers cubed—so important?
With “In Pursuit of Zeta-3,” popular math writer Paul Nahin investigates the history and significance of this mathematical conundrum.