Sunday, January 01, 2006

Briefly noted

New Scientist has brief, heavily linked summaries of 2005 in the solar system and in human spaceflight, among other news and summaries of 2005.

Great essay on why we're going back to the Moon (Washington Post).

Andy pointed out that the January issue of the British astronomy magazine BBC Sky at Night includes Orbiter on its cover CD. Perhaps we will get a few new Orbinauts from this bit of publicity. I wrote about this magazine recently and it's rather good, though it takes a month or two to reach US book stores.

I'm reading a book called The Ascent of Science by Brian Silver. It explains the major scientific developments of all time in concise, clever, personal, and often humorous terms, and it also discusses the social context of scientific and technological developments. Wonderful, rational, readable stuff - it reminds me of some of Feynman's writing (e.g., his Lectures on Physics, but with less technical depth than those, more for the general reader). This has jumped to the top of the reading stack but the book is huge so it will not travel well. Fortunately I have no trips planned until the beginning of February.

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