When I was younger, I read a few books about the human body and space, yet I never fully explored the vast non-fiction science genre. As a Scientista, I decided to dive right in. Three books particularly stood out to me. They were scientific, refreshing, and, to the overly sensitive, offensive (in a tasteful way of course). My finds are so awesome—so terrific— I’m excited to share them with the scientista community! These three books represent all dimensions of oneself, from the eager curiosity for definite knowledge and truth to the humor of everyday situations.
Here are my top three suggested readings and why I think they are super cool books to snuggle up with at night.
Who doesn't want to learn about force fields, teleportation, and other ideas in physics we have claimed to be impossible? In his newest book, Kaku categorizes these impossibilities into three classes. In the first class are the things that are most likely to happen within our lifetime; in the second are those whose mechanisms are at the very edge of our physical and mathematical understanding and which may happen in the next few centuries; and in the third class are those things far beyond our mathematical and physical understanding which we probably won’t see for one or more thousands of years. Professor Kaku is a theoretical physicist, so he´s kind of nutty— you know, creating an atom smasher in high school and all. And you don’t need to be an expert theoretical physicist to understand the concepts. Kaku explains everything in an easy, effortless, understandable way. The book is also very inspiring because it shows how the ideas and wonders of science fiction are finally coming alive!
Brain Droppings by George Carlin
Brain Droppings is comedy gold in its most brutally honest form. Carlin´s observational humor is hilarious, truthful, and a reminder to all of us that human beings make some pretty questionable decisions, have some really odd ideas on what is right, and get distracted by the most arbitrary things. His thoughts, ideas, comments, and skepticism on everything are refreshing, and although they can often be taken too seriously, that is not the intent at all. The goal of the book is to laugh at ourselves as well as at this strange world around us. I could not put the book down, and there were definitely laugh-out-loud moments. Read this book with an open mind and with lots of time on your hands! It’s definitely a page turner.
Murmurs of Earth by Carl Sagan, F.D. Drake, Ann Druyan, Timothy Ferris, Jon Lomberg, and Linda Salzman Sagan
Murmurs of Earth is the product of a super team of awesome people writing a book about the Voyager Interstellar Record. This 1978 wonder is a cool book because the authors take you through all the many decisions scientists face when deciding what information to include in the records on spacecrafts like the Pioneer 10 and 11 and, of course, the Voyager. The authors also discuss how the Voyager mission united the world, how it caused them to think about life on other planets, how they would perceive it if we were to ever encounter it, and the controversy over what to say or do in that situation and why. Although this book focuses solely on the Voyager record and the process of making it, I think it was written for much more than that. Its underlying focus is on the question: If we were to tell a complete stranger about our world in a few pictures and in 37 minutes, what exactly would we say and why?