Bought books

I’ve just ordered myself some books for myself, my main purchase of books for the year. They’re all geeky non-fiction titles. [See this post for an update]

Mike Brown’s How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming has just been released, and obviously I need a copy of that. I also ordered Mark Rosenfelder’s books The Language Construction Kit and The Planet Construction Kit. I once asked Mike Brown whether he sees the PCK as a threat, and if you don’t get the joke there you probably don’t follow @plutokiller on Twitter. (Apparently it’s not a threat, though a hypothetical Dwarf Planet Construction Kit just might be.)

I also ordered a copy of The Earth After Us by Jan Zalasiewicz, because I read a review earlier in the year and it looked cool.

That will do for this year’s Amazon purchase. I’m aware of some books in the works that I might buy next year, and maybe I’ll get myself some new fiction then, too. Here’s a site that might help me do that.

Incidentally, I’ve decided to cancel Interesting Stuff for early December. I haven’t been in the mood, partly because I’ve been distracted with publishing my calendar. Also, although I have come across some cool stuff (squidworms are cool, for example), I’m not convinced that in twelve months’ time I’ll still care about anything I’ve learned online lately.

Case in point: NASA recently made a big fuss about bacteria that can incorporate arsenic into their DNA. At the beginning of the week, the consensus among science bloggers was, “It was irresponsible of NASA to hype this, but nevertheless, cool science.” By the end of the week, the dominant message was, “It was irresponsible of NASA to hype this, and moreover, it’s almost certainly wrong.” I linked to an article about arsenic-breathing bacteria in 2008 when I first learned about them, and that was interesting, but it’s doubtful we have anything interesting and new.

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