"Touches on a dizzying array of subjects, including UV rays, inert gases, fossils, meteorites, microwaves, rainbows . . . Like many a good teacher, Berman uses humor to entertain his audience and liven things up." —Los Angeles Times
Bob Berman is motivated by a straightforward philosophy: everyone can understand science—and it's fun, too. In Strange Universe, he pokes into the bizarre and astonishingly true scientific facts that determine the world around us.
Geared to the nonscientist, Berman's original essays are filled with the trademark wit and cleverness that has earned him acclaim over many years for his columns in Astronomy and Discover magazines. He emphasizes curiosities of the natural world to which everyone can relate, and dishes on the little-known secrets about space and some of science's biggest blunders (including a very embarrassing moment from Buzz Aldrin's trip to the moon).
Fascinating to anyone interested in the wonders of our world and the cosmos beyond, Strange Universe will make you smile and think.
Berman (Cosmic Adventure) has written a slim volume filled with enticing scientific tidbits. He expands on the "Strange Universe" column he writes for Astronomy magazine and spends much of his time discussing things astronomical, occasionally branching into physics. The book is split in two sections: "What's Going On Here?" and "What's Going On Out There?" The first half deals with earthly phenomena (how rainbows are formed, the intricacies of UV radiation, unusual facts about meteors and meteorites, and the mechanics of celestial eclipses, to name just a few) while the second half takes a broader view of the universe, addressing such topics as the origin of the universe, whether black holes actually exist and, if they do, whether they are capable of "swallowing" everything in their vicinity, and whether time and space are interchangeable. Throughout, Berman adopts the style of a magazine column; each chapter is self-contained and relatively short, making them easy and enjoyable to read. Berman is writing for a nonspecialized audience and is usually successful at making fairly complex scientific issues generally accessible, even if he does pepper his prose with an overabundance of puns.