Comic Book 3: Batman, Vol 3. Death of the Family

 

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Batman, Vol 3. Death of the Family, writer Scott Snyder, artists Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion

Finished reading on October 25th, 2014

Rating: 5/10

As I’m quite new to the whole comic book business, I just have to wonder whether it’s absolutely necessary to make the story-line so gruesome, that you’d think it’s been thought up by your elder brother at a camping trip to scare you or lose your appetite…

In this volume of Batman, there is the Joker. I don’t like him (nor other villains either, but he’s just a psychopath isn’t he?) and that’s why I’m not too excited about this volume. Also, because the previous Batman comic books I’ve read have had some mystery, then this one paled in comparison and all the mystery has been substituted with violence and pure horror.

Since in this book the Joker is after Batman’s sidekicks (who are almost total strangers to me), then it was all sort of a blur… maybe with a fan’s commentary I would have liked it more.

I think I’d go back to pink unicorns and butterflies now…

Book 153: Gravity’s Engines by Caleb Scharf

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Gravity’s Engines
The Other Side of Black Holes
by Caleb Scharf

Finished reading on October 21st, 2014

Rating: 10/10

It’s quite rare for me to start reading a book with mixed feelings about whether I’m interested in that particular topic and come out excited to find out more not just about the specific topic but everything!

Before you stop reading this review because the book is about black holes, you should know – if you’d read it, you’re very unlikely to regret it.

The book starts with a historical overview of ideas about dark stars that nowadays are generally known as black holes. It’s quite fascinating how scientists came up with the idea although the physical principles they might have used in their theories might not have been totally sound, but it somewhat of matches the modern theory about black holes.

The whole book is about black holes.

You might think that to read this book one should either be a total astronomy geek and into black holes or someone similar, but that’s not the case. It’s not a dictionary description of what a black hole is, but rather Scharf makes black holes seem less utopian and entirely essential for the existence of the Universe as we know it and maybe even for life.

You can read about differently sized black holes – the ones that have masses slightly larger than the mass of our Sun, or super-massive ones containing masses of millions or maybe even billions of stars. And some of the supermassive black holes are active and might make life impossible in their vicinity or maybe even in the whole galaxy where they reside in…

Just me describing it makes it seem as if the book were as dry as a desert… In fact it’s wonderful and makes you want to find out more about the Universe and our Galaxy.

It’s certainly the best non-fiction book I’ve read recently.

“Breaking just one of the crisscrossing strands of cosmic history and energy that connect us to black holes could subvert the entire pathway to life here on our small rocky planet.” Caleb Scharf in “Gravity’s Engines”

Book 152: Eyes Right by Hugh Barty-King

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Eyes Right – The Story of Dollond & Aitchison by Hugh Barty-King

Finished reading on 12. 10.2014

Rating: 6/10

If you’ve never thought of reading a book about a small family business turned international success, this book isn’t for you.

Though it’s not exactly the tone of the book, but that is what basically happens with the small Dollond optics business that was started in 18th century.

Although I was reading it because of the first hundred years or so of the business, the end wasn’t too utterly boring either (although it was on the edge…), as it gave an insight into spectacle business in Great Britain in 20th century. Not necessarily something one might want to look into, but if you do, you’d better be wearing glasses – as as a non-spectacle wearing person it was a totally strange area for me…

I did like the beginning of the book, as I’m very (to the nth level) interested in the history of optics and astronomy, and I see one more than two-hundred-year-old Dollond telescope every day I spend at work, it was fascinating. Not just because of finding out more about John and Peter Dollond – the father and son who established the business, but also because of the other opticians of the time – Jesse Ramsden and James Short for example.
In some other instances I was saddened though, as there were some errors when it came to William and Caroline Herschel and their observations, but I hope everything about Dollonds was precise.