Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What We're Reading - How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

Sometimes it is worthwhile to read outside your normal comfort zone. Influenced by a Los Angeles Times review, I decided that I needed to read How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, by Mike Brown; I found it to be one of the best and most enjoyable books that I have read this year.

I will readily admit that I am not someone who gazes at the stars in the night sky and wonders what's out there, how far away are stars and planets, what remains to be found, and why pregnancy due dates and resultant birth dates are so imprecise. You may wonder what the latter has to do with the former, but when you read Mike Brown's engaging and entertaining book, you'll find that along with the recounting of how he got into the search for new planets, the thrill of the hunt, controversies over discoveries [planetary scandal!] and the oddly amusing manner by which objects in deep space are named, you will also be regaled with the amusing side trips into the meeting and wooing of his wife, and how scientists bring a whole different perspective to pregnancy and infant feedings. (Oh, and somewhere in there, you find out how he became involved in the de-planetization of Pluto!)

All in all, this book is a fun, informative and charming addition to our popular science collection. Read How I Killed Pluto.... and you'll find yourself realizing that a trip to the Griffith Observatory is long overdue, plus you too will wonder why pregnancy due dates have not received their due and proper scholarship!

Visit Mike Brown's website [there are links to lectures and talks to explore], and if you want to embarrass his daughter, click here.

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