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Entropy and the magic flute

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Oxford University Press,
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Harold Morowitz has long been regarded highly both as an eminent scientist and as an accomplished science writer. The essays in The Wine of Life, his first collection, were hailed by C.P. Snow as "some of the wisest, wittiest and best informed that I have read," and Carl Sagan called them "adelight to read." In later volumes such as Mayonnaise and the Origin of Life and The Thermodynamics of Pizza, he has established a reputation for a wide-ranging intellect, an ability to see unexpected connections and draw striking parallels, and a talent for communicating scientific ideas withoptimism and wit. Kirkus Reviews praised Mayonnaise as "wonderfully diverting and very wise." Nature wrote of Thermodynamics, "his chocolate-coated nuggets of science will continue to entertain and do surreptitious good." With Entropy and the Magic Flute, Morowitz once again offers an appealing mix of brief reflections on everything from litmus paper to the hippopotamus to the sociology of Palo Alto coffee shops. Many of these pieces are appreciations of scientists that Morowitz holds in high regard. In the titlepiece, for instance, Morowitz tells of his pilgrimage to the grave of Ludwig Boltzmann, buried in the same cemetery--Vienna's Central Cemetery--as Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. He also writes of J. Willard Gibbs ("thought by many to be the greatest scientist yet produced by the United States"),Jean Perrin (author of Les Atomes, a now-forgotten classic that convinced virtually everyone in science of the validity of the atomic hypothesis), Einstein, Newton (on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his Principia, a date that passed virtually unnoticed except by Morowitz), MurrayGell-Mann, and Aristotle. Of Aristotle, Morowitz observes that "most people whose information comes from academic philosophy fail to appreciate that--among his many fields of expertise--first and foremost, Aristotle was a biologist." Indeed, fully a third of Aristotle's writings are on the lifesciences, almost all of which has been left out of standard editions of his work. Many other pieces focus on health issues--such as America's obsession with cheese toppings, the addiction to smoking of otherwise intelligent people, questionable obstetric practices--and several touch upon ethics,whistle-blowing, and scientific research. There is also a fascinating piece on the American Type Culture Collection, a zoo or warehouse for microbes that houses some 11,800 strains of bacteria, and over 3,000 specimens of protozoa, algae, plasmids, and oncogenes. Here then are over forty light, graceful essays in which one of our wisest experimental biologists comments on issues of science, technology, society, philosophy, and the arts.
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Grouped Work ID dc47a595-6d0c-68ce-0a0b-c5d814544278
full_title entropy and the magic flute
author morowitz harold j
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-02-20 04:19:32AM

Solr Details

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author Morowitz, Harold J.
author_display Morowitz, Harold J
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id dc47a595-6d0c-68ce-0a0b-c5d814544278
isbn 9780195081992
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itype_santafe Regular Circ
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_santafe 500 Mor
owning_library_santafe Santa Fe Public Library
owning_location_santafe Main Library
primary_isbn 9780195081992
publishDate 1993
record_details ils:.b11083566|Book|Books||English|Oxford University Press,|1993.|xiv, 224 p. ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_santafe ils:.b11083566|.i11958212|On Shelf|*CHECK SHELF*|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Science -- Miscellanea
title_display Entropy and the magic flute
title_full Entropy and the magic flute / Harold J. Morowitz
title_short Entropy and the magic flute
topic_facet Science