Greetings from the library room. Todays installment highlights Bill Bryson’s fabulous book, A Short History Of Nearly Everything.

Bill Bryson realized one day that he didn’t know much. He had never (until then) considered the how and why of our world and set about to do just that. This book is that entertaining expedition. Traveling through the subjects of chemistry, physics,geology,paleontology ,astronomy and elsewhere. From the big bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson presents us with the great stories of the sciences and the people making the sciences.  This book is a delight for the inquiring mind, entertaining and thought-provoking. It’s a great addition to any autodiadact’s library.

Some quotes:

“There are three stages in scientific discovery.  First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.”

“Tune your television to any channel it doesn’t receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.”

“Protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality.”

“It is a curious feature of our existence that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.”

“Your pillow alone may be home to 40 million bed mites. (To them your head is just one large oily bon-bon). And don’t think a clean pillow-case will make a difference… Indeed, if your pillow is six years old–which is apparently about the average age for a pillow–it has been estimated that one-tenth of its weight will be made up of sloughed skin, living mites, dead mites and mite dung.”

“even with the most conservative inputs the number of advanced civilizations just in the Milky Way always works out to be somewhere in the millions”.

The writer explains the things he discovered-