Synopses & Reviews
365 days of inventions, discoveries, science, and technology, from the editors of Wired Magazine.
On January 30, Rubik applied for a patent on his cube (1975). On the next day, 17 years earlier, the first U.S. Satellite passed through the Van Allen radiation belt. On March 17, the airplane "black box" made its maiden voyage (1953). And what about today? Every day of the year has a rich scientific and technological heritage just waiting to be uncovered, and Wired's top-flight science-trivia book MAD SCIENCE collects them chronologically, from New Year's Day to year's end, showing just how entertaining, wonderful, bizarre, and relevant science can be.
In 2010, Wired's popular "This Day in Tech" blog peaked with more than 700,000 page views each month, and one story in 2008 drew more than a million unique viewers. This book will collect the most intriguing anecdotes from the blog's run-one for each day of the year-and publish them in a package that will instantly appeal to hardcore techies and curious laypeople alike.
"An eclectic calendar of scientific breakthroughs, this compilation of WIRED magazine's 'This Day in Tech' feature is, unsurprisingly, a mixed bag. Meant less to be read straight through than to be dipped into at random, the book feels a little bit like a less capacious version of Wikipedia's 'random article' function (and with, it must be said, about equal odds of landing on something both interesting and well-written). A sampling of entries from solstices and equinoxes would include 'Columbia's Microgroove LP Makes Albums Sound Good' (June 21st, 1948), 'The Curies Discover Radium' (December 21st, 1898), 'Twitter Takes Flight' (March 21st, 2006), and '1792: Day One of Revolutionary Calendar' (September 22nd 1792). With a proliferation of questionable science and technology writing particular to our cultural moment, it's difficult not to feel a little assaulted by constant, unsubstantiated appeals to the faculty of wonder; then again, it's difficult to speak badly of such a good-natured little anthology its slightness is part of its charm an amusing novelty, mostly fascinating. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Randy Alfred is Editor of "This Day in Tech." He joined Wired.com as a copy editor in 2007. He also worked as senior news writer at Paul Allen's Tech TV cable channel. He lives in San Francisco.