I'm afraid it would take too long for me to go into the thread that wove all of these books together (it was an hour's presentation, after all) -- suffice it to say that I heartily recommend any and all of these tomes:
How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants by David Rees (bounce over to Amazon)
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean (see my review and/or bounce over to Amazon)
The Smart Swarm: How to Work Efficiently, Communicate Effectively, and Make Better Decisions Using the Secrets of Flocks, Schools, and Colonies by Peter Miller (see my review and/or bounce over to Amazon)
So, there we have it. Now I have to start planning my Alumni/Alumnae Breakfast presentation for EE Live! 2015 (assuming the Robot Apocalypse doesn’t occur before then, of course). In the meantime, would you like to share any books you think I should have added to my list?
I LOVE Calvin & Hobbes -- I have all of the cartoon books -- I also like it when we see things from the perspective of one of the parents, in which case Hobbes is seen as a stuffed toy, as opposed to the live creature perceived by Calvin.
I knwo it sounds weird, but Calvin sometimes reminds me of me (when I was younger, of course :-)
of Calvin & Hobbes fame -- he replicates himself so he can play while his other selves do his homework. IIRC, there were two sequences, one just involving replication and the other involving Calvins from different times -- and predictably, in both cases the Calvins end up fighting....