I have to say that Sam Kean is one of my favorite authors. Thus far I've only read one of his books – The Disappearing Spoon
to see my review) – but it was one of the most easy-to-read, interesting, and thought-provoking tomes upon which I have ever been fortunate enough to cast my orbs.
Sam and I exchanged a few emails a long time ago, and I would have assumed that he had forgotten all about me, so you can only imagine my surprise to receive an email telling me about his new book The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
. In this book, Sam explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA. As it says on Amazon:
There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.
Actually, I managed to return the favor by surprising Sam, because I emailed him back to say that I had already ordered a copy, which had just arrived, and which I was eagerly looking forward to reading. The reason this was a surprise to Sam was that he didn't know the book was shipping already, which just goes to show that I'm managing to keep on top of things (grin).
I will report back further as soon as I've read this little rascal…
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. For example, in addition to blogs by yours truly, microcontroller expert Duane Benson is learning how to use FPGAs to augment (sometimes replace) the MCUs in his robot (and other) projects.