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HittsMcGee

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What does it take to land a giant rover on Mars?

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-06-25

It takes unassuming "curiosity" and the "right kind of crazy" to take risks.

Follow Adam Steltzner's journey from a rebelling punk to a leading aerospace engineer, who landed the largest rover ever in a treacherous crater on Mars. He explains the details of how he transformed into a formidable leader to his engineering team, and how he proposed the CRAZY design of the Sky Crane to NASA. The leading three reasons were his unrestricted curiosity to explore our universe, his humility in learning from his mistakes, and his guts in taking risks to design the ingenious Curiosity EDL system.

A fitting conclusion to Rhodes' nuclear saga

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-05-17

With the final installment in his 4-book series on nuclear weapons, Richard Rhodes solidifies himself as the de facto expert in nuclear history and policy.

This is my second favourite book in this series. Nothing can ever compare to The Making of The Atomic Bomb, the first in the series, which illustrates in extreme detail the science, politics, and personal accounts of the Manhattan Project. The second and third books unfold the subsequent arms race that propelled the Cold War, until the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Here, the Twilight of the Bombs concludes the series by accounting other nations' quest for nukes (Iraq, North Korea, etc), and debriefing the current treaties aimed at denuclearization.

TLDR: Although Cold War tensions have dissipated, today more countries possess nuclear weapons than ever before. The only policy that guarantees humanity's safety from nuclear Armageddon is full denuclearization. The good news is that we are on our way, thanks to the global effort of treaties and diplomacy.

Richard Rhodes does it again!

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-04-18

Another classic by Dick Rhodes, the third installment in his four part series on nuclear weapons. I am, and forever will be, a devout fan of the first in this series, "The Making of The Atomic Bomb." "Dark Sun" captures the early nuclear arms race as the two adversaries obtain thermonuclear bombs. "Arsenals of Folly" confluently picks up on the story of the Cold War by narrating the escalation of nuclear warheads upon increasingly powerful and accurate ICBMs. As always, Rhodes does a swell job of providing not only geopolitical perspectives on every major event of the Cold War, but also highly personal stories of the world leaders, from Eisenhower and Krushchev to Bush and Gorbachev. If you want to learn about endless debates of Reagan's Star Wars, this is the book for you.

Rhodes focusses on the rise of Gorbachev, painting a clear picture of how the young, starving farm boy grew into the most revolutionary Soviet leader since Lenin (my personal hot take...but he did win a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War).

In all honesty, however, this book misses the charm that The Making of the Atomic Bomb possessed. In my opinion, TMAB remains the best history book on nuclear weapons, because of how intimately the scientists' stories are told, and how the tension of nuclear war gradually yet consistently rose throughout the entire book. Also, I'm a fan of science, so Dark Sun and Arsenals of Folly, which lack depth in science content are lower on my list of Rhodes novels.

Is the War on Drugs institutionalized racism?

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-03-12

Yes. Racism againsts Africa Americans was was born in America and prevailed throughout its history until present day. Whenever a system of oppression was abolished, it was replaced with a new one; ie: slavery to segregation to mass incarceration. In fact, Michelle Alexander argues that the current issues with the War on Drugs, tolkenism, and colourblindness make racism as prevalent today as 50 years ago.

The book starts off with a captivating introduction that summarizes the story's key points while being easy to comprehend. The subsequent chapters elaborate on each point, covering slavery, Jim Crow, the War on Drugs, colourblindness, and tolkenism. It provides cited statistics and details from historic court cases.

This was my first book outside of my science bubble, so it was a lot for me to digest. If you take it at your own pace it covers a wide array of evidence and arguments. Great book.

Learn about mission control from the greatest

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-01-17

Gene Kranz humbly tells the story of his rise from Air Force pilot to legendary NASA Flight Director. Compared to the novel The Right Stuff which focusses on the bravado of fighter jock/astronauts, Failure Is Not An Option describes how NASA conquered the Moon through the pure grit of mission controllers.

Mercury astronauts and fighter pilot jocks

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2019-01-06

Tom Wolfe tells the evolution of fighter jocks from Air Force test pilots into NASA astronauts. It provides personal insight into the lives of the Original Mercury Seven, as well as the daring tales of Chuck Yaeger's historic supersonic flights.

Fantastic narration by Dennis Quaid, accents and all.

A wide review of energy, from electricity to coal.

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2018-11-20

Covers everything about ENERGY, from physics to policies
Grade12 level
Scientific point of view
Objective>Opinionated

Was Dugas a modern Typhoid Mary?

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2018-08-06

An important perspective on how North America reacted to the mysterious disease that predominantly affected gay men, caused several strange symptoms, and whose cause was unknown. As people have done for all of history, fingers were pointed at a single man and his promiscuous behaviour. In this novel, McKay does a great job of explaining why and how the Patient Zero narrative was invented. In fact, which he prodigiously attempts to reverse the harm caused by the narrative, and focusses on the human side of such a tragedy.

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VERY Important Book for All North Americans

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2018-07-21

I was looking for an entry to literature by and on First Nations Peoples. It was a very good choice. Compared to the many heart-wrenching novels such as the Orenda and Indian Horse, this book was an easy read, and highly informative. The narrator was witty and satirical at the best of times, and seriously critical at important beats. Thoroughly enjoyable book.

My only criticism is that it had an unclear story structure and seemed to have ended abprupty.

Overall, this book is perfect if you want an easy-to-read yet informative history of the North American people.

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Important story_But biased perspective & too long

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
2 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2018-07-06

The story of Mao is integral for everyone to learn. He was the most influential leader this world has ever seen, yielding absolute power over nearly 1/4 of the world's population for 30 years. In his time as leader of the People's Republic of China, he was responsible for an authoritarian regime that claimed over 45 million death of his own citizens. Every person today should know his story. However, the secrecy of his regime makes it challenging to obtain a non-biased history. Chang and Halliday's narrative do a decent job of exposing the dark side of Mao. It is a deeply detailed book, which was too long for me to stay engaged. And it is definitely biased against Mao, making it a less holistic history.