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Amor Fugit by Alexandra Duncan
Babymouse: The Musical by Jennifer Holm
The Broken Ear by Georges Remi Hergé
City Makers by Remi A. Nadeau
Cowboy and Octopus by Jon Scieszka
Crow Call by Lois Lowry
The Department of Mad Scientists by Michael Belfiore
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
The Fairy Princess by Dennis Danvers
Ground Truth edited by John Pickles
Hell of a Fix by Matthew Hughes
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
I Miss You Everyday by Simms Taback
Inside Job by Connie Willis
King & King by Linda de Haan
The Light, The Dark and Ember Between by J.W. Nicklaus
Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund
Night of the Ninjas (MTH #5) by Mary Pope Osborne
Peppermints in the Parlor by Barbara Brooks Wallace
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
The Real Martian Chronicles by John Sladek
San Francisco Then and Now by Bill Yenne
The Secret Lives of Fairy Tales by Steven Popkes
Selfless by David Michael Slater
Singer of Souls by Adam Stemple
Strange But True America by John Hafnor
Sugar Would Not Eat It by Emily Jenkins
ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Department of Mad Scientists

The Department of Mad Scientists: 11/26/10

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)I love to browse the new shelves of nonfiction books at my local library. One recent title that caught my attention because of it's goofy title was The Department of Mad Scientists by Michael Belfiore.

The book covers many of the recent advances by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, some which have made their way into civilian applications and others that are perhaps on the horizon. There are chapters on artificial limbs, the internet, GPS and driverless cars.

The chapter that made me pick up the book was the one on artificial limbs. It has a brief history of prosthetics and the problems faced in the development of arms and hands with better fine motor skills. Ultimately it's a matter of weight and balance. Even a lightweight limb that is strapped on will quickly become a tiresome burden to the person using and wearing it if it is off balance. The newest ones being developed use technology similar to what the Segues use to auto-balance, taking most of the work of balancing the limb off of the user's body, thus making it feel lighter and more natural.

The other chapters were just as well written but ended up being topics I was already very familiar with. That familiarity made the rest of the book an easy read. I ended up finishing it in the course of a single weekend when I had expected to take at least a week on it.

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Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Saturday, November, 27, 2010 at 03:00:15

Leslie

This looks like a fun book... I love this stuff. Although sometimes DARPA can get a little scary. I'm going to have to look for this one.



Comment #2: Monday, November 29, 2010 at 20:01:30

Pussreboots

There wasn't any scary stuff in this book. I think you'll enjoy it.