Archive for August, 2011

For the love of Maths and Reading

August 30, 2011

I am an improbable maths junkie. I say improbable because, despite topping maths in my first 2 high school years, loving algebra, arithmetic and geometry, as soon as trigonometry entered the classroom I quickly took a slippery slide down to the bottom of the year. But my curiosity and love for maths has never left me. It is a definite in an emotional world of second guessing.  It provides a structure to people’s lives, like religion or poetry yet based on an exact science.

For when I think of it, most children’s first reading experience is a maths book. Starting from a My First Numbers book to Sandra Boynton’s irreverant Doggies: A counting and barking book.

Math Formulas by Flickr user trindade.joao

I do get geeky in my search for a good fiction book that has mathematical elements woven throughout the story, whether it is escaping into the age of Romanticism in Tom Petsinis’ The French Mathematician, exploring maths and motherhood in Sue Woolfe’s Leaning Towards Infinity or grappling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and love in Toni Jordan’s Addition.

I have, through browsing the 510’s of the non-fiction shelves at the library, discovered how Florence Nightingale transformed health care, not by wiping the fevered brows of soldiers, but through her understanding of numbers and statistics in Bernard Cohen’s The Triumph of Numbers. I have read about the world’s first computer programmer, Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace, I have read  Lewis Carroll in Numberland and John Nash’s Beautiful Mind. I have marvelled at Symmetry in Chaos, wondered about probability with Why do buses come in threes and tried to understand the randomness of The Joy of Pi.

All for my love of maths and reading.

Vassiliki

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readit2011 t-shirts

August 22, 2011

Were you looking for ways to celebrate your participation in #readit2011?  Do you want to boast to others about your reading?  Do you want to put your inner geek on display?

You can buy a t-shirt – actually you can buy one of four t-shirt designs in a wide range of colours and sizes.  Have a look at David Lee King proudly wearing his #readit2011 t-shirt.

for a webinar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    The options for t-shirts are the complete tag list, a different design of the complete tag list, readit2011, and a different design of #readit2011.  You can decide if the tags are on the front, or the back of the t-shirt, the style of the t-shirt and the colour of the t-shirt.  You can even choose a hoodie (note hoodies have fewer colour choices).

This is a way of wearing your #geekreads.

Please take a photograph of yourself wearing your t-shirt and add it as a comment to this post.

Ellen

Inner Geek

August 4, 2011

We’re having #geekreads in honour of Science Week and we all relate geekiness with technology but I tend to think that most of us have areas of interest where our enthusiasm, possibly seen as over enthusiasm by others, renders us geeks. I’m probably a bit geeky in several areas but I think the main one would be classic British novels and the BBC versions made of them. I like nothing better than pointing out which actors, in what I am currently watching, were in which adaptations of Jane Austen or Brontë sisters’ books. Imagine my joy when I watched a version of Jane Eyre where Mr Rochester played Captain Wentworth in an early Persuasion and St John played Captain Wentworth in a later version! You’re not thrilled by that? No, it’s just me and my area of geekiness.

 Science and technology may not be areas where I spend a lot of down time but, luckily for this month’s theme, I do occasionally get excited about books which happen to be science fiction. My book club recently read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Knowing him to be the author of The Remains of the Day, I wasn’t expecting dystopian science fiction but was delighted to find it.

A rather more obviously science fiction read is CS Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy. I would read CS Lewis’ shopping list, such is my love for him, but only very recently came to read his science fiction and what a joy it was! Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength took me to Mars, Venus and Cambridge and the hero is a middle aged philiologist….. sigh.

Amy

#geekreads in August

August 1, 2011

#geekreads

National Science Week will be on 14 to 22 August. In honour of that August reading for #readit2011 is geekreads.

When you think of geekreads think science both fact and fiction, books, books, blogs, tweets and magazines. Great places to start with online reading for these areas are New Scientist, Scientific American and Boing boing.

A spiral galaxy about 25 million light years from Earth.

Technology is also a great topic for #geekreads.

Reading about games is included in #geekreads.  You might want to explore writing by people such as Tom Chatfield, Scott Nicholson and Wil Wheaton.  Don’t forget that playing some games involves lots of reading and so would be a fun way of exploring this topic (try Nordic LARP, role playing games, and massively multiple online games).

Include any reading which strikes you as a geeky read.

If you explore at the fiction end of the spectrum be inspired by Tor.com, SF signal or Hugo Award nominees for this year (and past winners and nominees) and by the amazing ideas at the British Library, Out of this world exhibition (and blog). Don’t forget steampunk too. You may even want to explore the whole Trove of possibilities.

So come join us and tweet about what you are reading this August using the twitter hashtag #geekreads.  You can also use this tag on other social media sites such as flickr or when you post about your reading on your blog.

You might also want to add tags for each month’s reading to Trove, Library Thing, and your library catalogue (if that is possible) – so that other people can see what you are reading.

We hope you will join us in our geeky reading, and share your own reading during #geekreads.

There will be a twitter discussion 8.00pm (AEST) 30 August to discuss #geekreads. See you online then.