Stick in the mud science

I’m through an additional 60 pages of Death by Black Hole and I’m really enjoying it. Much like Asimov, Tyson has a very colloquial way to his writing. I particularly enjoyed his essay “Stick In the Mud Science”. The essay demonstrates how much you could learn about the Earth and it’s position in the solar system, as well as other characteristics with nothing more than a stick in the mud, some string and a rock. It reminded me of Asimov’s essay, “The Man Who Weighed the Sun”. This is how science should be taught in junior and senior high schools.

Tyson is also amusing and has a tongue-in-cheek humor about him. The essay I am currently reading, called “Antimatter Matters” has the following, which made me laugh:

If a particle and antiparticle collide, the will annihilate by refiling the hole and emitting gamma rays. Gamma rays are the sort of radiation you should avoid. Want proof? Just remember how the comic strip character “The Hulk” became big, green, and ugly.

How can you not enjoy reading (and learning about) something interesting when little quips like that are thrown in here and there for good measure?


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