Reviews and Blog Posts: history

How we got to now

by Steven Johnson

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Based on his book by the same title, Steven Johnson's How We Got To Now is a fascinating look at how seemingly simple concepts such as clean water, marking time, and keeping things cold have led to huge leaps forward in technological/industrial/scientific advances, connecting past innovation to where we are...

Listening for the Tommyknockers

Tommyknockers in a Mine. Joseph Blight, 1873

'Ave you 'eard of the Tommy Knockers
In the deep dark mines of the west
Which Cornish miners 'ear?
And 'tis no laughin' jest,
For I'm a Cornish miner,
An' I'll tell you of it today,
Of the "knock-knock-knock" of a tiny pick,
As we work in the rock and clay.

- Old miner's ballad

2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Pulitzer Prize

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists have been announced:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Denver's Famous Dinosaurs

Reconstruction of Stegosaurus by O.C. Marsh

Have you ever heard of Triceratops? How about Stegosaurus? "Brontosaurus"? Of course you have--they're some of the superstars of prehistory; depicted in countless picture books, cartoons, and roadside statues. Many eight-year-olds could give you a scholarly lecture about them. But what many Denverites don't know--even some of the eight-year-olds--is that all three of these dinosaur celebrities were first discovered right in our back yard. They're actually local celebrities, and their discoveries make for some pretty interesting reading.

Stella by starlight

by Sharon M. (Sharon Mills) Draper

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  The cover of this book features some children walking in the woods at night in front of a burning cross and the story does not disappoint. Based in part on a journal her grandmother kept before being forced to leave school at a young age Stella by Starlight is...

The glass sentence

by S. E. Grove

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What an interesting premise - a time disruption has caused the world to evolve into different eras and now Sophia, the niece of Shadrack a cartographer, has to save the world. And there are maps – lot’s of lovely different kinds of maps – water maps, glass maps, sand maps,...

Forget Mercury Retrograde. Solar Storms are the Real Deal

Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun (NASA image)

Did you know Mercury is in retrograde right now? I didn't, until I saw people posting about it on social media sites. When I looked it up, I discovered that the planet Mercury sometimes appears to move backwards across the sky. People who believe in astrology think that when this happens, communications of all kinds--technological, interpersonal, you name it--go haywire (Mercury was the Roman god of messengers, after all, and he was a bit of a trickster).

Lawrence in Arabia : war, deceit, imperial folly and the making of the modern Middle East

by Scott Anderson

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Many, including David Lean in his now-classic film, have tried to nail down the mercurial T.E. Lawrence through focus on the man himself. I immensely enjoyed Scott Anderson's Lawrence In Arabia because of its wider approach, and Anderson's keen eye for the context in which Lawrence, and a handful of other European...

Wildlife photographer of the year : 50 years

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The Wildlife Photographer of the Year or WPY, is an international competition co-sponsored by the United Kingdom's Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide. WPY turned 50 this year and to mark the occasion, published this extraordinary book mapping the development of nature photography and highlighting award winning photos. Breathtaking and awe-inspiring, the...

Defining Documentaries

Girl Rising

As film festivals go, DOC NYC is one of the largest documentary film festivals in the world.

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