It’s Christmas! (again)

I got Scientific American’s The Amateur Scientist on CD yesterday.

I used to borrow The Amateur Scientist book from my high school library on a pretty much regular basis. I have searched for the book for years, but to no avail (I had considered going back to my HS and offer to buy it, but my loathing for it prevented me).

Imagine my delight when I discovered it was possible to get the entire collection on a CD (actually, I would have preferred a book).

Shopping around, I found it was generally being listed for about $120 – more than I was willing to pay (have I ever mentioned I am ... erm ... value driven?).

Anyway, I found a place that was selling it for $29.99 – just the bare CD, no fancy box, blah, blah, blah.

I was a bit surprised to discover the CD is a burned one, rather than a stamped one – so I immediately made backup copies of it.

The contents are simply wonderful. I spent a good deal of time last night browsing through it, rereading article on making cloud chambers, grinding telescope lenses, argon lasers, and inexpensive, but safe, X-ray generators (with the added warning that the project was potentially lethal – I guess measures of safety have changed over the decades).

One article I was glad to have found was on a magnetic resonance spectrometer.

It contains articles from the 1928 up until the end of the Amateur Scientist column. I was a little disappointed that the articles from the 20s, 30s, and 40s are exclusively concerned with astronomy and telescopes (I had been hoping for some physics and chemistry experiments).

The contents are easily browsable and there are useful topic links in the left margin. Some of the images are too small – especially, it seems, images of spectra.

If you are a science junkie and fancy yourself an amateur scientist, I can definitely recommend this product. The only thing that would make it better is if it was a book – for which I would definitely be willing to pay $120.

For those who missed the link, you can buy it here.

Image grabbed from here.


Sassy Lady said…
Sorry it was accidental..My comment was..

The topic was way beyond my knowledge..'blurr'

Anyway glad to see dat ur happy with the CD although your preference was a book..

The most important thing is, you've got what u've been searching for and get to purchase it at a reasonable $$...isnt that great...

So, enjoy your Cd and have a great weekend ahead with your wife and kids!

p/s Its been raining here the past few days and its hard to get to places with the kids...hmmm
Richard said…
Yep! I am one happy little kid.

Over here, it has been pretty warm the past few days - going up to 20C today (which is rather warm for this time of year). The snow is mostly gone and waiting for the grass to start turning green and the flowers to start blooming.
Cavalock said…
hah! Have u read Hyperspace by Michio Kaku?
Cavalock said…
oh, its an interesting read on wormholes, parallei universes n other dimensions, explained in layman's terms.

not sure which branch of science u r interested in. Forbidden Planet is a good movie although i kinda prefer The Day The Earth Stood Still.
Richard said…
All branches interest me (although, when I was younger, chemistry was my primary interest - I initially considered studying chemical engineering at college, but I could not see myself working at a pulp and paper mill).

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a good movie, but my personal favourite is still The Forbidden Planet (which I've seen over 30 times - more than 10 in on the big screen - versus 3 for TDTESS).

The next most frequently watched movies are Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Aliens (around a dozen times each I think).

The Amateur Scientist primary concerns itself with physics type experiements.
Cavalock said…
Ah...Khan was soooo good, my fav among all the ST movies. then u SHOULD try to get your hands on Hyperspace. think u will appreicate. I almost shed a tear when Spock said "and i will always be your friend" just before he 'died'.

the marines were so cool in Aliens...think everyone likes hicks. haha
Richard said…
Ok, I'll go borrow the book from the library.

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