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SusannaG

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 5 %
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Andrea Wulf
Progress: 2 %
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %
Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Elizabeth Fremantle
Progress: 22 %
1913: The Eve of War
Paul Ham
Progress: 20 %
The William Shakespeare Detective Agency: The Dark Lady (The William Shakespeare Detective Agency Book 2)
Colin Falconer
Progress: 15 %
Cosmic Quest Cd (Bbc Audio)
Heather Couper
Firedrake's Eye
Patricia Finney
Progress: 15/249 pages

The Age of Everything

The Age of Everything: How Science Explores the Past - Matthew Hedman

The Age of Everything really is about, well, how scientists determine the age of everything, from the pyramids to the universe.  Therefore about half the book is about dating methods, principally those using the half lives of unstable radioactive elements, not only the famous carbon 14 dating, but also the less famous aluminum 26 and uranium 238 methods, among others. 

 

I'm sure this is fascinating to some, but my eyes started to cross during those chapters.  I was more interested in how scientists are attempting to use the probable method with which the ancient Egyptians determined north (Polaris was not the marker of astronomical true north; there was no star in that position then) in an attempt to date the pyramids.  I also found the cosmology at the end of the book interesting.

 

The writing was not soaring, but it got the job done well enough.  There were also a number of errata, ranging from missing words, the occasional usage of the wrong word, and at least one case of an entire page being duplicated.  I'd also have preferred it if the notes and "further reading" material had been at the end of the book, rather than at the end of each chapter.

 

So it was "just OK."  Perhaps I would recommend it to those really interested in radioactive dating methods.