245 Following

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

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 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.