The Wavewatchers Companion
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That is purely the result of what your parents have taught you. Pretor-Pinney points out that waves are everywhere and draws upon hundreds of examples throughout the course of the book's pages, from animal locomotion to music, SONAR, fishing, the Big Bang, X-rays, radio waves, Wi-Fi, surfing, sand dunes, traffic flow, tides, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and traumatic brain injuries caused by explosive shock waves , thunder and lightning, supersonic flight, earthquakes, Bee shimmering described as " the most impressive mooning in the natural world " , bird flocking and countless others.
By making numerous historical references and tying everything together with modern examples like crowds doing "The Wave" in a stadium , and phenomena from the natural world, The Wave Watcher's Companion sucks the reader in to a lengthy exploration of what sounds on the surface to be a potentially boring and very short subject. In fact, while reading the book, I was reminded of James Burke's excellent Connections TV series -minus the funky white leisure suit, mind you.
While the subject matter and complexity is likely too much for younger geeks, teens or those with a real interest in scientific concepts shouldn't have much trouble digesting it.
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I found the book to be both interesting and entertaining and by the end I'd actually learned a great deal, which is always a good thing. Like the best teachers, the author resists the temptation to dumb down the subject, instead using multiple examples and constantly building on a foundation to educate readers. Wired: Most comprehensive book on waves I've seen outside of a textbook but with an irreverent sense of humor and wealth of examples that makes the subject both interesting and entertaining. Weather Forecast. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Saturday 21 September By Toby Clements.
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Culture Galleries. Like Telegraph Books on Facebook. This book I think was a spin-off of all that and very much as the title implies - an informal scientific tour of the waves in all forms and mediums, beginning with how ocean waves form This book I think was a spin-off of all that and very much as the title implies - an informal scientific tour of the waves in all forms and mediums, beginning with how ocean waves form and ending on Hawaii, failing to bodysurf; and also one that tries very hard to be, and does a fairly good job at being, entertaining.
There are a lot of things that fall into the wave category, like sound, light, radio waves, seismic waves, and but also oddball things like sand ripples, brain waves in different states or how some flocks of birds confuse predators, etc.
Five years later, moving bookshelves and their books back and forth to redo the flooring, I found myself paging through it, and I thought I needed something that was off my reading list and reading mindset, and his explanations appealed to me. I particularly liked how he explained how radios work, and his tide explanations and his explanation of wave refraction with blind aliens holding hands. It actually helps. He's accessible, and enjoyable, there are no equations but lots of figures.
There are inevitably sections that require the brain time to think something through or to construct a concept. So it's not quite as fast a read as I anticipated. Certainly recommended to anyone interested. Aug 29, Stephen rated it really liked it. Information delivered in a relaxed and often laugh under your breath style. There are the making of a lovely little book in here, with a little stern editing. The problem is that Pretor-Pinney seems to think that waves of the wet variety aren't meaty enough a topic to fill a whole book, so he expands his scope to include waves of all kinds.
On the one hand this does draw in some interesting material from the worlds of optics, acoustics, etc. On the other hand it all gets a bit desperate when he devotes a whole chapter to the invention of the Mexican Wave at sports event There are the making of a lovely little book in here, with a little stern editing.
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On the other hand it all gets a bit desperate when he devotes a whole chapter to the invention of the Mexican Wave at sports events, and tries to convince us that the spread of global phenomena like avian flu or the financial crisis can usefully be considered as forms of "information waves". But when he sticks to describing waves in water there's plenty to enjoy, although I found the somewhat forced jokey tone a little grating at times.
As if he didn't trust you to be captivated by the science alone, he has to throw in a feeble joke at the end of the paragraph. It would also have been nice to have a little more reference to waves in the arts and literature, as I seem to remember he did in his excellent Cloudspotter's Guide.
I regret that decision because Gavin — Gavin — is one of those pop science writers who feels there has to be a 'joke' every other sentence or the reader will I don't know just drop the book on the floor and wander off in front of a car. There are a few interesting stretches, and halfway through I was thinking, "At least he hasn't used the word 'boffin'," but then on the very next page There are CBeebies factual programmes that are less pandering that this.
Feb 21, Liam rated it it was amazing. Though the time scales are very different, a wave passes through the medium of the water in much the same way that you pass through the 'medium' of all the physical bits of your body. I enjoyed it a lot. Though its not only about ocean waves, I actually, for once, enjoyed all the physics involved in this!
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- Publisher Description!
- The Disciple (Tommy Carmellini, Book 4).
- The Wavewatcher's Companion!
- The Wavewatchers’ Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney: review - Telegraph.
- Color Atlas of Basic Histology (LANGE Basic Science).
Gavin is also a very humorous author. Beware Chapter "The Eighth Wave" near the end. There's a face of a fruit fly. I screamed out loud. View 1 comment. One of the things I like about this book is that it is written in a way that makes you want to know more. The author clearly loves what he is doing and the text seems to be permeated by this love.
There are plenty of interesting facts and stories that you probably didn't know. For example, why sound travels farther in the foggy weather or what happens when you exceed the speed of sound.
My favorite one is about area From the downsides: some of the chapters are quite lengthy and don't contain One of the things I like about this book is that it is written in a way that makes you want to know more. From the downsides: some of the chapters are quite lengthy and don't contain much of the useful information. I didn't like the surfing part, but other people may like it. I wish I'd read a few reviews before buying this, having previously read Susan Casey's excellent book 'The Wave' I was hoping for something in a similar vein, and whilst the first chapter or two, did indeed describe the ones we all know from watching bodies of water in motion, he then strectched the definition of a wave to such a degree, that even by his own admission, it was tenuous at best.
That said, as an amuse bouche of wave related trivia, it's OK, but as a companion? Hardly IMHO Not what i was expecting, though it's difficult to see how a book on water waves could be engaging for that many pages! Instead, this is a lovely book about all waves that we know about. I learned a lot and am still thinking about it a lot. Sometimes hard to get into but once started reluctant to put down. Thank you Gavin for giving us wavewatching.
The Wavewatcher's Companion - Paul Catherall
Much broader range of waves than I was expecting. Jul 10, Jacob rated it liked it. The first few chapters included a few bits I didn't know about water and ocean waves but the rest was ehh. I wish the book had discussed Stokes drift and other second-order effects more. Written in a way that easy for anyone to understand but fully lacking all the information. I found myself reaching for my iPhone continuously to search google for more information on the terms thrown into the paragraphs with no further information.
Trochoidal, as an example.