Critical Pages

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June Is Adopt-A-Cat Month®
Yes, June is indeed Adopt-A-Cat Month®. You can check that out at americanhumane.org. Maybe we were absent from school the day they taught about that. Or maybe Adopt-A-Cat month wasn’t created until recently and we’re getting the news late. No...
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Stamp Out Starving Writers!
Stamp Out Starving Writers! Buy Their Books! That's our motto here at Critical Pages. And in celebration of spring, we suggest you stroll over to your local bookstore and buy something. And if your local bookstore sells cards and trinkets...
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Bitcoin and Blockchain
You’ve probably heard of bitcoin — or should it be capitalized, Bitcoin? — and if you’ve gone further into it you’ve heard of Blockchain, or blockchain. These are words that a lot of people have heard and don’t understand. But bitcoin sounds...
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Galileo and Pendulums
Mathematical equations can be beautiful, or they can be ugly and messy. When we find a simple, elegant equation, we can rightly say it’s beautiful. Most people are familiar with the simple and elegant equation E = MC². It’s sometimes...
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"Wars are the way Americans learn geography."     —Ambrose Bierce, or maybe it was Mark Twain. In any case, it's an uneasy truth.
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April Is National Poetry & Financial Literacy Month
April is National Poetry Month and National Financial Literacy Month, too. If you knew about the one, you probably didn’t know about the other, so we’re spreading the word about these national observances. National Poetry Month was started by the...
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Our Scribes have been working…

Monks in scriptorium

 

 

 

We have a few long reviews, too long for posts anyway. Cafe Neandertal, by Beebe Bahrami, is about a dig in France uncovering Neandertal (or Neanderthal) bones. Those were our ancestors who came before homo sapiens, and Cafe Neandertal is unlike any other book you’ll read on paleoanthropology.  Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom, is about artificial intelligence and machine learning, a rather dire book, but fascinating. Ada’s Algorithm is about Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, the young woman who wrote the world’s first computer program. Click on the book titles to see the reviews.

By the way, you’ll notice that those scribes are working on pages, not on long scrolls. Writing on pages and then gathering those pages into books was the new technology of the Middle Ages. The newly invented book gave readers the amazing opportunity of going from the beginning of a text to the middle or the end or to anyplace in between just by turning a few pages! No more having to unwind a long scroll and then rewind it back. Furthermore, the pages were flat, never rolled up, so you could paint gorgeous colored illuminations on the page. It was wonderful. What will they think of next!

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