推荐 A Short History of Nearly Everything







Incidentally, disturbance from cosmic background radiation is something we have all experienced. Tune your television to any channel it doesn’t receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.

顺便说一下,宇宙辐射的干扰是我们都经历过的东西。 把你的电视调到任何频道,如果它什么也没收到,你看到的约1%黑白雪花屏是由于这个古老残余的大爆炸造成的。 下次当你抱怨什么都没有的时候,记住你可以随时观看宇宙的诞生哦。

Think of the Earth’s orbit as a kind of motorway on which we are the only vehicle, but which is crossed regularly by pedestrians who don’t know enough to look before stepping off the verge. At least 90 percent of these pedestrians are quite unknown to us. We don’t know where they live, what sort of hours they keep, how often they come our way. All we know is that at some point, at uncertain intervals, they trundle across the road down which we are cruising at over 100,000 kilometres an hour. As Steven Ostro of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has put it, ‘Suppose that there was a button you could push and you could light up all the Earth-crossing asteroids larger than about ten metres, there would be over a hundred million of these objects in the sky.’ In short, you would see not a couple of thousand distant twinkling stars, but millions upon millions upon millions of nearer, randomly moving objects- ‘all of which are moving on slightly different courses through the sky at different rates. it would be deeply unnerving.’ Well, be unnerved, because it is there. We just can’t see it.

想想地球的轨道作为一种高速公路,我们是唯一的车辆,但是那些经常过路的行人,在离开边缘前不会在乎我们。至少90%的行人对我们来说是不为人知的。我们不知道他们住在哪里,他们保持什么样的时间,他们多久会过来。我们所知道的是,在某些时候,在不确定的时间间隔,他们跋涉在路上,我们正以每小时超过10万公里巡航。正如喷气推进实验室的Steven Ostro所说,“假设有一个按钮可以按下,你可以照亮所有大于十米的地球小行星,天空中会有超过一亿个这些物体。’总之,你不会看到几千个遥远闪烁的星星,但几乎是数以百万计的随机移动的物体 – “所有这些都在不同的轨道以不同的速度移动。这会是深深的不安。好吧,不安,因为它在那里。我们只是看不到它。

It isn’t easy to become a fossil. The fate of nearly all living organisms – over 99.9 percent of them – is to compost down to nothingness. When your spark is gone, every molecule you own will be nibbled off you or sluiced away is. Even if you make it into the small pool of organisms, the less than 0.1 percent, that don’t get devoured, the chances of being fossilized are very small.

成为化石并不简单。 几乎所有活的生物的命运 – 超过99.9%的 – 从堆肥到消失。 当你消失了,你拥有的每一个分子都会啃掉你或被偷走了。 即使你使它成为一小撮微生物,只有小于0.1%,不被吞噬,化石的可能性是非常小的。



多读书是一件很好的事,不要拿没有时间来当做借口,事实上你都是用去刷微博,知乎,朋友圈了,其实并没有什么益处,年轻多做点有意义的事以后还是会蓄势而发的。相信自己,也不太国语觊觎他人的生活和状态,you should be responsible for what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will deserve.


亚马逊Customer Review

I picked this one up expecting “good”. Instead, I got one of the most delightful reading experiences in science that I have ever had. What a wonderful surprise.
Bryson tries to do what most school textbooks never manage to do, explain the context of science in a way that is relevant to the average person. At the beginning of the book, he recalls an event from his childhood when he looked at a school text and saw a cross-section of our planet. He was transfixed by it, but noticed that the book just dryly presented the facts (“This is the core.” “This part is molten rock.” “This is the crust.”, etc.), but never really explained HOW science came to know this particular set of facts. That, he quite correctly points out, is the most interesting part. And that is story he sets out to tell in this book.
Bryson obviously spent a great deal of time and effort developing and checking his facts and presentation. He obviously enjoyed every minute of it too, and it shows. Never have I read a book where the author conveyed such joyful awe of what we have learned as a species (with the possible exception of some of Richard Feynman’s books).
My benchmark for this kind of book is usually; How well does it explain modern physics? There are few books out there that manage to explain relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory in a way that doesn’t make your eyes glaze over. The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav is the best of the lot in my opinion. While this book did not change my opinion, Bryson’s explanations of these mind-bending theories are not only lucid and sensible, they are also full of his telltale tongue-in-cheek side comments and therefore are just plain fun to read. However, Bryson goes way beyond Zukav, focusing not only on physics, but on the full panoply of scientific disciplines. He also focuses more on the discoverers themselves, and the process of discovery.
One of the things I like about this book is that Bryson again and again makes sure credit is given where credit it due. For many discoveries, he tells us the “official” story, but also tells us the often untold story of the small-time scientist who got the idea first but, for whatever reason, never got credit. This happens a great deal in science, and Bryson appears to be on a quest to set the record straight when he can. The result is not only charming storytelling, it’s got a certain justice that just feels good.
I didn’t have huge expectations for this book, but I am delighted to report that it is one of the best of its kind. Hurrah to Bryson for writing it, and hurrah to me for stumbling on it.

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