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    Warped Passages

    As non-scientist who is nevertheless science passionate, I love keeping up with the current state of affairs of the scientific enterprise, at least as much as an informed layman can. This means that I must rely heavily on the ability of scientists themselves to reduce their subject's complexities to a level more comprehensible to the 'civilian' (a rare gift), or seek out the interpretations by writers specializing in science reporting. Since my math brain is of the '90 pound weakling' variety, I will forever be denied any true depth of understanding of most of physics. The most galling of all is the supremely counterintuitive quantum mechanics, a description of the world at certain scales that became almost universally accepted after an astonishingly short period of vetting. Physics, standing on the tower of relativity, and using the 10 metre springboard of quantum mechanics, stood poised to (paraphrasing Leacock's Lord Ronald) leap "madly off in all directions". And now, after 40 years of periodic revistings in my quest to 'get it', comes Dr Lisa Randall's book Warped Passages. Dr Randall's clear expository style, her analogies, careful building upon foundational theories, even her showing how some promising ideas were eventually shown to be wrong, has finally given me the start I have been craving. There is much I still need to digest, but Lisa Randall has at last given me something I can taste!

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