Plait: Death from fhe Skies
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Philip Plait, Death from the Skies! : These are the Ways the World Will End--. New York : Viking Penguin, 2008. 326 pages, illustrated; with index.
Goofy and fun but full of facts! Death from the Skies! is about all the ways the universe can kill you: asteroids, black holes, the sun, alien robots, time itself. Each chapter starts with a couple of pages told from the point of view of someone experiencing the calamity. Then he gives you the science of the disaster, what might survive naturally, then what the human race can do to prevent or ameliorate the problem. I can't wait until we can move our whole planet to avoid the sun expanding!
I felt the best chapter was the second to last, about the death of the entire universe. Plait is able to explain vast stretches of time and really weird, counter-intuitive ideas. And, lest you get too worried, his last chapter is a nice summary of the book, including a table denoting the real likelihood of each thing happening. Really, only asteroids and solar flares are any sort of real threat. Whew!
-- Notes by MKI