The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey

by Roger Highfield | Science |
ISBN: 0316366951 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 11/30/2016
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I found this fair-condition softcover (though it's missing its title page) at a local Savers thrift shop. It's an informative, sometimes dryly amusing look at many of the common elements of Christmas, viewing the historical context as well as the scientific. Some iconic aspects of modern Christmas (in the US, anyway) are based on relatively recent advertising campaigns, and the "traditional" Christmas itself came about largely thanks to Queen Victoria's husband Albert - and a certain author name of Dickens didn't hurt either.

Other things are much, much older, of course, with a mid-winter festival of some kind being common throughout early cultures. Whether it was deliberately co-opted for Christmas or just worked out that way is one of the topics the author touches on - when not musing on how candle flames work and why we like to look at them. Then there's the shifting social view of gift-giving and receiving, why Santa doesn't age (as in, all that ho-ho-ho-ing may actually help keep him young), was the star over Bethlehem an actual star or a comet, and how to handle "Christmas spirit" - as in booze - in a responsible manner, with notes on the whys of hangovers.

And, with a nod to Dickens and his "Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come", one chapter describes a possible Christmas 2020 - which is a lot closer now than when the book was published in 1999. Some of his guesses are actually pretty close, for better or worse!

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (12/7/2016 UTC) at Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book on a bench near the entrance of the hotel at around 2:15; hope the finder enjoys it!

*** Released as part of the 2016 Christmas/Holiday release challenge. ***

*** Released as part of the 2016 What's In A Name release challenge, for the embedded "Chris" in the title. ***

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