This is a book by an astronomer, but it is not primarily about astronomy...
A Guide to Wider Horizons also discusses physics, mathematics, biology, statistics, linguistics, ethics, history, economics, and literature. Its purpose is to introduce the reader to a large number of interesting ideas, and other books to read. It should appeal to any avid reader who wants to expand his or her horizons. As a result, it could be used as supplementary reading in any college class for non-science majors. Even if you only have 5 or 10 spare minutes a day to read (such as on a bus to work), this is a book that can help you connect to many things that are new and interesting.
2 Women Runners are 11 ½ Percent Slower than Men
3 The Energy Budget
Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy
The World Record in the Pole Vault
Collision of a Small Asteroid with the Earth
The Lifetime of the Sun
4 Some Curious Words, Many of Which We Know
5 The Good, the Bad, and the Obsessive
The Most Brilliant Ph.D. Thesis Ever Written in Astronomy
The Most Egotistical Book in the History of Astronomy
Not for the Thin-Skinned
6 How Long Do Astronomers Live?
7 Astronomical Measurements without a Telescope
8 Improvements in Astronomical Imaging
9 The Constellations
10 The Importance of the Trial of Galileo
11 A Mathematical Sampler
Integration for People Who Don’t Know Calculus
Drawing Figures with a Ruler and Compass
Some Fun with Angles
Three Mathematical Geniuses
12 At What Distance Can the Human Eye Detect a Candle Flame?
14 A Breed Apart
15 How to Get People to Tell the Truth
16 Famous First Words
17 Books with a Moral Angle
18 Lost Books
19 A Novel Concept
20 Recommended Nonfiction
Asking Some of the Right Questions
The Moral Animal
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
Can’t We All Get Along?
A Guide to Wider Horizons has a fresh and provocative stile that I can see students genuinely enjoying. Lacing its writing with examples from the world of athletics, or information about James Joyce's "Ulysses," gives the book a breadth that can make youngsters see that intellectual life is not confined to individual disciplines, but straddles mathematics, biology, poetry, and --- yes --- athletics. Seeing the links between these is probably the height of mankind's journeys of curiosity, creating a kind of "generosity of thought" that recognizes the different ways different individuals are able to excel and sometimes reap a new future for others to enjoy.
Martin Harwit, Faculty Emeritus, Cornell University
A Guide to Wider Horizons is a treasure trove of ideas and advice that will stimulate you to read far beyond your prior experience, encourage you to look at the world differently, and lead you to think about causes, effects, and relationships in new ways. The author's insatiable, contagious curiosity will broaden your horizons, and you may find yourself agreeing with one of his friends, who was so moved by a book recommendation that he said, 'This is the book I've been waiting to read my whole life.'
- Ian Gatley, Distinguished Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of Physics
A Guide to Wider Horizons is an intellectual omnivore's delight. Every page holds one -- or five -- surprising facts about science, history, or literature. Each on its own would delight you, but taken together, thanks to Kevin Krisciunas's keen eye for the illuminating juxtaposition, they will help you see the world in a new, more vibrant way.
- Richard Panek, coauthor (with Temple Grandin) of The Austistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, and author of The 4% Universe
Kevin Krisciunas’ A Guide to Wider Horizons takes the reader on an eclectic journey through everything from Astronomy to Literature, through quirky stories and unusual facts that both entertain and encourage one to expand one's own Horizons.
- Brian Schmidt, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, and co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics