Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Brian lassos the moon

It doesn't matter how many books you have published, there's still something special about getting your hands on the first copy of the finished product - and never more so than my new book, How Many Moons Does the Earth Have?, as the publisher, Icon Books, has done a great job, giving it a really impressive textured cover.

Sadly, you can't buy a copy yet - not til November - but you can already preorder it on Amazon and elsewhere, and I think it will make an ideal gift for hard-to-buy-for people (and something of a bargain at £6.99). In fact there may be one exception to this wait - I'm doing an event at Lichfield Literary Festival on October 8 when we hope there will be early copies available on sale: see the festival's website for details.

It's a science quiz book, in part because if you like attending quizzes, it can be frustrating that they don't have enough/good enough quality science questions. But you don't need to be running a quiz to use it (in fact I suspect most readers won't) - the idea is rather to test yourself with the questions and then turn the page to find the answer, often, I hope, surprising, and a pageful of interesting material expanding on the answer.

It's a bit like taking part in your own version of QI without the pompousness and the answers they get wrong (which is reflected in the title of the book).

Here's some bumf from the back cover:

... and award yourself a small pat on the back if you recognise the movie reference in the post title.


  1. Dear Brian
    A nice question (and maybe a challence for you) might be: What is the NATURE OF TIME?
    Up to now we use the term ´time´ only in the sense of time-PERIOD - but it is never discussed ´What is the NATURE of time? What is the material - of which time is made from?´.

    We have learned at school that the start of time was the big-bang (made of concentrated energy): Therefore I would suggest, that Time is an Amount-of-Energy too:
    When the universe is made of energy - and when the universe expands - then the amount of energy per volume will decrease - therefore the ´time-arrow´ has a fixed direction because the concentration of energy is ´diluted´.
    When we have a flow of energy towards a lower level - then we can say: The Universe is a Machine, which is run by this difference in Energy-per-Volume.
    And every ATOM is also a machine: it has to loose energy otherwise it would be a perpetuum mobile

    This idea was already published with DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.15483

    To answer the question ´What is the nature of time? is a very interesting topic.
    Because - when time can be described as a difference amount of Energy per Volume - then the physicist have a problem: then time is no DIMENSION.
    The 4th dimension does not exist!

    1. I can recommend two very good books on the nature of time - Sean Carroll's From Eternity to here and (even better) Lee Smolin's Time Reborn.

  2. Thank you fo the hints!