BOOKS

 

O’Reilly’s “Head First” series is totally great, as they like to say in Silicon Valley. We often consult “Head First HTML,” to figure out web page coding. Well, here are two new ones, just as much fun as the others. Joy says they make the subjects so interesting and easy to understand that you don’t even realize you’re learning.Physics

— “Head First Statistics,” by Dawn Griffiths; $35 from Oreilly.com. Don’t know the difference between the mean, the median and the average? Don’t worry, hardly anybody does. But you’ll learn about it here all right. What about reversion to the mean? Standard deviations and variance? (This reminds Bob of an amusing story about Karl Gauss, the mathematician who started it all.)

“Head First Physics,” by Heather Lang; $35 from Oreilly.com. Heather (if we may call upon an undeserved familiarity) starts out with the example of the reader falling into a hole which happens to go all the way through the Earth to the other side. This is something that has happened to many of us, and here in Head First Physics we learn why we start to slow down, rather than speed up, as we go deeper and deeper into the hole. Aha!

 

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