第46回 楽しく読めるサイエンス本

一行翻訳コンテスト2011.04.16

■オススメの一冊

『The Science of Everyday Life』
(Len Fisher)

The Science of Everyday Life

今月の一冊目はまた分かりやすいサイエンスの本を。Len Fisherの「The Science of Everyday Life」は、タマゴのゆで方、ブーメランの投げ方、あるいは大工道具の仕組みなどを題材として取り上げながら、科学の基礎に触れることができる読みやすい本です。Introductionはこういう感じ。

Scientists, like hangmen, are socially disadvantaged by their profession. People are naturally curious about their work and their motivation for doing it but are rather afraid to ask about the details. The fear in the case of scientists is that the questioner won’t understand the answer, and will end up looking foolish. This fear can be so great that guests at parties, having discovered that I am a scientist, usually turn to my wife and ask her what I do, rather than approach me directly.

This book is for them, and for everyone else who wants to know what scientists are really up to. It uses “the science of the familiar” as a key to open a door to science, to show what it feels like to be a scientist, and to view from an insider’s perspective what scientists do, why they do it, and how they go about it.

どうです?楽しそうでしょう?イラストも付いていますので安心です。是非ご一読を。

■オススメの一冊-2

『Chemistry Essentials for Dummies』
(John T. Moore, EdD)

Chemistry Essentials for Dummies

今月の二冊目は、上に関連して、「Chemistry Essentials for Dummies」(John T. Moore, EdD)をご紹介します。そろそろアメリカも新学期なので、参考書の新しいのが出てくる季節。これは僕みたいにケミの基礎をすっかり忘れてしまった人にはありがたい本。薄いので持ち運びにも便利です。本文見たいですよね。こんな感じ。

Simply put, chemistry is a whole branch of science about matter, which is anything that has mass and occupies space. Chemistry is the study of the composition and properties of matter and the changes it undergoes.

Matter and energy are the two basic components of the universe. Scientists used to believe that these two things were separate and distinct, but now they realize that matter and energy are linked. In an atomic bomb or nuclear reactor, for instance, matter is converted into energy. (Perhaps someday science fiction will become a reality and converting the human body into energy and back in a transporter will be commonplace.)

いい感じでしょ?

■今月のペーパーバック

『An Uninvited Ghost』
(E. J. Copperman)

An Uninvited Ghost

エンターテインメント系も1冊ご紹介。E. J. Coppermanの「An Uninvited Ghost」。ちなみに前作は「The Night of the Living Deed」。これを見て、ああ、とピンと来ないとダメです。前者は「The Uninvited Guest」、後者は「Then Night of the Living Dead」という映画のタイトルをひいています。こんな感じ。

Five minutes into this ridiculous escapade, and already Scott McFarlane thought it was a bad idea. Waiting around in an almost completely empty room for someone he’d never met seemed a waste of time, but the second part, the thing for which he’d been “hired,” was considerably more idiotic.

He hadn’t been in this house before today and didn’t have his bearings, so it was probably a stroke of good luck that he wasn’t required to move around a lot. Still, he wasn’t comfortable without a strong sense of the geography of the place, and there was little he could do unaccompanied to improve that situation.

話としては、10歳の娘と2人で民宿(B&Bですね)を始めた主人公、アリソン。実はその屋敷には2人の幽霊が棲みついていて、そのうち片方が元探偵。そしてアリソンはこの幽霊たちが毎日決まった時間に「幽霊屋敷宿泊ツアー」の客を脅かす代わりに、別の幽霊から頼まれた事件の解決を手伝わなければならないという話です。おもしろそうでしょ?

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