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Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
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Book Club 2016 > July 2016 - Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

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message 1: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1669 comments Mod
For July 2016, we will be reading Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe.

Please use this thread to post questions, comments, and reviews, at any time.


message 2: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri Finally! A group book I can get my hands on. :)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 366 comments My library just got this in.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 260 comments My library got it to me in one day! ; )


Kitri Miller | 6 comments I just started reading. So far, interesting.


message 6: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 173 comments I have a copy now too. Just trying to find the time to add this one to my currently reading stack.


message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 1 comments It's in the library! :) I hope there aren't due dates, because I'll start reading it in two weeks after my exams.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 260 comments o _ O

I've had to read chapter four twice.


Michele | 7 comments I've been listening to this. I love the material but so far I am finding the writing very dry, like a textbook.


message 10: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 173 comments Michele wrote: "I've been listening to this. I love the material but so far I am finding the writing very dry, like a textbook."

Oh that is not good.


David Rubenstein | 873 comments Mod
I just finished this book. I just love science books where the author has made a significant contribution to the field. Perhaps not as witty as a science journalist, but the book has a more personal touch. What is great about this book is how Lisa Randall first sets the science background, and then outlines the steps that she and her collaborators took to develop their hypothesis. By reading this book, you can get a very good insight into how modern scientific research is pursued. Here is my review.


message 12: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri Michele wrote: "I've been listening to this. I love the material but so far I am finding the writing very dry, like a textbook."

Good! I dislike science books where the author is more interested in talking about himself, so I will take text book vs autobiography any day.


Kitri Miller | 6 comments I agree with David. The writing was maybe not the most creatively written, but it was solid. It also covers the subject, tells her theory and she is humble enough to admit that in the long run this might not pan out. But that was part of the reason why I liked it so much. It is more about the process of science, and a particular hypothesis, and how different science fields can work together. She definitely doesn't talk about herself, only the work.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 260 comments Finished it. Whew! Understood half of it, but I really liked it anyway!


message 15: by Audrey (last edited Jul 30, 2016 10:21PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Audrey (audreysides) David wrote: "I just finished this book. I just love science books where the author has made a significant contribution to the field. Perhaps not as witty as a science journalist, but the book has a more persona..."

I agree! It was definitely a different kind of science book and a welcome change from the average cosmology book outlining relativity and quantum mechanics and cosmic background radiation. Check out The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality for another cosmology book outlining a groundbreaking discovery. In my opinion, The 4 Percent Universe was better than Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe because the writing was a little bit better, and the added dimension of the Nobel Prize and some minor drama over the laureates (who doesn't love a little bit of science drama) was fun, but that's just my opinion.

Back to the Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, I do wish there was more about the actual theory that the book was named for rather than basically the entire book being focused on background and constantly referring to this mysterious theory that had yet to be explained. While I'm not sure how to link it, feel free to check out my (admittedly subpar) review.


Audrey (audreysides) Also, my god did she have an editor? The amount of typos, grammatical errors, questionable wording, and truncated sentences (!!!!!) almost gave me a heart attack. Why is it so hard for science writers to get good (alive? literate?) editors? Is that really so much to ask?


message 17: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1669 comments Mod
Here is Audrey's review.


David Rubenstein | 873 comments Mod
Audrey, thank you for confirming my suspicions. I thought it was just my uncareful reading, when I noticed many awkward sentences. Now I realize that a better editor would have cleaned it up.


Bryan Kornele (bkornele) | 19 comments Ok. I finally finished this and after also watching a couple of her lectures and a handful of online articles about her hypothesis. Here is what I took away.

Around and Around in our galaxy.
- The galaxy contains approx. 68% dark energy, 27% dark matter, and approx. %5 of regular matter.
- When matter is cooled down (it was very hot) it starts to clump together and flatten out. This flattening out makes our Milky Way galaxy look the way it does.
- Takes the Sun and our solar system about 230 million years to travel once around the galaxy (1 galactic year).
- The solar system oscillates as it makes it way around the galaxy. Kind of going up and down similar to a Sin wave.
- This oscillation completes one frequency every 30-35 million years. So we go through this oscillation about 7 times during a galactic year.

The Disc
- Dr. Randall and her colleges are proposing that dark matter also clumps the same way regular matter in our Milky Way has and a disc of Dark Matter has also been created.
- Portions of the Dark Matter disc have larger clumps which in turn has more gravity. Kind of like our Sun has more gravity than the earth.
- As we oscillate through portions of dark matter disc where it is denser causes a higher concentration of gravity in the dark disc.
- Within our solar system most of the asteroids are in the Asteroid Belt (between Mars and Jupiter) and the Kuiper belt which is just beyond our Solar system.
- Most of the Comets (the bigger stuff) is in the Oort cloud.
- Since the comets in the Oort cloud are so loosely attached (because of their distance) by the Suns gravity this passing through the higher gravity fields of dark matter disc can cause some comets to pop out.
- Maybe one of the comets is put on a collision course with Earth.
- SMASH! A major extinction event. Too bad for us. Her proposal is this is what caused the Dinosaurs extension.

Other things to think about.
- There is the possibility of something called dark light which regular matter does not react to but dark matter does. Maybe darkons.
- The Dark matter disc has a lot more matter than our normal matter disk so there is the possibility of life? Maybe.. Dark life that we cannot see or interact with.
- Could this Dark life be intelligent and maybe they know that our matter at least exist but have never found a way to interact with it. This is a very long shot but it is in the realm of possibilities.

- B


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