Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Geek Atlas is for non-geeks too

On the back cover of The Geek Atlas there's quote that says: "A great read for geeks and non-geeks alike!" And it's true.

While writing the book I naturally had people like me in mind, but I also had people like my SO who is the anti-geek. She's not interested in how bits of technology work, and scientific topics bore her.

Yet I've dragged her along to a few places in the book. Anyone in a geek/non-geek couple, or parent with a geek child needs to know that they are not going to be bored by either the book or the places in it.

Rest assured. There's plenty to do for the non-geek at geeky sites, and the non-geek might just have a little bit of science rub off on them.

Take place number 051 in the book: Jodrell Bank. The geeks will go to see the Lovell Telescope, but the non-geeks can enjoy it too. Jodrell Bank is set in a bucolic location with a wonderful arboretum to enjoy. And a scale model of the solar system set into the landscape makes an ideal excuse for a walk in the countryside.

Or take a non-geek to place number 071. It's a pub. Geeks will enjoy it because it's the pub in which Crick and Watson announced that they had unraveled the structure of DNA.

If the geeky half of a couple is spending time in London's Science Museum or Natural History Museum (places 077 and 061) then the non-geek might like to spend time in the nearby Victoria and Albert Museum.

And the Eiffel Tower (place number 018) is a great spot for geeks and non-geeks. It's a landmark, looks beautiful and has lots of science to look at and read about.

Non-geek US visitors aren't forgotten. The Computer History Museum (place number 086) is right next to the San Francisco Bay and the Shoreline Park.

The bunker at The Greenbrier (place number 126) is inside a very classy hotel with a wonderful on site spa and extensive recreation facilities. Geeks can even treat the non-geek to a great meal on the restaurant, or make a weekend of it.

And what could be more romantic than a trip to Fairbanks, AK to see the Aurora Borealis?

And then there's the book itself. Each place in the book has a chapter consisting of two parts: a general introduction and a scientific topic related to the place. Non-geeks can skip the science and concentrate on the place and its history. Even my SO was fascinated by the story of Edison and Tesla battling over electricity.

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