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What a strange species is the particle physicist. Generally brilliant (pretty much a requirement to work in the field at all), they also seem to get big helpings of eccentricity, bluntness, and arrogance. Combine that with the intense competitiveness of the field along with the general weirdness that is modern particle theory and you get one of the more unique sub-cultures of our time. The author does an excellent job of portraying not just Gell-Mann, the subject of this biography, but also many of the people he worked with in the field and the developments in particle physics that Gell-Mann did so much to usher along. Great read.
Although at times marred by the mushy verbiage of “critical theory”, this look at the modern world of machine gambling (video slots and poker) is rescued by the thoroughness of the research. From the layout, lighting, sounds level, and architecture of casinos to the design of the machines themselves, machine gambling is a precisely engineered trap for vulnerable minds. Basically you should never, ever, ever walk into a casino.