Zoom

  • by Bob Berman
  • Narrated by Dan Woren
  • 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the speed of light to moving mountains - and everything in between, Zoom explores how the universe and its objects move.
If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. In fact, the planet you are sitting on is whizzing through space 35 times faster than the speed of sound.
Natural motion dominates our lives and the intricate mechanics of the world around us. In Zoom, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an informative and entertaining style and a knack for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fact Filled Fun Listen

What made the experience of listening to Zoom the most enjoyable?

The author wrote the book for people who like to know about the world / universe around them - people like me. He provided 2.38 gazillion factoids about a bunch of different subject areas and didn't clutter up the scene with techno babble or other superfluous speed bumps. I really enjoyed the audiobook.


Who was your favorite character and why?

As this is a book about the speed of a bunch of different things - I guess my favorite character was the 10 snowflakes. Why? Mr. Berman dropped in a golden nugget regarding water molecules and sand that made me say to myself "Wow, I didn't know that. That's amazing!" I found myself saying this or something closely related at least 31 times over the course of this listen.


Which scene was your favorite?

Again, or is it the first time I need mentioning - THIS IS A SCIENCE BOOK, not a character driven fiction piece. Enough of this.... Hey Audible, do me a favor. Can you all at least provide relevant topics for me to work from, as I am doing my damndest to give high props for this wonderful book I am trying to review? All you seem to be doing is tossing roadblocks in front of me for no reason other than laziness, negligence or spite.

I wish there was someway to have a menu of topic options to pick from that would make reviews more relevant instead of getting needlessly tied up by irrelevant topics that have nothing to do with the work being reviewed. But hey, it's only the year 2014, and it's not like you are owned by some company like AMAZON.COM that can dig in its pockets for some loose change and fork out some dough for an application that is not all that hard to include on your review webpage.......

Are these topics randomly selected through some bug-infested 1980's era algorithm, or is there some clueless mono-brow mouth breather nephew of the assistant in charge of reviews who needed a summer job picking these topics? I bet it's a combo of both.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

A moving moment? Refer to the above typed plea for someone to care about review topics.

For the sake of anyone still reading this - there wasn't a "moving" moment in which I got all choked up or stopped in my tracks and had that "listen to this, this is really something" moment that comes along every once in a long while, but it is not the fault of the author or narrator - they both did a splendid job. I will say for the last time before I leave, this a science book about how everything that is something, and that includes everything, is moving to some degree. How this movement interacts with us, the Earth, Solar System etc. is an underlying theme throughout this book.

Maybe a moving moment was when I finished listening to this audiobook. I thought to myself something like, "I just learned a bunch of interesting tidbits about a bunch of different things. I am a better person now than when I woke up this morning because of this audiobook."


Any additional comments?

Kudos to Mr. Berman. His astronomy articles are top notch and so is this book. I had an enjoyable day listening to this audiobook and will listen to it again in the near future.

Buy this audiobook. It won't break the bank and you will learn many interesting things about a wide range of subjects you may not have thought about before.

At least now I know exactly how high I can jump from and not be "back in the mud," as Logan Nine Fingers, one of the greatest fictional characters in the history of everything everywhere, would say.

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- shalte "Inostrancevia - the uber Gorgonopsian."

a new way to think about old things

Berman looks at the very ordinary and well studied concept of motion and applies a novel lens. His fresh perspective made reading this book really fun. It is written for anyone with any level of education in the sciences, including no formal education.

Chapter 17 provided the best explanation of entanglement/quantum vs relativity that I have ever read. Without overwhelming his reader with extremely detailed scientific information (most of the time, I actually prefer the heavy science), Berman provides a shockingly simple and yet shockingly complete explanation of how observation affects reality, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paper that mocked quantum theory, the new experiments that demonstrate how spooky action at a distance is indeed real, and how it affects our perception of speed/light speed.

I crave novelty and get really excited when an author can serve up the same old stuff on a brand new platter, and every chapter of this book did just that. It was deliciously satisfying. Some of the subjects Berman addresses are:

- Motion itself. Temperature and motion are the same thing. True motionless means reaching a state of infinite cool.
- The universe did not have a big bang as much as slow motion explosion that you are still in at this very moment.
- (I love his humor) When Newton wrote the Principia, he "proved that the sun's gravity should make planets travel in elliptical paths, **thus effectively awarding Kepler a posthumous 1600 SAT score**." (emphasis added)
- Our scientific observations themselves are very self centered. Humans can only recognize patterns that are in close rhythm with their own heartbeats. This is why we can recognize the crickets chirp as a pattern, since it only deviates from the rhythm of our heart beat by about 50%. But, we don't recognize the owl hoot as a pattern because it is not in rhythm with our own heartbeat. Mosquito sounds like it is making a constant annoying noise, that is either and a sharp or a D. The rubbing of their wings is indeed a distinct pattern but it is too fast for us to contact since it deviates to far from the rhythm of our heart beat.
- Boiling hot coffee in one state in the U.S. is not the same temp as boiling hot coffee in another state. The hottest coffee in Denver is 10 degrees cooler than the hottest coffee in Boston.
- The magic motion of hydrogen and oxygen (great chapter!)
- Unexpected facts about radiation (so entertaining)
- An excellent story of the personal life of a film/photography pioneer who set us on the road of developing the incredible movie watching experience we enjoy today
- The motion of cells, animals, and the universe at large (makes you appreciate your place in the universe)
- How we think we know space is flat (again, great, simple explanation)

My brain was so happy the entire time I read this book. A+
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-24-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio