Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Book recommendations

Suggested readings for those inclined to half bake.
  [vote for,

I slogged thru the various ideas under the HB category and did not find this. Perhaps it has been discussed in the past and deleted.

I find myself craving more half-baked goods these days. It would be good if I could fulfill some of the craving at home, in front of the fire. Comments under this idea might suggest books of interest to the HB inclined.

bungston, Jan 12 2003

The Further Inventions of Daedalus http://www.amazon.c...ce&s=books&n=507846
[bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

How Stuff Works http://www.howstuffworks.com/
If you're a scientific dunce like me then this site is very handy. [DrBob, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

The Unorthodox Engineers http://www.fantasti...hodox-engineers.htm
Recommended reading for all budding halfbakers [8th of 7, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

My Tank is Fight http://www.amazon.c...rsons/dp/0806527587
Halfbaked schemes from WWII [bungston, Mar 05 2007]

John Scalzi: The Android's Dream http://www.scalzi.c...hatever/004945.html
Popcorn. Has a half-baked idea density of about one per page, I'm guessing, and starts with an elaborate fart joke. Read the first chapter online here. [jutta, Mar 05 2007, last modified Mar 18 2007]

Tim Hunkin: Almost Everything There Is to Know http://www.timhunki..._rudiments_book.htm
Collected drawings from his "Rudiments of Wisdom" series in the Observer. It's out of print now; find a used copy. [jutta, Mar 05 2007]

Cyrano's 7 methods to reach the moon. http://www.gutenber...htm#33_ Scene 3.XI.
I think the thrown magnet is the most plausible. [bungston, Dec 15 2007]

Asimov http://www.asimovon.../asimov_titles.html
[normzone, Dec 16 2007]

The Twenty-One Balloons http://en.wikipedia...Twenty-One_Balloons
to discover an island full of great wealth and fantastic inventions [baconbrain, Dec 16 2007]

Lewis Dartnell - The Knowledge: official website http://the-knowledge.org/en-gb/
Official website of the book. Has blog with lots of good stuff too. [notexactly, Jul 15 2017]

[PDF] Eric R. Weeks - Soft Jammed Materials http://www.physics....pers/sendai2007.pdf
[notexactly, Jul 15 2017]

Duc Thang Nguyen's mechanism collection http://makezine.com...helpful-animations/
LMK if the download is gone because I think I have a copy [notexactly, Jul 15 2017]


       As first recommendation, may I heartily recommend "The Further Inventions of Daedalus". Daedalus is a halfbaker extrordinaire, and his weekly column in Nature would perfectly fit onto this site.
bungston, Jan 12 2003

       Some of my more interesting titles to inspire baking, and some generally odd stuff I've collected:   

       "How things work," by David Macaulay.
"To Engineer Is Human, the Role of Failure In Successful Design" by Henry Petroski
"How to Hide Anything" by Michael Conner. A really weird book I picked up at a garage sale. All about stashing things in strange places. Almost think the author was a paranoid schizo.
"Roget's Thesaurus"
Anything by Shel Silverstein

       Other places for halfbaked stuff? Lessee, there's the 'Journal of Irreproducible Results.'
the "Ig nobel Prizes,"
"The Red Green Show,"
"Letters From A Nut," by Ted L. Nancy

       I find classical music greatly helpful in pre-baking, as well as any well-written literature; Tolkien, for instance, puts me in quite a poetic mood.
RayfordSteele, Jan 12 2003

       There are a couple of good "Chindogu" compliations available. Most Chindogu are pretty halfbaked. Try Amazon.com
8th of 7, Jan 13 2003

       You could set up a fictional account on Amazon called "halfbaker" or something, and establish a recommended reading list. Then publish the account name and password here, and we could all add our recommendations. No need to take up hb server space.
beauxeault, Jan 13 2003

       Yes, for fictional inventions, Snow Crash is recommended here too. Also, for taking a somewhat sideways look at how society works, 'The Great Explosion' and 'Wasp' by Eric Frank Russell (no inventions, as such, but attitudes and opinions are neatly dismantled in these books). Oh, and I nearly forgot the kiddies books based on the character 'Professor Branestawm' (if you can get hold of them then the illustrations by Heath Robinson are worth the money on their own).

Also, for something more practical but definitely in the half-baked tradition, try reading up on 'Hobarts Funnies' - the bizarre range of devices, some successful others decidely not, that were invented for the Normandy landings in WWII.
DrBob, Jan 14 2003

       [Rods] - "The Unorthodox Engineers", a series of stories by Colin Kapp (link). A formative influence for our elfs also. "The Railways up on Canis" is particularly memorable.
8th of 7, Jan 14 2003

       Finished _Snow Crash_ - a fine read, even though now 10 years later a lot of his predicitons are more or less true. I have had a heck of a time finding _The Unorthodox Engineers_, new or used. Suggestions?
bungston, Jun 08 2003

       The 5 or so stories in "The Unorthodox Engineers" are all available in either "New Worlds" magazine or "New Writings in SF" books, which are paradoxically easier to find than the collections published in 1975 or so.   

       I have a copy of The Unorthodox Engineers. If enough people beg me I shall scan, proof it and distribute it anonymously to them.   

       If I ever start my engineering consultancy business this will be the business name.   

celephicus, Jan 28 2004

       I have been reading "My Tank is Fight" (linked) - there was lot of wild stuff halfbaked up in the waning years of WWII. Many things reminded me of ideas I have read in the HB: ultramega tanks, supercannons with lateral accelerator cannons, etc. The guy is a decent author and quite funny when describing the inventions, although he is very serious and even moving in his fictional accounts of war, describing how these inventions might have been used - the bleak desperation of the Germans on the eastern front really comes through.
bungston, Mar 05 2007

       Can I recommend "The New Science of Strong Materials - or Why You Don't Fall Through the Floor", by J. E. Gordon?   

       It is not a book of halfbaked ideas, but it is an absolutely wonderful, beautiful gem of a readable book on materials science. Why is metal tough and glass brittle? Why do ships have lots of rigging lines instead of a few one huge ones? Why is it a clever idea to put big minarets and statues around the tops of cathedrals? No respectable halfbaker should be without it.   

       It is one of perhaps six books which have had a major influence on the way I look at things almost every single day.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 05 2007

       Some really obvious ones [from the other thread I just stupidly started on this]:   

       Neil Stephenson, already mentioned "Snow Crash" (for modern technology metaphors), but also "The Diamond Age" (for nanotechnology and steampunk).   

       Douglas Adams, "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for satire and a new take on some old WIBNIs like perfect translation.   

       Less obvious: Rudy Rucker's Sci-Fi work. I find Rucker's writing wooden and his characters embarassingly awkward, but he manages to flesh out and construct a society around some interesting inventions. Plus, being a computer science professor, he makes computer science jokes that ocasionally actually work.   

       If you're tempted to write social satire here, and you're unfamiliar with George Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", and at least some of Philip K. Dick's stories, you're likely to try to repeat them.
jutta, Dec 14 2007

       How about transferring all the annotations to the original idea. Not that it's a list, obvidently.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 14 2007

       An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers, by Hardy and Wright.   

       Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 14 2007

       _Chuck Dugan is AWOL_ by Eric Chase Anderson. Includes diagram of a "powered submersible cycle."   

       Two halfbake-inspiring non-books: "Mr. Bean" and "Wallace and Gromit"
bnip, Dec 15 2007

       Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (or just GEB) by Douglas Hofstadter - marvellous stuff.   

       Neuromancer, and the rest of the sprawl trilogy by William Gibson.   

       I would also mention Programming the 6502 by Rodney Zaks, and Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.
zen_tom, Dec 15 2007

       [jutta] Thank you.   

       Samuel R. Delany - "Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand". People often have a job1 and a job2, of differing levels of importance in their lives. "Tracer" (garbage collector) is a position of importance, and the result of their analysis of the collections helps determine economic policy. "Industrial Diplomats" help facilitate commerce. And that's not even scratching the surface of the good parts of the book.   

       Bruce Sterling   

       Charles Stross   

       "One thing I've found out, over the years, is that, anytime you think that you were the originator of some new idea, ' I was the first to do that, ' you'll find some old fellow who did it around 1895. Every darn time. " Edward Hamilton, 1904 - 1977, in "The Space Opera Renaissance", TOR Books, 2006
normzone, Dec 16 2007

       "Patently Absurd" Christopher Cooper 2004,   

       real patents
FlyingToaster, Dec 16 2007

       //Two halfbake-inspiring non-books: "Mr. Bean" and "Wallace and Gromit"//   

       ... i also consider Calvin & Hobbes [Bill Watterson] to be in this category- if Calvin were a halfbaker, he would've been boned to death everytime; his "inventions" always crack me up.   

       in the tradition of W&G - i also get inspiration from Shaun the sheep: Shaun is described as a sheep who does not follow the flock. Curious, resourceful and fun-loving, his mix of enthusiasm and inexperience is often a recipe for trouble - sounds like a halfbaker to me.
pyggy potamus, Dec 16 2007

       //Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Greg Bear//   

       James P Hogan is easily the Master Baker, in this context, IMO.
FlyingToaster, Dec 16 2007

       [custard], Asimov is one I'll have to go do some reading in. This would definitely help a little bit with all the bad science posts.   

       I just googled him to look for the name of a text he wrote on the history of physics discoveries and how we got there. I knew he wrote that and some SF.   

       He wrote over 450 texts, most of them educational ! The SF was a minor part of his work! Off to my local library. (link)
normzone, Dec 16 2007

       Isaac Asimov is THE most wide-ranging author ever. A fount of information, presented in every possible level and form. I was just reading his _Dangers_Of_Intelligence, from 1980-something. He predicted e-mail pretty well (but thought it would be sent to an physical address). I grew up reading everything I could find of his.   

       Someone was just trying to adapt an idea from _The Twenty-One Balloons_ by William Pene Du Bois. It and his other works are marvelous reading for any Halfbaker. They are sort-of kids books, written in an older style, and very funny. Balloons, bumper-car furniture, and the world's largest diamond mine.   

       [jutta] mentions Tim Hunkin. He has several sites on the 'net. Google him and find collections of great cartoons on science and experiments.
baconbrain, Dec 16 2007

       I gather that a fair number of bakers have little kids. I am a great fan of the Backyardigans cartoon show. Their most recent DVD, Robin Hood the Clean, contains a cartoon To the Center of the Earth, in which many halfbaked inventions are featured including the Rocket Drill, ExtendoArm and others. I recommend this and all the Backyardigans shows.   

       "Your penny has fallen to the center of the earth!"
bungston, Mar 09 2009

       Thanks to [MaxwellBuchanan] for your recommendation of "The New Science of Strong Materials". I've been reading it and found it most interesting.
caspian, Sep 27 2016

       Glad you enjoyed it!
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 27 2016

       Halfbaked ideas:   

       Julie Halls - Inventions That Didn't Change the World. I haven't actually read most of it because I misplaced my copy after reading only a few pages. I had to do a Google image search for 'book of unsuccessful inventions' to remind myself of the title/author. It's the first result, but there seem to be many other such books too.   

       General science and engineering; practical knowledge:   

       Lewis Dartnell - The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch, aka The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm. What it says on the tin, AFAICT from what I read before I misplaced it.   

       Christopher Joseph - A Measure of Everything. Basically a dictionary of quantities and measurement units, though not listed alphabetically even within the sections.   

       Materials science:   

       Eric R. Weeks - Soft Jammed Materials. It's a very accessible introduction to soft matter, focusing on jamming, and I suggest halfbakers read it especially if they're interested in designing jamming grippers, jamming ladders, etc. It's only 53 pages and is available online as a PDF.   

       Robert P. Behringer - Jamming in granular materials. A paper rather than a book, 13 pages. A more technical and mathy overview of jamming than Weeks.   


       1800 Mechanical Movements and Devices, or one of the many other books with different numbers and similar titles. I only have 1800, and I like it. It shows diagrams and gives brief descriptions of useful mechanisms in many categories, like simple machines, clock mechanisms, pumps, gearing, steam power devices, etc.   

       Duc Thang Nguyen (HB doesn't support the proper characters) - the [linked] collection of mechanisms. Available in PDF and YouTube formats—the diagrams are 3D and animated. People with tablets can still enjoy this one by the fire, I guess.
notexactly, Jul 15 2017

       Amazon completely fails to offer me Eric R. Weeks' tome. Can you provide a link?   

       Meanwhile, I would like to recommend:   

       The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. If I explain what it's about it'll put you off, but you really, truly need to read it. (I have just bought the Kindle edition, having reminded myself of how much I enjoyed the paper edition.)   

       If you can find it, Words of Science by Asimov. This was probably the first science book I ever saw (being the son of non-scientific parents), and I can pretty much recite it from memory. It's another one of the six books that shaped the way I look at the world.   

       And, obviously, two Feynman books: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman; and What Do You Care What Other People Think?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 15 2017

       Links added, though I don't know if before or after your request. I also added three more recommendations to my above anno.   

       Somehow SYJMF completely escaped my mind (and I guess everyone else's until today) when I was thinking of what to recommend. I have both a paper version and a PDF. The PDF is good when I want to search through the book for things like the fraternity hazing or the spoke passer.
notexactly, Jul 15 2017

       The recommendation of "The New Science of Strong Materials" reminded me of another - "Stuff Matters" by Mark Miodownik is very good
hippo, Jul 16 2017

       Ah yes, my Feynman collection pieces. Read them both.   

       For the kids, Rosie Revere, Engineer, is pretty good.   

       Also the penguin book of curious and interesting numbers.
RayfordSteele, Aug 07 2017


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