Geek Atlas Tells Geeks Where to Go
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The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive is by no means your typical travel guide. And, it is by no means intended only for geeks. In fact, many of the places listed in The Geek Atlas are “must visit” places for any parent hoping to give their child even the semblence of a well-rounded education about science or technology, where each have come from, and where they are headed.

Of course, it isn’t just for parents; anybody with a passing interest in science and/or technology would be well-advised to give the book – and the places it recommends – at least a once-over.


Those who already have a fairly high geek factor may have noted that the number 128 in the title is in and of itself geekily significant. Author John Graham-Cumming is truly a geek’s geek, and we say that with genuine affection for Graham-Cumming, whom some of us have known for several years. (And if you don’t get the 128, don’t worry, it’s ok.)

Of those 128 places, roughly half are in the U.S., the rest (although not all) being mostly in the U.K. and Europe.

Here are the locations of the various listings:

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Locations include such well-known places as the Kennedy Space Center (Orlando, Florida), the Museum of Natural History (New York, New York), the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France), the Gutenberg Museum (Mainz, Germany), and CERN (Geneva, Switzerland).

And of course the myriad computer-related places, such as Apple, HP, and the Computer History Museum (all located within a 15-mile radius of each other, in the Silicon Valley area of California).

 

But there are many places included of which you may not have heard (or at least considered as a destination), such as the Anderton Boat Lift (Northwich, England), Tempio Voltiano (Como, Italy), the Sagan Planet Walk (Ithaca, New York) and the Early Television Museum (Hillard, Ohio).

And places that are purely geographic locations, such as the Galapagos, and the Magnetic North Pole.

For each of the 128 places where science and technology come alive, Graham-Cumming includes not only plenty of interesting information about just why it’s a must-see location, but also plenty of information – and explanations of the information – about the subject matter of the location itself.

Take, for example, the Parkes Radio Telescope (Parkes, Australia). Graham-Cumming not only describes the telescope and its location, and why it’s interesting, but he also includes a cogent yet accessible explanation of pulsars. (By the way, this telescope is the subject of the awesome movie, The Dish.)

The entry for the Hovercraft Museum (Lee-on-the-Solent, England) includes a detailed explanation of how a hovercraft works.

And as if that weren’t enough, Graham-Cumming also includes practical (but never dry) information about visiting each location. Examples include, when approaching The Dish, “switch off anything with a radio in it” because The Dish is “listening for very faint radio signals from across the cosmos, so it doesn’t need to listen to you nattering away.” And if the Hovercraft Museum “awakens in you the desire to ride in a hovercraft, there’s a commercial service crossing from nearby Southsea to the Isle of Wight. The trip takes 10 minutes.” And that at the entrance to Bell Labs (Holmdel, New Jersey) “there’s a water tower billed as the World’s Largest Transistor”.

Indeed, even if you never set foot on any of the locations listed in The Geek Atlas (although we recommend that you do), the book itself is an educational trip through some of the most interesting places on the planet.

The Geek Atlas is available on Amazon, and you can purchase The Geek Atlas here

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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