Donald B. Siano

Helpful votes received on reviews: 75% (24 of 32)
Location: Westfield, NJ USA
Birthday: June 30
In My Own Words:
I'm currently most interested in the history of technology, primarily from 1700 onwards


Top Reviewer Ranking: 400,714 - Total Helpful Votes: 24 of 32
Gorgon by Peter Ward
Gorgon by Peter Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Solving a Riddle, April 9 2004
When I was a boy, I remember reading about the dinosaurs' extinction and the great question about the reasons behind it, which at the time ranged from the theological to more or less pure guesswork. And I wondered about the other great extinctions, where even less was known. Would it ever be possible to determine their causes, and their meaning for life on earth?
Well, now we know that the question of the dinosaurs's extinction has been answered to everyone's satisfactions, save that of a few cranky holdouts. It was a huge meteor, and the killing mechanisms are largely worked out. Now many of the scientists who worked so successfully on that problem have turned their attention to the… Read more
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
This is a revisionist history (isn't it all?) of a truly remarkable figure, who created an empire greater even than the Romans, and he did it from scratch in just a few decades. He was a law-giver who essentially outlawed the culture he came from--transforming it from a Scots-like clan of cattle rustlers and raiders, to a monolithic, highly disciplined cavalry of conquerers. He devised entirely new military tactics that were as successful against the cities of the Chinese as against the armored knights of the West. And they started out as a people, he claims, who did not even know how to weave cloth!
Weatherford here takes up the challenge of accenting the positive impact of his… Read more
Adams Curse by Bryan Sykes
Adams Curse by Bryan Sykes
5.0 out of 5 stars Genes at War, April 1 2004
Sykes has done it again with this follow-up of his "Seven Daughters of Eve." "Adam's Curse" is a terrific survey of the latest findings on human genetics as told through the Y chromosome, inherited exclusively through one's father. There are plenty of new ideas here, coupled with a rather informative short course on the twentieth century's additions to Darwin's theory of evolution.
This is not a dry recitation of the facts, by any means. It contains his personal story of unraveling some of these puzzles himself, told in an a lively and amusing manner, sure to hold the reader's interest. There are history lessons, such as the one about the lamentable foul-ups of the microscopists… Read more