In over 200 delightful short essays - over 422 pages! - Bill captures the creativity and impact of engineers. He talks of their spectacular achievements - jets, satellites, skyscrapers, and fiber optics; but draws his deepest insights from the everyday, the quotidian. He finds beauty, elegance and meaning in Ferris wheels, Tupperware, Slinkys, mood rings, waterless urinals and Velcro. Delivered originally on public radio between 1999 and 2006, each essay is a small slice of the world created by engineers. The essays also illuminate and inform about the important topics of our day by showing how intertwined engineering and technology are with terrorism, security, intellectual property and our cultural legacy.
The book is best read by flipping it open at random and letting the essays come at you by chance as they did for his public radio listeners. A good way to get a feel for the book is to browse samples. Unlike the videos the essays capture just a slice of the world of engineers. Science Magazine captured their spirit best:
"Bill Hammack can rhapsodize over the clever design of a soda can or a Scotch tape dispenser .... His light, often humorous essays also provide insight into the cultural forces that speed or hamper the acceptance of new products and the inventors' often unexpected sources of inspiration.”
Perhaps the best way to approach the book is through its thematic table of contents.
The essays can be purchased in either paperbound or ebook versions. We've taken care to make it available on all major platforms. You can purchase it from Amazon in a paperbound edition, or for their Kindle, Barnes & Nobles Nook reader, as a Google Books, for the iPad and iPhone from Apple's iBookstore and on Kobo.