Charles and Ray Eames's film Powers of Ten might finally have a contender for most useful and enlightening discussion of our place in the micro- and macrocosmos. Blatner examines myriad phenomena from above and below the familiar everyday human realm of comfortable size and perception. Whether he's probing invisible things like radiation or time or examining tangible astronomical objects, he always ties everything together in an organic whole that allows the readers intelligence to slide easily up and down the universal scale of marvels.

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.