If, like me, you loved Jenny Uglow's The Lunar Men or Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder,
prepare yourself for the pleasure of further intellectual pursuit in
this lively group biography of four men—Charles Babbage, John Herschel,
William Whewell, and Richard Jones—who met at Cambridge University and
spurred each other on to pioneering achievements in crystallography,
mathematics, computing, astronomy, and economics.
May 20: Blue jeans celebrate their unofficial 140th birthday today, the dry goods merchant Levi Strauss and the tailor Jacob Davis receiving a patent on May 20, 1873 for "a new article of manufacture, a pair of pantaloons having the…