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The modern publishing industry loves nerds with a grudge. No one’s going to buy a book about the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, for instance—but as soon as you’ve got Wittgenstein waving a poker at Karl Popper, it’s best-seller bait for months. Sadly, pencils aside, there are no pointed implements involved in the grand mathematical throwdown between Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz over which one invented calculus. But Jason Socrates Bardi’s The Calculus Wars: Newton, Leibniz, and the Greatest Mathematical Clash of All Time catalogues plenty of disses between the two extravagantly wigged intellects. More than a few tomes have been penned on the history of calculus, but the College Park resident’s elegant, readable volume is the first to dwell on the personal conflict. Bardi runs down all the main claims—who put it on paper first (Newton), who published it first (Leibniz), who had the better way of writing it down (Leibniz), who got more famous (Newton)—and a whole lot of bitching. Best part: nary a differential or integral in the entire book. Bardi discusses and signs copies of his work at 2 p.m. at Borders White Flint Mall, 11301 Rockville Pike, Kensington. Free. (301) 816-1067. (Mike DeBonis)