SATURDAY

Jennifer Ouellette’s Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales From the Annals of Physics is almost a perfect book. Chapters on Ben Franklin, the first voice transmission, and quantum physics employ modern, celebrity-based teaching methods. But Ouellette obviously knows more about the particle/wave duality of light, Bernoulli’s Principle, and Schrödinger’s cat, may it possibly rest in peace, than she does about the stars. For example, in a thought experiment, the Olsen twins are separated when Mary-Kate, the risk taker, boards a space ship. Sure, special relativity tells us that Ashley will have aged more when they are reunited, but what does it predict about what each will weigh? And the only lesson Ouellette gleans from the time Fabio was hit in the face by a goose while riding a roller coaster is that it hurts to be hit in the face when you’re traveling fast. Weak. It’s dissertation, not dish, when Ouellette speaks at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Janet Hopf)