Tuesday, February 05, 2008

an apple a day

The lives of mathematician Kurt Gödel and computer pioneer Alan Turing are the subject of a slightly fictionalised biography, reviewed here.

Lots of things I didn't know about them -- have a biography of Turing sitting on the shelf unread and managed only a third of "Gödel Escher Bach" back in the 80s when it was all the rage.

Most shockingly, I didn't know how Turing killed himself: as he was obsessed with Disney's Snow White, he bought a red apple every day. The last one he injected with cyanide. What a story.

PS the book is:
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines
by Janna Levin
230pp, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, £14.99

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