Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

This is a continuation of a new series I’m creating for “What To” that I’m calling the Extreme Nerd Series where books, film and audio highlighting science, innovators, inventors and tech startups will be covered.

A best seller on Audible Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future written by Ashlee Vance and narrated by Fred Sanders.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic FutureTo call Elon Musk the real life Iron Man is an insult but for the sake of an analogy if Elon Musk were Iron Man he’d do it better. As far as science and making stuff happen there are some incredible people that have walked the face of this planet but I haven’t felt like there has been one closer to my age in my life time. Some are close but not quite and most of them are more of a catalyst.

There’s the driving force of corporate interest and then there’s Elon Musk wanting to accomplish anything. I’m not saying Elon Musk does not have corporate or financial interests but I do think they fade into the background and become mere enablers to see his ambitions bear fruit.

When building companies up Elon has sunk everything he has had into them. When Elon Musk believes in something stay out of his way because he will make it happen. Seriously he has taught himself almost everything there is to know about each company. I imagine from the details I can gleam that Elon Musk knows just as much if not more about every detail pertaining to products or the businesses in general than most of the staff to include engineers and specialist. He’s just that driven, curious and genius.

BlastarBy the early age of 12 Elon created and sold a video game called Blastar for somewhere around $500. Elon made PayPal profitable and helped bring about an era of e-commerce when so many companies failed. Elon founded SpaceX and guided Tesla into his own vision making them not only awesome and functional but also profitable. In the midst of SpaceX and Tesla Elon also co-founded Solarcity which has become the leader in residential solar power. There are more and more achievements everyday. I could elaborate on these facts more but that’s what the book is for.

To say Mick & RedBeard are fans of Elon is putting it lightly but if you like SpaceX or Tesla at a minimum you will love this book.

The copy we listened to is from Audible.

The Boy Who Played with Fusion

The Boy Who Played With FusionThis is the first of a new series I’m creating for “What To” that I’m calling the Extreme Nerd Series where books, film and audio highlighting  science, innovators, inventors and tech startups will be covered.

The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star written by Tom Clynes and narrated by P. J. Ochlan.

Taylor Wilson a young, strangely social given his level of intelligence, natural born leader, inquisitive genius of a boy from Texarkana, Arkansas.

Taylor hit many mile stones by the age of 17. By age 9 Taylor had, by most people’s standards, mastered the basics of rocket propulsion, by age 14 he successfully built a fusion reactor and with previous events shadowing this fact know that he gave a TED talk at the age of 17. Those facts are just tossed out there in order but seriously achieving fusion at the age of 14 is amazing. Just being able to gather the required components for a fusion reactor at that age is impressive let alone building one.

There are many people in this world like Taylor. A lot of them you wouldn’t know have that level of intelligence resides in them or that the potential lies there untapped. To be honest what sets Taylor apart from others is luck and enabling parents. Taylor did not come from wealth or a well connected family just caring parents, intelligence, circumstance and plan old luck.

With luck, I say luck because not enough of them exist in this world, brought caring teachers who could admit when they didn’t know something but helped find answers, adults willing to share knowledge and provide resources, parents willing to see it through that their children’s passions were nurtured, adults making time, saying yes and listening.

The copy we listened to is from Audible.

The Martian – Book

The_MartianThis book was too good to have anything less than 10 stars on our 5 star scale. I have listened to this book 3 times and will listen again. -mrb

Written by Andy Weir a writer and software engineer. The Martian is a story about astronaut Mark Watney, who was thought to be dead, stranded on the uninhabitable planet mars with little supplies and no support, his only hope of survival is science. This book has the perfect amount of science, humor and near misses to keep you at the edge of your seat.

The Martian on Audible
Andy Weir’s Website


  • Facts
    • Andy Weir originally wrote The Martian for free on his website in serialized releases. It wasn’t until people requested that he put The Martian on Amazon so that they could read the book in Kindle format.
    • Andy Weir worked for Blizzard where he contributed to World of Warcraft 2.




Mick when you see this feel free to edit.


Interstellar – Movie

interstellarWhy did it take us so long to post about Interstellar? Yesh!

This movie was incredible. Science was spot on and Artistic representations were as good as it gets when trying to conceptualize concepts that are only theory in humanity’s grasp. Interstellar covers Black holes, Wormholes, String Theory, Multi-Dimensional existence, Time Dilation and much more. We loved this movie!

Interstellar was directed by Christopher Nolan and the script was written by his brother Jonathan Nolan. The cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine as well as a slew of other well known actors to include Matt Damon.


  • Facts
    • Jonathan Nolan studied relativity at the California Institute of Technology while writing the script to gain scientific insights
    • Science adviser was Kip Thorne, a well known theoretical physicist
    • The story behind Interstellar was dreamed up by film producer Lynda Obst and Science Advisor and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.
    • Lynda Obst & Kip Thorne collaborated on the 1997 film Contact based on the story created by Carl Sagan.
    • Back in the day Carl Sagan set up Lynda Obst & Kip Thorne on a blind date.

Mick when you see this feel free to add more.