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Submission + - Ten Science/Engineering Things to Know? 4

michael_cain writes: A friend in her mid-50s, a public policy specialist, recently told me that she felt her education had been short-changed, and asked me to make a list of the ten science and/or engineering things that "every educated person" should understand. After a little more conversation, it was clear that "Where does electricity come from?" should probably be on her list, but "What is the math behind general relativity?" shouldn't. What would Slashdot readers put on such a list, and why? There was a sort of implied "and then write the book explaining them for me" in her request; any suggestions for a book that does the job already?

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"All we are given is possibilities -- to make ourselves one thing or another." -- Ortega y Gasset