I learned about chaos theory quite by accident. On a family vacation we stopped by a campground along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachian Mountains. I was not an outdoor enthusiast at the time so while my parents were hiking I preferred to head over to the arcade to play Donkey Kong and Tempest. One rainy day even the video games were boring so I sauntered over to the main cabin and started leafing through their modest library of books. In between westerns and romance novels I glimpsed a book with the intriguing title Chaos: Making a New Scienceand ended up reading it from cover to cover.