Compact, easy to use and reliable, this popular guide by well known astronomer and author Dr Nick Lomb has been providing stargazers with everything they need to know about the southern night sky for over 25 years. The 2017 guide contains monthly astronomy maps, viewing tips and highlights, and details of the year's exciting celestial events. Wherever you are in Australia or New Zealand, easy calculations allow you to estimate local rise and set times for the Sun, Moon and planets. The 2017 Australasian Sky Guide also provides information on the solar system, updated with the latest findings from space probes. Published annually, the Sky Guide continues to be a favourite with photographers, event planners, sports organisers, teachers, students - and anyone who looks up at the stars and wants to know more. 2017 highlights * Mars passes close to Uranus in February * Partial eclipse of the Moon in August * Venus and Mars conjunction in October * Venus and Jupiter close in November
This annual gem (produced each year since 1991) continues to take the Australian stargazer on a wondrous journey of the night sky. This critically acclaimed work, produced by three well known experts in the field, takes a unique approach to explaining and identifying the Sun, Moon, planets and constellations; it is simply the best publication of its type in the world.
Introduction by Professor Stephen Hawking. From what actually happened in the Big Bang to the accidental discovery of post-it notes, science is packed with surprising discoveries. Did you know, for instance, that if you were to get too close to a black hole it would suck you up like a noodle (it's called spaghettification), why your keyboard is laid out in QWERTY (it's not to make it easier to type) or whether the invention of the wheel was less important to civilisation than the bag (think about it). New Scientist does. And now they and illustrator Jennifer Daniel want to take you on a whistlestop journey from the start of our universe (through the history of stars, galaxies, meteorites, the Moon and dark energy) to our planet (through oceans and weather to oil) and life (through dinosaurs to emotions and sex) to civilisation (from cities to alcohol and cooking), knowledge (from alphabets to alchemy) ending up with technology (computers to rocket science). Witty essays explore the concepts alongside enlightening infographics that zoom from how many people have ever lived to showing you how a left-wing brain differs from a right-wing one.
Widely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos with his general theory of relativity and helped to lead us into the atomic age. Yet in the final decades of his life he was also ignored by most working scientists, his ideas opposed by even his closest friends. This stunning downfall can be traced to Einstein's earliest successes and to personal qualities that were at first his best assets. Einstein's imagination and self-confidence served him well as he sought to reveal the universe's structure, but when it came to newer revelations in the field of quantum mechanics, these same traits undermined his quest for the ultimate truth. David Bodanis traces the arc of Einstein's intellectual development across his professional and personal life, showing how Einstein's confidence in his own powers of intuition proved to be both his greatest strength and his ultimate undoing. He was a fallible genius. An intimate and enlightening biography of the celebrated physicist, Einstein's Greatest Mistake reveals how much we owe Einstein today - and how much more he might have achieved if not for his all-too-human flaws.
Stunning images to reawaken us to the scientific process that drives the amazing diversity of life on earth.
Evidence of evolution is everywhere. Through 200 revelatory images, award-winning photographer Robert Clark makes one of the most important foundations of science clear and exciting to everyone.
Evolution: A Visual Record
transports us from the near-mystical (human ancestors) to the historic (the famous 'finches' that Darwin collected on the Galapagos Islands, spurring his theory of evolution); from the recently understood (the link between dinosaurs and modern birds) to the simply astonishing.
Each of us has a unique, subjective inner world, one that we can never share directly with anyone else. But how do our physical brains actually give rise to this rich and varied experience of consciousness? In this ground-breaking book, internationally acclaimed neuroscientist Susan Greenfield brings together a series of astonishing new, empirically based insights into consciousness as she traces a single day in the life of your brain. From waking to walking the dog, working to dreaming, Greenfield explores how our daily experiences are translated into a tangle of cells, molecules and chemical blips, thereby probing the enduring mystery of how our brains create our individual selves.
An Oliver Sacks-style tour of the neuroscience of schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, Cotard's syndrome and out of body experiences in which people lose some critical sense of themselves - with sometimes bizarre and often painful results - revealing the absolute importance of our sense of self, however fragile and its nurture.Understanding the self has long been thought to be neuroscience's greatest challenge, a mystery perhaps that never can be solved. We are who we are - but mystics, Buddhists and even scientists have told us the self is an illusion. We know who we are but then no matter how successful and healthy you are, sometimes we wonder - who is that inside our heads? Who am I really? Are you sure you know? With the explosion of progress in the scientific investigation of conditions such as schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's, ecstatic epilepsy and Cotard's syndrome, as well as out of body experiences and Asperger's, we are learning about the Self at a level of detail that Descartes ( I think therefore I am ) could never have imagined. Is the Self merely your ongoing autobiography, your personal narrative, as Antonio Damasio has suggested? Alzheimer's disease is illuminating the role of memory in the construction of that narrative as Ananthaswamy shows. The same part of your brain that remembers your life story is constructing your future life story. Is the location of the Self in our grey matter at hand? Those afflicted with Cotard's syndrome think they are already dead - in a way, they believe that I think therefore I am not . But who - or what - is saying that? Neuroscience has identified specific regions of the brain that, when they misfire, can lead to the self can moving back and forth between the body and a doppelganger or leaving the body entirely and able to witness it's former body. But, then, where in the brain is the self actually located? As Ananthaswamy elegantly reports, neuroscientists themselves ultimately acknowledge that the self is both everywhere and nowhere in the brain's anatomy. Here is a magical mystery tour of one of the most ancient mysteries now utterly transformed by cutting edge neuroscience told by a master of science journalism.
From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
comes a new book about the mind-bending nature of the universe.
Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his life exploring these questions, pushing the boundaries of what we know.
In this mind-expanding book, he shows how our understanding of reality has changed through the centuries, from Democritus to loop quantum gravity. Taking us on a wondrous journey, he invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, space time is made up of grains and infinity does not exist - a vast universe still largely undiscovered.
An awe-inspiring, unforgettable journey of scientific exploration from Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, the bestselling authors of The Quantum Universe.
We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now we can do more than imagine: we can understand.
Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration, revealing how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond. Some of these questions - How big is our solar system? How fast is space expanding? - can be answered from your back garden. The answers to others - How big is the Universe? What is it made of? - draw on the astonishing information now being gathered by teams of astronomers operating at the frontiers of the known universe.
At the heart of these questions - from the earliest attempts to quantify gravity to our efforts to understand what dark matter is and what really happened at the birth of our universe - is the scientific process.
Science reveals a deeper beauty, connects us to each other, to our world and to our universe; and, by understanding the groundbreaking work of others, reaches out into the unknown. What's more, as Universal shows us, if we dare to imagine, we can all do it.
A Nobel Prize-winning physicist argues that beauty is the fundamental organizing principle for the entire universe In this scientific tour de force, world-class physicist Frank Wilczek argues that beauty is at the heart of the logic of the universe. As the quest to find the beauty embodied in the universe has connected all scientific pursuit, from Pythagoras to Einstein, Wilczek shows us just how deeply intertwined our ideas about beauty and art are with our understanding of the cosmos. A Beautiful Question is a mind-expanding book combining the age-old human quest for beauty with the age-old human quest for truth.
Alone in a spartan black cockpit, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed towards space. He had eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world's first commercial astronaut.
The spectacle defied reason, the result of a competition dreamed up by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, whose vision for a new race to space required small teams to do what only the world's largest governments had done before.
From the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, Diamandis' singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, he set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn't send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself.
In the 1990's, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis' found inspiration in the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn't the same be done for space flight?
The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt for a $10 million prize, is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. In the end, as Diamandis' dreamed, the result wasn't just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry.
In 1859, the brilliant scientist Urbain LeVerrier discovered that the planet Mercury has a wobble, that its orbit shifts over time. His explanation was that there had to be an unseen planet circling even closer to the sun. He called the planet Vulcan. Supported by the theories of Sir Isaac Newton, the finest astronomers of their generation began to seek out Vulcan and at least a dozen reports of discovery were filed. There was only one problem. Vulcan does not exist - and was never there. The real explanation was only revealed when a young Albert Einstein came up with a theory of gravity that also happened to prove that Mercury's orbit could indeed be explained - not by Newton's theories but by Einstein's own theory of general relativity. THE HUNT FOR VULCAN is a scientific detective tale at the intersection of theory, measurement, and belief; and a reflection on a bizarre period in which the power of conformity led very smart people to literally see a planet that wasn't there.
Mike Massimino's compelling memoir takes us on a brilliant journey where the nerdiest science meets the most thrilling adventure to reveal what 'the right stuff' truly is. Many children dream of becoming an astronaut when they grow up, but when NASA rejected him, he kept on trying. Even being told his poor eyesigh would mean he could never make it didn't stop him; he simply trained his eyes to be better. Finally, at the third time of asking, NASA accepted him.
So began Massimino's 18-year career as an astronaut, and the extraordinary lengths he went to to get accepted was only the beginning. In this awe-inspiring memoir, he reveals the hard work, camaraderie and sheer guts involved in the life of an astronaut; he vividly describes what it is like to strap yourself into the Space Shuttle and blast off into space, or the sensation of walking in space, as he did when he embarked on an emergency repair of the Hubble telescope. He also talks movingly about the Columbia tragedy, and how it felt to step into the Space Shuttle again in the aftermath of that disaster.
Massimino was inspired by the film The Right Stuff, and this book is not only a tribute to those fellow astronauts he worked with, but also a stunning example of someone who had exactly those attributes himself.
Most of the scientific establishment predict that the North Pole will be free of ice around the middle of this century. As Peter Wadhams, the world's leading expert on sea ice, demonstrates in this book, even this bleak assessment of the future is grossly optimistic.
Wadhams has visited the Polar Regions more often than any other living scientist - 50 times since he was on the first ship to circumnavigate the Americas in 1970 - and has a uniquely authoritative perspective on the changes they have undergone and where those changes will lead. From his observations and the latest scientific research, he describes how dramatically sea ice has diminished over the past three decades, to the point at which, by the time this book is published, the Arctic may be free of ice for the first time in 10,000 years.
Wadhams shows how sea ice is the 'canary in the mine' of planetary climate change. He describes how it forms and the vital role it plays in reflecting solar heat back into space and providing an 'air conditioning' system for the planet. He shows how a series of rapid feedbacks in the Arctic region are accelerating change there more rapidly than almost all scientists - and political authorities - have previously realised, and the dangers of further acceleration are very real.
A Farewell to Ice is a report from the frontline of planetary change in the Arctic and Antarctic by a leading authority, presenting incontrovertible scientific data, but always in clear language which the layman can easily understand. It is one of the most important books published in recent years about the existential challenge which human civilization now faces.
An earthquake can strike without warning and wreak horrific destruction and death, whether it's the cataclysmic 2008 Sichuan quake in China that killed tens of thousands or a future great earthquake on the San Andreas Fault in California, which scientists know is inevitable. Yet despite rapid advances in earthquake science, seismologists still can't predict when the Big One will hit. Predicting the Unpredictable is the first book to explain why, exploring the fact and fiction behind the science - and pseudoscience - of earthquake prediction.
Susan Hough traces the continuing quest by seismologists to forecast the time, location, and magnitude of future quakes - a quest fraught with controversies, spectacular failures, and occasional apparent successes. She brings readers into the laboratory and out into the field with the pioneers who have sought to develop reliable methods based on observable phenomena such as small earthquake patterns and electromagnetic signals.
Hough describes attempts that have raised hopes only to collapse under scrutiny, as well as approaches that seem to hold future promise. She recounts stories of strange occurrences preceding massive quakes, such as changes in well water levels and mysterious ground fogs. She also ventures to the fringes of pseudoscience to consider ideas outside the scientific mainstream, from the enduring belief that animals can sense impending earthquakes to amateur YouTube videos purporting to show earthquake lights prior to large quakes.
This book is an entertaining and accessible foray into the world of earthquake prediction, one that illuminates the unique challenges of predicting the unpredictable.
Awe-inspiring views of high peaks as they have never been seen before, using cutting-edge satellite technology
Mountains marks a new milestone in Earth observation and Alpine exploration. For the first time, a special recording process and a technique developed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) allow the satellite recording of three-dimensional views from 300 miles above with a resolution in the range of a few meters. Photorealistic images are created in this manner from perspectives denied even to mountaineers and helicopter pilots.
In addition to highly accurate detailed models of individual regions, the DLR generates a global three-dimensional elevation model of Earth in unprecedented quality. For this purpose, two German satellites are currently circling the earth at a speed of more than 15,000 miles per hour?separated by a mere 500 feet. Taken together, both techniques offer a detailed view of a world that still pushes human beings to their limits?the mountainous regions of our planet. For this book Reinhold Messner has selected thirteen peaks and routes to feature, as they’ve never been seen before.
Discover the biggest issue in conservation today. This companion to the documentaryCowspiracy explores the impacts of the most environmentally destructive industry on the planet: animal agriculture.
The award-winning documentary Cowspiracy presents alarming truths about the effects of animal agriculture on the planet. One of the leading causes of deforestation, greenhouse gas production, water use, species extinction, ocean dead-zones, and a host of other ills, animal agriculture is a major threat to the future of all species, and one of the environmental industry's best-kept secrets.
The Sustainability Secret expands upon Cowspiracy in every way. Journey with authors Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn as they discover one shocking statistic after another and interview leading businesses, environmental organizations, and political groups about the subject of animal agriculture and its disastrous effects. Extended transcripts, updated statistics, tips on becoming vegan, and comprehensive reading lists provide an in-depth overview of this planetary crisis and demonstrate effective ways to offset the damage through personal dietary choices.
Firmly rooted in science and supporting research, The Sustainability Secret reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.
Forests and the trees within them have always been a central resource for the development of technology, culture, and the expansion of humans as a species. Examining and challenging our historical and modern attitudes toward wooded environments, this engaging book explores how our understanding of forests has transformed in recent years and how it fits in our continuing anxiety about our impact on the natural world. Drawing on the most recent work of historians, ecologist geographers, botanists, and forestry professionals, Charles Watkins reveals how established ideas about trees such as the spread of continuous dense forests across the whole of Europe after the Ice Age have been questioned and even overturned by archaeological and historical research. He shows how concern over woodland loss in Europe is not well founded especially while tropical forests elsewhere continue to be cleared and he unpicks the variety of values and meanings different societies have ascribed to the arboreal. Altogether, he provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary overview of humankind s interaction with this abused but valuable resource.
The rampant use of genetically modified food incites public debate among activists, ethicists, scientists, regulators and industry representatives. While proponents portray genetic modification as scientific progress, opponents reframe it as a form of perverted science. But why is it so controversial? This timely and balanced book explores the many myths and arguments surrounding this extremely topical issue. Written in an accessible style, free of technical jargon, it examines the science behind genetic modification and the controversies that reflect ongoing tensions between social and political power, democratic practice and corporate responsibility. It shows how food is deeply imbued with religious, social, cultural and ethical meanings, which bring a variety of non-scientific debates to the forefront, and also connects GM food to other issues such as the globalization of food and corporate concentration. While our modern, mechanized, centralized and globalized infrastructure produces enormous amounts and varieties of food available at our convenience, it also produces irreducible social vulnerability and undeniable uncertainty.All those who care about where their food comes from and how it is produced will enjoy this stimulating book.
The word is nearly ubiquitous: at the grocery store we shop for "sustainable foods" that were produced from "sustainable agriculture"; groups ranging from small advocacy organizations to city and state governments to the United Nations tout "sustainable development" as a strategy for local and global stability; and woe betide the city-dweller who doesn't aim for a "sustainable lifestyle." Seeming to have come out of nowhere to dominate the discussion-from permaculture to renewable energy to the local food movement-the ideas that underlie and define sustainability can be traced back several centuries.
In this illuminating and fascinating primer, Jeremy L. Caradonna does just that, approaching sustainability from a historical perspective and revealing the conditions that gave it shape. Locating the underpinnings of the movement as far back as the 1660s, Caradonna considers the origins of sustainability across many fields throughout Europe and North America. Taking us from the emergence of thoughts guiding sustainable yield forestry in the late 17th and 18th centuries, through the challenges of the Industrial Revolution, the birth of the environmental movement, and the emergence of a concrete effort to promote a balanced approach to development in the latter half of the 20th century, he shows that while sustainability draws upon ideas of social justice, ecological economics, and environmental conservation, it is more than the sum of its parts and blends these ideas together into a dynamic philosophy.
Caradonna's book broadens our understanding of what "sustainability" means, revealing how it progressed from a relatively marginal concept to an ideal that shapes everything from individual lifestyles, government and corporate strategies, and even national and international policy. For anyone seeking understand the history of those striving to make the world a better place to live, here's a place to start.
Cities are a big deal. More people now live in them than don't, and with a growing world population, the urban jungle is only going to get busier in the coming decades. But how often do we stop to think about what makes our cities work? Cities are built using some of the most creative and revolutionary science and engineering ideas - from steel structures that scrape the sky to glass cables that help us communicate at the speed of light - but most of us are too busy to notice. Science and the City is your guidebook to that hidden world, helping you to uncover some of the remarkable technologies that keep the world's great metropolises moving. Laurie Winkless takes us around cities in six continents to find out how they're dealing with the challenges of feeding, housing, powering and connecting more people than ever before. In this book, you'll meet urban pioneers from history, along with today's experts in everything from roads to time, and you will uncover the vital role science has played in shaping the city around you. But more than that, by exploring cutting-edge research from labs across the world, you'll build your own vision of the megacity of tomorrow, based on science fact rather than science fiction. Science and the City is the perfect read for anyone curious about the world they live in.
Lliana Bird and Dr Jack Lewis tackle the strange and surreal phenomena from the depths of the oceans to the limits of the far flung universe; the dark corners of your laundry basket to the forgotten compartments of your fridge. Packed with unusual facts and stories of the absurd each of the fascinating insights is told with the Geek Chic team's inimitable humour and wit. An hilarious exploration all things bizarre from the world of science, The Mice Who Sing for Sex takes on weighty issues including heavy metal loving sharks, life-threatening skinny jeans, our impending jellyfish apocalypse and of course, the singing mice of the title.
Here is the essential guide to engineering, an authoritative reference book and timeline about how technology has given shape to our civilization. Engineering predates humanity; Homo habilis was knapping hand axes from st-sized ints more than a thousand centuries before the dawn of modern humans. Admittedly the development of technology was slow back then-but we've made up for lost time since.
Striding from the Stone Age to Silicon Valley in 100 steps, we will see how our inventors have seized every scienti c breakthrough, new material, and better understanding to improve daily life and expand the scope of civilization. From reshaping rivers and containing the forces of nature to constructing arti cial lifeforms and perhaps one day even taming alien planets, engineers think big. These men and women of action make our world.
* A guide to each eld of engineering and the materials they employ gives and insight into their achievements, their limits, and what might come next.
* Includes biographies of the great engineers, such as Archimedes, Tesla, and Watt, showing the inspirations that lay behind their goals.
* A graphical representation of engineering milestones, showing the rst, biggest, and fastest from across the eld boosts the contents for all readers.
* 100 Ponderables also contains a 12-page Timeline History of Engineering.
Charles Darwin is easily the most famous scientist of the modern age, and his theory of evolution is constantly referenced in many contexts by scientists and nonscientist alike. And yet, despite how frequently his ideas are evoked, there remains a surprising amount we don't know about the father of modern evolutionary thinking, his intellectual roots, and the science he produced. Debating Darwin seeks to change that, bringing together two leading Darwin scholars - Robert J. Richards and Michael Ruse - to engage in a spirited and insightful dialogue, offering their interpretations of Darwin and their critiques of each other's thinking.
Examining key disagreements about Darwin that continue to confound even committed Darwinists, Richards and Ruse offer divergent views on the origins and nature of Darwin and his ideas. Ruse argues that Darwin was quintessentially British and that the roots of his thought can be traced back to the eighteenth century, particularly to the Industrial Revolution and thinkers such as Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus. Ruse argues that when these influences are appreciated, we can see how Darwin's work in biology is an extension of their theories. In contrast, Richards presents Darwin as a more cosmopolitan, self-educated man, influenced as much by French and particularly German thinkers. Above all, argues Richards, it was Alexander von Humboldt who both inspired Darwin and gave him the conceptual tools that he needed to find and formulate his evolutionary hypotheses. Together, the authors show how the reverberations of the contrasting views on Darwin's influences can be felt in theories about the nature of natural selection, the role of metaphor in science, and the place of God in Darwin's thought.
Revealing how much there still is to investigate and interrogate about Darwin's ideas, Debating Darwin contributes to our understanding of evolution itself. The book concludes with a jointly authored chapter that brings this debate into the present, focusing on human evolution, consciousness, religion, and morality. This will be powerful, essential reading for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of modern-day evolutionary science and philosophy.
All organisms and species are transitory, yet life endures. The origin, extinction, and evolution of species'interconnected in the web of life as "eternal ephemera"'are the concern of evolutionary biology. In this riveting work, renowned paleontologist Niles Eldredge follows leading thinkers as they have wrestled for more than two hundred years with the eternal skein of life composed of ephemeral beings, revitalizing evolutionary science with their own, more resilient findings.
Eldredge begins in France with the naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who in 1801 first framed the overarching question about the emergence of new species. The Italian geologist Giambattista Brocchi followed, bringing in geology and paleontology to expand the question. In 1825, at the University of Edinburgh, Robert Grant and Robert Jameson introduced the astounding ideas formulated by Lamarck and Brocchi to a young medical student named Charles Darwin. Who can doubt that Darwin left for his voyage on the Beagle in 1831 filled with thoughts about these daring new explanations for the "transmutation" of species.
Eldredge revisits Darwin's early insights into evolution in South America and his later synthesis of knowledge into a theory of the origin of species. He then considers the ideas of more recent evolutionary thinkers, such as George Gaylord Simpson, Ernst Mayr, and Theodosius Dobzhansky, as well as the young and brash Niles Eldredge and Steven Jay Gould, who set science afire with their concept of punctuated equilibria. Filled with insights into evolutionary biology and told with a rich affection for the scientific arena, this book celebrates the organic, vital relationship between scientific thinking and its subjects.
During the Victorian period, the practice of science shifted from a religious context to a naturalistic one. It is generally assumed that this shift occurred because naturalistic science was distinct from and superior to theistic science. Yet as Huxley's Church and Maxwell's Demon reveals, most of the methodological values underlying scientific practice were virtually identical for the theists and the naturalists: each agreed on the importance of the uniformity of natural laws, the use of hypothesis and theory, the moral value of science, and intellectual freedom. But if scientific naturalism did not rise to dominance because of its methodological superiority, then how did it triumph?
Matthew Stanley explores the overlap and shift between theistic and naturalistic science through a parallel study of two major scientific figures: James Clerk Maxwell, a devout Christian physicist, and Thomas Henry Huxley, the iconoclast biologist who coined the word agnostic. Both were deeply engaged in the methodological, institutional, and political issues that were crucial to the theistic-naturalistic transformation. What Stanley's analysis of these figures reveals is that the scientific naturalists executed a number of strategies over a generation to gain control of the institutions of scientific education and to reimagine the history of their discipline. Rather than a sudden revolution, the similarity between theistic and naturalistic science allowed for a relatively smooth transition in practice from the old guard to the new.
From Blaise Pascal in the 1600s to Charles Babbage in the first half of the nineteenth century, inventors struggled to create the first calculating machines. All failed but that doesn't mean we can't learn from the trail of ideas, correspondence, machines, and arguments they left behind. In Reckoning with Matter, Matthew Jones draws on the remarkably extensive and well-preserved records of the quest to explore the concrete processes involved in imagining, elaborating, testing, and building calculating machines. He explores the writings of philosophers, engineers, and craftspeople, showing how they thought about technical novelty, their distinctive areas of expertise, and ways they could coordinate their efforts, to argue that the conceptions of creativity and making they exhibited are often more incisive and more honest than those that dominate our current legal, political, and aesthetic culture.
Alexandra Horowitz’s runaway bestseller Inside of a Dog began a movement among dog owners to not just quietly accept and enjoy the presence of the pooch at their sides, but to wonder at that dog, and let him show us how he sees the world, and what he knows.
What the dog sees and knows comes mostly through his nose, and the information that every dog has about the world based on smell is unthinkably rich. It is rich in a way we humans once knew something about, once even acted on, but have since neglected. By smelling, tapping into this sensory resource that we have but that we largely ignore, the dog has become an informant. To a dog, there is no such thing as ‘fresh air.’ Every gulp of air is full of information.
In Being a Dog, Horowitz, a research scientist in the field of dog cognition, explores what the nose knows as never done before by taking an imaginative leap into what it is like to be a dog. Under the tutelage of her family dogs, Finnegan and Upton, Horowitz sets off on a quest to make sense of scents, combining a personal journey of smelling with a tour through the cutting edge and improbable science behind the olfactory abilities of the dog.
From revealing the spectacular biology of the dog nose, to following a tracking dog being put through his paces and trying herself to become a better smeller, Horowitz covers the topic of noses – both canine and human – from surprising, novel, and always fascinating angles. As we come to understand how rich, complex, and exciting the world around us appears to the canine nose, Horowitz changes our perspective on dogs forever.
Readers will finish this book feeling that they have glimpsed or sensed or smelled into the fourth dimension, literally breaking free of their human constraints and understanding smell as never before; that they have, for however fleetingly, been a dog.
What separates your mind from an animal's? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future; all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the preeminent species on Earth. But in recent decades, these claims have been eroded, or disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition.
Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose photographic memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores the scope and the depth of animal intelligence, revealing how we have grossly underestimated their abilities.
People often assume there is a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with human intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you're less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal tells of the rise and fall of a view of animals as stimulus-reponse beings, and opens our eyes to their complex and intrricate minds.
With astonishing stories of animal cognition, expert science and De Waal's deeply enquiring mind, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? challenges everything you thought you knew about animal-and human-intelligence.
Why are owls regarded either as wise or as harbingers of doom? What gave rise to the fanciful belief that storks bring babies? Why is the eagle associated with victory or the hummingbird with paradise? The answers are here in this new and engaging book. By re-telling the many legends, beliefs, proverbs and predictions associated with more than 80 birds from many nations, it brings into focus the close - and often ancient - links between humans and these remarkable feathered descendants of dinosaurs. Discover, for instance: Why the cockerel features on many church spires The one sacred bird that symbolises life and peace in most cultures How to dispel bad luck if you see this black-and-white bird The South-American 'devil bird' once thought to be a dragon Birds: lore, myth and legend draws on historical accounts and scientific literature to reveal how colourful tales or superstitions were shaped by human imagination from each bird's behaviour or appearance. It offers an enchanting and different perspective on birds across the world.
A riveting journey into the bizarre world of the Asian arowana or "dragon fish" - the world's most expensive aquarium fish reveals a surprising history with profound implications for the future of wild animals and human beings alike.
A young man is murdered for his prized pet fish. An Asian tycoon buys a single specimen for $150,000. Meanwhile, a pet detective chases smugglers through the streets of New York. Delving into an outlandish realm of obsession, paranoia, and criminality, The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other: a powerful predator dating to the age of the dinosaurs. Treasured as a status symbol believed to bring good luck, the Asian arowana is bred on high-security farms in Southeast Asia and sold by the hundreds of thousands each year. In the United States, however, it's protected by the Endangered Species Act and illegal to bring into the country - though it remains the object of a thriving black market. From the South Bronx to Singapore, journalist Emily Voigt follows the trail of the fish, ultimately embarking on a years-long quest to find the arowana in the wild, venturing deep into some of the last remaining tropical wildernesses on earth.
With a captivating blend of personal reporting, history, and science, The Dragon Behind the Glass traces our modern fascination with aquarium fish back to the era of exploration when intrepid naturalists stood on the cutting edge of modern science, discovering new and wondrous species in jungles all over the world. In an age when freshwater fish now comprise one of the most rapidly vanishing groups of animals on the planet, Voigt unearths a paradoxical truth behind the dragon fish's rise to fame - one that calls into question how we protect the world's rarest species. An elegant exploration of the human conquest of nature, The Dragon Behind the Glass revels in the sheer wonder of life's diversity and lays bare our deepest desire - to hold onto what is wild.
Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, listeners travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest. Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to reevaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity's place in the world.
Including a chapter by 2014 Nobel laureates May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser An unprecedented look at the quest to unravel the mysteries of the human brain, The Future of the Brain takes readers to the absolute frontiers of science. Original essays by leading researchers such as Christof Koch, George Church, Olaf Sporns, and May-Britt and Edvard Moser describe the spectacular technological advances that will enable us to map the more than eighty-five billion neurons in the brain, as well as the challenges that lie ahead in understanding the anticipated deluge of data and the prospects for building working simulations of the human brain. A must-read for anyone trying to understand ambitious new research programs such as the Obama administration's BRAIN Initiative and the European Union's Human Brain Project, The Future of the Brain sheds light on the breathtaking implications of brain science for medicine, psychiatry, and even human consciousness itself. Contributors include: Misha Ahrens, Ned Block, Matteo Carandini, George Church, John Donoghue, Chris Eliasmith, Simon Fisher, Mike Hawrylycz, Sean Hill, Christof Koch, Leah Krubitzer, Michel Maharbiz, Kevin Mitchell, Edvard Moser, May-Britt Moser, David Poeppel, Krishna Shenoy, Olaf Sporns, Anthony Zador.
The charm and mystique of owls resonates through human history. From ancient myth and superstition to the most popular modern children' s stories, these beautiful, deadly birds are harbingers of good and bad news, icons of fear and wisdom, and powerful sidekicks of magic-makers. Yet uncovering the reality of their lives is a tremendous challenge, as most are nocturnal and many extremely secretive. New species are still being discovered, as are new insights into the habits of even the most familiar species. Owls brings together full descriptions and distribution maps for all 225 owl species in the world, illustrated with stunning colour photographs.
The Birds and the Bees series was designed for Vintage Classics by Timorous Beasties, the Scottish studio famous for their designs inspired by the natural world. One night Mark Cocker followed the roiling, deafening flock of rooks and jackdaws which regularly passed over his Norfolk home on their way to roost in the Yare valley. From the moment he watched the multitudes blossom as a mysterious dark flower above the woods, these gloriously commonplace birds became for Cocker a fixation and a way of life. Journeying across Britain, through spectacular failures, magical successes and epiphanies, Cocker uncovers the mysteries of these birds' inner lives. SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2008 SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE.
The Birds and the Bees series was designed for Vintage Classics by Timorous Beasties, the Scottish studio famous for their designs inspired by the natural world. Beginning in summer with clouds of breeding seabirds in Shetland and ending with nightjars like giant moths in the heart of England, Tim Dee maps his encounters with birds over four decades of tracking them around the world. He tells of familiar but near-global birds like sparrows, starlings and ravens, and exotic species, like electrically coloured hummingbirds in California and bee-eaters in Africa. Dee restores us to the primacy of looking, and takes us outside, again and again, to marvel at what is flying above us.
The Birds and the Bees series was designed for Vintage Classics by Timorous Beasties, the Scottish studio famous for their designs inspired by the natural world. As a small boy, Dave Goulson was obsessed with wildlife - from his childhood menagerie of exotic pets to his ill-fated experiments with taxidermy. But it was the bumblebee that fascinated him the most. Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the short-haired bumblebee was driven to extinction in Britain by intensive farming practices. With ground-breaking research into these curious creatures, A Sting in the Tale tells the story of Goulson's passionate drive to reintroduce them to their native land. SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE.
Neuroscience, with its astounding new technologies, is uncovering the workings of the brain and with this perhaps the mind. The 'neuro' prefix spills out into every area of life, from neuroaesthetics to neuroeconomics, neurogastronomy and neuroeducation. With its promise to cure physical and social ills, government sees neuroscience as a tool to increase the 'mental capital' of the children of the deprived and workless. It sets aside intensifying poverty and inequality, instead claiming that basing children's rearing and education on brain science will transform both the child's and the nation's health and wealth. Leading critic of such neuropretensions, neuroscientist Steven Rose and sociologist of science Hilary Rose take a sceptical look at these claims and the science underlying them, sifting out the sensible from the snake oil. Examining the ways in which science is shaped by and shapes the political economy of neoliberalism, they argue that neuroscience on its own is not able to bear the weight of these hopes.
We are in the midst of a revolution. It is a scientific revolution built upon the tools of molecular biology, with which we probe and prod the living world in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. Need to track a bacterium at the root of a hospital outbreak? No problem: the offending germ's complete genetic profile can be obtained in 24 hours. We insert human DNA into E. coli bacteria to produce our insulin. It is natural to look at biotechnology in the 21st century with a mix of wonder and fear. But biotechnology is not as 'unnatural' as one might think. All living organisms use the same molecular processes to replicate their genetic material and the same basic code to 'read' their genes. The similarities can be seen in their DNA. Here, John Archibald shows how evolution has been 'plugging-and-playing' with the subcellular components of life from the very beginning and continues to do so today. For evidence, we need look no further than the inner workings of our own cells. Molecular biology has allowed us to gaze back more than three billion years, revealing the microbial mergers and acquisitions that underpin the development of complex life. One Plus One Equals One tells the story of how we have come to this realization and its implications.
Although plants comprise more than 90% of all visible life, and land plants and algae collectively make up the most morphologically, physiologically, and ecologically diverse group of organisms on earth, books on evolution instead tend to focus on animals.
This organismal bias has led to an incomplete and often erroneous understanding of evolutionary theory. Because plants grow and reproduce differently than animals, they have evolved differently, and generally accepted evolutionary views'as, for example, the standard models of speciation'often fail to hold when applied to them.
Tapping such wide-ranging topics as genetics, gene regulatory networks, phenotype mapping, and multicellularity, as well as paleobotany, Karl J. Niklas's Plant Evolution offers fresh insight into these differences. Following up on his landmark book The Evolutionary Biology of Plants'in which he drew on cutting-edge computer simulations that used plants as models to illuminate key evolutionary theories'Niklas incorporates data from more than a decade of new research in the flourishing field of molecular biology, conveying not only why the study of evolution is so important, but also why the study of plants is essential to our understanding of evolutionary processes.
Niklas shows us that investigating the intricacies of plant development, the diversification of early vascular land plants, and larger patterns in plant evolution is not just a botanical pursuit: it is vital to our comprehension of the history of all life on this green planet.
Our seas are host to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal life, but much of it remains mysterious and great imagery is surprisingly hard to find. Alex Mustard is one of the world's leading underwater photographers and his images are so crisp and immediate that the animals seem to swim out of the water towards you. This beautiful book gathers together a selection of his award-winning images and a number of new ones to create a vivid picture of the seas and oceans and the animals that inhabit them, each chapter accompanied by a 1500 word essay and extended captions written by leading natural history writer, Professor Callum Roberts. The text addresses the issue of change in the oceans along with tales of oceanography, marine life and human history in the seas and aims to help the reader to get to know the oceans, understand how marine animals live their lives and how they have, are and may well adapt to change.
Could we solve queuing with an equation? How do algorithms control our news? What is the secret behind encryption codes? Mathematics is inescapable. Wherever you go, whatever you do, however you live your life, mathematics plays a role. From controlling a city's traffic to finding love, spending money online to building a skyscraper, the mathematics at play in our world is fascinating. Yet despite its ubiquity, for many of us, how the maths of today really works remains complex. Timothy Revell distils these complexities in this essential guide to modern-day mathematics. Along the way we discover how social media trends work, why the universe has a favourite number and what this means for you. Man vs Maths shows you how understanding a little more mathematics can help improve your life.
Eight fascinating examples show how understanding certain topics in advanced mathematics requires nothing more than arithmetic and common sense. Equally appealing to beginners and to the mathematically adept, this book bridges the humanities and sciences to explore applications behind computers, cell phones, measurement of astronomical distance, cell growth, and other areas.
Concise and highly focused, this review offers everything high school and beginning college students need to know to handle problems in probability and statistics. Rigorously tested examples and coherent, to-the-point explanations are presented in an easy-to-follow format. A companion volume to Dover's Attacking Trigonometry Problems and Attacking Problems in Logarithms and Exponential Functions.
Measurement is a fundamental concept that underpins almost every aspect of the modern world. It is central to the sciences, social sciences, medicine, and economics, but it affects everyday life. We measure everything - from the distance of far-off galaxies to the temperature of the air, levels of risk, political majorities, taxes, blood pressure, IQ, and weight. The history of measurement goes back to the ancient world, and its story has been one of gradual standardization. Today there are different types of measurement, levels of accuracy, and systems of units, applied in different contexts. Measurement involves notions of variability, accuracy, reliability, and error, and challenges such as the measurement of extreme values. In this Very Short Introduction, David Hand explains the common mathematical framework underlying all measurement, the main approaches to measurement, and the challenges involved. Following a brief historical account of measurement, he discusses measurement as used in the physical sciences and engineering, the life sciences and medicine, the social and behavioural sciences, economics, business, and public policy.
The first seven chapters of this concise text provide an exposition of the basic topics of solid analytic geometry and comprise the material for a one-semester course on the subject for undergraduate mathematics majors. The remaining two chapters offer additional material for longer courses or supplementary study. Chapters 1 and 2 contain a treatment of the equations of lines and planes. Subsequent chapters offer an exposition of classical elementary surface and curve theory, a treatment of spheres, and an examination of the classical descriptions of quadric surfaces in standard position. An exploration of the theory of matrices follows, with applications to the three-dimensional case of quadric surfaces. The text concludes with a survey of spherical coordinates and elements of projective geometry.
The 20th century gave us two great theories of physics: the general theory of relativity, which describes the behaviour of things on a very large scale, including the entire Universe; and quantum theory, which describes the behaviour of things on a very small scale, the sub-atomic world. The refusal of the Universe to reveal an equation that combines these two great ideas has caused some people to doubt our whole understanding of physics. In this landmark new book, popular science master John Gribbin tells the dramatic story of the quest that has led us to discover the true age of the Universe (13.8 billion years) and the stars (just a little bit younger). This discovery, Gribbin argues, is one of humankind's greatest achievements and shows us that physics is on the right track to finding the 'Theory of Everything'. 13.8 provides an eye-opening look at this cutting-edge area of modern cosmology and physics, and tells the compelling story of what modern science has achieved - and what it can still achieve.
Based on common, everyday phenomena, the principles governing the balance of forces on machines and structures are extremely straightforward. Their expression in mathematical form, however, obscures their clarity. This volume exposes the principles of statics in their original simplicity, presenting them as an exercise in logic. The modern analytical method of reasoning is carefully preserved to assist students in their grasp of the thinking that underlies mathematical methods of analysis.Suitable for architecture and engineering students as well as other readers with minimal background in mathematics, this unique treatment also restores enjoyment to the study of statics. Author Paul Sandori develops the subject using crucial highlights and discoveries in the field's historical evolution, noting the brilliant early insights and intuitions that contributed to the modern science. The text is complemented by illustrations of source materials from Galileo, Newton, and others that document the discipline's evolution.
Packed full of interesting and useful facts, this handy reference will help you to appreciate and avoid these often unfairly maligned animals. Each chapter, written by a recognised expert, describes aspects of the animals habits and where and in what circumstances you are likely to encounter them. Identification is made easy through clear distribution maps, colour photos and other useful aids. And in the unlikely event that you have an unpleasant encounter with one of these creatures, the comprehensive first-aid and medical-treatment section will be invaluable. Whether you live int he city or the bush, this book is a must - you never know when youll cross paths with one of Australias most dangerous inhabitants
This comprehensive new field guide is an excellent addition to the world-renowned series - the ultimate reference book for travelling birdwatchers. Every species of bird you might encounter in the region is featured, apart from non-established introductions. This includes coverage of China (south of the line used to define the Palearctic), Hainan (treated separately from SE China), Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and the Coco Islands. As many of the major subspecies as possible are also included. Beautiful artwork depicts their breeding plumage, and non-breeding plumage when it differs significantly. The accompanying text concentrates on the specific characteristics and appearance of each species that allow identification in the field, including voice and distribution maps.
From The Land Before Time to Jurassic Park, images of fantastically large, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs have captured our imaginations. These are the sauropods: centerpieces of museums and gentle giants of the distant past. Imagine what it must have been like to crest a hill and see in the valley below not just one sauropod, but an entire herd, feeding its way across the landscape.
The most massive land animals ever to have lived, sauropods roamed widely across the continents through most of the "Age of Dinosaurs" from about 220 to 65 million years ago. They reached incredible sizes, giving rise to the question: Why were they so big? Early guesses suggested that they gained protection from predators by virtue of their size, which also allowed them to reach the tops of trees in order to eat leaves and conifer needles. More recent hypotheses hold that they needed a long and complicated digestive tract due to their consumption of low-nutrient food sources: size was an offshoot of that need. Whatever the explanation, there is little doubt that natural selection produced something extraordinary when the Sauropoda diversified into a wide variety of species. This book combines majestic artwork and the best of paleontological research to resurrect the lives of sauropods.
The Sauropod Dinosaurs shows how these amazing creatures raised and defended their young, traveled in groups, and interacted with the rich diversity of Mesozoic plants and animals. Beautiful enough to sit on the coffee table, the book also serves as the best reference available on these bygone giants. Anyone with a passion for dinosaurs or prehistoric life will cherish this once-in-a-generation masterpiece.
The book includes the following features:· Over 200 full-color illustrations· More than 100 color photographs from museums, field sites, and collections around the world· Thoughtfully placed drawings and charts· Clearly written text reviewed by major sauropod researchers· Descriptions of the latest sauropod concepts and discoveries· A field guide to major groups of sauropods· Detailed skeletal reconstructions and anatomical restorations· A comprehensive glossary.