This book introduces two new Lovelockian ideas. The first is that three hundred years ago, when Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine, he was unknowingly beginning what Lovelock calls 'accelerated evolution', a process which is bringing about change on our planet roughly a million times faster than Darwinian evolution. The second is that as part of this process, humanity has the capacity to become the intelligent part of Gaia, the self-regulating Earth system whose discovery Lovelock first announced nearly 50 years ago. In addition, Lovelock gives his reflections on how scientific advances are made, and his own remarkable life as a lone scientist. The contribution of human beings to our planet is, Lovelock contends, similar to that of the early photosynthesisers around 3.4 billion years ago, which made the Earth's atmosphere what it was until very recently. By our domination and our invention, we are now changing the atmosphere again. There is little that can be done about this, but instead of feeling guilty about it we should recognise what is happening, prepare for change, and ensure that we survive as a species so we can contribute to - perhaps even guide - the next evolution of Gaia. The road will be rough, but if we are smart enough life will continue on Earth in some form far into the future.
Maths is everywhere, often where we don't even realise. Award-winning professor Steven Strogatz acts as our guide as he takes us on a tour of numbers that - unbeknownst to the unitiated - connect pop culture, literature, art, philosophy, current affairs, business and even every day life. In The Joy of X, Strogatz explains the great ideas of maths - from negative numbers to calculus, fat tails to infinity - with clarity, wit and insight. He is the maths teacher you never had and this book is perfect for the smart and curious, the expert and the beginner.
There are some mathematical problems whose significance goes beyond the ordinary - like Fermat's Last Theorem or Goldbach's Conjecture - they are the enigmas which define mathematics. The Great Mathematical Problems explains why these problems exist, why they matter, what drives mathematicians to incredible lengths to solve them and where they stand in the context of mathematics and science as a whole. It contains solved problems - like the Poincare Conjecture, cracked by the eccentric genius Grigori Perelman, who refused academic honours and a million-dollar prize for his work, and ones which, like the Riemann Hypothesis, remain baffling after centuries. Stewart is the guide to this mysterious and exciting world, showing how modern mathematicians constantly rise to the challenges set by their predecessors, as the great mathematical problems of the past succumb to the new techniques and ideas of the present.
Calculus. For some of us, the word conjures up memories of ten-pound textbooks and visions of tedious abstract equations. And yet, in reality, calculus is fun, accessible, and surrounds us everywhere we go. In Everyday Calculus, Oscar Fernandez shows us how to see the math in our coffee, on the highway, and even in the night sky. Fernandez uses our everyday experiences to skillfully reveal the hidden calculus behind a typical day's events. He guides us through how math naturally emerges from simple observations - how hot coffee cools down, for example - and in discussions of over fifty familiar events and activities. Fernandez demonstrates that calculus can be used to explore practically any aspect of our lives, including the most effective number of hours to sleep and the fastest route to get to work. He also shows that calculus can be both useful - determining which seat at the theater leads to the best viewing experience, for instance - and fascinating - exploring topics such as time travel and the age of the universe. Throughout, Fernandez presents straightforward concepts, and no prior mathematical knowledge is required. For advanced math fans, the mathematical derivations are included in the appendixes. Whether you're new to mathematics or already a curious math enthusiast, Everyday Calculus invites you to spend a day discovering the calculus all around you. The book will convince even die-hard skeptics to view this area of math in a whole new way.
This book provides a fun, hands-on approach to learning how mathematics and computing relate to the world around us and help us to better understand it. How can reposting on Twitter kill a movie's opening weekend? How can you use mathematics to find your celebrity look-alike? What is Homer Simpson's method for disproving Fermat's Last Theorem? Each topic in this refreshingly inviting book illustrates a famous mathematical algorithm or result--such as Google's PageRank and the traveling salesman problem--and the applications grow more challenging as you progress through the chapters. But don't worry, helpful solutions are provided each step of the way. Math Bytes shows you how to do calculus using a bag of chocolate chips, and how to prove the Euler characteristic simply by doodling. Generously illustrated in color throughout, this lively and entertaining book also explains how to create fractal landscapes with a roll of the dice, pick a competitive bracket for March Madness, decipher the math that makes it possible to resize a computer font or launch an Angry Bird--and much, much more. All of the applications are presented in an accessible and engaging way, enabling beginners and advanced readers alike to learn and explore at their own pace--a bit and a byte at a time.
Lilian Medland has not received until now the recognition she deserves as a painter of birds. Due to world events and circumstances, five important books on birds containing her superb illustrations were never published. Even now, she is not mentioned in the Australian Dictionary of Biography in her own right, but only in the entry for her husband, ornithologist Tom Iredale. Seen but Not Heard is the first publication to shine a light on the life and work of this much-overlooked but brilliant Australian natural history artist.
In the tercentenary year of the Longitude Act, Fourth Estate present an anniversary edition of Dana Sobel's bestselling history of an epic scientific quest and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. With an introduction by Neil Armstrong. Anyone alive in the 18th century would have known that 'the longitude problem' was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day - and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The quest for a solution had occupied scientists and their patrons for the better part of two centuries when, in 1714, Parliament upped the ante by offering a king's ransom (GBP20,000) to anyone whose method or device proved successful. Countless quacks weighed in with preposterous suggestions. The scientific establishment throughout Europe - from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton - had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution. Full of heroism and chicanery, brilliance and the absurd, 'Longitude' is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation and clockmaking.
The early 1830s witnessed an extraordinary transformation in British political, literary, and intellectual life. New scientific disciplines begin to take shape, while new concepts of the natural world were hotly debated. James Secord, Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project, captures this unique moment of change by exploring key books, including Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, Mary Somerville's Connexion of the Physical Sciences, and Thomas Carlyle's satirical work, Sartor Resartus. Set in the context of electoral reform and debates about the extension of education to meet the demands of the coming age of empire and industry, Secord shows how the books were published, disseminated, admired, attacked and satirized.
The Sick Rose is a beautifully gruesome and strangely fascinating visual tour through disease in an age before colour photography. This stunning volume, combining detailed illustrations of afflicted patients from some of the worlds rarest medical books, forms an unforgettable and profoundly human reminder of mankinds struggle with disease. Incorporating historic maps, pioneering charts and contemporary case notes, Richard Barnetts evocative overview reveals the fears and obsessions of an era gripped by epidemics.
What if we woke up one morning all of the dinosaur bones in the world were gone? How would we know these iconic animals had a165-million year history on earth, and had adapted to all land-based environments from pole to pole? What clues would be left to discern not only their presence, but also to learn about their sex lives, raising of young, social lives, combat, and who ate who? What would it take for us to know how fast dinosaurs moved, whether they lived underground, climbed trees, or went for a swim? Welcome to the world of ichnology, the study of traces and trace fossils such as tracks, trails, burrows, nests, toothmarks, and other vestiges of behavior and how through these remarkable clues, we can explore and intuit the rich and complicated lives of dinosaurs. With a unique, detective-like approach, interpreting the forensic clues of these long-extinct animals that leave a much richer legacy than bones, Martin brings the wild world of the Mesozoic to life for the twenty-first century reader.
Theories about how our ancestors lived - and why we should emulate them - are often based on pseudoscience and speculation rather than actual research. Taking us to the cutting edge of biology, Marlene Zuk explains that evolution can work faster than was previously realised, meaning that we are not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors. Zuk shows how our visions of an ideal evolutionary past in which we ate, lived and reproduced as we were meant to can lead us astray and distract us from more interesting considerations of how we differ from our forebears. Along the way, she debunks the caveman diet, discusses whether we're really designed to run barefoot and considers modern-day courtship and child-rearing practices in the context of how our ancestors lived.
This overview of dinosaur discoveries in Mexico synthesizes current information about the geography and environment of the region during the Mesozoic when it was the western margin of the ancient continent of Pangea. The book summarizes research on various groups, including turtles, lepidosauromorphs, pleisosaurs, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and last but not least, dinosaurs. In addition, chapters focus on trackways and other trace fossils and on K/P boundary (the Chicxulub crater, beneath the Gulf of Mexico, has been hypothesized as the site of the boloid impact that killed off the dinosaurs). Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico is an up-to-date, informative volume on an area that has not been comprehensively described until now.
Distant relatives of modern lobsters, horseshoe crabs, and spiders, trilobites swam the planet's prehistoric seas for 300 million years, from the Lower Cambrian to the end of the Permian eras-and they did so very capably. Trilobite fossils have been unearthed on every continent, with more than 20,000 species identified by science. One of the most arresting animals of our pre-dinosaur world, trilobites are also favorites among the fossil collectors of today, their crystalline eyes often the catalyst for a lifetime of paleontological devotion. And there is no collector more devoted-or more venerated-than Riccardo Levi-Setti. With The Trilobite Book, a much anticipated follow-up to his classic Trilobites, Levi-Setti brings us a glorious and revealing guide to these surreal arthropods of ancient Earth. Featuring specimens from Bohemia to Newfoundland, California to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and Wales to the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Levi-Setti's magnificent book reanimates these butterflies of the seas in 235 astonishing full-color photographs. All original, Levi-Setti's images serve as the jumping-off point for tales of his global quests in search of these highly sought-after fossils; for discussions of their mineralogical origins, as revealed by their color; and for unraveling the role of the now-extinct trilobites in our planetary history. Sure to enthrall paleontologists with its scientific insights and amateur enthusiasts with its beautiful and informative images, The Trilobite Book combines the best of science, technology, aesthetics, and personal adventure. It will inspire new collectors for eras to come.
This 176-page title with 240 colour photographs is the only pet owner/breeder reference on health and diseases in reptiles and amphibians in captivity.<br><br>All aspects regarding the captive care of snakes, pythons, lizards, turtles and frogs are presented in a simple-to-follow layout.<br><br>The 240 colour images show examples of typical health problems to assist the herpetologist in recognising signs as well as information about the treatment or action to take to rectify or reduce the spread of disease and support the reptile/amphibian back to good health.<br><br>Too many ill animals are presented to veterinarians by keepers who are mortified when they realise that, through their lack of understanding of correct housing, hygiene, heating, lighting, feeding and breeding procedures, they may have contributed to the onset of disease in the animal in their care. Although this is not always the case, a large percentage of sick pythons, lizards, turtles and frogs are due to incorrect management.<br><br>Become informed to prevent health problems from entering your collection. Furthermore, become better equipped to recognise signs of illness before further development may prohibit a return to good health.<br><br>This book is an essential reference for any responsible keeper of reptiles and amphibians.
As troubling as we pattern-seeking humans may find it, modern science has repeatedly shown us that randomness is the underlying heartbeat of nature. In Dice World, acclaimed science writer Brian Clegg takes readers on an incredible trip around our random universe, uncovering the truths and lies behind probability and statistics, explaining how chaotic intervention is behind every great success in business, and demonstrating the possibilities quantum mechanics has given us for creating unbreakable ciphers and undergoing teleportation. He explores how the 'clockwork universe' imagined by Newton, in which everything could be predicted given enough data, was disproved bit by bit, to be supplanted by chaos theory and quantum physics. Clegg reveals a world in which not only is accurate forecasting often impossible but probability is the only way for us to understand the fundamental nature of things. Forget the clockwork universe. Welcome to Dice World, a unique portrait of a startlingly complex cosmos, from the bizarre microscopic world of the quantum to the unfathomable mechanics of planetary movements, where very little is as it seems...
The mathematics of ancient Egypt was fundamentally different from our math today. Contrary to what people might think, it wasn't a primitive forerunner of modern mathematics. In fact, it can't be understood using our current computational methods. Count Like an Egyptian provides a fun, hands-on introduction to the intuitive and often-surprising art of ancient Egyptian math. David Reimer guides you step-by-step through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and more. He even shows you how fractions and decimals may have been calculated--they technically didn't exist in the land of the pharaohs. You'll be counting like an Egyptian in no time, and along the way you'll learn firsthand how mathematics is an expression of the culture that uses it, and why there's more to math than rote memorization and bewildering abstraction. Reimer takes you on a lively and entertaining tour of the ancient Egyptian world, providing rich historical details and amusing anecdotes as he presents a host of mathematical problems drawn from different eras of the Egyptian past. Each of these problems is like a tantalizing puzzle, often with a beautiful and elegant solution. As you solve them, you'll be immersed in many facets of Egyptian life, from hieroglyphs and pyramid building to agriculture, religion, and even bread baking and beer brewing. Fully illustrated in color throughout, Count Like an Egyptian also teaches you some Babylonian computation--the precursor to our modern system--and compares ancient Egyptian mathematics to today's math, letting you decide for yourself which is better.
Recent breakthroughs in the science of life are solving the great mystery of its origin while giving us the power to design its future. Presented here back-to-back, these two gripping narratives reveal the full story of creation. The Origin of Life takes the reader on a gripping, four-billion-year journey of discovery to explain what life is, where it came from and in what form it first appeared. From interplanetary collisions to the inner-workings of cells and genes, it offers answers to the very grandest of questions before arriving at a thrilling solution to the greatest detective story of them all. The Future of Life introduces a new chapter in human history: living technology. Our mastery of genetics now allows us to create entirely new life-forms within the laboratory - goats that produce spider silk in their milk, bacteria that excrete diesel, cells that identify and destroy tumours - but this revolutionary technology is fraught with controversy, not least the fear of bioterrorism. While introducing us to these remarkable innovations and explaining how they work, Adam Rutherford presents a powerful argument for their benefit to humankind.
Recently, scientists at the frontiers of biology have hypothesised the existence of life-forms that can only be called weird : organisms that live off acid rather than water, microbes that thrive at temperatures and pressure levels so extreme that their cellular structures should break down, even organisms that reproduce without DNA. The search for these strange life-forms spans the universe, from the Martian permafrost, the ammonia oceans of Jupiter's moons, the hydrogen-rich atmospheres of giant planets, the exotic ices on comets and the crusts of neutron stars. David Toomey brings us into the world of the researchers who have devoted their careers to weird life . As they envision and discover ever stranger organisms here on earth, they open up fascinating possibilities for the discovery of life in the rest of the universe.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was discovered in 1964. At the time, the very idea of a virus underlying a cancer was revolutionary. Cancer is, after all, not catching. Even now, the idea of a virus causing cancer surprises many people. But Epstein-Barr, named after its discoverers, Sir Anthony Epstein and Dr Yvonne Barr, is fascinating for other reasons too. Almost everyone carries it, yet it is only under certain circumstances that it produces disease. It has been associated with different, apparently unrelated, diseases in different populations: Burkitt's Lymphoma, producing tumours in the jaw, in African children; a nasal tumour in China; glandular fever in Europe and the USA; and the majority of cases of Hodgkin's Disease everywhere. This book tells the story of the discovery of the virus, and the recognition of its connection with these various diseases - an account that spans the world and involves some remarkable characters and individual stories.
There are two supreme predators on the planet with the most complex brains in nature: humans and orcas. In the twentieth century alone, one of these animals killed 200 million members of its own species, the other has killed none. Jeffrey Masson's fascinating new book begins here: There is something different about us. In his previous bestsellers, Masson has showed that animals can teach us much about our own emotions--love (dogs), contentment (cats), grief (elephants), among others. But animals have much to teach us about negative emotions such as anger and aggression as well, and in unexpected ways. In Beasts he demonstrates that the violence we perceive in the wild is mostly a matter of projection. We link the basest human behavior to animals, to beasts ( he behaved no better than a beast ), and claim the high ground for our species. We are least human, we think, when we succumb to our primitive, animal ancestry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Animals, at least predators, kill to survive, but there is nothing in the annals of animal aggression remotely equivalent to the violence of mankind. Our burden is that humans, and in particular humans in our modern industrialized world, are the most violent animals to our own kind in existence, or possibly ever in existence on earth. We lack what all other animals have: a check on the aggression that would destroy the species rather than serve it. It is here, Masson says, that animals have something to teach us about our own history. In Beasts, he strips away our misconceptions of the creatures we fear, offering a powerful and compelling look at our uniquely human propensity toward aggression.
Over the past 180 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty-seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth. What enabled us to survive when all the others were shown the evolutionary door? Chip Walter tells the intriguing tale of how against all odds and despite nature's capricious ways we stand here today, the planet's most dominant species. Drawing on a wide variety of scientific disciplines, he reveals how a rare evolutionary phenomenon led to the uniquely long childhoods that make us so resourceful and emotionally complex. Walter explains how the evolution of our highly social nature has shaped our moral (and immoral) behavior. He also plumbs the roots of our creativity and investigates why we became self-aware in ways that no other animal is. Along the way, Last Ape Standing profiles the mysterious others who evolved with us-the Neanderthals of Europe, the hobbits of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia, and the recently discovered Red Deer Cave people of China, who died off just as we stood on the brink of civilization eleven thousand years ago. Last Ape Standing is evocative science writing at its best-a witty, engaging and accessible story that explores the evolutionary events that molded us into the remarkably unique creatures we are.
A fascinating tour through the science behind who we are and how we got this way--from the author of The Calculus Diaries As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the miniscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology--enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor--to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior. Readers follow her own surprising journey of self-discovery as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel's famous pea plant experiments and mutations in The X-Men to our taste for cilantro and our relationships with virtual avatars, Ouellette takes us on an endlessly thrilling and illuminating trip into the science of ourselves.
'You are the music / While the music lasts' T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets Do babies remember music from the womb? Can classical music increase your child's IQ? Is music good for productivity? Can it aid recovery from illness and injury? And what is going on in your brain when Ultravox's 'Vienna', Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht or Dizzee Rascal's 'Bonkers' transports you back to teenage years? In a brilliant new work that will delight music lovers of every persuasion, music psychologist Victoria Williamson examines our relationship with music across the whole of a lifetime. Along the way she reveals the amazing ways in which music can physically reshape our brains, explores how 'smart music listening' can improve cognitive performance, and considers the perennial puzzle of what causes 'earworms'. Requiring no specialist musical or scientific knowledge, this upbeat, eye-opening book reveals as never before the extent of the universal language of music that lives deep inside us all.
This is the first climate change adaptation plan produced for a national faunal group anywhere in the world. It outlines the nature of threats related to climate change for the Australian bird taxa most likely to be affected by climate change, and provides recommendations on what might be done to assist them and an approximate cost of doing so. It also features an analysis of how climate change will affect all Australian birds, explains why some species are likely to be more exposed or sensitive to it than others, and explores the theory and practice of conservation management under the realities of a changing climate.
Written for students and researchers in systems biology, the second edition of this best-selling textbook continues to offer a clear presentation of design principles that govern the structure and behavior of biological networks, highlighting simple, recurring circuit elements that make up the network. Rigorously classroom-tested, it contains new additions as well as corrections and revisions for better flow. This edition includes four new chapters: Perfect Robustness, Scaling in Development, Noise and Variability in Biological Circuits, and Evolution of Modularity. It also doubles the number of exercises and adds an appendix.
The Millennium Seed Bank Project is the largest conservation project ever conceived. It will appeal to scientists, artists and photographers alike. Art and science collaborate on a fascinating story with extraordinary images in a highly-acclaimed book. Seeds, the most complex organs produced by plants, ensure the biodiversity of our planet. They vary from the impressive Seychelles nut that weighs twenty kilos to the dust-like seeds of the orchids. The evolution of their highly sophisticated structures from prehistoric times to today makes fascinating reading as do the wiles plants use to attract and deceive their chosen pollinators. The extraordinary images that accompany this story provide an unprecedented presentation of the magnificent diversity of seeds in all their exquisite beauty and sophistication. Fruits are the keepers of the precious seeds that ensure our future; some are edible, others inedible and many, quite simply, incredible.
Answering every conceivable question about sharks, authors Gene Helfman and George H. Burgess describe the fascinating biology, behavior, diversity (there are more than 1,000 species worldwide), and cultural importance of sharks, their close relationship to skates and rays, and their critical role in healthy ecosystems. Helfman and Burgess take readers on a round-the-world tour of shark habitats, which include oceans as well as lakes and even rivers (as far up the Mississippi as St. Louis). They describe huge, ferocious predators like (Great) White and Tiger sharks and species such as Basking and Whale sharks that feed on microscopic prey yet can grow to lengths of more than 40 feet. The mysterious and powerful Greenland shark, the authors explain, reaches a weight of 2,200 pounds on a diet of seal flesh. Small (less than 2-foot long) Cookiecutter sharks attack other sharks and even take a chunk out of the occasional swimmer. Despite our natural fascination with sharks, we have become their worst enemy. Many shark species are in serious decline and a number are threatened with extinction as a result of overfishing and persecution. Sharks: The Animal Answer Guide presents a perfect mix of current science, history, anthropology, intriguing facts, and gripping photographs. Whether your fascination with sharks stems from fear or curiosity, your knowledge of these animals will improve immensely when you consult this book.
This is the life-changing new science of sleep and dreaming. Almost a third of your whole life is spent asleep. Night School uncovers the scientific truth about the sleeping brain - and gives powerful tips on how those hours of apparently 'dead' time in the dark can transform your waking life. Based on exciting new peer-reviewed research, mass-participation experiments and the world's largest archive of dream reports, Night School will teach you how to: learn information and solve problems while you sleep; find out why nightmares can be good for you, and what your dreams really mean; unlock the creative power of the six-minute nap; banish jet-lag, night terrors and snoring; discover the secrets of the 'super sleepers' - and get the best night's sleep of your life. Studies show that even a small lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on our health, lifespan and happiness. Professor Richard Wiseman's authoritative, entertaining new book introduces the powerful new science of sleep - and gives us back the missing third of our days. Welcome to Night School.
The Bible was the first scientific textbook of all; and it got some things right (and plenty more wrong). Steve Jones' new book rewrites it in the light of modern science. Are we all descended from a single couple, a real-life Adam and Eve? Was the Bible's great flood really a memory of the end of the Ice Age? Will we ever get back to Methuselah given that British life expectancy is still rising by six hours a day, every day? Many people deny the power of faith, many more the power of science. In this ground-breaking work, geneticist Steve Jones explores their shared mysteries - from the origins of life and humankind to sex, age, death and the end of the universe. He steps aside from the noisy debate between believers and unbelievers to show how the same questions preoccupy us today as in biblical times - and that science offers many of the answers. Erudite and accessible, The Serpent's Promise is a witty and thoughtful account of the ability and the limits of science to tell us what we are.
How does love begin? How can a man say he loves his wife, yet still cheat on her? Why do we stay in relationships even after the romance fades? How is it possible to fall in love with the wrong person? Physical attraction, jealousy, infidelity, mother/infant bonding - all behaviour that so often leave us befuddled - are now being demystified by today's social neuroscience. Larry Young, one of the world's leading experts in the field, and journalist, Brian Alexander explain how those findings apply to you and boldly attempt to create a grand unified theory of love.
This is the winner of 'best non fiction' in the Goodreads choice awards 2013. It's estimated that one in almost a hundred people are diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum but there is far more hope for them today than ever before thanks to groundbreaking new research. In this fascinating and highly readable book, Temple Grandin offers her own experience as an autistic person alongside remarkable new discoveries about the autistic brain, as well as genetic research. She also highlights long-ignored sensory problems as well as the need to treat autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting of all, she argues that raising and educating children on the autistic spectrum needs to be less about focusing on their weaknesses, and more about fostering their unique contributions.
The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year, Anatomies by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of bestseller Periodic Tales, is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body. Magnificent, inspired. He writes like a latter-day Montaigne. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all . (Telegraph). Splendid, highly entertaining, chock-full of insights ...It inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies . (Sunday Times). A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body ...brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm ...the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life . (Guardian). Elegant and informative ...For Aldersey-Williams, [the body] is a thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts . (Mail on Sunday). In Anatomies, bestselling author Hugh Aldersey-Williams investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body. Providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information drawn from across history, science, art and literature - from finger-prints to angel physiology, from Isaac Newton's death-mask to the afterlife of Einstein's brain - he explores our relationship with our bodies and investigates our changing attitudes to the extraordinary physical shell we inhabit. More than a science book - it's also history, biography and autobiography - Anatomies is writing at its most refined, regardless of genre . (Sunday Times). Praise for Periodic Tales: Science writing at its best ...fascinating and beautiful ...if only chemistry had been like this at school ...to meander through the periodic table with him ...is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ...a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too . (Matt Ridley). Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in -surprise' Sunday Times 'Splendid ...enjoyable and polished . (Observer). Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ...an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information . (Sunday Telegraph). Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ...sharp and often witty . (Financial Times). Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. His previous book Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.
The mind behind the infamous Ig Nobel Prizes presents an addictive collection of improbable research all about us - and you Marc Abrahams collects the odd, the imaginative and the brilliantly improbable. Here he turns to research on the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body (brain included): * What's the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly? * How much dandruff do Pakistani soldiers have? * If you add an extra henchman to your bank-robbing gang, how much more money will you 'earn'? * How many dimples will be found on the cheeks of 28,282 Greek children? * Who is the Einstein of pork carcasses?
The Universe Within is a thrilling journey from today all the way back to the Big Bang, which shows the deep connections between the human body and the universe, from Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish. What links the birth of the moon to our body clocks? How did the creation of the Atlantic Ocean affect how we have children? What does the water inside us and on Earth have to do with the deepest stretches of space? Humanity's status in the cosmos can seem insignificant. Yet, as Neil Shubin shows, the one place where the universe, solar system and planet merge is inside your body. Exploring the smallest atomic structures and vastest reaches of space, Shubin uncovers a sublime truth: that in every one of us lies the most profound story of all - how we and our world came to be. Neil Shubin is a palaeontologist in the great tradition of his mentors, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould. He has discovered fossils around the world that have changed the way we think about many of the key transitions in evolution and has pioneered a new synthesis of expeditionary palaeontology, developmental genetics and genomics. He trained at Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley and is currently a Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. A new, fresh way of telling the story of life, the universe and everything...hugely enjoyable . (Tim Radford, Guardian). Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher...a science writer of the first rank . (Oliver Sacks). Glorious, uplifting...It tracks the very atoms in our bodies back to the Big Bang, and shows how all the molecules that comprise us have roots in the formation of Earth...What is special about the book is its sweep, its scope, its panorama . (Wall Street Journal).
The story of the rise of modern navigation technology, from radio location to GPS--and the consequent decline of privacy What does it mean to never get lost? You Are Here examines the rise of our technologically aided era of navigational omniscience--or how we came to know exactly where we are at all times. In a sweeping history of the development of location technology in the past century, Bray shows how radio signals created to carry telegraph messages were transformed into invisible beacons to guide ships and how a set of rapidly-spinning wheels steered submarines beneath the polar ice cap. But while most of these technologies were developed for and by the military, they are now ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Our phones are now smart enough to pinpoint our presence to within a few feet--and nosy enough to share that information with governments and corporations. Filled with tales of scientists and astronauts, inventors and entrepreneurs, You Are Here tells the story of how humankind ingeniously solved one of its oldest and toughest problems--only to herald a new era in which it's impossible to hide.
Decisions made by the food, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical, gun, and automobile industries have a greater impact on today's health than the decisions of scientists and policymakers. As the collective influence of corporations has grown, governments around the world have stepped back from their responsibility to protect public health by privatizing key services, weakening regulations, and cutting funding for consumer and environmental protection. Today's corporations are increasingly free to make decisions that benefit their bottom line at the expense of public health. Lethal but Legal examines how corporations have impacted - and plagued - public health over the last century, first in industrialized countries and now in developing regions. It is both a current history of corporations' antagonism towards health and an analysis of the emerging movements that are challenging these industries' dangerous practices. The reforms outlined here aim to strike a healthier balance between large companies' right to make a profit and governments' responsibility to protect their populations. While other books have addressed parts of this story, Lethal but Legal is the first to connect the dots between unhealthy products, business-dominated politics, and the growing burdens of disease and health care costs. By identifying the common causes of all these problems, then situating them in the context of other health challenges that societies have overcome in the past, this book provides readers with the insights they need to take practical and effective action to restore consumers' right to health.
In an engaging tour of the science and history of cheese, Michael Tunick explores the art of cheese making, the science that lies underneath the deliciousness, and the history behind how humanity came up with one of its most varied and versatile of foods. Dr. Tunick spends his everyday deep within the halls of the science of cheese, as a researcher who creates new dairy products, primarily, cheeses. He takes us from the very beginning, some 8000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, and shows us the accidental discovery of cheese when milk separated into curds and whey. This stroke of luck would lead to a very mild, and something akin to cottage, cheese-deemed delicious enough by our traveling cheese maker that he or she did it again another day. Today we know of more than 2,000 varieties of cheese from Gorgonzola, first noted in year 879, to Roquefort in 1070 to Cheddar in 1500. But Tunick delves deeper into the subject to provide a wide-ranging overview that begins with cows and milk and then covers the technical science behind creating a new cheese, milk allergies and lactose intolerance, nutrition and why cheese is a vital part of a balanced diet. The Science of Cheese is an entertaining journey through one of America's favorite foods.
Part 1 introduces the reader to gems and minerals, and their chemical and crystal systems. It also gives tips on recognising and valuing specimens.
Part 2 features 288 superb colour photographs to accompany each gem or mineral entry. The entries describe each stone, detailing its composition, structure and distribution. Useful additions to the book are a glossary, a list of the elements and information on the source and dimensions of each specimen pictured.
Diamonds are a multi-billion dollar business involving some of the world's largest mining companies, a million and a half artisanal diggers, more than a million cutters and polishers and a huge retail jewellery sector. But behind the sparkle of the diamond lies a murkier story, in which rebel armies in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Congo turned to diamonds to finance their wars. Completely unregulated, so-called blood diamonds became the perfect tool for money laundering, tax evasion, drug-running and weapons-trafficking. Diamonds brings together for the first time all aspects of the diamond industry. In it, Ian Smillie, former UN Security Council investigator and leading figure in the blood diamonds campaign, offers a comprehensive analysis of the history and structure of today's diamond trade, the struggle for effective regulation and the challenges ahead. There is, he argues, greater diversification and competition than ever before, but thanks to the success of the Kimberley Process, this coveted and prestigious gem now represents a fragile but renewed opportunity for development in some of the world's poorest nations. This part of the diamond story has rarely been told.
The eruption of Laki is one of history's great untold natural disasters. The eruption, spewing out a poisionous fog, lasted for eight months, but its effects lingered across Europe for years, causing the death of people as far away as the Nile, and creating famine that may have triggered the French revolution. Island on Fire is the story not only of a volcano but also of the people whose lives it changed, such as the pastor Jon Steingrimsson, who witnessed and recorded the events in Iceland. It is the story, too, of modern volcanology, and looks at how events might work out should Laki erupt again in our time.
As American astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from shy military spouses to American royalty: having tea with Jackie Kennedy, attending high society galas, and being featured on the cover of Life magazine. They quickly grew into fashion icons, donning sherbet-swirled Pucci dresses and lacquering their hair into extravagant rocket styles (to match their husbands' spaceships). Annie Glenn was the envy of the other wives, with her many magazine features; platinum-blonde bombshell Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favourite; homely Betty Grissom worried her husband was having affairs; Louise Shepard just wanted to be left alone to her card games; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a dirty secret. Together they rallied to form the Astronaut Wives Club, which has now turned into over 40 years of enduring friendship. Sexy and sophisticated, rich in melodrama, and set against the uniquely atmospheric backdrop of the Space Age, THE ASTRONAUTS' WIVES CLUB tells the real story behind some of the biggest heroes in American history, chronicling their romantic, domestic, and public dramas during the Mad Men era.
To ordinary people, science used to seem infallible. Scientists were heroes, selflessly pursuing knowledge for the common good. More recently, a series of scientific scandals, frauds and failures have led us to question science's pre-eminence. Revelations such as Climategate, or debates about the safety of the MMR vaccine, have dented our confidence in science. In this provocative new book Harry Collins seeks to redeem scientific expertise, and reasserts science's special status. Despite the messy realities of day-to-day scientific endeavor, he emphasizes the superior moral qualities of science, dismissing the dubious default expertise displayed by many of those outside the scientific community. Science, he argues, should serve as an example to ordinary citizens of how to think and act, and not the other way round.
As the cataloguing universe moves into the era of RDA: Resource Description and Access, specialist cataloguers need information on managing the materials in their areas of responsibility. In this manual, expert cataloguers Andrew and Larsgaard offer a summary and overview of how to catalogue cartographic resources using the new standard. Through abundant examples and sample records to illustrate the work, the authors: take a close look at what will remain familiar from AACR2, and what is new and different in RDA; offer guidance for creating authorized geographic subject headings using Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Resources (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD); present a detailed examination of geographic subject headings and subdivisions. Designed for both practicing map cataloguers and cataloguers new to cartographic resources, this volume will be a one-stop resource for all cataloguers of cartographic materials looking to understand the differences between cataloguing using AACR2 and cataloguing using RDA.