This ground-breaking book will change the way we think of, farm and grow food. Author and radical farmer Charles Massy explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is a story of how a grassroots revolution – a true underground insurgency – can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.
Using his personal experience as a touchstone – from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health – Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. He shows – through evocative stories – how innovative farmers are finding a new way and interweaves his own local landscape, its seasons and biological richness.
At stake is not only a revolution in human health and our communities but the very survival of the planet. For farmer, backyard gardener, food buyer, health worker, policy maker and public leader alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward for the future of our food supply, our Australian landscape and our earth. It comprises a powerful and moving paean of hope.
What has A.I. brought us? Where will it lead us?
The story of A.I. is the story of intelligence - of life processes as they evolve from bacteria (1.0) to humans (2.0), where life processes define their own software, to technology (3.0), where life processes design both their hardware and software.
We know that A.I. is transforming work, laws, and weapons, as well as the dark side of computing: hacking and viral sabotage. It raises questions that we all need to address: What jobs should be automated? How should our legal systems handle autonomous systems? How likely is the emergence of suprahuman intelligence? Is it possible to control suprahuman intelligence? How do we ensure that the uses of A.I. remain beneficial?
These are the issues at the heart of this book and its unique perspective, which seeks a ground apart from techno-skepticism and digital utopia.
From the Big Bang to the future of our planet, The Little Book of Big History divides history into manageable but comprehensive time frames, encompassing the cosmos, the stars, life and everything in between.
Big History is the attempt to understand and condense the entire story of the cosmos, from the Big Bang to the current day. Combining methods from history, astronomy, physics and biology to draw together the big story arcs of how the universe was created, why planets formed and how life developed, this creates a unique perspective from which to understand the place of mankind in the universe. Excited by the alternative ‘framework for all knowledge’ that is offered by this approach, Bill Gates is funding the Big History Project, which aims to bring the subject to a wider audience around the world.
The Little Book of Big History breaks down the main themes of Big History into highly informative and accessible parts for all readers to enjoy. By giving a truly complete timeline of world events, this book shines a whole different light on history as we learned it and makes us think of our history – and our future – in a very different way.
What is life? Where do we come from and how did we evolve? What is the universe and how was it formed? What is the nature of the material world? How does it work? How and why do we think? What does it mean to be human? How do we know?
There are many different versions of our creation story. This book tells the version according to modern science. It is a unique account, starting at the Big Bang and traveling right up to the emergence of humans as conscious intelligent beings, 13.8 billion years later. Chapter by chapter, it sets out the current state of scientific knowledge: the origins of space and time; energy, mass, and light; galaxies, stars, and our sun; the habitable earth, and complex life itself.
Drawing together the physical and biological sciences, Baggott recounts what we currently know of our history, highlighting the questions science has yet to answer.
A radical reappraisal of Charles Darwin from the bestselling author of Victoria: A Life.
Charles Darwin: the man who discovered evolution? The man who killed off God? Or a flawed man of his age, part genius, part ruthless careerist who would not acknowledge his debts to other thinkers?
In this bold new life - the first single volume biography in twenty-five years - A. N. Wilson, the acclaimed author of The Victorians and God's Funeral, goes in search of the celebrated but contradictory figure Charles Darwin.
Darwin was described by his friend and champion, Thomas Huxley, as a 'symbol'. But what did he symbolize? In Wilson's portrait, both sympathetic and critical, Darwin was two men. On the one hand, he was a naturalist of genius, a patient and precise collector and curator who greatly expanded the possibilities of taxonomy and geology. On the other hand, Darwin, a seemingly diffident man who appeared gentle and even lazy, hid a burning ambition to be a universal genius. He longed to have a theory which explained everything.
But was Darwin's 1859 master work, On the Origin of Species, really what it seemed, a work about natural history? Or was it in fact a consolation myth for the Victorian middle classes, reassuring them that the selfishness and indifference to the poor were part of Nature's grand plan?
Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker is a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isn't afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy while bringing us closer to the man, his revolutionary idea and the wider Victorian age.
This book follows the epic voyages of Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin, and Alfred Russel Wallace through the voyage of Continent Australia after it breaks away from Antarctica 50 million years ago with its raft of Gondwanaland flora and fauna and begins its journey north towards the equator.
The voyage of Joseph Banks on the Endeavour, who with Daniel Solander became the first trained naturalists to describe the unique flora and fauna of Continent Australia that had evolved during its 30 million years of isolation.
The voyage of Charles Darwin on the Beagle, who after his observations in South America and the Galapagos Islands, sat on the banks of the Coxs River in New South Wales and tried to rationalise his belief in the idea of biblical creation and understand the origin of species.
The voyage of Alfred Russel Wallace, who realised that the Lombok Strait in Indonesia represents the biogeographical boundary between the fauna of Asia and those of Australasia. On the Asian side are elephants, tigers, primates, and specific birds. On the Australasian side are marsupials such as the possum-like cuscus and the Aru wallaby, as well as birds specific to Australia such as white cockatoos, brush turkeys, and the spectacular Birds of Paradise.
It was tectonic plate movement that brought these disparate worlds together and it was Alfred Russel Wallace’s ‘Letter from Ternate’ that forced Charles Darwin to finally publish his landmark work On the Origin of Species.
Follow the seminal historical journeys of these men to discover Where Australia Collides with Asia.
This is the story of a professional British tree climber, cameraman and adventurer, who has made a career out of travelling the world, filming wildlife for the BBC and climbing trees.
James's climbs take him around the globe, scaling the most incredible and majestic trees in existence- the strangler fig tree of Borneo, the monolithic Congolese moabi tree, the fern-covered howler tree of Costa Rica and the colossal mountain ash of Australia. On the way he meets native tribes and jungle cats, he gets stung by African bees and chased by gorillas, and he spends his nights in a hammock pitched hundreds of feet up in the air, with only the stars above him.
This book blends incredible stories of his adventures in the branches and a fascination with the majesty of trees to show us the joy of rising - literally - above the daily grind, up into the canopy of the forest.
'The wide horizontal branches stretched away from me to curl up like the giant fingers of an enormous cupped hand. I slid back into the centre of its protective palm and waited for my heart to slow. After a while the small herd of fallow deer I had been following emerged from the trees, carefully picking their way through the churned-up leaf litter to pass beneath me in the wake of the ponies. They had been there all along and I was immediately struck that not one of them appeared to have seen or smelt me as I crouched in the arms of the oak directly above.'
Too often, we humans tend to assume that nature is fixed, immutable - and this tendency is particularly strong when we think about matters of the mind and behaviour. People just can't change, we say, so they must somehow be prevented from becoming a burden on society or from hurting themselves and others. Neuroplasticity - the virtually limitless capacity of the brain to remould itself - turns these notions on their heads.Leading brain researcher Niels Birbaumer brings new hope to those suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, dementia, the effects of a stroke, or even the extremes of locked-in syndrome or psychopathy. Like the fathers and mothers of psychiatry, Birbaumer explores the sometimes-wild frontiers of a new way of thinking about our brains and behaviour. Through actual cases from his research and practice, he shows how we can change through training alone, and without risky drugs. Open your mind to change.
Which mathematician elaborated a crucial concept the night before he died in a duel? Who funded his maths and medical career through gambling and chess? Who learned maths from her wallpaper? Ian Stewart presents the extraordinary lives and amazing discoveries of twenty-five of history's greatest mathematicians from Archimedes and Liu Hui to Benoit Mandelbrot and William Thurston. His subjects are the inspiring individuals from all over the world who have made crucial contributions to mathematics. They include the rediscovered geniuses Srinivasa Ramanujan and Emmy Noether, alongside the towering figures of Muhammad al-Khwarizmi (inventor of the algorithm), Pierre de Fermat, Isaac Newton, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, Bernhard Reimann (precursor to Einstein), Henri Poincare, Ada Lovelace (arguably the first computer programmer), Kurt Godel and Alan Turing.Ian Stewart's vivid accounts are fascinating in themselves and, taken together, cohere into a riveting history of key steps in the development of mathematics.
One of the world's great mathematicians explores the origins, history and future of the universe
Ian Stewart's up-to-the-minute guide to the cosmos moves from the formation of the Earth and its Moon to the planets and asteroids of the solar system and from there out into the galaxy and the universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it will end. He considers parallel universes, what forms extra-terrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of Earth being hit by an asteroid.
Mathematics, Professor Stewart shows, has been the driving force in astronomy and cosmology since the ancient Babylonians. He describes how Kepler's work on planetary orbits led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity, and how two centuries later irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein's theory of General Relativity. In crystal-clear terms he explains the fundamentals of gravity, spacetime, relativity and quantum theory, and shows how they all relate to each other.
Eighty years ago the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the Big Bang theory of its origins. This in turn led cosmologists to posit features such as dark matter and dark energy. But does dark matter exist? Could another scientific revolution be on the way to challenge current scientific orthodoxy? These are among the questions Ian Stewart raises in his quest through the realms of astronomy and cosmology.
The story of man's epic quest to find an Earth-like planet capable of sustaining complex life.
In 1995 two Swiss astronomers discovered a planet circling a star other than our Sun. This changed our perception of the Universe forever, proving that Earth and the other celestial bodies in our Solar System are not alone in outer space.
Now, after a decade of exploration, more than 860 planets have been discovered, many of which are completely unlike anything else we know. Some are blacker than coal; some are bathed in molten lava; others are perpetually scoured by hurricane-force winds; some have not one sun but two that rise in the morning, and others are perpetually drowned in global oceans.
But as well as strange, inhabitable lands, there is familiarity too. Some of these alien worlds are strikingly similar to planets in our Solar System. Astronomers now know of planets just like Jupiter, Neptune, Mars and Mercury orbiting stars similar to our Sun, both nearby and deep into space.
Authoritatively written and fully up to date on this fast-moving area of science, The Search For Earth's Twin will take you on a journey through the cosmos via frozen wastelands, slow-moving globes and fiery volcanic bodies, to planets that can - and just might - sustain complex life. The prospect of discovering the Earth's twin is now tantalisingly close.
Explore the iconic Apollo space missions and moon landings through these stunning infographics and data visualisations. If you like space, this book is for you.The Apollo Program ran from 1961 until 1972, and marks one of the greatest accomplishments in all of human endeavour - man walking on the moon. On 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin achieved this most remarkable feat, becoming the first humans to visit another celestial body.Apollo is an extraordinary visual history of the story of this iconic space programme, based on recently released NASA data about the various missions of that name. Using beautifully designed infographics, Apollo takes us through all the astonishing facts and figures, as well as some quirky little-known details, and gives us a detailed and elegant history of the seventeen missions which saw twelve humans step on the surface of the moon. Apollo gives us an insight in to the incredible individuals who made that journey.
Chemistry is a fascinating subject, full of stories, personalities, mysteries, and intrigues. This beautifully bound and illustrated book sets out the history of the device the provides a foundation for the whole of chemistry as a science: the Periodic Table of Elements. With a foreword by esteemed chemist and Cambridge science writer-in-residence John Emsley, it begins by telling the story of Mendeleev, the brilliant nineteenth-century chemist who used the rules of a card game to figure out the patterns of the elements, and then looks at how his ideas have developed up to the present day.
But if the Table itself is the stage, the elements themselves are the stars of the show. There is plenty of detailed chemistry to explore, but The Elements also weaves together the human stories behind the discoveries of different elements, in particular how the elements were discovered and the way in which their various compounds and isotopes have been used throughout history. Each element has its own entry, logically grouped and with a clear explanation of its place in the story. The book also looks at the latest cutting-edge research being performed in an effort to synthesise new elements and answers to questions still unanswered despite modern scientific techniques.
The Periodic Table: An infographic guide to the elements is a fresh new approach to a truly remarkable and instantly recognisable piece of science. Combining cutting edge science with visually fascinating infographics, The Periodic Table allows you to compare and contrast all the different elements at a glance. Which is the densest? Which has the largest atoms? And why are some of them radioactive? Including a big picture view of the periodic table and how atoms work, this book also offers a fact-filled visual guide to each element, from hydrogen to oganesson. Each one is accompanied by technical date (category, atomic number, weight, boiling point) as well as fun facts and stories about their discovery and surprising uses.
Want to create devices that interact with the physical world? This cookbook is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with the popular Arduino microcontroller and programming environment. You'll find more than 200 tips and techniques for building a variety of objects and prototypes such as toys, detectors, robots, and interactive clothing that can sense and respond to touch, sound, position, heat, and light. You don't need to have mastered Arduino or programming to get started. Updated for the Arduino 1.5 release, the recipes in this second edition include practical examples and guidance to help you begin, expand, and enhance your projects right away-whether you're an artist, designer, hobbyist, student, or engineer.Get up to speed on the Arduino board and essential software concepts quickly Learn basic techniques for reading digital and analog signals Use Arduino with a variety of popular input devices and sensors Drive visual displays, generate sound, and control several types of motors Interact with devices that use remote controls, including TVs and appliances Learn techniques for handling time delays and time measurement Apply advanced coding and memory handling techniques
Sustainability challenges blur the boundaries between academic disciplines, between research, policy, and practice, and between states, markets, and society. Often scientists spend years researching important questions, only for their research to be ignored, misinterpreted, or challenged by policy-makers and key stakeholders. What do exemplary scientists and organisations do to bridge the gaps between these groups and help their research to make the greatest impact? How do they do it? And how can their best practices be adapted for a diverse range of specific sustainability challenges? Enhancing Science Impact: Bridging Research, Policy and Practice for Sustainability addresses these questions in an engaging way. It provides principles explaining how research programs can work more effectively across the boundaries between science, society, and decision-making by building social and institutional networks. The book suggests ways of defining and thinking about problems and then offers five frameworks for embedding science within specific governance contexts. It will be an indispensable guide for researcher leaders, science program managers, and science policy advisors interested in ensuring applied research can meaningfully contribute to sustainability outcomes.
Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability - at the level of literature, history, and politics - to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.
The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.
Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence - a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.
Weather, water, and climate. How we feel, how productive we are, even our sheer existence, depends on these three things. The United States' economic activity varies annually by 1.7% due to weather-that is more than $500 billion dollars each year! Weather applications on mobile devices are the second most popular 'apps' - more popular than social networking, maps, music,and news. In Treading on Thin Air, Dr. Elizabeth Austin, a world-renowned atmospheric physicist, reveals how the climate is intimately tied to our daily lives. The effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times. Dr. Austin will demystify climate change, revealing what is really happening with our climate and why, whether it is El Nino, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. Weather and society are at its most fascinating at extremes, and as Dr. Austin is one of a handful of forensic meteorologists around the globe. She has been called upon to investigate plane crashes, murders, wildfires, avalanches, even bombing cases. Drawing upon her rich experiences, Austin's Treading on Thin Air promises to be an enlightening and informative journey through the wild word of weather.
Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl - the amount of land needed to produce energy - which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?
In Energy Sprawl Solutions, scientists Joseph M. Kiesecker and David Naugle provide a roadmap for preserving biodiversity despite the threats of energy sprawl. Their strategy - development by design - brings together companies, communities, and governments to craft blueprints for sustainable land development. This commonsense approach identifies and preemptively sets aside land where biodiversity can thrive while consolidating development in areas with lower biodiversity value. This approach makes sense for energy industries and governments, which can confidently build sustainability into their energy futures.
This contributed volume brings together experts in diverse fields such as biodiversity conservation, ecology, ecosystem services, wildlife, fisheries, planning, energy, economics, and finance. Early chapters set the context for global patterns of biodiversity risk from energy extraction and the challenges of achieving a green future while maintaining energy security. Middle chapters are devoted to case studies from countries around the world, each describing a different energy sector and the collaborative process involved in planning complex energy projects in a way that maximizes biodiversity protection. Detailed maps and charts help orient readers to countries and energy sectors, providing proof for what is possible.
With biodiversity declining rapidly because of an energy-hungry world, this book provides a needed guide for elected officials, industry representatives, NGOs and community groups who have a stake in sustainable energy-development planning.
Earth education is traditionally confined to specific topics: ecoliteracy, outdoor education, environmental science. But in the coming century, on track to be the warmest in human history, every aspect of human life will be affected by our changing planet. Emerging diseases, food shortages, drought, and waterlogged cities are just some of the unprecedented challenges that today's students will face. How do we prepare 9.5 billion people for life in the Anthropocene, to thrive in this uncharted and more chaotic future? Answers are being developed in universities, preschools, professional schools, and even prisons around the world. In the latest volume of State of the World, a diverse group of education experts share innovative approaches to teaching and learning in a new era. Topics include systems thinking for kids; the importance of play in early education; social emotional learning; comprehensive sexuality education; indigenous knowledge; sustainable business; medical training to treat the whole person; teaching law in the Anthropocene; and more.EarthEd addresses schooling at all levels of development, from preschool to professional. Its lessons can inform teachers, policy makers, school administrators, community leaders, parents, and students alike. And its vision will inspire anyone who wants to prepare students not only for the storms ahead, but to become the next generation of sustainability leaders.
How much do you really know about your own hands?Throughout history , civilisations have been defined by the work of human hands: inventing tools, writing records, operating machinery, typing, texting, swiping. But beneath this known history is another, secret story: our hands are not the obedient servants that they seem to be. Through conscious and unconscious gesture, they reveal our deepest psychology, our weaknesses and obsessions, our personal history and our social conditioning. Why do zombies walk with their hands outstretched? How does a new-born baby 'talk' with his hands? What is the connection between prayer beads, snuff boxes and cell phones? And most importantly, can we unlock the mystery of our hands in order to truly know ourselves?The key to understanding everything around you - and everything within you - is staring you in the face. Take a journey through fascinating anecdotes and brilliant psychoanalytic research, through a legacy of ideas from da Vinci to Dickens to Die Hard. With wit and dexterity, Darian Leader reveals that there's much more to your hands than meets the eye.
Tuberculosis has twisted through the millennia hand-in-hand with humanity, leaving its marks on our culture, our history and our DNA, from the birth of Homo sapiens right up to the present day. TB continues to kill more people than any other infectious agent; it may be an ancient disease, but TB is not a disease of history.
In Catching Breath, Kathryn Lougheed asks what has made Mycobacterium tuberculosis such a successful bacterium, and how we can use this knowledge to consign it to the history books. We follow its path through the ages, from its time gathering strength as a latent infection of hunter-gatherers to its rise alongside human urbanisation and industrialisation, and learn just how connected human history is to TB – from an Ancient Egyptian murder mystery and the rumours of the first vampires to a tragedy set in the Amazon rainforest.
Catching Breath – the story of one of the world's oldest diseases – looks at the hidden biology behind the interactions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with its human host, and shows how drug resistance, the HIV epidemic, poverty and inequality work together to ensure that TB remains one of the most serious problems in world medicine.
If we can understand the makings of TB, then maybe we can find a way to unmake it.
Oliver Heaviside (1850 -1925) may not be a household name but he was one of the great pioneers of electrical science: his work led to huge advances in communications and became the bedrock of the subject of electrical engineering as it is taught and practiced today. His ideas and original accomplishments are now so much a part of everyday electrical science that they are simply taken for granted; almost nobody wonders how they came about and Heaviside's name has been lost from view.
This book tells the complete story of this extraordinary though often unappreciated scientist. The author interweaves details of Heaviside's life and personality with clear explanations of his many important contributions to the field of electrical engineering. He describes a man with an irreverent sense of fun who cared nothing for social or mathematical conventions and lived a fiercely independent life.
His achievements include creating the mathematical tools that were to prove essential to the proper understanding and use of electricity, finding a way to rid telephone lines of the distortion that had stifled progress, and showing that electrical power doesn't flow in a wire but in the space alongside it.
At first his ideas were thought to be weird, even outrageous, and he had to battle long and hard to get them accepted. Yet by the end of his life he was awarded the first Faraday Medal.
This engrossing story will restore long-overdue recognition to a scientist whose achievements in many ways were as crucial to our modern age as those of Edison's and Tesla's.
Now in its third edition, The Rise of Early Modern Science argues that to understand why modern science arose in the West it is essential to study not only the technical aspects of scientific thought but also the religious, legal and institutional arrangements that either opened the doors for enquiry, or restricted scientific investigations. Toby E. Huff explores how the newly invented universities of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the European legal revolution, created a neutral space that gave birth to the scientific revolution. Including expanded comparative analysis of the European, Islamic and Chinese legal systems, Huff now responds to the debates of the last decade to explain why the Western world was set apart from other civilisations.
This historic search for Australia’s deadliest snake. By one of Australia’s best and brightest young authors, this is a gripping, incandescent tale of heroism and tragedy, offering the glimmering possibility of reconciliation.
In the early years of the twentieth century, an awareness was growing among European Australians of an unexpected threat, one that seemed the very embodiment of the dark, ominous power of the Australian bush. To the Indigenous people of the Guugu Yimithirr nation, it was nguman; to the whites it was the taipan, an eight foot, lightning fast venomous snake whose bite meant certain death.
Venom is an examination of European settlers’ troubled and often antagonistic relationship with the land, seen through the lens of the desperate scramble for an antivenom, and highlighted by the story of George Rosendale, a taipan bite victim of the Guugu Yimithirr nation.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
The sapiens of the sea, whales are the other most intelligent, social, and loquacious animals on Earth. So why do they seem to swim away, the more we chase after them in our efforts to communicate and connect? How does the meaning of their mesmerizing songs continue to elude us? Focused on the history of cetacean communication experiments, Margret Grebowicz's Whale Song is a speculative, playful meditation on serious environmental and social loss. Pondering the problems facing ocean ecosystems as well as the challenges to social life, intimacy, and connection in the digital age, Whale Song explores the collectivities of whales, humans, and whales and humans together.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Many have tried to convey the true spirit of Africa's animals in words, photography, or in music. There may be no challenge greater; Africa's fauna are vast in number and rich in diversity. In this finely crafted collection, French photographer Laurent Baheux uses the medium of black-and-white photography to capture the intricate details of both the wondrous beasts and the magnificent settings in which they dwell. This wide-ranging volume lays particular emphasis on his subjects' individual spirits-revealing all of their vulnerability while losing nothing of their raw vitality. Every photograph is so carefully composed and well lit that the details equal the evocative precision of an Old Masters portrait. Through Baheux's eyes we get close to creatures that will both inspire and humble us all.
Here is the essential guide to biology, an authoritative reference book and timeline that examines how we have uncovered the secrets of life—the most complex process in the Universe.
From the workings of molecules to the way entire oceans or continents of lifeforms interact, biology seeks to understand how it is that something can be alive, how it fends off death and how it leaves more life in its wake. We follow the journey through the history of life science to find out why the dolphin got its name (it is the 'womb fish'), how a seven-foot strand of DNA is able to build your body, and what gives a lobster its blue blood.
The great names, such as Darwin and Linnaeus, are joined by lesser known discoverers, such as Karl von Frisch who discovered that bees dance, and Jan Baptist van Helmont who found a plant uses air and water to grow. Biology today is still very much a live science, finding a purpose in robot design and helping us to understand non-living complex systems like the Internet.
Biology has changed the way we understand ourselves. What will it tell us next?
* Contains 100 chronological articles that tell the story of biology from the dawn of history to the present day
* Authoritative text, exciting imagery and helpful diagrams accompany each of the steps along the way
* Biographies of great life scientists and a chart of the tree of life
* A simple guide to biology draws together current understanding to set out the basics of the science
* The Imponderables looks at what questions biology still needs to answer.
Also contains a 24-page removable foldout concertina neatly housed at the back of the book. This fold-out concertina includes a 12-page Timeline History of Biology and 12 full pages of amazing electron micrographs called Our Hidden World.
Mushrooms hold a peculiar place in our culture: we love them and despise them, fear them and misunderstand them. They can be downright delicious or deadly poisonous, cute as buttons or utterly grotesque. These strange organisms hold great symbolism in our myths and legends. In this book, Nicholas P. Money tells the utterly fascinating story of mushrooms and the ways we have interacted with these fungi throughout history. Whether they have populated the landscapes of fairytales, lent splendid umami to our dishes, or steered us into deep hallucinations, mushrooms have affected humanity from the earliest beginnings of our species.
As Money explains, mushrooms are not self-contained organisms like animals and plants. Rather, they are the fruiting bodies of large—sometimes extremely large—colonies of mycelial threads that spread underground and permeate rotting vegetation. Because these colonies decompose organic matter, they are of extraordinary ecological value and have a huge effect on the health of the environment. From sustaining plant growth and spinning the carbon cycle to causing hay fever and affecting the weather, mushrooms affect just about everything we do. Money tells the stories of the eccentric pioneers of mycology, delights in culinary powerhouses like porcini and morels, and considers the value of medicinal mushrooms.
This book takes us on a tour of the cultural and scientific importance of mushrooms, from the enchanted forests of folklore to the role of these fungi in sustaining life on earth.
In the decades following its 1963 publication, this volume served as the standard advanced text in probability theory. Suitable for undergraduate and graduate students, the treatment includes extensive introductory material. Every serious probabilist should, and doubtless will, possess a copy of this important work. - Journal of the American Statistical Association.
A high school course in geometry - and, of course, some enthusiasm for the subject - are the only prerequisites for this recreational math book. Most chapters begin with some interesting geometrical history, relevant theorems, and worked examples of problems which are followed by problems for readers to work out for themselves. The many-faceted exploration, resembling a kaleidoscope, reveals the mysteries and pleasures of geometry. Includes solutions.
Suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, this volume presents a mathematical introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Prerequisites include a familiarity with probability theory, real analysis, and the basics of Newtonian mechanics. The three-part approach covers thermodynamics, the fundamentals of statistical mechanics, and a detailed treatment of some model applications. Problems with solutions supplement the text.
What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas―string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology.
Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to "conformal cyclic cosmology," an idea so fantastic that it could be called "conformal crazy cosmology."
The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.
Enter the secret world of the butterfly with this handy pocket guide. Beautifully illustrated throughout, The Little Guide to Butterflies offers a modern reference to identifying these glorious insects. Featuring 40 of the most distinctive butterflies from around the world, this book is the perfect companion for anyone looking to reconnect with nature, whether that's when out walking or from the comfort of an armchair. Each butterfly has been exquisitely illustrated by printmaker Tom Frost and is accompanied by all-important information including their habitat, distribution and wingspan, plus an interesting fact or fable. This informative, practical and beautiful guide is part of a new nature series designed to encourage creativity through exploring the outdoors.
Extinct Birds was the first comprehensive review of the hundreds of the bird species and subspecies that have become extinct over the last 1,000 years of habitat degradation, over-hunting and rat introduction. It has become the standard text on this subject, covering both familiar icons of extinction as well as more obscure birds, some known from just one specimen or from travellers' tales. This second edition is expanded to include dozens of new species, as more are constantly added to the list, either through extinction or through new subfossil discoveries. Extinct Birds is the result of decades of research into literature and museum drawers, as well as caves and subfossil deposits, which often reveal birds long-gone that disappeared without ever being recorded by scientists while they lived. From Greak Auks, Carolina Parakeets and Dodos to the amazing yet almost completely vanished bird radiations of Hawaii and New Zealand via rafts of extinction in the Pacific and elsewhere, this book is both a sumptuous reference and astounding testament to humanity's devastating impact on wildlife.
This easy-to-use identification guide to the 280 reptile species most commonly seen in Australia is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High quality photographs from Australia's top nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers the threats to reptiles, types of habitat, anatomy of reptiles, and details of orders and families. Also included is an all-important checklist of all of the reptiles of Australia encompassing, for each species, its common and scientific name, and its global IUCN status.
It was 1830 when an English scientist named Henry De la Beche painted the first piece of paleoart, a dazzling, deliciously macabre vision of prehistoric reptiles battling underwater. Since then, artists the world over have conjured up visions of dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, cavemen, and other creatures, shaping our understanding of the primeval past through their exhilarating images.
In this unprecedented new book, writer Zoë Lescaze and artist Walton Ford present the astonishing history of paleoart from 1830 to 1990. These are not cave paintings produced thousands of years ago, but modern visions of the prehistory: stunning paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, mosaics, and murals that mingle scientific fact with unbridled fantasy. The collection provides an in-depth look at this neglected niche of art history, and shows the artists charged with imagining these extinct creatures projected their own aesthetic whims onto prehistory, rendering the primordial past with dashes of Romanticism, Impressionism, Japonisme, Fauvism, and Art Nouveau, among other influences.
With incisive essays from Lescaze, a preface by Ford, five fold-outs, and dozens of details, the book showcases a stunning collection of artworks plucked from major natural history museums, obscure archives, and private collections, and includes new photography of key works, including Charles R. Knight's seminal dinosaur paintings in Chicago and little-known masterpieces such as A. M. Belashova's monumental mosaic in Moscow. From the fearsome to the fantastical, Paleoart: Visions of a Prehistoric Past 1830-1990 is a celebration of prehistoric animals in art, and a novel chance to understand our favorite extinct beasts through a new art historical lens.