Grab your towel and hitchhike across the galaxy with Australia's most popular scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Learn about Dr Karl, the universe and everything, and discover how air-conditioning is sexist, how you can kill a spinning hard drive by shouting at it and how space junk is threatening our future capabilities for space travel.
Could there be life on one of Saturn's moons? How much power could you collect from all the lightning on Earth? Why do books have book-smell? Why is 10 per cent of the Earth's land area prone to sinkholes?
Why are some people chronically late? What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning? Why do most people hardly remember anything from the first half-a-dozen years of their life?
How close are we to the Artificial Uterus? Why do some songs turn into earworms and stick inside your brain? Why does your hotel room access card get wiped so easily?
And is your home WiFi really spying on you?
BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES, PETER WOHLLEBEN, INVITES US TO RECONNECT WITH NATURE As soon as we step out of the door, nature surrounds. Thousands of small and large processes are taking place, details that are long often fascinating and beautiful. But we've long forgotten how to recognise them.
Peter Wohlleben, bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees, invites us to become an expert, to take a closer look and interpret the signs that clouds, wind, plants and animals convey. Chaffinches become weather prophets, bees are live thermometers, courgettes tell us the time.
The Weather Detective combines scientific research with charming anecdotes to explain the extraordinary cycles of life, death and regeneration that are evolving on our doorstep, bringing us closer to nature than ever before. A walk in the park will never be the same again.
Ever since Jurassic Park we thought we knew how dinosaurs lived their lives. In this remarkable new book, Brian J. Ford reveals that dinosaurs were, in fact, profoundly different from what we believe, and their environment was unlike anything we have previously thought.
In this meticulous and absorbing account, Ford reviews the latest scientific evidence to show that the popular accounts of dinosaurs' lives contain ideas that are no more than convenient inventions: how dinosaurs mated, how they hunted and communicated, how they nursed their young, even how they moved. He uncovers many surprising details which challenge our most deeply-held beliefs - such as the revelation that an asteroid impact did not end the dinosaurs' existence.
Professor Ford's illuminating examination changes everything. As he unravels the history of the world, we discover that evolution was not Charles Darwin's idea; there were many philosophers who published the theory before him. The concept of continental drift and plate tectonics did not begin with Alfred Wegener a century ago, but dates back to learned pioneers hundreds of years before his time. Ever since scientists first began to study dinosaurs, they have travelled with each other down the wrong path, and Ford now shows how this entire branch of science has to be rewritten.
A new dinosaur species is announced every ten days, and more and more information is currently being discovered about how they may have lived: locomotion, hunting, nesting behaviour, distribution, extinction. Ford brings together these amazing discoveries in this controversial new book which undoubtedly will ruffle a few feathers, or scales if you are an old-school dinosaur lover.
Germany's best-selling science author takes everyday objects and events and weaves them into the sublime fabric of the universe in this highly accessible and beautifully written smart-thinking book.
How a rose blossom can demonstrate that nothing and nobody exists on their own.
How a hurricane can reveal the world's unpredictability.
How the exploits of burglars in New York and London can demonstrate how everything can be in two places at once.
How a DIY accident can prompt debate on whether the void can exist.
How a greying beard might demonstrate the irreversibility of time.
Award-winning, bestselling German science author Stefan Klein employs stories about simple everyday items or occurrences as analogies to illuminate counterintuitive realities behind the visible world, revealing the astonishing beauty of the universe.
This book transforms a simple everyday thing such as a rose blossom, or a day of stormy weather, into a key to understanding the most complex ideas and theories in 21st century physics. Through clever use of analogy, Klein renders the complexities and intricacies of physics accessible to a reader with no previous knowledge of the subject. In doing so, he demonstrates that scientific progress is as much, if not more, about the unanswered questions, the dark corners, as it is about what we have discovered; our knowledge constitutes merely 'an island in an ocean of ignorance'.
A thought-provoking and original way in to the most intriguing scientific theories and ideas, designed to be accessible to anyone who has ever been curious about the workings of our universe.
The smart machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Here, Nigel Shadbolt (one of Britain's leading authorities on artificial intelligence) and Roger Hampson dispel terror, confusion, and misconception. We are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation. We were using tools before we became Homo sapiens, and will continue to control them. How we exercise that control - in our private lives, in employment, in politics - and make the best of the wonderful opportunities, will determine our collective future well-being.
Lucid, well-informed, and deeply human, The Digital Ape offers a unique approach. The authors prefer to add augmented wisdom to artificial intelligence.
What is it like to be a dog? A bat? Or a dolphin? To find out, neuroscientist Gregory Berns and his team did something unique - they persuaded dogs to lie in an MRI scanner while completely awake. This gave them an unparalleled insight into what makes dogs individuals with varying capacities for self-control, different value systems and a complex understanding of human speech. And that was just the beginning.
From sea lions to the extinct Tasmanian tiger, Berns provides fascinating glimpses into the inner lives of animals. His discoveries have profound implications for how we communicate with and treat our furry, and not-so-furry, friends. Revolutionary and deeply humane, What It's Like to Be a Dog is essential reading for animal lovers of all stripes.
Why do human beings behave as they do?
We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other?
Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species.
In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures?
This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human?
Time is the most common noun in the English language yet philosophers and scientists don't agree about what time actually is or how to define it. Perhaps this is because the brain tells, represents and perceives time in multiple ways.
Dean Buonomano investigates the relationship between the brain and time, looking at what time is, why it seems to speed up or slow down and whether our sense that time flows is an illusion. Buonomano presents his theory of how the brain tells time, and illuminates such concepts as free will, consciousness, space-time and relativity from the perspective of a neuroscientist.
Drawing on physics, evolutionary biology and philosophy, he reveals that the brain's ultimate purpose may be to predict the future-and thus that your brain is a time machine.
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.
Icy, rocky, sometimes dusty, always mysterious - comets and asteroids are among the Solar System's very oldest inhabitants, formed within a swirling cloud of gas and dust in the area of space that eventually hosted the Sun and its planets. Locked within each of these extra-terrestrial objects is the 4.6-billion-year wisdom of Solar System events, and by studying them at close quarters using spacecraft we can coerce them into revealing their closely-guarded secrets. This offers us the chance to answer some fundamental questions about our planet and its inhabitants.
Exploring comets and asteroids also allows us to shape the story of Earth's future, enabling us to protect our precious planet from the threat of a catastrophic impact from space, and maybe to even recover valuable raw materials from them. This cosmic bounty could be as useful in space as it is on Earth, providing the necessary fuel and supplies for humans as they voyage into deep space to explore more distant locations within the Solar System.
Catching Stardust tells the story of these enigmatic celestial objects, revealing how scientists are using them to help understand a crucial time in our history - the birth of the Solar System, and everything contained within it.
The whole cosmos in your hands, The Universe in Bite-sized Chunks is your one-stop guide to everything you ever wanted to know about space and our place in it.
Does dark matter keep you up at night? Do alien planets intrigue you, parallel universes confuse you, and black holes fill you with dread? If yes, then this book is for you - all these things, and more, are clearly explained in everyday language for the non-astronomer.
This fascinating book will take you on an astral adventure, beginning with humanity's very first astronomical observations, and ending with the latest thinking on the most cutting edge discoveries. Along the way, you'll learn about the Big Bang and the ultimate fate of the universe, Galileo and Newton, gravitational waves and shooting stars, the Aurora Borealis and the Apollo missions, quasars and dark energy.
With so many intriguing but often mind-boggling concepts to grasp, Colin Stuart uses all his knowledge and expertise to engage the reader and make the subject accessible, providing the very best start to your cosmic voyage of discovery.
What if Isaac Newton had never lived? Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley, whose place in history has been overshadowed by the giant figure of Newton, were pioneering scientists within their own right, and instrumental in establishing the Royal Society.
Whilst Newton is widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time, and the father of the English scientific revolution, John and Mary Gribbin uncover the fascinating story of Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley, whose scientific achievements neatly embrace the hundred years or so during which science as we know it became established in Britain. They argue persuasively that even without Newton science in Britain would have made a great leap forward in the second half of the seventeenth century, headed by two extraordinary men, Hooke and Halley.
In August 1968, NASA made a bold decision: in just sixteen weeks, the United States would launch humankind's first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on.
Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronaut's homes, and the race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. And when the mission is over-after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first earth-rise, and the first re-entry through the earth's atmosphere following a flight to deep space-the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach.
The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger-Jim Lovell's co-author on their bestselling book about Apollo 13-can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.
From the Nasa astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station - what it's like out there and what it's like now, back here. Enter Scott Kelly's fascinating world and dare to think of your own a little differently.
As soon as you realize you aren't going to die, space is the most fun you'll ever have...
The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for most consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few of us ever have and very few of us ever will.
Kelly's humanity, compassion, humour, and passion shine as he describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal. He touches on what's happened to his body, the sadness of being isolated from everyone he loves; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being absent should tragedy strike at home.
From a natural storyteller Endurance is one of the finest examples the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.
Do you enjoy looking at the night sky but aren’t sure how to keep track of what you’ve seen? Maybe you’re looking to take your night watching to another level and find more incredible sights?
Bob King’s bucket list collection of 57 must-see night sky wonders and dark sky destinations will fill your nights with adventure and the ability to see some of the incredible phenomenon of the sky. Learn how to find and all about the brightest and best stars, planets, meteors, comets and constellations using the naked eye, binoculars, telescopes and apps.
Complete with background information, sight-seeing activities, technological resources and a comprehensive checklist to keep track of your travels, this is the ultimate pocket resource for any sky watcher.
This book will feature 57 different activities and 60 photos.
The unique Haynes insight into Mars, providing a sister title to Earth Manual and Moon Manual. The recent Ridley Scott/Matt Damon film The Martian, the discovery of water (ice) on the planets surface and NASAs plans for manned Mars exploration have all made Mars cool again.. Haynes applies its unique manual treatment to take a new look at the Red Planet.
Part of the ALL-NEW Ladybird Expert series.
Discover in this accessible and authoritative introduction the fundamental theory of how our dynamic planet works.
Written by the celebrated geologist, academic and popular science presenter Iain Stewart, Plate Tectonics explores the Earth as a planetary machine and investigates the people and ideas that changed the way we look at the world.
You'll learn about the make up of the Earth in the past and the present, from monsoon-like currents in our planet's radioactive interior to magnetic force lines and what the planet would look like without water.
Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.
For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.
Ice has played a prominent role in the history of the earth and its living communities for millennia. We have had fun with and on ice, battled over ice, imagined ice, struggled with ice and made money out of ice. It has transformed our relationship with food, and our engagement with ice has been captured in art, literature, popular film and television, as well as made manifest in sport and leisure. Our lakes, mountains and coastlines have been indelibly shaped by the advance and retreat of ice and snow. Beyond Planet Earth, ice can be found in meteors, planets and moons, and scientists think that ice-rich asteroids played a pivotal role in bringing water to Earth. In Ice: Nature and Culture Klaus Dodds provides a wide-ranging exploration of the cultural, natural and geopolitical history of ice, revealing how throughout history human communities have made sense of ice. For those who are intrigued about our relationship with ice, this book will provide an informative and thought-provoking guide.
The award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have been on the front lines of the fight against climate denialism for most of their careers. They have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of billions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars.
The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that human activity has changed Earth's climate. Toles's cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann's expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two climate science crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books-and may even convert die-hard doubters to the side of sound science.
A guide for living an enriched, simpler and cleaner life. A practical and inspiring resource for anyone wanting to live more sustainably, The Waste Free Family Handbook is packed with invaluable and budget-friendly information, advice, recipes and projects for eliminating waste at home. Lauren and Oberon Carter share the lessons they've learned since switching to living waste-free, including making the most of their food, freeing themselves from packaging, getting closer to nature, and experiencing the joys of waste-free abundance. The Waste Free Family Handbook is a down-to-earth guide for anyone wanting to leave a lighter footprint.
Simple Acts to Save Our Planet shows you how to be more active in saving our planet every day by performing some Simple Acts of Kindness -for the Earth.
Treat the environment with kindness with these easy, manageable activities that range from simple home updates, to gardening basics, to supporting the local community. You'll learn simple techniques to help protect the planet every day, like starting a compost pile to reduce food waste, utilizing travel mugs and reusable containers, and choosing eco-friendly products. By working to implement these simple strategies into your everyday life, you can take an active stand to protect the environment now- and make a real difference for the future.
Robots are all around us. Working in factories, hospitals, with armies and manufacturers and even, increasingly, around your home. But how have we come so far so quickly? How does the technology function? And which robots will dramatically change our lives?
Starting in the 1930s with the first talking-relay machines and the development of wearable bots, we travel through technological, design and cultural evolution to the present-day, where astrobots fix our satellites and drones deliver our parcels. Split into four sections, revealing the areas of our day-to-day lives that are being driven by robotics, each is introduced with an essay that examines how the robots have come to be a part of our lives, where they work, how they work and what do they tell us about our society.
Each robot is accompanied by expert text on its role and functions and accompanied both by full profile photography and a unique, stylish illustration which details the robot's defining function. With robot specs and a timeline of design placing the robots in context, and full of facts and trivia on these incredible machines, WE:Robot is the perfect introduction to rise of robots, how they are moving, shaping and ruling our world.
As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, The Fourth Age offers fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species.
In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history:
- 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to language.
- 10,000 years ago, we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare.
- 5,000 years ago, we invented the wheel and writing, which lead to the nation state.
We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how-rather than what-we should think about the topics we'll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.
By asking questions like Are you a machine? and Could a computer feel anything? , Reese leads you through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they'll transform humanity.
The plant world has always been appreciated for its visual appeal, but its true beauty can be revealed when you look under the electron microscope. This collection unearths some of the most wonderful microscopic images of flowers, trees and grasses ever created, now made possible by technology. We get to see the wonder of pollen, seeds, petals, algae and leaves. The images are as beautiful as any art.
This stunning collection of images can be enjoyed purely as a visual voyage but also as a way to understand more of the science behind the image. Whether it's the work of a lavender leaf oil gland, the inside of a pine pollen, flower stamen sculptures deep inside a tree bark, or the wonderful patterns of lichen. Each image will include the scale of the photography as well as the scientific details in layman's terms.
The Infinite Monkey Cage, the legendary BBC Radio 4 programme, brings you this irreverent celebration of scientific marvels. Join us on a hectic leap through the grand and bizarre ideas conjured up by human imagination, from dark matter to consciousness via neutrinos and earthworms.
Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince muse on multifaceted subjects involved in building a universe, with pearls of wisdom from leading scientists and comedians peppered throughout.
Covering billions of concepts and conundrums, they tackle everything from the Big Bang to parallel universes, fierce creatures to extraterrestrial life, brain science to artificial intelligence. How to Build a Universe is an illuminating and inspirational celebration of science - sometimes silly, sometimes astounding and very occasionally facetious.
In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on. In fact, we don't know what about 95% of the universe is made of.
So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions).
While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore.
This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly entertaining highly illustrated book is perfect for anyone who's curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.
Miletus: one of the wealthiest and most important towns in ancient Greece. It was here, on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, in the 6th century BC, that the great traditions of Greek science and philosophy sparked into life, setting in motion a chain of knowledge that would change the world, forever.
This is the extraordinary story of Greek science from its earliest beginnings through its development in classical Athens and Hellenistic Alexandria and its subsequent diffusion to the wider world. Most histories of Greek science end with the collapse of the Graeco-Roman world in late antiquity and the closing of all classical schools of "pagan" philosophy in A.D. 529. But acclaimed historian John Freely here continues the story to tell of how the elements of Greek scientific and philosophical learning were adopted by the Islamic world and the transmission of Graeco-Islamic science to western Europe, as well as the preservation of Hellenic culture in Byzantium and its profound influence on the European renaissance and our modern world.
1856. Eighteen-year-old chemistry student William Perkin's experiment has gone horribly wrong. But the deep brown sludge his botched project has produced has an unexpected power: the power to dye everything it touches a brilliant purple. Perkin has discovered mauve, the world's first synthetic dye, bridging a gap between pure chemistry and industry which will change the world forever.
From the fetching ribbons soon tying back the hair on every fashionable head in London, to the laboratories in which scientists first scrutinized the human chromosome under the microscope, leading all the way to the development of modern vaccines against cancer and malaria, Simon Garfield's landmark work swirls together science and social history to tell the story of how one colour became a sensation.
Cassiano dal Pozzo, (1588-1657) now celebrated as one of the most important art patrons in Italy of the seventeenth century, commissioned a number of exquisite studies of birds as part of his famous 'Paper Museum'. In 1622 the lawyer and ornithologist Giovanni Pietro Olina used these drawings which are now kept in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, as the basis for the illustrations in his Uccelliera .
Pasta for Nightingales combines Cassiano's original artwork with selections from the first English translation of Olina's text. It includes such enchanting insights as the idea that robins were epileptic, or suffered from dizziness, and that the hoopoe overindulged in grapes until it became 'dazed and half-drunk.' However it also includes much fascinating early natural history and ornithological observation - as well as the secret recipe for pasta to keep your nightingale happy and encourage it to sing.
A unique celebration of the beginnings of ornithology, designed in sympathy with the character of the 17th- century original.
Do you want to be happy? If so - read on. This book has all the answers! Not really. Sorry. But it does have some very interesting questions, and at least the occasional answer.
The enthusiasm for and expectation of happiness are so widespread today that fundamental questions about it are often overlooked. For starters, the most basic question of all: where does happiness come from? Is it your brain - a mere concoction of chemicals, or network of neurons? Is it in fact your gut? [Spoiler alert: yes. Sort of.
] Or is it external? Is it love or sex or money or success? And what are these doing to our brains anyway?
In The Happy Brain, Neuroscientist Dean Burnett delves into our most private selves to investigate what causes happiness, where it comes from, and why we are so desperate to hang onto it. The questions he raises are ones we so rarely ask today, but they address a major part of what it means to be a modern-day human.
She Has Her Mother's Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it.
Zimmer writes, 'Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are-our appearance, our height, our penchants - in inconceivably subtle ways.' Heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors - using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates-but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable.
We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer's lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it.
Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Consciousness is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to one of life's most interesting questions: what does it mean to be conscious?
Written by celebrated neurologist and neuropsychologist Dr Hannah Critchlow, Consciousness will take you on a voyage to discover what allows the grey matter in our skulls to produce such complex emotions, personality traits, thoughts and memories.
Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.
For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.
Part of the ALL-NEW LADYBIRD EXPERT SERIES.
____________ Who discovered genetics?
How does gene inheritance work?
Is DNA common to all living things?
We inherit CODES from our parents. And these codes are written in the molecule DNA. This DNA means that we RESEMBLE each other, namely our families.
This raises so many questions such as how does DNA influence evolution? How was it discovered? And what does it mean for the future of the human race?
Discover the answers and more inside Adam Rutherford's Ladybird Expert - Genetics, the thrilling and accessible account that explains race and genetics, whether it is our DNA or the environment that influences us most, what are our chances of being related to royalty, genetic engineering and much more . . .
We use names so often, and with such little thought, that we often forget to pause and wonder about their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who originally created them?
Since the dawn of mankind we have been driven by a primordial urge to name the birds and beasts of the earth and skies. It is through names that we make sense of the world around us, and through understanding these names, we can arrive at a greater awareness of our world.
Many of our most familiar birds are named after people or places, sometimes after their sound or appearance, or perhaps after their quirky little habits. But sometimes a little more detective work is required to find the deeper meanings and stories behind the names. And a familiar face such as the blackbird, may not turn out to be named after its colour after all.
Through unexpected encounters with the bird kingdom, from the familiar sparrow to the many-coloured rush-tyrant of Patagonia, Stephen Moss shows us that something as small as a name can carry a whole story - an arctic expedition, a pitched battle between rival ornithologists or the discovery of a new system of genetic hybridisation. Mrs Moreau's Warbler is a journey through time, from when humans and birds first shared the world, up to the present day, as we find ourselves struggling to coexist sustainably with our feathered friends.
'Stylish and exhilarating... from a wide-ranging mind and a profound humanity. With warmth and wit, Gavin Francis examines the body's strategies for survival and change, embedding his thoughts in a broad frame of reference from across human culture and history. Each piece is a pleasure to read, and in sum they are inspiring.' Hilary Mantel
Our minds and bodies change constantly - we dream and laugh, wax and wane, distort and repair, grow taller and shrink, flourish and decay as we make our way through life.
Some of these changes we have little choice about - we can't avoid puberty, the menopause, or even death. Others are specific to the individual, inhabiting that strange hinterland between mind and body, imposed by the savage perfectionism of anorexia or the internal pressures of plastic surgery addicts. And still others are rare, almost magical in their manifestations, such as the sun-sensitivity and facial hair that characterises Porphyria suffers and led to them, once upon a time, to be suspected as werewolves.
Mixing case studies with observations about history, art, literature, myth and magic, and viewing with a humane and sensitive eye, Gavin Francis, author of the international bestseller Adventures in Human Being, explores the various ways in which change is the very essence of being human.
A lavishly illustrated look at how evolution plays out in selective breeding Unnatural Selection is a stunningly illustrated book about selective breeding - the ongoing transformation of animals at the hand of man. More important, it's a book about selective breeding on a far, far grander scale-a scale that encompasses all life on Earth. We'd call it evolution.
A unique fusion of art, science, and history, this book celebrates the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's monumental work The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, and is intended as a tribute to what Darwin might have achieved had he possessed that elusive missing piece to the evolutionary puzzle-the knowledge of how individual traits are passed from one generation to the next. With the benefit of a century and a half of hindsight, Katrina van Grouw explains evolution by building on the analogy that Darwin himself used-comparing the selective breeding process with natural selection in the wild, and, like Darwin, featuring a multitude of fascinating examples.
This is more than just a book about pets and livestock, however. The revelation of Unnatural Selection is that identical traits can occur in all animals, wild and domesticated, and both are governed by the same evolutionary principles. As van Grouw shows, animals are plastic things, constantly changing. In wild animals the changes are usually too slow to see-species appear to stay the same. When it comes to domesticated animals, however, change happens fast, making them the perfect model of evolution in action.
Suitable for the lay reader and student, as well as the more seasoned biologist, and featuring more than four hundred breathtaking illustrations of living animals, skeletons, and historical specimens, Unnatural Selection will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in natural history and the history of evolutionary thinking.
Is your dog happy? How do you know? Studies have shown that many dog owners incorrectly interpret their dog's behaviour and emotions. Making Dogs Happy will ensure you're being a good human to your furry companion. Learn what motivates your particular dog and you can train your dog accordingly, making your dog as happy as they make you. Written by world-leading experts in dog behaviour, Making Dogs Happy introduces the idea of dogmanship - the ability to interact with and train dogs. Fully photographed, demonstrating key behaviours of dozens of furry charmers, it's the one handbook no dog lover can go past.
A hunt for the world's most elusive bees leads Dave Goulson from Poland to Patagonia as well as closer to home, amongst the secret places hidden right under our noses- the abandoned industrial estates where great crested newts roam; or the rewilded estate at Knepp Castle, where, with the aid of some hairy, bluebell-eating Tamworth pigs, nightingale song has been heard for the first time in generations.
Whether he is tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or chasing orchid bees through the Ecuadorian jungle, Dave Goulson's wit, humour and deep love of nature make him the ideal travelling companion.
The development of the placenta was a pivotal event in evolution. Without it, we would still be laying eggs instead of giving birth to live offspring. It represents the critical link between the foetus and the mother, but its character is extraordinary - it is, in effect, a foreign tissue that invades the mother's body.
Compared to many other animals, the human placenta represents a particularly aggressive body. But how is it managed and controlled? How did such an organ evolve in the first place? And why is it tolerated by the mother? Y.W. Loke explores the nature of the placenta and what it can tell us about evolution, development, and genetics.
Since its first publication in 1964, Walker's Mammals of the World has become a favorite guide to the natural world for general readers and professionals alike. This new Walker's volume is a completely revised and updated compendium of information on five of the earliest clades to diverge from ancient mammal stock. Uniquely comprehensive in inimitable Walker's style, it incorporates a full account of every genus that lived in the past 5,000 years. Every named species of each genus is listed in systematic order and accompanied by detailed descriptions of past and present range.
This new edition includes 500+ full-color images throughout'a first for any Walker's volume!; citations to more than 2,200 new references; extensive bioconservation data, with discussion of every species in an IUCN Red List threatened category
This volume's thorough updates reflect 20 years of advances in our knowledge of taxonomy, ecology, behavior, life history, and conservation. Substantive changes to 100% of previously existing generic accounts, plus the addition of 17 entirely new generic accounts, double the information in the last edition on the 19 orders covered. The black-and-white illustrations of earlier editions have been replaced by over 500 new color images, including superb photos of live individuals and scientifically prepared paintings of extinct genera.
Remaining true to Ernest P. Walker's vision, the text smoothly combines in-depth scholarship with a popular, readable style to preserve and enhance what the Washington Post called a "landmark of zoological literature."
**THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER** 'A brilliant book' - Dagbladet Why does the brain work the way it does? Can eating certain foods improve your memory? Can you activate the parts of the brain you don't use? Can you smile yourself to happiness? What is free will, and do we really possess it?
These big questions, and many more, are investigated to uncover all the secrets of your most wondrous, mysterious and irreplaceable organ. Your brain makes you who you are - it is the root of your personality and intelligence. It learns languages, creates memories and interprets complex patterns. But it is also responsible for your bad decisions and it rewards addictive behaviours.
In Your Superstar Brain, neuroscientist Dr Kaja Nordengen describes in mesmerising detail how the brain works - both how it's physically constructed with neurones, synapses and the cerebral cortex, but also how it functions on a more abstract level - everything from what happens when we fall in love to where we find our sense of self.
Join Dr Kaja Nordengen on her fascinating journey through the many unexplored territories of the intricate human brain, and find out why your brain is truly a superstar.
As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.
McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book.
A radical, optimistic exploration of how humans evolved to develop reason, consciousness, and free will.
Lately, the most passionate advocates of the theory of evolution seem to present it as bad news. Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Sam Harris tell us that our most intimate actions, thoughts, and values are mere byproducts of thousands of generations of mindless adaptation. We are just one species among multitudes, and therefore no more significant than any other living creature.
Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller to make the case that this view betrays a gross misunderstanding of evolution. Natural selection surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, but Miller argues that it's not a social or cultural theory of everything. In The Human Instinct, he rejects the idea that our biological heritage means that human thought, action, and imagination are pre-determined, describing instead the trajectory that ultimately gave us reason, consciousness and free will. A proper understanding of evolution, he says, reveals humankind in its glorious uniqueness-one foot planted firmly among all of the creatures we've evolved alongside, and the other in the special place of self-awareness and understanding that we alone occupy in the universe.
Equal parts natural science and philosophy, The Human Instinct is a moving and powerful celebration of what it means to be human.
In 1935, an Australian government agency imported 101 specimens of the Central and South American Cane Toad in an attempt to manage insects that were decimating sugar-cane harvests. In Australia the Cane Toad adapted and evolved with abandon, voraciously consuming native wildlife and killing predators with its lethal skin toxin. Today, hundreds of millions of Cane Toads have spread across the northern part of Australia and continue to move westward. The humble Cane Toad has become a national villain.
Cane Toad Wars chronicles the work of intrepid scientist Rick Shine, who has been documenting the toad's ecological impact in Australia and seeking to buffer it. Despite predictions of devastation in the wake of advancing toad hordes, the author's research reveals a more complex and nuanced story. A firsthand account of a perplexing ecological problem and an important exploration of how we measure evolutionary change and ecological resilience, this book makes an effective case for the value of long-term natural history research in informing conservation practice.
Richard Dawkins - author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, and The God Delusion - is one of science's greatest communicators. This anthology of more than forty pieces is a kaleidoscopic argument for the power and the glory of science.
Breathtaking, brilliant and passionate, these essays, journalism, lectures and letters make an unanswerable case for the wonder of scientific discovery and its power to stir the imagination; for the practical necessity of scientific endeavour to society; and for the importance of the scientific way of thinking - particularly in today's 'post-truth' world.
With an introduction and new commentary by the author, subjects range from evolution and Darwinian natural selection to the role of scientist as prophet, whether science is itself a religion, the probability of alien life in other worlds, and the beauties, cruelties and oddities of earthly life in this one. Alongside the explications, the celebrations and the controversies are wonderfully funny ventures into satire and parody, and moving personal reflections in memory and honour of others.
Science in the Soul is a sparkling showcase for Professor Dawkins' rapier wit, the clarity, precision and vigour he brings to an argument, the beauty of his prose, the depth of his feeling and his capacity for joy.
First published in 1979, Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare has established itself as a seminal work in ecology. Now with a new foreword by ecologist and writer Cristina Eisenberg, this penetrating study of ecosystems and animal populations is more relevant than ever. What accounts for the many different species of insect? Why does the robin population stay relatively steady year after year, despite the fact that their nests contain several chicks at once? Paul Colinvaux traces the ecologist's quest to answer these questions and more in this accessibly written book. He brings to the subject both profound knowledge and an enthusiasm that will encourage a greater understanding of the environment and of the efforts of those who seek to preserve it.
Let the real world show you how maths works.
Maths is often cited as the 'most difficult' or 'complex' subject to study, many people admitting to a wariness that was probably ingrained into them in their schooldays. In Maths in Bite-sized Chunks, Chris Waring proves that it's easy to break the subject down into accessible, understandable information, much of which, in fact, we use in one way or another every day of our lives.
Each chapter takes readers through the theory, demonstrating how to master it with worked-through problems and examples from the real world. Topics that once seemed impenetrable suddenly become relatable and easier to unpick. So whether it's algebra or statistics that once had you flummoxed, get ready for a new way of being mathematically minded.
Calculus: A Complete Introduction is the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use introduction to using calculus. Written by a leading expert, this book will help you if you are studying for an important exam or essay, or if you simply want to improve your knowledge. The book covers all areas of calculus, including functions, gradients, rates of change, differentiation, exponential and logarithmic functions and integration. Everything you will need to know is here in one book. Each chapter includes not only an explanation of the knowledge and skills you need, but also worked examples and test questions.
Why do we need Statistics? What do terms like 'dispersion', 'correlation', 'normal distribution' and 'significance' actually mean? How can I learn how to think statistically?
This bestselling introduction is for anyone who wants to know how statistics works and the powerful ideas behind it. Teaching through words and diagrams instead of requiring you to do complex calculations, it assumes no expert knowledge and makes the subject accessible even to readers who consider themselves non-mathematical. This clear and informative 'tutorial in print' includes questions for you to respond to in the light of what you have read so far, ensuring your developing ability to think statistically.
This famous little book was first published in German in 1933 and in Russian a few years later, setting forth the axiomatic foundations of modern probability theory and cementing the author's reputation as a leading authority in the field. It remains a foundational text for the understanding of probability theory, important both to students beginning a serious study of the topic and to historians of modern mathematics.
Most physicists think of beauty as the royal road to discovery; a leading critic shows it is instead the road to nowhere.
Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates trusted theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, physics hasn't made a major breakthrough in more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or string theory, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink how they do physics. Only by embracing messiness and complexity can science discover the truth, not as one might prefer it, but as it is.
In Glimpses of Australian Birds, authors Peter Slater & Sally Elmer with Raoul Slater take us into the world of birds as they see it. To photograph this book, Raoul Slater spent days sitting in hides with primitive cameras or lugging clumsy and heavy equipment through the wilderness. Some of the results are here - others were taken with the latest state-of-the-art digital cameras.
The best and most up-to-date book on owls available. Packed with beautiful illustrations, it explores owl behaviour and lifecycle, including hunting, courtship, breeding and special adaptations for nocturnal life. There is a chapter on each owl family, from the huge eagle owls to the diminutive pygmy owls and owlets. Author Jim Duncan has studied owls for more than two decades and has banded more than 2,500 owls as part of his research.
Profiles more than 250 species regularly seen in the region.
Authoritative text includes information on identification, songs and calls, behaviour, distribution and habitat.
Packed with full-colour photographs, each carefully selected to guide identification.
The ideal pocket-sized guide - perfect for nature-loving travellers and birdwatchers visiting Italy.
Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals have always fascinated people but they pose vast problems for the artist. How do you go about recreating the anatomy and behaviour of a creature we've never seen? How can we restore landscapes long lost to time? And where does the boundary between palaeontology - the science of understanding fossils- and artistic licence lie? In this outstanding book, Mark Witton shares his detailed paintings and great experience of drawing and painting extinct species. The approaches used in rendering these impressive creatures are discussed and demonstrate the problems, as well as the unexpected freedoms, that palaeontological artists are faced with. The book showcases over ninety scientifically credible paintings of some of the most spectacular animals in the Earth's history, as well as may less familiar species.