Astrophysics for People in a HurryNeil de Grasse Tyson
The bestselling Science and Nature Ebooks at Apple's iBookstore. The chart list of the most popular science and nature iBooks updated daily.
Chart of the top selling science iBooks was last update: Sunday, February 18 2018, 4:48 pm
Related chart: Science Audiobooks
Astrophysics for People in a HurryNeil de Grasse Tyson
The #1 New York Times Bestseller: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
SapiensYuval Noah Harari
New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
This Is Your Brain on MusicDaniel J. Levitin
In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music—its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it—and the human brain. Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he reveals: • How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world • Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre • That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise • How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksRebecca Skloot
Now an HBO® Film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
Homo DeusYuval Noah Harari
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods. Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
The Science of Star WarsMark Brake & Jon Chase
Discover the science behind the most popular sci-fi franchise of all time! Capturing the imagination and hearts of crowds worldwide, Star Wars is a fantastic feat of science fiction and fantasy. The Science of Star Wars addresses 50 topics that span the movies’ universe such as battle technology, alien life, space travel, etc. You’ll find fascinating explorations of the physics of Star Wars , its plausibility, and more. The perfect Star Wars gift for fans of the saga, this book addresses many unanswered, burning questions, including: How long before we get a Star Wars speeder off the ground? What exactly is the Force? How could Kylo Ren stop a blaster shot in mid-air? How could we live on a gas giant like Bespin, or a desert planet like Tatooine? Nature versus nurture: How does it play out in the making of Jedi? How much would it cost to build the Death Star? And much more! We marvel at the variety of creatures and technology and the mystery behind the force. But how much of the Star Wars world is rooted in reality? Could we see some of the extraordinary inventions materialize in our world? This uncomplicated, entertaining read makes it easy to understand how advanced physics concepts, such as wormholes and Einstein’s theory of relativity, apply to the Star Wars universe. The Science of Star Wars explains to non-technical readers how physics and fantasy might merge to allow for the possibility of interstellar travel; communication with foreign but intelligent lifeforms; human-like robots; alien planets fit for human life; weapons and spacecraft such as laser guns, light sabers, and the Millennium Falcon; and Force-like psychokinetic powers. In the 21st Century, we’re on the edge of developing much of the technology from “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”… These fantasies aren’t as impossible as you might think! Written for every fan of George Lucas’s films, you don’t need to be a Jedi or an astrophysicist at NASA to appreciate all of Mark Brake and Jon Chase’s fun and informative analysis of this classic series in The Science of Star Wars . Prepare your mind to make the jump to light speed and find out about the facts behind one of our favorite modern epics!
Merlin's Tour of the UniverseNeil de Grasse Tyson
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry comes a fascinating guide to the most popular questions about the universe. In Neil de Grasse Tyson's delightful tour of the galaxies, his fictional character Merlin responds to popular astronomy questions asked by adults and children alike. Merlin, a visitor from Planet Omniscia in the Andromeda Galaxy, has been friends with many of the most important scientific figures of the past, including da Vinci, Magellan, Doppler, Einstein, and Hubble—and he often recounts his conversations with these historical figures in his explanations. Merlin's illuminating answers feature a unique combination of wit and poetry along with serious science explained in refreshingly clear, reader-friendly language. Dear Merlin: Can a person cross our galaxy in a spaceship during one human lifespan? Merlin: In 1905, Merlin's good friend Albert Einstein introduced the "Special Theory of Relativity," which predicts that time will tick slower and slower the faster you travel. Were you to embark on such an adventure you could conceivably age as little as you wish, depending of course, on your exact speed. The problem arises when you return to Earth, which will have moved several hundred thousand years into the future and everyone will have forgotten about you. A timeless book for lovers of the universe by one of its greatest lights.
Why We SleepMatthew Walker
A New York Times bestseller The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better. Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don't sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained elusive. An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity. Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book.
BehaveRobert M. Sapolsky
Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. What goes on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happens? Then he pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell triggers the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones act hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli which trigger the nervous system? By now, he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going--next to what features of the environment affected that person's brain, and then back to the childhood of the individual, and then to their genetic makeup. Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than that one individual. How culture has shaped that individual's group, what ecological factors helped shape that culture, and on and on, back to evolutionary factors thousands and even millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours de horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.
A Brief History of TimeStephen Hawking
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
Aerial GeologyMary Caperton Morton
“Get your head into the clouds with Aerial Geology .” — The New York Times Book Review Aerial Geology is an up-in-the-sky exploration of North America’s 100 most spectacular geological formations. Crisscrossing the continent from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to the Great Salt Lake in Utah and to the Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, Mary Caperton Morton brings you on a fantastic tour, sharing aerial and satellite photography, explanations on how each site was formed, and details on what makes each landform noteworthy. Maps and diagrams help illustrate the geological processes and clarify scientific concepts. Fact-filled, curious, and way more fun than the geology you remember from grade school, Aerial Geology is a must-have for the insatiably curious, armchair geologists, million-mile travelers, and anyone who has stared out the window of a plane and wondered what was below.
“Brilliant. . . . Lewis has given us a spectacular account of two great men who faced up to uncertainty and the limits of human reason.” —William Easterly, Wall Street Journal Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original papers that invented the field of behavioral economics. One of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, Kahneman and Tversky’s extraordinary friendship incited a revolution in Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. In The Undoing Project, Lewis shows how their Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.
The Hidden Life of TreesPeter Wohlleben & Tim Flannery
In The Hidden Life of Trees , Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
The Strange Order of ThingsAntónio Damásio
From one of our preeminent neuroscientists: a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling, and culture. The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life. In The Strange Order of Things, Damasio gives us a new way of comprehending the world and our place in it. www.antoniodamasio.com
The God DelusionRichard Dawkins
A preeminent scientist -- and the world's most prominent atheist -- asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11. With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
The Stranger in the WoodsMichael Finkel
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. A New York Times bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
The Selfish GeneRichard Dawkins
The 40th anniversary edition of the million copy international bestseller, with a new epilogue from the author. As relevant and influential today as when it was first published, this classic exposition of evolutionary thought, widely hailed for its stylistic brilliance and deep scientific insights, stimulated whole new areas of research.
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever LivedAdam Rutherford
“ Nothing less than a tour de force—a heady amalgam of science, history, a little bit of anthropology and plenty of nuanced, captivating storytelling.”— The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice A National Geographic Best Book of 2017 In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived will upend your thinking on Neanderthals, evolution, royalty, race, and even redheads. (For example, we now know that at least four human species once roamed the earth.) Plus, here is the remarkable, controversial story of how our genes made their way to the Americas—one that’s still being written, as ever more of us have our DNA sequenced. Rutherford closes with “A Short Introduction to the Future of Humankind,” filled with provocative questions that we’re on the cusp of answering: Are we still in the grasp of natural selection? Are we evolving for better or worse? And . . . where do we go from here?
Seven Brief Lessons on PhysicsCarlo Rovelli
Instant New York Times Bestseller “One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.” —The Wall Street Journal “Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.” — The New York Times Book Review This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery. “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”
The Sixth ExtinctionElizabeth Kolbert
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction , two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
The Elephant WhispererLawrence Anthony & Graham Spence
When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of “rogue” wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn’t take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom. The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony’s experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.
The Ghost MapSteven Johnson
A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
The Illustrated Theory of EverythingStephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is widely believed to be one of the world’s greatest minds, a brilliant theoretical physicist whose work helped reconfigure models of the universe and define what’s in it. Imagine sitting in a room listening to Hawking discuss these achievements and place them in historical context; it would be like hearing Christopher Columbus on the New World. Hawking presents a series of seven lectures—covering everything from big bang to black holes to string theory—that capture not only the brilliance of Hawking’s mind but his characteristic wit as well. Of his research on black holes, which absorbed him for more than a decade, he says, “It might seem a bit like looking for a black cat in a coal cellar.” Hawking begins with a history of ideas about the universe, from Aristotle’s determination that the Earth is round to Hubble’s discovery, more than 2,000 years later, that the universe is expanding. Using that as a launching pad, he explores the reaches of modern physics, including theories on the origin of the universe (e.g., the Big Bang), the nature of black holes, and space-time. Finally, he poses the questions left unanswered by modern physics, especially how to combine all the partial theories into a “unified theory of everything.” “If we find the answer to that,” he claims, “it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason.” Hawking believes that advances in theoretical science should be “understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists.” In this book, he offers a fascinating voyage of discovery about the cosmos and our place in it. It is a book for anyone who has ever gazed at the night sky and wondered what was up there and how it came to be.
Sapiens and Homo Deus: The E-book CollectionYuval Noah Harari
Discover humanity’s past and its future in this in this special e-book collection featuring Sapiens—a reading pick of President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg—and its acclaimed companion Homo Deus.
The Wizard and the ProphetCharles C. Mann
From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493 --an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world. In forty years, Earth's population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups--Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back ! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose ! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate ! was Borlaug's cry. Only in that way can everyone win ! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces--food, water, energy, climate change--grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author's insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.
Atomic AccidentsJames Mahaffey
A “delightfully astute” and “entertaining” history of the mishaps and meltdowns that have marked the path of scientific progress ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review). Radiation: What could go wrong? In short, plenty. From Marie Curie carrying around a vial of radium salt because she liked the pretty blue glow to the large-scale disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, dating back to the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters. In this lively book, long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy James Mahaffey looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns. Every incident, while taking its toll, has led to new understanding of the mighty atom—and the fascinating frontier of science that still holds both incredible risk and great promise. Praise for Atomic Awakening “Mahaffey writes with delightfully witty prose. A surprisingly entertaining history of nuclear power.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “ Atomic Awakening provides the most complete history of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear energy development I have ever read in a single book.” — Nuclear Street “The book aids in the understanding of how atomic science is far from the spawn of a wicked weapons program and how nuclear power will shape the twenty-first century.” — Nuclear News James Mahaffey was senior research scientist at Georgia Tech Institute and has worked at the Defense Nuclear Agency, the National Ground Intelligence Center, and the Air Force Air Logistics Center, focusing on nuclear power, nanotechnology, and cold fusion. He is the author of Atomic Awakening and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Future of HumanityMichio Kaku
The #1 bestselling author of The Future of the Mind traverses the frontiers of astrophysics, artificial intelligence, and technology to offer a stunning vision of man's future in space, from settling Mars to traveling to distant galaxies. Formerly the domain of fiction, moving human civilization to the stars is increasingly becoming a scientific possibility--and a necessity. Whether in the near future due to climate change and the depletion of finite resources, or in the distant future due to catastrophic cosmological events, we must face the reality that humans will one day need to leave planet Earth to survive as a species. World-renowned physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explores in rich, intimate detail the process by which humanity may gradually move away from the planet and develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. He reveals how cutting-edge developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology may allow us to terraform and build habitable cities on Mars. He then takes us beyond the solar system to nearby stars, which may soon be reached by nanoships traveling on laser beams at near the speed of light. Finally, he brings us beyond our galaxy, and even beyond our universe, to the possibility of immortality, showing us how humans may someday be able to leave our bodies entirely and laser port to new havens in space. With irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder, Dr. Kaku takes readers on a fascinating journey to a future in which humanity may finally fulfill its long-awaited destiny among the stars.
The Hacking of the American MindRobert H. Lustig
"Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts." —David Perlmutter, MD, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller, Grain Brain and Brain Maker The New York Times –bestselling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease. While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance , Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover. Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape. With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.
Heavens on EarthMichael Shermer
A scientific exploration into humanity’s obsession with the afterlife and quest for immortality from the bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer In his most ambitious work yet, Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans’ belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth. For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned from such a place to report what it is really like—or that it even exists—today science and technology are being used to try to make it happen in our lifetime. From radical life extension to cryonic suspension to mind uploading, Shermer considers how realistic these attempts are from a proper skeptical perspective. Heavens on Earth concludes with an uplifting paean to purpose and progress and how we can live well in the here-and-now, whether or not there is a hereafter.
The River of ConsciousnessOliver Sacks
From the best-selling author of Gratitude, On the Move, and Musicophilia, a collection of essays that displays Oliver Sacks's passionate engagement with the most compelling and seminal ideas of human endeavor: evolution, creativity, memory, time, consciousness, and experience. Oliver Sacks, a scientist and a storyteller, is beloved by readers for the extraordinary neurological case histories ( Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars ) in which he introduced and explored many now familiar disorders--autism, Tourette's syndrome, face blindness, savant syndrome. He was also a memoirist who wrote with honesty and humor about the remarkable and strange encounters and experiences that shaped him ( Uncle Tungsten, On the Move, Gratitude ). Sacks, an Oxford-educated polymath, had a deep familiarity not only with literature and medicine but with botany, animal anatomy, chemistry, the history of science, philosophy, and psychology. The River of Consciousness is one of two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and it reveals his ability to make unexpected connections, his sheer joy in knowledge, and his unceasing, timeless project to understand what makes us human.
Childhood's EndArthur C. Clarke
Childhoodís End is one of the defining legacies of Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and many other groundbreaking works. Since its publication in 1953, this prescient novel about first contact gone wrong has come to be regarded not only as a science fiction classic but as a literary thriller of the highest order. Spaceships have suddenly appeared in the skies above every city on the planet. Inside is an intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior alien race known as the Overlords. At first, their demands seem benevolent: unify Earth, eliminate poverty, end war. But at what cost? To those who resist, itís clear that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. Has their arrival marked the end of humankind . . . or the beginning? Praise for Childhoodís End
Rocket BillionairesTim Fernholz
The inside story of the new race to conquer space, as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos spend billions of their own money to explore the final frontier For the larger‑than‑life personalities now staking their fortunes on the development of rocket ships, the new race to explore space could be a dead end, a lucrative opportunity — or the key to humanity’s salvation. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos take center stage in this fast‑paced narrative as they attempt to disrupt the space economy, feed their own egos, and maybe even save the world. We also meet a supporting cast of equally fascinating entrepreneurs, from the irrepressible British mogul Richard Branson to satellite Internet visionary Greg Wyler. All are united in the profound conviction that commercial space transportation will transform our world for the better. Tim Fernholz’s fly‑on‑the‑wall reporting captures an industry in the midst of disruption, as NASA seeks to preserve its ambitious space exploration program, traditional aerospace firms like Boeing and Lockheed Martin scramble to adapt to new competitors, lobbyists tussle over public funds and lawmakers try to prevent this new space race from sparking global conflict. With privileged access to top executives at SpaceX, including Musk himself, as well as at Blue Origin, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Virgin Galactic, Fernholz spins this high‑stakes marathon into a riveting tale of rivalry and survival.
SapiensЮваль Ной Харари
Сто тысяч лет назад Homo sapiens был одним из как минимум шести видов человека, живших на этой планете, — ничем не примечательным животным, которое играло в экосистеме роль не большую, чем гориллы, светлячки или медузы. Но около семидесяти тысяч лет назад загадочное изменение когнитивных способностей Homo sapiens превратило его в хозяина планеты и кошмар экосистемы. Как человек разумный сумел покорить мир? Что стало с другими видами человека? Когда и почему появились деньги, государства и религия? Как возникали и рушились империи? Почему почти все общества ставили женщин ниже мужчин? Как наука и капитализм стали господствующими вероучениями современной эры? Становились ли люди с течением времени счастливее? Какое будущее нас ожидает? Юваль Харари показывает, как ход истории формировал человеческое общество и действительность вокруг него. Его книга прослеживает связь между событиями прошлого и проблемами современности и заставляет читателя пересмотреть все устоявшиеся представления об окружающем мире.
The Edge of PhysicsAnil Ananthaswamy
A tour of the exotic and remote outposts where scientists seek answers to the great mysteries: “A thrilling ride around the globe and around the cosmos.” —Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here In The Edge of Physics , a science writer journeys to the ends of the Earth—visiting remote and sometimes dangerous places—in search of the telescopes and detectors that promise to answer the biggest questions in modern cosmology. Anil Ananthaswamy treks to the Atacama Desert in the Chilean Andes, one of the coldest, driest places on the planet, where not even a blade of grass can survive, and the spectacularly clear skies and dry atmosphere allow astronomers to gather brilliant images of galaxies billions of light-years away. He takes us inside the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere’s Very Large Telescope on Mount Paranal, where four massive domes open to the sky each night “like a dragon waking up.” Ananthaswamy also heads deep inside an abandoned iron mine in Minnesota—where half-mile-thick rock shields physicists as they hunt for elusive dark matter particles. And to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, where engineers are drilling 1.5 miles into the clearest ice on the planet. They are building the world’s largest neutrino detector, which could finally help reconcile quantum physics with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The stories of the people who work at these and other research sites make for a compelling new portrait of the universe—and our quest to understand it. “From the top of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea to Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider and more, Ananthaswamy paints a vivid picture of scientific investigations in harsh working conditions. . . . Even for readers who don’t know a neutrino from Adam, these interesting tales of human endeavor make The Edge of Physics a trip worth taking.” — Bookpage “Ananthaswamy journeys to several geographically and scientifically extreme outposts, and returns not only with engaging portraits of the men and women who work there, but also a vibrant glimpse of how cutting-edge research is actually performed. Part history lesson, part travelogue, part adventure story, ‘The Edge of Physics’ is a wonder-steeped page-turner.” — Seed Magazine “Ananthaswamy displays a writer’s touch for the fascinating detail.” — The Washington Post “These experiments and others are heroic in every sense, and Ananthaswamy captures their excitement—and the personalities of the scientists behind them—with enthusiasm and insight.” — Publishers Weekly “Sure to appeal to general readers interested in science books without the philosophy and mathematics found in drier, more academic physics titles.” — Library Journal “Physicists are trying to understand the furthest reaches of space and the furthest extremes of matter and energy. To do it, they have to trek to some of the furthest places on Earth—from deep underground, to forbidding mountains, to the cold of Antarctica. Anil Ananthaswamy takes us on a thrilling ride around the globe and around the cosmos, to reveal the real work that goes into understanding our universe.” —Sean Carroll, California Institute of Technology, author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time “An excellent book. The author has a great knack for making difficult subjects comprehensible. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” —Sir Patrick Moore, former president of the British Astronomical Society and presenter of the BBC’s The Sky at Night “Ananthaswamy’s juxtaposition of extreme travel and extreme science offers a genuinely novel route into the story of modern cosmology. His tale turns on the price of success: we already know so much about our universe that it becomes hugely difficult—even risky—to pry loose from nature that next burst of insight. The result is a well-written and enormously accessible account of what it takes to push past the edge of human knowledge.” —Thomas Levenson, author of Newton and the Counterfeiter and Einstein in Berlin “Clean, elegant prose, humming with interest.” —Robert Macfarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places “ The Edge of Physics . . . is, quite simply, the ultimate physics-adventure travelogue. . . . As an adventure story and a fly-on-the-wall account of remote places that most of us will never visit, The Edge of Physics is brilliant.” — Physics World “Ananthaswamy displays a writer’s touch for the fascinating detail . . . whether he is in an abandoned iron mine in Minnesota’s Mesabi Range or the frigid Siberian expanse of Lake Baikal, he finds intrepid physicists and explains to us why these weird places are the only locations on the planet where these experiments could be done.” — The Washington Post “A grand tour of modern day cosmology’s sacred places . . . evocative . . . engaging . . . refreshing . . . a taste of science in the heroic mode.” — Sky at Night Magazine “Ananthaswamy, a science writer and editor, smoothly weaves together the stories of people who help push science forward, from principal investigators to research institute gardeners, with exquisitely clear explanations of the questions they hope to solve—and why some research can be done only at the edge of the world.” — Science News “A remarkable narrative that combines fundamental physics with high adventure . . . Ananthaswamy is a worthy guide for both journeys.” — New Scientist “ The Edge of Physics is an accomplished and timely overview of modern cosmology and particle astrophysics. Ananthaswamy’s characterizations of the many physicists he meets are on the mark. . . . Ananthaswamy conveys that cutting-edge science is a human endeavour.” — Nature “Ananthaswamy’s investigation of current experiments in physics bypasses the mathematics of the field, making it easier for the average reader to dig in and enjoy the amazing discoveries and research methods that he encounters. The author has a knack for intertwining an overview of the purpose of these experiments with a finely balanced dose of related history and trivia. He also exhibits poetic touches here and there as he shares colorful vignettes from each of his destinations.” —CurledUpWithAGoodBook.com “While Ananthaswamy—a consulting editor at New Scientist in London—focuses heavily on the science, The Edge of Physics reads like a travel-adventure story or a work of fiction.” — Failure Magazine Anil Ananthaswamy is a contributor to National Geographic News and a consulting editor for New Scientist in London, where he has also worked as a deputy news editor.
Our Solar SystemTidels
Tidels makes way for Exceptional Learners. With over a million books downloaded worldwide, Tidels empower kids to learn, read and explore the world. Our Solar System is a short, interactive, educational children's science book that takes young readers on a fascinating tour through space. This book take childrens into a journey which will enable them to discover the treasure of space and make them to understand and appreciate the Universe around us. With full-color photographs young readers will learn all about the beginning of the solar system, including the sun and the eight planets and their moons. Rotate the images to see an entire 360-degree view, swipe and zoom to focus on different parts of the image.
Moonwalking with EinsteinJoshua Foer
The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author's own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Physics of the FutureMichio Kaku
Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100. In Physics of the Future , Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible —gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics. In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world's information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism. Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically. In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button. But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg . Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper? All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution. From the Hardcover edition.
The Disappearing SpoonSam Kean
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?* The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
The Eighty-Dollar ChampionElizabeth Letts
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.
Why Math Isn't an Awful NerdJason Marshall
In "Why Math isn't an Awful Nerd" Jason Marshall, the guy behind the incredibly popular Math Dude's Quick and Dirty Tips podcast, shows readers how insanely easy and downright elegant math can be. Marshall focuses on perfect squares and patterns (hint: they're called perfect squares for a reason), and clearly—and most importantly concisely—explains step-by-step how numbers work. Multiple games and puzzles re-enforce the concepts Marshall presents, making for a crazy fun, accidental learning experience. Perfect for anyone looking for a leg-up on their algebra homework, that won't put them to sleep. And if this e-book leaves you wanting even more! more! more! there's The Math Dude's Quick and Dirty Guide to Algebra , with even more math number games, explanations, and—dare we say it—fun.
The Future of the MindMichio Kaku
Michio Kaku, the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible and Physics of the Future tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain. The Future of the Mind brings a topic that once belonged solely to the province of science fiction into a startling new reality. This scientific tour de force unveils the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics—including recent experiments in telepathy, mind control, avatars, telekinesis, and recording memories and dreams. The Future of the Mind is an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience. Dr. Kaku looks toward the day when we may achieve the ability to upload the human brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; project thoughts and emotions around the world on a brain-net; take a “smart pill” to enhance cognition; send our consciousness across the universe; and push the very limits of immortality.
The Grand DesignStephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary CanalMary Roach
The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. “America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
A Universe from NothingLawrence M. Krauss
Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss offers a paradigm-shifting view of how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.
Packing for MarsMary Roach
“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this New York Times bestseller. Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
Free WillSam Harris
A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.
Eating AnimalsJonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his life oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. Once he started a family, the moral dimensions of food became increasingly important. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times , places Jonathan Safran Foer "at the table with our greatest philosophers."
The Greatest Show on EarthRichard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins transformed our view of God in his blockbuster, The God Delusion, which sold more than 2 million copies in English alone. He revolutionized the way we see natural selection in the seminal bestseller The Selfish Gene . Now, he launches a fierce counterattack against proponents of "Intelligent Design" in his New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Show on Earth . "Intelligent Design" is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to "teach the controversy" behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that "we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection." His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life, in all its splendor.
Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
CosmosCarl Sagan, Neil de Grasse Tyson & Ann Druyan
RETURNING TO TELEVISION AS AN ALL-NEW MINISERIES ON FOX Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science. Praise for Cosmos “Magnificent . . . With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true.” — The Plain Dealer “Sagan is an astronomer with one eye on the stars, another on history, and a third—his mind’s—on the human condition.” — Newsday “Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions . . . shimmers with a sense of wonder.” — The Miami Herald “Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space.” — Cosmopolitan “Enticing . . . iridescent . . . imaginatively illustrated.” — The New York Times Book Review NOTE: This edition does not include images.
IMPORTANT NOTE: To read the ebooks you must have Apple's free iBooks App installed on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
If you don't have the free iBooks app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch you can download it from the iTunes store by clicking on the link below: