By Nick Mann, Theodore Gray
In his highly anticipated sequel to The Elements, Theodore Gray demonstrates how the elements of the periodic table combine to form the molecules that make up our world.Everything physical is made up of the elements and the infinite variety of molecules they form when they combine with each other. In Molecules, Theodore Gray takes the next step in the grand story that began with the periodic table in his best-selling book, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. Here, he explores through fascinating stories and trademark stunning photography the most interesting, essential, useful, and beautiful of the millions of chemical structures that make up every material in the world.Gray begins with an explanation of how atoms bond to form molecules and compounds, as well as the difference between organic and inorganic chemistry. He then goes on to explore the vast array of materials molecules can create, including: soaps and solvents; goops and oils; rocks and ores; ropes and fibers; painkillers and dangerous drugs; sweeteners; perfumes and stink bombs; colors and pigments; and controversial compounds including asbestos, CFCs, and thimerosal.Big, gorgeous photographs, as well as diagrams of the compounds and their chemical bonds, rendered with never before seen beauty, fill the pages and capture molecules in their various states.As he did in The Elements, Gray shows us molecules as we've never seen them before. It's the perfect book for his loyal fans who've been eager for more and for anyone fascinated with the mysteries of the material world.
By Ronald Giphart, Mark van Vugt
Our brains evolved to solve the survival problems of our Stone Age ancestors, so when faced with modern day situations that are less extreme, they often encounter a mismatch. Our primitive brains put us on the wrong foot by responding to stimuli that - in prehistoric times - would have prompted behaviour that was beneficial. If you've ever felt an anxious fight or flight response to a presenting at a board meeting, equivalent to facing imminent death by sabre-toothed tiger, then you have experienced a mismatch.Mismatch is about the clash between our biology and our culture. It is about the dramatic contrast between the first few million years of human history - when humans lived as hunters and gatherers in small-scale societies - and the past twelve thousand years following the agricultural revolution which have led us to comfortable lives in a very different social structure. Has this rapid transition been good for us? How do we, using our primitive minds, try to survive in a modern information society that radically changes every ten years or so?Ronald Giphart and Mark van Vugt show that humans have changed their environment so drastically that the chances for mismatch have significantly increased, and these conflicts can have profound consequences.Reviewed through mismatch glasses, social, societal, and technological trends can be better understood, ranging from the popularity of Facebook and internet porn, to the desire for cosmetic surgery, to our attitudes towards refugees.Mismatches can also affect our physical and psychological well-being, in terms of our attitudes to happiness, physical exercise, choosing good leaders, or finding ways to feel better at home or work.Finally, Mismatch gives us an insight into politics and policy which could enable governments, institutions and businesses to create an environment better suited to human nature, its potential and its constraints.This book is about converting mismatches into matches. The better your life is matched to how your mind operates, the greater your chances of leading a happy, healthy and productive life.
The Mice Who Sing For Sex
By Lliana Bird, Jack Lewis
Lliana Bird and Dr Jack Lewis tackle the strange and surreal phenomena from the depths of the oceans to the limits of the far flung universe; the dark corners of your laundry basket to the forgotten compartments of your fridge. Packed with unusual facts and stories of the absurd each of the fascinating insights is told with the Geek Chic team's inimitable humour and wit.An hilarious exploration all things bizarre from the world of science, The Mice Who Sing for Sex takes on weighty issues including heavy metal loving sharks, life-threatening skinny jeans, our impending jellyfish apocalypse and of course, the singing mice of the title.
By Ed Regis
Oh, the humanity!" Radio reporter Herbert Morrison's words on witnessing the destruction of the Hindenburg are etched in our collective memory. Yet, while the Hindenburg ,like the Titanic ,is a symbol of the technological hubris of a bygone era, we seem to have forgotten the lessons that can be learned from the infamous 1937 zeppelin disaster.Zeppelins were steerable balloons of highly flammable, explosive gas, but the sheer magic of seeing one of these behemoths afloat in the sky cast an irresistible spell over all those who saw them. In Monsters , Ed Regis explores the question of how a technology now so completely invalidated (and so fundamentally unsafe) ever managed to reach the high-risk level of development that it did. Through the story of the zeppelin's development, Regis examines the perils of what he calls pathological technologies",inventions whose sizeable risks are routinely minimized as a result of their almost mystical allure.Such foolishness is not limited to the industrial age: newer examples of pathological technologies include the US government's planned use of hydrogen bombs for large-scale geoengineering projects the phenomenally risky, expensive, and ultimately abandoned Superconducting Super Collider and the exotic interstellar propulsion systems proposed for DARPA's present-day 100 Year Starship project. In case after case, the romantic appeal of foolishly ambitious technologies has blinded us to their shortcomings, dangers, and costs.Both a history of technological folly and a powerful cautionary tale for future technologies and other grandiose schemes, Monsters is essential reading for experts and citizens hoping to see new technologies through clear eyes.
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart
By Rob Dunn
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart tells the raucous, gory, mesmerizing story of the heart, from the first "explorers" who dug up cadavers and plumbed their hearts' chambers, through the first heart surgeries-which had to be completed in three minutes before death arrived-to heart transplants and the latest medical efforts to prolong our hearts' lives, almost defying nature in the process.Thought of as the seat of our soul, then as a mysteriously animated object, the heart is still more a mystery than it is understood. Why do most animals only get one billion beats? (And how did modern humans get to over two billion-effectively letting us live out two lives?) Why are sufferers of gingivitis more likely to have heart attacks? Why do we often undergo expensive procedures when cheaper ones are just as effective? What do Da Vinci, Mary Shelley, and contemporary Egyptian archaeologists have in common? And what does it really feel like to touch your own heart, or to have someone else's beating inside your chest? Rob Dunn's fascinating history of our hearts brings us deep inside the science, history, and stories of the four chambers we depend on most.
My Manager and Other Animals
By Richard Robinson
Deep down, we're just like animals. Some of us are selfish like apes. Some are chaotic like ants. . . And somehow the two clash and coalesce in 'antagonistic harmony'. A fascinating look at the evolutionary psychology, instincts and tactics of the workplace.My Manager & Other Animals examines the evolutionary psychology of work, focusing on the office, workshop, corporation or government department, and the complex and fascinating evolutionary tactics that have developed to deal with working life.37 years ago Richard Dawkins wrote The Selfish Gene and it didn't take long for the business community to latch on to the 'selfish' part and adopt it as an industry standard. After all, it fitted in with the notion that, since we are all descended from apes, we should be like them: selfish, aggressive and competitive. More recently, astounding discoveries in human and animal behaviour (particularly ants) have shown that, in all animals, cooperation and altruism is more common than we think and more useful than we could imagine. It seems we contain an inner ape and an inner ant. How confusing; they seem like opposites, because co-operation means helping others, competition means swatting them. What are we, ape or ant? This book shows that ant and ape are both important. Co-operation without leadership is random, leadership without co-operation is slavery. The result of these two colliding is the mad mad mad world of work and life, lovingly described in the book.
The Monkey's Voyage
By Alan de Queiroz
Throughout the world, closely related species are found on landmasses separated by wide stretches of ocean. What explains these far-flung distributions? Why are such species found where they are across the Earth?Since the discovery of plate tectonics, scientists have conjectured that plants and animals were scattered over the globe by riding pieces of ancient supercontinents as they broke up. In the past decade, however, that theory has foundered, as the genomic revolution has made reams of new data available. And the data has revealed an extraordinary, stranger-than-fiction story that has sparked a scientific upheaval.In The Monkey's Voyage , biologist Alan de Queiroz describes the radical new view of how fragmented distributions came into being: frogs and mammals rode on rafts and icebergs, tiny spiders drifted on storm winds, and plant seeds were carried in the plumage of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In other words, these organisms were not simply constrained by continental fate they were the makers of their own geographic destiny. And as de Queiroz shows, the effects of oceanic dispersal have been crucial in generating the diversity of life on Earth, from monkeys and guinea pigs in South America to beech trees and kiwi birds in New Zealand. By toppling the idea that the slow process of continental drift is the main force behind the odd distributions of organisms, this theory highlights the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the history of life.In the tradition of John McPhee's Basin and Range , The Monkey's Voyage is a beautifully told narrative that strikingly reveals the importance of contingency in history and the nature of scientific discovery.
Mad Science 2
By Theodore Gray
Best-selling author Theodore Gray is back with all-new, spectacular experiments that demonstrate basic principles of chemistry and physics in thrilling, and memorable ways. For nearly a decade, Theodore Gray has been demonstrating basic principles of chemistry and physics through exciting, sometimes daredevil experiments that he executes, photographs, and writes about for his monthly Popular Science column 'Gray Matter.'Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home, But Probably Shouldn't, published by Black Dog in 2009, collected Gray's Popular Science columns, along with hundreds of photographs, many of which were not published with the original columns.Now comes the second volume of mad-scientist experiments, which includes more dramatic, enlightening, and sometimes daring demonstrations in which Gray dips his hand into molten lead to demonstrate the Leidenfrost effect; crushes a tomato between two small magnets to demonstrate the power of neodymium-iron-boron magnets; and creates trinkets out of solid mercury to demonstrate how the state of matter depends very much on the temperature at which it exists.Other experiments include:A foil boat floating on an invisible sea!DIY X-ray photos!A bacon lance that cuts steel!Charging a smart phone with apples and pennies!And dozens more!
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain
By Marc Lewis
Marc Lewis's relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin he sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta's opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of desperation, deception, and crime.But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered to become a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain , he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind.
By Jay Phelan, Terry Burnham
Why do we want- and why do we do- so many things that are bad for us? And how can we stop? In Mean Genes economist Terry Burnham and biologist Jay Phelan offer advice on how to conquer our own worst enemy- our survival-minded genes. Having evolved in a time of scarcity, when our ancestors struggled to survive in the wild, our genes are poorly adapted to the convenience of modern society. They compel us to overeat, spend our whole paycheck, and cheat on our spouses. But knowing how they work, Burnham and Phelan show that we can trick these "mean genes" into submission and cultivate behaviours that will help us lead better lives. A lively, humorous guide to our evolutionary heritage, Mean Genes illuminates how we can use an understanding of our biology to beat our instincts- before they beat us.
By Christopher Boehm
From the age of Darwin to the present day, biologists have been grappling with the origins of our moral sense. Why, if the human instinct to survive and reproduce is"selfish,&rdquo do people engage in self-sacrifice, and even develop ideas like virtue and shame to justify that altruism? Many theories have been put forth, some emphasizing the role of nepotism, others emphasizing the advantages of reciprocation or group selection effects. But evolutionary anthropologist Christopher Boehm finds existing explanations lacking, and in Moral Origins, he offers an elegant new theory. Tracing the development of altruism and group social control over 6 million years, Boehm argues that our moral sense is a sophisticated defence mechanism that enables individuals to survive and thrive in groups. One of the biggest risks of group living is the possibility of being punished for our misdeeds by those around us. Bullies, thieves, free-riders, and especially psychopaths- those who make it difficult for others to go about their lives- are the most likely to suffer this fate. Getting by requires getting along, and this social type of selection, Boehm shows, singles out altruists for survival. This selection pressure has been unique in shaping human nature, and it bred the first stirrings of conscience in the human species. Ultimately, it led to the fully developed sense of virtue and shame that we know today. A ground-breaking exploration of the evolution of human generosity and cooperation, Moral Origins offers profound insight into humanity's moral past- and how it might shape our moral future.
The Mind's Own Physician
By Jon Kabat-Zinn
In Washington, DC, the Dalai Lama met with leading meditation researchers to explore the intersection between ancient meditation techniques and modern neuroscience. The result is a fascinating and revealing conversation about the potential of the human mind to heal itself through mindfulness meditation.When science meets religion, the result can be explosive-or insightful. The Mind's Own Physician answers the questions millions have asked about brain functioning: What can mindfulness do for me? Can our minds actually influence the outcomes of physical disease? How can we unlock the brain's potential without spending hours in meditation? The Dalai Lama poses many more questions about secular approaches to mindfulness, the brain biology of meditation, and meditation's relationship to mental and physical health, which are then answered by the preeminent meditation scholars, academics, and researchers in each specialty.
The Mammoth Book of UFOs
By Lynn Picknett
The ultimate guide to the history, background and meaning of whether UFOs really exist, plus associated phenomena such as alien abduction, crop circles and cattle mutilations. There is also a comprehensive overview of the many conspiracy theories which surround UFOs and abductions - from the craft as secret Nazi technology to weird CIA plots. Written by a ufologist with many years in the field, this exciting and highly provocative book at times reads like a thriller. What messages do UFOs hold for us and for the future of life on earth?
The Manhattan Project
By Cynthia C. Kelly, Richard Rhodes
The first collection ever of the writings and insights of the original creators of the atomic bomb, along with pieces by the most important historians and interpreters of the subject, is now in paperback. Born out of a small research program begun in 1939, the Manhattan Project eventually employed more than 130,000 people, including our foremost scientists and thinkers, and cost nearly $2 billion?and it was operated under a shroud of absolute secrecy. This groundbreaking collection of documents, essays, articles, and excerpts from histories, biographies, plays, novels, letters, and the oral histories of key eyewitnesses is the freshest, most exhaustive exploration yet of the topic. Compiled by experts at the Atomic Heritage Foundation, the book features first-hand material by Albert Einstein, Leslie Groves, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, Henry Stimson, and many others. Dozens of photographs depict key moments and significant figures, and concise explanatory material accompanies each selection. The project's aftermath and legacy are covered as well, making this the most comprehensive account of the birth of the atomic age.
Made for Each Other
By Meg Daley Olmert
Nothing turns a baby's head more quickly from nursing or playing than the sight of a dog or any animal. Made for Each Other lays out both sides of this deep mutual connection and the way it has evolved since prehistoric times. Drawing on the fascinating work of scientists in many fields, from neuroscience to zoology and anthropology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert shows the roots of this age-old bond and its great importance to our well being.
The Man Who Found Time
By Jack Repcheck
There are three men whose life's work helped free science from the strait-jacket of religion. Two of the three,Nicolaus Copernicus and Charles Darwin,are widely heralded for their breakthroughs. The third, James Hutton, is comparatively unknown, yet he profoundly changed our understanding of the earth, its age, and its dynamic forces. A Scottish gentleman farmer, Hutton's observations on his small tract of land led him to a theory that directly contradicted biblical claims that the Earth was only 6,000 years old. This expertly crafted narrative tells the story not only of Hutton, but also of Scotland and the Scottish Enlightenment, including many of the greatest thinkers of the age, such as David Hume and Adam Smith.
By Marc Hauser
Scholars have long argued that moral judgements arise from rational deliberations about what society determines is right and wrong. This has generated the idea that our moral psychology is founded on cultural experience. In the revolutionary MORAL MINDS, Marc Hauser challenges these concepts, showing that this view is illusory and arguing instead that humans have evolved a 'moral instinct', a universal feature of the human mind rather than one informed by gender, education or religion.Combining his own cutting-edge research with cognitive psychology, linguistics, evolutionary biology and economics, Hauser examines his groundbreaking theory in terms of bioethics, religion and law, as well as our everyday lives.
The Möbius Strip
By Clifford A. Pickover
The road that leads from the Möbius strip , a common-sense-defying continuous loop with only one side and one edge, made famous by the illustrations of M.C. Escher , goes to some of the strangest spots imaginable. It takes us to where the purely intellectual enters our world: where our senses, overloaded with grocery bills, the price of gas, and what to eat for lunch, are expected to absorb really bizarre ideas. And no better guide to this weird universe exists than the brilliant thinker Clifford A. Pickover, the 21st century's answer to Buckminster Fuller. From molecules and metal sculptures to postage stamps, architectural structures, and models of the universe, The Möbius Strip gives readers a glimpse of new ways of thinking and other worlds as Pickover reaches across cultures and peers beyond our ordinary reality. Lavishly illustrated, this is an infinite fountain of wondrous forms that can be used to help explain how mathematics has permeated every field of scientific endeavor, such as the colours of a sunset or the architecture of our brains how it helps us build supersonic aircraft and roller coasters, simulate the flow of Earth's natural resources, explore subatomic quantum realities, and depict faraway galaxies.
The Mature Mind
By Gene D. Cohen
The Mature Mind delivers good news for those in the second half of life, with an extraordinary account of cutting-edge neuroscience, ground-breaking psychology, fascinating vignettes from history and case studies, and practical advice for personal growth strategies. Gene Cohen, a renowned psychiatrist and gerontologist, draws from more than thirty years of research to show that surprising positive changes in our brains have the powerful potential to enhance, not diminish, our lives after fifty.
The Mommy Brain
By Katherine Ellison
In The Mommy Brain , Katherine Ellison reveals the ways that women get smarter after having kids. Motherhood makes women more perceptive, efficient, resilient, motivated, and emotionally intelligent - all of which adds up to tremendous mental enrichment and effectiveness.