Stranger in the Mirror
By Robert Levine
Who are we? Where is the boundary between us and everything else? Are we all multiple personalities? And how can we control who we become?From distinguished psychologist Robert Levine comes this provocative and entertaining scientific exploration of the most personal and important of all landscapes: the physical and psychological entity we call our self. Using a combination of case studies and cutting-edge research in psychology, biology, neuroscience, virtual reality and many other fields, Levine challenges cherished beliefs about the unity and stability of the self - but also suggests that we are more capable of change than we know. Transformation, Levine shows, is the human condition at virtually every level. Physically, our cells are unrecognizable from one moment to the next. Cognitively, our self-perceptions are equally changeable: A single glitch can make us lose track of a body part or our entire body, or to confuse our very self with that of another person. Psychologically, we switch back and forth like quicksilver between incongruent, sometimes adversarial sub-selves. Socially, we appear to be little more than an ever-changing troupe of actors. And, culturally, the boundaries of the self vary wildly around the world - from the confines of one's body to an entire village. The self, in short, is a fiction: vague, arbitrary, and utterly intangible. But it is also interminably fluid. And this unleashes a world of potential. Engaging, informative, and ultimately liberating, Stranger in the Mirror will change forever how you think about your self - and what you might become.
By Rowan Hooper
This is a book about what it feels like to be exceptional - and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have?In this inspirational book, New Scientist Managing Editor Rowan Hooper takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. We sit down with some of the world's finest minds, from a Nobel-prize winning scientist to a double Booker-prize winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways.Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.For anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in incredible human stories, Superhuman is a must-read.
The Shaping of Us
By Lily Bernheimer
"You are going to be transported by what Bernheimer has to say. You'll make different decisions and figure out how your brain is working and what should be prioritized in your life" Jo Good, BBC LondonWhat makes everyday spaces work, how do they shape us, and what do they say about us?The spaces we live in - whether public areas, housing, offices, hospitals, or cities - mediate community, creativity, and our very identity, making us who we are. Using insights from environmental psychology, design, and architecture, The Shaping of Us reveals the often imperceptible ways in which our surroundings influence our behaviour.Wide-ranging and global examples cover the differences between personalities and nationalities, explore grass-roots and mainstream efforts to build environments promoting well-being, and look ahead to what will become of us if we don't listen closely to what we know is good for us.You will learn whether you are a natural 'prospector' or 'refuger' in the office environment, what roundabouts and stoplights say about British and American culture, whether you are guilty of NIMBYism or being drawn to 'ruin porn', and how the half-house may be a common sight in the near future.The environments we inhabit define our identities - from the earliest moments of our evolution to the worlds we build around ourselves.
By Susan Blackmore
Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand their own mind and to find a spiritual path that is compatible with science As an impressionable young student, Susan Blackmore had an intense, dramatic and life-changing experience, seeming to leave her body and travel the world. With no rational explanation for her out-of-body experience (OBE) she turned to astral projection and the paranormal, but soon despaired of finding answers. Decades later, a Swiss neurosurgeon accidentally discovered the spot in the brain that can induce OBEs and everything changed; this crucial spot is part of the brain's self-system and when disturbed so is our experience of self. Blackmore leaped back into OBE research and at last began to unravel what had happened to her. Seeing Myself describes her long quest for answers through spirituality, religion, drugs, meditation, philosophy and neuroscience. Anyone can have an OBE, indeed 15 per cent of us have. Even more have experienced sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming and the creepy sense of an invisible presence. At last, with the advent of brain stimulation, fMRI scanning and virtual reality, all these phenomena are beginning to make sense. Long relegated to the very fringes of research, the new science of out-of-body experiences is now contributing to our understanding of consciousness and our very selves.
Superstition and Science
By Derek Wilson
'A dazzling chronicle, a bracing challenge to modernity's smug assumptions' - Bryce Christensen, Booklist'O what a world of profit and delightOf power, of honour and omnipotenceIs promised to the studious artisan.'Christopher Marlowe, Dr FaustusBetween the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Europe changed out of all recognition and particularly transformative were the ardent quest for knowledge and the astounding discoveries and inventions which resulted from it. The movement of blood round the body; the movement of the earth round the sun; the velocity of falling objects (and, indeed, why objects fall) - these and numerous other mysteries had been solved by scholars in earnest pursuit of scientia. Several keys were on offer to thinkers seeking to unlock the portal of the unknown:Folk religion had roots deep in the pagan past. Its devotees sought the aid of spirits. They had stores of ancient wisdom, particularly relating to herbal remedies. Theirs was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations.Catholicism had its own magic and its own wisdom. Dogma was enshrined in the collective wisdom of the doctors of the church and the rigid scholastic system of teaching. Magic resided in the ranks of departed saints and the priestly miracle of the mass.Alchemy was at root a desire to understand and to exploit the material world. Practitioners studied the properties of natural substances. A whole system of knowledge was built on the theory of the four humours.Astrology was based on the belief that human affairs were controlled by the movement of heavenly bodies. Belief in the casting of horoscopes was almost universal.Natural Philosophy really began with Francis Bacon and his empirical method. It was the beginning of science 'proper' because it was based on observation and not on predetermined theory.Classical Studies. University teaching was based on the quadrivium - which consisted largely of rote learning the philosophy and science current in the classical world (Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, etc.). Renaissance scholars reappraised these sources of knowledge.Islamic and Jewish Traditions. The twelfth-century polymath, Averroes, has been called 'the father of secular thought' because of his landmark treatises on astronomy, physics and medicine. Jewish scholars and mystics introduced the esoteric disciplines of the Kabbalah.New Discoveries. Exploration connected Europeans with other peoples and cultures hitherto unknown, changed concepts about the nature of the planet, and led to the development of navigational skills.These 'sciences' were not entirely self-contained. For example physicians and theologians both believed in the casting of horoscopes. Despite popular myth (which developed 200 years later), there was no perceived hostility between faith and reason. Virtually all scientists and philosophers before the Enlightenment worked, or tried to work, within the traditional religious framework. Paracelsus, Descartes, Newton, Boyle and their compeers proceeded on the a príori notion that the universe was governed by rational laws, laid down by a rational God.. This certainly did not mean that there were no conflicts between the upholders of different types of knowledge. Dr Dee's neighbours destroyed his laboratory because they believed he was in league with the devil. Galileo famously had his run-in with the Curia.By the mid-seventeenth century 'science mania' had set in; the quest for knowledge had become a pursuit of cultured gentlemen. In 1663 The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge received its charter. Three years later the French Academy of Sciences was founded. Most other European capitals were not slow to follow suit. In 1725 we encounter the first use of the word 'science' meaning 'a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified'. Yet, it was only nine years since the last witch had been executed in Britain - a reminder that, although the relationship of people to their environment was changing profoundly, deep-rooted fears and attitudes remained strong.
A Slice of Pi
By Liz Strachan
A new look at maths without the Boring Bits . . .How many trillions are there in a googol? Which fractions are vulgar? What famous mathematician refused to eat beans? And which one never travelled without his pet spider in an ivory box?Mathematical theorems and equations are inextricably entangled with the great, and often eccentric thinkers who made breakthrough discoveries. Teacher and numbers expert Liz Strachan takes readers beyond the classroom, combining anecdotes, proofs and party tricks to reveal the foundations of algebra, geometry and trigonometry in a clear and entertaining style.From the Difference Engine to magic squares and from the Fibonacci rabbits to Fermat's Last Theorem, this fascinating tour of the weird world of numbers, imaginary, real or infinite, will appeal to anyone with an enquiring mind.
The Social Brain
By Richard Crisp
Is conflict caused by an inherently hostile human nature? Are efforts to promote peaceful co-existence fated to fail? Is the story of human history destined to play out a clash of civilizations?These are the questions framing contemporary debate over diversity, immigration and multiculturalism. The Social Brain provides an entirely new psychological perspective on this debate. It argues that diversity is critical to our very survival as a species; that contact with different cultures was, and is, the essential element that fuels our creativity, innovation and growth. It asserts that diversity was the key to our intellectual evolution and will be integral to helping us tackle the most pressing social, political and economic concerns of our time.The Social Brain ties the origins of the modern mind to the evolution of human society, and provides an entirely new insight into how we can harness the ingenuity and invention that reside within us all.
Spice and Wolf, Vol 13 - Novel
By Isuna Hasekura
After smuggling gold into the Church city of Ruvinheigen with Lawrence and Holo, Norah abandoned her life as a shepherdess and set out on a journey with her loyal hound, Enek. In order to make her dream of becoming a seamstress a reality, she heads for the town of Kuskov, which is rumored to be experiencing a labor shortage. After rescuing a priest from attack en route, Norah discovers that his destination is the same as hers. However, the priest speaks not of a simple dearth of laborers-according to him, Kuskov's population is waning from a plague! Norah's story continues in "The Shepherd and the Black Knight"! Three more new anecdotes about Lawrence and Holo's travels round out this third collection of Spice & Wolf shorts!
By Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson's world just got a whole lot bigger . . .A collection of all-new and previously published short stories set in a world desribed as "the best new urban fantasy series I've read in years" by Kelley Armstrong - featuring Mercy Thompson and the characters she calls friends.The collection includes the new stories . . ."Silver""Roses in Winter""Redemption""Hollow". . . and reader favorites"Fairy Gifts""Gray""Alpha and Omega""Seeing Eye""The Star of David""In Red, with Pearls"
Spice and Wolf, Vol 12 - Novel
By Isuna Hasekura
To obtain a map of the northlands, Lawrence and company leave the Kingdom of Winfiel and return to Kerube. But instead of the silversmith they seek, they cross paths with a beautiful girl named Fran, who offers to draw them their map. However, Fran's map comes with a price-in exchange, the party must travel with her to a village where an angel is said to have alighted and discover the truth behind the legend. But what of the rumor that a witch lives in that very same village...?
Spice and Wolf, Vol 11 - Novel
By Isuna Hasekura
As with the first Side Colors volume, Side Colors II departs once more from Lawrence and Holo's travels north, taking the reader off the beaten path to explore three exquisite side stories. Remember, it's not so much about the destination, as it is the journey...
The Serpent's Promise
By Steve Jones
The Bible was the first scientific textbook of all; and it got some things right (and plenty more wrong). Steve Jones' new book rewrites it in the light of modern science. Are we all descended from a single couple, a real-life Adam and Eve? Was the Bible's great flood really a memory of the end of the Ice Age? Will we ever get back to Methuselah given that British life expectancy is still rising by six hours a day, every day? Many people deny the power of faith, many more the power of science. In this ground-breaking work, geneticist Steve Jones explores their shared mysteries - from the origins of life and humankind to sex, age, death and the end of the universe. He steps aside from the noisy debate between believers and unbelievers to show how the same questions preoccupy us today as in biblical times - and that science offers many of the answers.Erudite and accessible, The Serpent's Promise is a witty and thoughtful account of the ability and the limits of science to tell us what we are.
Science Left Behind
By Alex Berezow, Hank Campbell
To listen to most pundits and political writers, evolution, stem cells, and climate change are the only scientific issues worth mentioning,and the only people who are anti-science are conservatives. Yet those on the left have numerous fallacies of their own. Aversion to clean energy programs, basic biological research, and even life-saving vaccines come naturally to many progressives. These are positions supported by little more than junk-science and paranoid thinking.Now for the first time, science writers Dr. Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell have drawn open the curtain on the left's fear of science. As Science Left Behind reveals, vague inclinations about the wholesomeness of all things natural, the unhealthiness of the unnatural, and many other seductive fallacies have led to an epidemic of misinformation. The results: public health crises, damaging and misguided policies, and worst of all, a new culture war over basic scientific facts,in which the left is just as culpable as the right.
The Secret Language Of Color
By Arielle Eckstut, Joann Eckstut
In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world.Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to human culture and psychology.Organized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, The Secret Language of Color travels from outer space to Earth, from plants to animals to humans. In these chapters we learn about how and why we see color, the nature of rainbows, animals with color vision far superior and far inferior to our own, how our language influences the colors we see, and much more. Between these chapters, authors Joann Eckstut and Ariele Eckstut turn their attention to the individual hues of the visible spectrum?red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet?presenting each in fascinating, in-depth detail.Including hundreds of stunning photographs and dozens of informative, often entertaining graphics, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. Whether? you see red, are a shrinking violet, or talk a blue streak, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in the history, science, culture, and beatuty of color in the natural and man-made world.
Supersymmetry and Beyond
By Gordon Kane
The epic story of the quest to uncover a fully unified theory of physics, revised to reflect the possible discovery of the Higgs Boson.
The Science of Monsters
By Matt Kaplan
Modern audiences do not find dragons frightening. Fascinating as mythical creatures, yes, but terrifying, no. Yet, present them with a story about a virus that can kill a healthy adult in hours and they will have nightmares for weeks. The difference between the two is believability. Monsters are at their most frightening when they carry characteristics that tie them to the real world in some way.Preposterous as they might seem today, dragons were no different in ancient times. Humans long ago stumbled upon skeletons that had sharp teeth and talon-like claws. These fossils were real and some were frighteningly large. Those who looked at them could only guess at how dangerous the animals that they belonged to must have been. From such interactions, dragons were born. Yet, in spite of ample physical evidence that dragons existed, none were ever seen in the flesh. Dragon bones were ultimately proven to be the bones of huge predatory dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex, but before the mystery was solved, they were the makings of frightening beasts that managed to evade human sight by lurking deep within the shadows of the wild.The Science of Monsters will explore monsters that have haunted humanity throughout the ages, from Medusa to sea serpents, giants, and vampires. In each chapter Kaplan uses scientific principles, current research, and his thorough knowledge of the natural world to explain why specific monsters came to be and what it was about them that was so terrifying to the people who brought them to life.
The Self Illusion
By Bruce Hood
Most of us believe that we possess a self - an internal individual who resides inside our bodies, making decisions, authoring actions and possessing free will. The feeling that a single, unified, enduring self inhabits the body - the 'me' inside me - is compelling and inescapable. This is how we interact as a social animal and judge each other's actions and deeds. But that sovereignty of the self is increasingly under threat from science as our understanding of the brain advances. Rather than a single entity, the self is really a constellation of mechanisms and experiences that create the illusion of the internal you.We only emerge as a product of those around us as part of the different storylines we inhabit from the cot to the grave. It is an ever changing character, created by the brain to provide a coherent interface between the multitude of internal processes and the external world demands that require different selves.
Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life
By Douglas T. Kenrick
&ldquoKenrick writes like a dream.&rdquo- Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biology and Neurology, Stanford University author of A Primate's Memoir and Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers What do sex and murder have to do with the meaning of life? Everything. In Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life , social psychologist Douglas Kenrick exposes the selfish animalistic underside of human nature, and shows how it is intimately connected to our greatest and most selfless achievements. Masterfully integrating cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, and complexity theory, this intriguing book paints a comprehensive picture of the principles that govern our lives. As Kenrick divulges, beneath our civilized veneer, human beings are a lot like howling hyenas and barking baboons, with heads full of homicidal tendencies and sexual fantasies. But, in his view, many ingrained, apparently irrational behaviours- such as inclinations to one-night stands, racial prejudices, and conspicuous consumption- ultimately manifest what he calls"Deep Rationality.&rdquo Although our heads are full of simple selfish biases that evolved to help our ancestors survive, modern human beings are anything but simple and selfish cavemen. Kenrick argues that simple and selfish mental mechanisms we inherited from our ancestors ultimately give rise to the multifaceted social lives that we humans lead today, and to the most positive features of humanity, including generosity, artistic creativity, love, and familial bonds. And out of those simple mechanisms emerge all the complexities of society, including international conflicts and global economic markets. By exploring the nuance of social psychology and the surprising results of his own research, Kenrick offers a detailed picture of what makes us caring, creative, and complex- that is, fully human. Illuminated with stories from Kenrick's own colourful experiences - from his criminally inclined shantytown Irish relatives, his own multiple high school expulsions, broken marriages, and homicidal fantasies, to his eventual success as an evolutionary psychologist and loving father of two boys separated by 26 years - this book is an exploration of our mental biases and failures, and our mind's great successes. Idiosyncratic, controversial, and fascinating, Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life uncovers the pitfalls and promise of our biological inheritance.
The Sun's Heartbeat
By Bob Berman
Did you know that scientists are beginning to think that the sun is safer than sunscreen? That whenever we see the sun on the horizon, it's actually a phantom image because the sun has already set? That career pilots have a one percent higher incidence of cancer because of their time in the sky? Or that the sun's unusual dormancy is causing our climate to be cooler than it otherwise would be? Peppered with memorable anecdotes about spectral curiosities, THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT is a robust narrative that explores the sun's birth, its life as a self-sustaining ultra-H-Bomb fusion explosion, and its spectacular future death. Astronomer Bob Berman's expert observations tell a dramatic story about the familiar star that crosses our sky daily.
Soul Eater, Vol. 9
By Atsushi Ohkubo
Crona's loyalties are torn as Medusa re-groups and plots to beat both DWMA and her sister, Arachne, in the arms race for Eibon's demon tools. As the madness of the Kishin continues to spread, Maka, BalckStar, and Kid being even more rigorous training to master their weapons and work together as a team.Will they be ready to fact Arachnophobia in time for their next missoin? Or will internal strife tear them apart?!