I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It
By Jess Kimball Leslie
I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is tech analyst Jess Kimball Leslie's hilarious, frank homage to the technology that contributed so significantly to the person she is today. From accounts of the lawless chat rooms of early AOL to the perpetual high school reunions that are modern-day Facebook and Instagram, her essays paint a clear picture: That all of us have a much more twisted, meaningful, emotional relationship with the online world than we realize or let on. Coming of age in suburban Connecticut in the late '80s and early '90s, Jess looked to the nascent Internet to find the tribes she couldn't find IRL: fellow Bette Midler fans; women who seemed impossibly sure of their sexuality; people who worked with computers every day as part of their actual jobs without being ridiculed as nerds. It's in large part because of her embrace of an online life that Jess is where she is now: happily married, with a wife, son, and dog, and making a living of analyzing Internet trends and forecasting the future of tech. She bets most people would credit technology for many of their successes, too, if they could only shed the notion that it's as a mind-numbing drug on which we're all overdosing.
I Had to Survive
By Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci
On 12 October 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying members of the 'Old Christians' rugby team (and many of their friends and family members) crashed into the Andes mountains. I Had to Survive offers a gripping and heartrending recollection of the harrowing brink-of-death experience that propelled survivor Roberto Canessa to become one of the world's leading paediatric cardiologists.Canessa, a second-year medical student at the time, tended to his wounded teammates amidst the devastating carnage of the wreck and played a key role in safeguarding his fellow survivors, eventually trekking with a companion across the hostile mountain range for help.This fine line between life and death became the catalyst for the rest of his life.This uplifting tale of hope and determination, solidarity and ingenuity gives vivid insight into a world famous story. Canessa also draws a unique and fascinating parallel between his work as a doctor performing arduous heart surgeries on infants and unborn babies and the difficult life-changing decisions he was forced to make in the Andes. With grace and humanity, Canessa prompts us to ask ourselves: what do you do when all the odds are stacked against you?
The Island of Knowledge
By Marcelo Gleiser
Do all questions have answers? How much can we know about the world? Is there such a thing as an ultimate truth?To be human is to want to know, but what we are able to observe is only a tiny portion of what's out there." In The Island of Knowledge , physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, the main tool we use to find answers, is fundamentally limited.These limits to our knowledge arise both from our tools of exploration and from the nature of physical reality: the speed of light, the uncertainty principle, the impossibility of seeing beyond the cosmic horizon, the incompleteness theorem, and our own limitations as an intelligent species. Recognizing limits in this way, Gleiser argues, is not a deterrent to progress or a surrendering to religion. Rather, it frees us to question the meaning and nature of the universe while affirming the central role of life and ourselves in it. Science can and must go on, but recognizing its limits reveals its true mission: to know the universe is to know ourselves.Telling the dramatic story of our quest for understanding, The Island of Knowledge offers a highly original exploration of the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in history, from Plato to Einstein, and how they affect us today. An authoritative, broad-ranging intellectual history of our search for knowledge and meaning, The Island of Knowledge is a unique view of what it means to be human in a universe filled with mystery.
In the Interests of Safety
By Tracey Brown, Michael Hanlon
Does an airline pilot really need to surrender his tweezers at airport security when he's about to board an aircraft equipped with an axe on the back of the cockpit door?Can a mobile phone really cause a major explosion at a petrol station?And is there really a good reason why you should be prevented from swimming in a lake more than a foot deep?These rules exist, and they exist in the name of our own protection. But in this engrossing dissection of global safety rules and security regulations, authors Tracey Brown and Michael Hanlon dig a little deeper to discover the real reasons behind many of the instructions we obey without questioning their creators' motives. Their conclusions range from the startling to the staggering, and in presenting them the authors seek to empower readers to question the people and organisations who come up with them in the first place.
It's Not Rocket Science
By Ben Miller
The Top Ten BestsellerBlack holes. DNA. The Large Hadron Collider. Ever had that sneaking feeling that you are missing out on some truly spectacular science? You do? Well, fear not, for help is at hand. Ben Miller was working on his Physics PhD at Cambridge when he accidentally became a comedian. But first love runs deep, and he has returned to his roots to share with you all his favourite bits of science. This is the stuff you really need to know, not only because it matters but because it will quite simply amaze and delight you. 'Let me show you another, perhaps less familiar side of Science; her beauty, her seductiveness and her passion. And let's do it quickly, while Maths isn't looking'Ben Miller'This book makes climate change actually seem interesting. Not just important - it's obviously important - but interesting. As a result I bought lots of other books about climate change, something I now regret'David MitchellBen Miller is, like you, a mutant ape living through an Ice Age on a ball of molten iron, orbiting a supermassive black hole. He is also an actor, comedian and approximately one half of Armstrong & Miller. He's presented a BBC Horizon documentary on temperature and a Radio 4 series about the history of particle physics, and has written a science column for The Times. He is slowly coming to terms with the idea that he may never be an astronaut.
The Infinity Puzzle
By Frank Close
Speculation is rife that by 2012 the elusive Higgs boson will be found at the Large Hadron Collider. If found, the Higgs boson would help explain why everything has mass. But there's more at stake,what we're really testing is our capacity to make the universe reasonable. Our best understanding of physics is predicated on something known as quantum field theory. Unfortunately, in its raw form, it doesn't make sense,its outputs are physically impossible infinite percentages when they should be something simpler, like the number 1. The kind of physics that the Higgs boson represents seeks to renormalize" field theory, forcing equations to provide answers that match what we see in the real world. The Infinity Puzzle is the story of a wild idea on the road to acceptance. Only Close can tell it.
The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men
By Bill Shore
A small cadre of scientists- collabourators and competitors- are determined to develop a vaccine for malaria, a feat most tropical disease experts have long considered impossible. Skepticism, doubt, and a host of logistical and financial obstacles dog their quest. Success may ultimately elude them. Why, and how, do they persist?The kind of person who decides to combat malaria must have a very rare combination of attributes: dogged enough to keep going when results are slow independent enough to continue, often alone, when other, more popular, causes distract attention from their work self-confident enough in the importance of the work to persist when the beneficiaries may reside thousands of miles distant. Above all, taking on a challenge of this scale requires a fearlessly bold moral imagination that defies reason. Bill Shore tells the story of man's attempt to combat malaria through the drama of the handful of scientists and organizations currently seeking to curb, and in one case, at least, cure, the world of this most ancient and persistent scourge. It is a drama to the death.The story of these uncompromising scientists serves as a springboard for Shore's passionate inquiry into the character and moral fabric of those who devote their lives to solving the world's most pressing and perplexing problems. During his career as a social entrepreneur Shore has persistently wrestled with this fundamental question: What does it take to make a truly transformational difference? To achieve not just incremental progress but a game changer or, in the case of malaria, a life saver? In this moving and inspiring book, he offers compelling answers.
By F. David Peat
Infinite Potential is the first biography of David Bohm,brilliant physicist, explorer of consciousness, student of Oppenheimer, friend to Einstein, and enemy of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Although he battled bouts of crippling depression, Bohm proved to be one of the twentieth century's most original thinkers, influencing the fields of physics, philosophy, psychology, language, and education. In this compelling narrative, David Peat explains Bohm's life and landmark scientific work, including his famous "hidden variables" causal interpretation of quantum mechanics, which created a storm of controversy, yet may well be the only theory that describes the true nature of reality.