Can't Just Stop
By Sharon Begley
HIGHLY COMMENDED for the British Medical Awards book prize for Popular Medicine'Filled with emotionally resonant stories, Can't Just Stop helps us understand not only the underpinnings of some forms of mental illness, but also the everyday worries that drive so much of our behaviour. A fascinating peek into the human mind in our age of anxiety.'David Kessler, author of Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering Do you check your smartphone continuously for messages? Or perhaps do the weekly shop with military precision? Maybe you always ensure the cutlery is perfectly lined up on the table?Compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms are life-altering disorders.Sharon Begley's meticulously researched book is the first of its kind to examine the science behind both mild and extreme compulsive behaviour; using fascinating case studies to understand their deeper meaning and reveal the truth about human compulsion - that it is a coping response to varying degrees of anxiety.Through the personal stories of dozens of interviewees exhibiting behaviours such as OCD, hoarding, compulsive acquiring, exercise or even altruism, Begley employs genuine compassion and gives meaningful context to their plight. Along the way she explores the role of compulsion in our fast paced culture, the neuroscience behind it, and strange manifestations of the behaviour throughout history. Can't Just Stop makes compulsion comprehensible and accessible, exploring how we can realistically grapple with it in ourselves and in those we love.
A Crude Look at the Whole
By John H. Miller
Imagine trying to understand a stained glass window by breaking it into pieces and examining it one shard at a time. While you could probably learn a lot about each piece, you would have no idea about what the entire picture looks like. This is reductionism,the idea that to understand the world we only need to study its pieces,and it is how most social scientists approach their work.In A Crude Look at the Whole , social scientist and economist John H. Miller shows why we need to start looking at whole pictures. For one thing, whether we are talking about stock markets, computer networks, or biological organisms, individual parts only make sense when we remember that they are part of larger wholes. And perhaps more importantly, those wholes can take on behaviours that are strikingly different from that of their pieces.Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, reveals astounding global patterns linking the organization of otherwise radically different structures: It might seem crude, but a beehive's temperature control system can help predict market fluctuations and a mammal's heartbeat can help us understand the heartbeat" of a city and adapt urban planning accordingly. From enduring racial segregation to sudden stock market disasters, once we start drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what otherwise might be totally intractable problems.Thanks to this revolutionary perspective, we can finally transcend the limits of reductionism and discover crucial new ideas. Scientifically founded and beautifully written, A Crude Look at the Whole is a powerful exploration of the challenges that we face as a society. As it reveals, taking the crude look might be the only way to truly see.
Creating the Illusion (Turner Classic Movies)
By Donald L. Scoggins, Jay Jorgensen, Ali MacGraw
Marilyn Monroe made history by standing over a subway grating in a white pleated halter dress designed by William Travilla. Hubert de Givenchy immortalized the Little Black Dress with a single opening scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's . A red nylon jacket signaled to audiences that James Dean was a Rebel Without a Cause . For more than a century, costume designers have left indelible impressions on moviegoers' minds. Yet until now, so little has been known about the designers themselves and their work to complement and enrich stories through fashion. Creating the Illusion presents the history of fashion on film, showcasing not only classic moments from film favourites, but a host of untold stories about the creative talent working behind the scenes to dress the stars from the silent era to the present day. Among the book's sixty-five designer profiles are Clare West, Howard Greer, Adrian, Walter Plunkett, Travis Banton, Irene, Edith Head, Cecil Beaton, Bob Mackie, and Colleen Atwood. The designers'stories are set against the backdrop of Hollywood: how they collaborated with great movie stars and filmmakers how they maneuvered within the studio system and how they came to design clothing that remains iconic decades after its first appearance. The array of films discussed and showcased through photos spans more than one hundred years, from draping Rudolph Valentino in exotic sheik" dress to the legendary costuming of Gone with the Wind, Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, Bonnie and Clyde, Reservoir Dogs , and beyond. This gloriously illustrated volume includes candid photos of the designers at work, portraits and wardrobe tests of stars in costume, and designer sketches. Drawing from archival material and dozens of new interviews with award-winning designers, authors Jay Jorgensen and Donald L. Scoggins offer a highly informative, lavish, and entertaining history of Hollywood costume design.About TCM:Turner Classic Movies is the definitive resource for the greatest movies of all time. It engages, entertains, and enlightens to show how the entire spectrum of classic movies, movie history, and movie-making touches us all and influences how we think and live today.
The Climate Fix
By Roger Pielke Jr.
The world's response to climate change has been deeply flawed. The Climate Fix is where we begin to get it back on track, as science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr. dissects the disastrous climate debate and offers a solution: expanding energy access and increasing energy security while lowering costs through technological innovation.
By James D. Stein
Our fascination with numbers begins when we are children and continues throughout our lives. We start counting our fingers and toes and end up balancing checkbooks and calculating risk. So powerful is the appeal of numbers that many people ascribe to them a mystical significance. Other numbers go beyond the supernatural, working to explain our universe and how it behaves. In Cosmic Numbers , mathematics professor James D. Stein traces the discovery, evolution, and interrelationships of the numbers that define our world. Everyone knows about the speed of light and absolute zero, but numbers like Boltzmann's constant and the Chandrasekhar limit are not as well known, and they do far more than one might imagine: They tell us how this world began and what the future holds. Much more than a gee-whiz collection of facts and figures, Cosmic Numbers illuminates why particular numbers are so important,both to the scientist and to the rest of us.
By Sian Beilock
In the tradition of Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works, popular psychologist Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals the astonishing new science of why we choke under pressure. She explains what happens in the body and mind when everything clicks and the perfect golf swing, tricky mathematical problem, or high-pressure business pitch suddenly become easy.With surprising insights on every page, Beilock examines how: attention and working memory guide human performance; how experience and practice, innate factors, and brain development interact to create our abilities;how these interconnected elements react to stress - explaining counterintuitive realities, like why the cleverest students do worst on standardized tests; why we may learn foreign languages best when we're not paying attention; why early childhood athletic training can backfire; and how our emotions can make us both smarter and dumber.the mind and body are in even closer communication than was ever thought - and breaks new ground on top of 30 years of integrative health investigations.
The Crowded Universe
By Alan Boss
We are nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe,we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any? In The Crowded Universe , renowned astronomer Alan Boss argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably alive. Life is not only possible elsewhere in the universe, Boss argues,it is common. Boss describes how our ideas about planetary formation have changed radically in the past decade and brings readers up to date on discoveries of bizarre inhabitants of various solar systems, including our own. America must stay in this new space race, Boss contends, or risk being left out of one of the most profoundly important discoveries of all time: the first confirmed finding of extraterrestrial life.
The Crime of Reason
By Robert B. Laughlin
We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is technical",but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because it's technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark Age: a time characterized not by light and truth but by disinformation and ignorance. Thus we find ourselves dealing more and more with the Crime of Reason, the antisocial and sometimes outright illegal nature of certain intellectual activities. The Crime of Reason is a reader-friendly jeremiad, On Bullshit for the Slashdot and Creative Commons crowd: a short, fiercely argued essay on a problem of increasing concern to people at the frontiers of new ideas.
By Bill Streever
From avalanches to glaciers and seals to snowflakes, from igloos to icebergs, permafrost to hoarfrost, chilblains to frostbite, Bill Streever unearths the consistent, ongoing influence of cold on the planet. Evoking history, myth, geography and ecology, Streever's quest for icy, forty-below cold gains purchase in July, while he's taking a dip in an Arctic swimming hole; in September, while excavating our planet's ice ages; and in October, while exploring animals' hibernation habits, from humans to wood frogs to bears. In March he even does his best to escape it, bundling up in layers of polyester, spandex and Primaloft fill to face thermometers reading twenty-three below. Streever visits an underground Cold War-era tunnel, where preserved remains mingle with new-fangled machinery and gear; weighs in on the scientific quest to reach absolute zero (-459° F); and describes how refrigeration evolved from worldwide ice shipping to the chemical coolants we know today.
By Steve Jones
While writing this book, Steve Jones had beside him the coral brooch that his sea captain grandfather brought back across the Indian Ocean as a gift for his wife. This simple object is a starting point for a dazzling narrative that touches on a number of the most important issues facing us today. Following in the footsteps of Darwin and Captain Cook, Jones reveals what coral has to tell us about the human genome project, cloning, and the possibility of a cure for cancer and genetic diseases; what insights it can offer us into the future of trade in oil and other forms of carbon; how it is linked to the fluctuations in weather patterns that have lead to destruction along the coasts of the Americas and the Far East. Finally, Jones considers what coral - exploited and destroyed in many ways and under siege from climate change - tells us about the likely future of the planet and humankind: it is a warning that both may be close to the point of no return. CORAL: A PESSIMIST IN PARADISE is an inspired, eclectic book that links science with history, literature, politics and myth. It belongs to a vivid tradition of thinking and writing about humankind and its place in nature.
By James Hughes
A provocative work by medical ethicist James Hughes, Citizen Cyborg argues that technologies pushing the boundaries of humanness can radically improve our quality of life if they are controlled democratically. Hughes challenges both the technophobia of Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama and the unchecked enthusiasm of others for limitless human enhancement. He argues instead for a third way, "democratic transhumanism," by asking the question destined to become a fundamental issue of the twenty-first century: How can we use new cybernetic and biomedical technologies to make life better for everyone? These technologies hold great promise, but they also pose profound challenges to our health, our culture, and our liberal democratic political system. By allowing humans to become more than human - "posthuman" or "transhuman" - the new technologies will require new answers for the enduring issues of liberty and the common good. What limits should we place on the freedom of people to control their own bodies? Who should own genes and other living things? Which technologies should be mandatory, which voluntary, and which forbidden? For answers to these challenges, Citizen Cyborg proposes a radical return to a faith in the resilience of our democratic institutions.
The Cichlid Fishes
By George Barlow
Cichlid fishes are amazing creatures. In terms of sheer number of species, they are the most successful of all families of vertebrate animals, and the extent and speed with which they have evolved in some African lakes has made them the darlings of evolutionary biologists. With warmth and wit, Barlow describes the remarkably high intelligence of these fishes, their complex mating and parenting rituals, their bizarre feeding and fighting habits, and their highly unusual adaptations. A celebration of their diversity, The Cichlid Fishes is also a marvellous exploration of how these animals might help resolve the age-old puzzle of how species arise and evolve.
Creations Of Fire
By Cathy Cobb, Harold Goldwhite
In this fascinating history, Cathy Cobb and Harold Goldwhite celebrate not only chemistry's theories and breakthroughs but also the provocative times and personalities that shaped this amazing science and brought it to life. Throughout the book, the reader will meet the hedonists and swindlers, monks and heretics, and men and women labouring in garages and over kitchen sinks who expanded our understanding of the elements and discovered such new substances as plastic, rubber, and aspirin. Creations of Fire expands our vision of the meaning of chemistry and reveals the oddballs and academics who have helped shape our world.
Chaos In The Cosmos
By Barry Parker
From award-winning science writer Barry Parker, the only book to consider chaos theory in all areas of astronomy.
By Jean Guisnel
To some a brand-new forum for the freedom of speech, the Internet is also the most up-to-date way to gather intelligence. Brilliant hackers like Kevin Mitnik,modern-day pirates",pose real security threats to government and industry. Cyberwars explores a dangerous new world where international terrorists plot their attacks and are tracked by secret service organizations on-line, drug traffickers do business and launder money, and electronic economic espionage is the order of the day. Examining efforts to police on-line communication and content, Guisnel assesses the implications of pervasive surveillance for the inherently democratic medium of the Internet. As these issues are the focus of ongoing debates in government and the private sector, Cyberwars couldn't be more timely.
By Pierre Levy
The number of travellers along the information superhighway is increasing at a rate of 10 percent a month. How will this communications revolution affect our culture and society? Pierre Lévy shows how the unfettered exchange of ideas in cyberspace has the potential to liberate us from the social and political hierarchies that have stood in the way of mankind's advancement.Anthropologist, historian, sociologist, and philosopher, Lévy writes with a depth of scholarship and imaginative insight rare among media critics. At once a profound historical analysis of the development of human culture and a blueprint for the future, Collective Intelligence is a visionary work.
By Edward O. Wilson
In this groundbreaking new book, one of the world's greatest living scientists argues for the fundamental unity of all knowledge and the need to search for what he calls consilience, the composition of the principles governing every branch of learning. Edward O Wilson, the pioneer of sociobiology and biodiversity, once again breaks out of the conventions of current thinking. He shows how our explosive rise in intellectual mastery of the truths of our universe has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos. It is a vision that found its apogee in the Age of Enlightenment, then gradually was lost in the increasing fragmentation and specialisation of knowledge in the last two centuries. Professor Wilson shows why the goals of the original Enlightenment are surging back to life, why they are reappearing on the very frontiers of science and human scholarship, and how they are beginning to sketch themselves as the blueprint of our world.
Civilization And The Limpet
By Martin Wells
Written during a long sea voyage from England through the Mediterranean, Civilization and the Limpet unveils many fascinating phenomena of undersea life. Wells captures with exquisite detail how limpets, like bees, navigate by the stars how the brainless sea urchin makes a myriad of critical survival decisions every day how deserted islands" teem with an incredible abundance of animal life and why deep-diving whales never get the bends. Elegant and finely crafted, Civilization and the Limpet will enlighten, amuse, and awe anyone interested in the natural world.
By Carl Sagan
* Spacecraft missions to nearby planets* The Library of ancient Alexandria* The human brain* Egyptian hieroglyphics* The origin of life* The death of the sun* The evolution of galaxies* The origins of matter, suns and worldsThe story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan's remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting.