Related to: 'Mining the Sky'

Constable

I Had to Survive

Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci
Authors:
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?

Basic Books

The Gap

Thomas Suddendorf
Authors:
Thomas Suddendorf
Basic Books

Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life

Douglas T. Kenrick
Authors:
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.

Basic Books

The Shape of Inner Space

Shing-Tung Yau, Steve Nadis
Authors:
Shing-Tung Yau, Steve Nadis

String theory says we live in a ten-dimensional universe, but that only four are accessible to our everyday senses. According to theorists, the missing six are curled up in bizarre structures known as Calabi-Yau manifolds. In The Shape of Inner Space , Shing-Tung Yau, the man who mathematically proved that these manifolds exist, argues that not only is geometry fundamental to string theory, it is also fundamental to the very nature of our universe. Time and again, where Yau has gone, physics has followed. Now for the first time, readers will follow Yau's penetrating thinking on where we've been, and where mathematics will take us next. A fascinating exploration of a world we are only just beginning to grasp, The Shape of Inner Space will change the way we consider the universe on both its grandest and smallest scales.

Basic Books

How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog

Chad Orzel
Authors:
Chad Orzel
Running Press Adult

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of

Stephen Hawking
Authors:
Stephen Hawking

God does not play dice with the universe." So said Albert Einstein in response to the first discoveries that launched quantum physics, as they suggested a random universe that seemed to violate the laws of common sense. This 20th-century scientific revolution completely shattered Newtonian laws, inciting a crisis of thought that challenged scientists to think differently about matter and subatomic particles. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of compiles the essential works from the scientists who sparked the paradigm shift that changed the face of physics forever, pushing our understanding of the universe on to an entirely new level of comprehension. Gathered in this anthology is the scholarship that shocked and befuddled the scientific world, including works by Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, Erwin Schrodinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, as well as an introduction by today's most celebrated scientist, Stephen Hawking.

Basic Books

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces

Matthew Sands, Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton
Authors:
Matthew Sands, Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton

It was Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics. In Six Not-So-Easy Pieces , taken from these famous lectures, Feynman delves into one of the most revolutionary discoveries in twentieth-century physics: Einstein's theory of relativity. The idea that the flow of time is not constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike. But as Feynman shows, these tricky ideas are not merely dry principles of physics, but things of beauty and elegance.No one,not even Einstein himself,explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman. Filled with wonderful examples and clever illustrations, Six Not-So-Easy Pieces is the ideal introduction to fundamentals of physics by one of the most admired and accessible physicists of all times. There is no better explanation for the scientifically literate layman.", The Washington Post Book World

Basic Books

A Brilliant Darkness

Joao Magueijo
Authors:
Joao Magueijo

On the night of March 26, 1938, nuclear physicist Ettore Majorana boarded a ship, cash and passport in hand. He was never seen again. In A Brilliant Darkness , theoretical physicist João Magueijo tells the story of Majorana and his research group, the Via Panisperna Boys," who discovered atomic fission in 1934. As Majorana, the most brilliant of the group, began to realize the implications of what they had found, he became increasingly unstable. Did he commit suicide that night in Palermo? Was he kidnapped? Did he stage his own death? A Brilliant Darkness chronicles Majorana's invaluable contributions to science,including his major discovery, the Majorana neutrino,while revealing the truth behind his fascinating and tragic life.

Basic Books

Fear Of Physics

Lawrence M. Krauss
Authors:
Lawrence M. Krauss

Fear of Physics is a lively, irreverent, and informative look at everything from the physics of boiling water to cutting-edge research at the observable limits of the universe. Rich with anecdotes and accessible examples, it nimbly ranges over the tools and thought behind the world of modern physics, taking the mystery out of what is essentially a very human intellectual endeavor.

Basic Books

The Mommy Brain

Katherine Ellison
Authors:
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.

Basic Books

A Different Universe

Robert B. Laughlin
Authors:
Robert B. Laughlin

In this age of superstring theories and Big Bang cosmology, we're used to thinking of the unknown as impossibly distant from our everyday lives. But in A Different Universe , Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin argues that the scientific frontier is right under our fingers. Instead of looking for ultimate theories, Laughlin considers the world of emergent properties-meaning the properties, such as the hardness and shape of a crystal, that result from the organization of large numbers of atoms. Laughlin shows us how the most fundamental laws of physics are in fact emergent. A Different Universe is a truly mind-bending book that shows us why everything we think about fundamental physical laws needs to change.

Basic Books

The Cichlid Fishes

George Barlow
Authors:
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.

Basic Books

Rain Of Iron And Ice

John S. Lewis
Authors:
John S. Lewis

Basic Books

The Great Human Diasporas

Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza, Lynn Parker
Authors:
Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza, Lynn Parker
Basic Books

The Particle Garden

Gordon Kane
Authors:
Gordon Kane

The Particle Garden is the clearest survey of particle physics, including the theory, its experimental foundations, its relations to cosmology and astrophysics, and its future. Known as an excellent expositor of physics, Kane has marshaled his research and teaching experience to make this daunting subject understandable to all readers.

Basic Books

The Quest For Life In Amber

George Poinar
Authors:
George Poinar

George Poinar began collecting amber specimins over thirty years ago, but it was only recently that he, Roberta Poinar, and the rest of his research team astounded the scientific community with the news that they had obtained "live" DNA strands from an insect over 40 million years old. The news was so significant that it made headlines throughout the world. Since that time, their lab has remained extraordinarily active, and in the summer of 1993, they were able to announce the successful extraction of preserved DNA strands over 125 million years old. Thus, there is now DNA available for study dating from the early dinosaur period.In passages that read more like an Indiana Jones screenplay than a story about scientific research, the Poinars describe how what began as a hobby grew into a semi-obsession which ultimately led to a breakthrough scientific discovery. Along the way, they encounter all manner of unusual characters, from threatening black marketeers and gun-toting guerrillas to extraordinarily talented scientists, and of course, the luminously beautiful specimins captured in the still-life of amber.

Da Capo Press

The Human Use Of Human Beings

Norbert Wiener
Authors:
Norbert Wiener

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees. An internationally renowned conservationist, she is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and has received many distinguished awards in science. Dr. Goodall is also the author of many acclaimed books, including the bestseller Reason for Hope.

Lynn Picknett

Lynn Picknett is author of Mary Magdalene: Christianity's Hidden Goddess and (with Clive Prince) Turin Shroud: How Leonardo da Vinci Fooled History and its sequel, The Templar Revelation.She is also a lecturer and consultant on UFOs and the paranormal (Meridien/Anglia TV, Talk Radio, LBC, the Museum of Photography and the British UFO Research Association). She lives in London.

Rowan Hooper

Rowan Hooper is Managing Editor of New Scientist magazine, where he has spent more than ten years writing about all aspects of science. He has a PhD in evolutionary biology, and worked as a biologist in Japan for five years, before joining the Japan Times newspaper in Tokyo, and later taking up a fellowship at Trinity College Dublin. Two collections of his long-running column for the paper have been published in Japan, and his work has also appeared in The Economist, Guardian, Wired and the Washington Post. He lives in London with his partner and two daughters. @rowhoop