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The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--an...
by Steven Johnson

Language

English

Pages

332

Publication Date

October 19, 2006

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Customer Reviews
<b>A National Bestseller, a <i>New York Times</i> Notable Book, and an <i>Entertainment Weekly</i> Best Book of the Year</b><br /><br /> From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, <i>The Ghost Map</i> is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.<br /><br /> In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions
by Stephen Hawking

Language

English

Pages

227

Publication Date

October 16, 2018

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Customer Reviews
<b>#1 <i>NEW YORK TIMES </i>BESTSELLER • The world-famous cosmologist and author of <i>A Brief History of Time</i> leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind.</b><br /><br /><b>“Hawking’s parting gift to humanity . . . a book every thinking person worried about humanity’s future should read.”—NPR</b><br /><br /><b>NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY <i>Forbes </i>• <i>The Guardian </i>• <i>Wired </i></b><br /><br /> Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.<br /><br />Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.<br /><br /> Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? ​​These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.<br /><br /> Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, <i>Brief Answers to the Big Questions</i> is a brilliant last message to the world.<br /><br /><b>Praise for <i>Brief Answers to the Big Questions</i></b><br /><br /> “[Hawking is] a symbol of the soaring power of the human mind.”<b>—<i>The Washington Post</i></b><br /><br /> “Hawking’s final message to readers . . . is a hopeful one.”<b>—CNN</b><br /><br /> “Brisk, lucid peeks into the future of science and of humanity.”<b><i>—The Wall Street Journal</i></b><br /><br /> “Hawking pulls no punches on subjects like machines taking over, the biggest threat to Earth, and the possibilities of intelligent life in space.”<b><i>—Quartz</i></b><br /><br /> “Effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and—where it matters—witty.”<b><i>—The Guardian</i></b><br /><br /> “This beautiful little book is a fitting last twinkle from a new star in the firmament above.”<b>—<i>The Telegraph</i></b>
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greates...
by Dava Sobel

Language

English

Pages

191

Publication Date

July 05, 2010

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Customer Reviews
<b>The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of one man's forty-year obsession to find a solution to the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day--"the longitude problem."</b><br /><br />Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. <br /><i><br /></i><i>Longitude</i> is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Pr...
by Steven Pinker

Language

English

Pages

576

Publication Date

February 13, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b><b>INSTANT <i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> BESTSELLER <br />A <i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018<br />ONE OF <i>THE ECONOMIST'S</i> BOOKS OF THE YEAR<br /></b><br /><b>"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates </b><br /><br />If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.</b><br /><br />Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.<br /><br />Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. <br /><br />With intellectual depth and literary flair, <i>Enlightenment Now</i> makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Language

English

Pages

450

Publication Date

January 28, 2010

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b><b>Now an HBO® Film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne</b><br /><br />#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER<br /></b><br />Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
Energy: A Human History
by Richard Rhodes

Language

English

Pages

481

Publication Date

May 29, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes reveals the fascinating history behind energy transitions over time—wood to coal to oil to electricity and beyond.<BR><BR>People have lived and died, businesses have prospered and failed, and nations have risen to world power and declined, all over energy challenges. Ultimately, the history of these challenges tells the story of humanity itself.<BR> <BR> Through an unforgettable cast of characters, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford.<BR> <BR> In <i>Energy</i>, Rhodes highlights the successes and failures that led to each breakthrough in energy production; from animal and waterpower to the steam engine, from internal-combustion to the electric motor. He addresses how we learned from such challenges, mastered their transitions, and capitalized on their opportunities. Rhodes also looks at the current energy landscape, with a focus on how wind energy is competing for dominance with cast supplies of coal and natural gas. He also addresses the specter of global warming, and a population hurtling towards ten billion by 2100.<BR> <BR> Human beings have confronted the problem of how to draw life from raw material since the beginning of time. Each invention, each discovery, each adaptation brought further challenges, and through such transformations, we arrived at where we are today. In Rhodes’s singular style, <i>Energy</i> details how this knowledge of our history can inform our way tomorrow.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
by Ashlee Vance

Language

English

Pages

399

Publication Date

May 19, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
In <i>Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future</i>, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur's journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over 40 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way. <br /><br />        Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk--one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history--is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
by Sam Harris

Language

English

Pages

257

Publication Date

September 09, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s latest <I>New York Times </I>bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.<BR><BR>From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous <I>New York Times</I> bestselling books, <I>Waking Up</I> is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives.<BR> <BR><I>Waking Up</I> is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human B...
by Sam Kean

Language

English

Pages

392

Publication Date

May 06, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<strong>The author of the bestseller <i>The Disappearing Spoon</i> reveals the secret inner workings of the brain through strange but true stories.<br /><br /></strong>Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike -- strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents -- and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims' personalities. Parents suddenly couldn't recognize their own children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing. <br /><br />In <i>The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons</i>, Sam Kean travels through time with stories of neurological curiosities: phantom limbs, Siamese twin brains, viruses that eat patients' memories, blind people who see through their tongues. He weaves these narratives together with prose that makes the pages fly by, to create a story of discovery that reaches back to the 1500s and the high-profile jousting accident that inspired this book's title.* With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain's secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary people whose struggles, resilience, and deep humanity made neuroscience possible. <br /><br />*"The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons" refers to the case of French king Henri II, who in 1559 was lanced through the skull during a joust, resulting in one of the most significant cases in neuroscience history. For hundreds of years scientists have gained important lessons from traumatic accidents and illnesses, and such misfortunes still represent their greatest resource for discovery.
Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle ...
by , Jonathan H. Ward

Language

English

Pages

400

Publication Date

January 23, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<B>Timed to release for the 15th Anniversary of the <I>Columbia</I> space shuttle disaster, this is the epic true story of one of the most dramatic, unforgettable adventures of our time.</B><BR><BR>On February 1, 2003, <I>Columbia</I> disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. This comprehensive account is told in four parts:<BR><BR><li> Parallel Confusion<BR><li> Courage, Compassion, and Commitment<BR><li> Picking Up the Pieces<BR><li> A Bittersweet Victory<BR><BR>For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the <I>Columbia</I> disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. <B><I>Bringing</I> Columbia <I>Home</B></I> shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.<BR><BR>Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

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