195 results 1-20

Blood and Guts

Roy Porter (Author)

Mankind's battle to stay alive is the greatest of all subjects. This brief, witty and unusual book by Britain's greatest medical historian compresses into a tiny span a lifetime spent thinking about millennia of human ingenuity in the quest to cheat death. Each chapter sums up one of these battlefields (surgery, doctors, disease, hospitals, laboratories and the human body) in a way that is both frightening and elating. Startlingly illustrated, A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE is the ideal presentfor anyone who is keenly aware of their own mortality and wants to do something about it. It is also a wonderful memorial to one of Penguin's greatest historians.

The Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser (Author)

Imagine a world where all the news you see is defined by your salary, where you live, and who your friends are. Imagine a world where you never discover new ideas. And where you can't have secrets.

Welcome to 2011.

Google and Facebook are already feeding you what they think you want to see. Advertisers are following your every click. Your computer monitor is becoming a one-way mirror, reflecting your interests and reinforcing your prejudices.

The internet is no longer a free, independent space. It is commercially controlled and ever more personalised. The Filter Bubble reveals how this hidden web is starting to control our lives - and shows what we can do about it.

The Age of Earthquakes

Shumon Basar (Author), Douglas Coupland (Author), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Author)

Planet Earth needs a self-help book, and this is it

The future is happening to us far faster than we thought it would and this book explains why

Fifty years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture The Medium is the Massage, Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that's redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'.

The Age of Earthquakes is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and 'mindsource' images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly's striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It's like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read.

Welcome to The Age of Earthquakes, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn't just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it's also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket.

Our Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark (Author)

In Our Mathematical Universe, Max Tegmark, one of the most original physicists at work today, leads us on an astonishing journey to explore the mysteries uncovered by cosmology and to discover the nature of reality

Part-history of the cosmos, part-intellectual adventure, Our Mathematical Universe travels from the Big Bang to the distant future via parallel worlds, across every possible scale - from the sub-atomic to the intergalactic - showing how mathematics provides the answers to our questions about the world. Where do we come from? What makes the universe the way it is? In essence, why are we here? With dazzling clarity, Max Tegmark ponders these deep mysteries and allows us to grasp the most cutting-edge and mind-boggling theories of physics. What he proposes is an elegant and fascinating idea: that our physical world not only is described by mathematics, but that it is mathematics.

'Our Mathematical Universe is nothing if not impressive. Brilliantly argued and beautifully written, it is never less than thought-provoking about the greatest mysteries of our existence' - New York Times

'An amazing ride through the rich landscape of contemporary cosmology... Physics could do with more characters like Tegmark... an imaginative intellect and a charismatic presence' - Clive Cookson, Financial Times

Max Tegmark is author or co-author of more than 200 technical papers, twelve of which have been cited more than 500 times. He has featured in dozens of science documentaries, and his work with the SDSS collaboration on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year: 2003". He holds a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a physics professor at MIT.

Don't Swallow Your Gum

Aaron Carroll (Author) , Rachel Vreeman (Author)

Men with big feet have big penises
You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day
Sugar makes kids hyper
Eating at night makes you fat
Chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years
You lose 40% of your body heat through your head

Every day, you hear or think things about your body and health that are just not true. Maybe you saw them on TV, read them in magazines or heard them from friends (or even a doctor). This book is for anyone who has wondered about the truth behind these myths.

Funny, wacky and full of fascinating facts, Don't Swallow Your Gum explains why so many of those weird and worrisome things we think about our bodies are mistaken.

The Essential Difference

Simon Baron-Cohen (Author)

Simon Baron-Cohen's The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain is an unflinching look at the scientific evidence behind the innate sex differences of the mind.

Men and women have always seemed to think in entirely different ways, from conversation and communication to games and gadgets. But are these differences created by society, or do our minds come ready-wired one way or another, with female brains tending towards interaction and male towards organisation? And could this mean that autism - rather than being a mental anomaly - is in fact simply an extreme male brain?

Why are female brains better at empathasing? How are male brains designed to analyse systems? And what really makes men and women different? Simon Baron-Cohen explores list-making, lying and two decades of research in a ground-breaking examination of how our brains can be male or female but always completely fascinating.

'Compelling ... Inspiring'
  Guardian

'This is no Mars/Venus whimsy, but the conclusion from twenty years of experiment'
  Evening Standard

'A devastating contribution to the gender debate'
  Mail on Sunday

'A fascinating, thought-provoking book'
  Observer

Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor at Cambridge University in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. He is also the Director of Cambridge's internationally renowned Autism Research Centre. He has carried out research into social neuroscience over a career spanning twenty years. He is the author of Mindblindness and Zero Degrees of Empathy.

Darwin Among the Machines

George Dyson (Author)

'Full of historical anecdotes . . . but this is much more than a history book. [George Dyson] weaves his threads together for a purpose. Using voices of the past and present, he describes a fresh and sometimes startling viewpoint of the emerging relationship between nature and machines. From vignettes about Olaf Stapledon, George Boole, John von Neumann, and Samuel Butler, a larger story develops in which the twin processes of intelligence and evolution are inseparably intertwined' Danny Hillis, Wired

Pathfinders

Jim Al-Khalili (Author)

In Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Jim al-Khalili celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world.

For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. Surveying the golden age of Arabic science, Jim Al-Khalili reintroduces such figures as the Iraqi physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who practised the modern scientific method over half a century before Bacon; al-Khwarizmi, the greatest mathematician of the medieval world; and Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, a Persian polymath to rival Leonardo da Vinci.

'Jim Al-Khalili has a passion for bringing to a wider audience not just the facts of science but its history ... Just as the legacy of Copernicus and Darwin belongs to all of us, so does that of Ibn Sina and Ibn al-Haytham'
  Independent

'He has brought a great story out of the shadows'
  Literary Review

'His command of Arabic and mathematical physics invests his story with sympathy as well as authority'
  Guardian

'A fascinating and user-friendly guide'
  Sunday Telegraph

'This captivating book is a timely reminder of the debt owed by the West to the intellectual achievements of Arab, Persian and Muslim scholars'
  The Times

Jim Al-Khalili OBE is Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, where he also holds the first Surrey chair in the public engagement in science. He was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for science communication in 2007, elected Honorary Fellow of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and has also received the Institute of Physic's Public Awareness of Physics Award. Born in Baghdad, Jim was educated in Iraq until the age of 16 and it was there, being taught by Arabic teachers in Arabic that he first heard and learnt about the great Arab scientists and philosophers.

The Future of the Internet

Jonathan Zittrain (Author)

In The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It Jonathan Zittrain explores the dangers the internet faces if it fails to balance ever more tightly controlled technologies with the flow of innovation that has generated so much progress in the field of technology.

Zittrain argues that today's technological market is dominated by two contrasting business models: the generative and the non-generative. The generative models - the PCs, Windows and Macs of this world - allow third parties to build upon and share through them. The non-generative model is more restricted; appliances such as the xbox, iPod and tomtom might work well, but the only entity that can change the way they operate is the vendor.

If we want the internet to survive we need to change. People must wake up to the risk or we could lose everything.

Physics of the Future

Michio Kaku (Author)

Michio Kaku's Physics of the Future: The Inventions that will Transform our Lives is a hypothetical journey through the next 100 years of scientific innovation, as told by the scientists who are making it happen.

We all wish we could predict the future, but most of us don't know enough about the science that makes it possible. That's why Michio Kaku decided to talk to the people who really know - the visionaries who are already inventing the future in their labs.

Based on interviews with over three hundred of the world's top scientists, Kaku gives us an insider's perspective on the revolutionary advances that mean we'll soon be able to take an elevator into space, access the internet via our contact lenses, scan our DNA for signs of disease and even change the shape of objects - and all still within the laws of known physics.

This isn't just the shape of things to come - as Kaku shows, it's already happening.

'Summons up the sheer wonder of science' Daily Telegraph

'A whirlwind tour of technological possibilities' New Scientist

'One of the gurus of modern physics' Financial Times

'An entertaining account of envelope-pushing research' Economist

Michio Kaku is a leading theoretical physicist and one of the founders of string theory, widely regarded as the strongest candidate for the 'theory of everything'. He is also one of the most gifted popularizers ofscience of his generation. His books published by Penguin include Parallel Worlds, The Physics of the Future and The Physics of the Impossible. He holds the Henry Semat Professorship in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York, where he has taught for over twenty-five years.

Permanent Present Tense

Suzanne Corkin (Author)

When he was twenty-seven, Henry Molaison underwent surgery for his epilepsy. He awoke with part of his brain destroyed, and for the rest of his life would be trapped in the moment, unable to remember anything for more than a few seconds. For nearly five decades, distinguished neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin studied Molaison and oversaw his care. In Permanent Present Tense she tells his extraordinary story, showing how his amnesia revolutionized our understanding of the brain, and also challenged our very notions of who we are.

Moonwalking with Einstein

Joshua Foer (Author)

Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein is an astonishing journey through the mind, and secrets of how our memory really works.

Can anyone get a perfect memory? Joshua Foer used to be like most of us, forgetting phone numbers and mislaying keys. Then he learnt the art of memory training, discovering the mnemonic ancient 'memory palace' technique first practiced by Simonides of Ceos over 2,500 years ago.

And only year later, Foer found himself in the finals of the US Memory Championships, alongside 'mental athletes' who could memorise the precise order of ten shuffled decks of cards in under an hour.

From the man who can recall nine thousand books to another who constantly forgets who he is, from the ancient world to the cutting edge of neuroscience, Joshua Foer discovers a truth we often forget: that memory is the key to everything we are.

'Passionate and deeply engrossing ... The more we challenge ourselves, the greater our capacity. It's a fact that every teacher, parent and student would do well to learn. The lesson is unforgettable'
  Washington Post

'Captivating ... Engaging ... Mr. Foer writes in these pages with fresh enthusiasm. His narrative is smart and funny'
  Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

'Delightful...empathetic, thought-provoking and...memorable'
  Elizabeth Pisani, Prospect

'An endearingly geeky world ... witty and revelatory'
  Oliver Burkeman, Guardian

'A charming book ... interwoven with informed exposition about the psychological science of memory'
  Professor Larry R Squire, Nature

'Great fun and hugely readable'
  Mark Turner, Independent

Joshua Foer studied evolutionary biology at Yale University and is now a freelance science journalist, writing for National Geographic and The New York Times among others. Researching an article on the US Memory Championships, Foer became intrigued by the potential of his own memory. After just one year of training, he won the following year's Championship.

Genes, Peoples, and Languages

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza (Author) , Mark Seielstad (Translator)

Historians relying on written records can tell us nothing about the 99.9% of human evolution which preceded the invention of writing. It is the study of genetic variation, backed up by language and archaeology, which provides concrete evidence aboutthe spread of farming, the movements of peoples across the globe, the precise links between races - and the sheer unscientific absurdity of racism. Genes, Peoples and Languages offers an astonishing investigation into the past 100,000 years of human history and a rare, firsthand account of some of the most significant and gripping scientific work of recent years. Cavalli-Sforza is one of the great founding fathers of archaeogenetics, and in this book he maps out some of its grand themes.

Innumeracy

John Allen Paulos (Author)

Why do even well-educated people often understand so little about maths - or take a perverse pride in not being a 'numbers person'?

In his now-classic book Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos answers questions such as: Why is following the stock market exactly like flipping a coin? How big is a trillion? How fast does human hair grow in mph? Can you calculate the chances that a party includes two people who have the same birthday? Paulos shows us that by arming yourself with some simple maths, you don't have to let numbers get the better of you.

Gravity's Engines

Caleb Scharf (Author)

We have long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end - mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly power. Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely new, and crucially important, side to black holes. Super-sized versions, often billions of times more massive than the Sun, lurk in every galaxy in the universe. And these chasms don't just vacuum up everything around them; they also spit out huge clouds of matter and energy. In Gravity's Engines, renowned astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals how these giant black holes profoundly rearrange the cosmos that surrounds them, controlling the number of stars in the galaxies and, in turn, the entire universe.

With lucidity and elegance, Scharf traces the two hundred year history of our attempts to discover the nature of black holes, from an English academic turned clergyman in the late 1700's who first identified these 'dark stars' to Einstein and the great revolutions of relativity and quantum mechanics. Engaging with our deepest questions about our origins, he takes us on an intimate journey through our endlessly colourful universe, revealing how the cosmic capacity for life is ultimately governed by - and perhaps could not exist without - black holes.

The Anatomy of Violence

Adrian Raine (Author)

Are some criminals born, not made? What causes violence and how can we treat it? An Anatomy of Violence introduces readers to new ways of looking at these age-old questions. Drawing on the latest scientific research, Adrian Raine explains what it reveals about the brains of murderers, psychopaths and serial killers. Anti-social behaviour is complex, he argues, and based on the interaction between genetics and the biological and social environment in which a person is raised. But the latest statistical evidence between certain types of biological and early behavioural warning signs is also very strong. These are among the thorny issues we can no longer ignore and this book is an important milestone in our growing understanding of criminal behaviour.

The Brain That Changes Itself

Norman Doidge (Author)

Meet the ninety year old doctor, who, with the aid of a few simple exercises, is still practising medicine. His is just one of the incredible stories brain expert Norman Doidge tells as he reveals our brain's remarkable ability to repair itself through the power of positive thought.

In The Brain That Changes Itself Doidge introduces us to the fascinating stories at the cutting edge of the brain science and the emerging discipline of 'neuroplasticity' . We meet the stroke victim who unable to feed or dress himself learned to move and talk again, the woman with a rare brain condition that left her feeling as though she was perpetually falling but who through a series of exercises rewired her brain to overcome this and the maverick scientists over turning centuries of assumptions about the brain and it's capacity for renewal. Doidge shows how their incredible work is helping the blind to see, the deaf to hear and causing Nobel laureates to rethink our model of the brain.

This remarkable book will leave you with a sense of wonder at the capabilities of the human brain and the power to change which lies within all of us.

The Essential Einstein

Albert Einstein (Author) , Stephen Hawking (Edited by)

Albert Einstein changed the way physicists view the universe – and transformed the way we all see the world. Just over one hundred years ago, his Theory of Relativity stunned scientists, but today it is integral to modern thought as the most important scientific discovery of the twentieth century.

In this unique single volume, Stephen Hawking has assembled the highlights of Einstein’s groundbreaking scientific work. Collected here are Einstein’s own illuminating writings on the Theory of Relativity, which present a world of paradoxes in which space is bent and time is curved. Yet Einstein was known not only for his landmark ideas in physics. Here too are his reflections on politics and religion, and his musings on the ultimate significance of his scientific findings.

A Teaspoon and an Open Mind

Michael White (Author)

How do you build a Tardis? What are the secrets of teleportation? Could Cybermen take over the world? Is telepathy possible - even for an alien? Will extra-terrestrials one day visit planet earth on their travels through the galaxy? Can a robotic dog catch a cold ...?
Take a journey with the Time Lords as Michael White guides us through the real science behind Doctor Who. Here he shows us how one of the world's best-loved science-fiction programmes is actually based on genuine theories - some of which could soon become a reality. Drawing on the latest discoveries, on shows from Star Trek to The X-Files and films like Twelve Monkeys and Contact, he asks (among other things): is time travel possible through a wormhole? What are the dangers? Could we make contact with life on other planets? How could aliens get here? And how soon until creatures like the Daleks become a reality? He also looks at areas as varied as crystal power, robotics, shape-shifting and multi-dimensions, not to mention the mysterious science of 'chameleon technology' currently under study by major military research organizations. We even discover how, with the use of cybernetics to replace body parts - or maybe regenerate whole bodies - Doctor Who could hold the key to eternal life.
A book for avid fans and the merely curious, A Teaspoon and an Open Mind reveals that reality is even stranger than science fiction ...

Mysticism and the New Physics

Michael Talbot (Author)

An account of how quantum physics is putting forward ideas that confirm the perceived beliefs of mystics who think the world is an illusion

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