762 results 21-40

The Ash and The Beech

Richard Mabey (Author)

From ash die-back to the Great Storm of 1987 to Dutch elm disease, our much-loved woodlands seem to be under constant threat from a procession of natural challenges. Just when we need trees most, to help combat global warming and to provide places of retreat for us and our wildlife, they seem at greatest peril. But these dangers force us to reconsider the narrative we construct about trees and the roles we press on them.

In this now classic book, Richard Mabey looks at how, for more than a thousand years, we have appropriated and humanised trees, turning them into arboreal pets, status symbols, expressions of fashionable beauty - anything rather than allow them lives of their own. And in the poetic and provocative style he has made his signature, Mabey argues that respecting trees' independence and ancient powers of survival may be the wisest response to their current crises.

Originally published with the title Beechcombings, this updated edition includes a new foreword and afterword by the author.

Superhuman

Lord Robert Winston (Author) , Lori Oliwenstein (Author)

Accompanying the major new BBC documentary series, Superhuman explores the human bodys astonishing ability to heal, renew and regenerate itself. In recording the before, during and after of radical operations on real people it introduces us to the pioneering efforts of medical teams and alerts us to the ethical issues that new medical advances raise. Over six chapters Superhuman addresses significant developments within six key medical areas: cancer, infection, transplantation, trauma, repair and reproduction. Acknowledging the debt modern physicians owe to yesterday Superhuman begins by investigating the human bodys innate abilities to heal itself. And, as we gladly launch ourselves into an age of biotechnology, it questions whether we might now use all the information available to us to comprehend finally how our bodies work? If we can achieve that, perhaps becoming superhuman is truly within our reach. Chapter one introduces us to the trauma surgeons who have discovered that the shock that follows trauma can prove beneficial in saving the body and the brain. Chapter two chronicles the astonishing technology now being used in medical transplants and the contentious issues these processes excite. Should technology continue to develop apace how are doctors and patients to choose between using an artificial limb created specifically for a patient, a human limb grown from the patients own genetic information, or the alternative solutions offered by the animal kingdom? And is intervention of true benefit to the patient if it requires a lifetime of immuno-suppressing drugs? The recent successes of the Human Genome Project have dissolved the boundaries of regeneration with made-to-order organs no longer beyond our limits. Chapter three presents the scientists responsible for engineering human tissue from materials found in the body and outlines how they might help us might claim our lost powers of regeneration. Chapter four relates how we are faring in the battle against the old enemy cancer and tells how experts in this field are trying to regain control of the cancer cells that turn against us. Chapter five explains how we strive to combat the threats we all face living in a modern world teeming with globetrotters who share one feature we're all potential contagion-carriers. Superhuman goes on to inform of the dangers of pushing too far to eradicate infectious disease from our lives completely. Chapter six spotlights an area of considerable debate that will possibly alter the course of human evolution fertility and genetic manipulation. Superhuman discusses both the advantages and the dangers of new technologies in this area, arguing that they have many positive applications and that often the hazards are overstated, solely through fear. In an attempt never to lose sight of our humanity while inviting the superhuman in us all to work, Superhuman encourages a holistic approach to medicine and an open forum for the discussion of the future of medical science.

Charles Waterton 1782-1865

Julia Blackburn (Author)

Charles Waterton was the first conservationist who fought to protect wild nature against the destruction and pollution of Victorian industrialisation. During his lifetime he was famous for his eccentricities, but also for his achievements and his opinions. A Yorkshire landowner, he turned his park into a sanctuary for animals and birds. As an explorer he learned to survive in the tropical rain forests of South America without a gun or the society of other white men. He was an authority on the poisons used by South American Indians and a taxidermist of note. The huge public that read his books included Dickens, Darwin and Roosevelt. Since his death the memory of Waterton's personal eccenticities has flourished, while the originality of his ideas and work has often suffered. Using his surviving papers, Julia Blackburn has redressed the balance in a biogr aphy that restores Waterton to his place as the first conservationist of the modern age.

Prisons of Light

Kitty Ferguson (Author)

What is a black hole? Could we survive a visit to one? Perhaps even venture inside? What would we find? Have we yet discovered any real black holes?

And what do black holes teach us about what physicist John Archibald Wheeler called “the deep, happy, mysteries of the universe”?

These are just a few of the tantalizing questions examined in this jargon-free review of one of the most fascinating topics in modern science. In search of the answers, we trace a star from its birth to its death throes, take a fabulous hypothetical journey to the border of a black hole and beyond, spend time with some of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and observational astronomers scanning the cosmos for evidence of real black holes, and take a whimsical look at some of the wild ideas black holes have inspired.

The Song Of The Dodo

David Quammen (Author)

Why have island ecosystems always suffered such high rates of extinction? In our age, with all the world's landscapes, from Tasmania to the Amazon to Yellowstone, now being carved into island-like fragments by human activity, the implications of this question are more urgent than ever. Over the past eight years, David Quammen has followed the threads of island biogeography on a globe-encircling journey of discovery.

The Story Of God

Lord Robert Winston (Author)

From the tiniest microchip to the information superhighway, the modern world is dominated by and dependent upon science. Yet whether we realize it or not, we live in an age where faith is still an important influence in our lives. The majority of Americans profess a belief in a Christian God and Islam acts as a unifying, energizing force for many of the world's most dispossessed people. In the UK congregations may be shrinking, but popular belief in the supernatural - ghosts and spirits, fortune-telling, faith healing - is stronger than ever.

In The Story of God Robert Winston examines the relationship between science and religion across time, beginning with the primitive worship of early ancestors and concluding with a vivid portrait of faith in the modern world.

Grand in scope, adventurous in tone - and written from the perspective of a respected scientist who is also committed to Judaism - this groundbreaking work traces a line across continents, cultures and eras.

Dog Days

Aidan Higgins (Author)

'Tired of walking in the dream I have returned to the country where I was born half a century ago' - The Higgins family is now dispersed; the third son of four brothers is himself the father of three sons in a family also dispersed, and our author 'looking for the quietness that Julian Sorel found in prison. ' he finds this problematical peace, sharing a bungalow near Brittas in Co Wicklow in an awkward two year tenancy with a school mistress with back back trouble. DOG DAYS is an account of those two years, with flashbacks to previous diaries that reveal a murky Dublin of whores and Provo killing, a raindrenched Connemara.

Alas Poor Darwin

Hilary Rose (Author) , Steven Rose (Author)

Today, genes are called upon to explain almost every aspect of our lives, from social inequalities to health, sexual preference and criminality. Based on Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, Evolutionary Psychology with its claim that 'it's all in our genes' has become the most popular scientific theory of the late 20th century. Books such as Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene, Edward O.Wilson's Consilience and Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct have become bestsellers and frame the public debate on human life and development: we can see their influence as soon as we open a Sunday newspaper. In recent years, however, many biologists and social scientists have begun to contest this new biological determinism and shown that Evolutionary Psychology rests on shaky empirical evidence, flawed premises and unexamined political presuppositions. In this provocative and ground-breaking book, Hilary and Steven Rose have gathered together the most eminent and outspoken critics of this fashionable ideology, ranging from Stephen Jay Gould and Patrick Bateson to Mary Midgley, Tim Ingold and Annette Karmiloff-Smith. What emerges is a new perspective on human development which acknowledges the complexity of life by placing at its centre the living organism rather than the gene.

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.

We Are Our Brains

Dick Swaab (Author)

Everything we think, do and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. From religion to sexuality, it shapes our potential, our desires and our characters. Taking us through every stage in our lives, from the womb to falling in love to old age, Dick Swaab shows that we don't just have brains: we are our brains.

'A blockbuster about the brain ... provocative, fascinating, remarkable' Clive Cookson, Financial Times

'A giant in the field' Zoe Williams, Guardian

'Engrossing, intriguing and enlightening' Robin Ince

'Enchantingly written' The Times Higher Education

'Wide-ranging, fun and informative ... as an ice-breaker at parties, it is unmatched' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

Serving the Reich

Philip Ball (Author)

Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any ‘Jewish ideas’, many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were world-renowned physicists Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg.

After the war most scientists in Germany maintained they had been apolitical or even resisted the regime: Debye claimed that he had gone to America in 1940 to escape Nazi interference in his research; Heisenberg and others argued that they had deliberately delayed production of the atomic bomb.

In a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime, here are human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility and three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology.

How to Live Forever

Sue Nelson & Richard Hollingham (Author)

The Lives Less Ordinary series brings you the most exciting, adventurous and entertaining true-life writing that is out there, for men who are time-poor but want the best. Lives Less Ordinary drops you into extreme first-hand accounts of human experience, whether that's the adrenaline-pumping heights of professional sport, the brutality of the modern battlefield, the casual violence of the criminal world, the mind-blowing frontiers of science, or the excesses of rock 'n' roll, high finance and Hollywood. Lives Less Ordinary also brings you some of the finest comic voices around, on every subject from toilet etiquette to Paul Gascoigne.

Everyone wants to live forever, right? Well award-winning science journalists Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson explain how the latest cutting-edge science might mean your fantasy is closer to being true than you might believe. From advances in medicine, cryogenics and ways of preserving your consciousness, they explain all the mind-blowing options with a mix of insight and dry humour.

This digital bite has been extracted from Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham's fascinating book How to Clone the Perfect Blonde.

The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters to Government (mini ebook)

Mark Henderson (Author)

This mini ebook features a sample chapter from Mark Henderson’s brilliant new book THE GEEK MANIFESTO: why science matters.

The geeks are coming. And our world needs them.

We live in a country where:
-A writer can be forced into court for telling the scientific truth.
-The media would rather sell papers by scaremongering about the MMR vaccine or GM crops than reporting the facts.
-A government advisor was sacked for a decision based on science rather than public opinion.
-Only one of our 650 MPs has ever worked as a research scientist.

It is time to entrench scientific thinking more deeply into politics and society. To fight for policy based on evidence.

The full book is available from 12th May 2012.

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…Books That Changed the World: The Origin of Species & The Communist Manifesto

Charles Darwin (Author) , Karl Marx (Author) , Friedrich Engels (Author)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES & THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
INTRODUCED BY DARWIN'S GREAT GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER RUTH PADEL
When the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin returned from South America on board the H.M.S Beagle in 1836, he brought with him the notes and evidence which would form the basis of his landmark theory of evolution of species by a process of natural selection. This theory, published as The Origin of Species in 1859, is the basis of modern biology and the concept of biodiversity. It also sparked a fierce scientific, religious and philosophical debate which still continues today.

THE COMMUNISTY MANIFESTO
INTRODUCED BY DAVID AARONOVITCH
The Communist Manifesto was first published in London, by two young men in their late twenties, in 1848. Its impact reverberated across the globe and throughout the next century, and it has come to be recognised as one of the most important political texts ever written. Maintaining that the history of all societies is a history of class struggle, the manifesto proclaims that communism is the only route to equality, and is a call to action aimed at the proletariat. It is an essential read for anyone seeking to understand our modern political landscape.

Booze for Free

Andy Hamilton (Author)

Home brewing and wine-making is fun, easy and hugely satisfying. If you garden or forage,
can follow a recipe or make jam, and you enjoy a drink, this is the book for you.
Andy's no-nonsense, easy-to-follow guide will enable the beginner and inspire the expert
with over 100 recipes including beer made from hops and but also yarrow, mugwort, elder
and other foraged plants, great tasting wines from fruit, vegetables and the hedgerows,
cider and perry from apples and pears, cordials from the leaves of a range of trees, and teas and
fizzy drinks from herbs and wayside flowers.

- Discover the secret language of home brewing and drinks making.
- Make cheap, wholesome drinks, to your preferred taste and strength
in little time, with minimum fuss and no need for expensive equipment.
- Turn your garden into a drinkers' paradise.
- Find where and how to forage for success.
- Impress your friends with the weird, wonderful and just plain tasty.

Try Carrot Whisky, Sloe and Damson Rum, Parsnip Sherry, Elderberry and Blackberry Wine,
Pumpkin Beer, Broom Tonic, Meadowsweet tea as well as classics such as Elderflower
champagne, sloe gin, prison brew... Cheers!

Lost Civilisations Of The Stone Age

Richard Rudgley (Author)

Bringing together for the first time disparate evidence from the fields of archaeology, ancient history and anthropology, Richard Rudgley shows the achievements, inventions and discoveries of prehistoric times have all but been edited out of popular accounts of the human story. The rise of civilisation 5, 000 years ago has often been portrayed as if it were somehow created out of nothing but the author describes how the explorers of the stone age discovered all the world`s major land masses; how writing can be traced back via Neolithic systems of accounting to its Palaeolithic origins, and how mathematical and astronomical science and technological and industrial activities such as tool-making and pyrotechnics all date back to the stone age, as do many significant medical practices including cranial surgery. Lost Civilisations of the Stone Age brings into question many assumptions about our own cultural superiority, and argues that prehistoric life was in many ways more advanced than our own.

Anatomies

Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Author)

The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year, Anatomies by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of bestseller Periodic Tales, is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body.

'Magnificent, inspired. He writes like a latter-day Montaigne. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all' Telegraph *****

'Splendid, highly entertaining, chock-full of insights ... It inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies' Sunday Times

'A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body ... brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm ... the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life' Guardian

'Elegant and informative ... For Aldersey-Williams, [the body] is a thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts' Mail on Sunday ****

In Anatomies, bestselling author Hugh Aldersey-Williams investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body. Providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information drawn from across history, science, art and literature - from finger-prints to angel physiology, from Isaac Newton's death-mask to the afterlife of Einstein's brain - he explores our relationship with our bodies and investigates our changing attitudes to the extraordinary physical shell we inhabit.

'More than a science book - it's also history, biography and autobiography - Anatomies is writing at its most refined, regardless of genre' Sunday Times

Praise for Periodic Tales:

'Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too' Matt Ridley

'Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in ­surprise' Sunday Times

'Splendid ... enjoyable and polished' Observer

'Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information' Sunday Telegraph

'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty' Financial Times

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. His previous book Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.

The Inflationary Universe

Alan H Guth (Author)

This classic Big Bang text neatly describes what happened after the bang. Yet, until recently, particle physicists and cosmologists were stuck on many questions that the Big Bang Theory still couldn't answer, primarily: If matter can neither be created nor destroyed, how could so much matter arise from nothing at all? Alan Guth's Inflationary Universe Theory answers these vexing questions. When NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite measured the non-uniformities of the cosmic background radiation for the first time in 1992, the patterns agreed exquisitely with the theory's predictions.

The Mixed-up Chameleon

Eric Carle (Author)

The Mixed-Up Chameleon is a captivating picture book from Eric Carle, author-illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, that teaches young children the key differences between animals and the importance of being yourself.

A chameleon's antics with colour, shape and size show what makes each animal different and why it's important to be yourself.

Eric Carle is an award-winning and bestselling author-illustrator of books for very young children. His books include the much-loved classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rooster's Off to See the World, Today is Monday, Draw Me a Star, The Very Busy Spider and The Bad-Tempered Ladybird. His most famous book The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 33 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 50 different languages; several enhanced editions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar are available from Puffin.

Deep Simplicity

John Gribbin (Author)

Simplifying chaos and complexity theory for the perplexed, John Gribbin's Deep Simplicity: Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life brilliantly illuminates the harmony underlying our existence.

The world around us can be a complex, confusing place. Earthquakes happen without warning, stock markets fluctuate, weather forecasters seldom seem to get it right - even other people continue to baffle us. How do we make sense of it all?

In fact, John Gribbin reveals, our seemingly random universe is actually built on simple laws of cause and effect that can explain why, for example, just one vehicle braking can cause a traffic jam; why wild storms result from a slight atmospheric change; even how we evolved from the most basic materials. Like a zen painting, a fractal image or the pattern on a butterfly's wings, simple elements form the bedrock of a sophisticated whole.

'The master of popular science writing'
  Sunday Times

'What makes Deep Simplicity different from other books on complexity theory is that Gribbin ... goes back to the fundamentals'
  Daily Telegraph

'One is left feeling even more - if this is possible - filled with admiration for science and delight at the world it investigates'
  Financial Times

John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and In Search of the Multiverse. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

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