736 results 701-720

Collecting the World

James Delbourgo (Author)

'Nothing so fully displays the grandeur of his mind as his immense and rare collections ... perhaps the fullest and most curious in the world', National Gazette, 1753

Hans Sloane (1660-1753) was the greatest collector of his time, and one of the greatest of all time. His name is familiar today through the London streets and squares named after him on land he once owned (Sloane Square, Hans Place), but the man himself, and his achievements, are almost forgotten.

Born in the north of Ireland, Sloane made his fortune as a physician to London's wealthiest residents and through investment in land and slavery. He became one of the eighteenth century's preeminent natural historians, ultimately succeeding his rival Isaac Newton as President of the Royal Society, and assembled an astonishing collection of specimens, artefacts and oddities - the most famous curiosity cabinet of the age.

Sloane's dream of universal knowledge, of a gathering together of every kind of thing in the world, was enabled by Britain's rise to global ascendancy. In 1687 he travelled to Jamaica, then at the heart of Britain's commercial empire, to survey its natural history, and later organised a network of correspondents who sent him curiosities from across the world. Shortly after his death, Sloane's vast collection was then acquired - as he had hoped - by the nation. It became the nucleus of the world's first national public museum, the British Museum, which opened in 1759.

This is the first biography of Sloane in over sixty years and the first based on his surviving collections. Early modern science and collecting are shown to be global endeavours intertwined with imperial enterprise and slavery but which nonetheless gave rise to one of the great public institutions of the Enlightenment, as the cabinet of curiosities gave way to the encyclopaedic museum. Collecting the World describes this pivotal moment in the emergence of modern knowledge, and brings this totemic figure back to life.

Don't Give Guns to Robots

Adam Savage (Author) , Drew Curtis (Author)

We are now approaching a handful of new innovations whose adoption could truly alter society as we know it -- innovations that are already looming, like driverless cars, consumer 3-D printing and robot-led warfare. These technologies are now coming faster and more furious than at any other point in recorded history.

After nearly twenty years of studying cutting-edge technologies and teaching methods, renowned experimenter and internet phenomenon Drew Curtis and Adam Savage are ready to dive into their unparalleled network of experimenters and forward-thinkers to bring readers inside the minds and labs of the people who are creating the future. Using patterns from the past they answer the questions that are going to matter: which university degree will quadruple in value? What should you fear, what can you forget, and how can you take advantage of these transformations? And above all, what will these changes mean for you?

Packed with tell-your-friends information and featuring the insights of the world's greatest minds -- known and unfamiliar -- this is your indispensable guide to what is possible, what is probable, and what is guaranteed to happen when life-changing technologies get fully adopted.

Natural History

John Healey (Introducer) , Pliny the Elder (Author), John Healey (Translator)

Pliny's Natural History is an astonishingly ambitious work that ranges from astronomy to art and from geography to zoology. Mingling acute observation with often wild speculation, it offers a fascinating view of the world as it was understood in the first century AD, whether describing the danger of diving for sponges, the first water-clock, or the use of asses' milk to remove wrinkles. Pliny himself died while investigating the volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79, and the natural curiosity that brought about his death is also very much evident in the Natural History - a book that proved highly influential right up until the Renaissance and that his nephew, Pliny the younger, described 'as full of variety as nature itself'.

The Science of Meditation

Daniel Goleman (Author) , Richard Davidson (Author)

A radical reinterpretation of mental exercise from two New York Times bestselling authors - "What if we could exercise our minds like we exercise our bodies?" - backed by state-of-the-art scientific research

More than forty years ago, two friends and collaborators at Harvard, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson were unusual in arguing for the benefits of meditation. Now, as mindfulness and other brands of meditation become ever more popular, to fix even more about our lives, they reveal the cutting-edge science of how smart practice can change our personal traits and even our genome for the better.

Drawing on the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Goleman and Davidson sweep away neuromythology and reveal what we can learn from a one-of-a-kind data pool of world-class meditators. They share for the first time remarkable findings that show how meditation can cultivate - without drugs or high expense - qualities such as focus, selflessness, and compassion.

For beyond the pleasant states that mental exercises can produce, purposeful, sustained mind training can create altered traits: sustained, beneficial qualities of thinking, feeling, and acting that are accompanied by lasting, supportive changes in the brain.

Demonstrating two master thinkers at work, The Science of Meditation explains precisely how and when mind training benefits us. More than daily doses or sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in many versions of mind training. Exploring, too, how new technologies can really help with meditation, this is the truth about what meditation can do for us today.

Gripping in its storytelling and grounded in new research, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level.

Liquid

Mark Miodownik (Author)

Sometimes explosive, often delightful, occasionally poisonous, but always fascinating, discover the secret lives of liquids, with New York Times bestselling author Mark Miodownik.

A series of glasses of transparent liquids is in front of you: but which will quench your thirst and which will kill you? And why? Why does one liquid make us drunk, and another power a jumbo jet?

From the bestselling author of Stuff Matters comes a fascinating tour of the world of these surprising or sinister substances - the droplets, heart beats and ocean waves we all encounter every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with water, wine, oil and more, Miodownik shows that liquids are agents of death and destruction as well as substances of wonder and fascination, and - just as in his bestseller Stuff Matters - his unique brand of scientific storytelling brings them and their mysterious properties alive in a captivating new way.

Trick or Treatment?

Dr. Simon Singh (Author) , Professor Edzard Ernst (Author)

Welcome to the world of alternative medicine.

Prince Charles is a staunch defender and millions of people swear by it; most UK doctors consider it to be little more than superstition and a waste of money. But how do you know which treatments really heal and which are potentially harmful?

Now at last you can find out, thanks to the formidable partnership of Professor Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh. Edzard Ernst is the world's first professor of complementary medicine, based at Exeter University, where he has spent over a decade analysing meticulously the evidence for and against alternative therapies.He is supported in his findings by Simon Singh, the well-known and highly respected science writer of several international bestsellers.

Together they have written the definitive book on the subject. It is honest, impartial but hard-hitting, and provides a thorough examination and judgement of more than thirty of the most popular treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic and herbal medicine.In Trick or Treatment? the ultimate verdict on alternative medicine is delivered for the first time with clarity, scientific rigour and absolute authority.

The Secret Network of Nature

Peter Wohlleben (Author)

Did you know that trees can make clouds?
Or that a change in wolf population can alter the course of a river?
Or that earth worms give wild boar directions?

The natural world is a web of intricate connections, many of which go unnoticed by humans. But it is these connections that maintain nature’s finely balanced equilibrium, and tinkering with one tiny element can set off a chain reaction that affects an entire ecosystem.

In The Secret Network of Nature, forester and bestselling author Peter Wohlleben opens our eyes to surprising connections and unlikely partnerships in nature. We’ll see how different animals, plants, rivers, rocks and weather systems co-operate, and what happens when these delicate systems are unbalanced.

The Inner Life of Animals

Peter Wohlleben (Author)

FROM THE AUTHOR OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES

Mother deer that grieve?
Horses that feel shame?
Squirrels that adopt their grandchildren?

We humans tend to assume that we are the only living things able to experience feelings intensely and consciously. But have you ever wondered what’s going on in an animal’s head?

From the leafy forest floor to the inside of a bee hive, The Inner Life of Animals takes us microscopic levels of observation to the big philosophical, ethical and scientific questions. We hear the stories of a grateful humpback whale, of a hedgehog who has nightmares, and of a magpie who commits adultery; we meet bees that plan for the future, pigs who learn their own names and crows that go tobogganing for fun. And at last we find out why wasps exist.

As more and more researchers are discovering, animals experience a rich emotional life that is ready to be explored. The Inner Life of Animals will show you these living things in a new light and will open up the animal kingdom like never before.

Solitude

Michael Harris (Author)

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

'An elegant, thoughtful book . . . beautifully expresses the importance and experience of liberation from the battery-hen life of constant connection.' Daily Mail

'A compelling study of the subtle ways in which modern life and technologies have transformed our behaviour and sense of self.' Times Literary Supplement

Solitude is a rapidly vanishing experience. Our society now embraces sharing like never before: time alone is being forced out of our lives by the constant pings of smartphones and pokes of social media. But what if being alone still has something to offer us – something we have forgotten, but that we still desperately need?

In Solitude, award-winning author Michael Harris examines why being alone matters now more than ever before. He reflects on the paradoxical feeling of isolation that emerges from being constantly connected – and on how learning the beauty of solitude can help us escape it. After all, it is when we are alone that we realise the greatest truths about ourselves. Being alone – really alone – could be the only antidote to the frenzy of our digital age.

Rich with stories about the transformative power of solitude, and drawing on the research of the world's leading neuroscientists and behavioural psychologists, Solitude offers a timely and profound exploration of how to be alone – and why it matters for us all.


'I came away from this book a better human being. Michael Harris's take on existence is calm, unique, and makes one's soul feel good.' Douglas Coupland

'A timely, eloquent provocation to daydream and wander.' Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli (Author)

The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting, consoling journey to discover the meaning of time

'We are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come.'

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.

With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery. Enlightening and consoling, The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time -- and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves.

Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre

Plate Tectonics: A Ladybird Expert Book

Iain Stewart (Author)

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Plate Tectonics is an accessible and authoritative introduction to the fundamental theory of how our dynamic planet works.

Written by the celebrated geologist, academic and popular science presenter Iain Stewart, Plate Tectonics explores the Earth as a planetary machine and celebrates the people and ideas that changed the way we look at the world.

You'll learn about the puzzle pieces that make up the Earth today, monsoon-like currents in our planet's radioactive interior, magnetic force lines and how the ocean would look without water.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

How to Be Human: The Manual

Ruby Wax (Author)

*FROM THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF FRAZZLED*

A three way encounter between a Monk, a neuroscientist and Ruby Wax sounds like the set up for a joke. Instead it's produced one of the most fascinating, intriguing and informative books about minds and bodies and brains and mindfulness I've ever encountered. A triangulation on what it means to be human. Utterly readable and surprisingly wise. Neil Gaiman

How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy. Ruby, the Monk and the Neuroscientist are today's Magi. Joanna Lumley

With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment. Stephen Fry

It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now. No question, anyone reading this has won the evolutionary Hunger Games by the fact you're on all twos and not some fossil. This should make us all the happiest species alive - most of us aren't, what's gone wrong? We've started treating ourselves more like machines and less like humans. We're so used to upgrading things like our iPhones: as soon as the new one comes out, we don't think twice, we dump it. (Many people I know are now on iWife4 or iHusband8, the motto being, if it's new, it's better.)

We can't stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we're on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, we'll still, fingers crossed, have our minds, which, hopefully, we'll be able use for things like compassion, rather than chasing what's 'better', and if we can do that we're on the yellow brick road to happiness.

I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us 'us' in the brain. We answer every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you'll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iPhone.

The Butchering Art

Lindsey Fitzharris (Author)

DAILY MAIL, GUARDIAN AND OBSERVER BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

Winner of the 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Long-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize

The story of a visionary British surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world - the safest time to be alive in human history

In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates a critical turning point in the history of medicine, when Joseph Lister transformed surgery from a brutal, harrowing practice to the safe, vaunted profession we know today.

Victorian operating theatres were known as 'gateways of death', Fitzharris reminds us, since half of those who underwent surgery didn't survive the experience. This was an era when a broken leg could lead to amputation, when surgeons often lacked university degrees, and were still known to ransack cemeteries to find cadavers. While the discovery of anaesthesia somewhat lessened the misery for patients, ironically it led to more deaths, as surgeons took greater risks. In squalid, overcrowded hospitals, doctors remained baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high.

At a time when surgery couldn't have been more dangerous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: Joseph Lister, a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon. By making the audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection - and could be treated with antiseptics - he changed the history of medicine forever.

With a novelist's eye for detail, Fitzharris brilliantly conjures up the grisly world of Victorian surgery, revealing how one of Britain's greatest medical minds finally brought centuries of savagery, sawing and gangrene to an end.

Life 3.0

Max Tegmark (Author)

DAILY TELEGRAPH AND THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

'This is the most important conversation of our time, and Tegmark's thought-provoking book will help you join it' Stephen Hawking

'This is a rich and visionary book and everyone should read it' The Times

We stand at the beginning of a new era. What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, as AI transforms war, crime, justice, jobs and society-and, even, our very sense of what it means to be human. More than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionize our collective future - and there's nobody better situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

In this deeply researched and vitally important new book, Tegmark takes us to the heart of thinking about AI and the human condition, bringing us face to face with the essential questions of our time. How can we grow our prosperity through automation, without leaving people lacking income or purpose? How can we ensure that future AI systems do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will AI help life flourish as never before, or will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, and even, perhaps, replace us altogether?

Life 3.0 gives us the tools to join what may be the most important conversation of our time, guiding us through the most controversial issues around AI today -- from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

What sort of future do you want?

Penguin Dictionary of Science

Mike Clugston (Author)

The Penguin Dictionary of Science covers all the important topics in this key subject area including chemistry, physics, molecular biology, biochemistry, human anatomy, mathematics, astronomy and computing. Superbly comprehensive and accessible, this newly updated dictionary is the ideal reference tool for anyone who needs to understand scientific terms, whether student, researcher or enthusiastic layperson.

- Provides clear definitions of some 7,000 scientific terms

- Gives succinct explanations of fundamental terms (ammonia, base pairing, cell) and more specialist concepts (allosteric enzyme, Bravais lattice, close packing)

- Covers individual elements and chemical compounds in detail

- Contains appendices ranging from lists of SI units and fundamental constants to the periodic table and an outline classification of living organisms

- Includes hundreds of illustrations and diagrams

To Save Everything, Click Here

Evgeny Morozov (Author)

Our gadgets are getting smarter. Technology can log what we buy, customize what we consume and enable us to save and share every aspect of our existence. In the future, we're told, it will even make public life - from how we're governed to how we record crime - better. But can the digital age fix everything? Should it? By quantifying our behaviour, Evgeny Morozov argues, we are profoundly reshaping society - and risk losing the opacity and imperfection that make us human.

How to Invent Everything

Ryan North (Author)

CAUTION: You have now arrived in the past. Watch out for dinosaurs.

With this trusty guide, you can create a world in which humanity matures quickly and efficiently, instead of spending 200,000 years stumbling around in the dark without language, not knowing that tying a rock to a string would unlock navigating the entire world, and thinking disease was caused by weird smells. It contains all the science, engineering, mathematics, art, music, writing, culture, facts, and figures that are required for one human – without any specialized training – to build a civilization from the ground up. It will allow you to create a world like the one you left, but better. It is nothing less than a complete cheat sheet for civilization.

Both fascinating and hilarious, How To Invent Everything provides an enthralling journey through the history of human ingenuity and invention. You’ll discover the five most important technologies humans have invented (Spoken Language, Written Language, Numbers, the Scientific Method and the Calorie Surplus), and learn how quickly we can recreate those skills and knowledge with a few basic facts and tools. It's a perfect read for fans of Randall Munroe’s What If? and Thing Explainer, zombie apocalypse survivors, web comic lovers and wannabe time travellers everywhere.

Pale Rider

Laura Spinney (Author)

'Magisterial' Observer
'Riveting' Sunday Times

With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918–1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I.

In Pale Rider, Laura Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. Telling the story from the point of view of those who lived through it, she shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test.

Drawing on the latest research in history, virology, epidemiology, psychology, and economics, Laura Spinney narrates a catastrophe that changed humanity for decades to come, and continues to make itself felt today. In the process she demonstrates that the Spanish flu was as significant – if not more so – as two world wars in shaping the modern world; in disrupting, and often permanently altering, global politics, race relations, family structures, and thinking across medicine, religion and the arts.

Deep Country

Neil Ansell (Author)

Deep Country is Neil Ansell's account of five years spent alone in a hillside cottage in Wales.

'I lived alone in this cottage for five years, summer and winter, with no transport, no phone. This is the story of those five years, where I lived and how I lived. It is the story of what it means to live in a place so remote that you may not see another soul for weeks on end. And it is the story of the hidden places that I came to call my own, and the wild creatures that became my society.'

Neil Ansell immerses himself in the rugged British landscape, exploring nature's unspoilt wilderness and man's relationship with it. Deep Country is a celebration of rural life and the perfect read for fans of Robert Macfarlane's Landmarks, Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk orJames Rebanks' A Shepherd's Life.

'A beautiful, translucent portrayal of mid-Wales' Jay Griffiths

'Touching. Through Ansell's charming and thoroughly detailed stories of run-ins with red kites, curlews, sparrowhawks, jays and ravens, we see him lose himself . . . in the rhythms and rituals of life in the British wilderness' Financial Times

'Remarkable, fascinating' Time Out

'A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell's rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that CS Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most-comfortable armchair and get away from it all' Countryfile

Neil Ansell spent five years living on a remote hillside in Wales, and wrote his first book, Deep Country, about the experience. Since that time, he has become an award-winning television journalist with the BBC. He has travelled in over fifty countries and has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Big Issue.

The Nature of Technology

W. Brian Arthur (Author)

In The Nature of Technology, ground-breaking economist W. Brian Arthur explores the extraordinary way in which the technology that surrounds us and allows us to live our modern lives has actually been developed. Rather than coming from a series of one-off inventions, almost all the technology we use today comes from previous developments: these technologies are not being created, but are instead evolving.

With fascinating examples, from laser printers to powerplants, Arthur reveals how our own problem-solving skills and creative vision can evolve alongside these technologies, and how this understanding can even improve our understanding of the wider world.

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