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The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease

January 13, 2014

the-story-of-the-human-body-cover

Author:
Daniel Lieberman
Publisher:
Pantheon (2013)

In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman — chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field — gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern… read more

Living with the Genie: Essays On Technology And The Quest For Human Mastery

June 16, 2011

Living with the Genie book cover

Author:
Alan Lightman, Daniel Sarewitz, Christina Desser
Publisher:
Island Press (2004)

Amazon | Biotechnology, Cloning, Robotics, Nanotechnology…

At a time when scientific and technological breakthroughs keep our eyes focused on the latest software upgrades or the newest cell-phone wizardry, a group of today’s most innovative thinkers are looking beyond the horizon to explore both the promise and the peril of our technological future.

Human ingenuity has granted us a world of unprecedented personal power — enabling us to… read more

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

May 18, 2011

Visual Complexity book cover

Author:
Manuel Lima
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press (2011)

Amazon | Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century.

In recent years, designers, researchers, and scientists have begun employing an innovative mix of colors, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, the clutter.

From… read more

The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God

July 20, 2011

Accidental Mind book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Belknap Press (2008)

Amazon | You’ve probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain’s elegant design in reverent tones.

To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is… read more

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

July 19, 2011

The Compass of Pleasure book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2011)

Amazon | A leading brain scientist’s look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions.

Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

As he… read more

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing

February 4, 2013

Fabricated

Author:
Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman
Publisher:
Wiley (2013)

Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk.  Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document.

A 3D printer transforms digital information into a physical object by carrying out instructions from an electronic design file,… read more

Physics in Mind: A Quantum View of the Brain

January 28, 2013

Physics in Mind

Author:
Werner Loewenstein
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

No one can escape a sense of awe when reflecting on the workings of the mind: we see, we hear, we feel, we are aware of the world around us. But what is the mind? What do we mean when we say we are “aware” of something? What is this peculiar state in our heads, at once utterly familiar and bewilderingly mysterious, that we call awareness or consciousness?… read more

Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology

October 3, 2012

Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology

Author:
Peter Lucas, Joe Ballay, Mickey McManus
Publisher:
Wiley (2012)

We are facing a future of unbounded complexity.  Whether that complexity is harnessed to build a world that is safe, pleasant, humane and profitable, or whether it causes us to careen off a cliff into an abyss of mind-numbing junk is an open question. The challenges and opportunities–technical, business, and human–that this technological sea change will bring are without precedent. Entire industries will be born and others will be… read more

Build Your Own Robot!

February 7, 2011

buildyourownrobot

Author:
Karl Lunt
Publisher:
A.K. Peters/CRC Press (2000)

Karl Lunt is an avid robot hobbyist who contributed regular articles for robot enthusiasts in Nuts and Volts magazine. The book is a collection of those articles that teach a variety of ideas regarding some machine shop skills but mainly the software and electronics side of robotics. The reader should be comfortable with some basic math such as hexadecimal or Boolean operators and be ready for some… read more

The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

February 24, 2012

creativedestructionofmedicine

Author:
Eric Topol, M.D.
Publisher:
Basic Books (2012)

What if your cell phone could detect cancer cells circulating in your blood or warn you of an imminent heart attack? Mobile wireless digital devices, including smartphones and tablets with seemingly limitless functionality, have brought about radical changes in our lives, providing hyper-connectivity to social networks and cloud computing. But the digital world has hardly pierced the medical cocoon.

Until now. Beyond reading email and surfing… read more

Your Brain: The Missing Manual

June 23, 2011

Your Brain: The Missing Manual book cover

Author:
Matthew MacDonald
Publisher:
Pogue Press (2008)

Amazon | Puzzles and brain twisters to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact are all the rage today. More and more people — Baby Boomers and information workers in particular — are becoming concerned about their gray matter’s ability to function, and with good reason. As this sensible and entertaining guide points out, your brain is easily your most important possession. It deserves proper upkeep.

Your Brain:read more

The Case for Space Solar Power

January 16, 2014

The Case for Solar Power.

Author:
John Mankins
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services (2014)

This book makes the Case for Space Solar Power. recounting the history of this fascinating concept and summarizing the many different ways in which it might be accomplished. It describes in detail a highly promising concept – SPS-ALPHA (Solar Power Satellite by means of Arbitrarily Large Phased Array) – and presents a business case comprising applications in space and markets on Earth.

The book explains how it is… read more

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

July 9, 2013

Oxford Handbook

Author:
Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels, Stephen P. Stich
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2012)

The philosophy of cognitive science is concerned with fundamental philosophical and theoretical questions connected to the sciences of the mind. How does the brain give rise to conscious experience? Does speaking a language change how we think? Is a genuinely intelligent computer possible? What features of the mind are innate? Advances in cognitive science have given philosophers important tools for addressing these sorts of questions; and cognitive scientists have,… read more

When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection

May 10, 2011

When the Body Says No book cover

Author:
Gabor Mate
Publisher:
Wiley (2011)

Amazon | Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”? Drawing on scientific research and the author’s decades of experience as a practicing physician, this book provides answers to these and other important questions about the effect of the mind-body link on illness and health and the role that stress and one’s individual emotional makeup play in an array of… read more

The Winter of Our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (and a Mother Who Slept with Her iPhone)Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale

January 25, 2011

The Winter of Our Disconnect

Author:
Susan Maushart
Publisher:
Tarcher (2011)

Amazon | The wise and hilarious story of a family who discovered that having fewer tools to communicate with led them to actually communicate more.

When Susan Maushart first announced her intention to pull the plug on her family’s entire armory of electronic weaponry for six months — from the itsy-bitsiest iPod Shuffle to her son’s seriously souped-up gaming PC — her three kids didn’t blink an eye.… read more

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