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Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets, and Planets

January 15, 2013

Mining the Sky

Author:
John S. Lewis
Publisher:
Helix Books (1996)

What would it be like if entrepreneurs could literally “mine the sky” to solve Earth’s three major fulfillment problems: energy, mineral resources, and food? That is the engaging premise of John S. Lewis’s visionary new book. What if we could chemically break down the atmosphere of Mars for substances that can be used as spacecraft propellants; hollow out asteroids to transform them into livable habitats for billions of space-bound… read more

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

July 9, 2013

Social Why Our brains are wired to connect

Author:
Matthew D. Lieberman
Publisher:
Crown (2013)

We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.

In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter.  Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world – other people and our relation to them. It is… read more

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

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care

October 18, 2014

Unaccountable

Author:
Marty Makary
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Press (2014)

Dr. Marty Makary is co-developer of the life-saving checklist outlined in Atul Gawande’s bestselling The Checklist Manifesto. As a busy surgeon who has worked in many of the best hospitals in the nation, he can testify to the amazing power of modern medicine to cure. But he’s also been a witness to a medical culture that routinely leaves surgical sponges inside patients, amputates the wrong limbs, and overdoses children because… 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

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