Most Recently Added Most commentedby pub dateBy Title | A-ZBy Author | A-Z

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

July 8, 2010

The Edge of Physics cover

Author:
Anil Ananthaswamy
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade (2010)

Amazon | Despite 20th-century physics’ revelations, from relativity and quantum mechanics to the physics of the atom’s nucleus and the life cycles of stars, ninety-odd percent of the universe is a complete mystery, says a scientist quoted by Ananthaswamy, a consulting editor for New Scientist. Dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity: these are the topics that keep physicists awake at night, requiring bigger, more massive, more extreme experiments to test… read more

The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong

July 8, 2010

The Genius in All of Us cover

Author:
David Shenk
Publisher:
Doubleday (2010)

Amazon | In The Genius in All of Us, Shenk beautifully explains why the nature-nurture debate is dead. It is not just the genes we are born with, but how we are raised and what opportunities are open to us that determine how smart we will become. Nurture and experience reshape our genes, and thus our brain. Shenk argues that the idea we are either born with genius or talent,… read more

The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America

July 7, 2010

The Harvard Psychedelic Club cover

Author:
Don Lattin
Publisher:
HarperOne (2010)

Amazon | It’s hard for folks who didn’t live through the 1960s to imagine what it was like to live in a drug and sex-soaked culture, one where traditional values were drowned in a rush of hedonism and hippiedom. Names like Timothy Leary and Ram Dass bring back all the memories and all the conflicts. In this beautifully constructed study, Lattin (Jesus Freaks) brings together four of the most… read more

A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe

July 7, 2010

A Tear at the Edge of Creation cover

Author:
Marcelo Gleiser
Publisher:
Free Press (2010)

Amazon | For most of his career, physicist Gleiser (The Dancing Universe) was a “true believer in unification,” seeing in string theory a “more profound description of Nature” with “a higher level of mathematical symmetry.” He now rejects the search for a perfect theory as an improvable article of belief akin to monotheism. Explaining his turnaround, Gleiser points to the game-changing 1998 discovery that the universe is expanding at an… read more

The Roadmap to 100: The Breakthrough Science of Living a Long and Healthy Life

July 7, 2010

The Roadmap to 100 Cover

Author:
Walter M. Bortz
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2010)

Amazon | With a baby boomer turning sixty every ten seconds, we are rapidly becoming an aging society. But cutting edge research on the connection between age and disease shows us that many of the preconceptions we had about how to grow old need a second look. This groundbreaking book is full of take-away prescriptive advice which the nearly seventy-five million boomers in this nation will value. Top gerontologist and… read more

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

July 7, 2010

Bursts cover

Author:
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2010)

Amazon | Can we scientifically predict our future? Scientists and pseudoscientists have been pursuing this mystery for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. But now, amazing new research is revealing that patterns in human behavior, previously thought to be purely random, follow predictable laws.

Albert-László Barabási, already the world’s preeminent researcher on the science of networks, describes his work on this profound mystery in Bursts, a stunningly original investigation… read more

Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever

May 1, 2010

fantastic voyage book

Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Rodale Books (2004)

Amazon | The idea behind Kurzweil and Grossman’s Fantastic Voyage is that if you can make it through the next 50 years, you might become immortal. How will that be possible? Through some rather science fictional steps, it turns out, including taking advantage of the latest in biotechnological breakthroughs and not-yet-invented nanotechnology.

Is all this longing for immortality driven by an obsession with youth or a fear of death?… read more

The Greatest Science Stories Never Told: 100 tales of invention and discovery to astonish, bewilder, and stupefy

April 3, 2010

the greatest science stories

Author:
Rick Beyer
Publisher:
Harper (2009)

Amazon | Rick Beyer is a lifelong history enthusiast and an award-winning documentary producer whose work for The History Channel® includes Godspeed to Jamestown, The Wright Challenge, and the Timelab 2000 series of history minutes.

100 tales of invention and discovery:

  • Meet the angry undertaker who gave us the push-button phone.
  • Discover how modesty led to the invention of the stethoscope.
  • Find out why

read more

Almost Human: Making Robots Think

March 22, 2010

almost_human

Author:
Lee Gutkind
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2009)

American Library Assoc. | Creative nonfiction guru and seasoned immersion journalist Gutkind observes that just as computers changed the world in the 1990s, robots will “transform technology” in the future. To find out who is behind the growing robotic surge, Gutkind spent six years observing life at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, a “hypertechnological pressure cooker,” where work is frenzied, frustrating, “inspiring, compelling,” and addictive.

Gutkind presents vivid… read more

Breakpoint

February 12, 2010

breakpoint

Author:
Richard A. Clarke
Publisher:
G.P. Putnam's Sons (2007)

Penguin Group | In his fiction debut, The Scorpion’s Gate, Richard A. Clarke, former counterterrorism czar for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, projected a world in 2010 in which the United States and China were competing politically and economically for a dwindling supply of increasingly expensive oil and gas.  That competition naturally took them to the Persian Gulf where the largest oil deposits remained, where the United States… read more

Simulation and its Discontents

January 18, 2010
Author:
Sherry Turkle
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2009)

Over the past twenty years, the technologies of simulation and visualization have changed our ways of looking at the world. In Simulation and Its Discontents, Sherry Turkle examines the now dominant medium of our working lives and finds that simulation has become its own sensibility. We hear it in Turkle’s description of architecture students who no longer design with a pencil, of science and engineering students who admit that… read more

Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness

January 18, 2010
Author:
Daniel Dennett
Publisher:
Basic Books (1997)

Publishers Weekly | Dennett (Darwin’s Dangerous Idea), director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, avers that language is the “slingshot” that has “launched [humans] far beyond all other earthly species in the power to look ahead and reflect.” In this brief study, some of which is drawn from notes for the author’s various lectures, and which returns him to some of the themes of his controversial… read more

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

January 18, 2010
Author:
Howard Bloom
Publisher:
Wiley (2001)

Publishers Weekly | Bloom’s debut, The Lucifer Principle (1997), sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind, Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series… read more

From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

January 18, 2010
Author:
Sean Carroll
Publisher:
Dutton Books (2010)

A rising star in theoretical physics offers his awesome vision of our universe and beyond, all beginning with a simple question: Why does time move forward? Time moves forward, not backward-everyone knows you can’t unscramble an egg. In the hands of one of today’s hottest young physicists, that simple fact of breakfast becomes a doorway to understanding the Big Bang, the universe, and other universes, too. In From Eternityread more

The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs

December 28, 2009

The Department of Mad Scientists

Author:
Michael Belfiore
Publisher:
Smithsonian (2009)

Wireless, prosthetic arms that are as nimble and light as the real thing; driverless robot cars that work their way through real traffic; a portable robotic emergency room with remote-controlled, mobile robotic surgeons; and scramjets able to race around the world in just a few hours  — these are among the DARPA projects profiled by journalist Michael Belfiore in his book, The Department of Mad Scientists.

close and return to Home