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Popular Science

Get up to speed with the most popular developments in science, with everything from the tiniest atom to the farthest flung findings of the universe, and every scientific discovery in between. Our selection of books in this category will keep you up to date.

Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science

Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science

Author: Zoe Cormier Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2015

How can wordless collections of sounds send shivers down our spines and tickle ancient parts of our brains we share with reptiles? How did a chemist's quest to create a drug to ease the pain of childbirth result in the creation of LSD? Why do goats partake in oral sex, and how can a horse (or even a table) make us weak in the knees? And how on earth could the revered 'father of anatomy' not know where the clitoris was? From tortoiseshell condoms to superstar athletes on hallucinogens, these burning questions are explored and dissected, mixed with insights from some of the world's bravest, cleverest and downright weirdest scientist experimenting on the edge - and themselves. It's a sharp shocker, an eye opener, asking the big questions about what it means to be human, about consciousness and happiness. It'll pull you in and gross out.

Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2015

This is The Sunday Times Bestseller. Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age - and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. It tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language. You will love it! (Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel).

ebook of the month
Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow

Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow

Author: Yuval Noah Harari Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2016

Yuval. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. War is obsolete. You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict. Famine is disappearing. You are at more risk of obesity than starvation. Death is just a technical problem. Equality is out - but immortality is in. What does our future hold?

ebook of the month
The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

Author: Walter Mischel Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behaviour later in life? Walter Mischel's now iconic 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it

Author: Walter Mischel Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2015

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behaviour later in life? Walter Mischel's now iconic 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

ebook of the month
50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know

50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: Tony Crilly Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2014

Who invented zero? Why 60 seconds in a minute? How big is infinity? Where do parallel lines meet? And can a butterfly's wings really cause a storm on the far side of the world? In 50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know, Professor Tony Crilly explains in 50 clear and concise essays the mathematical concepts - ancient and modern, theoretical and practical, everyday and esoteric - that allow us to understand and shape the world around us. Packed with diagrams, examples and anecdotes, this book is the perfect overview of this often daunting but always essential subject. For once, mathematics couldn't be simpler. Contents include: Origins of mathematics, from Egyptian fractions to Roman numerals; Pi and primes, Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio; What calculus, statistics and algebra can actually do; The very real uses of imaginary numbers; The Big Ideas of relativity, Chaos theory, Fractals, Genetics and hyperspace; The reasoning behind Sudoku and code cracking, Lotteries and gambling, Money management and compound interest; Solving of Fermat's last theorem and the million-dollar question of the Riemann hypothesis.

ebook of the month
The Kingdom of Speech

The Kingdom of Speech

Author: Tom Wolfe Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/08/2016

Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech - not evolution - is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in our Kingdom of Speech.

ebook of the month
Eureka! An Infographic Guide to Science

Eureka! An Infographic Guide to Science

Author: Tom Cabot Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2016

Following each stage of the development of the material Universe, from the first cataclysmic moments to the emergence of human and machine intelligence, the Infographic Guide to Science presents the unfolding science that lies behind and between then and now. Starting from the point of physical origin, the book moves through quarks, atoms, molecules and stars; to planet building, organic chemistry, the emergence of life, sentience; and finally on to the human mind and its quest to understand the Universe through exploration and science. Spectacular visuals reveal unexpected insights into how the world really works, covering all the major branches of scientific understanding.

Science has never been more popular. You don’t have to understand it to love it. We live in a golden age where we know more about the world and its origins than ever before. Here, some of the biggest questions ever asked find answers, as well as some of the smallest. This is a section bursting from its nucleus with protons of knowledge especially compiled for the lay enthusiast and the curious. Accessible science is no longer the domain of the scientist. We can all have a go at broadening our minds … and what’s more, we can do it from the relative comfort of our favourite chair. Relative comfort, because the chair is merely a mass of vibrating particles on a planet, hurtling through space and time, bending both as it goes in a Universe that may itself just be one of an infinite number of possible universes in an undefinable dimension of matter.

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