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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.

The Organized Mind Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

The Organized Mind Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Author: Daniel J. Levitin Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/01/2015

Author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin tackles the problems of twenty-first century information overload in his New York Times bestselling book The Organized Mind. The Organized Mind is smart, important, and as always, exquisitely written . (Daniel Gilbert, Harvard University, author of Stumbling on Happiness). Overwhelmed by demands on your time? Baffled by the sheer volume of data? You're not alone: modern society is in a state of information overload. The Organized Mind investigates this phenomenon and the effect it has on us, analysing how and why our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. The twenty-first century sees us drowning under emails, forever juggling six tasks at once and trying to make complex decisions ever more quickly. Using a combination of academic research and examples from daily life, neuroscientist and bestselling author Daniel Levitin explains how to take back control of your life. This book will take you through every aspect of modern life, from healthcare to online dating to raising kids, showing that the secret to success is always organization. Levitin's research is surprising, powerful and will change the way you see the world. It's time to learn why there's no such thing as multitasking, why email is so addictive and why all successful people need a junk drawer. In a world where information is power, The Organized Mind holds the key to harnessing that information and making it work for you. Dr. Daniel J. Levitin has a PhD in Psychology, training at Stanford University Medical School and UC Berkeley. He is the author of the No. 1 bestseller This Is Your Brain On Music (Dutton, 2006), published in nineteen languages, and The World in Six Songs (Dutton, 2008) which hit the bestseller lists in its first week of release. Currently he is a James McGill Professor of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience and Music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

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The Organized Mind Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

The Organized Mind Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Author: Daniel J. Levitin Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin tackles the problems of twenty-first century information overload in his New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling book The Organized Mind. Thought-provoking and practical...Good advice based on sound neuroscientific principles. (Sunday Times). Impressively wide-ranging and thoughtful. There are fascinating facts and examples throughout. (Wall Street Journal). Deservedly a bestseller...Levitin demonstrates how easily we are bamboozled by statistical tricks, making his points with pithy stories. (Independent). Levitin is about as knowledgeable a guide to neuroscience as one might hope for. (New York Times Book Review). More insights per page than any other neuroscientist I know...smart, important, exquisitely written. (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness). Sensible, practical advice...a comprehensive account of the way we think about organizing everything from our possessions to our friends. (Financial Times). Even the smartest mind can't beat the organized mind...In the digital age we are overwhelmed by information. Unable to make sense of it all, our creativity plummets, decision making suffers and we grow absent-minded. The twenty-first century sees us drowning under emails, forever juggling six tasks at once and trying to make complex decisions ever more quickly. This is information overload. In The Organized Mind, we learn how we got here and why smart organization improves our memories and attention - and makes us more imaginative and clear-sighted. Using a combination of academic research and examples from daily life, neuroscientist and bestselling author Daniel Levitin explains how to take back control of your life. You'll discover that: your brain has a daily processing limit - why waste it on cat photos? Pressing Send or clicking Like gives a dopamine hit - it's addictive - Daydreaming is your brain at its most productive - multitasking is a bad way to do nearly everything. This book will take you through every aspect of modern life, from healthcare to online dating to raising kids, showing that the secret to success is always organization. Levitin's ideas are surprising, powerful and will change the way you see the world. By following the advice in The Organized Mind, you'll function better, go further and find more time to do the things you actually want to do.

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The Norm Chronicles Stories and numbers about danger

The Norm Chronicles Stories and numbers about danger

Author: Michael Blastland, David Spiegelhalter Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

Meet Norm. He's 31, 5'9 , just over 13 stone, and works a 39 hour week. He likes a drink, doesn't do enough exercise and occasionally treats himself to a bar of chocolate (milk). He's a pretty average kind of guy. In fact, he is the average guy in this clever and unusual take on statistical risk, chance, and how these two factors affect our everyday choices. Watch as Norm (who, like all average specimens, feels himself to be uniquely special), and his friends careful Prudence and reckless Kelvin, turns to statistics to help him in life's endless series of choices - should I fly or take the train? Have a baby? Another drink? Or another sausage? Do a charity skydive or get a lift on a motorbike? Because chance and risk aren't just about numbers - it's about what we believe, who we trust and how we feel about the world around us.

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The Neanderthals Rediscovered How Modern Science is Rewriting Their Story

The Neanderthals Rediscovered How Modern Science is Rewriting Their Story

Author: Dimitra Papagianni, Michael A. Morse Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2015

For too long the Neanderthals have been seen as dim-witted evolutionary dead-enders who looked and behaved completely differently from us, but their story has been transformed thanks to new discoveries and advances in scientific techniques. This book takes a look at the whole story of the Neanderthals.

The Naked Scientist: Everyday Life Under the Microscope

The Naked Scientist: Everyday Life Under the Microscope

Author: Chris Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

Why use expensive beauty products when you can moisturise with jellyfish? Have you ever suspected pollution was to blame for your children's plummeting IQ? Ready to take a sea change ...on Mars? And how about chopping an onion that doesn't make you cry? This is the perfect present for enquiring minds. Compelling, quirky and packed fully of curious facts, The Naked Scientist: Life Under the Microscope is a treasure trove of cutting-edge research, far-flung factoids and the ability to see into our scientific future, answering those fascinating questions you never thought to ask.

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The Mysterious World of the Human Genome

The Mysterious World of the Human Genome

Author: Frank Ryan Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/06/2015

Your genome defines you at the most profound level. That same genome is present in every one of the approximately 100,000 billion cells that make you who you are as an individual member of the human species. An important ingredient of the genome, and its essential nature, is memory - the memory of the entirety of every individual human's genetic inheritance. But how, exactly, does it perform this remarkable feat of memory? We know that this wonder chemical we call DNA works like a code. But how could any code recall the complex instructions that go into the making of cells and tissues and organs, and once made, allow them to function as a co-ordinated whole that comprises the human being? All of this might be encompassed in a minuscule cluster of chemicals, including, but not exclusive to, the master molecule we call DNA. This chemical code somehow records the genetic instructions for 'making' us. Built into that code must also be the potential for individual liberty of thought and inventiveness, enabling every human artistic, mathematical and scientific creativity. It gives rise to what each of us thinks innately as our individual 'self'. Somehow that same construction of 'self' made possible the genius of Mozart, Picasso, Newton and Einstein. It is little wonder that we look at the repository of such potential with awe. And unsurprisingly we hope to uncover the mystery that lies at the very core of our being.

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The Most Perfect Thing Inside (and Outside) a Bird's Egg

The Most Perfect Thing Inside (and Outside) a Bird's Egg

Author: Tim Birkhead Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2016

'I think that, if required on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should risk my fate on a bird's egg' Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1862 How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shape they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of an eggshell created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first - the blunt end or the pointy end? These are just some of the questions A Bird's Egg answers, as the journey of a bird's egg from creation and fertilisation to its eventual hatching is examined, with current scientific knowledge placed within an historical context. Beginning with an examination of the stunning eggs of the guillemot, each of which is so variable in pattern and colour that no two are ever the same, acclaimed ornithologist Tim Birkhead then looks at the eggs of hens, cuckoos and many other birds, revealing weird and wonderful facts about these miracles of nature. Woven around and supporting these facts are extraordinary stories of the individuals who from as far back as Ancient Egypt have been fixated on the study and collection of eggs, not always to the benefit of their conservation.

The Milk Mutation The Hidden Danger in Our Dairy

The Milk Mutation The Hidden Danger in Our Dairy

Author: Damien McCrystal Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/11/2014

The vast bulk of the Western world's milk (A1 milk) comes from cows descended from a genetically mutated 'founder'. The mutation meant that the dominant protein in their milk changed. An alternative protein, A2, predates the A1 protein. Human breast milk (as well as that of goats and sheep) shares the characteristics of A2 milk. The full effects are still being unravelled, but it is clear that A1 milk does not digest as easily as A2 and is associated with bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation. All babies have permeable digestive systems and are therefore particularly susceptible. Older children and adults who have a 'leaky gut' are also in danger. More worryingly, numerous studies have linked A1 to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma and eczema. In Australia increasing numbers of people are turning their backs on A1 milk. And it is now taking off in the UK. Twenty substantial herds here have converted to pure A2 and a great many more are considering it. The debate now resembles that around tobacco 50 years ago: some people don't want change, and the vested interests of the dairy industry are resisting the coming revolution. This book allows the public to start the real debate.

The Maths Handbook Everyday Maths Made Simple

The Maths Handbook Everyday Maths Made Simple

Author: Dr. Richard Elwes Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

This is the perfect introduction for those who have a lingering fear of maths. If you think that maths is difficult, confusing, dull or just plain scary, then The Maths Handbook is your ideal companion. Covering all the basics including fractions, equations, primes, squares and square roots, geometry and fractals, Dr Richard Elwes will lead you gently towards a greater understanding of this fascinating subject. Even apparently daunting concepts are explained simply, with the assistance of useful diagrams, and with a refreshing lack of jargon. So whether you're an adult or a student, whether you like Sudoku but hate doing sums, or whether you've always been daunted by numbers at work, school or in everyday life, you won't find a better way of overcoming your nervousness about numbers and learning to enjoy making the most of mathematics.

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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.

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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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