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Eurekas And Euphorias

Author: Walter Gratzer
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780198609407
Size: 42.38 MB
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A collection of scientific anecdotes from the past two thousand years offers insight into the personalities, friendships, rivalries, deceptions, hoaxes, tragedies, and mistakes that marked the history of science. (Science & Mathematics)

The Harmonious Universe

Author: Keith James Laidler
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615925635
Size: 55.63 MB
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From quarks to quasars, this stimulating survey of the main branches of science provides lay readers with a broad scientific understanding of our fascinating universe. Award-winning scientist and popular science writer Keith Laidler explains the major facts, principles, and theories of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. He not only delves into the specifics of each discipline but also shows how they all complement one another, creating a harmonious picture of a completely integrated universe. Along the way Laidler interjects entertaining facts about the larger-than-life figures who have advanced science throughout history. The reader thus learns about both science and the history of science in a lively presentation that emphasizes the human dimension of the vast scientific enterprise.Among the many interesting people and topics discussed are Isaac Newton and the nature of light, Benjamin Franklin and the investigation of electricity, James Clerk Maxwell's demon and the laws of probability, James Watt and the steam engine, Max Planck and black-body radiation, James Rutherford and the nuclear atom, Albert Einstein and relativity, Lord Kelvin and the earth's cooling, Gregor Mendel and genes, Charles Darwin and the origin of species, Edward Lorenz and the butterfly effect, and many more. Looking at our universe as a gigantic system of worlds within worlds, Laidler reviews individually the subatomic world, the microscopic world, the electromagnetic world, the world of energy in all its various forms, our world (Earth) in the context of the larger universe, and the world of our living environment. He concludes with a chapter on methods of inquiry and kinds of truth.More than a primer yet less complex than a textbook, The Harmonious Universe will entertain, educate, and inspire an appreciation for science in all its many facets.Keith J. Laidler, Ph.D. (Ottawa, Ontario), is a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Ottawa and the author of twelve books, including Science and Sensibility (Prometheus Books, 2003) and To Light Such a Candle (Oxford University Press, 1998). He has received numerous awards including the American Chemical Society's prestigious Dexter Award for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry.

Terrors Of The Table

Author: Walter Gratzer
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578625
Size: 15.75 MB
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Terrors of the Table is an absorbing account of the struggle to find the necessary ingredients of a healthy diet, and the fads and quackery that have always waylaid the unwary and the foolish when it comes to the matter of food and health. Walter Gratzer tells the tale of nutrition's heroes, heroines and charlatans with characteristic crispness and verve. We find an array of colourful personalities, from the distinguished but quarrelsome Liebig, to the enterprising Lydia Pinkham. But we also find the slow recognition that the lack of vital ingredients can cause terrible illnesses - scurvy, rickets, beriberi. These diseases stalked the poor in the West even into the 20th century, and scandalously remain in poorer parts of the world today. The narrative stretches from classical times to the modern day and gives a valuable historical perspective to our current understanding. It also highlights some of the problems faced by the developed world regarding health today - in particular diabetes and obesity. And despite our far greater understanding of what our body needs, there are still many who would fall for fads and fancy diets - some dangerous, others just daft. Of course, the story of nutrition does not end there. We have discovered the key vitamins and minerals our body needs, but research continues on the connections between diet, health and disease. The body's biochemistry is complex, and there are no easy answers, no magic formula, that applies to all individuals. The safest and most rational course would seem to be a sensible, moderate, and varied diet, not forgetting that 'a little of what you fancy does you good'.

Science And Sensibility

Author: Keith James Laidler
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615927034
Size: 64.26 MB
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In Science and Sensibility, Keith J. Laidler offers an expert look at the fundamentals underlying modern scientific thought. Replete with enjoyable anecdotes, his treatise splendidly illustrates the enormous progress humankind has made in understanding the physical world. It provides a valuable overview of current methods and achievements in science. - Paul Halpern, Ph.D., author of The Great Beyond: Higher Dimensions, Parallel Universes and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of EverythingHere is a grand tour de force of the universe - from elementary particles to quasars and black holes, from the Big Bang to the Double Helix, from plate tectonics to the theory of evolution. Professor Laidler masterfully guides you through the thorniest issues of modern science, while not shying away from many controversial issues that make the daily news. Highly informative! - Eli Maor, author of To Infinity and Beyond, e: the Story of a Number, Trigonometric Delights, and Venus in TransitScience has produced the vast information explosion that barrages us daily with data both trivial and profound. Though people seem eager to acquire more and more information, few understand what to do with it or how to integrate it into a coherent worldview. Paradoxically, as information has increased, knowledge has declined.This book is designed to provide a thorough grounding in science literacy for the general lay reader. Acclaimed science writer and chemistry professor Keith J. Laidler reviews the major contributions of the different branches of science - including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geology - and shows how they all lead to a unified conception of our place in the universe. He further asserts that by lifting the great veil of mystery through science, we can more fully appreciate the beauty of the universe. Although much still remains to be discovered, Laidler stresses that evidence from every field of science supports a consensus view, an elegantly logical and self-consistent picture of the formation and development of the universe and of life within it.Even more important than understanding the basic features of this scientific worldview is knowing the method by which science arrives at its conclusions. He points out that this approach to ascertaining the truth is used by judges in courts of law and by scholars in academic fields of the humanities, as well as by scientists. By learning to weigh sound evidence in an objective and unbiased fashion, we can selectively judge the information that surrounds us and integrate it into a scientific understanding, while still retaining our sense of wonder.This elegantly written and lucid explanation of science in contemporary life will not only spark an interest into the wonders of many fascinating scientific disciplines but will stimulate readers to think more critically and scientifically.Keith J. Laidler (1916 - 2003), Ph.D., was professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Ottawa and the author of eleven books, including To Light Such a Candle (Oxford University Press, 1998). He received numerous awards including the American Chemical Society's prestigious Dexter Award for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry.

The Piltdown Forgery Fiftieth Anniversary Edition With A New Introduction And Afterword By Chris Stringer

Author: J. S. Weiner
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191505072
Size: 16.41 MB
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On 21 November 1953, one of the most fascinating puzzles in science was finally solved. Three scientists--Joseph Weiner, Kenneth Oakley, and Wilfrid Le Gros Clark--described their investigations into the important fossilized human remains found at Piltdown in Sussex in the early 1900s. Their conclusion was stunning: the remains, and the accompanying materials that supposedly verified them as ancient fossils, had all been faked. The discovery of Piltdown Man had been announced to the world in 1912 by an amateur fossil hunter, Charles Dawson, and the Keeper of Geology at the Natural History Museum in London, Arthur Smith Woodward, who had found fragments of a thickset skull and an ape-like lower jaw, along with other bones and stone tools. These fragments pointed to a species of early human who had lived in England a million years ago-a 'missing link' between apes and modern man. But, as Weiner and his colleagues were to reveal in 1953, the skull was a recent one, and the jaw had belonged to an orang-utan. These and many other 'finds' from Piltdown had been deliberately stained and tampered with to make them appear ancient, and the scientific establishment had been well and truly fooled. Widely praised from its first publication in 1955, The Piltdown Forgery remains the classic account of this story and its many players. In this fiftieth anniversary edition, Professor Chris Stringer, Head of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum in London, provides an introduction to this famous story, and an afterword containing the latest detective-work. Ever-increasing technological powers may one day reveal who did what, and why, but until then this remains an engrossing tale of mixed motives, captivating trickery, and competing egos: a tale fit to rival the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (himself a player in this saga) at his best.


Author: John McQuaid
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451685025
Size: 27.52 MB
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“A fascinating blend of culinary history and the science of taste” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), from the first bite taken by our ancestors to ongoing scientific advances in taste and today’s “foodie” revolution. Can’t resist the creamy smoothness of butter? Blame Darwinian natural selection. Crave the immediate zing of sweets? They bathe your brain in a seductive high. Enjoy the savory flavors of grilled meat? So did your ancestor Homo erectus. Coffee? You had to overcome your hardwired aversion to its hint of bitterness and learn to like it. Taste is a whole-body experience, and breakthroughs in genetics and microbiology are casting light not only on the experience of french fries and foie gras, but on the mysterious interplay of body, brain, and mind. Reporting from kitchens, supermarkets, farms, restaurants, huge food corporations, and science labs, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John McQuaid tells the story of the still-emerging concept of flavor and how our sense of taste will evolve in the coming decades. Tasty explains why children have bizarre and stubborn tastes, how the invention of cooking changed our brains and physiology, why artificial sweeteners never taste quite right, why name brands really do taste better, how a 100,000-year-old walkabout by early humans is responsible for George H.W. Bush’s broccoli-hatred, why “supertasters” like salt, and why “nontasters” are more likely to be alcoholics. “A fascinating story with a beginning some half a billion years ago…McQuaid’s tale is about science, but also about culture, history and, one senses, our future” (Scientific American). Tasty offers a delicious smorgasbord of where taste originated and where it’s going—and why it changes by the day.

Making Habits Breaking Habits

Author: Jeremy Dean
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0738216089
Size: 17.36 MB
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Say you want to start going to the gym or practicing a musical instrument. How long should it take before you stop having to force it and start doing it automatically? The surprising answers are found in Making Habits, Breaking Habits, a psychologist’s popular examination of one of the most powerful and under-appreciated processes in the mind. Although people like to think that they are in control, much of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought. Drawing on hundreds of fascinating studies, psychologist Jeremy Dean busts the myths to finally explain why seemingly easy habits, like eating an apple a day, can be surprisingly difficult to form, and how to take charge of your brain’s natural “autopilot” to make any change stick. Witty and intriguing, Making Habits, Breaking Habits shows how behavior is more than just a product of what you think. It is possible to bend your habits to your will—and be happier, more creative, and more productive.

The Oxford Book Of Japanese Short Stories

Author: Theodore William Goossen
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0192803727
Size: 12.50 MB
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This collection of short stories, including many new translations, is the first to span the whole of Japan's modern era from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the first writings to assimilate and rework Western literary traditions, through the flourishing of the short story genre in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Taisho era, to the new breed of writers produced under the constraints of literary censorship, and the current writings reflecting the pitfalls and paradoxes of modern life, this anthology offers a stimulating survey of the development of the Japanese short story. Various indigenous traditions, in addition to those drawn from the West, recur throughout the stories: stories of the self, of the Water Trade (Tokyo's nightlife of geishas and prostitutes), of social comment, love and obsession, legends and fairytales. This collection includes the work of two Nobel prize-winners: Kawabata and Oe, the talented women writers Hirabayashi, Euchi, Okamoto, and Hayashi, together with the acclaimed Tanizaki, Mishima, and Murakami. The introduction by Theodore Goossen gives insight into these exotic and enigmatic, sometimes disturbing stories, derived from the lyrical roots of Japanese literature with its distinctive stress on atmosphere and beauty.

Scientific Creativity

Author: Anna Mancini
ISBN: 193284824X
Size: 13.42 MB
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Throughout history famous researchers had innovative dreams that sometimes won them a Nobel Prize. Why did they get these dreams? Based on 20 years innovative work on the connections between dreams and reality and on the role played by the whole body in the innovative dream process, this revolutionary book answers many questions about scientific creativity and how to boost it. It explains why innovative dreams, ideas and intuitions occur and what blocks them. It reveals how researchers can place themselves in the best conditions to become discoverers. It teaches a powerful technique to provoke innovative dreams, ideas and intuitions instead of waiting for the stroke of luck.

The Oxford Book Of Gothic Tales

Author: Chris Baldick
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199561537
Size: 35.53 MB
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A fresh contemporary look for the first anthology to trace the strength and diversity of Gothic fiction from its origins in the eighteenth century, with authors as diverse as Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, Jorge Luis Borges, and Angela Carter.