Illustrations by Tullio Pericoli. A lively collection of classic zingers from the mouths and pens of authors. "Who's better at being nasty than writers on other writers?"--The New York Times Magazine. A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB and WRITER'S DIGEST BOOK CLUB selection. Illustrations by Tullio Pericoli
With her blockbuster New York Times bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel used her rare and luminous gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story to garner rave reviews and attract readers from across the literary spectrum. Now, in The Planets, Sobel brings her full talents to bear on what is perhaps her most ambitious subject to date--the planets of our solar system.
The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. A perfect gift and a captivating journey, The Planets is a gorgeously illustrated study of our place in the universe that will mesmerize everyone who has ever gazed with awe at our night sky.
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"Night Sky: ""A Falcon Field Guide" covers both summer and winter constellations, planets, and stars found in the northern hemisphere. Conveniently sized to fit in a pocket and featuring full-color, detailed photographs, this informative guide makes it easy to identify objects in the night sky even from one's own backyard.
Controversial archaeological and astronomical "discoveries" have been the subject of countless news stories, best-selling books, movies, and television programs. Promoted (but seldom critically evaluated) are the theories that markings in the desert of Peru are the remains of an ancient airfield used by space visitors, that the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt exhibits advanced technology unknown to the ancient Egyptians, and that there were near-collisions between planets of our solar system in historical times. This book critically evaluates many of these popular hypotheses about man's early history. It presents the most important evidence and arguments for and against theories of a universal flood, the lost continent of Atlantis, mysterious pyramid powers, pre-Columbian voyages to America by ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, and Velikovsky's cosmic catastrophism. Professor Stiebing stresses the need for careful and objective analysis of the "evidence" used to support radical reconstructions of the past. The book discusses radio-carbon dating, archaeological stratigraphy, textual interpretation, and epigraphy as well as emphasis on the proper use of data provided by geology, astronomy and other sciences. It is written in non-technical language and will appeal to a wide audience.
When the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History reclassified Pluto as an icy comet, the New York Times proclaimed on page one, Pluto Not a Planet? Only in New York. Immediately, the public, professionals, and press were choosing sides over Pluto s planethood. Pluto is entrenched in our cultural and emotional view of the cosmos, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, award-winning author and director of the Rose Center, is on a quest to discover why. He stood at the heart of the controversy over Pluto s demotion, and consequently Plutophiles have freely shared their opinions with him, including endless hate mail from third-graders. With his inimitable wit, Tyson delivers a minihistory of planets, describes the oversized characters of the people who study them, and recounts how America's favorite planet was ousted from the cosmic hub."
From Brian Greene, one of the world's leading physicists, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way.Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? Greene uses these questions to guide us toward modern science's new and deeper understanding of the universe. From Newton's unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein's fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics' entangled arena where vastly distant objects can bridge their spatial separation to instantaneously coordinate their behavior or even undergo teleportation, Greene reveals our world to be very different from what common experience leads us to believe. Focusing on the enigma of time, Greene establishes that nothing in the laws of physics insists that it run in any particular direction and that "time's arrow" is a relic of the universe's condition at the moment of the big bang. And in explaining the big bang itself, Greene shows how recent cutting-edge developments in superstring and M-theory may reconcile the behavior of everything from the smallest particle to the largest black hole. This startling vision culminates in a vibrant eleven-dimensional "multiverse," pulsating with ever-changing textures, where space and time themselves may dissolve into subtler, more fundamental entities. Sparked by the trademark wit, humor, and brilliant use of analogy that have made The Elegant Universe a modern classic, Brian Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world. With 146 illustrations Jacket photograph by DB Image/Brand X Pictures
"With this book in hand, we have all we need to set off on our next flight with our eyes open to the sheer wonder of what is involved." --Alain de Botton, author of A Week at the Airport, in the Mail on Sunday
"Imagine Leonardo da Vinci seated next to you on an airplane. . . . Brian Clegg attempts to restore something of the lost wonder of air travel . . . even as Leonardo, so fascinated by science, might have done . . . leav ing] his readers improved for the journey and filled with a renewed sense of curiosity toward the wonders out their window."--Wall Street Journal
"An eye-spy book for adults . . . fitting into that publishing niche somewhere between hard science and Schott's Miscellany that was so successfully exploited by books such as The Cloudspotter's Guide." --London Times Book of the Week
Every moment of your airplane journey is an opportunity to experience science in action--Inflight Science will be your guide. Brian Clegg explains the ever-changing view from your window seat and suggests entertaining experiments to calculate how far away you are from distant objects and the population of the towns you fly over. You'll learn why the coastline is infinite in length, the cause of thunderstorms, and why there's absolutely no chance of getting stuck on an airline vacuum toilet
Packed full of amazing insights from physics, chemistry, engineering, geography, and more, Inflight Science is a voyage of scientific discovery perfect for any journey.
Brian Clegg is the author of several popular science titles, including Before the Big Bang and the forthcoming How to Build a Time Machine (2011), both from St. Martin's Press.
One of the great paradoxes of modern times is that the more scientists understand the natural world, the more we discover that our everyday beliefs about it are wrong. Astronomy, in particular, is one of the most misunderstood scientific disciplines.With the participation of thousands of undergraduate students, Neil F. Comins has identified and classified, by origin and topic, over 1,700 commonly held misconceptions. Heavenly Errors provides access to all of them and explores many, including: - Black holes suck in everything around them. - The Sun shines by burning gas. - Comets have tails trailing behind them. - The Moon alone causes tides. - Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is the hottest planet. In the course of correcting these errors, he explains that some occur through the prevalence of pseudosciences such as astrology and UFO-logy and some enter the public conscience through the "bad astronomy" of Star Trek, Star Wars, and other science-fiction movies.. Perhaps most important, Professor Comins presents the reader with the methods for identifying and replacing incorrect ideas--tools with which to probe erroneous notions so that we can begin to question for ourselves... and to think more like scientists.
From the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House, this is the incredible true story of how a college student and two female accomplices stole some of the rarest objects on the planet--moon rocks--from an impregnable high-tech vault.But breaking into a highly secure laboratory wasn't easy. Thad Roberts, an intern in a prestigious NASA training program, would have to concoct a meticulous plan to get past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways even before he could get his hands on the 600-pound safe. And then how was he supposed to get it out? And what does one do with an item so valuable that it's illegal even to own? With his signature high-velocity style, Mezrich reconstructs the outlandish heist and tells a story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.
There is no more profound, enduring or fascinating question in all of science than that of how time, space, and matter began. Now John Barrow, who has been at the cutting edge of research in this area and has written extensively about it, guides us on a journey to the beginning of time, into a world of temperatures and densities so high that we cannot recreate them in a laboratory. With new insights, Barrow draws us into the latest speculative theories about the nature of time and the "inflationary universe," explains "wormholes," showing how they bear upon the fact of our own existence, and considers whether there was a "singularity" at the inception of the universe. Here is a treatment so up-to-date and intellectually rich, deaing with ideas and speculation at the farthest frontier of science, that neither novice nor expert will want to miss what Barrow has to say. The Origin of the Universe is "In the Beginning" for beginners--the latest information from a first-rate scientist and science writer.