The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir--a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space . . . and who made those dreams come true.With the grace of a natural storyteller, NASA engineer Homer Hickam paints a warm, vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive. A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph--at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining. Now with 8 pages of photographs. A number-one New York Times bestseller in mass market, brought to the screen in the acclaimed film October Sky, Homer Hickam's memoir, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, comes to trade paperback with an all-new photo insert. One of the most beloved bestsellers in recent years, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir. A powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s, it is the story of a mother's love and a father's fears, of growing up and getting out. With the grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam looks back after a distinguished NASA career to tell his own true story of growing up in a dying coal town and of how, against the odds, he made his dreams of launching rockets into outer space come true. A story of romance and loss and a keen portrait of life at an extraordinary point in American history, Rocket Boys is a chronicle of triumph.
Finalist for Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.
"An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review
Elegant, suggestive, and clarifying, Lewis Thomas's profoundly humane vision explores the world around us and examines the complex interdependence of all things. Extending beyond the usual limitations of biological science and into a vast and wondrous world of hidden relationships, this provocative book explores in personal, poetic essays to topics such as computers, germs, language, music, death, insects, and medicine. Lewis Thomas writes, "Once you have become permanently startled, as I am, by the realization that we are a social species, you tend to keep an eye out for the pieces of evidence that this is, by and large, good for us."
The medusa is a tiny jellyfish that lives on the ventral surface of a sea slug found in the Bay of Naples. Readers will find themselves caught up in the fate of the medusa and the snail as a metaphor for eternal issues of life and death as Lewis Thomas further extends the exploration of man and his world begun in The Lives of a Cell. Among the treasures in this magnificent book are essays on the human genius for making mistakes, on disease and natural death, on cloning, on warts, and on Montaigne, as well as an assessment of medical science and health care. In these essays and others, Thomas once again conveys his observations of the scientific world in prose marked by wonder and wit.
From blue moons to Betelgeuse, it's all in this witty, fact-packed, profusely illustrated guide to the heavens by the author of Discover magazine's popular Night Watchman column.
In Visions, physicist and author Michio Kaku examines the great scientific revolutions that have dramatically reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum mechanics, biogenetics, and artificial intelligence--and shows how they will change and alter science and the way we live.The next century will witness more far-reaching scientific revolutions, as we make the transition from unraveling the secrets of nature to becoming masters of nature. We will no longer be passive bystanders to the dance of the universe, but will become creative choreographers of matter, life, and intelligence. The first section of Visions presents a shocking look at a cyber-world infiltrated by millions of tiny intelligence systems. Part two illustrates how the decoding of DNA's genetic structure will allow humans the "godlike ability to manipulate life almost at will." Finally, VISIONS focuses on the future of quantum physics, in which physicists will perfect new ways to manipulate matter and harness the cosmic energy of the universe. What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the science of the future so compelling--and so different from the mere forecasts of most thinkers--is that it is based on the groundbreaking research taking place in labs today, as well as the consensus of over 150 of Kaku's scientific colleagues. Science, for all its breathtaking change, evolves slowly; we can accurately predict, asserts Kaku, what the direction of science will be, based on the paths that are being forged today. A thrilling, unique narrative that brings together the thinking of many of the world's most accomplished scientists to explore the world of the future, Visions is science writing at its best.
During the great ages of exploration "the longitude problem" was the greatest of scientific challenges. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores; those traveling welt-known routes were easy prey to pirates.
In 1714, England's Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment -- from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton -- had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution -- a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do on land. And the race was on.
Ronald W. Clark's definitive biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed.
Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught in an unhappy first marriage, the passionate pacifist who agonized over making The Bomb, the indifferent Zionist asked to head the Israeli state, the physicist who believed in God.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking's book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin--and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending--or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and "arrows of time," of the big bang and a bigger God--where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.