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From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask Millions of people visit xkcd com each week to read Randall Munroe s iconic webcomic His stick-figure drawings about science technology language and love have a large and passionate following Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live If there was a robot apocalypse how long would humanity last In pursuit of answers Munroe runs computer simulations pores over stacks of declassified military research memos solves differential equations and consults with nuclear reactor operators His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity complemented by signature xkcd comics They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind or at least a really big explosion The book features new and never-before-answered questions along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website What If will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs The Innovators is Walter Isaacson s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities What led to their creative leaps Why did some succeed and others fail In his masterly saga Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace Lord Byron s daughter who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution such as Vannevar Bush Alan Turing John von Neumann J C R Licklider Doug Engelbart Robert Noyce Bill Gates Steve Wozniak Steve Jobs Tim Berners-Lee and Larry Page This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive It s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative For an era that seeks to foster innovation creativity and teamwork The Innovators shows how they happen
From the New York Times bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Everything Bad Is Good for You a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas In this illustrated history Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries tracing facets of modern life refrigeration clocks and eyeglass lenses to name a few from their creation by hobbyists amateurs and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life In his trademark style Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips Accompanied by a major... six-part television series on PBS How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world written in the provocative informative and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe more
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion Sam Harris s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology From multiple New York Times bestselling author neuroscientist and new atheist Sam Harris Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that Jesus Buddha Lao Tzu Rumi and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics schizophrenics or frauds Throughout the book Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives and therefore that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow Waking Up is part seeker s memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way and no author other than Sam Harris a scientist philosopher and famous skeptic could write it
Divided by continent YOU ARE HERE represents one idealized orbit of the ISS This planetary photo tour -- surprising playful thought-provoking and visually delightful -- is also punctuated with fun fascinating commentary on life in zero gravity In the spirit of his bestselling An Astronaut s Guide to Life on Earth YOU ARE HERE opens a singular window on our planet using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement the magnificence and wit of never-before-noticed landscapes and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species
The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus A highly infectious deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington D C There is no cure In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic hot virus The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their crashes into the human race Shocking frightening and impossible to ignore The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core free market ideology of our time restructure the global economy and remake our political systems In short either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world The status quo is no longer an option In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care It s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities re-imagine our broken democracies and rebuild our gutted local economies She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not and cannot fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging... extraction methods accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance but rather as a kind of gift a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next regeneration-based economies right now Can we pull off these changes in time Nothing is certain Nothing except that climate change changes everything And for a very brief time the nature of that change is still up to us more
The book that started the Quiet RevolutionAt least one-third of the people we know are introverts They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion who favor working on their own over working in teams It is to introverts Rosa Parks Chopin Dr Seuss Steve Wozniak that we owe many of the great contributions to society In Quiet Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture She also introduces us to successful introverts from a witty high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions Passionately argued superbly researched and filled with indelible stories of real people Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and equally important how they see themselves Now with Extra Libris material including a reader s guide and bonus content
National Book Award Finalist How did humanity originate and why does a species like ours exist on this planet Do we have a special place even a destiny in the universe Where are we going and perhaps the most difficult question of all Why In The Meaning of Human Existence his most philosophical work to date Pulitzer Prize winning biologist Edward O Wilson grapples with these and other existential questions examining what makes human beings supremely different from all other species Searching for meaning in what Nietzsche once called the rainbow colors around the outer edges of knowledge and imagination Wilson takes his readers on a journey in the process bridging science and philosophy to create a twenty-first-century treatise on human existence from our earliest inception to a provocative look at what the future of mankind portends Continuing his groundbreaking examination of our Anthropocene Epoch which he began with The Social Conquest of Earth described by the New York Times as a sweeping account of the human rise to domination of the biosphere here Wilson posits that we as a species now know enough about the universe and ourselves that we can begin to approach questions about our place in the cosmos and the meaning of... intelligent life in a systematic indeed in a testable way Once criticized for a purely mechanistic view of human life and an overreliance on genetic predetermination Wilson presents in The Meaning of Human Existence his most expansive and advanced theories on the sovereignty of human life recognizing that even though the human and the spider evolved similarly the poet s sonnet is wholly different from the spider s web Whether attempting to explicate The Riddle of the Human Species Free Will or Religion warning of The Collapse of Biodiversity or even creating a plausible Portrait of E T Wilson does indeed believe that humanity holds a special position in the known universe The human epoch that began in biological evolution and passed into pre- then recorded history is now more than ever before in our hands Yet alarmed that we are about to abandon natural selection by redesigning biology and human nature as we wish them Wilson soberly concludes that advances in science and technology bring us our greatest moral dilemma since God stayed the hand of Abraham more
New York Times Bestseller A vivid and personal portrait of America s greatest political family and its enormous impact on our nation the companion volume to the seven-part PBS documentary series With 796 photographs some never before seen The authors of the acclaimed and best-selling The Civil War Jazz The War and Baseball present an intimate history of three extraordinary individuals from the same extraordinary family Theodore Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Geoffrey C Ward distilling more than thirty years of thinking and writing about the Roosevelts and the acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns help us understand for the first time that despite the fierce partisanship of their eras the Roosevelts were far more united than divided All the history the Roosevelts made is here but this is primarily an intimate account the story of three people who overcame obstacles that would have undone less forceful personalities Theodore Roosevelt would push past childhood frailty outpace depression survive terrible grief and transform the office of the presidency Eleanor Roosevelt orphaned and alone as a child would endure her husband s betrayal battle her own self-doubts and remake herself into the most consequential first lady in American... history and the most admired woman on earth And Franklin Roosevelt born to privilege and so pampered that most of his youthful contemporaries dismissed him as a charming lightweight would summon the strength to lead the nation through the two greatest crises since the Civil War though he could not take a single step unaided The three were towering personalities but The Roosevelts shows that they were also flawed human beings who confronted in their personal lives issues familiar to all of us anger and the need for forgiveness courage and cowardice confidence and self-doubt loyalty to family and the need to be true to oneself This is the story of the Roosevelts no other American family ever touched so many lives more
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