I, Mammal: The Story of What Makes Us Mammals [EPUB]
12 February 2018, 09:45
2017 | EPUB | 1.32MB
Humans are mammals. Most of us appreciate that at some level. But what does it mean for us to have more in common with a horse and an elephant than we do with a parrot, snake or frog?
After a misdirected football left new father Liam Drew clutching a uniquely mammalian part of his anatomy, he decided to find out more. Considering himself as a mammal first and a human second, Liam delves into ancient biological history to understand what it means to be mammalian.
In his humorous and engaging style, Liam explores the different characteristics that distinguish mammals from other types of animals. He charts the evolution of milk, warm blood and burgeoning brains, and examines the emergence of sophisticated teeth, exquisite ears, and elaborate reproductive biology, plus a host of other mammalian innovations. Entwined are tales of zoological peculiarities and reflections on how being a mammal has shaped the author's life.
I, Mammal is a history of mammals and their ancestors and of how science came to grasp mammalian evolution. And in celebrating our mammalian-ness, Liam Drew binds us a little more tightly to the five and a half thousand other species of mammal on this planet and reveals the deep roots of many traits humans hold dear.
Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material That Will Revolutionize the World [EPUB]
12 February 2018, 09:42
2018 | EPUB | 1.66MB
Two scientists give an enthusiastic, layperson's overview of a new supermaterial now in development that could transform many features of daily life, from creating new conveniences to improving health and safety.
What if you discovered an infinitesimally thin material capable of conducting electricity, able to suspend millions of times its own weight, and yet porous enough to filter the murkiest water? And what if this incredible substance is created from the same element that fills the common pencil? That's graphene--a flat, two-dimensional, carbon-based molecule with a single sheet measuring only one atom thick.
In this layperson's introduction to this revolutionary substance, a physicist and a chemist explain how graphene was developed, discuss the problems in scaling up production for large-scale commercial use, and forecast the potentially transformative effects of incorporating graphene into everyday life. Recent research developments include adding graphene to Silly Putty to make extremely sensitive and malleable medical sensors and compressing and fusing flakes of graphene to create a three-dimensional material that's ten times stronger than steel.
This widely adaptable substance promises to change the way we interact with smartphones, laptops, information storage, and even condoms. It may also enable significant improvements to air purification, water filtration technologies, and drug delivery.
This entertaining and widely accessible book offers a fascinating look into one of the most exciting developments in materials science in recent decades.
The Earth Gazers: On Seeing Ourselves [EPUB]
07 February 2018, 06:03
2018 | EPUB | 40.02MB
It will soon be the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned mission to the moon, when men first saw for themselves the Earth as a sphere falling through space―they saw a world without borders and these images continue to give hope and inspire.
Only twenty-four people have seen the whole earth. The most beautiful and influential photographs ever made were taken, almost as an afterthought, by the astronauts of the Apollo space program from the moon. They inspired a generation of scientists and environmentalists to think more seriously about our responsibility for this tiny oasis in space, this “blue marble” falling through empty darkness.
The Earth Gazers is a book about the long road to the capture of those unforgettable images. It is a history of the space program and of the ways in which it transformed our view of the earth and changed the lives of the astronauts who walked in space and on the moon. It is the story of the often blemished visionaries who inspired that journey into space: Charles Lindbergh, Robert Goddard and Wernher Von Braun, and of the courageous pilots who were the first humans to escape the Earth's orbit. These twenty-four people saw Earth in all its singular glory, and the legacy of the stories of these "Earth Gazers," resonate richly even today.