Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures [EPUB]
17 February 2018, 14:19
2018 | EPUB | 4.44MB
The wonders of engineering revealed--by the inspirational female engineer behind The Shard, Western Europe's tallest building.
While our cities are full of incredible engineering feats, most of us live with little idea of what goes into creating the built environment, let alone how a new building goes up, what it is constructed upon, or how it remains standing.
In Built, star structural engineer Roma Agrawal explains how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach into the sky. She unearths how humans have tunneled through solid mountains; how we've walked across the widest of rivers, and tamed nature's precious water resources. She tells vivid tales of the visionaries who created the groundbreaking materials used to build the Pantheon and the Eiffel Tower; and explains how careful engineering can minimize tragedies like the collapse of the Quebec Bridge. Interweaving science, history, illustrations, and personal stories, Built offers a fascinating window into a subject that makes up the foundation of our everyday lives.
Catching Breath: The Making and Unmaking of Tuberculosis [EPUB]
14 February 2018, 12:59
2017 | EPUB | 1.18MB
Tuberculosis is an ancient disease, but it's not a disease of history.
With more than a million victims every year--more than any other disease, including malaria--and antibiotic resistance now found in every country worldwide, tuberculosis is once again proving itself to be one of the smartest killers that humanity has ever faced. But it's hardly surprising considering how long it's had to hone its skills. Forty-thousand years ago, our ancestors set off from the cradle of civilization on their journey towards populating the planet. Tuberculosis hitched a lift and came with us, and it's been there ever since; waiting, watching, and learning.
The organism responsible, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has had plenty of time to adapt to its chosen habitat--human lungs--and has learned through natural selection to be an almost perfect pathogen. Using our own immune cells as a Trojan Horse to aid its spread, it's come up with clever ways to avoid being killed by antibiotics. But patience has been its biggest lesson--it can enter into a latent state when times are tough, only to come back to life when a host's immune system is compromised. Today, more than one million people die of the disease every year and around one-third of the world's population are believed to be infected. That's more than two billion people. Throw in the compounding problems of drug resistance, the HIV epidemic, and poverty, and it's clear that tuberculosis remains one of the most serious problems in world medicine.
Catching Breath follows the history of TB through the ages, from its time as an infection of hunter-gatherers to the first human villages, which set it up with everything it needed to become the monstrous disease it is today, through to the perils of industrialization and urbanization. It goes on to look at the latest research in fighting the disease, with stories of modern scientific research, interviews with doctors on the TB frontline, and the personal experiences of those affected by the disease.
What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite (Revised and Updated) [EPUB]
14 February 2018, 09:20
2018 | EPUB | 1.15MB
Science writer David DiSalvo distills the latest research on how our brains work into easy-to-understand lessons that will give average readers insights into their habitual behavior.
This book reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains "happy" leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which cloud our judgment and muddle our decision making.
Science writer David DiSalvo presents evidence from evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and even marketing and economics. And he interviews many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience today. From this research-based platform, DiSalvo draws out insights that we can use to identify our brains' foibles and turn our awareness into edifying action. Ultimately, he argues, the research does not serve up ready-made answers, but provides us with actionable clues for overcoming the plight of our advanced brains and, consequently, living more fulfilled lives.
Newly revised to include the latest research on the workings of the brain, What Makes Your Brain Happy is an essential tool for understanding yourself.