Have you ever wondered why ice floats and water is such a freaky liquid? Or why chillies and mustard are both hot but in different ways? Or why microwaves don’t cook from the inside out?
In this fascinating scientific tour of household objects, The One Show presenter and all-round Science Bloke Marty Jopson has the answer to all of these, and many more, baffling questions about the chemistry and physics of the everyday stuff we use every day.
Buy this book for only 99p. Audiobook: £3.49.
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Focusing on the first family in science, this biography of Marie Curie plumbs the recesses of her relationships with her two daughters, extraordinary in their own right, and presents the legendary scientist to us in a fresh way.
Continuing the family story into the third generation, Emling also interviews Marie Curie’s granddaughter Helene Joliot-Curie, who is an accomplished physicist in her own right. Factually rich, personal and original, this is an engrossing story about the most famous woman in science that rips the cover off the myth and reveals the real person, friend, and mother behind it.
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VIVE LA REVOLUTION!
• Dolphins shed and replace their skin every two hours
• Pluto was named by an eleven-year-old schoolgirl
• A donkey’s personality is called its donkeyship
• Freud didn’t lose his virginity until the age of 30
The bastion that was QI has been stormed, elves have been put to the guillotine, the readers are in charge. After nine and a half years of cumulative reading time, readers of the QI App have selected the definitive QI collection.
With a new introduction by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, and packed full of handsome images, these ten chapters form the best-of to end all best-ofs. Buy this book today for £1.79.
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In his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement – and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don’t visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.
You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Colonel Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights in this book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth – especially your own. Buy this book today for £1.79.
Click here to purchase An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?
In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.
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On a damp weeknight in November, 350 years ago, a dozen or so men gathered at Gresham College in London. A twenty-eight year old – and not widely famous – Christopher Wren was giving a lecture on astronomy. As his audience listened to him speak, they decided that it would be a good idea to create a Society to promote the accumulation of useful knowledge. With that, the Royal Society was born.
The Royal Society continues to do today what it set out to do all those years ago. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix, the electron, the computer and the World Wide Web. Truly international in its outlook, it has created modern science. ‘Seeing Further’ celebrates its momentous history and achievements, bringing together the very best of science writing. Filled with illustrations of treasures from the Society’s archives, this is a unique, ground-breaking and beautiful volume, and a suitable reflection of the immense achievements of science.
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Who needs an electrical engineering degree? This intuitive guide shows how to wire, disassemble, tweak, and re-purpose everyday devices quickly and easily. Packed with full-color illustrations, photos, and diagrams, Hacking Electronics teaches by doing–each topic features fun, easy-to-follow projects. Discover how to hack sensors, accelerometers, remote controllers, ultrasonic rangefinders, motors, stereo equipment, microphones, and FM transmitters.
The final chapter contains useful information on getting the most out of cheap or free bench and software tools.
Buy this useful book today for only £1.58.
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In 1948, Farley Mowat landed in the far north of Manitoba, Canada, a young biologist sent to investigate the region’s dwindling population of caribou. Many people thought that the caribous’ conspicuous decline had been caused by the tundra’s most notorious predator: the wolf. Alone among the howling canine packs, Mowat expected to find the bloodthirsty beasts of popular conception. Instead, over the course of a summer spent observing the powerful animals, Mowat discovered an animal species with a remarkable capacity for loyalty, virtue, and playfulness.
Praised for its humor and engrossing narrative, Never Cry Wolf describes a group of wolves whose interactions and behaviors seem strikingly similar to our own. Mowat humanizes these animals that have long been demonized, turning the widespread narrative of the “savage wolf” on its head and inspiring many governments to enact protective legislation for the North’s most mysterious creature.
Buy this nature classic book today for £1.54.
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Ben Goldacre’s wise and witty bestseller, shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, lifts the lid on quack doctors, flaky statistics, scaremongering journalists and evil pharmaceutical corporations.
Since 2003 Dr Ben Goldacre has been exposing dodgy medical data in his popular Guardian column. In this eye-opening book he takes on the MMR hoax and misleading cosmetics ads, acupuncture and homeopathy, vitamins and mankind’s vexed relationship with all manner of ‘toxins’. Along the way, the self-confessed ‘Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’ performs a successful detox on a Barbie doll, sees his dead cat become a certified nutritionist and probes the supposed medical qualifications of ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith.
Full spleen and satire, Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and ultimately alarming journey through the bad science we are fed daily by hacks and quacks. Buy this book today for £1.99 today.
Click here to purchase Bad Science
Learning birdsong is not just a way to become a better bird-spotter. It is tuning in: a way of hearing the soundtrack of the planet earth… Why do birds sing? What are they trying to say?
Birdsong is not just about natural history. It is also about our history. We got melody from the birds as we got rhythm from the womb. Birds are our music: they teach us to express emotion and beauty in sound. The first instruments ever made were bird-flutes.
The aim is to give you a flying start in birdsong so that, after reading this book, you’ll be listening to order, not chaos, to Bach, not white noise. You will be more aware of the wild world, and better able to understand it. Buy this book today for only 99p.
Click here to purchase Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed