During the Second World War, an American behavioural psychologist working with pigeons discovered that the birds could be trained to recognise an object and to peck at an image of it; when loaded into the nose-cone of a missile, these pecks could be translated into adjustments to the guidance fins, steering the projectile to its target.
Pigeon-Guided Missiles reveals this and other fascinating tales of daring plans from history destined to change the world we live in, yet which ended in failure, or even disaster. Some became the victims of the eccentric figures behind them, others succumbed to financial and political misfortune, and a few were just too far ahead of their time. Discover why the great groundnut scheme cost British taxpayers £49 million, why the bid to build Minerva, a whole new country in the Pacific Ocean, sank, and why the first Channel Tunnel (started in 1881, over a century before the one we know today) hit a dead end.
Buy this book of curious facts for £1.79 today.
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What happens when you eat an apple? The answer is vastly more complex than you imagine.
Nutritional science, long stuck in a reductionist mindset, is at the cusp of a revolution. The traditional “gold standard” of nutrition research has been to study one chemical at a time in an attempt to determine its particular impact on the human body. These sorts of studies are helpful to food companies trying to prove there is a chemical in milk or pre-packaged dinners that is “good” for us, but they provide little insight into the complexity of what actually happens in our bodies or how those chemicals contribute to our health.
In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell (alongside his son, Thomas M. Campbell) revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven’t changed.
Whole is an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through cutting-edge thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world. Buy this book today for £1.89.
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The world of maths can seem mind-boggling, irrelevant and, let’s face it, boring. This groundbreaking book reclaims maths from the geeks. Mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives: from the surprising geometry of the 50p piece to how probability can help you win in any casino.
In search of weird and wonderful mathematical phenomena, Alex Bellos travels across the globe and meets the world’s fastest mental calculators in Germany and a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan. Packed with fascinating, eye-opening anecdotes, Alex’s Adventures in Numberland is an exhilarating cocktail of history, reportage and mathematical proofs that will leave you awestruck. Buy this book today for £1.79.
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The vibrant and exciting world of penguins is shown in all its glory in this new collection of photographs from renowned wildlife photographer David Tipling, who has trekked to remote and beautiful locations to capture birds in their natural habitat going about their daily lives. Moments rarely caught by humans have been preserved on film and reproduced in glorious full-colour images.
Penguins: Close Encounters showcases 140 amazing photographs of birds in the wild, and a short description accompanies each image. The ebook has coverage of all the world’s 17 penguin species, including a comprehensive ‘penguins fact file’ section, and all aspects of their lives and behaviour.
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Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
The first book in a new, action-packed thrill ride of a series, Steelheart is selling for £1.99 today.
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There are only few human beings who can adapt, survive and thrive in the coldest regions on earth. And below a certain temperature, death is inevitable.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spent much of his life exploring and working in conditions of extreme cold. With the many adventures he has led over the past 40 years, testing his limits of endurance to the maximum, he deservedly holds the title of ‘the world’s greatest explorer’.
Despite our technological advances, the Arctic, the Antarctic and the highest mountains on earth, remain some of the most dangerous and unexplored areas of the world. This remarkable book reveals the chequered history of man’s attempts to discover and understand these remote areas of the planet, from his adventuring apprenticeship on the Greenland Ice Cap, to masterminding over the past five years the first crossing of the Antarctic during winter, where temperatures regularly plummeted to minus 92ºC.
Both historically questioning and intensely personal, Cold is a celebration of a life dedicated to researching and exploring some of the most hostile and brutally cold places on earth. Buy it today for £1.99.
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People love their pets–cats more so than any other (or so the cats would like to think). And if there is anything cat-lovers enjoy almost as much as stroking their beloved feline friends, it’s reading about cats. In the tradition and style of her previous smash hits, Callie Smith Grant brings readers a brand-new collection of uplifting stories about the amazing creatures that warm our hearts–and our laps!
With stories from Melody Carlson, Jill Eileen Smith, Robert Benson, Kathi Lipp, and many others, The Cat in the Window offers the perfect excuse to curl up on the couch with a furry friend.
Buy this book today for only 48p – SuperCheap!
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‘In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they’re the birdwatchers’ dark grail.’
As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White’s tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White’s struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest.
When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.
Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey – an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it’s a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It’s a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love. Buy it today for £1.49.
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Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in space. The secret to Chris Hadfield’s success – and survival – is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst – and enjoy every moment of it.
In his book 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.
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From the Large Hadron Collider rap to the sins of Isaac Newton, The Science Magpie is a compelling collection of scientific curiosities.
Expand your knowledge as you view the history of the Earth on the face of a clock, tremble at the power of the Richter scale and learn how to measure the speed of light in your kitchen.
Skip through time with Darwin’s note on the pros and cons of marriage, take part in an 1858 Cambridge exam, meet the African schoolboy with a scientific puzzle named after him and much more.
Buy this book today for only 99p.
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