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.
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Look out of the window. See a bird. Enjoy it. Congratulations. You are now a bad birdwatcher. Anyone who has ever gazed up at the sky or stared out of the window knows something about birds.
In this funny, inspiring, eye-opening book, Simon Barnes paints a riveting picture of how bird-watching has framed his life and can help us all to a better understanding of our place on this planet.
How to be a bad birdwatcher shows why birdwatching is not the preserve of twitchers, but one of the simplest, cheapest and most rewarding pastimes around. Buy it today for only 85p.
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Ever wondered why you can identify your favourite song from hearing only the first two notes? Or why you can’t get that annoying jingle out of your head? Daniel Levitin’s breathtaking – and wholly accessible – book, now published as an ebook, explains why.
This is the first book to offer a comprehensive explanation of how humans experience music and to unravel the mystery of our perennial love affair with it. Using musical examples from Bach to the Beatles, Levitin reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience.
Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language. In This Is Your Brain On Music Levitin offers nothing less than a new way to understand it, and its role in human life. Buy this book today for £1.71.
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The dramatic race to transplant the first human heart spanned two years, three continents and five cities against a backdrop of searing tension, scientific brilliance, ethical controversy, racial strife and emotional turmoil. It culminated in a terrifying moment in the early hours of 3 December 1967 when, in a cramped operating theatre in a Cape Town hospital, Professor Chris Barnard stared into an empty cavity from which he had just removed a heart. He knew that he had only minutes left to make history and save the life of a 55-year-old man by filling the gaping hole in his chest with a heart which had just been beating inside a 25-year-old woman.
Every Second Counts is the story of this gripping race to conquer the greatest of medical challenges. It also reveals the truth about the man at the centre of it all, whose turbulent life story was just as gripping. The kind of true story that would be dismissed as far-fetched if presented as fiction, it combines an utterly compelling portrait of cutting-edge science with raw human drama, and shows how the course of medicine itself was changed for ever. Buy this book today for £1.99.
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Both simple and accessible, Maths in Minutes is a visually led introduction to 200 key mathematical ideas. Each concept is quick and easy to remember, described by means of an easy-to-understand picture and a maximum 200-word explanation.
Concepts span all of the key areas of mathematics, including Fundamentals of Mathematics, Sets and Numbers, Geometry, Equations, Limits, Functions and Calculus, Vectors and Algebra, Complex Numbers, Combinatorics, Number Theory, Metrics and Measures and Topology.
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While evolutionists point to every new discovery of humanlike fossils as further evidence to support the theory that people evolved from apelike creatures, Marvin L. Lubenow contends that the fossils do more to disprove evolutionary theory than otherwise.
In Bones of Contention, Lubenow offers readers of all backgrounds a readable argument for the creationist view of the origins of humankind that addresses all angles of the issue.In this new edition, Lubenow has thoroughly updated and revised his original material to reflect a dozen years of evolutionist theory and modern paleoanthropology. Scholars and laypeople alike will find solid answers, grounded in research, to all of their tough questions.
This book is available for the Kindle for £1.92 today.
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The first popular book to tell the story of the dramatic history of Quantum Theory. Without quantum theory the world we live in would not exist. Yet for sixty years most physicists accepted that quantum theory denied the very existence of reality itself. This bizarre state of affairs led the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann to describe quantum theory as ‘that mysterious, confusing discipline which none of us really understands but which we know how to use’.
And use it we have. Without the quantum none of our computers, televisions or washing machines would work. Quantum theory drives the modern world. But despite the unprecedented success of quantum theory and the widespread fascination with quantum-inspired ideas, the origins of the quantum revolution remain largely unknown.
Quantum will be the first popular book to tell the story of the dramatic history of quantum theory. You can buy the book today for only 99p.
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Zero, zip, nada, zilch. It’s all too easy to ignore the fascinating possibilities of emptiness and non-existence, and we may well wonder what there is to say about nothing. But scientists have known for centuries that nothing is the key to understanding absolutely everything, from why particles have mass to the expansion of the universe – so without nothing we’d be precisely nowhere.
Absolute zero (the coldest cold that can exist) and the astonishing power of placebos, light bulbs, superconductors, vacuums, dark energy, ‘bed rest’ and the birth of time – all are different aspects of the concept of nothing. The closer we look, the bigger the subject gets. Why do some animals spend all day doing nothing? What happens in our brains when we try to think about nothing?
This fascinating and intriguing book revels in a subject that has tantalised the finest minds for centuries, and shows there’s more to nothing than meets the eye. Buy it today for only 85p.
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In the aftermath of the horrific trench warfare of the First World War, the poppy – sprouting across the killing fields of France and Belgium, then immortalised in John McCrae’s moving poem – became a worldwide icon. Yet the poppy has a longer history, as the tell-tale sign of human cultivation of the land, of the ravages of war and of the desire to escape the earthly realm through inspired Romantic opium dreams or the grim reality of morphine drips.
This is a story spanning three thousand years, from the ancient Egyptian fights over prized medicinal potions to the addicted veterans returning home from the American Civil War, from the British political machinations during the Opium Wars with China to the struggle to end Afghanistan’s tribal narcotics trade. Through it all, there stands the transformative poppy.
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