Sciences & Techniques

  • Can you outrun a bullet? bHow do you build an electronic brain? bIs it possible to create an unbreakable code? bCould you slow down time? bHow do you unleash chaos? If you thought mathematics was all about measuring angles in a triangle or factorizing equations, think again ... How to Build a Brain and 34 Other Really Interesting Uses of Mathematics demystifies the astonishing world of maths in a series of intriguing, entertaining and often extraordinary scenarios - that explain key concepts in plain and simple language. You'll find out how to unknot your DNA, how to count like a supercomputer and how to become famous for solving mathematics most challenging problem. You'll learn essential survival skills such as how to survive in a whirlpool, how to slay a mathematical monster and how to be alive and dead at the same time. And along the way you'll discover some plain old cool stuff like how to unleash chaos, how to create an unbreakable code and how to use the mathematics to win at roulette or avoid going to prison. So if you want to get to grips with the great questions of number theory and geometry, the mysteries of the prime numbers or Plato's classification of regular polyhedra, or if you are really more interested in learning how to have beautiful children or how to make a million on the stock market, this is the perfect introduction to the fascinating world of modern mathematics. b

  • We've gone from regarding the Net as something exotic to something that we take for granted, like mains electricity or running water. Yet most people have no idea how the network functions, nor any conception of its architecture; and few can explain why it has been - and continues to be - so uniquely disruptive in social, economic and cultural contexts. John Naughton has been thinking, arguing, lecturing and writing about the Net for over two and a half decades, and in FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG he distills the noisy chatter surrounding the internet's relentless evolution into nine clear-sighted and accessible areas of understanding.FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG gives you the requisite knowledge to make better use of the technologies and networks around and raises important questions, as exciting as they are unsettling, about the future of the Net and the impact it will have on our lives.b

  • In recent years knowledge of our genetic code has changed our understanding of life on Earth. New genetic technologies are transforming the way we live and promise treatments for otherwise incurable diseases. But these advances are also generating controversy, particularly surrounding issues such as cloning and designer babies. bIn 50 Genetics Ideas, Mark Henderson distils the central ideas of genetics in a series of clear and concise essays. Beginning with the theory of evolution, and covering such topics as the genome and how nature and nurture work together, he not only illuminates the role of genes in shaping our behaviour and sexuality, but also the very latest, cutting-edge developments in gene therapy and artificial life. Accessible and informative, 50 Genetics Ideas is a timely introduction to this young and ground-breaking strand of science.

  • Just the mention of mathematics is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many, yet without it, the human race couldn't be where it is today. By exploring the subject through its 50 key insights - from the simple (the number one) and the subtle (the invention of zero) to the sophisticated (proving Fermat's last theorem) - this book shows how mathematics has changed the way we look at the world around us.

  • The perfect introduction to the central ideas of physics in 50 concise essays.

  • For millennia humanity has gazed in wonder at the night sky, tracked the motions of the planets and attempted to explain our place in the Universe. But only in our own time has the true scale, the astonishing variety and the remarkable strangeness of the cosmos come clearly into focus. The pace and sophistication of recent scientific discovery has been breathtaking, but breakthroughs are often difficult to understand and their impact is hard to fully appreciate. In 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Universe, Joanne Baker clearly and concisely explains all of the essential concepts, major discoveries and the very latest thinking in astrophysics, including: the basic principles of astronomy - from heliocentrism to Newton's theory of optics; the constituent parts of the Universe, its creation and evolution; the key concepts of cosmology including the theory of relativity, supermassive black holes and 'multiverses'; the very latest developments in our understanding of quasars, exoplanets and astrobiology. From dwarf planets to dark energy; and from the Big Bang to the death of stars, this book is the perfect introduction to the cutting-edge science that is shaping our understanding of our place in the Universe and that could lead to the next great discovery - the detection of life beyond Earth.

  • How to survive an earthquake. How to make an invisibility cloak. How to turn lead into gold. How to read someone's mind. Physics = tedious and unfathomable, right? No longer. If you thought physics was all about measuring the temperature of an ice bucket or trying to understand complicated equations, think again. How to Destroy the Universe will make you see the world around us through fresh eyes.

  • Paris, 1788.Marie is a young woman in love with her oldest friend and neighbour, Henri. But she is also a determined businesswoman, eager to see her family's waxwork museum keep them safe and solvent. Her gift for modelling faces in wax brings her to Versailles, where she must teach the king's sister her skill. But the coming revolution will place Marie, her family and all of Paris in grave danger. As the monarchy is overthrown and the guillotine becomes a fixture in French life, Marie is expected to show her patriotism by making death masks from the severed heads of every key figure killed as the Reign of Terror begins and France enters its darkest time. How will Marie survive the Revolution? Who will survive it with her? And just how will this girl come to be known as the woman behind one of the most famous museums in the world?b

  • In 1809, when Darwin was born, much of the world was an unexplored wilderness. Our knowledge of the past was nonexistent, and our picture of our species' history little more than a set of fantastic myths and fairytales. But a new era was dawning. Five decades later, On the Origin of the Species was able to draw on the pioneering work of explorers and naturalists to produce a theory that revolutionized our conception of our world. And the revolution didn't stop with the publication of Darwin's masterwork. 150 years later, his 'dangerous idea' is still headline news, denied by many, capable of enraging and dividing, even as biologists decipher the 3-billion-year history of life as written in our very DNA.bThis book tells the stories of the most dramatic adventures and important discoveries in two centuries of natural history - from Alexander von Humboldt's epic journeys in South America to the hi-tech genome-reading projects making headlines today - and how they gave birth to and have nourished the evolution revolution.

  • 'Positive affirmations helped me in my darkest times to focus on my health and happiness, and to remember I was not alone. I know how well they worked for me in regaining my life, and now I want to share them with you.' Katie Piper. Start your Day with Katie is a page-a-day book of Katie Piper's most powerful inspirational thoughts, plus quotes and mantras that helped give her courage and hope after her rape and acid attack. With Katie's guiding messages, you can begin every day on the right track. Let these affirmations help you find happiness and inner strength. They are one of the tools that Katie Piper used to rebuild her life. Keep this book with you or by your bedside table to turn to any time you need a little help in finding peace or inspiration.

  • The novel that has redefined contemporary Russian literature, from the greatest Russian writer of his generation.

  • Although 1989 and 1991 witnessed more spectacular events, 1990 was a year of embryonic change in Russia: Article 6 of the constitution was abolished, and with it the Party's monopoly on political power. This fascinating collection of documentary evidence crystalises the aspirations of the Russian people in the days before Communism finally fell. It charts - among many other social developments - the appearance of new political parties and independent trade unions, the rapid evolution of mass media, the emergence of a new class of entrepreneurs, a new openness about sex and pornography and a sudden craze for hot-air ballooning, banned under the Communist regime. 1990 is a reminder of the confusion and aspirations of the year before Communism finally collapsed in Russia, and a tantalising glimpse of the paths that may have been taken if Yeltsin's coup had not forced the issue in 1991.

  • While interning with a seismic survey crew in the Sahara Desert, Rip Cantrell discovers a flying saucer embedded in a sandstone ledge. Rip is keen to learn as much as possible about the saucer, which is at least 140,000 years old. But he's not the only one.bWhile various groups squabble about Rip's discovery, Rip and former Air Force test pilot Charlotte "Charley" Pine steal the saucer and fly into orbit. As they try to learn the saucer's secrets, Rip and Charley must keep it away from the U.S. Government, which would deny its existence, and rogue Australian billionaire Roger Hedrick, who wants to sell it to the highest bidder.

  • In a narrative beginning almost 1.5 million years ago with the emergence of Homo erectus, Frank Welsh takes the reader from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, from the Industrial Revolution to the age of terrorism. Using his masterly storytelling skills, he recounts the epic story of human growth, survival and achievement across all continents and ages. Providing insight into the lives of ordinary people in every corner of the globe, this comprehensive book is the perfect introduction to the human history of our planet.

  • 'Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.' These powerful words, spoken by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural address as the new president of South Africa, are taken from just one of the forty important and thought-provoking speeches in this collection. Ranging from 1945 to the present day, they provide an important insight into the modern world. Inspirational speeches by Winston Churchill, Mikhail Gorbachev, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama and many others are supplemented with biographies of each speaker, as well an exploration of their words' significance and an historical account of the consequences of their oratory. This is a history of the recent and contemporary world told through the speeches that shaped it.

  • Radclyffe Hall was born in 1880 in Bournemouth in a house inappropriately named 'Sunny Lawn'. Her mother drank gin in an attempt to terminate the pregnancy, and her father fled the family home. At the mercy of a violent mother and sexually abusive stepfather, her life changed when at the age of eighteen she inherited her father's estate of £100,000. She was free to travel, pursue women and write - most notably The Well of Loneliness, her famous novel about 'congenital inverts', which was declared 'inherently obscene' by the Home Secretary and banned. In this brilliantly written, witty and satirical biography Diana Souhami brings a fresh and irreverent eye to the life of this intriguing and troubled woman.

  • Miss Sofia Eastleigh, beautiful daughter of the Prince of Dalmia, in left in the charge of James, Baron Blackwood, for her own protection. But she makes it clear that protection is not the only thing she desires from him... This dutiful Scottish guard knows the dangers of distraction, and while the enemies of the Prince live, he must resist her temptations. Unless, of course, he can find a way to keep the princess out of trouble while enjoying the pleasures she has to offer him... b

  • Following on from the highly successful 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know, author Joanne Baker consolidates the foundation concepts of physics and moves on to present clear explanations of the most cutting-edge area of science: quantum physics. With 50 concise chapters covering complex theories and their advanced applications - from string theory to black holes, and quarks to quantum computing - alongside informative two-colour illustrations, this book presents key ideas in straightforward, bite-sized chunks. Ideal for the layperson, this book will challenge the way you understand the world. The ideas explored include: Theory of relativity; Schrödinger's cat; Nuclear forces: fission and fusion; Antimatter; Superconductivity.

  • Anglais The Moment

    Dyer Claire

    Paddington station, nine a.m., rush hour. As the crowds ebb and flow, time suddenly stands still for two people: Fern and Elliott, ex-lovers who parted twenty-five years before and never expected to see each other again. But here they are, face to face, and the connection is as powerful as it was the day they first met. Their lives have moved on - to marriage, children and divorce - yet neither has stopped regretting the day that drove them apart. Fern gives Elliott her number and they tentatively arrange to meet again that evening when both will be travelling back through the station. And, as the day ticks on, and the memories resurface, both Fern and Elliott reflect on the past. As their emotions go round in circles, so does the Paddington clock, counting down the minutes to eight p.m. - and the moment the future is in their hands.

  • One morning a librarian finds a reader who has been locked in overnight. She starts to talk to him, a one-way conversation that soon gathers pace as an outpouring of frustrations, observations and anguishes...

  • As a child, Agnes Grey dreamed of the perfect friend to ease her loneliness: a doll that would talk to her, tell her stories, share her secrets. Only her aunt Marjorie seemed to really understand. Something of an outcast herself, she told Agnes she'd had just such a doll when she was a child. She called it her pillow friend. So when Agnes receives her very own pillow friend - an old-fashioned porcelain doll painted to look like an old-world gentleman - she's certain her dreams have come true. And so they have - but in ways that Agnes could never have imagined. For as the line between fantasy and reality blurs, Agnes discovers that every dream has its price and every desire must be paid for...

  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tokas were the talk of pre-war Paris. Photographed by Cecil Beaton and Man Ray, painted by Picasso and written about by Hemingway, they were at the heart of Parisian cultural and literary life. Alice, convinced that Gertrude was a genius, cooked for her, typed her manuscripts and fought to obtain the fame she was convinced Gertrude was due. Alice said Gertrude was the happiest person she had ever known, and was besotted with her for the many years they were together. They were indomitable, charismatic, and wildly eccentric, driving around in 'Auntie', their Ford, with Basket, their cherished poodle. In Gertrude and Alice, award-winning writer Diana Souhami brings these two extraordinary women, and the fascinating world in which they moved, to vivid life.

  • An evil puppet master and his flotilla of fiends reacquaint two reformed souls with the demons they thought they had defeated. Hello Mr Bones forms half of Hello and Goodbye: two dark tales from two deceased narrators - bottled-lightning treats that will make you gasp, gurn, shiver and squirm. Its sister title is Goodbye Mr Rat.

  • What if the logic of the world reflected the bizarre logic of the unconscious? Each story in My Pathology explores the insanity just below the surface of normal life, especially the madness that unites and divides the sexes. A woman's obsession with her younger sister's nocturnal activities centers uneasily upon the attic of their shared home, where someone or something has built a room-sized nest. A man's desire to connect with aliens threatens his ability to form human relationships. And in the title story, a modern-day alchemist has enlisted sexuality itself into his quest for the philosopher's stone, with uncertain consequences for the women who love him. By turns disturbing and compelling, these sixteen multi-faceted tales reprise the career of one of SF's most emotionally insightful writers.

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