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DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD

DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD

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"A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought."

; *Los Angeles Times

"POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing."

; *The Washington Post Book World

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

"COMPELLING."

; *USA Today

"A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity."

; *The Sciences

"PASSIONATE."

; *San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

EATING THE SUN: SMALL MUSINGS

EATING THE SUN: SMALL MUSINGS

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Winner of the 2019 Whirling Prize

"Strong on science but just this side of poetry." --Nature

A beautifully illustrated exploration of the principles, laws, and wonders that rule our universe, our world, and our daily lives, from the New York Times bestselling creator of Lost in Translation

Have you ever found yourself wondering what we might have in common with stars, or why the Moon never leaves us? Thinking about the precise dancing of planets, the passing of time, or the nature of natural things?

Our world is full of unshakable mystery, and although we live in a civilization more complicated than ever, there is simplicity and reassurance to be found in knowing how and why.

From the New York Times bestselling creator of Lost in Translation, Eating the Sun is a delicately existential, beautifully illustrated, and welcoming exploration of the universe--one that examines and marvels at the astonishing principles, laws, and phenomena that we exist alongside, that we sit within.

"[A] lyrical and luminous celebration of science and our consanguinity with the universe. . . . Playful and poignant." --Brain Pickings

EVOLUTION OF USEFUL THINGS

EVOLUTION OF USEFUL THINGS

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Only Henry Petroski, author of The Pencil, could make one never pick up a paper clip again without being overcome with feelings of awe and reverence. In his new book the author examines a host of techno-trivia questions - how the fork got its tines, why Scotch tape is called that, how the paper clip evolved, how the Post-it note came to be, how the zipper was named, why aluminum cans have hollow bottoms - and provides us with answers that both astonish and challenge the imagination. In addition to an extended discussion of knives, forks, spoons, and other common devices, the author explains how the interplay of social and technical factors affects the development and use of such things as plastic bags, fast-food packaging, push-button telephones, and other modern conveniences. Throughout the book familiar objects serve to illustrate the general principles behind the evolution of all products of invention and engineering. Petroski shows, by way of these examples as well as a probing look at the patent process, that the single most important driving force behind technological change is the failure of existing devices to live up to their promise. As shortcomings become evident and articulated, new and "improved" versions of artifacts come into being through long and involved processes variously known as research and development, invention, and engineering. He further demonstrates how the evolving forms of technology generally are altered by our very use of them, and how they, in turn, alter our social and cultural behavior. In this wonderful mixture of history, biography, and design theory, Henry Petroski brings us to an understanding of an essential question: By what mechanism do theshapes and forms of our made world come to be?
FGT CITIZEN SCIENCE

FGT CITIZEN SCIENCE

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Learn how monitoring the night sky, mapping trees, photographing dragonflies, and identifying mushrooms can help save the world!

Citizen science is the public involvement in the discovery of new scientific knowledge. A citizen science project can involve one person or millions of people collaborating towards a common goal. It is an excellent option for anyone looking for ways to get involved and make a difference. The Field Guide to Citizen Science, from the expert team at SciStarter, provides everything you need to get started. You'll learn what citizen science is, how to succeed and stay motivated when you're participating in a project, and how the data is used. The fifty included projects, ranging from climate change to Alzheimer's disease, endangered species to space exploration, mean sure-fire matches for your interests and time. Join the citizen science brigade now, and start making a real difference!

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

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In this accessible volume, first published in 1969, Fuller offers advice on how to guide spaceship earth toward a sustainable future

Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an architect, engineer, geometrician, cartographer, philosopher, futurist, inventor of the famous geodesic dome, and one of the most brilliant thinkers of his time. For more than five decades, he set forth his comprehensive perspective on the world's problems in numerous essays, which offer an illuminating insight into the intellectual universe of this renaissance man. These texts remain surprisingly topical even today, decades after their initial publication. While Fuller wrote the works in the 1960's and 1970's, they could not be more timely: like desperately needed time-capsules of wisdom for the critical moment he foresaw, and in which we find ourselves. Long out of print, they are now being published again, together with commentary by Jaime Snyder, the grandson of Buckminster Fuller. Designed for a new generation of readers, Snyder prepared these editions with supplementary material providing background on the texts, factual updates, and interpretation of his visionary ideas.

Initially published in 1969, and one of Fuller's most popular works, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth is a brilliant synthesis of his world view. In this very accessible volume, Fuller investigates the great challenges facing humanity, and the principles for avoiding extinction and "exercising our option to make it." How will humanity survive? How does automation influence individualization? How can we utilize our resources more effectively to realize our potential to end poverty in this generation? He questions the concept of specialization, calls for a design revolution of innovation, and offers advice on how to guide "spaceship earth" toward a sustainable future.And it Came to Pass - Not to Stay brings together Buckminster Fuller's lyrical and philosophical best, including seven "essays" in a form he called his "ventilated prose", and as always addressing the current global crisis and his predictions for the future. These essays, including "How Little I Know", "What I am Trying to Do", "Soft Revolution", and "Ethics", put the task of ushering in a new era of humanity in the context of "always starting with the universe." In rare form, Fuller elegantly weaves the personal, the playful, the simple, and the profound.

TO ENGINEER IS HUMAN

TO ENGINEER IS HUMAN

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How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s - the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? How did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes that Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed "The Pencil," examines in this engaging, wonderfully literate book. More than a series of fascinating case studies, "To Engineer is Human" is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life.
Weird Earth: Debunking Strange Ideas about Our Planet

Weird Earth: Debunking Strange Ideas about Our Planet

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Aliens. Ley lines. Water dowsing. Conspiracies and myths captivate imaginations and promise mystery and magic. Whether it's arguing about the moon landing hoax or a Frisbee-like Earth drifting through space, when held up to science and critical thinking, these ideas fall flat.
In Weird Earth: Debunking Strange Ideas About Our Planet, Donald R. Prothero demystifies these conspiracies and offers answers to some of humanity's most outlandish questions. Applying his extensive scientific knowledge, Prothero corrects misinformation that con artists and quacks use to hoodwink others about geology--hollow earth, expanding earth, and bizarre earthquakes--and mystical and paranormal happenings--healing crystals, alien landings, and the gates of hell. By deconstructing wild claims such as prophesies of imminent natural disasters, Prothero provides a way for everyone to recognize dubious assertions. Prothero answers these claims with facts, offering historical and scientific context in a light-hearted manner that is accessible to everyone, no matter their background.
With a careful layering of evidence in geology, archaeology, and biblical and historical records, Prothero's Weird Earth examines each conspiracy and myth and leaves no question unanswered.