Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Highlighting some newish books/DVDS in the Rhodes Library

Higgs Force takes a new approach to contemporary physics, and makes notoriously difficult material accessible and approachable, very readable and entertaining. --Tony Mann, President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics

A delightfully readable and accessible account of the search for the force which ensures that there is something rather than nothing in the Universe. --John Gribbin

Every so often, physics gets sexy. The Big Bang and black holes regularly grab the headlines, and, more recently, something else has become the latest scientific superstar the God Particle. Higgs Force aims to do for the Higgs boson what Stephen Hawking did for the black hole. --Guru Magazine

.. succeeds in clearly conveying the key concepts in this vast field without ever becoming a tedious read and I would be surprised if it does not quickly shoot to the top of undergraduate reading lists. It would also make a welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone already active in the field either as a quick reference book or a broad refresher on subjects outside their speciality. Highly recommended." - Casey Bryce, reviewer, Astrobiology Society of Britain
The wonders of physics / Andrey Varlamov, Lev Aslamazov
"This ability to understand many different things using very few fundamental principles and a rational reasoning lies in the heart of physics, great science about fundamental laws of Nature. Very few authors are able to speak about these fundamentals to the laymen. The authors of this book can. Read the book and enjoy it." -- Prof D E Khmelnitskii, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK

"This is an informal, charming, and idiosyncratic book with a strongly personal choice of topics. Overall, a well-written, engaging text covering both nonstandard and appropriate subjects." -- CHOICE

Global environmental history : an introductory reader / edited by John R. McNeill and Alan Roe
"In Global Environmental History, John McNeill and Alan Roe have put together a stimulating ‘canon’ of great readings. Together they explore many of the key themes in the emerging interdisciplinary field of environmental history, which explores past relations between people and environments historically, geographically, ecologically and through following many other disciplinary paths as well. The ‘global synthesis’ will ultimately need the understandings of many scales – global, regional and local – and the readings are organised in a way that considers the insights from each. There will, we hope be more such anthologies to follow. This one is a pioneering collection for an exciting intellectual endeavour."  - Libby Robin, Australian National University, Australia

Big data : a revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think / Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier.
Financial Times Business Book of the Year Finalist
“Illuminating and very timely . . . a fascinating — and sometimes alarming — survey of big data’s growing effect on just about everything: business, government, science and medicine, privacy, and even on the way we think."  —New York Times

Atomic Mumbai : living with the radiance of a thousand suns / Raminder Kaur.
Raminder Kaur gives us a brilliant and compelling account of Mumbai as the maximum atomic city. She leads us through the myriad pathways of nuclear lifeworlds with which she is intimately familiar, illuminating the aspirations, anxieties, desires, and nightmares that saturate everyday existence. Incarnated as science and religion, the material and immaterial, and both poison and cure, Kaur provides a memorable and vividly realised analysis of a key element in the imaginary of modern India. — Christopher Pinney, Department of Anthropology, University College London

A journey in the history of water [DVD] / screenwriter and host, Terje Tvedt ; produced and directed by Terje Dale.
    Tells the story of how the struggle for fresh water has shaped human society, bringing the viewer to about 20 countries all over the world and showing how people have coped with what is societies' lifeblood - water.

Antarctica : global science from a frozen continent / edited by David W. H. Walton
 "This is an excellent review of key multidisciplinary collaborative research and geopolitics in Antarctica involving more than 30 countries, addressing global issues in climate, oceans, biodiversity, solar system, tourism and more. Of importance to contemporary society, it is a valued compendium." - Alan K. Cooper, Consulting Professor, Stanford University and recipient of the second SCAR medal for International Scientific Coordination
"Antarctica is a conundrum. It is distant, yet it will shape our children's future; it is mysterious, yet a treasure trove for science; it is the focus of calculated geopolitical interest, yet the exemplar of 'world governance'. In this well-presented and readable book, the world's leading experts on Antarctic science showcase why the uninhabited seventh continent is central to the present and future of human interests and wellbeing." - Professor Chris Rapley CBE, University College London; former Director of British Antarctic Survey and former President of SCAR

Penguins : natural history and conservation / edited by Pablo Garcia Borboroglu and P. Dee Boersma.
"This is an essential book for those who love penguins. Each of the world's 17 penguin species is beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs of the birds in their natural habitat. Detailed charts, graphs and tables help present interesting and useful information about each species." -Fritz Brock, Wildlife Activist, No. 74, Autumn 2013
Relentless evolution / John N. Thompson. 
In Relentless Evolution, John N. Thompson explores why adaptive evolution never ceases and why natural selection acts on species in so many different ways. Thompson presents a view of life in which ongoing evolution is essential and inevitable. Each chapter focuses on one of the major problems in adaptive evolution: How fast is evolution? How strong is natural selection? How do species co-opt the genomes of other species as they adapt? Why does adaptive evolution sometimes lead to more, rather than less, genetic variation within populations? How does the process of adaptation drive the evolution of new species? How does coevolution among species continually reshape the web of life? And, more generally, how are our views of adaptive evolution changing? 

The flame of Miletus : the birth of science in ancient Greece (and how it changed the world) / John Freely.
"This is a magnificent book, covering an extraordinary range of topics and a vast sweep of time. John Freely has lived, written, and taught in Greece, Turkey, and Italy for a lifetime, and this experience has given him the rare ability to tell complex stories in a lucid and engaging manner. This is a book everyone should have." – John Camp, Professor of Archaeology, ASCS, Athens Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Classics, Randolph-Macon College

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