The enthralling biography of the shepherd boy who changed the world with his revolutionary engineering and whose genius we still benefit from today. Thomas Telford's name is familiar, his story less so. Thomas was born in 1757 in the Scottish Borders; his father died in Thomas' infancy, plunging the family into poverty. Telford's life soared to span almost eight decades of gloriously obsessive, prodigiously productive energy. Few people have done more to shape our nation.
I hate every wave of the ocean', the seasick Charles Darwin wrote to his family during his five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. It was this world-wide journey, however, that launched the scientists career.
"You'll never get bored!"
In little more than half a decade, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects, even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.
"Interesting and informative"
When Peter Piot was in medical school, a professor warned, "There's no future in infectious diseases. They've all been solved." Fortunately, Piot ignored him, and the result has been an exceptional, adventure-filled career. In the 1970s, as a young man, Piot was sent to Central Africa as part of a team tasked with identifying a grisly new virus. Crossing into the quarantine zone on the most dangerous missions, he studied local customs to determine how this disease - the Ebola virus - was spreading. Later, Piot found himself in the field again when another mysterious epidemic broke out: AIDS.
"An interesting book but"
Three years ago, 32-year-old Markus "Notch" Persson of Stockholm was an unknown and bored computer programmer. Today, he is a multi-millionaire international icon. Minecraft, the "virtual Lego" game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact.It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in.
Alan Mathison Turing. Mathematician, philosopher, codebreaker, a founder of computer science, and the father of Artificial Intelligence, Turing was one of the most original thinkers of the last century - and the man whose work helped create the computer-driven world we now inhabit. But he was also an enigmatic figure, deeply reticent yet also strikingly naive. Turing's openness about his homosexuality at a time when it was an imprisonable offense ultimately led to his untimely death at the age of only 41.
"Short but succinct and intriguing"
In My Life as a Quant, Emanuel Derman relives his exciting journey as one of the first high-energy particle physicists to migrate to Wall Street. Derman details his adventures in this fieldanalyzing the incompatible personas of traders and quants, and discussing the dissimilar nature of knowledge in physics and finance. Throughout this tale, he also reflects on the appropriate way to apply the refined methods of physics to the hurly-burly world of markets.
"Quirky but thoughtful"
Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the 20th century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America's first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius.
"Interesting, lots of things I did not know"
By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.
"This is truly science :)"
All the Rave reveals the family betrayal, greed, and mismanagement that hijacked one the most fundamental innovations of the Internet era.
Named one of the three best books of 2003 by Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., All the Rave has been out of print until now and unavailable in most electronic formats. Author and veteran technology journalist Joseph Menn also wrote 2010's Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords who are Bringing Down the Internet.
Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and best-selling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals - also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the he chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.
Pioneering oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer unravels the mystery of marine currents, uncovers the astonishing story of flotsam, and changes the world's view of trash, the ocean, and our global environment. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is no ordinary scientist. He's been a consulting oceanographer for multinational firms and a lead scientist on international research expeditions, but he's never held a conventional academic appointment.
"I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer," John Muir wrote. "Civilization and fever and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me has not dimmed my glacial eye, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. My own special self is nothing". In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is fully explored as is his extraordinary ability, then and now, to get others to see the sacred beauty of the natural world.
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature,"
Inspired by his nearly-deaf mother and a father who developed a "visible alphabet" of all the possible sounds a human being can make, Alexander Graham Bell spent the greater part of his life trying to improve the way people communicated with one another. It was this desire that led him to create his most famous invention, the telephone, and turned him into one of the most well-known names of all time.
Lester R. Brown, whom the Washington Post praised as "one of the world's most influential thinkers," built his understanding of global environmental issues from the ground up. Brown spent his childhood working on the family's small farm. His entrepreneurial skills surfaced early. Even while excelling in school, he launched with his younger brother a tomato-growing operation that by 1958 was producing 1.5 million pounds of tomatoes.
In 1610, Galileo published the Siderius nuncius, or Starry Messenger, a "hurried little masterpiece" in John Heilbron's words. Presenting to the world his remarkable observations using the recently invented telescope, Galileo dramatically challenged our idea of the perfection of the heavens and the centrality of the Earth in the universe. Indeed, the appearance of the little book is regarded as one of the great moments in the history of science.
A true scientific pause-resister that traces a remarkable scientific breakthrough (the isolation of endorphins in the brain) as dedicated scientists race - not only with their fellow scientists - but against time and the profit hungry giant pharmaceutical companies. This audiobook chronicles the fascinating discovery of endorphins, the body's natural painkiller.
Alan Turing was an extraordinary man who crammed into a life of only 42 years the careers of mathematician, codebreaker, computer scientist and biologist. He is widely regarded as a war hero grossly mistreated by his unappreciative country, and it has become hard to disentangle the real man from the story. It is easy to cast him as a misfit, the stereotypical professor.
"Accessible Turing biography."
An unabashed original, John Horton Conway is Archimedes, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and Richard Feynman all rolled into one - a singular mathematician with a rock star's charisma, a sly sense of humor, a polymath's promiscuous curiosity, and a burning desire to explain everything about the world to everyone in it. Born in Liverpool in 1937, Conway found fame as a barefoot Cambridge professor.
"A mathematics student's review."
From the acclaimed author of The Nobel Prize comes this fascinating portrait of four of the greatest minds in the history of science and the impossible turning point they faced. As World War II wound down, and it became increasingly clear that the Allies would emerge victorious, Albert Einstein invited three close friends - all titans of contemporary science and philosophy - to his home at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, New Jersey, to discuss what they loved best: science and philosophy.
South African-born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey, Jr. The personal tale of Musk's life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story.
"Great insight into Musk's worldview"
In 1957, four years before his death, Carl Gustav Jung, psychiatrist and psychologist, began writing his life story. But what started as an exercise in autobiography soon morphed into an altogether more profound undertaking.
"'Two souls in his breast'"
In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Walter Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, this is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
"A fascinating insight into a flawed genius"
With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast; there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story.
"Seems to tie together not only science, but history too. Fascinating"
Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history - Doom and Quake - until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry.
"A must read for 90s gamers"
In this compelling memoir, Jane Hawking relates the inside story of her extraordinary marriage. As Stephen's academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of motor neurone disease, and Jane's candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family is inspirational. This is a book about optimism, love and change that will resonate with listeners everywhere.
Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA's Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race.
"Interesting for the enthusiast"
No Stone Unturned recreates the genesis of NecroSearch International: a small ,eclectic group of scientists and law enforcement personal, active and retired, who volunteer their services to help locate the clandestine graves of murder victims and recover the remains and evidence to assist with the apprehension and conviction of the killers.
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.
We all think we know who Steve Jobs was, what made him tick, and what made him succeed. Yet the single most important question about him has never been answered. The young, impulsive, egotistical genius was ousted in the mid-'80s from the company he founded, exiled from his own kingdom and cast into the wilderness. Yet he returned a decade later to transform the ailing Apple into the most successful company the world had ever seen.
"Compared to Isaacson's biog? Maybe not. Read on..."
Anthony Stevens argues that Jung's visionary powers and profound spirituality have helped many to find an alternative set of values to the arid materialism prevailing Western society.
In An Appetite for Wonder Richard Dawkins brought us his engaging memoir of the first 35 years of his life from early childhood in Africa to publication of The Selfish Gene in 1976, when he shot to fame as one of the most exciting new scientists of his generation. In Brief Candle in the Dark he continues his autobiography, following the threads that have run through the second half of his life so far and homing in on the key individuals, institutions and ideas that inspired and motivated him.
"Fascinating incites, evolution, science and Oxford"
John Nash was a mathematician teetering on the brink of international acclaim, but he fell instead into madness. Saved by the love of a beautiful woman and the loyalty of the mathematics community, he went on to win a Nobel Prize and worldwide fame. This is his true story - and a new film starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.
"A Wonderful Story"
La biografía definitiva de Steve Jobs, el fundador de Apple, escrita con su colaboración.Tras más de cuarenta entrevistas con Steve Jobs y con un centenar de personas de su entorno, familiares, amigos, adversarios y colegas, esta es la biografía definitiva de uno de los iconos indiscutibles de nuestro tiempo, del genio cuya creatividad, energía y perfeccionismo revolucionaron seis industrias: informática, películas de animación, música, teléfonos, tabletas y edición digital.Cuando el mundo buscaba cómo construir las bases de una economía digital, Jobs fue un símbolo de la inventiva.