Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story
by Jim Holt Publisher Comments
Tackling the “darkest question in all of philosophy” with “raffish erudition” (Dwight Garner, New York Times), author Jim Holt explores the greatest metaphysical mystery of all: why is there something rather than nothing? This... (read more)
Remarkably, estimates are that eight out of every ten children born in America today will never know "what it means." That is, 80 percent will never know a night dark enough that they can see the Milky Way.
Remarkable and depressing. The End of Night follows author Paul Bogard as he travels the world to discover the pernicious effects of our overdependence on artificial lighting. Our compulsive need to illuminate the night has had many unintended and deleterious consequences for both our own well-being and that of our nonhuman neighbors. Despite there being "no statistically significant evidence that street lighting impacts the level of crime," we persist in our need to eradicate not only the perceived (but nearly nonexistent) threat of post-dusk violence, but also the latent fear that underlies our dis-ease with the darkness and mystery of the evening and early morning hours in general.
Bogard visits foreign and domestic cities, national parks, observatories, workplaces, suburbs, and rural areas to interview a host of both experts and laypeople on light pollution and related subjects. Much of the information he uncovers is rather disturbing, especially the effects on wildlife and personal health (including a possible causal link with cancer). As places throughout the world free from an excess of artificial light continue to dwindle, our connection with the natural world — and our inherent wonder and awe of the night sky's beauty — becomes increasingly threatened.
There is considerable intrigue to be found throughout The End of Night, both scientific and philosophical. A chapter on darkness, melancholia, and death is particularly poignant and moving; however, some portions of the book rely too heavily on anecdote that trends close to tedium. Nonetheless, Bogard's book is, overall, a fascinating probe into an overlit new age of human existence and the ramifications thereof. The End of Night makes clear that it's more than a mere view of the stars above that we've forsaken when we overlight (and improperly light) cities, streets, roads, parking lots, landmarks, and homes. Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com
Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space
by Lynn Sherr Publisher Comments
The definitive biography of Sally Ride, Americaand#8217;s first woman in space, with exclusive insights from Rideand#8217;s family and partner, by the ABC reporter who covered NASA during its transformation from a test-pilot boysand#8217; club to a more... (read more)
The Grand Design
by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow Publisher Comments
#1 New York Times Bestseller When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion — or does science... (read more)
by Carl Sagan Publisher Comments
The best-selling science book ever published in the England language, COSMOS is a magnificent overview of the past, present, and future of science. Brilliant and provocative, it traces today's knowledge and scientific methods to their historical roots... (read more)
The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew
by Alan Lightman Publisher Comments
From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams and Mr g, a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos. With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet... (read more)
The Moon Almanac
by Kim Long Publisher Comments
Your Complete Guide to Moon Facts and Sights in 2012!The first of its kind, The 2012 Moon Almanac packs essential information on all things lunar into one handy annual reference. With this almanac, you’ll have at your fingertips: ● The rising... (read more)
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