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review 2017-07-02 10:41
The Goldilocks Planet: The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate by Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams
The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate - Mark Williams,Jan Zalasiewicz

TITLE:  The Goldilocks Planet:  The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate


AUTHOR:  Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  978-0-19-968350-5




The Goldilocks Planet:  The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate takes a look at the Earth's climate from the planet's formation to the current age and then takes a look at what our future climate might have in store for us. In short, the book contents are as described on the "box".


In this book, the authors reconstruct and describe how the Earth's climate has continuously altered over its 4.5 billion-year history.  The story can be read from clues preserved in the Earth's strata, in fossils, in ancient air samples, in mineral samples, extinction events etc.  The book describes how changes in the global and regional climate range from bitterly cold to sweltering hot, from arid to humid, and they have impacted enormously upon the planet's evolving animal and plant communities, and upon its physical landscapes of the Earth.  However, in spite of this, the Earth has remained consistently habitable for life for over three billion years - in stark contrast to its planetary neighbours.  Not too hot, not too cold; not too dry, not too wet, it is aptly known as 'the Goldilocks planet'.

This book is wonderfully written!  And so interesting!  Minimal personal anecdotes, not too much biographical detail (just enough to be interesting) and lots of lovely, juicy science - all explained to be easily understandable but not simplified to be completely useless.  The authors have also included numerous helpful diagrams and graphs.  I wouldn't call this a popular science book, but it isn't a text book either.  I wish more science books were written like this book.


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review 2017-05-22 00:00
Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence
Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence - Thalma Lobel Q:
В этой книге я проведу вас по миру ощущений и расскажу, как сенсорный опыт воздействует на наши мыслительные процессы, которые мы полагаем рациональными, и на наши решения, которые мы считаем независимыми. Я объясню, почему тепло временно делает нас более дружелюбными, а красный цвет может повредить нам на экзамене. Я продемонстрирую, как две точки, поставленные рядом на координатной плоскости, заставляют нас ощутить более тесную эмоциональную связь с объектом, а резюме, прикрепленное к тяжелому планшету, усиливает впечатление о профессионализме подателя. Я покажу, что запах чистоты (например, жидкости для мытья окон) способствует более нравственному поведению, в то время как душ перед экзаменом может усилить тягу к списыванию и обману.
Эта книга – о том, как внешние стимулы влияют на внутреннее восприятие. Невидимые раздражители, с которыми мы незаметно для себя взаимодействуем в окружающем мире, могут заставить нас потерять сон, провалить экзамен или влюбиться.
Теория воплощенного познания.
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review 2016-11-23 05:38
The Quantum Age by Brian Clegg
The Quantum Age: How the Physics of the Very Small has Transformed Our Lives - Brian Clegg

Brain Clegg has written an interesting, if somewhat light, look at the origins, nature and uses of quantum physics.  Easy to read and understand.

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review 2016-08-14 18:41
Atoms Under the Floorboards by Chris Woodford
Atoms Under the Floorboards: The Surprising Science Hidden in Your Home - Chris Woodford

The first two chapters started off slowly, but the book gained momentum and became a joy to read.  This is a well-written and interesting book that discusses the physics behind everyday objects and occurrences, such as why wool keeps you warm; how detergents work; how toilets work; fluid dynamics; the science of cooking; cooling and heating; how digital camera's and music work; how light; radio and cell phones work; squeaky floors and elastics; glass and why we can see through windows; metal alloys and stainless steel; how glue works; fuel and transport; and why buildings don't fall down.  

Too bad there weren't any equations and a bit of maths.  On the other hand, the author did provide many black and white diagrams to illustrate certain key concepts.  As an additional "bonus", the author discusses the science and keeps any personal waffling to a minute minimum (for which this reader is entirely grateful).

This would make a good book for the interested general reader, teenager or even scientist who may not be familiar with everything covered in this book.  The material in this book is not over-overwhelmingly complicated, but not simplified into uselessness.  The author also includes addition reading matter suitable for the general public.  


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