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Posts tagged with "Book"

  • A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data
    Alexander Boxer

    Book

    Highlights from the history of astrology reveal the origins of our quest to find meaning in data

    Alexander Boxer, a professional data scientist, knows a thing or two about distilling patterns from big data. Surrounded by constant, endless streams of information, humans are pattern-matching animals, and astrology, he claims, “is the universe’s grandest pattern-matching game.” Boxer’s new book, A Scheme of Heaven, is an introduction to astrology that offers a handsome primer… Read More
  • The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene
    Jürgen Renn

    Book

    To save society, science should embrace ethical projects

    Can science save humanity? In the face of runaway climate change and massive species extinction, some say that we already know all we need to know to fix these problems: Further research is a distraction and what we need now is action. Others anticipate a feat of technical ingenuity that will catapult us out of… Read More
  • Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games
    Alenda Y. Chang

    Book

    Video games—even those without explicit educational goals—can offer insights into ecology

    When a designer decides to turn his billion-dollar video game into an exercise in sustainable downsizing in Richard Power’s novel The Overstory, another character asks. “How are limits and shortages and permadeath going to be fun?” People playing video games want to level up and accumulate, to monetize social status and trade it. Such hypercapitalist… Read More
  • The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse
    Chris Lintott

    Book

    A physicist reveals how citizen science is reshaping research

    To understand how star formation varies in different galaxies, Chris Lintott and Kevin Schawinski needed to sort elliptical galaxies from spirals. But image recognition software can be costly to produce and needs training data to generate accurate results. The repository they had in mind—the Sloan Digital Sky Survey—included photometric observations of nearly one billion objects… Read More
  • Pure Adulteration: Cheating on Nature in the Age of Manufactured Food
    Benjamin R. Cohen

    Book

    Early adulteration sowed mistrust in the food production system that endures today

    In 15th-century Europe, the record suggests, authorities took food fakery very seriously. A Nuremberg merchant caught adulterating the spice saffron was burned at the stake, and his confederate was buried alive. Of course, the merchant and his colleague should have been aware of the prohibitions against food tampering by then; they had been in place… Read More
  • Silk Roads: Peoples, Cultures, Landscapes
    Susan Whitfield, editor

    Book

    A vividly illustrated tome traces the cultural impacts of the Silk Road

    Between 1271 and 1275, Marco Polo famously explored the overland journey from Europe to Cathay (China). Much later, the route was dubbed “the Silk Road” by German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen, referencing the goods and ideas ferried between the civilizations of Rome and China along the ancient caravan path. Today, the route has a much… Read More
  • Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption
    Alice C. Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz

    Book

    A pair of Obama advisers advocate for proactive climate solutions

    In Building a Resilient Tomorrow, Alice Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz have put together a superb primer on responding to the impacts of climate change. The writing is simple and tight and should appeal to anyone interested in how to prepare for the future of our physical world. Hill is a senior fellow for climate change… Read More
  • Owling: Enter the World of the Mysterious Birds of the Night
    Mark Wilson

    Book

    Owling

    Birds are some of the most accessible wild animals. Observing them requires no special equipment. Although we may hear owls outside as we prepare to slumber, however, few of us see them regularly. Focusing on the biology of these predatory birds, this book is broken into four chapters that are accessible to most ages, although… Read More
  • When Sue Found Sue: Sue Hendrickson Discovers Her T. Rex
    Toni Buzzeo, Illustrated by Diana Sudyka

    Book

    When Sue Found Sue

    For children who constantly fill their pockets with treasures, there is the story of Sue Hendrickson. A child who loved to find things, Hendrickson grew up to discover a skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex. In When Sue Found Sue, we learn that Hendrickson, who was shy and isolated in her early years, had little formal… Read More
  • Moth: An Evolution Story
    Isabel Thomas, Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

    Book

    Moth

    Moth is a storybook illustration of a textbook tale of environmental degradation, then rehabilitation, and the natural selection driven by both. The tale is vividly brought to life in spellbinding watercolor collage renderings of swirling Geometridae and landscapes caked in soot. We learn that peppered moths (Biston betularia) in the United Kingdom had a liking… Read More
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