All science begins with questions... - Why is the night sky black, even though it's full of stars? - How do pebbles skim on water? - Why doesn't your own snoring wake you up? - And why is the Large Hadron Collider so ... er ... large? And as these intriguing, imaginative and occasionally bonkers questions and answers drawn from New Scientist magazine's archives show: question everything and you might find your way to amazing, unexpected insights into our minds, bodies and the universe, and the science behind the scenes that keeps them ticking.As you would expect from New Scientist, this is top-flight science at its most accessible, unpredictable and entertaining. This latest mind-bending addition to the No. 1 bestselling series will fascinate 'Last Word' fans and new readers alike.
For you to be here today reading this requires a mind-boggling series of lucky breaks, starting with the Big Bang and ending in your own conception. So it's not surprising that we persist in thinking that we're in with a chance, whether we're playing the lottery or working out the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life. In Chance, a (not entirely) random selection of the New Scientist's sharpest minds provide fascinating insights into luck, randomness, risk and probability. From the secrets of coincidence to placing the perfect bet, the science of random number generation to the surprisingly haphazard decisions of criminal juries, it explores these and many other tantalising questions.Following on from the bestselling Nothing and Question Everything, this book will open your eyes to the weird and wonderful world of chance - and help you see when some things, in fact, aren't random at all.
How to Fossilise Your Hamster
How can you measure the speed of light with chocolate and a microwave? Why do yo-yos yo-yo? Why does urine smell so peculiar after eating asparagus (includes helpful recipe)? How long does it take to digest different types of food? What is going on when you drop mentos in to cola? 100 wonderful, intriguing and entertaining scientific experiments which show scientific principles first hand - this is science at its most popular.
How to Make a Tornado
Science tells us grand things about the universe: how fast light travels, and why stones fall to earth. But scientific endeavour goes far beyond these obvious foundations. There are some fields we don't often hear about because they are so specialised, or turn out to be dead ends. Yet researchers have given hallucinogenic drugs to blind people (seriously), tried to weigh the soul as it departs the body and planned to blast a new Panama Canal with atomic weapons.Real scientific breakthroughs sometimes come out of the most surprising and unpromising work. How to Make a Tornado is about the margins of science - not the research down tried-and-tested routes, but some of its zanier and more brilliant by-ways. Investigating everything from what it's like to die, to exploding trousers and recycled urine, this book is a reminder that science is intensely creative and often very amusing - and when their minds run free, scientists can fire the imagination like nobody else.
By Jo McMillan
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit meets Goodbye Lenin.'I hadn't expected the Berlin Wall to be clean and white and smooth. It looked more like the edge of the swimming baths than the edge of the Cold War. On the grass of No-man's Land, fat rabbits ate and strolled about as if they'd never been hunted and nothing could disturb them. This was their land and they ruled it, and there were three parts to Berlin: East, West and Rabbit.'It is 1978, Jess is thirteen and she already has a reputation - as the daughter of the only communist in town. But then, it's in the blood. The Mitchells have been in the Party since the Party began. Jess and her mother Eleanor struggle to sell socialism to Tamworth - a sleepy Midlands town that just doesn't want to know.So when Eleanor is invited to spend a summer teaching in East Germany, she and Jess leap at the chance to see what the future looks like. On the other side of the Iron Curtain they turn from villains into heroes. And when Eleanor meets widower Peter and his daughter, Martina, a new, more peaceful life seems possible.But the Cold War has no time for love and soon the trouble starts. Peter is dispatched for two years of solidarity work in Laos. Friends become enemies, and Jess discovers how easy it is to switch sides, and how sides can be switched for you, sometimes without you even knowing.Motherland is a tender mother-daughter story and a tragi-comic portrait of a childhood overcome with belief. It's about loss of faith and loss of innocence, and what it's like to grow up on the losing side of history.
Flood of Fire
By Amitav Ghosh
The thrilling climax to the Ibis trilogy that began with the phenomenal Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies.It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war. One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband's wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China's devastating defeat, to Britain's seizure of Hong Kong.Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
By John Julius Norwich
'Sicily is the key to everything' Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The author of the classic book on Venice turns his sights to Sicily in this beautiful book full of maps and colour photographs.'I discovered Sicily almost by mistake . . .We drove as far as Naples, then put the car on the night ferry to Palermo. There was a degree of excitement in the early hours when we passed Stromboli, emitting a rich glow every half-minute or so like an ogre puffing on an immense cigar; and a few hours later, in the early morning sunshine, we sailed into the Conca d'Oro, the Golden Shell, in which the city lies. Apart from the beauty of the setting, I remember being instantly struck by a change in atmosphere. The Strait of Messina is only a couple of miles across and the island is politically part of Italy; yet somehow one feels that one has entered a different world . . . This book is, among other things, an attempt to analyse why this should be.' The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all - and yet has properly been part of none. John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this book is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean's largest island. This vivid short history covers everything from erupting volcanoes to the assassination of Byzantine emperors, from Nelson's affair with Emma Hamilton to Garibaldi and the rise of the Mafia. Taking in the key buildings and towns, and packed with fascinating stories and unforgettable characters, Sicily is the book he was born to write.
Calm the F*ck Down
By Sasha O'Hara
Sometimes, after a long hard day, you just need to f*cking relax. To sit back and colour the things you can't say.Calm the F*ck Down is the perfect way to unwind and release your own beautiful smartass. Enjoy these irreverent yet beautiful adult colouring pages. Then sit back and sigh 'hell yeah' for a job well done.These single-sided colouring pages range from moderate to highly detailed in complexity. Images include abstract designs, animals and people, each with its own sassy quip like 'Home is Where the Vodka Is', 'Suck it Up, Buttercup', 'Carpe F*cking Diem', and other humorous, subversive sayings.CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE. NOT INTENDED FOR CHILDREN.
By Andrew Michael Hurley
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER. WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD. THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016.A brilliantly unsettling and atmospheric debut full of unnerving horror - 'The Loney is not just good, it's great. It's an amazing piece of fiction' Stephen KingTwo brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector.Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure.In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end . . .Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother's care.But then the child's body is found.And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.'This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill' Observer'A masterful excursion into terror' The Sunday Times
Black Box Thinking
By Matthew Syed
The Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller From the Bestselling Author of BounceWhat links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google?What links Team Sky and the aviation industry?What connects James Dyson and David Beckham?They are all Black Box Thinkers.Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us.Drawing on a dizzying array of case studies and real-world examples, together with cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity and grit, Matthew Syed tells the inside story of how success really happens - and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.
No Better Friend
By Robert Weintraub
An extraordinary tale of the remarkable bond between one man and his dog during the Second World War.The two friends huddled close together, each of them the other's saving grace in a world gone to hell . . . There was nothing terribly unusual about POWs suffering horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors. All across the Pacific theatre, Allied captives were experiencing similar punishment. But there was one thing unusual about this particular duo of prisoners.One of them was a dog.Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own. Using a wealth of new material including interviews with those who knew Frank and Judy, letters and firsthand accounts, Robert Weintraub expertly weaves a narrative of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances. Judy's devotion to the men she was interned with, including a host of characters from all around the world, from Australia to the UK, was so powerful that reports indicate she might have been the only dog spared in these camps - and their care for her helped keep them alive. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war's only official canine POW, and after she died at the age of fourteen, Frank couldn't bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story of friendship and survival is one of the great sagas of World War II.
The Moth Snowstorm
By Michael McCarthy
A great, rhapsodic, urgent book full of joy, grief, rage and love . . . A must-read' Helen Macdonald, author of H is for HawkNature has many gifts for us, but perhaps the greatest of them all is joy; the intense delight we can take in the natural world, in its beauty, in the wonder it can offer us, in the peace it can provide - feelings stemming ultimately from our own unbreakable links to nature, which mean that we cannot be fully human if we are separate from it. In The Moth Snowstorm Michael McCarthy, one of Britain's leading writers on the environment, proposes this joy as a defence of a natural world which is ever more threatened, and which, he argues, is inadequately served by the two defences put forward hitherto: sustainable development and the recognition of ecosystem services.Drawing on a wealth of memorable experiences from a lifetime of watching and thinking about wildlife and natural landscapes, The Moth Snowstorm not only presents a new way of looking at the world around us, but effortlessly blends with it a remarkable and moving memoir of childhood trauma from which love of the natural world emerged. It is a powerful, timely, and wholly original book which comes at a time when nature has never needed it more.
The Invention of Nature
By Andrea Wulf
WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARDWINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2016'A thrilling adventure story' Bill Bryson'Dazzling' Literary Review 'Brilliant' Sunday Express'Extraordinary and gripping' New Scientist'A superb biography' The Economist'An exhilarating armchair voyage' GILES MILTON, Mail on Sunday 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: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.