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Posts Tagged "book review"

Compound Eye

Naskrecki’s “Relics” argues for a conservation ethic rooted in evolutionary history

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Piotr Naskrecki’s new book Relics is not easy to read. Physically, I mean. I have wanted to review this book for some time. After all, Piotr Naskrecki is a leading conservation photographer & katydid biologist, and I loved Naskrecki’s last book The Smaller Majority. But I had to concentrate hard to stay focused on the text. The [...]

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Context and Variation

Dead Crickets Cannot Sing at All: A Paleofantastical Review

“The first thing you have to do to study 4,000-year-old DNA is take off your clothes.” Marlene Zuk’s new book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live begins in classic science-writer style. This provocative line pulls the reader into a world where Science Happens, but in a way that isn’t [...]

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Critical Opalescence

Amanda Gefter’s Ultimate Reality Party

Last night I had the pleasure of going to Amanda Gefter’s book party, celebrating the release of Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn. I first got to know Gefter a decade ago when she audaciously contacted Sci Am to pitch her first-ever science story, and I followed her later career at New Scientist with admiration. But nothing [...]

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Culturing Science

Age of Miracles: What If Climate Change Were Sped Up?

"Age of Miracles" using the slowing of the earth's rotation as a stand-in for climate change.

Sometimes it frustrates me that we feel the effects of climate change so slowly, if at all. It’s not that I’m an apocalypse-monger, dreaming of mass hysteria induced by floods and droughts, shortages of food and fuel. Rather, I worry about people’s incredible ability to acclimate: to let changes go unnoticed, as long as they’re [...]

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Food Matters

Book Review: The Diet Fix–Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work

the diet fix cover

  The Diet Fix: why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work, by Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is available March 4, 2014. It starts with a prescription for chocolate. Clearly this is not your average diet book. Over nearly ten years and thousands of hours working with patients with weight management issues at his Bariatric Medical [...]

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Guest Blog

Book Review: The Future of Water

The Future of Water: A Startling Look Ahead, by Steve Maxwell, with Scott Yates, Published in 2011 by the American Water Works Association, Denver Colo., ISBN 978-1-58321-809-9 Full disclosure: I answered an open e-mail solicitation for reviewers of this new book and received a review copy for free in exchange for my promise of a [...]

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Guest Blog

Review: How the Internet is being used to hijack medical science for fear and profit

In his new book, Tabloid Medicine: How The Internet Is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit, Robert Goldberg, PhD, explains why the Internet is a double-edged sword when it comes to health information. On the one hand, the Web can empower people with quality medical information that can help them make [...]

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Illusion Chasers

Neuroscience in Fiction: Crux, by Ramez Naam

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Crux (Angry Robot Books) is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure. It combines the very highest level of neuroscientific reality with plausible neuroscience fiction that is very well thought through.

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Molecules to Medicine

Book Review: The Breast Cancer Checklist

This is “Breast Cancer Awareness” month, the much-hyped recognition of a serious problem that we should be conscious of throughout the year. The associated “pink ribbon” campaign sometimes feels akin to a “Hallmark holiday” sales gimmick, rather than recognition of the pain of breast cancer and need for further research. Carmen Gonzalez just had a [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Understanding medical news – “Between the Lines”

First, a confession—I’m a mathphobe, traumatized by growing up in a family skewed with an overabundance of math genes for whom math skills came as naturally as breathing.  I always got confused, and thought it was “sadistics,” not “statistics.” So it was with a bit of hesitation that I tentatively began Between the Lines (BTL), [...]

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Oscillator

Creation and Synthetic Biology: Book Review

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What is the origin of life on Earth? What is the future of life in the age of synthetic biology? These are two of the biggest questions of contemporary biology, and the questions that drive Adam Rutherford’s new book, Creation: How Science is Reinventing Life Itself, a compelling and accessible two-part look through the history [...]

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PsiVid

Using Videos to Promote a Science Themed Book

Video is everywhere, and it turns out that the book publishing industry and authors know to get readers, they simply must have a video of some sort out there! There are several different ways to promote a science book on video. One way is to put up a talk given on the topic of the [...]

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Roots of Unity

Really Big Numbers (Book Review)

Really Big Numbers by Richard Schwartz, will be published by the American Mathematical Society on July 3, 2014.

“Now and then we pluck numbers from the blur…numbers which have no names except the ones we might now give them…souvenirs from alien, unknowable worlds.” -Really Big Numbers by Richard Evan Schwartz Really Big Numbers by Richard Schwartz, a mathematician at Brown University, is the first children’s book published by the American Mathematical Society. (Disclosure: [...]

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Roots of Unity

How Not to Be Wrong (Book Review)

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press.

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press. How Not to Be Wrong, the first popular math book by University of Wisconsin-Madison math professor Jordan Ellenberg, just hit the shelves. In addition to a Ph.D. in math, Ellenberg has an MFA in creative writing and has been writing about math [...]

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Symbiartic

Dinosaurs in Broad Daylight: The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi

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Back in 2012 I described paleoartist Julius Csotonyi as a Paleoart Rockstar. The title certainly fits: few illustrators today can make a living image-making full-time, especially in the sciences. If The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi: Dinosaurs, Sabre-Tooths and Beyond (Titan Books) is any indication, Csotonyi is not only surviving, he is thriving. This book is [...]

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Symbiartic

Unveiling The Universe Within

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Almost five years ago to the day, Neil Shubin’s first book (and my first foray into illustrating popular non-fiction), Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body debuted. It was by all accounts hugely successful, far exceeding the publisher’s sales expectations in the first few months and going into multiple [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The Animal Lover’s Gift Guide

“Two chimps had been shut out of their shelter by mistake during a cold rain storm. They were standing dejected, water streaming down their shivering bodies, when Professor Köhler chanced to pass.” Upon opening the door for the two chimps, Dr. James Leuba recounts, “instead of scampering in without more ado, as many a child [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Gathering Emotional Intelligence: My Review of Animal Wise

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My review of Virginia Morell’s latest book Animal Wise is in this summer’s issue of Conservation Magazine, and is also now online. It was just after six o’clock in the evening on an autumn day in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve. A researcher watched a female elephant known as Eleanor collapse. She was a matriarch, an [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Human Superpowers: The Vision Revolution by Mark Changizi [Book Review]

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If Mark Changizi (web, blog, twitter, G+) is right, you don’t have to go see The Avengers in theaters to be impressed by superheroes and their super abilities. Instead, just consider the human eye. That’s right: your visual system contains superhuman powers! X-ray vision? No problem. Color telepathy? Sure. The ability to see into the [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Book Review: Babel’s Dawn

Babel’s Dawn, a book that grew out of a blog about the natural history of speech, is probably not like any other book you’ve read. That’s because it’s not really a book about the natural history of speech: it’s a book about a (fictitious) museum that tells the story about the natural history of speech. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Book Review: How I Killed Pluto by Mike Brown

Mike Brown always wanted to discover a planet. On August 25, 2006, Mike Brown killed Pluto. Well, the truth is Pluto had been killed long before, but it wasn’t until August 25 that the International Astronomical Union met, in Prague, to have the official vote. And it wasn’t until August 25 that the press conference [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Book Review: Mireya Mayor’s “Pink Boots and a Machete”

As a child – okay, even still as an adult – I couldn’t get enough of adventure stories with animals at the center, whether in text or on the screen. Jack London’s Call of the Wild comes to mind, or Disney’s The Jungle Book. More recently, books like Bonobo Handshake, by Vanessa Woods (see my [...]

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