Recent Science picks – October

Here are a few of the gems that have come across my desk in the last few weeks:

Syndetics book coverBasic math & pre-algebra workbook for dummies / by Mark Zegarelli.
“Whether you need to brush up on the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division or you’re ready to tackle algebraic expressions and equations, this handy workbook will demystify math so you can get back to having fun in math class. Properly use negative numbers, units, inequalities, exponents, square roots, and absolute value; round numbers and estimate answers; solve problems with fractions, decimals, and percentages; complete algebraic expressions and equations – Basic Math and Pre-Algebra Workbook For Dummies takes the guessing out of math and help you discover your problem solving potential.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art and history of globes / Sylvia Sumira.
“From medieval globes made when much of the world was unexplored to the huge, decorative examples made for the princely courts of Renaissance Europe, this book celebrates the art and history of the globe, focusing on the 400 years when the printed globe – as navigational tool, scientific instrument and powerful status symbol – occupied an important place in the history of European exploration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOrganic chemistry I for dummies / by Arthur Winter.
“The easy way to take the confusion out of organic chemistry Organic chemistry has a long-standing reputation as a difficult course. This fun, easy-to-understand guide explains the basic principles of organic chemistry in simple terms, providing insight into the language of organic chemists, the major classes of compounds, and top trouble spots. You’ll also get the nuts and bolts of tackling organic chemistry problems, from knowing where to start to spotting sneaky tricks that professors like to incorporate. Baffled by benzines? Confused by carboxylic acids? Here’s the help you need–in plain English!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow not to be wrong : the hidden maths of everyday life / Jordan Ellenberg.
“The maths we learn in school often seems like a mysterious and impenetrable set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, acclaimed mathematician Jordan Ellenberg shows us just how wrong this view is: in fact, maths touches everything we do, allowing us to see the hidden structures beneath the messy and chaotic surface of our daily lives. It’s a science of not being wrong, worked out through centuries of hard work and argument. Through supremely witty storytelling and wry insight, Ellenberg reveals the mathematician’s method of analyzing life, from the commonplace to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to trust, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe quantum age : how the physics of the very small has transformed our lives / Brian Clegg.
“Quantum theory may be bizarre and inexplicable, but it’s been shown to account for as much as 30 percent of American GDP, as this brilliant new book by science writer extraordinaire Brian Clegg reveals. Clegg, who studied physics at Cambridge University and specializes in making the strangest aspects of the universe accessible to the general reader, explores the Quantum Age, the revolution led by our understanding of the very, very small. Incredible revelations along the way will thrill popular science fans and general readers alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShaping humanity : how science, art, and imagination help us understand our origins / John Gurche.
In this book, internationally renowned paleoartist John Gurche describes the extraordinary process by which he creates forensically accurate and hauntingly realistic representations of our ancient human ancestors. Inspired by a lifelong fascination with all things prehistoric, and gifted with a unique artistic vision, Gurche has studied fossil remains, comparative ape and human anatomy, and forensic reconstruction for over three decades. In Shaping Humanity… he reveals the debates and brainstorming that surround these often controversial depictions, and along the way he enriches our awareness of the various paths of human evolution and humanity’s stunning uniqueness in the history of life on Earth.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe sixth extinction : an unnatural history / Elizabeth Kolbert.The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
“Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth.Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species – including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino – some already gone, others at the point of vanishing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMeteorology manual : the practical guide to the weather / Storm Dunlop.
“This extensively illustrated book will follow the familiar Haynes Manual style, with down-to-earth text, supported by colour diagrams and photographs, including, where appropriate, step-by-step sequences of cloud and weather system formations. There is increasing interest in learning about how weather systems are formed, what causes variations in the weather, and how to study and predict the movement of weather systems to enable weather forecasting, all which can be found in this book.” (Syndetics summary)