Thing Explainer

Thing Explainer
Available:
Author: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,Randall Munroe
Pages: 64
ISBN: 0544668251
Release: 2015-11-24
Editor: Unknown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Have you ever tried to learn more about some incredible thing, only to be frustrated by incomprehensible jargon? Randall Munroe is here to help. In Thing Explainer, he uses line drawings and only the thousand (or, rather, "ten hundred") most common words to provide simple explanations for some of the most interesting stuff there is, including: food-heating radio boxes (microwaves) tall roads (bridges) computer buildings (datacenters) the shared space house (the International Space Station) the other worlds around the sun (the solar system) the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates) the pieces everything is made of (the periodic table) planes with turning wings (helicopters) boxes that make clothes smell better (washers and dryers) the bags of stuff inside you (cells) How do these things work? Where do they come from? What would life be like without them? And what would happen if we opened them up, heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and so many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone--age 5 to 105--who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

Thing Explainer

Thing Explainer
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 61
ISBN: 1473637317
Release: 2017-10-05
Editor: John Murray

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro. It's good to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it's much more interesting to know what they do. Richard Feynman once said that if you can't explain something to a first-year student, you don't really get it. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe takes a quantum leap past this: he explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 (or the ten hundred) most common words. Many of the things we use every day - like our food-heating radio boxes ('microwaves'), our very tall roads ('bridges'), and our computer rooms ('datacentres') - are strange to us. So are the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells). Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and many, many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone -- age 5 to 105 -- who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

Thing Explainer

Thing Explainer
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 64
ISBN: 9781473620926
Release: 2015-11-24
Editor: Hachette UK

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro. It's good to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it's much more interesting to know what they do. Richard Feynman once said that if you can't explain something to a first-year student, you don't really get it. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe takes a quantum leap past this: he explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 (or the ten hundred) most common words. Many of the things we use every day - like our food-heating radio boxes ('microwaves'), our very tall roads ('bridges'), and our computer rooms ('datacentres') - are strange to us. So are the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells). Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and many, many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone -- age 5 to 105 -- who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

Xkcd

Xkcd
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 120
ISBN: PSU:000066832737
Release: 2010-08
Editor: Breadpig Incorporated

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Presents personal selections and fan favorites from the online comic.

What If

What If
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780544272996
Release: 2014-09-02
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The creator of the incredibly popular webcomic xkcd presents his heavily researched answers to his fans' oddest questions, including “What if I took a swim in a spent-nuclear-fuel pool?” and “Could you build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns?” 100,000 first printing.

How To

How To
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 304
ISBN: 1473680344
Release: 2020-09-03
Editor: John Murray Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Randall Munroe is . . .'Nerd royalty' Ben Goldacre 'Totally brilliant' Tim Harford 'Laugh-out-loud funny' Bill Gates 'Wonderful' Neil Gaiman AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you're a baby boomer or a millennial by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the moon. And if you want to get rid of this book once you're done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapour, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth's mantle, or launching it into the sun. By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn't just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, he invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.

Heidegger Explained

Heidegger Explained
Available:
Author: Graham Harman
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9780812697483
Release: 2011-04-15
Editor: Open Court

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Heidegger Explained is a clear and thorough summary of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (1889–1976). It gives a fascinating explanation of all stages of Heidegger’s life and career, and shows his entire philosophy to emerge from one simple but profound insight. Many philosophers believe that Heidegger was the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. His influence has long been felt not just in philosophy, but also in such fields as art, architecture, and literary studies. Yet the great difficulty of Heidegger’s terminology has often scared away interested readers lacking an academic background in philosophy. Author Graham Harman shows that Heidegger is actually one of the simplest and clearest of thinkers. All the diverse topics of his writings, and all the lengthy analyses he gives of past philosophers, boil down to a single powerful idea: being is not presence. In any human relation with the world, our thinking and even our acting do not fully exhaust the world. Something more always withdraws from our grasp. Neither being itself nor individual beings are ever fully “present-at-hand,” in Heidegger’s terminology. This single insight allows Heidegger to revolutionize the phenomenology of his teacher Edmund Husserl. The method of Husserl was to focus entirely on how things present themselves to us as phenomena in consciousness. Heidegger understood that the things are always partly hidden from consciousness, living a secret life of their own. Human beings are not lucid scientific observers staring at the world and describing it, but instead are thrown into a world where light is always mixed with shadow. For Heidegger, the entire history of philosophy has reduced being to some sort of presence, whether by defining it as atoms, consciousness, perfect forms, the will to power, or even God. In this way, past philosophers have all chosen one specific kind of privileged being to represent being itself. Yet this is impossible, since being always partly withdraws from any attempt to define it. For this reason, philosophy needs to make a new beginning, one that would be just as great as the first beginning in ancient Greece. The book ends by shedding new light on Heidegger’s concept of the fourfold, which is so notoriously difficult that most commentators avoid it altogether.

Why We re Polarized

Why We re Polarized
Available:
Author: Ezra Klein
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781476700397
Release: 2020-01-28
Editor: Simon and Schuster

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller shows us that America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: it’s working exactly as designed. In this “superbly researched” (The Washington Post) and timely book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us—and how we are polarizing it—with disastrous results. “The American political system—which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president—is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face,” writes political analyst Ezra Klein. “We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole.” “A thoughtful, clear and persuasive analysis” (The New York Times Book Review), Why We’re Polarized reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America’s descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump’s rise to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together. Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis. “Well worth reading” (New York magazine), this is an “eye-opening” (O, The Oprah Magazine) book that will change how you look at politics—and perhaps at yourself.

Thing Explainer

Thing Explainer
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 329
ISBN: 1635613108
Release: 2015-11-24
Editor: Unknown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

How To

How To
Available:
Author: Randall Munroe
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780525537106
Release: 2019-09-03
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “How To will make you laugh as you learn…With How To, you can't help but appreciate the glorious complexity of our universe and the amazing breadth of humanity's effort to comprehend it. If you want some lightweight edification, you won't go wrong with How To.” —CNET “[How To] has science and jokes in it, so 10/10 can recommend.” —Simone Giertz The world's most entertaining and useless self-help guide from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you're a baby boomer or a 90's kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and powering your house by destroying the fabric of space-time. And if you want to get rid of the book once you're done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth's mantle, or launching it into the Sun. By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn't just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, Munroe invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and fun illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done
Available:
Author: David Allen
Pages: 267
ISBN: 0142000280
Release: 2001
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

ALLEN/GETTING THINGS DONE

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You
Available:
Author: Janelle Shane
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780316525237
Release: 2019-11-05
Editor: Voracious

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

As heard on NPR's "Science Friday," discover the book recommended by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant: an "accessible, informative, and hilarious" introduction to the weird and wonderful world of artificial intelligence (Ryan North). "You look like a thing and I love you" is one of the best pickup lines ever . . . according to an artificial intelligence trained by scientist Janelle Shane, creator of the popular blog AI Weirdness. She creates silly AIs that learn how to name paint colors, create the best recipes, and even flirt (badly) with humans—all to understand the technology that governs so much of our daily lives. We rely on AI every day for recommendations, for translations, and to put cat ears on our selfie videos. We also trust AI with matters of life and death, on the road and in our hospitals. But how smart is AI really... and how does it solve problems, understand humans, and even drive self-driving cars? Shane delivers the answers to every AI question you've ever asked, and some you definitely haven't. Like, how can a computer design the perfect sandwich? What does robot-generated Harry Potter fan-fiction look like? And is the world's best Halloween costume really "Vampire Hog Bride"? In this smart, often hilarious introduction to the most interesting science of our time, Shane shows how these programs learn, fail, and adapt—and how they reflect the best and worst of humanity. You Look Like a Thing and I Love You is the perfect book for anyone curious about what the robots in our lives are thinking. "I can't think of a better way to learn about artificial intelligence, and I've never had so much fun along the way." —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung
Available:
Author: Tse-tung Mao,Zedong Mao
Pages: 311
ISBN: 083512388X
Release: 1990
Editor: China Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Adventures in the Anthropocene

Adventures in the Anthropocene
Available:
Author: Gaia Vince
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781448128020
Release: 2014-07-03
Editor: Random House

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

** Winner of Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2015 ** We live in epoch-making times. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.6 billion-year history. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing into the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans. Gaia Vince decided to travel the world at the start of this new age to see what life is really like for the people on the frontline of the planet we’ve made. From artificial glaciers in the Himalayas to painted mountains in Peru, electrified reefs in the Maldives to garbage islands in the Caribbean, Gaia found people doing the most extraordinary things to solve the problems that we ourselves have created. These stories show what the Anthropocene means for all of us – and they illuminate how we might engineer Earth for our future.

Money

Money
Available:
Author: Jacob Goldstein
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780316417181
Release: 2020-09-08
Editor: Hachette Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The co-host of the popular NPR podcast Planet Money provides a well-researched, entertaining, somewhat irreverent look at how money is a made-up thing that has evolved over time to suit humanity's changing needs. Money only works because we all agree to believe in it. In Money, Jacob Goldstein shows how money is a useful fiction that has shaped societies for thousands of years, from the rise of coins in ancient Greece to the first stock market in Amsterdam to the emergence of shadow banking in the 21st century. At the heart of the story are the fringe thinkers and world leaders who reimagined money. Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor, created paper money backed by nothing, centuries before it appeared in the west. John Law, a professional gambler and convicted murderer, brought modern money to France (and destroyed the country's economy). The cypherpunks, a group of radical libertarian computer programmers, paved the way for bitcoin. One thing they all realized: what counts as money (and what doesn't) is the result of choices we make, and those choices have a profound effect on who gets more stuff and who gets less, who gets to take risks when times are good, and who gets screwed when things go bad. Lively, accessible, and full of interesting details (like the 43-pound copper coins that 17th-century Swedes carried strapped to their backs), Money is the story of the choices that gave us money as we know it today.

Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest
Available:
Author: David Foster Wallace
Pages: 1104
ISBN: 9780316073851
Release: 2009-04-13
Editor: Back Bay Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do. "The next step in fiction...Edgy, accurate, and darkly witty...Think Beckett, think Pynchon, think Gaddis. Think." --Sven Birkerts, The Atlantic

Machine of Death

Machine of Death
Available:
Author: Ryan North,Matthew Bennardo,David Malki
Pages: 452
ISBN: 9780982167120
Release: 2010
Editor: Machines of Death LLC

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Presents fantasy stories written by Internet authors that explore how people, cultures, and societies are affected by the predictions of the Machine, an object that provides short yet vague phrases about how a person will die.

How to Be an Antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist
Available:
Author: Ibram X. Kendi
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780525509295
Release: 2019-08-13
Editor: One World

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves. “The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”—The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • NPR • The Washington Post • Shelf Awareness • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society. Praise for How to Be an Antiracist “Ibram X. Kendi’s new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’ ”—NPR “Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.”—Time

Sometimes I Lie

Sometimes I Lie
Available:
Author: Alice Feeney
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781250144836
Release: 2018-03-13
Editor: Flatiron Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 1. I’m in a coma. 2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie. Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?

The Science Book

The Science Book
Available:
Author: DK
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781465439277
Release: 2015-02-02
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Discover 80 trail-blazing scientific ideas, which underpin our modern world, giving us everything from antibiotics to gene therapy, electricity to space rockets and batteries to smart phones. What is string theory or black holes? And who discovered gravity and radiation? The Science Book presents the fascinating story behind these and other of the world's most important concepts in maths, chemistry, physics and biology in plain English, with easy to grasp "mind maps" and eye-catching artworks. Albert Einstein once quoted Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Follow context panels in The Science Book to trace how one scientist's ideas informed the next. See, for example, how Alan Turing's "universal computing machine" in the 1940s led to smart phones, or how Carl Linnaeus's classifications led to Darwin's theory of evolution, the sequencing of the human genome and lifesaving gene therapies. Part of the popular Big Ideas series, The Science Book is the perfect way to explore this fascinating subject. Series Overview: Big Ideas Simply Explained series uses creative design and innovative graphics along with straightforward and engaging writing to make complex subjects easier to understand. With over 7 million copies worldwide sold to date, these award-winning books provide just the information needed for students, families, or anyone interested in concise, thought-provoking refreshers on a single subject.