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The Rock From Mars – Kathy Sawyer

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The Rock From Mars

A True Detective Story on Two Planets

Kathy Sawyer

Genre: Astronomy

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: February 14, 2006

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


In this riveting book, acclaimed journalist Kathy Sawyer reveals the deepest mysteries of space and some of the most disturbing truths on Earth. The Rock from Mars is the story of how two planets and the spheres of politics and science all collided at the end of the twentieth century. It began sixteen million years ago. An asteroid crashing into Mars sent fragments flying into space and, eons later, one was pulled by the Earth’s gravity onto an icy wilderness near the southern pole. There, in 1984, a geologist named Roberta Score spotted it, launching it on a roundabout path to fame and controversy. In its new home at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the rock languished on a shelf for nine years, a victim of mistaken identity. Then, in 1993, the geochemist Donald “Duck” Mittlefehldt, unmasked the rock as a Martian meteorite. Before long, specialist Chris Romanek detected signs of once-living organisms on the meteorite. And the obscure rock became a rock star. But how did nine respected investigators come to make such startling claims about the rock that they triggered one of the most venomous scientific battles in modern memory? The narrative traces the steps that led to this risky move and follows the rippling impact on the scientists’ lives, the future of space exploration, the search for life on Mars, and the struggle to understand the origins of life on Earth. From the second the story broke in Science magazine in 1996, it spawned waves of excitement, envy, competitive zeal, and calculation. In academia, in government agencies, in laboratories around the world, and even in the Oval Office–where an inquisitive President Clinton had received the news in secret– players of all kinds plotted their next moves. Among them: David McKay, the dynamic geologist associated with the first moon landing, who labored to achieve at long last a second success; Bill Schopf of UCLA, a researcher determined to remain at the top of his field and the first to challenge McKay’s claims; Dan Goldin, the boss of NASA; and Dick Morris, the controversial presidential adviser who wanted to use the story for Clinton’s reelection and unfortunately made sure it ended up in the diary of a $200-an-hour call girl. Impeccably researched and thrillingly involving, Kathy Sawyer’s The Rock from Mars is an exemplary work of modern nonfiction, a vivid account of the all-too-human high-stakes drive to learn our true place in the cosmic scheme. From the Hardcover edition.

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The Rock From Mars – Kathy Sawyer

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The Genius of Birds – Jennifer Ackerman

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The Genius of Birds

Jennifer Ackerman

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: April 12, 2016

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


An award-winning science writer tours the globe to reveal what makes birds capable of such extraordinary feats of mental prowess   Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds , acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. At once personal yet scientific, richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.

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The Genius of Birds – Jennifer Ackerman

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Why Dinosaurs Matter – Kenneth Lacovara

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Why Dinosaurs Matter

Kenneth Lacovara

Genre: Nature

Price: $7.99

Publish Date: September 19, 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/ TED

Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.


What can long-dead dinosaurs teach us about our future? Plenty, according to paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, who has discovered some of the largest creatures to ever walk the Earth. By tapping into the ubiquitous wonder that dinosaurs inspire, Lacovara weaves together the stories of our geological awakening, of humanity’s epic struggle to understand the nature of deep time, the meaning of fossils, and our own place on the vast and bountiful tree of life. Go on a journey––back to when dinosaurs ruled the Earth––to discover how dinosaurs achieved feats unparalleled by any other group of animals. Learn the secrets of how paleontologists find fossils, and explore quirky, but profound questions, such as: Is a penguin a dinosaur? And, how are the tiny arms of T. rex the key to its power and ferocity? In this revealing book, Lacovara offers the latest ideas about the shocking and calamitous death of the dinosaurs and ties their vulnerabilities to our own. Why Dinosaurs Matter is compelling and engaging—a great reminder that our place on this planet is both precarious and potentially fleeting. “As we move into an uncertain environmental future, it has never been more important to understand the past.”

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Why Dinosaurs Matter – Kenneth Lacovara

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Foraging – Mark Vorderbruggen PhD

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Foraging

Mark Vorderbruggen PhD

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: April 12, 2016

Publisher: DK Publishing

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


Foraged delicacies have become the latest foodie obsession. Wild edibles collected by professional foragers are proliferating on the plates of top-tier restaurants because they offer novel and ultra-fresh sensations for the tongue, and they frequently taste more flavorful than farmed foods. For people seeking new food experiences and wanting to forage for themselves, Idiot's Guides: Foraging shows how to find wild edibles and when and how to harvest them. Includes 30+ tasty recipes that describe how to prepare these wild foods. * Includes common plants all across North America * Covers positive plant identification * Multiple large, full-color photos identify each plant (including the mature plant, how it looks at various stages of growth, and how it looks at the right stage of growth for harvesting) * Each entry gives facts on the plant's habitat, physical properties, which parts are edible, harvesting sustainability, preparation, storage, and poisonous look-alikes * More than 30 delicious recipes * Includes range maps and charts that list plants by habitat and by season

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Foraging – Mark Vorderbruggen PhD

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The Science of Everyday Life – Len Fisher

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The Science of Everyday Life

An Entertaining and Enlightening Examination of Everything We Do and Everything We See

Len Fisher

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: May 1, 2011

Publisher: Arcade Publishing

Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC


Scientists are in the business of trying to understand the world. Exploring commonplace phenomena, they have uncovered some of nature’s deepest laws. We can in turn apply these laws to our own lives, to better grasp and enhance our performance in daily activities as varied as cooking, home improvement, sports—even dunking a doughnut! This book makes the science of the familiar a key to opening the door for those who want to know what scientists do, why they do it, and how they go about it. Following the routine of a normal day, from coffee and breakfast to shopping, household chores, sports, a drink, supper, and a bath, we see how the seemingly mundane can provide insight into the most profound scientific questions. Some of the topics included are the art and science of dunking; how to boil an egg; how to tally a supermarket bill; the science behind hand tools; catching a ball or throwing a boomerang; the secrets of haute cuisine, bath (or beer) foam; and the physics of sex. Fisher writes with great authority and a light touch, giving us an entertaining and accessible look at the science behind our daily activities.

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The Science of Everyday Life – Len Fisher

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The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum

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The Evolution of Beauty

How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us

Richard O. Prum

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: May 9, 2017

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?      Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change.     Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.      The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

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The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum

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The Hacking of the American Mind – Robert H. Lustig

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The Hacking of the American Mind

The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

Robert H. Lustig

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $13.99

Expected Publish Date: September 12, 2017

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


"Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts." —David Perlmutter, MD, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller,  Grain Brain  and  Brain Maker The New York Times –bestselling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease.   While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance , Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover.             Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape.             With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.

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The Hacking of the American Mind – Robert H. Lustig

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We Rise – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

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We Rise

The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $11.99

Publish Date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Rodale Inc.

Seller: Rodale Inc.


Challenge the status quo, change the face of activism, and confront climate change head on with the ultimate blueprint for taking action. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a 16-year-old climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful new voice on the front lines of a global youth-led movement. He and his group the Earth Guardians believe that today’s youth will play an important role in shaping our future. They know that the choices made right now will have a lasting impact on the world of tomorrow, and people–young and old–are asking themselves what they can do to ensure a positive, just, and sustainable future. We Rise tells these stories and addresses the solutions. Beginning with the empowering story of the Earth Guardians and how Xiuhtezcatl has become a voice for his generation, We Rise explores many aspects of effective activism and provides step-by-step information on how to start and join solution-oriented movements. With conversations between Xiuhtezcatl and well-known activists, revolutionaries, and celebrities, practical advice for living a more sustainable lifestyle, and ideas and tools for building resilient communities, We Rise is an action guide on how to face the biggest problems of today, including climate change, fossil fuel extraction, and industrial agriculture. If you are interested in creating real and tangible change, We Rise will give you the inspiration and information you need to do your part in making the world a better place and leave you asking, what kind of legacy do I want to leave?

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We Rise – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

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How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival – David Kaiser

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How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival

David Kaiser

Genre: History

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: June 27, 2011

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


"Meticulously researched and unapologetically romantic, How the Hippies Saved Physics makes the history of science fun again." —Science In the 1970s, an eccentric group of physicists in Berkeley, California, banded together to explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the "Fundamental Fysiks Group," they pursued an audacious, speculative approach to physics, studying quantum entanglement in terms of Eastern mysticism and psychic mind reading. As David Kaiser reveals, these unlikely heroes spun modern physics in a new direction, forcing mainstream physicists to pay attention to the strange but exciting underpinnings of quantum theory.

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How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival – David Kaiser

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Quakeland – Kathryn Miles

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Quakeland

On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

Kathryn Miles

Genre: Nature

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: August 29, 2017

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


A journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters. It’s a road trip full of surprises.   Earthquakes. You need to worry about them only if you’re in San Francisco, right? Wrong. We have been making enormous changes to subterranean America, and Mother Earth, as always, has been making some of her own. . . . The consequences for our real estate, our civil engineering, and our communities will be huge because they will include earthquakes most of us do not expect and cannot imagine—at least not without reading Quakeland . Kathryn Miles descends into mines in the Northwest, dissects Mississippi levee engineering studies, uncovers the horrific risks of an earthquake in the Northeast, and interviews the seismologists, structual engineers, and emergency managers around the country who are addressing this ground shaking threat. As Miles relates, the era of human-induced earthquakes began in 1962 in Colorado after millions of gallons of chemical-weapon waste was pumped underground in the Rockies. More than 1,500 quakes over the following seven years resulted. The Department of Energy plans to dump spent nuclear rods in the same way. Evidence of fracking’s seismological impact continues to mount. . . . Humans as well as fault lines built our “quakeland”. What will happen when Memphis, home of FedEx's 1.5-million-packages-a-day hub, goes offline as a result of an earthquake along the unstable Reelfoot Fault? FEMA has estimated that a modest 7.0 magnitude quake (twenty of these happen per year around the world) along the Wasatch Fault under Salt Lake City would put a $33 billion dent in our economy. When the Fukushima  reactor melted down, tens of thousands were displaced. If New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant blows, ten million people will be displaced. How would that evacuation even begin? Kathryn Miles’ tour of our land is as fascinating and frightening as it is irresistibly compelling.

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Quakeland – Kathryn Miles

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