In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music – its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it – and the human brain.
Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
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Thomas Edison’s greatest invention? His own fame.
At the height of his fame Thomas Alva Edison was hailed as “the Napoleon of invention” and blazed in the public imagination as a virtual demigod. Starting with the first public demonstrations of the phonograph in 1878 and extending through the development of incandescent light and the first motion picture cameras, Edison’s name became emblematic of all the wonder and promise of the emerging age of technological marvels.
The Wizard of Menlo Park reveals not only how Edison worked, but how he managed his own fame, becoming the first great celebrity of the modern age.
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Although we usually think of technology as something unique to modern times, our ancestors began to create the first technologies millions of years ago in the form of prehistoric tools and weapons. Over time, eight key technologies gradually freed us from the limitations of our animal origins.
The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa. Symbolic communication transformed human evolution from a slow biological process into a fast cultural process. The invention of agriculture revolutionized the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the technologies of interaction led to the birth of civilization. Precision machinery spawned the industrial revolution and the rise of nation-states; and in the next metamorphosis, digital technologies may well unite all of humanity for the benefit of future generations.
Unbound explains both how we got here and how human society must be transformed again to achieve a sustainable future. Buy it today for $1.99.
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Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Through her unique understanding of dogs’ intelligence, sensitivity, and extrasensory skills, Arnold has developed an exemplary training method that is based on kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary.
Stories from Arnold’s life and the lives of the dogs who were her greatest teachers provide convincing and compelling testimony to her choice teaching method and make Through a Dog’s Eyes an unforgettable book that will forever change your relationship with your dog.
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Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a fish? Or a parrot, dolphin, or an elephant? Do they experience thoughts that are similar to ours, or have feelings of grief and love? These are tough questions, but scientists are answering them. They know that ants teach and rats love to be tickled. They’ve discovered that dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice their songs in their sleep. But how do scientists know these things?
Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals and among the pioneering researchers who are leading the way into once-uncharted territory of the animal mind. Buy this book today for only $1.99.
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Since its invention in 1759, a mariner’s most prized possession has been the sextant. A navigation tool that measures the angle between a celestial object and the horizon, the sextant allowed sailors to pinpoint their exact location at sea.
David Barrie chronicles the sextant’s development and shows how it not only saved the lives of navigators in wild and dangerous seas, but played a pivotal role in their ability to map the globe. He synthesizes centuries of seafaring history and the daring sailors who have become legend, including James Cook, Matthew Flinders, Robert Fitz-Roy, Frank Worsley of the Endurance, and Joshua Slocum, the redoubtable old “lunarian” and first single-handed-round-the-world yachtsman. He also recounts his own maiden voyage, and insights gleaned from his experiences as a practiced seaman and navigator.
Full of heroism, danger, and excitement, told with an infectious sense of wonder, Sextant offers a new look at a masterful achievement that changed the course of history. Buy this book for only $1.99 today.
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Today, the pressure to achieve is intense. To be at our best, we need our minds working at peak potential. But unless you train it, your mind stays on autopilot, stuck in unhealthy thought patterns that lead to self-sabotaging habits and behaviors. As with your body, you have to exercise your mind to get the most out of it.
Sebastian Bailey and Octavius Black, founders of Mind Gym, help you change your mental default settings through a series of “workouts” that have been tested and experienced by more than one million people from around the world and from companies such as Google, NBCUniversal, Shell, Pfizer, and PepsiCo. This hands-on guide presents a fitness program for the mind that tackles the most common challenges at work and home.
Insightful, proven, and practical, Mind Gym is the essential mental workout that will wake up your mind and help you be your best in life. Buy it today for only $1.99.
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“You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with,” writes Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi. “You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story. No prospect in self-care is more exciting.”
For decades medical science has believed that genes determined our biological destiny. Now the new genetics has changed that assumption forever. You will always have the genes you were born with, but genes are dynamic, responding to everything we think, say, and do. Suddenly they’ve become our strongest allies for personal transformation. When you make lifestyle choices that optimize how your genes behave, you can reach for a state of health and fulfillment undreamed of even a decade ago. The impact on prevention, immunity, diet, aging, and chronic disorders is unparalleled.
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“Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep, so beware, beware,” goes the chorus of an old sailors’ sing-along that celebrates the allure and danger of the seafaring life. But make no mistake–there truly is much to beware for those who are drawn to risk their lives and seek their fortunes upon the waves. And perhaps none take more chances than the men and women who brave the tempestuous, bountiful waters of the Bering Sea.
If you’ve watched their exploits on TV’s Deadliest Catch, you’ve only scratched the surface. To read Time Bandit is to step into their skins, smell the sea air, feel the frigid wind, and know with all your senses the exhilarating, and terrifying life on the edge.
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Albert Einstein’s brain floats in a Tupperware bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark barreling across America. Driving the car is journalist Michael Paterniti. Sitting next to him is an eighty-four-year-old pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955 — then simply removed the brain and took it home. And kept it for over forty years.
On a cold February day, the two men and the brain leave New Jersey and light out on I-70 for sunny California, where Einstein’s perplexed granddaughter, Evelyn, awaits. And riding along as the imaginary fourth passenger is Einstein himself, an id-driven genius, the original galactic slacker with his head in the stars. Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, and part meditation, Driving Mr. Albert is one of the most unique road trips in modern literature.
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