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Breakpoint
Jeff Stibel
Why the internet won’t last forever. It’s easy to assume the internet will always be around, but Jeff Stibel applies his expertise in understanding networks to prove that that isn’t the case. By drawing parallels between the brain and the internet, Stibel demonstrates that the two have more in common than we think and that it may be possible to link the commonalities between virtual and neurological networks to create a better system.
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15 minutes
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Conscious
Annaka Harris
A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind. What is consciousness? Generally, you likely think of consciousness as what it means to be human. It is only human nature, however, to take the experience of being in the world for granted. After all, why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we even able to think about consciousness? Even more so, why should we? Throughout Consciousness, author Annaka Harris will guide you through what consciousness is, where it came from, and whether or not being conscious is a key element in human behavior. As we continue to understand more about consciousness, the harder it becomes to define, and in the age of artificial intelligence, it becomes even harder to determine who or what might possess it. As you read, you’ll learn how plants and trees are more complex than we might think, what we can learn from LSD, and what split-brain patients can teach us about consciousness.
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19 minutes
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Cosmos
Carl Sagan
Unlock the mysteries of the universe. Have you ever paused for a moment to ponder the complexities of the universe? Or wondered what it would be like to understand what’s really going on up there? Carl Sagan’s revolutionary expose of the cosmos seeks to answer those questions and more. By unpacking the concepts which characterize our understanding of the universe and our place in it, Sagan takes you on an unparalleled intergalactic journey.
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16 minutes
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Genius
James Gleick
Richard Feynman might not be a household name, but he’s still a name you need to know! Genius (2011) explores Feynman’s life and contributions to the field of theoretical physics. When you think of the word “genius,” whose name comes to mind? Most people think of Albert Einstein — and with good reason. There’s no doubt about it: Einstein’s inventions and discoveries forever changed the future of science. However, as a result of his notoriety, Einstein has eclipsed some other notable scientists, all but erasing them from our memory. And that’s why Genius was written. James Gleick writes to connect us with the story of Richard Feynman, a theoretical physicist whose own contributions paved the way for the future of modern science. Over the course of this summary, we’ll explore his life and discoveries and what we can learn from them.
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14 minutes
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How to Lie With Statistics
Darrell Huff
Learn to Identify How Companies Use Statistics to Deceive and Manipulate the Public Today our news is bombarded with statistical information. We are given averages, percentages, and more, and are simply expected to trust these numbers without question. H.G. Wells understood the importance of understanding this information by stating, “Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.” Unfortunately, many in society don’t have a strong sense of statistical thinking, and writers take advantage of this by using the necessary vocabulary and numbers to dupe their readers. At first glance, numbers seem credible and trustworthy, but if you take a deeper look, you might find that there is more than meets the eye. Throughout How to Lie With Statistics, Darrell Huff shares the tricks writers use in statistics to their advantage. As you read, you’ll learn when it is statistically safest to drive, how to create the best sample in a study, and why counting all the beans is simply too hard.
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22 minutes
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Meet Your Happy Chemicals
Loretta Graziano Breuning
Learn about the science of happiness. Happiness might be a feeling, but have you ever thought about what causes it? This accessible expose, pioneered by author and physician Loretta Graziano Breuning, unpacks the science of happiness and the chemicals which bring us joy. Follow along with Breuning’s research as she unpacks the four major “happy chemicals”: dopamine, endorphin, oxytocin, and serotonin.
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16 minutes
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Moody Bitches
Julie Holland
If you’ve ever wanted a roadmap to the inner workings of the female brain, Moody Bitches (2015) is your new travel guide! Documented with wit and wisdom by Dr. Julie Holland, Moody Bitches is an in-depth examination of the hormonal fluctuations and biological processes which make women unique and wonderful. By exploring such topics as your menstrual cycle’s impact on your mental health and the reason sex is vital for a healthy life, Holland demonstrates why a nuanced understanding of the female body and its hormones is crucial for the development of every woman’s health and relationships.
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20 minutes
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Moon
Ben Moore
Learn about the past, present, and future discoveries about the earth’s Moon. Beginning with the space race between the USSR and the USA, humans all over the world have been captivated by the Moon. As Armstrong took his first steps on the surface, people watched in awe as they wondered about the possibilities that would come afterward. And once the Apollo mission returned to Earth, scientists quickly researched all they could about Earth’s neighboring celestial object. The world waited in anticipation for the findings of their research. Those findings have largely shaped what we know about the Moon today; however, now it seems as if the research and interest have come to a standstill. Do people still get excited about the Moon? While you may think that we’ve simply moved past this phase in history, lunar exploration is only just beginning. Today, private companies and space agencies all over the world are returning their focus to the Moon. So what does the future have in store? Will you and your family be taking vacations to the Moon in the future? Will people be living there someday? As the scientific community begins to research more about the future of the Moon, it’s the perfect time to spark your interest in the Moon again. As you read, you’ll learn about the space race between the USA and the USSR, what it was like for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to walk on the Moon, and whether or not a holiday to the Moon is in your near future.
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23 minutes
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Moore’s Law
Arnold Thackray, David Brock, Rachel Jones
Learn about Gordon Moore, the brain behind Moore’s Law, and how he revolutionized the electronics and computing industry. When you think of top entrepreneurs in the tech industry, who do you think of? Perhaps your mind goes to Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates. While these men have certainly been influential in creating some of the world’s most revolutionary products and ideas, there is just one person that has been at the center of it all. That person is a quiet Californian named Gordon Moore. A co-founder of Fairchild and Intel, Moore was at the forefront of two of the most influential companies. As a young chemist, Moore had the insight to predict that, one day, electronics would be profoundly cheap and immensely powerful, even doubling in power and then doubling again at a particular rate. This is now recognized as “Moore’s Law” which has revolutionized the tech industry. For instance, remember when computers were once enormous and clunky with limited capabilities? Today, computers are everywhere, including inside the human body and even on the surface of Mars. The era we live in today is all, in part, due to Gordon Moore’s work in Silicon Valley and the transformative technologies that are developed there. Throughout Moore’s Law, you’ll learn how a childhood in making bombs led to a career in chemistry as well as the ins and outs of the technology boom that started it all in the 1950s.
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24 minutes
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My Stroke of Insight
Jill Bolte Taylor
A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. If you’ve ever experienced a sudden revelation or an epiphany, then you might understand the power a sudden realization can have on your outlook on life. This is exactly what happened to Jill Bolte Taylor on December 10, 1996, at just 37-years-old. Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As a result of the stroke, Bolte Taylor’s mind deteriorated and she quickly lost her ability to walk, talk, read, write, or even recall any of her life. In a matter of four hours, Bolte Taylor’s life was changed forever. Soon, however, Bolte Taylor was alternating between the right brain and left brain, allowing herself to uncover feelings of euphoria and well-being that the average person doesn’t often have the power to access. The stroke allowed Bolte Taylor to experience the different traits of the two halves of the brain, and she believes with the proper training, inner peace can be accessible to anyone. As you read, you’ll learn the ins and outs of what occurs during a stroke, the incredible differences between the right and left brain hemispheres, and how Bolte Taylor was able to make a full recovery after suffering a rare stroke.
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32 minutes
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