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December 18, 2017

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Books, Movies & Music : Science

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Library closed Dec. 24 and 25

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24 and Christmas Day, Monday, Dec. 25.

Science

 

This list of recently published works captures science in its many facets. The thought-provoking topics include space exploration, robotics, 3D printing, global warming, genetic engineering, ecology, extinctions and the future of agriculture.

 

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Adapt: How Humans Are Tapping Into Nature's Secrets to Design and Build A Better Future

Adapt: How Humans Are Tapping Into Nature's Secrets to Design and Build A Better Future
Khan, Amina

"Amina Khan believes that nature does it best. In Adapt, she presents fascinating examples of how nature effortlessly solves the problems that humans attempt to solve with decades worth of the latest and greatest technologies, time, and money. Humans are animals too, and animals are incredibly good at doing more with less. If a fly's eye can see without hundreds of fancy lenses, and termite mounds can stay cool in the desert without air conditioning, it stands to reason that nature can teach us a thing or two about sustainable technology and innovation. In Khan's accessible voice, these complex concepts are made simple. There is so much we humans can learn from nature's billions of years of productive and efficient evolutionary experience. This field is growing rapidly and everyone from architects to biologists to nano-technicians to engineers are paying attention. Results from the simplest tasks, creating Velcro to mimic the sticking power of a burr, to the more complex like maximizing wind power by arranging farms to imitate schools of fish can make a difference and inspire future technological breakthroughs. Adapt shares the weird and wonderful ways that nature has been working smarter and not harder, and how we can too to make billion dollar cross-industrial advances in the very near future."--Amazon.com


Format: Book
Holds: 0 on 5 copies

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Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution

Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
Losos, Jonathan B.

A Harvard museum curator draws on the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology to examine how tiny, random convergences, from mutations to butterfly sneezes, have triggered remarkable evolutionary changes.


Format: Book
Holds: 2 on 7 copies

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Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were

Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were
Lymbery, Philip

A tour of some of the world's most iconic and endangered species, and what we can do to save them. Climate change and habitat destruction are not the only culprits behind so many animals facing extinction. The impact of consumer demand for cheap meat is equally devastating and it is vital that we confront this problem if we are to stand a chance of reducing its effect on the world around us. * We are falsely led to believe that squeezing animals into factory farms and cultivating crops in vast, chemical-soaked prairies is a necessary evil, an efficient means of providing for an ever-expanding global population while leaving land free for wildlife * Our planet's resources are reaching breaking point: awareness is slowly building that the wellbeing of society depends on a thriving natural world From the author of the internationally acclaimed Farmageddon, Dead Zone takes us on an eye-opening investigative journey across the globe, focusing on a dozen iconic species one-by-one and looking in each case at the role that industrial farming is playing in their plight. This is a passionate wake-up call for us all, laying bare the myths that prop up factory farming before exploring what we can do to save the planet with healthy food.


Format: Book
Holds: 0 on 2 copies

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Growing A Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

Growing A Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life
Montgomery, David R.


Format: Book
Holds: 4 on 14 copies

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Everything All at Once

Everything All at Once
Nye, Bill


Format: Book
Holds: 1 on 8 copies

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Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond

Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond
Onstott, T. C.


Format: Book
Holds: 0 on 3 copies

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Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Sapolsky, Robert M.

"Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do ... for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right"--


Format: Book
Holds: 102 on 31 copies

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Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong

Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong
Shtulman, Andrew


Format: Book
Holds: 2 on 5 copies

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Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System

Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System
Summers, Michael E.

"The past few years have seen an incredible explosion in our knowledge of the universe. Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler satellite has discovered more than two thousand exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system. More exoplanets are being discovered all the time, and even more remarkable than the sheer number of exoplanets is their variety. In Exoplanets, astronomer Michael Summers and physicist James Trefil explore these remarkable recent discoveries: planets revolving around pulsars, planets made of diamond, planets that are mostly water, and numerous rogue planets wandering through the emptiness of space,"--NoveList.


Format: Book
Holds: 0 on 3 copies

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Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Tegmark, Max

"What jobs should be automated? How should our legal systems handle autonomous systems? How likely is the emergence of suprahuman intelligence? A.I. is the future of science, technology, and business--and there is no person better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark. What has A.I. brought us? Where will it lead us? The story of A.I. is the story of intelligence--of life processes as they evolve from bacteria (1.0) to humans (2.0), where life processes define their own software, to technology (3.0), where life processes design both their hardware and software. We know that A.I. is transforming work, laws, and weapons, as well as the dark side of computing (hacking and viral sabotage), raising questions that we all need to address: What jobs should be automated? How should our legal systems handle autonomous systems? How likely is the emergence of suprahuman intelligence? Is it possible to control suprahuman intelligence? How do we ensure that the uses of A.I. remain beneficial? These are the issues at the heart of this book and its unique perspective, which seeks a ground apart from techno-skepticism and digital utopia"--


Format: Book
Holds: 43 on 10 copies

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