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Chemistry

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  1. 12.9 hrs • 4/28/2015 • Unabridged

    In the spirit of A Short History of Nearly Everything comes Periodic Tales. Award-winning science writer Hugh Andersey-Williams offers readers a captivating look at the elements—and the amazing, little-known stories behind their discoveries. Periodic Tales is an energetic and wide-ranging book of innovations and innovators, of superstition and science, and the myriad ways the chemical elements are woven into our culture, history, and language. Like the alphabet, the calendar, or the zodiac, the periodic table of the chemical elements has a permanent place in our imagination. But aside from the handful of common ones—iron, carbon, copper, gold—the elements themselves remain wrapped in mystery. We do not know what most of them look like, how they exist in nature, how they got their names, or of what use they are to us. Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colorful pasts, Periodic Tales is a passionate journey through mines and artists’ studios, to factories and cathedrals, into the woods and to the sea to discover the true stories of these fascinating but mysterious building blocks of the universe.

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    Periodic Tales

    12.9 hrs • 4/28/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 1.9 hrs • 3/17/2015 • Unabridged

    Why do we get hung over? What would happen if you stopped sleeping? Is binge-watching TV actually bad for you? Why should I take a power nap? In their first book, Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, the geniuses behind YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE, explain the true science of how things work in their trademark, hilarious and fascinating fashion. Applying the fun, illustrated format of their addictive videos to topics ranging from brain freeze to hiccups to the science of the snooze button, AsapSCIENCE takes the underpinnings of biology, chemistry, physics, and other hard sciences and applies them to everyday life through quirky and relatable examples, appealing to both science nerds and those who didn’t ace chemistry. This is the science that people actually want to learn, shared in a friendly, engaging style. And in the spirit of science, no subject is taboo. Amid the humor is great information and cocktail conversation fodder, all thoughtfully presented. Whether you’re a total newbie or the next Albert Einstein, this guide is sure to educate and entertain.

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    AsapSCIENCE

    1.9 hrs • 3/17/15 • Unabridged
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    12.7 hrs • 10/9/2014 • Unabridged

    We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race, Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. While some books explore our genetic inheritance and popular television shows celebrate ancestry, this is the first book to explore how everything from DNA to emotions to names and the stories that form our lives are all part of our human legacy. Kenneally shows how trust is inherited in Africa, silence is passed down in Tasmania, and how the history of nations is written in our DNA. From fateful, ancient encounters to modern mass migrations and medical diagnoses, Kenneally explains how the forces that shaped the history of the world ultimately shape each human who inhabits it. The Invisible History of the Human Race is a deeply researched, carefully crafted, and provocative perspective on how our stories, psychology, and genetics affect our past and our future.

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    The Invisible History of the Human Race

    12.7 hrs • 10/9/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    6.6 hrs • 7/29/2014 • Unabridged

    An eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally-renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper. He offers a compendium of the most astounding histories and marvelous scientific breakthroughs in the material world, including the imprisoned alchemist who saved himself from execution by creating the first European porcelain;the hidden gem of the Milky Way, a planet five times the size of Earth, made entirely of diamond; andgraphene, the thinnest, strongest, stiffest material in existence—only a single atom thick—that could be used to make entire buildings sensitive to touch. From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

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    Stuff Matters

    6.6 hrs • 7/29/14 • Unabridged
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    12.4 hrs • 12/31/2014 • Unabridged

    The bestselling author of Hold Me Tight presents a revolutionary new understanding of why and how we love, based on cutting-edge research. Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. Love Sense presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our “love sense”—our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but is actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival. Love Sense covers the three stages of a relationship and how to best weather them, the intelligence of emotions and the logic of love, the physical and psychological benefits of secure love, and much more. Based on groundbreaking research, Love Sense will change the way we think about love.

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    Love Sense

    12.4 hrs • 12/31/13 • Unabridged
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  6. 7.9 hrs • 9/27/2012 • Unabridged

    New insights from the science of science. Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing. But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know. Samuel Arbesman is an expert in the field of scientometrics—literally the science of science. Knowledge in most fields evolves systematically and predictably, and this evolution unfolds in a fascinating way that can have a powerful impact on our lives. Doctors with a rough idea of when their knowledge is likely to expire can be better equipped to keep up with the latest research. Companies and governments that understand how long new discoveries take to develop can improve decisions about allocating resources. And by tracing how and when language changes, each of us can better bridge generational gaps in slang and dialect. Just as we know that a chunk of uranium can break down in a measurable amount of time—a radioactive half-life—so too any given field’s change in knowledge can be measured concretely. We can know when facts in aggregate are obsolete, the rate at which new facts are created, and even how facts spread. Arbesman takes us through a wide variety of fields, including those that change quickly, over the course of a few years, or over the span of centuries. He shows that much of what we know consists of “mesofacts”—facts that change at a middle timescale, often over a single human lifetime. Throughout, he offers intriguing examples about the face of knowledge: what English majors can learn from a statistical analysis of The Canterbury Tales, why it’s so hard to measure a mountain, and why so many parents still tell kids to eat their spinach because it’s rich in iron. The Half-life of Facts is a riveting journey into the counter-intuitive fabric of knowledge. It can help us find new ways to measure the world while accepting the limits of how much we can know with certainty.

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    The Half-Life of Facts

    7.9 hrs • 9/27/12 • Unabridged
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  7. 13.8 hrs • 9/25/2012 • Unabridged

    Maybe you know someone who swears by the reliability of psychics or who is in regular contact with angels. Or perhaps you’re trying to find a nice way of dissuading someone from wasting money on a homeopathy cure. Or you met someone at a party who insisted the Holocaust never happened or that no one ever walked on the moon. How do you find a gently persuasive way of steering people away from unfounded beliefs, bogus cures, conspiracy theories, and the like? Longtime skeptic Guy P. Harrison shows you how in this down-to-earth, entertaining exploration of commonly held extraordinary claims. A veteran journalist, Harrison has not only surveyed a vast body of literature, but has also interviewed leading scientists, explored “the most haunted house in America,” frolicked in the inviting waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and even talked to a “contrite Roswell alien.” Harrison is not out simply to debunk unfounded beliefs. Wherever possible, he presents alternative scientific explanations, which in most cases are even more fascinating than the wildest speculation. For example, stories about UFOs and alien abductions lack good evidence, but science gives us plenty of reasons to keep exploring outer space for evidence that life exists elsewhere in the vast universe. The proof for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster may be nonexistent, but scientists are regularly discovering new species, some of which are truly stranger than fiction. Stressing the excitement of scientific discovery and the legitimate mysteries and wonder inherent in reality, Harrison invites readers to share the joys of rational thinking and the skeptical approach to evaluating our extraordinary world.

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  8. 11.1 hrs • 10/10/2011 • Unabridged

    Napoleon’s Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.

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    Napoleon’s Buttons

    11.1 hrs • 10/10/11 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.6 hrs • 8/24/2010 • Unabridged

    The periodic table is one of man’s crowning scientific achievements. But it’s also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues’ wives when she’d invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country, and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground. Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? From the Big Bang to the end of time, it’s all in The Disappearing Spoon.

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    The Disappearing Spoon

    12.6 hrs • 8/24/10 • Unabridged
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  10. 2.7 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, scientists went beyond Aristotle’s four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water) to catalog nature’s many basic elements. New materials and potions stimulated visions of wealth and healing; soon, new theories of atomic structure and combustion laid the foundation for practical applications that blossomed into the Industrial Revolution. The Science and Discovery Series recreates one of history’s most successful journeys—four thousand years of scientific efforts to better understand and control the physical world. Science has often challenged and upset conventional wisdom or accepted practices; this is a story of vested interests and independent thinkers, experiments and theories, change and progress. Aristotle, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, and many others are featured.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, Digital Rental
    Chemistry and the Enlightenment by Dr. Ian Jackson

    Chemistry and the Enlightenment

    Edited by Dr. Jack Sommer and Mike Hassell
    Read by Edwin Newman
    2.7 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, Digital Rental
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