These are my recent science book finds for the New Year
- The science of kissing – When did humans begin to kiss? Why is kissing integral to some cultures and alien to others? Do good kissers make the best lovers? And is that expensive lip-plumping gloss worth it? Sheril Kirshenbaum, a biologist and science journalist, tackles these questions and more in The Science of Kissing. It’s everything you always wanted to know about kissing but either haven’t asked, couldn’t find out, or didn’t realize you should understand. The book is informed by the latest studies and theories, but Kirshenbaum’s engaging voice gives the information a light touch. Topics range from the kind of kissing men like to do (as distinct from women) to what animals can teach us about the kiss to whether or not the true art of kissing was lost sometime in the Dark Ages. Drawing upon classical history, evolutionary biology, psychology, popular culture, and more, Kirshenbaum’s winning book will appeal to romantics and armchair scientists alike.
- How Old Is the Universe? – Astronomers have determined that our universe is 13.7 billion years old. How exactly did they come to this precise conclusion? How Old Is the Universe? tells the incredible story of how astronomers solved one of the most compelling mysteries in science and, along the way, introduces readers to fundamental concepts and cutting-edge advances in modern astronomy.
- Amazon.com: The Wavewatcher’s Companion – Intriguing, but not nearly so much as Pretor-Pinney’s Cloudspotters book and moreover, the apparent religious undercurrent is disconcerting to say the least in a book that should be entirely scientific.
- By Any Means Necessary!: An Entrepreneur’s Journey into Space – On October 1, 2005, Greg Olsen, a successful high-tech entrepreneur, climbed aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket and blasted off for the International Space Station. He was only the third private citizen to make that trip. In this inspiring and entertaining book we learn how a self-described “average guy” went from underachieving juvenile delinquent who almost didn’t get into college, to PhD scientist with 12 patents in electronics.
- The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters – From Publishers Weekly: “In this educational account, professor (at the Stevens Institute of New Jersey) and scientist Parker examines the violent impact of the seas on human society, and our long struggle to understand them. Parker begins with an exploration of tidal forces and their role in major historical events, from the parting of the Red Sea to D-Day.”
- The Human Mission to Mars. Colonizing the Red Planet – I’d like to think that this is something more than wishful thinking on the part of the authors but I am afraid it isn’t.