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Underbug Book Summary : The award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli, national bestselling author of Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, investigates the environmental and economic impact termites inflict on human societies in this fascinating examination of one of nature’s most misunderstood insects. Are we more like termites than we ever imagined? In Underbug, the award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli introduces us to the enigmatic creatures that collectively outweigh human beings ten to one and consume $40 billion worth of valuable stuff annually—and yet, in Margonelli’s telling, seem weirdly familiar. Over the course of a decade-long obsession with the little bugs, Margonelli pokes around termite mounds and high-tech research facilities, closely watching biologists, roboticists, and geneticists. Her globe-trotting journey veers into uncharted territory, from evolutionary theory to Edwardian science literature to the military industrial complex. What begins as a natural history of the termite becomes a personal exploration of the unnatural future we’re building, with darker observations on power, technology, historical trauma, and the limits of human cognition. Whether in Namibia or Cambridge, Arizona or Australia, Margonelli turns up astounding facts and raises provocative questions. Is a termite an individual or a unit of a superorganism? Can we harness the termite’s properties to change the world? If we build termite-like swarming robots, will they inevitably destroy us? Is it possible to think without having a mind? Underbug burrows into these questions and many others—unearthing disquieting answers about the world’s most underrated insect and what it means to be human.
Underbug Book Summary : Who has the answer to the world’s fuel problems? How can we bring ruined land back to life? Where do roboticists turn when they try to engineer a hive mind? Termites. Strange though it may seem, scientists are looking to these much-reviled insects as little guides to the biggest of ideas. Lisa Margonelli follows them to find out how termites could change the world. A masterpiece of popular science, Underbug touches on everything from metaphysical meditation, technological innovation and the psychology of obsession to good old-fashioned biology.
Summary of Underbug by Lisa Margonelli An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology Book Summary : SYNOPSIS: Undеrbug (2018) еxрlоrеѕ the fаѕсіnаtіng wоrld оf a bug so unlоvеd it might just bеаt сосkrоасhеѕ іn an unрорulаrіtу contest - thе tеrmіtе. Thе rеѕult оf уеаrѕ of rеѕеаrсh аnd іntеrvіеwѕ with bіоlоgіѕtѕ, еntоmоlоgіѕtѕ, аnd gеnеtісіѕtѕ, Lisa Mаrgоnеllі'ѕ ѕtudу ѕеtѕ оut tо rescue the rерutаtіоn оf this undеrаррrесіаtеd сrеаturе. Along the wау ѕhе explores termites' rеmаrkаblе аrсhіtесturаl powers, unpacks thеіr ѕtrаngе rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth a 250 mіllіоn-уеаr-оld fungus, аnd ѕhоwѕ hоw thе mісrоbеѕ in thеіr guts might juѕt hеlр uѕ сrеаtе a mоrе sustainable futurе. ABOUT THЕ AUTHОR: Lisa Mаrgоnеllі іѕ an аwаrd-wіnnіng jоurnаlіѕt аnd the аuthоr оf Oіl оn thе Brain, a bestselling ѕtudу оf the fоѕѕіl fuеl іnduѕtrу. She іѕ a senior editor аt the global nеwѕ outlet Zóсаlо Publіс Sԛuаrе. Shе hаѕ written аbоut ѕсіеnсе, роlіtісѕ, аnd technology fоr thе Atlаntіс, Wіrеd, Sсіеntіfіс American, аnd the New York Tіmеѕ, аmоng оthеrѕ. She іѕ сurrеntlу based іn thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ.DISCLAIMER: This bооk іѕ nоt mеаnt tо rерlасе thе оrіgіnаl bооk but tо ѕеrvе аѕ a companion tо іt.
Oil on the Brain Book Summary : Looks at the economics of the petroleum industry and traces how crude oil from fields around the world eventually becomes the gasoline for automobiles, in a new edition containing an updated epilogue. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
Never Home Alone Book Summary : A natural history of the wilderness in our homes, from the microbes in our showers to the crickets in our basements Even when the floors are sparkling clean and the house seems silent, our domestic domain is wild beyond imagination. In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn introduces us to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes, from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards and camel crickets in our basements to the lactobacillus lounging on our kitchen counters. You are not alone. Yet, as we obsess over sterilizing our homes and separating our spaces from nature, we are unwittingly cultivating an entirely new playground for evolution. These changes are reshaping the organisms that live with us -- prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay. No one who reads this engrossing, revelatory book will look at their homes in the same way again.
The Bullseye Principle Book Summary : Critical communication lessons for sustained corporate success The Bullseye Principle is the definitive how-to guide for communicating, collaborating, and executing as a leader in the corporate arena. With these “soft skills” trending above technical knowledge in executive wish lists, this book provides invaluable guidance for new and experienced leaders alike; from the planning stages to the outcome and beyond, the discussion features critical insight and actionable tips based on award-winning methods. Polish your presence, utilize intention, influence emotion, engage workers, build relationships, make connections, and leverage the power of storytelling—it all comes down to technique. This book shows you everything you need to know to start communicating more effectively, starting today. The success of any communication rests more on how the information is conveyed than what that information actually is; at every level, in every sphere, effective leaders strive to master key skills that inspire, empower, motivate, and more. This book gives you a solid blueprint for effective communication in nearly any situation, merging the practical and theoretical to help you: Master the most challenging business interactions Become more influential as a leader and communicator Adopt a 3-step methodology to collaborate more effectively Build your personal brand and executive presence toward sustained success Most people believe that their communications skills are satisfactory for their jobs—most managers would disagree. That gap in perception presents a problem that ripples beyond your chances of promotion—where your communication fails, it has the capacity to affect the organization as a whole. The Bullseye Principle helps you build a robust repertoire of communication skills that put you ahead of the pack.
Bless This Mess Book Summary : "Pairing modern psychology with liberal Christian spirituality, Dr. Ellen O'Donnell and Rev. Molly Baskette deliver a clear and compelling modus operandi for making family life work--one rooted in research on parenting and Christian values, peppered with personal stories and a heavy dose of humor. When authors Ellen O'Donnell and Molly Baskette became parents, they read lots of books on parenting--many of them great. But when it came to practical suggestions that would help their family spiritually and psychologically, they came up short. Together, they sought out brainstorming actionable steps to help their families in ways that weren't being discussed in parenting books. This book is the fruit of their brainstorming and discussions. In Bless This Mess, readers will gain tools as they learn how to talk to kids about money, bodies, God, ethics, disability, and difference; how to stress less (really); how to embody an ethic of service to others; how to live a practice of deep generosity and gratitude; and, most of all, how to stop being so afraid all the damn time, as we raise our kids in an increasingly chaotic and often scary world. Both Christian spirituality and modern science can help us parent more fearlessly in an age of anxiety. With real-life examples and strategies to address the challenges of raising a toddler, preteen, or teenager, Bless This Mess guides parents of children at all stages of their development. Readers will shed stress with this resource they can turn to again and again for practical guidance as their children grow and the family encounters new challenges. Most important, readers will not feel alone, as they peruse relatable stories and are reminded of the companionship of God in their parenting journey"--
The Xenotext Book Summary : "Many artists seek to attain immortality through their art, but few would expect their work to outlast the human race and live on for billions of years. As Canadian poet Christian Bök has realized, it all comes down to the durability of your materials."—The Guardian Internationally best-selling poet Christian Bök has spent more than ten years writing what promises to be the first example of "living poetry." After successfully demonstrating his concept in a colony of E. coli, Bök is on the verge of enciphering a beautiful, anomalous poem into the genome of an unkillable bacterium (Deinococcus radiodurans), which can, in turn, "read" his text, responding to it by manufacturing a viable, benign protein, whose sequence of amino acids enciphers yet another poem. The engineered organism might conceivably serve as a post-apocalyptic archive, capable of outlasting our civilization. Book I of The Xenotext constitutes a kind of "demonic grimoire," providing a scientific framework for the project with a series of poems, texts, and illustrations. A Virgilian welcome to the Inferno, Book I is the "orphic" volume in a diptych, addressing the pastoral heritage of poets, who have sought to supplant nature in both beauty and terror. The book sets the conceptual groundwork for the second volume, which will document the experiment itself. The Xenotext is experimental poetry in the truest sense of the term. Christian Bök is the author of Crystallography (1994) and Eunoia (2001), which won the Griffin Poetry Prize. He teaches at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
The Biological Mind Book Summary : A pioneering neuroscientist argues that we are more than our brains To many, the brain is the seat of personal identity and autonomy. But the way we talk about the brain is often rooted more in mystical conceptions of the soul than in scientific fact. This blinds us to the physical realities of mental function. We ignore bodily influences on our psychology, from chemicals in the blood to bacteria in the gut, and overlook the ways that the environment affects our behavior, via factors varying from subconscious sights and sounds to the weather. As a result, we alternately overestimate our capacity for free will or equate brains to inorganic machines like computers. But a brain is neither a soul nor an electrical network: it is a bodily organ, and it cannot be separated from its surroundings. Our selves aren't just inside our heads--they're spread throughout our bodies and beyond. Only once we come to terms with this can we grasp the true nature of our humanity.
House Guests House Pests Book Summary : Today we live in snug, well-furnished houses surrounded by the trappings of a civilised life. But we are not alone – we suffer a constant stream of unwanted visitors. Our houses, our food, our belongings, our very existence are under constant attack from a host of invaders eager to take advantage of our shelter, our food stores and our tasty soft furnishings. From bats in the belfry to beetles in the cellar, moths in the wardrobe and mosquitoes in the bedroom, humans cannot escape the attentions of the animal kingdom. Nature may be red in tooth and claw, but when it's our blood the bedbugs are after, when it's our cereal bowl that's littered with mouse droppings, and when it's our favourite chair that collapses due to woodworm in the legs, it really brings it home the fact that we and our homes are part of nature too. This book represents a 21st century version of the classic Mediaeval bestiary. It poses questions such as where these animals came from, can we live with them, can we get rid of them, and should we? Written in Richard Jones's engaging style and with a funky-retro design, House Guests, House Pests will be a book to treasure.
The Geometry of Wealth Book Summary : How does money figure into a happy life? In The Geometry of Wealth, behavioral finance expert Brian Portnoy delivers an inspired answer, building on the critical distinction between being rich and being wealthy. While one is an unsatisfying treadmill, the other is the ability to underwrite a meaningful life, however one chooses to define that. Truly viewed, wealth is funded contentment. At the heart of this groundbreaking perspective, Portnoy takes readers on a journey toward wealth, informed by disciplines ranging from ancient history to modern neuroscience. He contends that tackling the big questions about a joyful life and tending to financial decisions are complementary, not separate, tasks. These big questions include: • How is the human brain wired for two distinct experiences of happiness? And why can money “buy” one but not the other? • What are the touchstones of a meaningful life, and are they affordable? • Why is market savvy among the least important sources of wealth but self-awareness is among the most? • How does one strike a balance between striving for more while being content with enough? This journey memorably contours along three basic shapes: A circle, triangle and square help us to visualize how we adapt to evolving circumstances, set clear priorities, and find empowerment in simplicity. In this accessible and entertaining book, Portnoy reveals that true wealth is achievable for many - including those who despair it is out of reach - but only in the context of a life in which purpose and practice are thoughtfully calibrated.
The Inflamed Mind Book Summary : As seen on "CBS This Morning" Worldwide, depression will be the single biggest cause of disability in the next twenty years. But treatment for it has not changed much in the last three decades. In the world of psychiatry, time has apparently stood still...until now with Edward Bullmore's The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression. A Sunday Times (London) Top Ten Bestseller In this game-changing book, University of Cambridge profressor of psychiatry Edward Bullmore reveals the breakthrough new science on the link between depression and inflammation of the body and brain. He explains how and why we now know that mental disorders can have their root cause in the immune system, and outlines a future revolution in which treatments could be specifically targeted to break the vicious cycles of stress, inflammation, and depression. The Inflamed Mind goes far beyond the clinic and the lab, representing a whole new way of looking at how mind, brain, and body all work together in a sometimes misguided effort to help us survive in a hostile world. It offers insights into how we could start getting to grips with depression and other mental disorders much more effectively in the future.
The Long View Book Summary : The Chairman & CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide and career advisor extraordinaire, Brian Fetherstonhaugh, outlines the three stages of a long, successful work life and offers guidance to plan ahead and get the most out of each phase. The world of careers is vastly different than it was just five years ago—more choices, more competition, and relentless change in how we define work-life. It can be difficult to understand our options and plan for a prosperous future. Where can you go for answers? Colleges may teach us academic and technical skills, and there are places to look for tips on how to write a resume or prep for a job interview. But is it enough? Brian Fetherstonhaugh, CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, understands this dilemma and how to navigate it. He believes we need more than tactics—we need robust, road-tested strategies that combine old-school wisdom with new-school context so that we can flourish in the new professional reality. In The Long View, Fetherstonhaugh shows us the three distinct but interconnected stages of a career, and how we build ‘fuel’ at every step along the way to create long-term success. The Long View teaches us new ways of finding jobs, new methods to build careers that last, and a new definition of “work” that embraces life-satisfaction and happiness. The Long View offers highly practical exercises that challenge you to rethink how to assess your skills, invest your time and expand your personal network, and provides a framework for facing tough job decisions. With insights drawn from interviews with a variety of professionals—who share both success stories and cautionary tales—The Long View will help you establish your own path for overcoming obstacles and making the best choices for a long, accomplished, and rewarding career. “THE LONG VIEW is one of the most practical and comprehensive guides to a meaningful career that I have read. Whether you are just starting your search for a job or trying to get a career back on track, start by reading The Long View.”—Tom Rath, best-selling author of ARE YOU FULLY CHARGED?, EAT, MOVE, SLEEP, and STRENGTHSFINDER 2.0 “THE LONG VIEW is the career guide you’ve been looking for—forward-thinking advice from a seasoned business leader. Brian Fetherstonhaugh offers practical exercises, useful advice—and deep insights into what a meaningful career looks and feels like.”—Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution and New York Times bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Buzz Book Summary : As seen on PBS's American Spring LIVE, the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers presents a natural and cultural history of bees: the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round. Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing. As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.
Timefulness Book Summary : Why an awareness of Earth's temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales of our planet's long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating. The lifespan of Earth can seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth's history—and the magnitude of our effects on the planet. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth's deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future. Featuring illustrations by Haley Hagerman, this compelling book offers a new way of thinking about our place in time, showing how our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and how our actions today will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations.
Mind vs Matter Book Summary : The year is 2067. World War III has come and gone, and the world has been carved into empires. Its people are oppressed and suffering more than ever before. When a mysterious man named Karl von Liebnitz, the leader of a shadowy organization known as Tyrannei, makes plans to take over the planet, there is nothing the empires can do to stop him...until, that is, a new force emerges. Will Hartford and his son, Pierre, have unparalleled mental capabilities, and soon Karl, Will, and Pierre begin to use their mental prowess to battle for control of the world. But as the two sides move closer to their final clash, questions begin to arise. What if the two factions cannot save the world from themselves? What if there is no scenario where the destruction of the world does not happen? Mind vs. Matter is a gripping and thought-provoking novel by an up-and-coming new voice in fiction.
What Is a Human Book Summary : In a sweeping synthesis of new research in a number of different disciplines, this book argues that we humans are not who we think we are. As he explores the interconnections between cutting-edge work in bioanthropology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, human language and learning, and beyond, James Paul Gee advances, also, a personal philosophy of language, learning, and culture, informed by his decades of work across linguistics and the social sciences. Gee argues that our schools, institutions, legal systems, and societies are designed for creatures that do not exist, thus resulting in multiple, interacting crises, such as climate change, failing institutions, and the rise of nationalist nationalism. As Gee constructs an understanding of the human that takes into account our social, collective, and historical nature, as established by recent research, he inspires readers to reflect for themselves on the very question of who we are—a key consideration for anyone interested in society, government, schools, health, activism, culture and diversity, or even just survival.
Darwin Comes to Town Book Summary : See your city through fresh eyes We are marching towards a future in which three-quarters of humans live in cities, and a large portion of the planet's landmass is urbanized. With much of the rest covered by human-shaped farms, pasture, and plantations, where can nature still go? To the cities -- is Menno Schilthuizen's answer in this remarkable book. And with more and more wildlife carving out new niches among humans, evolution takes a surprising turn. Urban animals evolve to become more cheeky and resourceful, city pigeons develop detox-plumage, and weeds growing from cracks in the pavement get a new type of seeds. City blackbirds are even on their way of becoming an entirely new species, which we could name Turdus urbanicus. Thanks to evolutionary adaptation taking place at unprecedented speeds, plants and animals are coming up with new ways of living in the seemingly hostile environments of asphalt and steel that we humans have created. We are on the verge of a new chapter in the history of life, Schilthuizen says -- a chapter in which much old biodiversity is, sadly, disappearing, but also one in which a new and exciting set of life forms is being born. Menno Schilthuizen shows us that evolution in cities can happen far more rapidly, and strangely, than Darwin had dared dream.