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The Right Stuff
From "America’s nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)
Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. In Failure Is Not an Option, he recounts thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers' only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. Kranz takes us inside Mission Control and introduces us to some of the whiz kids - still in their twenties, only a few years out of college - who had to figure it all out as they went along. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success. Finally, Kranz reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now.
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
Celebrating the centennial of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, here is the classic account of one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.
The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos
The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier.The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program. Nearly a half-century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons - most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen - are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel, and send humans even further than NASA has gone. These entrepreneurs have founded some of the biggest brands in the world - Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, PayPal - and upended industry after industry. Now they are pursuing the biggest disruption of all: space.Based on years of reporting and exclusive interviews with all four billionaires, this authoritative account is a dramatic tale of risk and high adventure, the birth of a new Space Age, fueled by some of the world's richest men as they struggle to end governments' monopoly on the cosmos. The Space Barons is also a story of rivalry-hard-charging startups warring with established contractors, and the personal clashes of the leaders of this new space movement, particularly Musk and Bezos, as they aim for the moon and Mars and beyond.
Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond (Second Edition)
Space Atlas combines updated maps, lavish photographs, and elegant illustrations to chart the solar system, the universe, and beyond. For space enthusiasts, science lovers, and star gazers, here is the newly revised edition of National Geographic's enduring guide to space, with a new introduction by American hero Buzz Aldrin.In this guided tour of our planetary neighborhood, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and beyond, detailed maps and fascinating imagery from recent space missions partner with clear, authoritative scientific information. Starting with the sun and moving outward into space, acclaimed science writer and physicist James Trefil illuminates each planet, the most important moons, significant asteroids, and other objects in our solar system. Looking beyond, he explains what we know about the Milky Way and other galaxies--and how we know it, with clear explanations of the basics of astrophysics, including dark matter and gravitational waves. For this new edition, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his moonwalk, astronaut and American hero Buzz Aldrin offers a new special section on Earth's moon and its essential role in space exploration past and future.
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong. For all that’s been written about the Four over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway. Instead of buying the myths these companies broadcast, Galloway asks fundamental questions. How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they’re almost impossible to avoid (or boycott)? Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms? And as they race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, can anyone challenge them? In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world’s most celebrated business professors, Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match. And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career. Whether you want to compete with them, do business with them, or simply live in the world they dominate, you need to understand the Four.
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives.Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives - from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture - can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends - interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning - and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kelly’s bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading - what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place - as this new world emerges.
Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon
By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.In a year of historic violence and discord - the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago - the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time - and arrive at a new world.
Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
The New York Times bestseller about a noted tech venture capitalist, early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, and Facebook investor, who wakes up to the serious damage Facebook is doing to our society - and sets out to try to stop it. If you had told Roger McNamee even three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping Facebook from destroying our democracy, he would have howled with laughter. He had mentored many tech leaders in his illustrious career as an investor, but few things had made him prouder, or been better for his fund's bottom line, than his early service to Mark Zuckerberg. Still a large shareholder in Facebook, he had every good reason to stay on the bright side. Until he simply couldn't. ZUCKED is McNamee's intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world's most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing. It's a story that begins with a series of rude awakenings. First there is the author's dawning realization that the platform is being manipulated by some very bad actors. Then there is the even more unsettling realization that Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are unable or unwilling to share his concerns, polite as they may be to his face. And then comes the election of Donald Trump, and the emergence of one horrific piece of news after another about the malign ends to which the Facebook platform has been put. To McNamee's shock, even still Facebook's leaders duck and dissemble, viewing the matter as a public relations problem. Now thoroughly alienated, McNamee digs into the issue, and fortuitously meets up with some fellow travelers who share his concern, and help him sharpen its focus. Soon he and a dream team of Silicon Valley technologists are charging into the fray, to raise consciousness about the existential threat of Facebook, and the persuasion architecture of the attention economy more broadly -- to our public health and to our political order. Zucked is both an enthralling personal narrative and a masterful explication of the forces that have conspired to place us all on the horns of this dilemma. This is the story of a company and its leadership, but it's also a larger tale of a business sector unmoored from normal constraints, just at a moment of political and cultural crisis, the worst possible time to be given new tools for summoning the darker angels of our nature and whipping them into a frenzy. Like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, Roger McNamee happened to be in the right place to witness a crime, and it took him some time to make sense of what he was seeing and what we ought to do about it. The result of that effort is a wise, hard-hitting, and urgently necessary account that crystallizes the issue definitively for the rest of us.
The Third Plate
Today’s optimistic farm-to-table food culture has a dark secret: the local food movement has failed to change how we eat. It has also offered a false promise for the future of food. In his visionary New York Times–bestselling book, chef Dan Barber offers a radical new way of thinking about food that will heal the land and taste good, too. Looking to the detrimental cooking of our past, and the misguided dining of our present, Barber points to a future "third plate"; a new form of American eating where good farming and good food intersect. Barber’s The Third Plate charts a bright path forward for eaters and chefs alike, daring everyone to imagine a future for our national cuisine that is as sustainable as it is delicious.
User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play
In User Friendly, Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant reveal the untold story of a paradigm that quietly rules our modern lives: the assumption that machines should anticipate what we need. Spanning over a century of sweeping changes, from women’s rights to the Great Depression to World War II to the rise of the digital era, this book unpacks the ways in which the world has been - and continues to be - remade according to the principles of the once-obscure discipline of user-experience design.In this essential text, Kuang and Fabricant map the hidden rules of the designed world and shed light on how those rules have caused our world to change - an underappreciated but essential history that’s pieced together for the first time. Combining the expertise and insight of a leading journalist and a pioneering designer, User Friendly provides a definitive, thoughtful, and practical perspective on a topic that has rapidly gone from arcane to urgent to inescapable. In User Friendly, Kuang and Fabricant tell the whole story for the first time - and you’ll never interact with technology the same way again.
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is Changing the World
The first, foundational book on blockchain technology, from the bestselling author of Wikinomics Don Tapscott and blockchain expert Alex Tapscott, now in paperback with a new preface and chapter explaining recent developments in the world of blockchain, including cryptoassets, ICOs, smart contracts, and more.   “This book has had an enormous impact on the evolution of blockchain in the world.” —Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft CorporationIn this revelatory book, Don and Alex Tapscott bring us a brilliantly researched, highly readable, and essential book about the technology driving the future of the economy.    Blockchain is the ingeniously simple, revolution­ary protocol that allows transactions to be simultaneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamperproof public ledger of value. Though it’s best known as the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital cur­rencies, it also has the potential to go far beyond currency, to record virtually everything of value to humankind, from birth and death certifi­cates to insurance claims, land titles, and even votes.   As with major paradigm shifts that preceded it, blockchain technology will create winners and losers. This book shines a light on where it can lead us in the next decade and beyond.
The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future
A revelatory look at our national power grid--how it developed, its current flaws, and how it must be completely reimagined for our fast-approaching energy future.America's electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It's not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources--solar, wind, and other alternatives--the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to reimagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It's a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America's energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns.The Grid tells--entertainingly, perceptively--the story of what has been called "the largest machine in the world": its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.
Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio
A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 Go behind the scenes of seven of today's most popular narrative radio shows and podcasts, including This American Life and RadioLab, in graphic narrative. Every week, millions of devoted fans tune in to or download This American Life, The Moth, Radiolab, Planet Money, Snap Judgment, Serial, Invisibilia and other narrative radio shows. Using personal stories to breathe life into complex ideas and issues, these beloved programs help us to understand ourselves and our world a little bit better. Each has a distinct style, but every one delivers stories that are brilliantly told and produced. Out on the Wire offers an unexpected window into this new kind of storytelling--one that literally illustrates the making of a purely auditory medium. With the help of This American Life's Ira Glass, Jessica Abel, a cartoonist and devotee of narrative radio, uncovers just how radio producers construct narrative, spilling some juicy insider details. Jad Abumrad of RadioLab talks about chasing moments of awe with scientists, while Planet Money's Robert Smith lets us in on his slightly goofy strategy for putting interviewees at ease. And Abel reveals how mad--really mad--Ira Glass becomes when he receives edits from his colleagues. Informative and engaging, Out on the Wire demonstrates that narrative radio and podcasts are creating some of the most exciting and innovative storytelling available today.
Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat
Award-winning food writer Bee Wilson's secret history of kitchens, showing how new technologies - from the fork to the microwave and beyond - have fundamentally shaped how and what we eat.Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious--or at least edible. But these tools have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson takes readers on a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of objects we often take for granted. Technology in the kitchen does not just mean the Pacojets and sous-vide machines of the modern kitchen, but also the humbler tools of everyday cooking and eating: a wooden spoon and a skillet, chopsticks and forks. Blending history, science, and personal anecdotes, Wilson reveals how our culinary tools and tricks came to be and how their influence has shaped food culture today. The story of how we have tamed fire and ice and wielded whisks, spoons, and graters, all for the sake of putting food in our mouths, Consider the Fork is truly a book to savor.
Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War
As cyber-attacks join terrorists on the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, Slate columnist Fred Kaplan's timely and enlightening Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War chronicles, in fascinating detail, an unknown past that shines an unsettling light on our future.
Lost in Shangri-La
In 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and women boarded a plane to see "Shangri-La," a beautiful valley deep within Dutch New Guinea. But when the plane crashed, only three pulled through to battle for survival.Emotionally devastated and badly injured, the trio faced certain death. Caught between spear-carrying tribesmen and enemy Japanese, they trekked down the jungle-covered mountainside and straight into the superstitious natives rumored to be cannibals.Drawn from interviews, Army documents, photos, diaries, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the trio traversed the jungle; how brave Filipino-American paratroopers risked their lives to save the survivors; how a native leader protected the Americans; and how a cowboy colonel attempted an untried rescue mission to get them out.A riveting work of nonfiction that brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: that we have stopped having face-to-face conversation in favour of technological connections such as texts or emails. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools and the workplace, Turkle argues here that we now have a better understanding of this phenomenon, and that going forward, it's time we reclaim conversation, the most human thing that we do.
Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer
In the face of apocalyptic climate change, a former fisherman shares a bold and hopeful new vision for saving the planet: farming the ocean.In Eat Like a Fish, Bren Smith—a restorative ocean farmer—introduces the world of sea-based agriculture, a groundbreaking solution to the global climate crisis.The ocean is a vast, untapped opportunity, home to thousands of edible plants. Using simple DIY techniques, we can grow more than enough delicious and nutritious food—without the use of fresh water or fertilizers—to feed the planet and filter carbon from seawater, to boot.A groundbreaking “climate memoir,” Eat Like a Fish interweaves Smith’s own story—from sailing the high seas aboard commercial fishing trawlers to pioneering new forms of ocean farming to surfing the frontiers of the food movement—with actionable food policy and practical advice on ocean farming.It is a powerful story of environmental renewal, and a must-read guide to cleaning the oceans, feeding the world, and—by creating new jobs up and down the coasts—putting working class Americans back to work.
A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
This acclaimed portrait of heroism and ingenuity captures a watershed moment in human history. The astronauts themselves have called it the definitive account of their missions. On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty-three of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving, A Man on the Moon conveys every aspect of the Apollo missions with breathtaking immediacy and stunning detail.
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
In his latest, thrilling foray into the future, a great inventor and futurist envisions an event--the "singularity"--in which technological change becomes so rapid and so profound that human bodies and brains will merge with machines.
From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Matt Richtel, a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic "texting-while-driving" car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against “distracted driving.” Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time - what is all of our technology doing to us? - and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need.
An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War--a mix between The Hunt for Red October and Argo--about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and America's most eccentric mogul spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. Then it vanished.As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a small, highly classified American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it--wrecked on the sea floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any salvage that existed. But the potential intelligence assets onboard the ship--the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines--justified going to extreme lengths to find a way to raise the submarine.So began Project Azorian, a top secret mission that took six years, cost an estimated $800 million, and would become the largest and most daring covert operation in CIA history. After the U.S. Navy declared retrieving the sub "impossible," the mission fell to the CIA's burgeoning Directorate of Science and Technology, the little-known division responsible for the legendary U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Working with Global Marine Systems, the country's foremost maker of exotic, deep-sea drilling vessels, the CIA commissioned the most expensive ship ever built and told the world that it belonged to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, who would use the mammoth ship to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. In reality, a complex network of spies, scientists, and politicians attempted a project even crazier than Hughes's reputation: raising the sub directly under the watchful eyes of the Russians.
Diamandis, Peter H.
Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing - fast. In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing synthetic biology, and other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous 200 years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every person on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. Breaking down human needs by category - water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom - Diamandis and Kotler introduce us to innovators and industry captains making tremendous strides in each area. "Not only is Abundance a riveting page-turner...but it's a book that gives us a future worth fighting for. And even more than that, it shows us our place in that fight" (The Christian Science Monitor).
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