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Living with the Stars tells the fascinating story of what truly makes the human body. The body that is with us all our lives is always changing. We are quite literally not who we were years, weeks, or even days ago: our cells die and are replaced by new ones at an astonishing pace. The entire body continually rebuilds itself, time and again, using the food and water that flow through us as fuel and as construction material. What persists over time is not fixed but merely a pattern in flux. We rebuild using elements captured from our surroundings, and are thereby connected to animals and plants around us, and to the bacteria within us that help digest them, and to geological processes such as continental drift and volcanism here on Earth. We are also intimately linked to the Sun's nuclear furnace and to the solar wind, to collisions with asteroids and to the cycles of the birth of stars and their deaths in PHI15SCImic supernovae, and ultimately to the beginning of the universe. Our bodies are made of the burned out embers of stars that were released into the galaxy in massive explosions billions of years ago, mixed with atoms that formed only recently as ultrafast rays slammed into Earth's atmosphere. All of that is not just remote history but part of us now: our human body is inseparable from nature all around us and intertwined with the history of the universe.
Living with the Stars describes the many fascinating connections between the universe and the human body, which range from the makeup of DNA and human cells, growth and aging, to stellar evolution and the beginning of the universe. This popular science book should be of interest to anyone who wonders about the processes going on in our human bodies that connect us to our environment on Earth, to the Solar System, to the stars in our Galaxy, and even tothe origin of the universe.
Illustrated with breathtaking images of the Solar System and of the Universe around it, this book explores how the discoveries within the Solar System and of exoplanets far beyond it come together to help us understand the habitability of Earth, and how these findings guide the search for exoplanets that could support life. The author highlights how, within two decades of the discovery of the first planets outside the Solar System in the 1990s, scientists concluded that planets are so common that most stars are orbited by them. The lives of exoplanets and their stars, as of our Solar System and its Sun, are inextricably interwoven. Stars are the seeds around which planets form, and they provide light and warmth for as long as they shine. At the end of their lives, stars expel massive amounts of newly forged elements into deep space, and that ejected material is incorporated into subsequent generations of planets. How do we learn about these distant worlds? What does the exploration of other planets tell us about Earth? Can we find out what the distant future may have in store for us? What do we know about exoworlds and starbirth, and where do migrating hot Jupiters, polluted white dwarfs, and free-roaming nomad planets fit in? And what does all that have to do with the habitability of Earth, the possibility of finding extraterrestrial life, and the operation of the globe-spanning network of the sciences?
describe the cosmic rays launched at us from exploding stars, and considers not just how these exploders might harm us, but how they also join together in the creation of stars and how they serve to populate the Universe with the very building blocks of life." --Book Jacket.
From one of our finest and most popular science writers, the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery story as big as the world itself: How have astronomical events that took place millions of years ago created the unique qualities of the human species? In his last book, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human anatomy—our hands, our jaws—and the structures in the fish that first took over land 375 million years ago. Now, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, he takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we are the way we are. Starting once again with fossils, Shubin turns his gaze skyward. He shows how the entirety of the universe's 14-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. From our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system), he makes clear, through the working of our eyes, how the evolution of the cosmos has had profound effects on the development of human life on earth. From the Hardcover edition.
In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education. Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world. The crisis we face, Orr explains, is one of mind, perception, and values. It is, first and foremost, an educational challenge. The author begins by establishing the grounds for a debate about education and knowledge. He describes the problems of education from an ecological perspective, and challenges the "terrible simplifiers" who wish to substitute numbers for values. He follows with a presentation of principles for re-creating education in the broadest way possible, discussing topics such as biophilia, the disciplinary structure of knowledge, the architecture of educational buildings, and the idea of ecological intelligence. Orr concludes by presenting concrete proposals for reorganizing the curriculum to draw out our affinity for life.
Audiences around the world have been enchanted by James Cameron's visionary Avatar, with its glimpse of the Na'vi on the marvelous world of Pandora. But the movie is not entirely a fantasy; there is a scientific rationale for much of what we saw on the screen, from the possibility of travel to other worlds, to the life forms seen on screen and the ecological and cybernetic concepts that underpin the 'neural networks' in which the Na'vi and their sacred trees are joined, as well as to the mind-linking to the avatars themselves. From popular science journalist and acclaimed science fiction author Stephen Baxter, THE SCIENCE OF AVATAR is a guide to the rigorous fact behind the fiction. It will enhance the readers' enjoyment of the movie experience by drawing them further into its imagined world.

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