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An awe-inspiring, unforgettable journey of scientific exploration from Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, the top ten bestselling authors of The Quantum Universe. We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Over the centuries, the human urge to discover has unlocked an incredible amount of knowledge. What it reveals to us is breathtaking. Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration and, in doing so, reveals how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond. Some of these questions - How big is our solar system? How fast is space expanding? - can be answered from your back garden; the answers to others - How big is the Universe? What is it made of? - draw on the astonishing information now being gathered by teams of astronomers operating at the frontiers of the known universe. At the heart of all these questions - from the earliest attempts to quantify gravity, to our efforts to understand what dark matter is and what really happened at the birth of our universe - is the scientific process. Science reveals a deeper beauty, connects us to each other, to our world, and to our Universe; and, by understanding the groundbreaking work of others, reaches out into the unknown. What's more, as Universal shows us, if we dare to imagine, we can all do it.
Lee Smolin offers a new theory of the universe that is at once elegant, comprehensive, and radically different from anything proposed before. Smolin posits that a process of self organization like that of biological evolution shapes the universe, as it develops and eventually reproduces through black holes, each of which may result in a new big bang and a new universe. Natural selection may guide the appearance of the laws of physics, favoring those universes which best reproduce. The result would be a cosmology according to which life is a natural consequence of the fundamental principles on which the universe has been built, and a science that would give us a picture of the universe in which, as the author writes, "the occurrence of novelty, indeed the perpetual birth of novelty, can be understood." Smolin is one of the leading cosmologists at work today, and he writes with an expertise and force of argument that will command attention throughout the world of physics. But it is the humanity and sharp clarity of his prose that offers access for the layperson to the mind bending space at the forefront of today's physics.
When the ancient Greeks looked up into the heavens, they saw not just sun and moon, stars and planets, but a complete, coherent universe, a model of the Good that could serve as a guide to a better life. How this view of the world came to be, and how we lost it (or turned away from it) on the way to becoming modern, make for a fascinating story, told in a highly accessible manner by Rémi Brague in this wide-ranging cultural history. Before the Greeks, people thought human action was required to maintain the order of the universe and so conducted rituals and sacrifices to renew and restore it. But beginning with the Hellenic Age, the universe came to be seen as existing quite apart from human action and possessing, therefore, a kind of wisdom that humanity did not. Wearing his remarkable erudition lightly, Brague traces the many ways this universal wisdom has been interpreted over the centuries, from the time of ancient Egypt to the modern era. Socratic and Muslim philosophers, Christian theologians and Jewish Kabbalists all believed that questions about the workings of the world and the meaning of life were closely intertwined and that an understanding of cosmology was crucial to making sense of human ethics. Exploring the fate of this concept in the modern day, Brague shows how modernity stripped the universe of its sacred and philosophical wisdom, transforming it into an ethically indifferent entity that no longer serves as a model for human morality. Encyclopedic and yet intimate, The Wisdom of the World offers the best sort of history: broad, learned, and completely compelling. Brague opens a window onto systems of thought radically different from our own.
A new look at an ancient religion. The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Hinduism, Second Edition, contains updated and expanded information on how the religion developed from its very fragmented origins, the basic Hindu beliefs, and the multiple Hindu deities, as well as the sociological aspects of the religion including ethics, sacraments, dietary habits, the caste system, and much more. ? Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world, with over 765 million followers worldwide ? Updated information on the state of Hinduism today ? An exploration of the Hindu paths to enlightenment including karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, tantra and laya yoga ? Expanded information on the Hindu Reformation
Touring the Universe is a complete astronomy field guide written especially for beginning & intermediate astronomy enthusiasts. It lets you in on the best places in the cosmos to explore, when and where to witness the most spectacular events, and how to get there to have the best experience! Even those on a budget will garner a lifetime of memories. Liftoff is now! Fasten your seat belts.Highlights?Written especially to help beginners, dabblers or budding amateur astronomers, from high school to adult, to get started in understanding and observing the heavens.?First section of the book takes you on an introductory tour of our solar system, then on through our galaxy and into the depths of the universe. The second sections provides information for exploring the night sky with your eyes, binoculars or telescope.?Up-to-date information on choosing binoculars or a telescope.?Full-color star charts cover the entire celestial sphere ? for use anywhere in the world. Over 100 binocular and telescope objects indicated and described.?Detailed description on finding and observing each of the eight planets through 2017.?Detailed description on finding and observing over 100 star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.?Moon map and moon phases through 2017.?Worldwide eclipses through 2017.?Meteor showers, astrophotography, universal time and more.?Table of contents, glossary, index, historical timelines.?Loaded with color photos, illustrations and tables.
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Bible. When we read Scripture we often imagine that the world inhabited by the Bible's characters was much the same as our own. We would be wrong. The biblical world is an ancient world with a flat earth that stands at the center of the cosmos, and with a vast ocean in the sky, chaos dragons, mystical mountains, demonic deserts, an underground zone for the dead, stars that are sentient beings, and, if you travel upwards and through the doors in the solid dome of the sky, God's heaven--the heart of the universe. This book takes readers on a guided tour of the biblical cosmos with the goal of opening up the Bible in its ancient world. It then goes further and seeks to show how this very ancient biblical way of seeing the world is still revelatory and can speak God's word afresh into our own modern worlds.
Read Jeff Alexander's posts on the Penguin Blog. A couch potato’s book of wisdom— 100% commercial free! Some say that entire generations of Americans are being raised by the television…like that’s a bad thing. Not so, says author Jeff Alexander, long-time television writer, advocate of education by television, and recapper for the popular website Television Without Pity. Here, he offers the ultimate in life lessons as seen on TV. Topics include: • Saved by the Bell: School on TV • Somebody Save Me: Super Powers and Magic Spells • Tell Me Why I Love You Like I Do: Relationships on TV • Making A Living: The Workplace • And more With a smart, snarky style, Alexander guides readers through important lessons gleaned from years of TV reviewing (now in convenient book form!), freeing up a whole new generation to learn other things, like how to cure cancer or solve world hunger…or anything more useful than watching TV (Author’s note: Just joking… there is no such thing).

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