A world-leading materials scientist presents an engrossing collection of stories that explain the science and history of materials, from the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, revealing the miracles of engineering that seep into our everyday lives. 25,000 first printing.
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* * * Winner of the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books * * * Stuff Matters by Mark Miodnownik is a unique and inspiring exploration of human creativity. 'Enthralling. A mission to re-acquaint us with the wonders of the fabric that sustains our lives' Guardian Everything is made of something... From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Stuff Matters reveals the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day. From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, from the ancient technologies of fabrics and ceramic to today's self-healing metals and bionic implants, this is a book to inspire amazement and delight at mankind's material creativity. 'A certain sort of madness may be necessary to pull off what he has attempted here, which is a wholesale animation of the inanimate: Miodownik achieves precisely what he sets out to' The Times 'Insightful, fascinating. The futuristic materials will elicit gasps. Makes even the most everyday substance seem exciting' Sunday Times 'Wonderful. Miodownik writes well enough to make even concrete sparkle' Financial Times 'I stayed up all night reading this book' Oliver Sacks 'Expert, deftly written, immensely enjoyable' Observer Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2). In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection. In 2014 Stuff Matters won the Royal Society Winton Prize.
In this New York Times Notable Book, "Mark Miodownik, a materials scientist, explains the history and science behind things such as paper, glass, chocolate, and concrete with an infectious enthusiasm."—Scientific American Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist New York Times bestselling author Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Studying objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, he uncovers the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, his stories of analysis will make you see stuff in a whole new way. "Stuff Matters is about hidden wonders, the astonishing properties of materials we think boring, banal, and unworthy of attention...It's possible this science and these stories have been told elsewhere, but like the best chocolatiers, Miodownik gets the blend right."—The New York Times Book Review
Sometimes explosive, often delightful, occasionally poisonous, but always fascinating: the secret lives of liquids, from one of our best-known scientists A series of glasses of transparent liquids is in front of you: but which will quench your thirst and which will kill you? And why? Why does one liquid make us drunk, and another power a jumbo jet? From the bestselling author of Stuff Matters comes a fascinating tour of the world of these surprising or sinister substances - the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves we all encounter every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with water, wine, oil and more, Miodownik shows that liquids are agents of death and destruction as well as substances of wonder and fascination, and - just as in Stuff Matters - his unique brand of scientific storytelling brings them and their mysterious properties alive in a captivating new way.
“[Czerski’s] quest to enhance humanity’s everyday scientific literacy is timely and imperative.”—Science Storm in a Teacup is Helen Czerski’s lively, entertaining, and richly informed introduction to the world of physics. Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She provides answers to vexing questions: How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does it take so long for ketchup to come out of a bottle? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? In an engaging voice at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary.
After years studying remarkable companies and speaking to some of the most influential leaders around, Tim Manners has discovered a solution to the marketing woes of many brands. Stop worrying about demographics, fads, and cutting-edge advertising. Instead, focus on relevance. Manners shares how the best of the best create solutions to their customers’ problems and help them live happier lives. You’ll learn how: Levi’s reasserted relevance when it created wardrobe solutions for men. Dunkin’ Donuts stopped trying to mimic the look and feel of Starbucks and found success by delivering a simple, quick cup of joe. Hasbro reinvented board games for today’s time-pressed consumers. Kleenex’s new germ-fighting tissues helped keep the company relevant by turning a useful product into a necessary one. Staples stopped wasting its shoppers’ time with extraneous products. Nintendo’s simple design for the Wii appealed to consumers of all ages and game designers alike, allowing it to outsell its competitors. The path to sustainable growth for your brand begins with designing meaningful solutions and providing them when and where people need them most. Relevance will teach you how to become—and remain—indispensable.
Small slices of time go unnoticed. You go about your day, never realizing how much information missed moments contain. They are packed with lessons about living life to its fullest. John St.Augustine can teach you how to notice these ordinary moments. Remember them. Relive them. Live in the present while creating future moments that have depth, meaning, and purpose. Through anecdotes from his own life, St.Augustine demonstrates how to turn ordinary moments into extraordinary ones. Be still. Pay attention. Find the moments that matter.
In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies. Ramirez shows not only how materials were shaped by inventors but also how those materials shaped culture, chronicling each invention and its consequences—intended and unintended. Filling in the gaps left by other books about technology, Ramirez showcases little-known inventors—particularly people of color and women—who had a significant impact but whose accomplishments have been hidden by mythmaking, bias, and convention. Doing so, she shows us the power of telling inclusive stories about technology. She also shows that innovation is universal—whether it's splicing beats with two turntables and a microphone or splicing genes with two test tubes and CRISPR.
Real Life 101: A Guide To Stuff That Actually Matter is an easy-to-understand book for life in the real world. It teaches adults how to make smart, informed decisions on everyday living issues such as: renting an apartment, budgeting, moving, buying or leasing a car, understanding healthcare, and organizing personal finances.
Presents straight talk about friendships, parents, sexuality, teen relationships, media influences, and values to empower girls to build confidence, understand their bodies, and envision their potential.