What We Are Reading Today: ‘Particle Cosmology and Astrophysics’

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Updated 14 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Particle Cosmology and Astrophysics’

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Author: DAN HOOPER

This book explores the exciting interface between the fields of cosmology, high-energy astrophysics, and particle physics, at a level suitable for advanced undergraduate- to graduate-level students as well as active researchers.

Without assuming a strong background in particle physics or quantum field theory, the text is designed to be accessible to readers from a range of backgrounds and presents both fundamentals and modern topics in a modular style that allows for flexible use and easy reference.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Florapedia

What We Are Reading Today: Florapedia
Updated 28 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Florapedia

What We Are Reading Today: Florapedia

Author: Carol Gracie

“Florapedia” is an eclectic A–Z compendium of botanical lore.

With more than 100 enticing entries—on topics ranging from achlorophyllous plants that use a fungus as an intermediary to obtain nutrients from other plants to zygomorphic flowers that admit only the most select pollinators—this collection is a captivating journey into the realm of botany.


Book Review: The Elephant in the Brain

Book Review: The Elephant in the Brain
Updated 27 May 2024
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Book Review: The Elephant in the Brain

Book Review: The Elephant in the Brain

Published in 2017, “The Elephant in the Brain” is an insightful book that takes readers on a journey into the hidden motives that shape human behavior and influence decision-making.

Writer and software engineer Kevin Simler and professor of economics Robin Hanson take a deep dive into the subconscious factors behind people’s choices in life and what drives them to act a certain way. 

The book explores the idea that many human behaviors are influenced by hidden motives, evolutionary drives, social signals, and other unconscious aspects that the conscious mind fails to recognize.

Through various examples and case studies, the authors address the elephant in the room — the unspoken and unflattering secrets behind everything, from career choices and charitable contributions to laughter and attraction. They invite readers to question personal motives, choices, and biases and reflect on themselves. 

One of the book’s strengths is its interdisciplinary approach, which gathers insights from several fields, including psychology, biology, and economics, to draw a more comprehensive picture for the reader.

However, “The Elephant in the Brain” might be a challenging read as it explores ideas regarding the nature of human behavior that some readers might find uncomfortable.

Yet, the authors skillfully maintain an objective, non-judgmental tone throughout, encouraging readers to approach the topic with a mindset of self-reflection and intellectual curiosity.

“The Elephant in the Brain” is well-researched and a great choice for people interested in understanding the hidden drivers behind human decision-making.


What We Are Reading Today: Civilization in Transition

What We Are Reading Today: Civilization in Transition
Updated 27 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Civilization in Transition

What We Are Reading Today: Civilization in Transition

Author: C. G. Jung

‘The “Civilization in Transition” features Jung’s writings on contemporary events, especially the relation between the individual and society.

In the earliest essay, “The Role of the Unconscious” (1918), Jung advanced the theory that World War I was a psychological crisis originating in the collective unconscious of individuals. 


Book Review: ‘Outlive’

Book Review: ‘Outlive’
Updated 26 May 2024
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Book Review: ‘Outlive’

Book Review: ‘Outlive’

In “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity,” Dr. Peter Attia (with Bill Gifford), a renowned physician and longevity expert, flips the script on aging.

He argues for a proactive approach that involves taking control of one’s health to prevent chronic diseases before they happen.

Attia ditches the one-size-fits-all mentality and instead focuses on four key pillars: diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. He dives into the science behind each, explaining how they impact cellular health and ultimately, lifespan.

“Outlive” does not promise you a fad diet or a magic pill. Attia emphasizes personalized strategies and encourages tracking key health markers like blood sugar and blood pressure to understand the body's unique needs.

But it is not all biohacking. Attia acknowledges the mind-body connection, highlighting the importance of sleep and good relationships for a long, fulfilling life.

Moreover, the book explores the intricate science behind longevity and delves into the various factors that contribute to living a longer, healthier life.

The book provides readers with actionable strategies to optimize their healthspan, allowing them to not only extend their years but also improve their quality of life as they age.

Like an owner’s manual for health, “Outlive” empowers the reader to take charge, optimize their health, and not just live longer, but live a life that feels truly alive.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘The Career Arts

What We Are Reading Today: ‘The Career Arts
Updated 26 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘The Career Arts

What We Are Reading Today: ‘The Career Arts

Author: Ben Wildavasky 

Young people coming out of high school today can expect to hold many jobs over the course of their lives, which is why they need a range of essential skills.

“The Career Arts” provides a corrective to the widespread and misleading notion that there is a direct trade-off between going to college and acquiring practical job skills.