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Every time we choose a route to work, decide whether to go on a second date, or set aside money for a rainy day, we are making a prediction about the future. Yet from the global financial crisis to 9/11 to the Fukushima disaster, we often fail to foresee hugely significant events. In The Signal and the Noise, the New York Times' political forecaster and statistics guru Nate Silver explores the art of prediction, revealing how we can all build a better crystal ball.
In his quest to distinguish the true signal from a universe of noisy data, Silver visits hundreds of expert forecasters, in fields ranging from the stock market to the poker table, from earthquakes to terrorism. What lies behind their success? And why do so many predictions still fail? By analysing the rare prescient forecasts, and applying a more quantitative lens to everyday life, Silver distils the essential lessons of prediction.
We live in an increasingly data-driven world, but it is harder than ever to detect the true patterns amid the noise of information. In this dazzling insider's tour of the world of forecasting, Silver reveals how we can all develop better foresight in our everyday lives.
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Most people remember chemistry from their schooldays as a subject that was largely incomprehensible, fact-rich but understanding-poor, smelly, and so far removed from the real world of events and pleasures that there seemed little point, except for the most introverted, in coming to terms with its grubby concepts, spells, recipes, and rules.
Peter Atkins wants to change all that. In What is Chemistry? he encourages us to look at chemistry anew, through a chemist's eyes, to understand its central concepts and to see how it contributes not only towards our material comfort, but also to human culture. Atkins shows how chemistry provides the infrastructure of our world, through the chemical industry, the fuels of heating, power generation, and transport, as well as the fabrics of our clothing and furnishings.
By considering the remarkable achievements that chemistry has made, and examining its place between both physics and biology, Atkins presents a fascinating, clear, and rigorous exploration of the world of chemistry - its structure, core concepts, and exciting contributions to new cutting-edge technologies.
From John Bradshaw, one of the world's leading experts on animal behaviour, and the author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, In Defence of Dogs, Cat Sense is a scientific portrait of the true, surprising nature of cats
Worshipped as gods, feared as demonic servants, seen as both wild opportunists and beloved companions, cats often seem as unfathomable, enigmatic and magical to us today as they did in ancient times. They have lived with humans for at least ten thousand years (far earlier than the reign of the Pharaohs), and today are the most popular pet in the world. That they now outnumber the dog, man's 'best friend', by three to one, is small wonder: at once affectionate and self-reliant, they seem to be perfectly suited to our busy 21st Century lifestyles. Yet cats still think like the wild scavengers and hunters from which they are descended - and to which they can quickly revert. Today, they face unprecedented challenges in their life with humans: from conservationists who cast them as a threat to wildlife; from other cats who they compete for territory with; and from good-intentioned owners and vets with misconceptions of what they require.
Cats need not so much our sympathy, but our understanding, if they are to continue to enjoy our companionship. The recent surge in feline science - with John Bradshaw at the forefront - means we are now better equipped to understand them than ever before. Cat Sense offers us for the first time a true picture of one of humanity's closest and most enigmatic companions.
Praise for In Defence of Dogs:
'The most fantastic book, a revelation' Observer
'Essential reading' Daily Telegraph
'Nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding' Guardian
'A case grounded in kindness and science ... Authoritative, wise and rather moving' Independent
'A wonderful, reassuring, and encouraging book' Literary Review
'A wonderfully informative, passionate book' Economist
John Bradshaw is a biologist who founded and directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute, based at the University of Bristol. He has been studying the behaviour of domestic cats and their owners for over 25 years, and is the author of many scientific articles, research papers and reviews. He is also the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, In Defence of Dogs.
The past fifteen thousand years - the entire span of human civilization - have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.Global sea levels stabilised about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. So the curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade.Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has speeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.
What came before the Big Bang?
How did the universe begin and must it inevitably end?
In this remarkable book Roger Penrose brilliantly illuminates some of the deepest mysteries of the universe.
Cycles of Time contains a penetrating analysis of the second law of thermodynamics - according to which the 'randomness' of our world is continually increasing - and a thorough examination of the light-cone geometry of space-time. It combines these two central themes to show how the expected ultimate fate of our accelerating, expanding universe can actually be reinterpreted as the 'big bang' of a new one.
Presenting various standard and non-standard cosmological models, discussing black holes in depth as well as taking in the role of the cosmic microwave background along the way, Roger Penrose argues that the Big Bang was not actually the beginning of everything - nor will it signal the end.
Original and compelling, Cycles of Time offers new answers to the ultimate questions of life.
Imagine a killer with the infectiousness of the common cold and power of the Black Death. Imagine something so deadly that it wipes out 90% of those it touches. Imagine an organism against which there is no defence. But you don't need to imagine. Such a killer exists: it is a virus and its name is Ebola. The Hot Zone tells what happens when the unthinkable becomes reality: when a deadly virus, from the rain forests of Africa, crosses continents and infects a monkey house ten miles from the White House. Ebola is that reality. It has the power to decimate the world's population. Try not to panic. It will be back. There is nothing you can do...
'I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.'
Introduces the latest techniques advocated for measuring financial market risk and portfolio optimization, and provides a plethora of R code examples that enable the reader to replicate the results featured throughout the book.
Financial Risk Modelling and Portfolio Optimization with R:
Graduate and postgraduate students in finance, economics, risk management as well as practitioners in finance and portfolio optimization will find this book beneficial. It also serves well as an accompanying text in computer-lab classes and is therefore suitable for self-study.
At a moment of great discovery, one Big Idea can change the world...
E = mc2 is the world's most famous equation, but what does it mean and why were Einstein's theories so groundbreaking? Einstein's revolutionary papers on his Theories of Relativity changed mankind's view of the world and universe for ever, establishing him as one of our greatest scientific minds - but when he died, he considered himself a failure.
Einstein & Relativity tells the gripping story of Einstein's early life (in which he failed all subjects except maths and physics) through to his most important research. After publishing his two innovative Theories of Relativity, he then wasted over two decades searching for a comprehensive theory, in contradiction to his previous work. The Big Idea: Einstein & Relativity is accessible and absorbing, placing Einstein's life and work into the context of science up to that point and distilling his complex theories into bite-size pieces for anyone and everyone.
The Big Idea series is a fascinating look at the greatest advances in our scientific history, and at the men and women who made these fundamental breakthroughs.
The first step-by-step guidebook for successful innovation planning
Unlike other books on the subject, 101 Design Methods approaches the practice of creating new products, services, and customer experiences as a science, rather than an art, providing a practical set of collaborative tools and methods for planning and defining successful new offerings. Strategists, managers, designers, and researchers who undertake the challenge of innovation, despite a lack of established procedures and a high risk of failure, will find this an invaluable resource. Novices can learn from it; managers can plan with it; and practitioners of innovation can improve the quality of their work by referring to it.