Math bytes : Google bombs, chocolate-covered pi, and other cool bits in computing by Tim Chartier
QA 93 .C47 2014
This book provides a fun, hands-on approach to learning how mathematics and computing relate to the world around us and help us to better understand it. How can reposting on Twitter kill a movie’s opening weekend? How can you use mathematics to find your celebrity look-alike? What is Homer Simpson’s method for disproving Fermat’s Last Theorem? Each topic in this refreshingly inviting book illustrates a famous mathematical algorithm or result–such as Google’s PageRank and the traveling salesman problem–and the applications grow more challenging as you progress through the chapters. But don’t worry, helpful solutions are provided each step of the way.
Math Bytes shows you how to do calculus using a bag of chocolate chips, and how to prove the Euler characteristic simply by doodling. Generously illustrated in color throughout, this lively and entertaining book also explains how to create fractal landscapes with a roll of the dice, pick a competitive bracket for March Madness, decipher the math that makes it possible to resize a computer font or launch an Angry Bird–and much, much more. All of the applications are presented in an accessible and engaging way, enabling beginners and advanced readers alike to learn and explore at their own pace–a bit and a byte at a time. – publisher description
Do fathers matter? : what science is telling us about the parent we’ve overlooked by Paul Raeburn
BF 723 .F35 R34 2014
For too long, we’ve thought of fathers as little more than sources of authority and economic stability in the lives of their children. Yet cutting-edge studies drawing unexpected links between fathers and children are forcing us to reconsider our assumptions and ask new questions: What changes occur in men when they are “expecting”? Do fathers affect their children’s language development? What are the risks and rewards of being an older-than-average father at the time the child is born? What happens to a father’s hormone levels at every stage of his child’s development, and can a child influence the father’s health? Just how much do fathers matter?
In Do Fathers Matter? the award-winning journalist and father of five Paul Raeburn overturns the many myths and stereotypes of fatherhood as he examines the latest scientific findings on the parent we’ve often overlooked. Drawing on research from neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, geneticists, and developmental psychologists, among others, Raeburn takes us through the various stages of fatherhood, revealing the profound physiological connections between children and fathers, from conception through adolescence and into adulthood—and the importance of the relationship between mothers and fathers. In the process, he challenges the legacy of Freud and mainstream views of parental attachment, and also explains how we can become better parents ourselves.
Ultimately, Raeburn shows how the role of the father is distinctly different from that of the mother, and that embracing fathers’ significance in the lives of young people is something we can all benefit from. An engrossing, eye-opening, and deeply personal book that makes a case for a new perspective on the importance of fathers in our lives no matter what our family structure, Do Fathers Matter? will change the way we view fatherhood today. – publisher description
What is veiling? by Sahar Amer
BP 190.5 .H44 A535 2014
Ranging from simple head scarf to full-body burqa, the veil is worn by vast numbers of Muslim women around the world. What Is Veiling? explains one of the most visible, controversial, and least understood emblems of Islam. Sahar Amer’s evenhanded approach is anchored in sharp cultural insight and rich historical context. Addressing the significance of veiling in the religious, cultural, political, and social lives of Muslims, past and present, she examines the complex roles the practice has played in history, religion, conservative and progressive perspectives, politics and regionalism, society and economics, feminism, fashion, and art.
By highlighting the multiple meanings of veiling, the book decisively shows that the realities of the practice cannot be homogenized or oversimplified and extend well beyond the religious and political accounts that are overwhelmingly proclaimed both inside and outside Muslim-majority societies. Neither defending nor criticizing the practice, What Is Veiling? clarifies the voices of Muslim women who struggle to be heard and who, veiled or not, demand the right to live spiritual, personal, and public lives in dignity. – publisher description
Think like a freak: the authors of Freakonomics offer to retrain your brain
by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
BF 449 .L47
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.
Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.
Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.
Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:
- First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it.
- Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to.
- Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions.
- Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world.
- Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day.
- Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.
Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read. -publisher description
The food police: a well-fed manifesto about the politics of your plate by Jayson Lusk
RA 784 .L87
Ban trans-fats? Outlaw Happy Meals? Tax Twinkies? What’s next? Affirmative action for cows? A catastrophe is looming. Farmers are raping the land and torturing animals. Food is riddled with deadly pesticides, hormones and foreign DNA. Corporate farms are wallowing in government subsidies. Meat packers and fast food restaurants are exploiting workers and tainting the food supply. And Paula Deen has diabetes!
Something must be done. So says an emerging elite in this country who think they know exactly what we should grow, cook and eat. They are the food police.
Taking on the commandments and condescension the likes of Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Mark Bittman, The Food Police casts long overdue skepticism on fascist food snobbery, debunking the myths propagated by the food elite. You’ll learn:
– Organic food is not necessarily healthier or tastier (and is certainly more expensive).
– Genetically modified foods haven’t sickened a single person but they have made farmers more profitable and they do hold the promise of feeding impoverished Africans.
– Farm policies aren’t making us fat.
– Voguish locavorism is not greener or better for the economy.
– Fat taxes won’t slim our waists and “fixing” school lunch programs won’t make our kids any smarter.
– Why the food police hypocritically believe an iPad is a technological marvel but food technology is an industrial evil.
So before Big Brother and Animal Farm merge into a socialist nightmare, read The Food Police and let us as Americans celebrate what is good about our food system and take back our forks and foie gras before it’s too late! – publisher description
My brief history by Stephen Hawking
QC 16 .H33 A3
Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, perhaps the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inward for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution.
My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking’s improbable journey, from his post-war London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty and candid account introduces readers to the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him ‘Einstein’; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a black hole; and the young husband and father striving to gain a foothold in the world of academia.
Writing with humility and humour, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of ALS aged twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onward through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece A Brief History of Time – one of the iconic books of the twentieth century. – publisher description
The great reformer : Francis and the making of a radical pope by Austen Ivereigh
BX 1378.7 .I94
Relying on extensive interviews in Argentina, Rome, and elsewhere, as well as years of study of the contemporary Catholic Church, The Great Reformer tells the story of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the man who went from lower-middle-class child of Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires to spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics worldwide.
The intimate, far-reaching biography sheds light on a largely untold story: the influence of Argentina’s nationalist movement on Pope Francis and the inspiration provided by early Jesuit missionaries; his radical embrace of a Church for the poor; his visionary but controversial leadership of the Argentine Jesuits; as well as the hair-raising tightrope he walked during the military dictatorship of the 1970s. Based on primary sources and dozens of interviews with his contemporaries, the book charts his remarkable tenure as bishop and archbishop at a time of crisis in the Vatican and contains fascinating insider accounts of his friendships across the boundaries of politics and religion, his courageous challenge to drugs and gambling mafias, as well as the hitherto untold story of how and why he was elected pope.
Deep analysis and rare insights make for a thrilling account of one man’s journey through the intersection of faith and politics. The Great Reformer is the definitive account of how this radical pope came to be.
– publisher description