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Tag: science

I Never Knew There Were So Many Books About Us!

Come celebrate Black families and Black art with Interactive Science, Story, and Art Activities for grades K-2 and their favorite adult.

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R. Douglas Fields

Analyzing brainwaves, the imperceptible waves of electricity surging across your scalp, has been possible for nearly a century. But only now are neuroscientists becoming aware of the wealth of information brainwaves hold about a person’s life, thoughts, and future health. In Electric Brain (BenBella), world-renowned neuroscientist R. Douglas Fields takes us on an enthralling journey into the world of brainwaves, detailing how new brain science could fundamentally change society.

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Daniel J. Levitin

Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind, turns his keen mind to what happens in our brains as we age, why we should think about health span, not life span, and what you can do to make the most of your 70s, 80s, and 90s today. Successful Aging (Dutton) uses research from developmental neuroscience and psychology to show that 60+ years is a unique developmental stage that has its own demands and advantages. Levitin takes a scientific approach to what we all can learn from those who age joyously, as well as how to adapt our culture to take full advantage of older people’s wisdom and experience.

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Daniel J. Siegel

One of the very best scientific predictors for how any child turns out – in terms of happiness, academic success, leadership skills, and meaningful relationships – is whether at least one adult in their life has consistently shown up for them. In an age of scheduling demands and digital distractions, this might sound like a tall order. But as Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, authors of The Whole-Brain Child, reassuringly explain, showing up doesn’t take a lot of time, energy, or money. Siegel joins us to present his new book (cowritten with Bryson), The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired (Ballantine).

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Endangered Orcas: The Story of the Southern Residents

The critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales are the most watched and studied whales in the world, yet they struggle for survival in the waters of Washington State and British Columbia. These urban orcas, a Pacific Northwest icon, are at the center of human politics as we attempt to learn from the past and find a sustainable future. Our relationship to these whales, complicated by both the positive attachments and negative politics we have created around them, has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. With more challenges on the horizon, one question looms: Can we still create a sustainable future for humans and orcas in the Salish Sea? Monika Wieland Shields’s Endangered Orcas (Orca Watcher) is the story of the Southern Resident killer whales.

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The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last

We have lost the war on cancer. We spend $150 billion each year treating it, yet – a few innovations notwithstanding – a patient with cancer is as likely to die of it as one was 50 years ago. Most new drugs add mere months to one’s life, at agonizing physical and financial cost. In The First Cell (Basic), oncologist Azra Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treat cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again, The First Cell explores cancer from every angle: medical, scientific, cultural, and personal.

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Heather Christle in Conversation With Zachary Schomburg

Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and now must reckon with her own depression and the birth of her first child. As she faces her grief and impending parenthood, she decides to research the act of crying: what it is and why people do it, even if they rarely talk about it. Honest, intelligent, rapturous, and surprising, Christle’s investigations look through a mosaic of science, history, and her own lived experience to find new ways of understanding life, loss, and mental illness. The Crying Book (Catapult) is a deeply personal tribute to the fascinating strangeness of tears and the unexpected resilience of joy. Christle will be joined in conversation by Zachary Schomburg, Octopus Books publisher and author of Pulver Maar. [You…

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Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You

Every dog lover knows the feeling. The nuzzle of a dog’s nose, the warmth of them lying at our feet. It really seems like our dogs love us, too. But for years, scientists have resisted that conclusion, warning against anthropomorphizing our pets. Enter Clive Wynne, a pioneering canine behaviorist whose research is helping to usher in a new era: one in which love, not intelligence or submissiveness, is at the heart of the human-canine relationship. Drawing on cutting-edge studies from his lab and others around the world, Wynne’s Dog Is Love (Houghton Mifflin) shows that affection is the very essence of dogs, from their faces and tails to their brains, hormones, even DNA.

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Debbie Ethell

We welcome Debbie Ethell, reading from her recently published book The Will of Heaven: An Inspiring True Story about Elephants, Alcoholism, and Hope. Debbie Ethell is the Executive Director for The KOTA Foundation for Elephants and a conservation research scientist. Her book is the powerful true story of how one woman overcame a debilitating addiction, rising from the courtrooms of her past to the grass plains of Kenya as a conservation research scientist. It was there she could finally fulfill her lifelong dream of working with wild elephants. Ethell became obsessed by a group of elephants in Kenya when she was eight years old, after seeing them on a PBS nature show. Over the next several years her obsession grew, until a group of school…

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Kevin Scott, The Voice of This Stone

Portland geologist Kevin Scott joins us to talk about his new book The Voice of this Stone: Learning from Volcanic Disasters Around the World, published by Carpe Diem Books. Through more than a dozen case studies from around the globe, Dr. Scott offers chilling details about what happened before, during, and after infamous volcanic cataclysms. His case studies highlight some of the best-known events and advance warnings regarding future episode. By deciphering the histories of other disasters, Scott proposes, lives can and will be spared. Scott is a widely published and respected volcanologist with five decades of scientific study and boots-on-the-ground experience. He has spent his career in the field, traveling internationally, venturing up and down mountains, observing altered landscapes, and studying volcanic history stored…

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