The Invention of Air

A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781594488528
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 254
View: 6369
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Bestselling author Johnson recounts the story of Joseph Priestley--scientist and theologian, protege of Benjamin Franklin--an 18th-century radical thinker who played pivotal roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the founding of the Unitarian Church, and the intellectual development of the U.S.

The Invention of Air

A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440685312
Category: Science
Page: 304
View: 4927
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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. From the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Ghost Map and Everything Bad Is Good for You, a new national bestseller: the “exhilarating”( Los Angeles Times) story of Joseph Priestley, “a founding father long forgotten”(Newsweek) and a brilliant man who embodied the relationship between science, religion, and politics for America's Founding Fathers. In The Invention of Air, national bestselling author Steven Johnson tells the fascinating story of Joseph Priestley—scientist and theologian, protégé of Benjamin Franklin, friend of Thomas Jefferson—an eighteenth-century radical thinker who played pivotal roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the discovery of oxygen, the uses of oxygen, scientific experimentation, the founding of the Unitarian Church, and the intellectual development of the United States. As he did so masterfully in The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson uses a dramatic historical story to explore themes that have long engaged him: innovative strategies, intellectual models, and the way new ideas emerge and spread, and the environments that foster these breakthroughs.

The Invention of Air

An experiment, a journey, a new country and the amazing force of scientific discovery
Author: Stephen T Johnson
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141044918
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 176
View: 3348
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In 1794, Joseph Priestley - amateur scientist, ordained minister and radical thinker - set sail for America to escape persecution. Stephen Johnson tells his incredible story: the discovery of oxygen, the invention of a science, the founding of a church, and, with the great minds of his time, the development of the United States itself. But Priestley's revolutionary ideas put him in terrible danger. Johnson uses the progress of Priestley and his colleagues not merely to describe the wonder of discovery, but to show us how we have come to understand the world, how far we have travelled with the power of human enquiry - and how one man's curiosity can help build an entire country.

Cool

How Air Conditioning Changed Everything
Author: Salvatore Basile
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0823271781
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 7613
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It's July and it's 94 degrees Fahrenheit. What do you do? Blast the air conditioning. It's a modern miracle of convenience and cooling. How did it happen? Sal Basile's narrative history traces the origins one of the machines we take for granted. It's a contraption that makes the lists of "Greatest Inventions Ever"; at the same time, it's accused of causing global disaster. It has changed everything from architecture to people's food habits to their voting patterns, to even the way big business washes its windows. It has saved countless lives . . . while causing countless deaths. Most of us are glad it's there. But we don't know how, or when, it got there. It's air conditioning. For thousands of years, humankind attempted to do something about the slow torture of hot weather. Everything was tried: water power, slave power, electric power, ice made from steam engines and cold air made from deadly chemicals, "zephyrifers," refrigerated beds, ventilation amateurs and professional air-sniffers. It wasn't until 1902 when an engineer barely out of college developed the "Apparatus for Treating Air" a machine that could actually cool the indoors and everyone assumed it would instantly change the world. That wasn't the case. There was a time when people "ignored" hot weather while reading each day's list of heat-related deaths, women wore furs in the summertime, heatstroke victims were treated with bloodletting . . . and the notion of a machine to cool the air was considered preposterous, even sinful. The story of air conditioning is actually two stories: the struggle to perfect a cooling device, and the effort to convince people that they actually needed such a thing. With a cast of characters ranging from Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Nixon to Felix the Cat, Cool showcases the myriad reactions to air conditioning some of them dramatic, many others comical and wonderfully inconsistent as it was developed and presented to the world. Here is a unique perspective on air conditioning's fascinating history how we rely so completely on it today, and how it might change radically tomorrow.

Everything Bad is Good for You

How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101158012
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 3068
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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing big idea book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day—from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons—has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. After reading Everything Bad is Good for You, you will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again. With a new afterword by the author. Steven Johnson's newest book, How We Got to Now, is now available from Riverhead Books.

Air-conditioning America

Engineers and the Controlled Environment, 1900-1960
Author: Gail Cooper
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801871139
Category: Science
Page: 227
View: 1867
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In this study, Gail Cooper shows that, from the outset, air conditioning has been the focus of conflict and controversy - well predating today's concerns about fluorocarbons and global warming. While a technical elite of designers, inventors and corporate pioneers articulated a comprehensive vision of the new technology, their ideas were challenged by workers, consumers, government regulators, business competitors and rival professionals. Beginning with two famous air conditioning installations in 1904 - the New York Stock Exchange and the Seckett-Wilhelms Printing Company - Cooper describes the efforts of engineers to achieve artificial climate indoors. Such man-made weather helped transform the new motion picture theatres of the teens and twenties into the sumptuous palaces of luxury and comfort. The text is the story of how the grand vision of a new technology was shaped by the realities of the changing world of mass production, engineering professionalism and consumer demand. It provides new insight into how engineers and technical expertise fit into these complex forces of modern life.

The Invention of Nature

Alexander Von Humboldt's New World
Author: Andrea Wulf
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345806298
Category: Nature
Page: 473
View: 8203
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A portrait of the German naturalist reveals his ongoing influence on humanity's relationship with the natural world today, discussing such topics as his views on climate change, conservation, and nature as a resource for all life.

Falling Upwards

How We Took to the Air
Author: Richard Holmes
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307908704
Category: Science
Page: 416
View: 2321
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**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** **Time Magazine 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013** **The New Republic Best Books of 2013** In this heart-lifting chronicle, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, follows the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell. His accounts of the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar are dramatic and exhilarating. Holmes documents as well the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher (who rose) seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology); and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work. A seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography, and the metaphysics of flights, Falling Upwards explores the interplay between technology and imagination. And through the strange allure of these great balloonists, it offers a masterly portrait of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision. (With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.

Future Perfect

The Case For Progress In A Networked Age
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141974923
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 6521
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What connects the "miracle on the Hudson" to the planning of the French railway system, or the mysterious outbreak of strange smells in downtown Manhattan to the invention of the Internet? With his characteristic flair for multidisciplinary storytelling, Steven Johnson shows in Future Perfect that what lies behind these and many other fascinating human stories is the concept of networked thinking. Exploring a new vision of progress, Johnson argues that networked thinking holds the key to an incredible range of human achievements, and can transform everything from local government to drug research to arts funding and education. Future Perfect paints a compelling portrait of a new model of political change that is already on the rise, and shows that despite Western political systems hopelessly gridlocked by old ideas, change for the better can happen, and that new solutions are on the horizon. 'If you're a pessimist-and chances are you are-you should read Future Perfect. In fact, read it even if you're an optimist, because Mr. Johnson's book will give you lots of material to brighten the outlook of your gloomy friends...it envisions a new political movement' Wall Street Journal 'An informative, tech-savvy and provocative vision of a new and more democratic public philosophy. A breath of fresh air a breath of fresh air in an age of gridlock, cynicism and disillusionment' San Francisco Chronicle 'A buoyant and hopeful book ... Future Perfect reminds us we already have the treatment. We just need to use it' Boston Globe Steven Johnson is the US bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - most recently, outside.in - and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.

The Alchemy of Air

A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler
Author: Thomas Hager
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780307449993
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 5543
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A sweeping history of tragic genius, cutting-edge science, and the Haber-Bosch discovery that changed billions of lives--including your own. At the dawn of the twentieth century, humanity was facing global disaster: Mass starvation was about to become a reality. A call went out to the world’ s scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two men who found it: brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, and saved millions of lives. But their epochal triumph came at a price we are still paying. The Haber-Bosch process was also used to make the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the two world wars. Both men were vilified during their lives; both, disillusioned and disgraced, died tragically. The Alchemy of Air is the extraordinary, previously untold story of a discovery that changed the way we grow food and the way we make war–and that promises to continue shaping our lives in fundamental and dramatic ways.

The Innovator's Cookbook

Essentials for Inventing What Is Next
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101550384
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 272
View: 3092
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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, Emergence, Everything Bad is Good for You, Mind Wide Open and Ghost Map, and an acknowledged bestselling leader on the subject of innovation, gathers - for a foundational text on the subject of innovation - essays, interviews, and cutting-edge insights by such exciting field leaders as Peter Drucker, Richard Florida, Eric Von Hippel, Dean Keith Simonton, Arthur Koestler, John Seely Brown, and Marshall Berman. Johnson also provides new material from Marisa Mayer of Google, Twitter's Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's former Chief Software Architect. With additional commentary by Johnson himself, this book reveals the innovation found in a wide range of fields, including science, technology, energy, transportation, education, art, and sociology, making it vital, fresh, and fascinating reading for our time, and for the future.

How We Got to Now

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698154509
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 304
View: 2706
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From the New York Times–bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Farsighted, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas. In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life. In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.

Wonderland

How Play Made the Modern World
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399184503
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 1373
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“A house of wonders itself. . . . Wonderland inspires grins and well-what-d'ya-knows” —The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times–bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From, a look at the world-changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained. This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. Johnson’s storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows. In Wonderland, Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You’ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

The Invention of Science

A New History of the Scientific Revolution
Author: David Wootton
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062199250
Category: Science
Page: 784
View: 4511
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A companion to such acclaimed works as The Age of Wonder, A Clockwork Universe, and Darwin’s Ghosts—a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world. We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history. The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition. From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.

How Paris Became Paris

The Invention of the Modern City
Author: Joan DeJean
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608195910
Category: Architecture
Page: 320
View: 5513
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When Paris became the ultimate destination city.

Where Good Ideas Come from

The Seven Patterns of Innovation
Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141033401
Category: Creative thinking
Page: 326
View: 6614
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FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR 'Exhilarating . . . An entirely new way of looking at almost everything' GUARDIAN Where do good ideas come from? And what do we need to know and do to have more of them? Here Steven Johnson identifies the seven key principles of innovation, including: A slow hunch can be much more valuable than a Eureka moment The connected 'hive mind' is smarter than the lone thinker Where you think matters just as much as what you're thinking The best ideas come from building on the ideas and inventions of others From the Renaissance to satellites, medical breakthroughs to social media, Charles Darwin to Marconi, Steven Johnson shows how, by recognizing where and how patterns of creativity occur, we can all discover the secrets of inspiration. 'A huge diversity of bright ideas' FINANCIAL TIMES 'Johnson finds new and original things to say about the nature of innovation, and the different forms it can take' ECONOMIST, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 'An enthralling work full of counter-intuitive insights' DAILY MAIL

The Invention of News

How the World Came to Know About Itself
Author: Andrew Pettegree
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300179081
Category: History
Page: 445
View: 9576
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Lays out the history of news and its dissemination, from medieval pilgrim tales to the birth of the newspaper.

Wings of Madness

Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight
Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN: 9780786885718
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 384
View: 9813
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An intriguing study of the early days of aviation offers a close-up profile of Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont who entertained Europe with his airborne acrobatics and antics beginning in 1906 with a small dirigible, in a glimpse into the tormented mind of a talented man, set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century Paris. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

The Sword of No-Sword

Life of the Master Warrior Tesshu
Author: John Stevens
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
ISBN: 0834828294
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 184
View: 4397
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Master swordsman, calligrapher, and Zen practitioner, Yamoaka Tesshu is a seminal figure in martial arts history. John Stevens's biography is a fascinating, detailed account of Tesshu's remarkable life. From Tesshu's superhuman feats of endurance and keen perception in life-threatening situations, to his skillful handling of military affairs during the politically volatile era of early nineteenth-century Japan, Stevens recounts the stories that have made Tesshu a legend. This is the book all martial artists must own.

How We Decide


Author: Jonah Lehrer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0618620117
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 302
View: 3250
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Offers a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making--and how it can help us make better choices.