Mark Miodownik’s keen interest in materials science began when he was stabbed in the back on a train platform in London as teenager. He saw the weapon at the police station and was bewildered that it could gracefully slice through 5 layers of cloth and then his epidermis and dermis. Since then, he has studied everyday materials that hide in plain sight. They not only comprise the modern world in which we live, but shape the culture and values we hold dear.

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For many, Einstein’s renown as a scientist has obscured other aspects of his life and thought. The World As I See It is a collection of essays, lectures, and letters Einstein wrote in the 1920s and 30s on topics as diverse as politics, culture, education, and spirituality. These essays shed new light on one of the greatest minds the world has known by showing his deep concern and love for life and humanity.

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The late NYU professor Neil Postman examines the cultural shift from the printed word to electronic media as the preferred form of communication. More than another ‘TV will rot your brain’ diatribe, Amusing Ourselves to Death delves into how we perceive and consume information, formulate thoughts and arguments, and construct beliefs based on the technology we use. This classic cautionary tale points out what we are unknowingly sacrificing on the altar of entertainment. Not for the faint of heart.

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