A thought-provoking dispatch from the frontier of physics.

THE GRAND BIOCENTRIC DESIGN

HOW LIFE CREATES REALITY

Medical scientist Lanza, with physicist Pavšič and science writer Berman, expands the argument for biocentrism in this new exploration of the subject.

The current scientific consensus is that life is a product of the universe—but these authors argue that it’s actually the other way around. Many of the unknowns in our current understanding of physics, assert the authors, begin to make sense if one allows that nature and its observer have effects on each other—in other words, that the living, conscious mind is necessary for laws of the universe to exist and function at all. This third book on biocentrism from Lanza and his co-authors seeks to move the topic out of the realm of speculation and prove that its ideas are based on hard science: “Did biocentrism more properly fall under the rubric of philosophy than of science? We certainly didn’t think so. Yet we acknowledged that it would be nice to be able to seal the case for biocentrism on the physics alone.” The authors outline the history and principles of the concept of biocentrism, including recent discoveries that have helped the theory gain greater traction. Augmented with this new research, they make the best case they can for their view on how the universe operates—attempting to establish, once and for all, the necessity of the observer. The book’s prose is aimed at the general reader, and the authors craft their arguments—even the most complex ones—in smooth, accessible language. For example, here, they discuss the reception of Einstein’s theory of relativity: “This connectedness between spatial dimensions and the temporal component threw most people for a loop. That’s because in daily life, time seems utterly distinct from the three spatial realms.” The arguments build in complexity as the work goes on but do so in a way that’s quite thrilling. Not all readers will be persuaded by the authors’ case, but its notions are exciting ones, and they do a sound job of linking them to observable, replicable experiments. Fans of revolutionary science—or just big, cerebral questions—will enjoy this ambitious work.

A thought-provoking dispatch from the frontier of physics.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-950665-40-2

Page Count: 280

Publisher: BenBella Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2020

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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