Tag: Biology

David Attenborough – Life On Earth | Review

Title: Life On Earth

Author: David Attenborough

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 324

Rating: 4*/5

 

David Attenborough - Life On Earth

David Attenborough – Life On Earth

 

If you’re familiar with the work of David Attenborough then you know roughly what to expect here. This is basically the great naturalist’s narrative on how life on earth came about, and it’s thoroughly fascinating if you’re interested in animals – although also occasionally intimidating as well.

My copy of it is maybe forty years old, but it’s still pretty interesting and it’s all up-to-date in most areas – except for where Attenborough said there were four billion humans on the planet. It also comes with plenty of high quality imagery because he wrote the book at the same time as filming the documentary series of the same name, so he’s able to tap into the footage from the show and from other wildlife photographers. Sometimes they take up both pages of a two-page spread, which means they’re shown in fantastic quality – and that it’s easier to whizz through pages than you might first imagine.

I think the most interesting aspect of this book is actually the little things that you learn about different animals, although I find it hard to think of a specific example. But it’s cool when he tells you about the animal with the largest eyes in relation to the rest of its body (I think it was a lemur at 250 times larger in proportion than human eyes) and then you turn the page and see a photo of it.

All in all then, this book definitely isn’t for everyone – and in fact, I suspect it’s meant as more of a coffee table book than as one that you’d pick up and read from cover to cover. Nevertheless, that’s what I did and I enjoyed it, and so if you’re an animal lover or you think that biology is just fascinating, you’re going to like it. If not, you still might.

 

David Attenborough

David Attenborough

 

Click here to buy Life On Earth.

 


New Scientist – Question Everything | Review

Title: Question Everything

Author: New Scientist

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 282

Rating: 7/10

 

New Scientist - Question Everything

New Scientist – Question Everything

 

The real reason that I have this book is because a good friend of mine, a hip-hop artist called Antix, has an album of the same name. That tenuous link was enough for me to buy it when I had a chance to, and it turned out to be a pretty interesting read, and one that Antix would enjoy, too.

There’s no complex idea behind it, but it can get complex at times – simply put, it’s a series of questions and answers that have appeared in New Scientist over the years, sorted by subject (Earth, Space, Physics, Meteorology, Chemistry, Evolution, Biology, Health, Cognition, Alcohol, Eating, Transport and The Rest).

Some of the questions are deep, like ‘why is the night sky black, even though it’s full of stars?’, and some are trivial, like ‘why doesn’t your own snoring wake you up?’, but all of them somehow seem to fit into the category of questions that you’ve wondered about absent-mindedly at least once in your life. It’s kind of cool to get answers to questions that you didn’t realise that you’d asked, if nothing else.

It can also be a little depressing at times – it turns out that the answer to a lot of the ‘what would happen if?’ questions is that we would all die. If the earth was hollow, for instance, we would be screwed – bet you’ve always wanted to know how long it would take to circumnavigate the globe if you jumped straight through a hole in the planet, though. Get ready to have that question, and plenty more, answered comprehensively.

 

New Scientist

New Scientist

 

Click here buy to Question Everything.

 


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