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Friday, September 14, 2012

Ponderables™ 100 Breakthroughs That Changed History Who Did What When


Introducing an exciting new series of beautifully designed illustrated essential histories from Shelter Harbor Press

Ours is a very material world, have you ever wondered what it is made of, what it is deep down? If so you are not alone, and centuries of pondering have come up with a great many answers over the years.

The thoughts and deeds of great thinkers always make great stories. Each story relates a confounding puzzle, a “ponderable”, a weighty problem that became a discovery and changed the way we understand the world and our place in it.

Our high-tech, inter-connected world is built on these Ponderables™, growing, changing step-by-step into an ever clearer picture of reality.

Ponderables™ is a new series of beautifully designed illustrated books tackling some of the oldest most important subjects in history. Beginning with The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table, Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers, and The Universe: An Illustrated History of Astronomy, each authoritative and lively text, using 100 milestone facts and lavish illustrations combined with stories to enhance understanding. A removable fold-out concertina is neatly housed at the back of each book, with a 12-page timeline and more.

Knowledge does not arrive fully formed. We have to work at it, taking it in turns to consider the evidence and offer our take on it. In hindsight even the most cutting-edge opinions can look utterly wrong, if not bizarre and laughable:

Hennig Brand, a 17th-century German alchemist, is the first on record to discover a new element. As he boils down his urine it begins to glow in the dark. He names the magic powder phosphorus. (from The Elements)

Joseph Priestley, an 18th-century English theologian and chemist, notices that mice become unconscious when dangled over brewing beer, and that the fumes mixed with water also make a refreshing drink. He calls it soda water.  (from The Elements)

One of the central tools of statistics was developed in 1898 when Ladislaus Bortkiewicz, a Russian mathematician, computed the odds on a Prussian cavalryman being killed when kicked by a horse. (from Mathematics)

As they watched Scorpio sent by Apollo to chase Orion the Hunter across the sky each night, ancient astronomers imagined they were inside a perpetually turning crystal sphere. (from The Universe)

“We are living in a time when people want to learn, to know.  We are all deeply curious about the sciences, about the world around us. I feel the Ponderable™ series speaks to this desire. The series focuses on key moments,” explains publishing industry veteran and publisher, Jeanette Limondjian. “We enter a subject through the minds of its most passionate people – what were they thinking and what were they doing? Ponderables™ is a curated and illustrated celebration of the creative genius of mankind’s greatest thinkers.”

Written by Tom Jackson, a science writer who has the gift of making intellectual topics easy for every reader to access, Ponderables™ offers an unintimidating dip into the information – and inspiration – that define history.

Coming next in the Ponderables™ series: Physics, Philosophy and Computing.

For more information about the Ponderables™ series and to request review copies or author interviews, please contact Newman Communications.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND EDITOR:
Tom Jackson is a science author based in the United Kingdom. He has written more than 80 books and contributed to many more, covering everything from axolotls to Zoroastrianism. He studied zoology at the University of Bristol, and still lives in that city with his wife and three children, where he can be found mainly in the attic.

PONDERABLES™
100 Breakthroughs that Changed History
Who Did What When

From Shelter Harbor Press
Distributed by Mark A. Adams, Inc.

Specifications for all books:
Trim Size: 9.25 x 11.20
Extent: 144-page book plus a 24-page removable fold-out concertina filled with 1000s of facts
Illustrations: approx. 300
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Retail Price: $24.95 / $29.95 CAN


The Elements
An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table
By Tom Jackson
978-0-9853230-3-5

    Mathematics
An Illustrated History of Numbers
Editor: Tom Jackson
978-0-9853230-4-2

    The Universe
An Illustrated History of Astronomy
By Tom Jackson
978-0-9853230-5-9
   

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