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Best of 2011: Science & Technology
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  • The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (198)

    Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators.

    Scott says: "Great book!"
  • Moonwalking with Einstein

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Joshua Foer
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1530)
    Performance
    (1047)
    Story
    (1043)

    Foer's unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives. On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget.

    Christopher says: "Got the Ball Rolling"
  • The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (428)

    Over the past few decades, a handful of scientists have been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only four percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown. Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called “dark energy”. This is perhaps the greatest mystery in all of science, and solving it will bring fame, funding, and certainly a Nobel Prize.

    Adam says: "Excellent survey of Cosmology and Astrophysics"
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Brian Greene
    • Narrated By Brian Greene
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (436)

    There was a time when “universe” meant all there is. Everything. Yet, in recent years discoveries in physics and cosmology have led a number of scientists to conclude that our universe may be one among many. With crystal-clear prose and inspired use of analogy, Brian Greene shows how a range of different “multiverse” proposals emerges from theories developed to explain the most refined observations of both subatomic particles and the dark depths of space.

    C. Schmidt says: "Engrossing"
  • The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Brian Christian
    • Narrated By Brian Christian
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (194)

    The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can "think". Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions - ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums - to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer.

    Roy says: "A Wedding of Computer Science and Philosophy"
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