Describes the human fascination with creating life as it traces the scientific research, theories, hoaxes, and inventions that presaged the evolution of contemporary robotics and experiments with artificial intelligence. 20,000 first printing.
Describes the human fascination with creating life as it traces the scientific research, theories, hoaxes, and inventions that presaged the evolution of contemporary robotics and experiments with artificial intelligence. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
Author: Auguste comte de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam Publisher: University of Illinois Press ISBN: 9780252069550 Size: 10.91 MB Format: PDF, Mobi View: 661
Even after 100 years, this is a captivating fable - witty and biting - of a Thomas Edison-like inventor who creates the radiant and tragic android Hadaly, and the lovelorn aristocrat who falls for the manmade perfect woman who is conveniently adjustable so he may make her at his will to his taste and social needs.
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and her grandfather, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
Author: Linda Simon Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN: 9780156032445 Size: 16.90 MB Format: PDF, ePub View: 1850
The fascinating true tale of electricity's legacy in America charts the gradual progress of this new technology into the homes of Americans at the end of the nineteenth century while exposing the role of "electrotherapy" in American medicine during the same period. Reprint.
Author: Martin Gardner Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company ISBN: 0393245039 Size: 25.33 MB Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi View: 926
"[Gardner] zaps his targets with laserlike precision and wit."—Entertainment Weekly Martin Gardner is perhaps the wittiest, most devastating unmasker of scientific fraud and intellectual chicanery of our time. Here he muses on topics as diverse as numerology, New Age anthropology, and the late Senator Claiborne Pell's obsession with UFOs, as he mines Americans' seemingly inexhaustible appetite for bad science. Gardner's funny, brilliantly unsettling exposés of reflexology and urine therapy should be required reading for anyone interested in "alternative" medicine. In a world increasingly tilted toward superstition, Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? will give those of us who prize logic and common sense immense solace and inspiration. "Gardner is a national treasure...I wish [this] could be made compulsory reading in every high school—and in Congress."—Arthur C. Clarke "Nobody alive has done more than Gardner to spread the understanding and appreciation of mathematics, and to dispel superstition."— The New Criterion, John Derbyshire
The re-emergence in recent years of Villiers de l'Isle-Adam as a key figure in fin de siècle literature can be attributed in large part to the intense interest his prescient l'Eve future (1886) has generated among scholars. In effect, the novel confronts with breathtaking focus central taboos and ambivalences about the decadent period. It posits an inescapable, mechanistic linkage between desire and technology; it suggests the constructed nature of gender; it casts woman down so as to exalt her, even as it intimates the arbitrariness and fragility of the empowerment prerogatives implicit in such an operation. It is this mine for the study of fin de siècle mentalities that the present volume explores.Begun at the 1992 NCFS colloquium at Binghamton University as a collective project of the Friends of Villiers, Jeering Dreamers brings together 13 essays by Villiers scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. Their work promises, in the words of the eminent Villièrien Alan Raitt, to 'Éclairerl'Eve future d'un jour nouveau-ou, plus exactement, de plusieurs jours nouveaux.
Aimer et Mourir offers a wide-ranging selection of essays that collectively address how, from the Middle Ages to the present, the notions of love and death get inextricably associated with the narratives that are women’s lives. Some of the essays tackle male writers’ representations that link women and, in particular, women’s sexuality, with death, resulting in the figures of the femme fatale, the woman in parturition, and the desiring vampire. A number of essays reiterate that women’s hyper-sexualized bodies have been used as a social construct and a psychological screen upon which to project a fear of death. The challenges to this pat reduction of “woman’s” domain come from the mostly women writers represented here—and they span from Marguerite de Navarre to Amélie Nothomb. These women writers rework the old formulae, giving us instead death-defying memories of love, love regenerative of language (as of bodies), love forcing the frontiers of death, or love creatively redefined within the parameters of death. Nor are these new narratives imagined as belonging to women alone but rather as attesting to a richer, more varied, and greatly sensitized human experience.
Living Dolls tells the story of humanity's age-old obsession with moving dolls and speaking robots, intelligent machines and bionic men - and it gives the history of ingenious inventors and their fantastical creations.
Author: Jill Jonnes Publisher: Random House ISBN: 9781588360007 Size: 58.33 MB Format: PDF, Docs View: 7551
In the final decades of the nineteenth century, three brilliant and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse—battled bitterly as each vied to create a vast and powerful electrical empire. In Empires of Light, historian Jill Jonnes portrays this extraordinary trio and their riveting and ruthless world of cutting-edge science, invention, intrigue, money, death, and hard-eyed Wall Street millionaires. At the heart of the story are Thomas Alva Edison, the nation’s most famous and folksy inventor, creator of the incandescent light bulb and mastermind of the world’s first direct current electrical light networks; the Serbian wizard of invention Nikola Tesla, elegant, highly eccentric, a dreamer who revolutionized the generation and delivery of electricity; and the charismatic George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh inventor and tough corporate entrepreneur, an industrial idealist who in the era of gaslight imagined a world powered by cheap and plentiful electricity and worked heart and soul to create it. Edison struggled to introduce his radical new direct current (DC) technology into the hurly-burly of New York City as Tesla and Westinghouse challenged his dominance with their alternating current (AC), thus setting the stage for one of the eeriest feuds in American corporate history, the War of the Electric Currents. The battlegrounds: Wall Street, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Niagara Falls, and, finally, the death chamber—Jonnes takes us on the tense walk down a prison hallway and into the sunlit room where William Kemmler, convicted ax murderer, became the first man to die in the electric chair. Empires of Light is the gripping history of electricity, the “mysterious fluid,” and how the fateful collision of Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse left the world utterly transformed. From the Hardcover edition.