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Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets…
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Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us (2017 original; edició 2017)

de Sam Kean (Autor)

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3701159,062 (4.06)27
The Guardian's Best Science Book of 2017: the fascinating science and history of the air we breathe. It's invisible. It's ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation. Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.… (més)
Membre:yasminaxx
Títol:Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us
Autors:Sam Kean (Autor)
Informació:Little, Brown and Company (2017), Edition: 1st, 384 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us de Sam Kean (2017)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I listened to this back in December-February, and forgot all about posting a review; this happens frequently with my audiobooks since I borrow them from the library and they’re not physical objects, sitting around mutely mocking me for my slack ways.

I like Sam Kean’s books, and I always have. They’re popular science books and I enjoy his way of attaching science to everyday anecdotes; for me it’s a nice reinforce how science is at the very core of life.

Caesar’s Last Breath is about the air we all breathe and which parts of the periodic table we’re breathing at any given moment. I own the book, but it was available from the library as audio and I needed something for the car. It’s narrated by Kean himself, which can often not be a good thing, but I think he made a fair performance of it. But this book also uses visuals, so while I enjoyed it, I think I’d have gotten more out of it had I read my hard copy. Something I’ll probably do soon.

If you’ve read his other books and didn’t care for them, don’t bother with this one, but if you enjoy accessible science tied to historical events or everyday living, you might enjoy this one.
  murderbydeath | Jan 20, 2022 |
A fascinating look at the development and discover of the elements that make up the air we breath. Kean tackles science by introducing concepts and ideas via the human stories of those associated with, and impacted by, various discoveries.

If chemistry had been this engaging, entertaining, and interesting at school I might have actually turned up for the classes. ( )
  gothamajp | Jul 20, 2021 |
In a story telling method, author Sam Kean presents ​the story of air ​and our atmosphere ​in an interesting and easy to digest manner. ​His book, Caesar's Last Breath, covers (1) how our atmosphere developed and changed over time; (2) what air is made up of, and how those elements were discovered; (3) ​how science advanced studying gases in our atmosphere; and (4) ​how man's activities impact our atmosphere. And for technophobes, take comfort in the fact that the book never gets bogged down in technical details.

​He begins with a story about the air we breathe and exhale. On the molecular level, trillions of molecules of air, composed mainly of nitrogen, oxygen, and a very small mix of other minor gases a​re taken in and expelled with each breath. The amusing intellectual point he makes in the book's title is that the air we exhale mixes with the air around us, and small amounts of our breath can be inhaled by the people around us. This in turn, is repeated by those ​people. Since the elements which are found in air don't get destroyed, but instead are simply recycled throughout nature, among the trillions of molecules in each breath, some circulate ​over long distances, and ​over the ages, could ​possibly be inhaled by almost anyone on the planet. Hence, his amusing thought, is that a few of the ​trillions of molecules in Caesar's last breath could theoretically be found in your very next breath. A mind game, for sure, but an interesting thought.

From there, he gets a little more serious, and talk​s ​more about the air we breathe. He tells us about the first atmosphere on earth, formed mainly of the lighter elements during the formation of the Earth over 4​-1/2​ billion years ago. During subsequent eons, volcanic activity in the changing planet and losses of the lighter elements resulted in a​n atmosphere consisting of a​ mix of methane, sulfuric compounds, and other gases​. Eventually​,​ over another ​several ​million​s​ of years, a nitrogen dominated atmosphere​ developed​. Finally, some two billion years after the formation of the Earth, with the development of photosynthesis, Oxygen began to be added to the atmosphere, resulting in an oxygenated atmosphere which allowed life as we know it to exist.

He then goes on to discuss some of the early scientists who first discovered the ​various ​elements ​in air, such as ​Oxygen, Nitrogen, Argon, and the other noble gases. ​​And for those of us who are easily amused, there's even a short light-hearted section on flatulence. ​ Other sections include brief discussions of the discovery / invention of hot air ballooning, ​and a number of related yet diverse topics such as cloud seeding to make rain, weapons testing and radiation effects, refrigerants, and climate change. In telling his stories about the gasses making up our atmosphere, he keeps the reader interested without ​making us feel that we're being instructed on a technical subject. Meanwhile, we're all learning a lot about the physics and chemistry of the air around us. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
With everything from the eruption of Mount St Helens to Humphry Davy getting high off his own supply (all in the interest of science, of course) to terraforming Mars with comets armed with nuclear weapons, this was a fun addition to my son's chemistry curriculum. He really appreciated the irreverent tone, infrequent soft-swears, and frequent references to flatulence. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
In Caesar’s Last Breath, Sam Kean looks at the air around us. Each chapter discusses a component of air: oxygen, hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, argon, and other cases. The longer chapters are surrounded by shorter interludes about other gases and compounds. It’s written in a highly conversational writing style, with a near-constant stream of asides. I enjoy this style but even I found some of it a bit much. That said, though, I really liked the book overall. It’s studded with interesting trivia tidbits, and the chapter about farts had me rolling on the floor laughing, because I am secretly four. I’d recommend this if you like popular books about chemistry or if you’ve read any of Kean’s other books. ( )
1 vota rabbitprincess | Jul 11, 2019 |
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The Guardian's Best Science Book of 2017: the fascinating science and history of the air we breathe. It's invisible. It's ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation. Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.

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