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Megacatastrophes!: Nine Strange Ways the World Could End Paperback – 4 Oct 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851689478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851689477
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 589,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Impressive… Reminds us that the air of reassuring omnipotence that our leaders like to project is mere illusion.” Wall Street Journal

“A mix of good old-fashioned silliness and some fine science writing.” (four stars) BBC Focus Magazine

“Accessible and entertaining… Brings often complex and abstract threats frighteningly to life.” Financial Times

“Curiously pleasurable… this will help you get your everday problems into perspective.”

--The Independent

“Splendid! Stimulating, entertaining, and scientifically plausible.” Adam Hart-Davis bestselling author and BBC presenter

“A surprisingly cheerful look at the science of how humanity might meet a messy end, from incurable diseases to exploding stars.” Chad Orzel author of the bestselling How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

“Interesting and entertaining: the perfect excuse to learn science from the atomic to the galactic and from the terrestrial to the extra-terrestrial. Well-written and accessible to any audience.” Alfonso Davila - SETI Institute

“Delightful. An authoritative but good-humored look at an array of natural and technological disasters.&rqduo; Albert A. Harrison Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Davis, and author of Starstruck: Cosmic Visions in Science, Religion and Folklore

“Nicely written, thoroughly researched, and highly recommended. Doomsday is already marked in the calendar.”

--Alberto Fairen NASA Ames Research Center

“Fascinating, if somewhat macabre... A fabulous book that got better with every page - I couldn t put it down!”

--Debra Fischer Professor of Astronomy, Yale University

‘An interesting way of drawing together a bundle of scientific knowledge’ 4 stars - BBC Sky at Night

 

Review

"Splendid! Stimulating, entertaining, and scientifically plausible."

(Adam Hart-Davis)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting read... 5 star rating in BBC Focus magazine. Don't take too much notice of the cover, book is not sensationalised but is written in a thought provoking way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
But as a scientst - I found it lacking. A non-scientist would probably be happy with it, but I found it never quite delivered and the silly drawings with the "number" for the risk just annoyed me. Pity - a missed opportunity.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating, well-researched and scientifically credible book on the various ways the world could end.
After an illuminating introduction there are nine chapters on possible causes of Doomsday events including nano technology, supervolcanoes, asteroids, incurable diseases, gamma-ray bursts & alien invasion.
'Megacatastrophes!' is a well-written and accessible book which covers a wide-range of scientific ideas and manages to be entertaining despite the apocalyptic subject matter.
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By S J Buck TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 April 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a very entertaining read, which will leave you thinking seriously about the future. Each of the nine ways is given a probabilty: zero, low, moderate, high or certain. It is also given a death rate of either 0, 10 million+ 1 Billon+ or extinction.

Like me you may not always agree with the conclusions, but none of these 'events' are completely outlandish so it'll be the Catastrophometer rating that could easily end up being the basis of a very strange pub discussion... The writing style is straightforward, and mainly avoids complex maths or physics, although I found some parts relating to the LHC (large hadron collider) section quite hard to follow, so I think it would be fair to say that large parts of the book are accessible to most people.

Its certainly the best book I've read on the likely causes of the end of the world, and grey goo (read to find out) is now etched in my consciousness!
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Format: Paperback
The Mayans (allegedly) warned us that the world is going to end this month; it didn't, but in Megacatastrophes, David Darling and Dirk Schulze-Makuch described nine different existential threats from nature. The potential extinction-level events are wide ranging, from solar activity and black holes to alien invasion and the rise of technology. The authors sound most confident talking about cosmic events, and there are a couple of dubious assertions about plagues, but generally the book manages to engage without dumbing down. The potential catastrophes are rated from 1 (unlikely to happen; unlikely to cause total extinction) to 10 (certain to occur, and certain to wipe out life on Earth); it may not comfort you to know that there's very little we can do about any of them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just had to review this book because it's an absolute gem. I just totally loved it! It's highly engaging, and gets the grey matter working, but in a fun, can't put it down kind of way. A great book if you want to use your imagination, enjoy a sci-fi flavour, and also learn something. Highly recommended!
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