Scientists have struggled for centuries to pinpoint the qualities that separate human beings from the millions of other animals who have evolved on this planet. David Pogue explores the traits we once thought were uniquely ours -- language, tool-making, even laughter -- to uncover their evolutionary roots. He traces some of the crucial steps that transformed cave men to accountants -- and learns how much of his own DNA came from a Neanderthal ancestor.
What's the secret to stopping crime? David Pogue gives the third degree to scientists pushing the limits of technology -- not only to solve horrific murders, but also to try to prevent crimes. Pogue learns the latest techniques, from unraveling the clues embedded in a decomposing corpse to detecting lies by peering directly into a suspect's brain to tracking the creation of a psychopath's mind. And a genius crime-stopper has made some terrifying discoveries, including how easy it is for a bad guy to highjack -- not just your laptop, but your kids' toys, your pacemaker and even your car.
How do you get a genius brain? Is it all in your DNA? Or is it hard work? Is it possible that everyone's brain has untapped genius -- just waiting for the right circumstances so it can be unleashed? From a man who suddenly acquired an extraordinary musical gift after a freak head injury to a "memory athlete" who can remember strings of hundreds of random numbers, David Pogue meets people stretching the boundaries of what the human mind can do. Then, Pogue puts himself to the test: After high-res scanning, he finds out how the anatomy of his brain measures up against the greatest mind of the century -- Albert Einstein.
What are the secrets behind your favorite foods? Why are some treats -- like chocolate chip cookies -- delectable, while others -- like cookies made with mealworms -- disgusting? You may think you understand what makes something sweet, salty or bitter, but David Pogue gets a taste of a much more complicated truth as he ventures into labs and kitchens where everything from apple pie to Thanksgiving turkey to juicy grasshoppers is diced, sliced, dissected and put under the microscope. If scientists can uncover exactly what's behind the mouth-watering flavors and textures we take for granted every day, could they help us enjoy our food more -- without packing on the pounds?
Have you ever wondered what's going on inside an animal's head? How do they see the world -- and us? Is your dog really feeling guilty when it gives you that famous "guilty look?" Do pigeon brains possess "superpowers" that allow them to find their way home across hundreds of unfamiliar miles? David meets -- and competes -- with a menagerie of smart critters that challenge preconceived notions about what makes "us" different from "them," expanding our understanding of how animals really think.
Mobile phones that read your mind? Video games that can cure cancer? Wearable robots that give you the strength of Ironman? David Pogue predicts which technologies will transform daily life for you and your grandkids. These advancements are already taking shape in laboratories around the world and gadgets that once were purely science fiction are on the verge of becoming as common as the iPhones and Androids Pogue reviews every day.