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See Inside December 2010

Recommended: Portraits of the Mind

Books and recommendations from Scientific American



Courtesy of Thomas Deerinck and Mark Ellisman, 2004

Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brainfrom Antiquity to the 21st Century
by Carl Schoonover. Abrams, 2010
Get inside the head with this exploration of the brain and the techniques neuroscientists use to study it. Essays from leading scientists and Carl Schoonover’s detailed captions provide context for the many stunning images—from the quiet pen-and-ink drawings of individual neurons by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, to psychedelic pictures of tissues such as the cerebellar tissue shown above, colored using a technique called antibody staining.

Bird Songs Bible: The Complete, Illustrated Reference for North American Birds
edited by Les Beletsky. Chronicle Books, 2010
See and hear nearly 750 birds in this richly illustrated volume—which includes a digital audio player loaded with bird songs and calls—produced with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the Way We Live
by Daniel Dorling, Mark Newman and Anna Barford. Revised and expanded from the 2008 edition. Thames & Hudson, 2010.
Cocktail-party conversation fodder abounds in this book, which maps everything from carbon dioxide emissions to atheism.

Origins: Human Evolution Revealed
by Douglas Palmer. Mitchell/Beazley, 2010.
Hobbits, Neandertals and australopithecines are just a few of the extended family members you will meet in this book featuring reconstructions by paleo­artist John Gurche.

The World of Trees
by Hugh Johnson. University of California Press, 2010.
Trees around the globe— from silver firs to southern beeches, mul­berries to maples—get their due in this spectacular guide.

Come See the Earth Turn: The Story
of Léon Foucault, by Lori Mortensen. Tricycle Press, 2010.
Aimed at children aged seven to nine, this book—elegantly illustrated by Raúl Allén—recounts Foucault’s pendulum experiment, which proved that the earth turns on its axis.

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