List of Illustrations
1. LIFE AT THE TOP (Read excerpts)Early Accounts of Mountain Sickness; The Ascent of Everest; A Digression on Barometric Pressure; The Perils of Sudden Depressurization; Acute Mountain Sickness; Into Thin Air; Flying High; Acclimatization; Haemoglobin; Lessons from High Altitude Studies; High Life
Taking the Plunge
2. LIFE UNDER PRESSURE (Read excerpts)The Physics of Pressure; The Earliest Divers; Bubbles in the Blood; Why Don't Sperm Whales Get the Bends?; The Importance of a Slow Ascent; Skin-diving and the Bends; On Entering the Water; Ama: the Fisherwomen of Japan; Imploding and Exploding Organs; Holding Your Breath; Buoyancy; Scuba-diving; The Rapture of the Deep; Too Much of a Good Thing; Blackouts and Bravery; How Far Can You Go?; Living at Depth; Underwater Challenges; Long-term Dangers; Into the Abyss; The World's First Submarine; Life Under Pressure
Getting into Hot Water
3. LIFE IN THE HOT ZONEBody Heat; feeling the Heat; The Development of the Thermometer; Firewalking and All That; Creatures of Fire; Hot Stuff; Chilling Out; Sweating it Out; The Physics of Heat Transfer; Keeping a Cool had; The Importance of Size and Shape; Heatstroke; Quivering Pigs and Shivering Humans; Fever!; Life without Water; Salt of the Earth; A Hot Cradle for Mankind
Cold Water Blues
4. LIFE IN THE COLDFighting Cold; How Cold Can You Go?; Coping with Cold; Frozen to Death; In Arctic Waters; Losing the Balance; Life After 'Death'; On Chapped Hands and Cold Feet; Frostbite; Eskimos and Explorers; The Benefits of Cold; On Penguins and Polar Bears; Life at the Poles
5. LIFE IN THE FAST LANE (Read excerpts)A Question of Energy; Oxygen Demands; You Are What You Eat; Speed versus Stamina; How Muscle Contracts; Fast Forward; Staying the Distance; Running Down; Working Out; The Ultimate Limits; Gender Issues; Making a Splash; Enhancing Performance; The Olympic Ideal; Animal Magic; Size Matters; Beyond the Limits; Taking the Strain
6. THE FINAL FRONTIER (Read excerpts)A Brief History of Space Flight; Eyeballs In and Eyeballs Out; The Human Yo-yo; Taking Off; Life Support; Free Fall; Weightlessness; Sleep; Infection; Living in Microgravity; Space Sickness; Paying the Price; Balance Points; Cosmic Radiation; Venturing into the Void; Re-entry; Coming Down to Earth; Whither Next?
7. THE OUTER LIMITSThe Tree of Life; Some Like It Hot; Acid Heads; Helicobacter pylori, the Bacterim that Causes Stomach Ulcers; Basic Needs; A Salty Tale; Life in the Rocks; Troglodytes; Life Without Oxygen; Cool Characters; Life in the Freezer; Suspended Animation; Making Millions from Microbes; Life Beyond Earth?
A Note on the Units