- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Roy HerbertIt's rare to be able to recommend a book on science for holiday reading, but this one, The Living Clock is a griper from the first page and never lets go. After you've read the entertaining story that begins with author John Palmer knee-deep in the mud of the River Avon and how that led to the clientele of a nearby pub owing him numerous pints of beer, you'll be glad there's much more to come.
The topic is fascinating: the internal clocks that we all possess in common with almost every form of life on Earth. We know we have such a timekeeper. It reminds us by inflicting jet lag, and can wake us up every morning at the same time. Its effects can be demonstrated in a range of living things from animals to single-celled organisms. Palmer shows how these rhythms persist even when the subjects are removed from their normal habitat. He points out, too, that disturbing these rhythms can be dangerous enough to produce catastrophes, such as the Chernobyl disaster, takes a sideswipe at the nonsense of so-called "biorhythms," and tolerates no jargon throughout. For instance, "Indivdual carousel actographs," he remarks, "are really used margarine tubs." Take it with you to the beach.
— New Scientist