Intimate Universe (Tlc Adventures for Your Mind)

by Anthony Smith

Publisher: Discovery Books
Publication Date: Tuesday, March 16, 1999
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 0679462511

Book Summary:
The story of the human body is perhaps the greatest story ever told--spelled out over millions of years of evolution and repeated by each of us in our own lifetime.  We live it, and yet remain largely unaware of the intricate processes that play out within ourselves and those around us.  For example, why can very young children learn languages more easily than adults?  Why do our bodies break down during old age?  How can a baby--a separate and genetically different human being--be created inside a mother without being rejected by her body?  How have our complex and little-understood brains contributed to making us the most successful species on the planet?
Now The Learning Channel presents Intimate Universe, the extraordinary story of human life from birth to death, which explores, at each stage, the incredible physical workings of our bodies.  It is a unique and enthralling account of the body's journey from the miracle of conception and the shock of birth through the rapid and turbulent changes of adolescence and the gradual deceleration into old age and death.
In Intimate Universe, author Anthony Smith transcends anatomical trivia to chronicle the body's powerful tale.  In a clear and captivating style, he narrates the miraculous dramas that unfold within the hidden architecture of our internal structures.  Whether it's the week-by-week account of an unborn baby's development, the uncanny signals and connections made by the brain, the remarkable abilities of the immune system, or simply the way our body sustains itself under different conditions, Smith explains the basics of physiology simply and elegantly.
To support the author's exceptional narrative, Intimate Universe includes over 150 full-color illustrations, computer-generated images, and state-of-the-art microphotography that illuminate and add context to the topics discussed.  In addition, the book provides relevant anecdotes for each of the major chapters.
An excellent addition to any family library, Intimate Universe is not only a valuable and comprehensive reference, but a resource that will provide new insight into our bodies' physiological challenges and fascinating secrets, allowing us to better understand ourselves.


All the DNA present at the moment of conception of the 5.8 billion people alive today would weigh only one thousandth of an ounce.  Here's how to spot the brain at work:  

Stand directly in front of someone and ask an arithmetical question.  Left-brain activity will cause the person's eyes to avert to the right; ask a spatial question and the eyes will avert to the left, reflecting right-brain activity.

If the body's branching network of blood vessels were placed end to end, they would stretch for nearly 60,000 miles--more than seven times the distance around the equator.

Hearing is never more acute than at birth and declines gradually with time.  By the age of ten, a child will have heard more sounds than he will hear during the rest of his life.

As skin becomes less elastic, the repeated puckering caused by facial expressions begins to etch permanent lines.  Scientists estimate it takes 200,000 frowns to make a brow line.

No one is born with freckles.  They are a protective response against sunlight.

During a child's first year, 60 percent of her food intake goes toward providing energy for brain growth and development.



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