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Central Govenor - The Brain is the final barrier

Central Govenor - The Brain is the final barrier

The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It (Neil Bascombe)

The inspirational story of three international runners attempting to achieve what no one had managed – to break the four-minute mile barrier. It was the ultimate test of endurance, and the human drama that unfolded is told here for the first time. In sport, running the four-minute mile was the elusive Holy Grail, considered by most to be beyond the limits of human endeavour. Then in late 1952, shortly after the Helsinki Olympics, three men set out to challenge the record books: Roger Bannister, the Oxford medical student, the great British hero who epitomised the ideal of the amateur athlete; John Landy, the tireless Australian, the romantic who trained night and day in search of perfection; and the American Wes Santee, son of a Kansas ranch hand, a natural runner and the quickest of the three ('I was just born to run fast'). Three men, each of contrasting character, competing thousands of miles apart, but all with the same valedictory goal. The Perfect Mile is the stirring account of their quest for sporting martyrdom, charting their journey through triumph and failure, culminating in the moment when Bannister broke the record in a monumental run at the Iffley Road cinder track in Oxford in May 1954. Far from bringing an end to the rivalry, this watershed moment turned out to be merely the prelude to a final climactic battle three months later – the ultimate head-to-head between Bannister and Landy in what was dubbed ‘the mile of the century’ at the Vancouver Empire Games. Bascomb provides a fascinating account of what happened and an invaluable insight into the motivations and characters of three amazing achievers.

 

One step beyond (C. Moon)

While supervising mine-clearance in Mozambique in 1995, Chris Moon was blown up in the supposedly clear area of the safety lane. He lost his lower right leg and right arm and survived only through sheer determination. Less than a year after leaving hospital, he ran the London Marathon, raising money for charities assisting the disabled, defying all expectations for his own future. He has since completed more than fifteen other marathons, including the punishing Marathon des Sables, which is a 137 mile race across the Sahara. "One Step Beyond" is Chris Moon's story so far. He has led a life of remarkable experiences, from being one of the few people to survive kidnap by the Khmer Rouge, to running the final stage of the Olympic torch relay to Nagano for the opening of the 18th Winter Olympics in 1998. Chris Moon writes with wit and charm, passion and belief, and his tale is truly one of adventure, romance and inspiration.

 

 Between a rock and a hard place (Aaron Ralston)   

On Saturday, 26 April 2003, Aaron Ralston, a 27-year-old outdoorsman and adventurer, set off for a day's hike in the Utah canyons. Eight miles from his truck, he found himself in the middle of a deep and remote canyon. Then the unthinkable happened: a boulder shifted and snared his right arm against the canyon wall. He was trapped, facing dehydration, starvation, hallucinations and hypothermia as night-time temperatures plummeted. Five and a half days later, Aron Ralston finally came to the agonising conclusion that his only hope was to amputate his own arm and get himself to safety. 

 

Touching the Void (Joe Simpson)

An account of the ascent of the 21,000ft Siula Grande peak in the Peruvian Andes. Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had achieved the summit before the first disaster struck. What happened and how they dealt with the psychological traumas that resulted is the subject of this book.

 

My Stroke of Insight (Dr Jill Bolte Taylor)

Jill Bolte Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained and published brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain.  Through the eyes of a curious neuroanatomist, she watched her mind completely deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered her mind, brain and body.  In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, Jill shares with us her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the right and left halves of her brain.  Having lost the categorizing, organizing, describing, judging and critically analyzing skills of her left brain, along with its language centers and thus ego center, Jill’s consciousness shifted away from normal reality.  In the absence of her left brain’s neural circuitry, her consciousness shifted into present moment thinking whereby she experienced herself “at one with the universe.” 

 

Challenging beliefs: Memoirs of a career (T. Noakes)

Tim Noakes is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science behind sport and a successful sportsman in his own right. Through a lifetime of research, he has developed key scientific concepts in sport that have not only redefined the way elite athletes and teams approach their professions, but challenged conventional global thinking in these areas. In this new and updated edition of Challenging Beliefs, Noakes shares his views on everything from the myths perpetuated by the sports-drink industry to the prevalence of banned substances, the need to make rugby a safer sport and the benefits of a high-protein, low-carb diet. The teams and athletes with whom Noakes has worked make fascinating backdrops to these topics, highlighting the importance of science in sport in human terms. In providing an intimate look at the golden threads running through Noakes’s life and career, this remarkable book reveals the landmark theories and principles generated by one of the greatest minds in the history of sports science.

 

Meaning, Medicine and the “Placebo Effect” (Daniel Moerman)

Daniel Moerman presents an innovative and enlightening discussion of human reaction to the meaning of medical treatment. Traditionally, the effectiveness of medical treatments is attributed to specific elements, such as drugs or surgical procedures, but many things happen in medicine which simply cannot be accounted for in this way. The same drug can work differently when presented in different colours; drugs with widely advertised names can work better than the same drug without the name; inert drugs (placebos, dummies) often have dramatic effects on people (the 'placebo effect'); and effects can vary hugely among different European countries where the 'same' medical condition is understood differently, or has different meanings. This is true for surgery as well as for internal medicine. This lively 2002 book reviews and analyses these matters in lucid, straightforward prose, guiding the reader through a very complex body of literature, leaving nothing unexplained but avoiding any over-simplification.

 

Able-Bodied: Scenes from a Curious Life (Leslie Swartz) 

In Able-Bodied, acclaimed psychologist Leslie Swartz explores the subject of disability through a personal narrative about his life and his relationship with his own disabled father. While Swartz has dealt with disability in an academic manner in his professional work, this title views it through the lens of memoir. At the heart of the story is a moving account of a complex, troubled, but loving father-son relationship, a relationship that spurred a lifetime of trying to understand and come to grips with what different bodies and different abilities mean for us all. Poignant and often hilarious, this is a tale of conflict, achievement, pain and triumph. Able-Bodied is a fascinating blend of personal narrative and reflection on society, medicine and ethics.

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