DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Eamon Dolan Books) | June 24, 2014

 

While on assignment in Greece, journalist James Nestor witnessed something that confounded him: a man diving 300 feet below the ocean’s surface on a single breath of air and returning four minutes later, unharmed and smiling.

 

This man was a freediver, and his amphibious abilities inspired Nestor to seek out the secrets of this little-known discipline. In Deep, Nestor embeds with a gang of extreme athletes and renegade researchers who are transforming not only our knowledge of the planet and its creatures, but also our understanding of the human body and mind. Along the way, he takes us from the surface to the Atlantic’s greatest depths, some 28,000 feet below sea level. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and seals who dive to depths below 2,400 feet for up to eighty minutes—deeper and longer than scientists ever thought possible. As strange as these phenomena are, they are reflections of our own species’ remarkable, and often hidden, potential—including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound physiological changes we undergo when underwater. Most illuminating of all, Nestor unlocks his own freediving skills as he communes with the pioneers who are expanding our definition of what is possible in the natural world, and in ourselves.

Half Safe: A Story of Love, Obsession, and History's Most Insane

Around-the-world Adventure

Atavist |  $1.99 Download Now

 

In 1948, a young Australian mining engineer named Ben Carlin set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe, by land and sea, in a single vehicle. The vehicle in question was an amphibious jeep developed by the U.S. Army, which Carlin christened Half-Safe, after a deodorant slogan. It was a mechanical mongrel that was supposed to move with equal ease across land and water but in practice wasn't much good for either one.

 

Undaunted, Carlin and his wife Elinore set out from New York with dreams of fame and fortune, and of carving a small notch in history. What happened next is one of the most bizarre, remarkable, and forgotten adventure stories of the 20th century.

GET HIGH NOW (without drugs)

Chronicle Books

 

Get High Now is an illustrated, mind-blowing magic carpet ride of more than 175 ways to alter human perception and consciousness without drugs or alcohol. Culled from science, physiology, spiritual practices, and the audio visual arts, these "all natural" highs playfully and safely explore the mind-body connection to entertaining and illuminating effect.

 

Each entry introduces concepts such as lucid dreaming, optical and auditory illusions, controlled breathing, meditation, time compression, and physical and mental exercises, explaining the ways in which they affect our minds and bodies and how to do them. Readers follow the author and his "HighLab" testing team through mind-bending and sometimes hilarious investigations, such as how to lull the mind into hallucinatory states with audio loops; why multiple bee stings lead to euphoric states; what cheeses to eat to induce psychedelic lucid dreams; how to control your breathing to create an out-of-body experience; and many more. Including solo, tandem, and group highs, Get High Now features hundreds of ways to calm or stimulate the senses and open new windows to experiencing the world. See the award-winning website gethighnow.com.

©2014 James Nestor