The latest in O’Reilly’s “Missing Manual” series is “Your Brain: The Missing Manual,” by Matthew 


McDonald; $25 from This book is long overdue; we always wondered what was going on up there.
There’s lots of information about the relation between brain activity and food and sleep. Why do bats sleep for 20 hours, for example, and giraffes only four?  And then there are shortcuts the brain takes that lead us to bad assumptions and wrong conclusions. The brain starts to shrink starting around age 20, which must be why some people we’ve met seem to have brains the size of a peanut. (The reason bats sleep 20 hours and a giraffe only four, by the way, is fear of predators. If you lived on the roof of a dark cave you wouldn’t worry much about being attacked either.)


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