Did you know that . . . The first alarm clock could ring only at 4 a.m.?Isaac Newton spent his later years trying to transform base metals into gold?The last samples of the smallpox virus are kept in two secret laboratories in Siberia and in the US?John Dalton, who formulated the theory of the atom, started running a school at the age of twelve?Charles Babbage, who invented the first computer, once baked himself in an oven?The world s first telephone directory was a single sheet of paper with fifty names?We take so many things for granted today: we have clocks that show the time; electric lights; music on the radio; telephone conversations with friends; work on our computers,; antibiotics that cure us if we are ill. But even as recently as 150 years ago, many of these things were not available or possible. This fascinating book examines twenty concepts and things that have transformed our lives and the way we live. It looks at the thought behind these ideas and inventions, and the people who finally pulled it all together. Inspirational, funny, irreverent, and filled with fascinating facts and memorable stories, From Bugs to Black Holes is a look at some of the amazing people in different times whose ideas have shaped the way we live today.