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Author Foy, George, author.

Title Finding north : how navigation makes us human / George Michelsen Foy.

Edition First edition.
Publication Info. New York : Flatiron Books, [2016]
Location Call No. Status
 Nichols Adult Nonfiction  629.045 FOY    AVAILABLE
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Description viii, 291 pages ; 22 cm
Summary "Navigation is the key human skill. It's something we do everywhere, whether feeling our way through a bedroom in the dark, or charting a ship's course. But how does navigation affect our brains, our memory, ourselves? Blending scientific research and memoir, and written in beautiful prose, Finding North starts with a quest by the author to understand this most basic of human skills---and why it's in mortal peril. In 1844, Foy's great-great grandfather, captain of a Norwegian cargo ship, perished at sea after getting lost in a snowstorm. Foy decides to unravel the mystery surrounding Halvor Michelsen's death---and the roots of his own obsession with navigation---by re-creating his ancestor's trip using only period instruments. Beforehand, he meets a colorful cast of characters to learn whether men really have better directional skills than women; how cells, eels, and spaceships navigate; and how tragedy results from GPS glitches. He interviews a cabby who has memorized every street in London, sails on a Haitian cargo sloop, and visits the site of a secret navigational cult in Greece. At the heart of Foy's story is this fact: navigation and the brain's memory centers are inextricably linked. As Foy unravels the secret behind Halvor's death, he also discovers why forsaking our navigation skills in favor of GPS may lead not only to Alzheimers and other diseases of memory, but to losing a key part of what makes us human"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 417-439)
Contents Fear -- The Stavanger Paquet -- Birds, memory, and London taxis -- Modeling Halvor -- At the shrine of the navigation gods -- The "exploration" gene -- Adventures in the GPS trade -- Stellar screw-up -- Sex and navigation -- Bad latitude -- Colorado : the dark heart of GPS -- Searching the chart -- Odysseus in Haiti -- Launch -- The downside of cybernav -- At sea -- Navigate or die? -- The sail, and the story of the sail -- The politics of navigation -- Halvor's wedding -- Finding north.
Subject Navigation -- History.
Navigation -- Psychological aspects -- History.
Navigation -- Social aspects -- History.
Foy, George -- Family.
Michelson, Halvor, -1844 -- Death and burial.
Foy, George -- Travel.
Ocean travel.
ISBN 9781250052681 (hardcover)
1250052688 (hardcover)
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