The key to breaking out of habitual ways of looking at objects is to list all of the features of the objects and then to describe them by looking at what they are made of rather than by thinking about their function.
It turned out that the time Dr. Nicholas Patrick had actually spent flying in space had accounted for only .6 percent of his total time as an astronaut! However, the way he spent 1/3rd of his time was something he found just as satisfying -- engineering.
You Are So Not Smart, based off of a popular blog of the same name, helps orient us towards the blind spots and the hidden assumptions of our day-to-day lives, while using humor to explain our sometimes puzzling behaviors.
We seem to be in a transition period from a marvelously rich era of discovery in the last thirty years to an era in which new concepts and methods will be required to gain access to another range of powerful discoveries.