[bksvol-discuss] Fw: Nature and Science June 2010

  • From: "Amber Wallenstein" <amber.wallens@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 06:32:32 -0700

New and Recently Released!

The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our 
Communities, and Our Health--and a Vision for Change - by Annie Leonard and
Ariane Conrad
Publisher: Free Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 03/09/2010
ISBN-13: 9781439125663
ISBN-10: 143912566X
Environmental activist Annie Leonard builds on her popular 2007 online video 
"The Story of Stuff" to explain where our "stuff" comes from, what happens
to it when we toss it out, and what that means for our future on Earth. Taking 
us through the processes of extraction, production, distribution, consumption,
and disposal, Leonard demonstrates the drawbacks of a society that promotes 
planned obsolescence, replacing rather than repairing goods, and growth at
all costs. In addition to covering the environmental costs of this system, she 
also looks at the human costs of overconsumption, including exploitation
of workers and exposure to harmful toxins. For a more personal account of 
rejecting overconsumption, try Colin Beavan's No Impact Man.
Table of Contents
Stuff - Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 04/20/2010
ISBN-13: 9780151014231
ISBN-10: 015101423X
Two respected psychologists analyze the sources of compulsive hoarding 
behaviors, presenting case studies of sufferers who have rendered their homes 
unlivable, in a report that also outlines typical ineffective treatments and 
the impact of the disorder on families.
First Chapter
Table of Contents

Bridges: The Science and Art of the World's Most Inspiring Structures - by 
David Blockley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 03/01/2010
ISBN-13: 9780199543595
ISBN-10: 0199543593
In this "model explanation of technological design" (Booklist), civil engineer 
David Blockley explains the physics of bridge building--discussing fundamentals
such as tension, compression, and shear as well as the structural components 
that counterbalance these forces, including beams, arches, trusses, and 
He also provides an entertaining history of bridges from ancient to modern 
times, citing both notable achievements and notable failures. Full of sketches
and illustrations, this accessible guide to bridges illuminates not only the 
technological expertise that makes them possible, but also the beauty that
makes them inspiring.

How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's 
Climate - by Jeff Goodell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 04/15/2010
ISBN-13: 9780618990610
ISBN-10: 0618990615
In this book, journalist and Big Coal author Jeff Goodell explores the world of 
geoengineering, or "the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth's
climate system, in order to moderate global warming." Noting that the idea has 
quickly gone from fringe to mainstream, Goodell investigates some of the
methods currently under development--such as shooting tiny particles into the 
atmosphere in order to increase reflectivity (thus lowering temperatures),
or seeding the oceans with iron to promote the growth of phytoplankton--and 
meets some of the people who came up with them. Are these bold scientists the
saviors of humanity or the supervillains of the future? You decide.
Table of Contents

Insectopedia - by Hugh Raffles
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 03/23/2010
ISBN-13: 9780375423864
ISBN-10: 0375423869
Anthropologist Hugh Raffles' Insectopedia is not an entomological encyclopedia, 
but rather a collection of 26 eclectic, alphabetically titled essays about
insects and their role in human history and culture. From the deformed insects 
that have proliferated in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, to the
ancient (and now televised) Chinese pastime of cricket fighting, to 
high-altitude insect collection (think airplanes and glue traps), you'll be 
at what you learn. If you like quirky, wide-ranging explorations of scientific 
topics--such as those found in Mary Roach's books--you'll surely find much
to love in this "enthralling hodgepodge of historical fact, anthropological 
observation, and scientific insight" (Publishers Weekly).
First Chapter
Table of Contents

The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, 
Talent, and IQ Is Wrong - by David Shenk
Publisher: Doubleday
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 03/09/2010
ISBN-13: 9780385523653
ISBN-10: 0385523653
We're more than just the sum of our genetic material, argues journalist David 
Shenk in this examination of nature versus nurture. To support the idea that
geniuses are made, not born, Shenk draws on developmental biology, particularly 
a model expressed as "GxE," or Genetics multiplied by Environment, which
emphasizes the dynamic interactions between genes and the environment. If you 
liked Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, which looks at successful people and the
complex networks of factors that shape them, you'll likely enjoy this book. You 
might also want to check out Matt Ridley's Nature via Nurture: Genes, 
and What Makes Us Human.
First Chapter
Table of Contents

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution - by Henry 
R. Schlesinger
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 03/16/2010
ISBN-13: 9780061442933
ISBN-10: 0061442933
In this "irresistibly entertaining" book (Kirkus Reviews), you'll learn about 
an invention without which few others would be possible: the battery. With
its capacity for storing and generating electricity, the battery has had a 
profound effect on our lives. From Benjamin Franklin's coining of the term to
Alessandro Volta's 19th-century copper and zinc models to the modern-day cells 
we take for granted, this book covers the battery's evolution and discusses
its future. What Mark Kurlansky did for Salt and Henry Petroski did for The 
Toothpick and The Pencil, author Henry R. Schlesinger does for the battery
in this fascinating microhistory.
Table of Contents
The Enlightenment

The Map that Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology - 
by Simon Winchester
Publisher: Perennial
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 07/01/2002
ISBN-13: 9780060931803
ISBN-10: 0060931809
Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman, turns his attention 
from etymology to geology in this biography of William Smith, who in 1815
created the first geological map of Great Britain--and in the process, helped 
put the fledgling science of geology on the map as well. Smith, a poor orphan
who became obsessed with rocks and fossils at a young age, grew up to become a 
surveyor and engineer. Through his work he made two important discoveries:
that by comparing fossils one can determine the relative age of a layer of 
rocks, and that these layers form predictable patterns. While coal-hungry 
industries profited from his pioneering work, Smith himself ended up in 
debtor's prison. If you liked Dava Sobel's Longitude, you'll enjoy this account
of one man's passion for scientific problem solving.
First Chapter

The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of 
America - by Steven Johnson
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 12/26/2008
ISBN-13: 9781594488528
ISBN-10: 1594488525
In this biography of scientist, theologican, and political philosopher Joseph 
Priestley, historian Steven Johnson explores one of the Enlightenment's most
fascinating figures. A co-discoverer of oxygen (along with Antoine Lavoisier) 
as well as one of the founders of the Unitarian Church, Priestley was both
revered and reviled: his standing in scientific circles took a plunge when he 
challenged the prevailing theory of phlogiston; and after an angry mob burned
down his house, religious dissenter Priestley fled to America, where he 
befriended such founding fathers as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. 
Reviews calls The Invention of Air a "rich, readable examination of the 
intersections where culture and science meet."
Table of Contents

The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth's Antiquity 
- by Jack Repcheck
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 05/05/2009
ISBN-13: 9780465013371
ISBN-10: 0465013376
According to 17th-century Irish archbishop James Ussher, God created the Earth 
on October 23, in the year 4004 B.C.E. This date was widely accepted in 1788,
when Scottish scientist and polymath James Hutton published empirical proof 
that the Earth was much older (perhaps billions of years older) than biblical
scholars' estimates. While Hutton's ideas of cyclical processes and geologic 
time stirred up controversy in his day, today they're some of the fundamental
concepts of geology. In addition to recounting Hutton's life and scientific 
career, The Man Who Found Time also looks at the "Scottish Enlightenment,"
the 18th-century movement that, in addition to Hutton, produced such thinkers 
as David Hume and Adam Smith.
Table of Contents

The Georgian Star: How William and Caroline Herschel Revolutionized Our 
Understanding of the Cosmos - by Michael D. Lemonick
Publisher: Atlas & Company
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 11/16/2008
ISBN-13: 9780393065749
ISBN-10: 039306574X
Science writer Michael D. Lemonick's The Georgian Star is the compelling 
biography of self-taught sibling astronomers William and Caroline Herschel, who
gave up promising musical careers in order to map the night skies. While 
William is best known for his discovery of the planet Uranus (the "Georgian 
of the title) and Caroline (who became the first woman to make a living as a 
scientist) is remembered for her discovery of numerous comets as well as 
radiation, the Herschels' most enduring legacy resides in the sophisticated 
telescopes they designed and their systematic approach to observing and 
the heavens. Stargazers everywhere will want to read this sparkling account of 
scientific discovery.
A thousand barrels a second - Peter Tertzakian
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 01/15/2006
ISBN-13: 9780071468749
ISBN-10: 0071468749
The coming "break point" Tertzakian describes--more a period than a moment, 
really--is the next 5 to 10 years, during which rising oil prices and market
volatility will force structural changes in how we extract and expend energy. 
Both a chronicle of previous break points and their consequences--including
the shifts from whale oil to kerosene lighting, coal- to oil-fueled navies, and 
steam to electric engines--and a carefully considered economic analysis
of our present conundrum, this book offers no magic-bullet solution to the 
increasingly uncomfortable primacy of petroleum as the world's fuel of choice.
Nor is it as alarmist as its title suggests, although Tertzakian harbors no 
illusions about the discomfort the next decades will bring. Rather, his 
analysis points toward pursuing a plurality of minor incremental solutions 
(mostly familiar, like smaller cars and biodiesel) as the next major fuel source
(sorry, probably not hydrogen) emerges. Refreshingly measured and pragmatic, 
this account also is illuminating as a quick historical primer of the oil
Table of Contents
In the wake of the Exxon Valdez - Art Davidson
Publisher: Sierra Club Books
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 05/01/1990
ISBN-13: 9780871566140
ISBN-10: 0871566141
Describes the events that set the stage for the disaster, the devastating 
environmental impact of the spill, and the global danger of oil tankers.  The
lesson of the Exxon Valdez , stresses Davidson ( Alakshad: The Great Country ) 
is that prevention is the only defense against oil spills; they cannot be
contained. Having witnessed the effects of the Alaska spill on landscape, 
wildlife and people, he has written a blockbuster report on public complacency
in the face of potential disaster and about moral and legal accountability for 
the accident and the cleanup. This grim, blow-by-blow account of the grounding
of the tanker and the next 72 hours in March 1989, is followed by an 
examination of the repercussions. He shows that territorial disputes between 
and federal governments and turf battles among agencies turned the crisis into 
chaos. Exxon accepted responsibility, yet the oil consortium, Alyeska, was
legally in charge; the Federal National Contingency Plan failed to provide 
necessary resources.
The prize - Daniel Yergin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 01/01/1991
ISBN-13: 9780671502485
ISBN-10: 0671502484
Winner of the 1992 Pulitizer Prize for nonfiction.  A comprehensive history of 
one of the commodities that powers the world--oil. Founded in the 19th century,
the oil industry began producing kerosene for lamps and progressed to gasoline. 
Huge personal fortunes arose from it, and whole nations sprung out of the
power politics of the oil wells. Yergin's fascinating account sweeps from early 
robber barons like John D. Rockefeller, to the oil crisis of the 1970s,
through to the Gulf War.
First Chapter
Should drilling be permitted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? - David M. 
Haugen and David M. Haugen
Publisher: Greenhaven Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 05/30/2008
ISBN-13: 9780737739305
ISBN-10: 0737739304
This collection of essays, part of the At Issue: Environment series, examines 
the current issue of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
(ANWR). The introduction provides both background information and an overview 
of the issue as it stands today. The essays, written by people from a variety
of backgrounds and with different experiences and beliefs, provide a balanced 
view of the topic.
Table of Contents

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