[bksvol-discuss] Fw: Nature and Science October 2009

  • From: "Amber Wallenstein" <amber.wallens@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:27:12 -0400

New and Recently Released!

The secrets of wildflowers : a delightful feast of little-known facts, 
folklore, and history - Sanders, Jack
Publisher: Lyons Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 04/01/2003
ISBN-13: 9781585746682
ISBN-10: 1585746681
Jack Sanders's colorful tribute to wildflowers is bursting with odd facts, 
ingenious uses, and bizarre superstition about some of North America's most 
beautiful
and common plants. There are more than 10,000 varieties of wildflowers in North 
America, some rare, some so plentiful that they are designated as invasive
weeds. Each has a unique story.  There's Bouncing Bet, a perennial common along 
the roads and railroad tracks of America. Like many of our most abundant
summer wildflowers, Bet was brought over to fill colonial gardens. It's a 
beautiful plant, but also a useful one. Open up the stalk and its sap makes a
fine soap. Colonial beermakers used to put a dab in to help the head on a brew. 
Doctors used it to wash wounds. Generally considered a weed, it's everywhere.
 Or Coltsfoot, which pops up almost alone in winters, and was used in New 
England as a cure for coughs, the leaves boiled down in water. Asthmatics, 
Sanders
tells us, used to smoke it for relief. For many years, apothecaries in France 
used Coltsfoot as its symbol, a surprising pedigree for a neglected "weed."
More a companion than a field guide, THE SECRETS OF WILDFLOWERS is a must-have 
for anyone who enjoys a walk in a meadow or a gaze outside.
Table of Contents

No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the 
Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the
Process - by Colin Beavan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/01/2009
ISBN-13: 9780374222888
ISBN-10: 0374222886
Having decided to live as low-impact a life as possible, author Colin Beavan 
recounts how, for a year, he shunned (among other things) electricity, heat,
household appliances, takeout meals, and any form of fuel-powered 
transportation--although he kept his laptop so that he could blog about the 
experiment.
Along with his wife, Michelle, a shopaholic with a serious Starbucks habit, and 
their two-year-old daughter, Beavan attempts to live in a one-bedroom,
ninth-floor apartment (no elevators allowed!) resolving to eat nothing grown 
more than 250 miles away and buying only secondhand goods. From sharing the
bathwater to giving up toilet paper, No Impact Man's story is one you might not 
want to emulate--but it sure is fascinating to read about.

Cold : adventures in the world's frozen places - Streever, Bill
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 07/22/2009
ISBN-13: 9780316042918
ISBN-10: 0316042919
From avalanches to glaciers, from seals to snowflakes, and from Shackleton's 
expedition to "The Year Without Summer," Bill Streever journeys through history,
myth, geography, and ecology in a year-long search for cold--real, icy, 
40-below cold. In July he finds it while taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic 
swimming
hole; in September while excavating our planet's ancient and not so ancient ice 
ages; and in October while exploring hibernation habits in animals, from
humans to wood frogs to bears.
A scientist whose passion for cold runs red hot, Streever is a wondrous guide: 
he conjures woolly mammoth carcasses and the ice-age Clovis tribe from melting
glaciers, and he evokes blizzards so wild readers may freeze--limb by vicarious 
limb.

Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day - by Diane 
Ackerman
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/28/2009
ISBN-13: 9780393061734
ISBN-10: 0393061736
Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses and An Alchemy of 
Mind, combines science, nature, art, history, mythology, and more in this 
collection
of essays that spans seasons and states. Separate but interconnected chapters 
include everything from observations of sunflowers and honey bees to reflections
on Monet's use of light and the role of birds in ancient myth. "Ackerman 
creates a luxuriant word garden brimming with spirited observations, stories,
and musings," says Booklist.

The big burn : Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America - Egan, Timothy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 10/19/2009
ISBN-13: 9780618968411
ISBN-10: 0618968415
Offers a dramatic account of the largest-ever forest fire in America, which 
cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy because the heroism shown by the forest 
rangers
turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, which Roosevelt 
wanted to conserve, in a book by a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award 
winner.
Table of Contents

Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe - by Brian Clegg
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 08/04/2009
ISBN-13: 9780312385477
ISBN-10: 0312385471
The universe is "everything, the whole of what's out there, the sum total of 
existence," says author Brian Clegg. But where did it come from? Although the
big bang theory is the most widely accepted explanation of how the universe 
came to be, Clegg points out that, unlike evolution, it's more of a "best guess"
solution, riddled with frustrating inconsistencies and raising puzzling 
questions. In addition to exploring the event itself, Before the Big Bang also
pays attention to alternate theories and will appeal to science fiction fans as 
well as science buffs. For more on the history of the universe, try Simon
Singh's Big Bang.
Table of Contents

The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection Between Humans and Dogs - by Jon 
Franklin
Publisher: Henry Holt
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/01/2009
ISBN-13: 9780805090772
ISBN-10: 0805090770
This book by Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Jon Franklin is the 
product of over a decade of research, inspired by his promise to his future wife
that once they married they would get a puppy. After adopting a poodle named 
Charlie, Franklin began to research the origins of man's best friend, 
discovering
that the story begins nearly 12,000 years ago, as wolves that followed groups 
of humans for the food they left behind were gradually domesticated. Franklin
proposes that humans and dogs coevolved and today exist in a symbiotic 
relationship that's as emotional as it is practical. Drawing on anthropology, 
zooarcheology,
evolutionary biology, neuroanatomy, and behavioral science, The Wolf in the 
Parlor will appeal to both dog lovers and science enthusiasts.
First Chapter
Focus on: Biotechnology

Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds - by Claire Hope 
Cummings
Publisher: Beacon Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 03/03/2008
ISBN-13: 9780807085806
ISBN-10: 0807085804
Did you know that out of the 75 varieties of vegetable seeds once available 
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 97 percent are now extinct? And that's
just the tip of the iceberg, claims journalist and former environmental lawyer 
Claire Hope Cummings. In this book, Cummings examines how the rise of industrial
agriculture and the advent of genetically modified seeds (which can be 
patented) have enabled a handful of large and largely unregulated corporations 
to
effectively own the food we eat before it's even planted in the ground. If you 
enjoy Michael Pollan's books, The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food,
try Uncertain Peril.
Table of Contents

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution - by Francis 
Fukuyama
Publisher: Picador
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 05/01/2003
ISBN-13: 9780312421717
ISBN-10: 0312421710
What happens when the wealthy can choose the kind of babies they have? What 
sort of leaders do people elect when they're highly dependent on mood-altering
drugs? Can there be equality in a society where technological advances have 
increased longevity to the point where people no longer die? With these 
provocative
questions and more, political scientist Francis Fukuyama explores the numerous 
social, political, economic, and ethical issues surrounding the biotechnology
revolution. Publishers Weekly calls Our Posthuman Future a "well-written, 
carefully reasoned assessment of the perils and promise of biotechnology."
First Chapter
Table of Contents

Pandora's Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive 
Revolution - by Robin Marantz Henig
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 02/06/2004
ISBN-13: 9780618224159
ISBN-10: 0618224157
While the efforts of English doctors Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe 
resulted in the birth of the first "test tube baby" in 1978, similar experiments
in the U.S. conducted by eccentric doctor Landrum Shettles yielded lawsuits and 
widespread controversy. In fact, claims author Robin Henig, in vitro 
fertilization
(IVF) caused such an uproar that the U.S. Government refused to fund 
research--resulting in a field that today is virtually unregulated. In addition 
to
presenting the history of assisted reproductive technology, this book also 
focuses on the moral and scientific consequences that resulted from this 
technological
breakthrough while relating it to the current debate over such controversial 
topics as stem cell research, human cloning, and genetic engineering.
First Chapter
Table of Contents

What is Life? Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology 
- by Ed Regis
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 04/01/2008
ISBN-13: 9780374288518
ISBN-10: 0374288518
More than 60 years after the publication of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin 
Schrödinger's influential 1945 book What Is Life?, science writer Ed Regis
tries to answer the question by examining the fast-developing world of 
synthetic biology. From engineering gene sequences in order to manufacture 
viruses
and vaccines to creating artificial "protocells" that will be able to clean up 
toxic waste and capture excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, scientists
are hard at work not only defining life but also redefining it through the use 
of new technologies. Kirkus Reviews calls this book "lucid and exciting."

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food - by Pamela 
C. Ronald and Raoul W. Adamchak
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 04/18/2008
ISBN-13: 9780195301755
ISBN-10: 0195301757
With the world's population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, this book 
by the husband-and-wife team of Pamela C. Ronald, a plant geneticist, and
Raoul W. Adamchak, an organic farmer, is a timely investigation into the future 
of agriculture. Using a combination of instructive tips, scientific analysis,
personal reflections, and even recipes, Ronald and Adamchak make a case for a 
combination of organic farming and genetic engineering as the best and most
ecologically sound means of increasing crop yield while limiting the 
environmental impact of farming. For an evenhanded look at the debate about how 
our
food is and should be produced, check out Tomorrow's Table.
Table of Contents

Stem Cell Now: From the Experiment That Shook the World to the New Politics of 
Life - by Christopher Thomas Scott
Publisher: Pi Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 11/18/2005
ISBN-13: 9780131737983
ISBN-10: 0131737988
What are stem cells, exactly? And why do people get so worked up about them? In 
this informative book, author Christopher Thomas Scott, director of Stanford
University's Program in Stem Cells and Society, answers these questions, 
explaining the difference between adult and embryonic stem cells as well as 
describing
their potential applications in scientific and medical research. Scott 
discusses how stem cells might play a role in treating spinal cord injuries and
damaged organs, repairing the immune system, and curing diseases such as 
Parkinson's, cancer, and diabetes. At the same time, he examines the ethical 
issues
surrounding stem cell research. For balanced coverage of a controversial issue, 
read Stem Cell Now.
Table of Contents



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