The history of plants and flowers.
Botanical paintings and fascinating essays are combined in Plant Discoveries to examine the fascinating history of plants and flowers. Over 20 plant families are profiled including cacti, daffodils, iris, magnolia, poppies, roses, tulips, conifers, hibiscus, palms and waterlilies.
Throughout history, plants have dramatically affected the lives of individuals and society as a whole. Holland's infamous tulip craze is now legend. The 17th century spice trade was so profitable that stevedores who unloaded nutmeg from the boats were obliged to wear coveralls without pockets since only a few nutmegs were worth a fortune.
The natural history of the plants themselves is an engrossing topic. The book suggests that plants take a more active role in their survival than commonly assumed. It discusses how plants have adopted remarkable strategies for survival in a variety of harsh habitats. One such plant is the dead horse arum -- a putrid-smelling plant that adapted to compete with dead birds to attract pollinating carrion flies.
Plants that gardeners now take for granted once could only be found in remote and hostile regions. Plant Discoveries tells the fascinating story of the adventurous botanist explorers who braved disease, slave traders, war, jungles and other dangers to collect plants now commonly grown in our own backyards.
These pages are graced with hundreds of stunning color illustrations selected from the vast collection of botanical paintings archived at the Natural History Museum, London. Plant Discoveries is an exciting voyage of discovery and a must-have volume for lovers of art, botany, and adventure.
Time #1 Nonfiction Book of 2007
Entertainment Weekly #1 Nonfiction Book of 2007
Finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award
Salon Book Awards 2007
Amazon Top 100 Editors' Picks of 2007 (#4)
Barnes and Noble 10 Best of 2007: Politics and Current Affairs
Kansas City Star's Top 100 Books of the Year 2007
Mother Jones' Favorite Books of 2007
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Books of the Year 2007
Hudson's Best Books of 2007
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books of 2007
St. Paul Pioneer Press Best Books of 2007
Covering more than 100 universal gardening "dos and don'ts," Decoding Gardening Advice is the first book to provide gardeners with the real answers. Jeff Gillman, the bestselling author of The Truth About Garden Remedies, and Meleah Maynard back up every good recommendation with sound horticultural and botanical science. Decoding Gardening Advice is the first and only hard-hitting, evidence-based book that every gardener needs for definitive advice on everything from bulbs, annuals, and perennials to edibles, trees, and soil care.
In the tradition of Animal and Earth, DK brings you a new definitive visual guide that takes a unique look at what it means to be a human being. This is the first book to cover all aspects of human life, from evolution and biology to society, culture, and the future of our aspects of human life, from evolution and biology to society, culture, and, the future of our species. The book examines the qualities that all humans share and profiles more than 250 peoples who inhabit the world.
"Admirable, superbly researched . . . perhaps the most exciting tale of science since the apple dropped on Newton's head."
--Simon Winchester, The New York Times
Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in his London laboratory in 1928 and its eventual development as the first antibiotic by a team at Oxford University headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain in 1942 led to the introduction of the most important family of drugs of the twentieth century.
Yet credit for penicillin is largely misplaced. Neither Fleming nor Florey and his associates ever made real money from their achievements; instead it was the American labs that won patents on penicillin's manufacture and drew royalties from its sale. Why this happened, why it took fourteen years to develop penicillin, and how it was finally done is a fascinating story of quirky individuals, missed opportunities, medical prejudice, brilliant science, shoestring research, wartime pressures, misplaced modesty, conflicts between mentors and their prot g s, and the passage of medicine from one era to the next.
Originally published in 1613 by botanist-apothecary Basilius Besler, the Hortus Eystettensis is one of the greatest illustrated botanical books ever created. This work contains 27 full-colour prints, suitable for framing, of subjects including tulips, irises, lemons and artichokes.
"A penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth "
In" The World Without Us, "Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.
"The World Without Us "reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world's cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists---who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths---Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.
From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.
The vitality and accessibility of Fritjof Capra's ideas have made him perhaps the most eloquent spokesperson of the latest findings emerging at the frontiers of scientific, social, and philosophical thought. In his international bestsellers The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point, he juxtaposed physics and mysticism to define a new vision of reality. In The Web of Life, Capra takes yet another giant step, setting forth a new scientific language to describe interrelationships and interdependence of psychological, biological, physical, social, and cultural phenomena--the "web of life."
During the past twenty-five years, scientists have challenged conventional views of evolution and the organization of living systems and have developed new theories with revolutionary philosophical and social implications. Fritjof Capra has been at the forefront of this revolution. In The Web of Life, Capra offers a brilliant synthesis of such recent scientific breakthroughs as the theory of complexity, Gaia theory, chaos theory, and other explanations of the properties of organisms, social systems, and ecosystems. Capra's surprising findings stand in stark contrast to accepted paradigms of mechanism and Darwinism and provide an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that will allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing the opportunities for future generations.
Now available in paperback for the first time, The Web of Life is cutting-edge science writing in the tradition of James Gleick's Chaos, Gregory Bateson's Mind and Matter, and Ilya Prigogine's Order Out of Chaos.
Uses new research about the brain to explore how we can transcend our current physical and cultural limitations- Reveals that transcendence of current modes of existence requires the dynamic interaction of our fourth and fifth brains (intellect and intelligence) - Explores the idea that Jesus, Lao-tzu, and other great beings in history are models of nature's possibility and our ability to achieve transcendence - 17,000 sold in hardcover since April 2002 Why do we seem stuck in a culture of violence and injustice? How is it that we can recognize the transcendent ideal represented by figures such as Jesus, Lao-tzu, and many others who have walked among us and yet not seem to reach the same state? In The Biology of Transcendence Joseph Chilton Pearce examines the current biological understanding of our neural organization to address how we can go beyond the limitations and constraints of our current capacities of body and mind--how we can transcend. Recent research in the neurosciences and neurocardiology identifies the four neural centers of our brain and indicates that a fifth such center is located in the heart. This research reveals that the evolutionary structure of our brain and its dynamic interactions with our heart are designed by nature to reach beyond our current evolutionary capacities. We are quite literally, made to transcend. Pearce explores how this "biological imperative" drives our life into ever-greater realms of being--even as the "cultural imperative" of social conformity and behavior counters this genetic heritage, blocks our transcendent capacities, and breeds violence in all its forms. The conflict between religion and spirit is an important part of this struggle. But each of us may overthrow these cultural imperatives to reach "unconflicted behavior," wherein heart and mind-brain resonate in synchronicity, opening us to levels of possibility beyond the ordinary.
More than 370 edible wild plants, plus 37 poisonous lookalikes, are described here, with 400 drawings and 78 color photographs showing precisely how to recognize each species. Also included are habitat descriptions, lists of plants by season, and preparation instructions for 22 different food uses.