This sharply intelligent, consistently provocative book takes the reader on an astonishing, thought-provoking voyage into the realm of delightful uncertainty--a world of paradox in which logical argument leads to contradiction and common sense is seemingly rendered irrelevant.
Using simple mathematical formulas, most as basic as Pythagoras's theorem and requiring only a very limited knowledge of mathematics, Professor Huntley explores the fascinating relationship between geometry and aesthetics. Poetry, patterns like Pascal's triangle, philosophy, psychology, music, and dozens of simple mathematical figures are enlisted to show that the "divine proportion" or "golden ratio" is a feature of geometry and analysis which awakes answering echoes in the human psyche. When we judge a work of art aesthetically satisfying, according to his formulation, we are making it conform to a pattern whose outline is laid down in simple geometrical figures; and it is the analysis of these figures which forms the core of Professor Huntley's book.
For the philosopher, scientist, poet, art historian, music listener, artist, as well as the general reader who wants to understand more about the fascinating properties of numbers, this is a beautifully written, exciting account of the search for a naturally manifested aesthetic that has occupied man since he first asked the question "why?"
"This is a delightful book to read. . . . It wanders here and there through some of the most attractive byways of simple mathematics, returning always to the oddities and pleasures of the golden section. This is a browser's book -- a happy, untidy traveling or bedside book for those who know how to enjoy the charm of numbers and shapes." -- Dr. J. Bronowski, The Salk Institute.
First published in 1972, The Foxfire Book was a surprise bestseller that brought Appalachia's philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers. Whether you wanted to hunt game, bake the old-fashioned way, or learn the art of successful moonshining, The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center had a contact who could teach you how with clear, step-by-step instructions.This classic debut volume of the acclaimed series covers a diverse array of crafts and practical skills, including log cabin building, hog dressing, basketmaking, cooking, fencemaking, crop planting, hunting, and moonshining, as well as a look at the history of local traditions like snake lore and faith healing.
These are notions so basic to our view of life that we take them for granted. But in the seventeenth century they were revolutionary, heretical, even dangerous to the men who formed them. Culture, religion, and science had intertwined over the centuries to create a world view based on a stationary earth. Indeed, if the earth moved, would not birds be blown off the trees and would not an object thrown straight up come down far away?
Then came the Renaissance and with it Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Huygens, and Newton: giants who courageously remade the world into an earth which actually moves 100,000 feet a second while revolving 1,000 miles an hour around an object 93,000,000 miles away. And yet birds perch unruffled and an apple will fall straight down.
All of this we think we know. But how well do we know it? In the twenty-five years since its first publication, The Birth of a New Physics has become a classic in the history of science. Here expanded by more than one-third and fully updated, it not only offers us the best account of the greatest scientific revolution but also tells us how we can know we live in a dynamic universe.
An exquisite and powerful harvest, this - truly a Book of Common Prayer for our planet's people in this time.
JOANNA MACY, author of 'Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age'
Building on the work of Foucault, Giddens, Jameson and Lefebvre, one of America's geographers argues for a rethinking of the dialectics of space, time and social being.
Now Pappas has done it again, or rather, has done more
The pages of MORE JOY OF MATHEMATICS spill over with ideas, puzzles, games from all over the world, historic background, exciting graphics and up-to-the-minute math breakthrough. Readers will find plent to enjoy as they discover Pappas' unique easy reading style.
In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the nineteenth century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the nineteenth century, as seen in specialized engineering journals and popular media. Marvin pays particular attention to the telephone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary ways of dividing the private person and family from the more public setting of the community. On the lighter side, she describes how people spoke louder when calling long distance, and how they worried about catching contagious diseases over the phone. A particularly powerful chapter deals with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting--the Telephone Herald in New York and the Telefon Hirmondo of Hungary--and the conflict between the technological development of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon culture on the public. While focusing on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social impact, presenting a wide-ranging, informative, and entertaining account of the early years of electronic media.
Background materials include reproductions of the original scientific papers in which the double helical structure of DNA was first presented in 1953 and 1954.
In Criticism, which begins with A Review of the Reviews by Gunther Stent, other scientists and scholars reveal their own experiences and views of Watson's story. There are reviews by Philip Morrison, F. X. S., Richard C. Lewontin, Mary Ellmann, Robert L. Sinsheimer, John Lear, Alex Comfort, Jacob Bronowski, Conrad H. Waddington, Robert K. Merton, Peter M. Medawar, and André Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson.