Science & Nature
Featured Items
Pieces of the Frame
Pieces of the Frame
Paperback      ISBN: 0374514984

Pieces of the Frame is a gathering of memorable writings by one of the greatest journalists and storytellers of our time. They take the reader from the backwoods roads of Georgia, to the high altitude of Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico; from the social decay of Atlantic City, to Scotland, where a pilgrimage for art's sake leads to a surprising encounter with history on a hilltop with a view of a fifth of the entire country. McPhee's writing is more than informative; these are stories, artful and full of character, that make compelling reading. They play with and against one another, so that Pieces of the Frame is distinguished as much by its unity as by its variety. Subjects familiar to McPhee's readers--sports, Scotland, conservation--are treated here with intimacy and a sense of the writer at work.

Foxfire 6: Shoemaking, 100 Toys and Games, Gourd Banjos and Song Bows, Wooden Locks, a Water-Powered Sawmill
Foxfire 6
Shoemaking, 100 Toys and Games, Gourd Banjos and Song Bows, Wooden Locks, a Water-Powered Sawmill
Paperback      ISBN: 0385152728

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.

Volume six of the Foxfire series covers shoemaking, crafting toys and games, carving gourd banjos, song bows and wooden locks, creating a water-powered sawmill, and other fascinating topics.
To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design
To Engineer is Human
The Role of Failure in Successful Design
Paperback      ISBN: 0679734163

How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s - the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? How did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes that Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed The Pencil, examines in this engaging, wonderfully literate book. More than a series of fascinating case studies, To Engineer is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life.

The Birth of a New Physics
The Birth of a New Physics
Paperback      ISBN: 0393300455

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.

The Control of Nature
The Control of Nature
Paperback      ISBN: 0374522596

The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from her - stubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

The Solace of Open Spaces
The Solace of Open Spaces
Paperback      ISBN: 0140081135
A collection of transcendent, lyrical essays on life in the American West, the classic companion to Gretel Ehrlich's new book, Unsolaced

"Wyoming has found its Whitman." --Annie Dillard

Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn't leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on "the planet of Wyoming," a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life.

Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces--the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons--in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves.

Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose "as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning" (Newsday), Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us.
A Natural History of the Senses
A Natural History of the Senses
Paperback      ISBN: 0679735666

Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth.

"Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in." --The New York Times
Rising from the Plains
Rising from the Plains
Paperback      ISBN: 0374520658

Rising from the Plains is John McPhee's third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North America along the fortieth parallel--a series gathering under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Desert Solitaire
Desert Solitaire
Paperback      ISBN: 0671695886

Hailed by The New York Times as "a passionately felt, deeply poetic book," the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness.

Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man's stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey's reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau's Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life's mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.
Nature Word
Nature Word
Paperback      ISBN: 089281036x

The first part of the book, written in a single, uninterrupted flow of inspiration, takes the form of answers from the word of nature to questions posed by the rational mind. The second part of the book consists of philosophical reflections on the first and proposes the practice of imagination as a way of evolutionary development. Many traditions have spoken of a higher consciousness, but Schwaller de Lubicz's attempt to formulate in modern terms an alchemical science of qualities, functions, analogies and signatures is unique.