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The Great Bridge
The Great Bridge
Paperback      ISBN: 067145711x

The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough.

This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation's history, during the Age of Optimism--a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible.

In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.
Assembling California
Assembling California
Paperback      ISBN: 0374523932

At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field surveys in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is Assembling California, a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wine country of the Coast Ranges, the rock of San Francisco, and the San Andreas family of faults. The two disparate time scales occasionally intersect--in the gold disruptions of the nineteenth century no less than in the earthquakes of the twentieth--and always with relevance to a newly understood geologic history in which half a dozen large and separate pieces of country are seen to have drifted in from far and near to coalesce as California. McPhee and Moores also journeyed to remote mountains of Arizona and to Cyprus and northern Greece, where rock of the deep-ocean floor has been transported into continental settings, as it has in California. Global in scope and a delight to read, Assembling California is a sweeping narrative of maps in motion, of evolving and dissolving lands.

The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla
The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla
Paperback      ISBN: 0932813194

Nikola Tesla's Electricity Unplugged is a unique anthology of hand-picked Tesla articles, arranged historically, which presents overwhelming and convincing evidence for the reality of Tesla's high efficiency, low cost wireless power transmission. Following in the footsteps of the editor's first book in the series, Harnessing the Wheelwork of Nature, Dr. Tom Valone's book chronologically traces the original intention that Nikola Tesla had for his wireless electricity and how he updated and expanded upon it later on, with reprints of his key articles, to the recent genius engineers and physicists who are now finally bringing this last and most elusive, highly advanced Tesla technology into reality. The Corum article (along with the Peterson article) on the Zenneck wave transmission experiments culminates the viewpoints of all of the book's contributors. Its purposeful placement as the last chapter of the book, is because this exclusive article publication is a major scientific breakthrough, as testified by the book's endorsement from Brigadier General Michael Miller, and foretells the understandable, visionary road to the corporate formation of wireless power utilities. Furthermore, this is the first and only book in the world which explains how an electromagnetic wave traveling across the electrically conductive surface of the earth, was predicted by Tesla and Zenneck (two pictures in the book show them together on pages 74 and 381) and why it is the essential missing link of any Tesla wireless transmission theory. Many of the contributors also nicely explain the "surface wave phenomenon" as well as "resonant earth-ionosphere" modes of electrical transmission without wires that compliments the surface wave theory and experiment. Nikola Tesla's Electricity Unplugged therefore is a treasure compared to any other Tesla reference book currently in print, since it is jam-packed with personal stories of Tesla, such as one reprinted from the prestigious Smithsonian magazine, along with great illustrated slideshows adapted for the book format, the "secret" history of Tesla's wireless, the real Tesla electric car, high Q resonant power transfer examples being used today by Qualcomm, "Tesla unplugged" explained in an easy-to-understand presentation by a Brookhaven National Lab scientist, wireless electricity article based on scalar waves, even including a couple amazing rigorous equation articles with wireless solutions for the tech audience, a unique and evocative Foreword by Nikola Tesla's last living direct descendant, all presented in a 457-page paperback book, suitable as a college or high school reader, or simply as an eye-opening, optimistic window onto the electrical genius regarded as the "Master of Lightning," with a priceless collection of nineteen (19) contributors not available anywhere else.

Ontogeny and Phylogeny
Ontogeny and Phylogeny
Paperback      ISBN: 0674639413

"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" was Haeckel's answer--the wrong one--to the most vexing question of nineteenth-century biology: what is the relationship between individual development (ontogeny) and the evolution of species and lineages (phylogeny)? In this, the first major book on the subject in fifty years, Stephen Jay Gould documents the history of the idea of recapitulation from its first appearance among the pre-Socratics to its fall in the early twentieth century.

Mr. Gould explores recapitulation as an idea that intrigued politicians and theologians as well as scientists. He shows that Haeckel's hypothesis--that human fetuses with gill slits are, literally, tiny fish, exact replicas of their water-breathing ancestors--had an influence that extended beyond biology into education, criminology, psychoanalysis (Freud and Jung were devout recapitulationists), and racism. The theory of recapitulation, Gould argues, finally collapsed not from the weight of contrary data, but because the rise of Mendelian genetics rendered it untenable.

Turning to modern concepts, Gould demonstrates that, even though the whole subject of parallels between ontogeny and phylogeny fell into disrepute, it is still one of the great themes of evolutionary biology. Heterochrony--changes in developmental timing, producing parallels between ontogeny and phylogeny--is shown to be crucial to an understanding of gene regulation, the key to any rapprochement between molecular and evolutionary biology. Gould argues that the primary evolutionary value of heterochrony may lie in immediate ecological advantages for slow or rapid maturation, rather than in long-term changes of form, as all previous theories proclaimed.

Neoteny--the opposite of recapitulation--is shown to be the most important determinant of human evolution. We have evolved by retaining the juvenile characters of our ancestors and have achieved both behavioral flexibility and our characteristic morphology thereby (large brains by prolonged retention of rapid fetal growth rates, for example).

Gould concludes that "there may be nothing new under the sun, but permutation of the old within complex systems can do wonders. As biologists, we deal directly with the kind of material complexity that confers an unbounded potential upon simple, continuous changes in underlying processes. This is the chief joy of our science."

The Construction of Modern Science: Mechanisms and Mechanics
The Construction of Modern Science
Mechanisms and Mechanics
Paperback      ISBN: 0521292956

This introduction to the history of science in the seventeenth century examines the so-called 'scientific revolution' in terms of the interplay between two major themes. The Platonic-Pythagorean tradition looked on nature in geometric terms with the conviction that the cosmos was constructed according to the principles of mathematical order, while the mechanical philosophy conceived of nature as a huge machine and sought to explain the hidden mechanisms behind phenomena. Pursuing different goals, these two movements of thought tended to conflict with each other, and more than the obviously mathematical sciences were affected - the influence spread as far as chemistry and the life sciences. As this book demonstrates, the full fruition of the scientific revolution required a resolution of the tension between the two dominant trends.

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
The Double Helix
A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
Paperback      ISBN: 0393950751

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 Andr Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson.
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 Rediscovery of North America
The Rediscovery of North America
Paperback      ISBN: 0679740996

Five hundred years ago an Italian whose name, translated into English, meant Christopher Dove, came to America and began a process not of discovery, but incursion -- " a ruthless, angry search for wealth" that continues to the present day. This provocative and superbly written book gives a true assessment of Columbus's legacy while taking the first steps toward its redemption. Even as he draws a direct line between the atrocities of Spanish conquistadors and the ongoing pillage of our lands and waters, Barry Lopez challenges us to adopt an ethic that will make further depredations impossible. The Rediscovery of North America is a ringingly persuasive call for us, at long last, to make this country our home.

Paddle Whispers
Paddle Whispers
Paperback      ISBN: 0938586734
Physical Fluid Dynamics
Physical Fluid Dynamics
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0198544936

This book presents the physics of incompressible flow for the benefit of students and others who need to understand fluid motion. In this new edition, much of the material is new or rewritten, but the purpose and style of the first edition are retained. Particular emphasis is given to information obtained by experiment and observation in addition to analysis of the equations of motion. The book's primary concern is to convey a fundamental understanding of the behavior of fluids in motion. Special features include an introductory non-mathematical treatment of three particular flow configurations; extensive consideration of geophysical topics; and detailed coverage of topics that are known primarily through experimental data. Numerous photographs illustrate the phenomena discussed, and a concluding chapter demonstrates the wide applicability of fluid mechanics. New topics in the second edition include double diffusive convection and modern ideas about dynamical chaos. The discussion of instabilities has been restructured and the treatments of separation and of convection in horizontal layers considerably expanded.