Science & Nature
Featured Items
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.

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.
Paperback      ISBN: 0486229475

Have you every wanted to build a sundial or to understand how one works? Then you have probably been frustrated as you search vainly for help. Most books on the subject are either rare out-of-print works published centuries ago and available only in highly specialized collections, or highly complicated treatises whose information is hidden behind frightening arrays of involved formulas. But now your search is over. This book is designed to meet sundialing needs at either the simple or the sophisticated level.
Albert E. Waugh, professor and administrator at the University of Connecticut for 40 years, and an expert on the subject of sundials and their curious history, presents, on the one hand, a rigorous appraisal of the science of sundials, including mathematical treatment and an explanation of the pertinent astronomical background; on the other hand, he presents simple and non-technical treatments such that several of the dials can be built by children
The subject matter is arranged in 19 chapters, each covering a different aspect of dialing science. All the common types of dials are covered, but the reader can also learn about analemmatic dials, polar dials, equatorial dials, portable dials, memorial dials, armillary spheres, reflected ceiling dials, cross dials, and old-fashioned noon marks. There are also sections on dial furniture, mottoes, the actual layout out of a dial, the equation of time, finding time in other cities, how to find the meridian, how to find time by moonlight -- even how to estimate time from the length of one's own shadow Directions are given for designing dials for any part of the country, or any place in the world. The author has designed many dials, and his text is filled with helpful hints based on his own personal experience. There are over 100 illustrations, charts, and tables, followed by an appendix which is filled with material which reduces or eliminates the need for calculation on the part of the reader.

Short-Cut Math
Short-Cut Math
Paperback      ISBN: 0486246116

Can you multiply 362 x .5 quickly in your head? Could you readily calculate the square of 41? How much is 635 divided by 21/2? Can 727,648 be evenly divided by 8?
If any of these questions took you more than a few seconds to solve, you need this book. Short-Cut Math is a concise, remarkably clear compendium of about 150 math short-cuts -- timesaving tricks that provide faster, easier ways to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
By using the simple foolproof methods in this volume, you can double or triple your calculation speed -- even if you always hated math in school. Here's a sampling of the amazingly effective techniques you will learn in minutes: Adding by 10 Groups; No-Carry Addition; Subtraction Without Borrowing; Multiplying by Aliquot Parts; Test for Divisibility by Odd and Even Numbers; Simplifying Dividends and Divisors; Fastest Way to Add or Subtract Any Pair of Fractions; Multiplying and Dividing with Mixed Numbers, and more.
The short-cuts in this book require no special math ability. If you can do ordinary arithmetic, you will have no trouble with these methods. There are no complicated formulas or unfamiliar jargon -- no long drills or exercises. For each problem, the author provides an explanation of the method and a step-by-step solution. Then the short-cut is applied, with a proof and an explanation of why it works.
Students, teachers, businesspeople, accountants, bank tellers, check-out clerks -- anyone who uses numbers and wishes to increase his or her speed and arithmetical agility, can benefit from the clear, easy-to-follow techniques given here.

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.

Foxfire 10
Foxfire 10
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0385422768

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.

Chock full of the wit and wisdom that has become the Foxfire trademark, this tenth volume in the acclaimed series is on oral history of Appalachian lives and traditions, homespun crafts, and folk arts including gourd carving and chairmaking.
One Life at a Time, Please
One Life at a Time, Please
Paperback      ISBN: 0805006036

From stories about cattlemen, fellow critics, his beloved desert, cities, and technocrats to thoughts on sin and redemption, this is one of our most treasured writers at the height of his powers.

Annals of the Former World
Annals of the Former World
Paperback      ISBN: 0374518734

The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.

Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

Labyrinths of Reason: Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge
Labyrinths of Reason
Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge
Paperback      ISBN: 0385242719

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.

Encounters with the Archdruid: Narratives about a Conservationist and Three of His Natural Enemies
Encounters with the Archdruid
Narratives about a Conservationist and Three of His Natural Enemies
Paperback      ISBN: 0374514313

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.