Science & Nature
Featured Items
Galapagos: A Natural History (New)
A Natural History (New)
Paperback      ISBN: 1895176409

Twenty thousand copies of the first edition of Gal pagos were sold. An attractive and comprehensive guidebook, this work has been completely revised and updated by the author. The reader will find an easy-to-use text which details the natural history of the plants and animals found in the Gal pagos Islands. Management and conservation of the Gal pagos National Park is discussed, and visitor information and notes about the various tourist sites are given. An index and checklist of plants and animals with page references and a glossary of technical terms are provided.

Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
Paperback      ISBN: 0679747044

To his colleagues, Richard Feynman was not so much a genius as he was a full-blown magician: someone who "does things that nobody else could do and that seem completely unexpected." The path he cleared for twentieth-century physics led from the making of the atomic bomb to a Nobel Prize-winning theory of quantam electrodynamics to his devastating expos of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. At the same time, the ebullient Feynman established a reputation as an eccentric showman, a master safe cracker and bongo player, and a wizard of seduction.

Now James Gleick, author of the bestselling Chaos, unravels teh dense skein of Feynman's thought as well as the paradoxes of his character in a biography--which was nominated for a National Book Award--of outstanding lucidity and compassion.
The Geometry of Art and Life
The Geometry of Art and Life
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0486235424

Is everything chaos and chance, or is there order, harmony, and proportion in human life, nature, and the finest art? Can one find a natural aesthetic that corresponds to a universal order? If so, what importance can it have for the scientist, artist, or layman? What is the true significance of the triangle, rectangle, spiral, and other geometric shapes? These are but a few of the questions that Professor Matila Ghyka deals with in this fascinating book. The author believes that there are such things as The Mathematics of Life and The Mathematics of Art, and that the two coincide. Using simple mathematical formulas, most as basic as Pythagoras' theorem and requiring only a very limited knowledge of mathematics, Professor Ghyka shows the fascinating relationships between geometry, aesthetics, nature, and the human body.
Beginning with ideas from Plato, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Ockham, Kepler, and others, the author explores the outlines of an abstract science of space, which includes a theory of proportions, an examination of the golden section, a study of regular and semi-regular polyhedral, and the interlinking of these various shapes and forms. He then traces the transmission of this spatial science through the Pythagorean tradition and neo-Pythagorism, Greek, and Gothic canons of proportion, the Kabbala, Masonic traditions and symbols, and modern applications in architecture, painting, and decorative art. When we judge a work of art, 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 both in art and nature that forms the core of Professor Ghyka's book. He also shows this geometry at work in living organisms. The ample illustrations and figures give concrete examples of the author's analysis: the Great Pyramid and tomb of Rameses IV, the Parthenon, Renaissance paintings and architecture, the work of Seurat, Le Corbusier, and flowers, shells, marine life, the human face, and much more.
For the philosopher, scientist, archaeologist, art historian, biologist, poet, and artist as well as the general reader who wants to understand more about the fascinating properties of numbers and geometry, and their relationship to art and life, this is a thought-provoking book.

The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance
The Growth of Biological Thought
Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance
Paperback      ISBN: 0674364465

No one in this century can speak with greater authority on the progress of ideas in biology than Ernst Mayr. And no book has ever established the life sciences so firmly in the mainstream of Western intellectual history as The Growth of Biological Thought. Ten years in preparation, this is a work of epic proportions, tracing the development of the major problems of biology from the earliest attempts to find order in the diversity of life to modern research into the mechanisms of gene transmission.

Ancient Astronauts, Cosmic Collisions
Ancient Astronauts, Cosmic Collisions
Paperback      ISBN: 0879752858

Controversial archaeological and astronomical "discoveries" have been the subject of countless news stories, best-selling books, movies, and television programs. Promoted (but seldom critically evaluated) are the theories that markings in the desert of Peru are the remains of an ancient airfield used by space visitors, that the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt exhibits advanced technology unknown to the ancient Egyptians, and that there were near-collisions between planets of our solar system in historical times. This book critically evaluates many of these popular hypotheses about man's early history. It presents the most important evidence and arguments for and against theories of a universal flood, the lost continent of Atlantis, mysterious pyramid powers, pre-Columbian voyages to America by ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, and Velikovsky's cosmic catastrophism. Professor Stiebing stresses the need for careful and objective analysis of the "evidence" used to support radical reconstructions of the past. The book discusses radio-carbon dating, archaeological stratigraphy, textual interpretation, and epigraphy as well as emphasis on the proper use of data provided by geology, astronomy and other sciences. It is written in non-technical language and will appeal to a wide audience.

The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature
The Future of the Body
Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature
Paperback      ISBN: 0874777305

In the oral and written histories of every culture, there are countless records of men and women who have displayed extraordinary physical, mental, and spiritual capacities. In modern times, those records have been supplemented by scientific studies of exceptional functioning.

Are the limits of human growth fixed?

Are extraordinary abilities latent within everyone?

Is there evidence that humanity has unrealized capacities for self-transcendence?

Are there specific practices through which ordinary people can develop these abilities?

Michael Murphy has studied these questions for over thirty years.

In The Future of the Body, he presents evidence for metanormal perception, cognition, movement, vitality, and spiritual development from more than 3,000 sources. Surveying ancient and modern records in medical science, sports, anthropology, the arts, psychical research, comparative religious studies, and dozens of other disciplines, Murphy has created an encyclopedia of exceptional functioning of body, mind, and spirit. He paints a broad and convincing picture of the possibilities of further evolutionary development of human attributes.

By studying metanormal abilities under a wide range of conditions, Murphy suggests that we can identify those activities that typically evoke these capacities and assemble them into a coherent program of transformative practice.

A few of Murphy's central observations and proposal include:

  • The observation that cultural conditioning powerfully shapes (or extinguishes) metanormal capacities.
  • The proposition that we cannot comprehend our potentials for extraordinary life without an empirical approach that involves many fields of inquiry and different kinds of knowing.
  • The notion that a widespread realization of extraordinary capacities would constitute an evolutionary transcendence analogous to the rise of humankind from its primal ancestry.
  • The proposal that all or most instances of significant human development are produced by a limited number of identifiable activities such as disciplined self-observation, visualization of desired capacities, and caring for others.
  • The idea that a balanced development of our various capacities is possible through integrated practices.
  • In The Future Of The Body, Murphy states that such practices can carry forward Earth's evolutionary adventure and lead humanity to the next step in its development.
  • Albert Einstein the Human Side: New Glimpses from His Archives
    Albert Einstein the Human Side
    New Glimpses from His Archives
    Paperback      ISBN: 0691023689

    Modesty, humor, compassion, and wisdom are the traits most evident in these personal papers, most of them never before published, from the Einstein archives. The illustrious physicist wrote as thoughtfully to an Ohio fifth-grader, distressed by her discovery that scientists classify humans as animals, as to a Colorado banker, who asked whether he believed in a personal God. Witty rhymes, and exchange about fine music with Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, and expressions of his devotion to Zionism are but some of the highlights found in this rare, warm enriching book.

    The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life
    The Body Electric
    Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life
    1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0688069711

    The Body Electric tells the fascinating story of our bioelectric selves. Robert O. Becker, a pioneer in the filed of regeneration and its relationship to electrical currents in living things, challenges the established mechanistic understanding of the body. He found clues to the healing process in the long-discarded theory that electricity is vital to life. But as exciting as Becker's discoveries are, pointing to the day when human limbs, spinal cords, and organs may be regenerated after they have been damaged, equally fascinating is the story of Becker's struggle to do such original work. The Body Electric explores new pathways in our understanding of evolution, acupuncture, psychic phenomena, and healing.

    Geometry and the Visual Arts
    Geometry and the Visual Arts
    Paperback      ISBN: 048624458x

    The origins of geometry are rooted in the ancient civilization of Egypt and Babylon. The Greeks developed its primitive beginnings into a science changing forever man's concept of space and proportions. In this lucid work, noted professor of mathematics Dan Pedoe (University of Minnesota) takes a provocative look at the crucial importance of geometry in the development of Western aesthetics. The author traces the effects of geometry on artistic achievement and clearly discusses its fundamental importance to artists, scientists, architects, philosophers, and others.
    Special chapters focus on Vitruvius, Albrecht D rer, and Leonardo da Vinci, clearly outlining the interrelationship of their own artistic development and the guiding principles of geometry. 136 figures illustrate the text in addition to 24 plates. This wide-ranging survey addresses a broad expanse of intellectual territory, covering: projective geometry, mathematical curves, theories of perspective and architectural form, concepts of space and much more; making precise and perceptive references to the works of Plato, Walt Whitman, Pythagoras, Shakespeare, Einstein, Michelangelo, Swift, van Gogh, and other great minds.
    Exercises are given at the end of each chapter for those who wish to experience the aesthetic appeal of geometry by carrying out simple constructions, inventing patterns, drawing and stitching curves and envelopes, and finally, venturing into the students, teachers, and all those who delight in the beauty of geometric forms, the work is an indispensable addition to your bookshelf and a lasting delight to the mind and eye.

    Paperback      ISBN: 0486266397

    "A wealth of intriguing and lovely ideas." -- Information Technology & Learning.
    While the beauty of mathematics is often discussed, the aesthetic appeal of the discipline is seldom demonstrated as clearly as in this intriguing journey into the realms where art and mathematics merge. Aimed at a wide range of ages and abilities, this engrossing book explores the possibilities of mathematical drawing through compass constructions and computer graphics.
    Compass construction is an extremely ancient art, requiring no special skills other than the care it takes to place a compass point accurately. For the computer graphics part of the present work, however, readers will need some familiarity with basic high school mathematics-mainly algebra and trigonometry. Still, much of the book can be enjoyed even by "mathophobes," for it is about lines and circles and how to put them together to make various patterns, both abstract and natural.
    One hundred and six full-page drawings, ranging from totally abstract to somewhat pictorial, demonstrate the possibilities of mathematical drawing and serve as inspiration to readers to carry out their own creative investigations. Among the illustrations are such intriguing configurationsas a five-point egg, golden ratio, 17-gon, plughole vortex, blancmange curve, Durer's pentagons, pentasnow, turtle geometry, and many more. In guiding students toward the comprehension and creation of such figures, the author explains helpful basic principles (of number, length and angle) as well as reviewing relevant fundamentals of trigonometry. In addition, he has provided numerous useful exercises (with answers} at the ends of the chapters, together with recommended further reading, detailed in the bibliography. 211 black-and-white illustrations. Bibliography. Index.