Science & Nature
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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 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.
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.

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.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Weather: North America
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Weather
North America
Paperback      ISBN: 0679408517
Incredibly comprehensive yet portable enough for your day pack, the definitive field guide to every type of weather system, cloud formation, and atmospheric phenomenon common to North America--from the go-to reference source for over 18 million nature lovers.

The 378 dramatic photographs in National Audubon Society Field Guide to Weather capture cloud types, precipitation, storms, twisters, and optical phenomena such as the Northern Lights. Essays with accompanying maps and illustrations discuss the earth's atmosphere, weather systems, cloud formation, and development of tornadoes and many other weather events.
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.

Holy the Firm
Holy the Firm
Paperback      ISBN: 0060915439

In 1975 Annie Dillard took up residence on an island in Puget Sound in a wooded room furnished with one enormous window, one cat, one spider and one person. For the next two years she asked herself questions about time, reality, sacrifice death, and the will of God. In Holy the Firm she writes about a moth consumed in a candle flame, about a seven-year-old girl burned in an airplane accident, about a baptism on a cold beach. But behind the moving curtain of what she calls the hard things -- rock mountain and salt sea, she sees, sometimes far off and sometimes as close by as a veil or air, the power play of holy fire.

This is a profound book about the natural world -- both its beauty and its cruelty -- the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dillard knows so well.

A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
A Sand County Almanac
With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0195007778

First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite," A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land.

Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. As the forerunner of such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was forty years ago.
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.
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.