The rise of mountains and the spread of deserts has marked the geologic history of Arizona. Landscapes that we see today are here because of landscapes of the past, and because of tremendous forces deep within the earth, forces that carry continents into collisions and then drag them apart again, forces of heat and pressure and the slow churning boil of the earth's interior. Landscape features result, too, from more comprehensible, more recent forces: the unending attack of water and wind and frost, the building of volcanoes, the short-term geologic happenings like landslides and rockfalls, earthquakes and floods, and a gopher digging a hole.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Brilliant...as audacious as its title....Mr. Dennett's exposition is nothing short of brilliant. --George Johnson, New York Times Book ReviewConsciousness Explained is a a full-scale exploration of human consciousness. In this landmark book, Daniel Dennett refutes the traditional, commonsense theory of consciousness and presents a new model, based on a wealth of information from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Our current theories about conscious life-of people, animal, even robots--are transformed by the new perspectives found in this book.
Drawing freely and expertly from Continental and analytic traditions, Richard Bernstein examines a number of debates and controversies exemplified in the works of Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty, and Arendt. He argues that a new conversation is emerging about human rationality--a new understanding that emphasizes its practical character and has important ramifications both for thought and action.
In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the nineteenth century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the nineteenth century, as seen in specialized engineering journals and popular media. Marvin pays particular attention to the telephone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary ways of dividing the private person and family from the more public setting of the community. On the lighter side, she describes how people spoke louder when calling long distance, and how they worried about catching contagious diseases over the phone. A particularly powerful chapter deals with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting--the Telephone Herald in New York and the Telefon Hirmondo of Hungary--and the conflict between the technological development of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon culture on the public. While focusing on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social impact, presenting a wide-ranging, informative, and entertaining account of the early years of electronic media.
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.