The Universe Within
Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0307378438
From one of our finest and most popular science writers, the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery story as big as the world itself: How have astronomical events that took place millions of years ago created the unique qualities of the human species? In his last book, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human anatomy—our hands, our jaws—and the structures in the fish that first took over land 375 million years ago. Now, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, he takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we are the way we are. Starting once again with fossils, Shubin turns his gaze skyward. He shows how the entirety of the universe's 14-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. From our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system), he makes clear, through the working of our eyes, how the evolution of the cosmos has had profound effects on the development of human life on earth.
Hardcover ISBN: 0810955334
Beach stones, abundant and free for the taking, are objects of contemplation, beauty, and sentiment. They come in many colours, shapes and patterns, are fun to collect and even have sensuous qualities. This book helps you understand the life of beach stones. It also brings us the stories of such stones.
Fifty Minerals That Changed the Course of History
Paperback ISBN: 1770855874
"The brief sections are consistently interesting, and plenty of supplemental illustrations and photos make this a handsome volume... best-suited to curious kids and casual mineralogists." --Publishers Weekly "A beautiful book, nicely bound and richly illustrated... written in an easy to read, casual style." --Science Books and Films Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully presented guide to the minerals that have had the greatest impact on human civilization. These are the materials used from the Stone Age to the First and Second Industrial Revolutions to the Nuclear Age and include metals, ores, alloys, salts, rocks, sodium, mercury, steel and uranium. The book includes minerals used as currency, as jewelry and as lay and religious ornamentation when combined with gem minerals like diamonds, amber, coral, and jade. Examples of the fifty minerals are: - Diamonds: Did a necklace ordered by Louis XV precipitate the French Revolution? - Sulphur: The biblical brimstone now used in organic farming. - Clay: The oldest ceramic object is not a cooking pot or drinking bowl, but a statuette. - Arsenic: Was Napoleon murdered while imprisoned on the island of St. Helena? - Coal: The Romans invented the first central heating system. - Saltpeter: China's fourth "Great Invention" was perhaps not so great after all. - Salt: Once used as currency, we give it little thought today. - Jade: The Chinese fabric of "pajamas for eternity." Ubiquitous or rare, the minerals described in Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History have been fundamental to human progress, for good or evil. Many are familiar -- the aluminum can we drink from, the car we drive, the jewelry we wear. They can be poisons, medicines or weapons, but wherever found and however used, their importance can be easily overlooked. This attractive reference gives us fascinating insight into our undeniable dependence on minerals.
The Map That Changed the World
William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
Paperback ISBN: 0061767905
In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell—clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world—making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more. The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.
The Day The World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Paperback ISBN: 0060838590
Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
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. 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.
In Search of Stardust
Amazing Micrometeorites and Their Terrestrial Imposters
Hardcover ISBN: 076035264x
Tiny pieces of space rock called micrometeorites are everywhere on Earth. In Search of Stardust shows you how to find them! The solar system is a dusty place. Every day approximately 100 metric tons of cosmic dust collides with Earth, mainly in the form of micrometeorites. Most of these mineral particles (iron, nickel, etc.) are smaller than grains of sand, and they are falling down on us all the time and all over the globe. Still, little is known about these exotic extraterrestrials. In Search of Stardust is the first comprehensive popular science book about micrometeorites. It's also a photo documentary comprising more than 1,500 previously unpublished images: the first atlas of micrometeorites, hundreds of which are depicted here in high-resolution color microscopic photography and in scanning electron microscope imagery. Author Jon Larsen shows readers how and where to look for micrometeorites, explains the history of micrometeoritics, and offers chapters about micrometeorite formation, classification, and analysis. Thanks to Larsen's work, for the first time it is now possible for anyone to find these amazing tiny stones from space. For more than a century it was believed these incredible space objects could be found only in pristine, unsullied environs like Antarctica and ocean floors. Larsen became the first to break the code and find micrometeorites in populated areas -- in fact, they can be found in the nearest rain gutter. In the book Larsen explains how anyone with a bit of inexpensive equipment can find their own micrometeorites. It was recently discovered that King Tut's dagger was forged from a chunk of a meteorite. What else is made of extraterrestrial rock? Join the hunt!
Discovering the Mammoth
A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science
Hardcover ISBN: 1681774240
What exactly is a mammoth? John Mckay brings to life the fascinating saga of solving the mystery of this ancient being that once roamed the north country has dominated our collective imagination ever since.