The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Paperback ISBN: 080271529x
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that “the longitude problem” was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day—and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution—a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of Harrison’s forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
The Invention of Nature
Alexander Von Humboldt's New World
Hardcover ISBN: 038535066x
The acclaimed author of The Brother Gardeners and Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of the visionary German naturalist whose ideas continue to influence how we view ourselves and our relationship with the natural world today. Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infested Siberia. He came up with a radical vision of nature, that it was a complex and interconnected global force and did not exist for man's use alone. Ironically, his ideas have become so accepted and widespread that he has been nearly forgotten. Now Andrea Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus: his investigation of wild environments around the world; his discoveries of similarities between climate zones on different continents; his prediction of human-induced climate change; his remarkable ability to fashion poetic narrative out of scientific observation; and his relationships with iconic figures such as Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson. Wulf examines how his writings inspired other naturalists and poets such as Wordsworth, Darwin, and Goethe, and she makes the compelling case that it was Humboldt's influence on John Muir that led him to his ideas of preservation and that shaped Thoreau'sWalden. Humboldt was the most interdisciplinary of scientists and is the forgotten father of environmentalism. With this brilliantly researched and compellingly written book, she makes clear the myriad, fundamental ways that Humboldt created our understanding of the natural world.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geography
3rd Edition Paperback ISBN: 159257663x
An updated guide to world geography explains geographical terminology, differentiates between physical and political geography, discusses the environmental and political events changing the world, and examines the latest statistics concerning country size, population, and geopolitical makeup, all accompanied by new, detailed maps. Original.
Maps of Meaning
An Introduction to Cultural Geography
Paperback ISBN: 0415090881
Reprint of a work published in 1989 by Unwin Hyman Ltd. Instead of reiterating the field's conventional emphasis on the evolution of cultural landscapes and the interpretation of past environments, this introduction reflects the current transformation of cultural geography and its new orientation with regard to social geography and cultural theory. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Mapping The World
An Illustrated History of Cartography
Hardcover ISBN: 0792265254
Mapping the World is a one-of-a-kind collection of cartographic treasures that spans thousands of years and many cultures, from an ancient Babylonian map of the world etched on clay to the latest high-tech maps of the earth, seas, and the skies above. With more than one hundred maps and other illustrations and an introduction and running commentary by Ralph E. Ehrenberg, this book tells a fascinating story of geographic discovery, scientific invention, and the art and technique of mapmaking. Mapping the World is organized chronologically with a brief introduction that places the maps in their historical context. Special "portfolios" within each section feature key cartographic innovators and maps of exceptional artistic quality or significance, such as the 1507 Waldseemüller Map, the first to use the name America. Unusual and surprising maps are also presented, including a set of playing cards that contained a secret escape map for American prisoners in Germany during World War II. With its broad historical and cultural range, unmatched variety of maps from the finest map collections in the world, more than one hundred illustrations, and a fresh and authoritative perspective on the history of cartography, Mapping the World will delight everyone with an interest in maps and mapmaking like no other book on the subject.
Exploring the Continent
Hardcover ISBN: 1907317082
Following on from Mapping New York and Mapping London, Mapping America: Exploring the Continent takes a similar approach in its presentation, thematically arranging a vivid collection of historic, demographic, cultural and artistic maps to aid the reader on their journey. Featuring four centuries of maps that depict the changing landscape of North America, Mapping America charts the continent through numerous landmark events and uprisings, including the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and more recent concerns, such as the environment and terrorism. From early maps depicting the country’s colonial beginnings, through to contemporary maps depicting America today, the book presents the reader with a multi-faceted view of the North American physical and cultural landscape; from maps showing the electoral routes of Presidential campaigns, to the diminishing native communities shown in census maps, to maps charting the country’s health statistics. Alongside the historic, geographic, and political, the book also pays particular attention to the artistic and imaginative, documenting America’s rich and descriptive literary and artistic past. The journey taken by Jack Kerouac in the seminal book On the Road is documented in a hand-drawn map, whilst numerous artists known for their interest in cartography will be featured, from the representational to the abstract, including Paula Scher with The United States and Daniel Medina with Map Cube World. Not just for cartography enthusiasts, Mapping America: Exploring the Continent appeals to the general reader, as well as specialists in the areas of geography, art, architecture and design. The book's breadth of material, with a variety of maps ranging from the historically accurate to the imaginative and entertaining, makes it accessible to all, and a perfect Christmas gift.
The Knights Templar in the New World
How Henry Sinclair Brought the Grail to Acadia
Paperback ISBN: 0892811854
Nearly 100 years before Columbus arrived in the New World, Scottish prince Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, sailed to what is now Nova Scotia, where his presence was recorded by Micmac Indians. With evidence from archaeological sites and legends handed down by the Templar order to the Freemasons, author William F. Mann has rediscovered the site of the settlement established by Sinclair and his Templar followers, where they found a safe refuge for the Grail in the New World.