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Math & Science

ANIMAL BEAUTY: ON THE EVOLUTION OF BIOLOGICAL AESTHETICS

ANIMAL BEAUTY: ON THE EVOLUTION OF BIOLOGICAL AESTHETICS

By: Nusslein-Volhard, Christiane
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An illustrated exploration of colors and patterns in the animal kingdom, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals.

Are animals able to appreciate what humans refer to as "beauty"? The term scarcely ever appears nowadays in a scientific description of living things, but we humans may nonetheless find the colors, patterns, and songs of animals to be beautiful in apparently the same way that we see beauty in works of art. In Animal Beauty, Nobel Prize-winning biologist Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard describes how the colors and patterns displayed by animals arise, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals. Watercolor drawings illustrate these amazing instances of animal beauty.

Darwin addressed the topic of ornament in his 1871 book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, and did not hesitate to engage with criteria of beauty, convinced that animals experienced color and ornament as attractive and agreeable in the same way that we do, and that the role this played in mate choice pointed to a "sexual selection" distinct from natural selection. Nüsslein-Volhard examines key examples of ornament and sexual selection in the animal kingdom and lays the groundwork for biological aesthetics. Noting that color patterns have not been a research priority--perhaps because they appeared to be nonessential luxuries rather than functional necessities--Nüsslein-Volhard looks at recent scientific developments on the topic. In part because of Nüsslein-Volhard's own research on the zebrafish, it is now possible to decipher the molecular genetic mechanisms that lead to production of colors in animal skin and its appendages and control its pattern and distribution.

ANIMAL VIRUSES AND HUMANS, A NARROW DIVIDE

ANIMAL VIRUSES AND HUMANS, A NARROW DIVIDE

By: Andiman, Warren A
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Frighteningly fascinating.--Booklist

Gripping stories, filled with details that are in equal part delicious and disgusting, but always fascinating.--Lisa Sanders, MD, author of Every Patient Tells a Story and the New York Times Magazine Diagnosis column

"To reproduce promiscuously and to wreak havoc wherever they can find a home," this is the sole raison d'être of viruses writes Dr. Warren Andiman, an HIV/AIDS researcher who has been on the front lines battling infectious diseases for over forty years. In Animal Viruses and Humans: A Narrow Divide, Andiman traces the history of eight zoonotic viruses --deadly microbes that have made the leap directly from animals to human populations: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Swine influenza, Hantavirus, Monkeypox, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Rabies, Ebola, and Henipaviruses (Nipah and Hendra). He also illustrates the labor intensive and fascinating detective work that infectious disease specialists must do to uncover the source of an outbreak.

Andiman also looks to the future, envisioning the effects on zoonoses (diseases caused by zoonotic viruses) of climate change, microenvironmental damage, population shifts, and globalization. He reveals the steps that we can, and must, take to stem the spread of animal viruses, explaining, "The zoonoses I've chosen to write about . . . are meant to describe only a small sample of what is already out there but, more menacingly, what is inevitably on its way, in forms we can only imagine."

Warren Andiman, MD is professor emeritus of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Yale Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

ANIMAL, MINERAL, RADICAL: A FLOCK OF ESSAYS ON WILDLIFE, FAMILY, AND FOOD

ANIMAL, MINERAL, RADICAL: A FLOCK OF ESSAYS ON WILDLIFE, FAMILY, AND FOOD

By: Loren, Bk
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From the acclaimed author of Theft "A lyrical exploration of the timeless themes of nature, mortality, love, and family" in the American West (Kristen Iverson, author of Full Body Burden).

"Radical, before it meant a person who advocates strong political reform, meant getting to the root of things, the origin. It comes from the Latin radix, radicis, meaning radish, a root vegetable." --BK Loren

These meditative essays range in subject from a transcendental encounter with a pack of coyotes to the irony of a neighbor's claim that nature "has gone out of vogue"; from a mother's slow deterioration from Parkinson's disease to the unexpected way the Loma Prieta earthquake eroded the author's depression by offering her a sense of her small place in our wild and worthwhile world.

Award-winning writer and naturalist BK Loren takes an empathetic and gentle approach to the intricacies of human relationships and the nature of consciousness. Fear of death and time, cooperation born of clashing viewpoints, the beauty of tradition even when it's destructive, a love of language, a sense of loss amid the fast-paced materialistic world--through each of these subjects and more, Loren peels back the layers of her own life, revealing what it means to be a human being in these often inhumane times.

ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN

ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN

By: Johnson, Catherine
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From beloved animal expert Temple Grandin, a fascinating exploration on how animals feel--essential reading for anyone who's ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.





While it's usually easy to pinpoint the cause of physical pain in animals, to know what's causing them emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals. Then she explains how to fulfill them for dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, and zoo animals. Whether it's how to make the healthiest environment for the dog you must leave alone most of the day, how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal contentment and honor our bond with our fellow creatures.
ANIMALS STRIKE CURIOUS POSES

ANIMALS STRIKE CURIOUS POSES

By: Passarello, Elena
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Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000 year old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of the 16 essays in Animals Strike Curious Poses investigates a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, these witty, playful, whipsmart essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life.

Elena Passarello is an actor, a writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Fellowship in nonfiction. Her first collection with Sarabande Books, Let Me Clear My Throat, won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.


ANNALS OF THE FORMER WORLD

ANNALS OF THE FORMER WORLD

By: McPhee, John
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.

Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

ANT AND THE PEACOCK

ANT AND THE PEACOCK

By: Cronin, Helena
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The ant and the peacock stand for two puzzles in Darwinism--altruism and sexual selection. How can natural selection favor those, such as the worker ant, that renounce tooth and claw in favor of the public-spirited ways of the commune? And how can peacocks--flamboyant, ornamental and apparently useless--be tolerated by the grimly economical Darwinian reaper? Helena Cronin has a deep understanding of today's answers to these riddles and their roots in the nineteenth century; the analysis is new and exciting and the explanations lucid and compelling.
ANTHROPOLOGIST ON MARS: SEVEN PARADOXICAL TALES

ANTHROPOLOGIST ON MARS: SEVEN PARADOXICAL TALES

By: Sacks, Oliver
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Neurological patients, Oliver Sacks once wrote, are travellers to unimaginable lands. An Anthropologist on Mars offers portraits of seven such travellers - including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's syndrome unless he is operating; an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident, but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white; and an autistic professor who cannot decipher the simplest social exchange between humans, but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behavior. These are paradoxical tales, for neurological disease can conduct one to other modes of being that - however abnormal they may be to our way of thinking - may develop virtues and beauties of their own. The exploration of these individual lives is not one that can be made in a consulting room or office, and Sacks has taken off his white coat and deserted the hospital, by and large, to join his subjects in their own environments. He feels, he says, in part like a neuroanthropologist, but most of all like a physician, called here and there to make house calls, house calls at the far border of experience. Along the way, he shows us a new perspective on the way our brains construct our individual worlds. In his lucid and compelling reconstructions of the mental acts we take for granted - the act of seeing, the transport of memory, the notion of color - Oliver Sacks provokes anew a sense of wonder at who we are.
ANTHROPOLOGY OF TURQUOISE: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone and Sky

ANTHROPOLOGY OF TURQUOISE: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone and Sky

By: Meloy, Ellen
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In this invigorating mix of natural history and adventure, artist-naturalist Ellen Meloy uses turquoise--the color and the gem--to probe deeper into our profound human attachment to landscape.

From the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Bahamas to her home ground on the high plateaus and deep canyons of the Southwest, we journey with Meloy through vistas of both great beauty and great desecration. Her keen vision makes us look anew at ancestral mountains, turquoise seas, and even motel swimming pools. She introduces us to Navajo "velvet grandmothers" whose attire and aesthetics absorb the vivid palette of their homeland, as well as to Persians who consider turquoise the life-saving equivalent of a bullet-proof vest. Throughout, Meloy invites us to appreciate along with her the endless surprises in all of life and celebrates the seduction to be found in our visual surroundings.

APOCALYPTIC PLANET: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH

APOCALYPTIC PLANET: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH

By: Childs, Craig
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2013 Orion Book Award Winner
2013 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winner

Ours is not a stable planet. It is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. In this exhilarating exploration of our globe, Craig Childs goes to where the apocalypse can be seen now. From the driest deserts of Chile, through the genetic wasteland of central Iowa, to the site of the drowned land bridge of the Bering Sea, he uncovers cataclysms that tell us what could be next: forthcoming ice ages, super volcanoes, and the conclusion of planetary life cycles. Childs delivers a sensual feast in his descriptions of the natural world, and undeniable science that reveals both the earth's strengths and frailties. Bearing witness to the planet's sweeping and perilous changes, he shows how we can alter the future, and how the world will live on, though humans may not survive to see it.

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APPETITE FOR WONDER, AN: THE MAKING OF A SCIENTIST

By: Dawkins, Richard
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An Appetite for Wonder is a disarming account of world-famous evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins's early life, from his childhood in colonial East Africa to the writing of one of the twentieth century's seminal works, The Selfish Gene.

ARAB/AMERICAN LANDSCAPE CULTURE &

ARAB/AMERICAN LANDSCAPE CULTURE &

By: Nabhan, Gary Paul
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The landscapes, cultures, and cuisines of deserts in the Middle East and North America have commonalities that have seldom been explored by scientists--and have hardly been celebrated by society at large. Sonoran Desert ecologist Gary Nabhan grew up around Arab grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in a family that has been emigrating to the United States and Mexico from Lebanon for more than a century, and he himself frequently travels to the deserts of the Middle East. In an era when some Arabs and Americans have markedly distanced themselves from one another, Nabhan has been prompted to explore their common ground, historically, ecologically, linguistically, and gastronomically. Arab/American is not merely an exploration of his own multicultural roots but also a revelation of the deep cultural linkages between the inhabitants of two of the world's great desert regions. Here, in beautifully crafted essays, Nabhan explores how these seemingly disparate cultures are bound to each other in ways we would never imagine. With an extraordinary ear for language and a truly adventurous palate, Nabhan uncovers surprising convergences between the landscape ecology, ethnogeography, agriculture, and cuisines of the Middle East and the binational Desert Southwest. There are the words and expressions that have moved slowly westward from Syria to Spain and to the New World to become incorporated--faintly but recognizably--into the language of the people of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. And there are the flavors--piquant mixtures of herbs and spices--that have crept silently across the globe and into our kitchens without our knowing where they came from or how they got here. And there is much, much more. We also learn of others whose work historically spanned these deserts, from Hadji Ali ("Hi Jolly"), the first Moslem Arab to bring camels to America, to Robert Forbes, an Arizonan who explored the desert oases of the Sahara. These men crossed not only oceans but political and cultural barriers as well. We are, we recognize, builders of walls and borders, but with all the talk of "homeland" today, Nabhan reminds us that, quite often, borders are simply lines drawn in the sand.
ARCHETYPES and THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS

ARCHETYPES and THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS

By: Jung, C G
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Essays which state the fundamentals of Jung's psychological system: On the Psychology of the Unconscious and The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious, with their original versions in an appendix.

ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE?

ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE?

By: de Waal, Frans
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Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition--in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos--to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal--and human--intelligence.

ART OF TRAVEL

ART OF TRAVEL

By: de Botton, Alain
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A wise and utterly original book of travel essays from an international bestselling author that will "give one an expansive sense of wonder" (The Baltimore Sun).

Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.

Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a "refreshing and profoundly readable book (The Philadelphia Inquirer). Don't leave home without it.

ASIA'S CULTURAL MOSAIC

ASIA'S CULTURAL MOSAIC

By: Evans, Grant
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An introduction to Asia from an anthropological point of view, discussing themes concerning the economy, kinship, religion, gender, caste and the state.
ASPECTS OF THE FEMININE

ASPECTS OF THE FEMININE

By: Jung, C G
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Extracted from Volumes 6, 7, 9, Parts I and II, 10 and 17. This collection offers a range of articles and extracts from Jung's writings on marriage, Eros, the mother, the maiden, and the anima/animus concept. In the absence of any single formal statement by Jung on the psychology of women, this work conveys his views on the feminine and on topics that are intrinsic or related.

ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS: The Scientific Search for the Soul

ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS: The Scientific Search for the Soul

By: Crick, Francis
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Traditionally, the human soul is regarded as a nonphysical concept that can only be examined by psychiatrists and theologists. In his new book, "The Astonishing Hypothesis", Nobel Laureate Francis Crick boldly straddles the line between science and spirituality by examining the soul from the standpoint of a modern scientist, basing the soul's existence and function on an in-depth examination of how the human brain "sees".
AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

By: Kauffman, Stuart
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A major scientific revolution has begun, a new paradigm that rivals Darwin's theory in importance. At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems, from the origin of life, to the workings of giant corporations, to the rise and fall of great civilizations. And more than anyone else, this revolution is the work of one man, Stuart Kauffman, a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity. Now, in At Home in the Universe, Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science - and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos.
ATLAS OF A LOST WORLD: TRAVELS IN ICE AGE AMERICA

ATLAS OF A LOST WORLD: TRAVELS IN ICE AGE AMERICA

By: Childs, Craig
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The first people in the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. On a side of the planet no human had ever seen, different groups arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The land they reached was fully inhabited by megafauna--mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. These Ice Age explorers, hunters, and families were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals.

In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs blends science and personal narrative to upend our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era, and reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Through it, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.

AVAILABLE TRUTH

AVAILABLE TRUTH

By: Nyanasobhano
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With his books Landscapes of Wonder and Longing for Certainty, the American monk Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano led readers down literary trails, providing enlightening glimpses of the natural world.

In Available Truth, he guides us further along the path. His unqualified embrace of the Buddha's worldview - in intelligent and deeply thoughtful prose - distinguishes his work from many other Western Buddhist books. Along with reflections on mindfulness, impermanence, and the end of suffering, Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano is not afraid to delve into the topics of rebirth, karma, nonvirtue, and the roles of reasoned faith, ritual, and monasticism, revealing their continuing relevance for today's seeker. His patient awareness of the workings of the mind and the natural world will enable readers to deepen both their practice and their lives.

Available Truth will surely stand the test of time as both sound teaching and elegant writing.

AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT

By: Feldenkrais, Moshe
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BALANCE

BALANCE

By: Thagard, Paul
$32.00
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"People take balance for granted until they start to lose it. This book explains how the brain balances the body and why failures sometimes result in vertigo, nausea, and falls. Paul Thagard breaks new ground by explaining how balance and imbalance generate conscious experiences. Moreover, balance metaphors illuminate all areas of human life, from work/life balance to tipping points in climate change. Economists debate whether budgets should be balanced, and politicians worry about the balance of powers. The traditional visual symbol for the law is the balance scale. People fret over whether they are eating a balanced diet and managing an appropriate work-life balance. Reflective equilibrium is an influential concept in philosophy. What unites the literal and metaphorical uses of balance is that they enable people to make sense of perception and action. Unlike physiological balance, metaphorical balance can be toxic because it obstructs medicine, science, and social understanding."--
BANISHED KNOWLEDGE: Facing Childhood Knowledge

BANISHED KNOWLEDGE: Facing Childhood Knowledge

By: Miller, Alice
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In direct opposition to the Freudian drive theory, the author of the best-selling "The Drama Of The Gifted Child" believes that children, at birth, are inherently good, and she traces all forms of criminal deeds to past mistreatments.
BARROW'S BOYS

BARROW'S BOYS

By: Fleming, Fergus
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Barrow's Boys is a spellbinding account of perilous journeys to uncharted areas under the most challenging conditions. Fergus Fleming captures the passion for exploration that led a band of men into situations that would humble today's bravest adventurers.

After the Napoleonic wars, John Barrow, Second Secretary to the Admiralty, launched the most ambitious exploration program the world has ever seen. For the next thirty years, his teams of elite naval officers went on missions to fill the blanks that littered the atlases of the day. From the first disastrous trip down the Congo, Barrow maintained his resolve in the face of continuous catastrophes. His explorers often died of sickness or at the hands of unfriendly natives. They struggled under budgets that forced them to resort to pulling enormous ships across floating ice fields; to eating mice, or their own shoes; and even to horrifying acts of cannibalism. While many of the journeys failed, Barrow and his men ultimately opened Africa to the world, discovered Antarctica, and pried apart the mandibles of the Arctic. Many of the missions are considered the greatest in history, but have never before been collected into one volume that captures the full sweep of Barrow's program.

BASIC WRITINGS

BASIC WRITINGS

By: Jung, C G
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In exploring the manifestations of human spiritual experience both in the imaginative activities of the individual and in the formation of mythologies and of religious symbolism in various cultures, C. G. Jung laid the groundwork for a psychology of the spirit. The excerpts here illuminate the concept of the unconscious, the central pillar of his work, and display ample evidence of the spontaneous spiritual and religious activities of the human mind. This compact volume will serve as an ideal introduction to Jung's basic concepts.Part I of this book, "On the Nature and Functioning of the Psyche, " contains material from four works: "Symbols of Transformation, " "On the Nature of the Psyche, " "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious, " and "Psychological Types." Also included in Part I are "Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious" and "Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype." Part II, "On Pathology and Therapy, " includes "On the Nature of Dreams, " "On the Pathogenesis of Schizophrenia, " selections from "Psychology of the Transference." In Part III appear "Introduction to the Religious and Psychological Problems of Alchemy" and two sections of "Psychology and Religion." Part IV, called "On Human Development, " consists of the essay "Marriage as a Psychological Relationship."
BEARS EARS: A HUMAN HISTORY OF AMERICA'S MOST ENDANGERED WILDERNESS

BEARS EARS: A HUMAN HISTORY OF AMERICA'S MOST ENDANGERED WILDERNESS

By: Roberts, David
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The Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, created by President Obama in 2016 and eviscerated by the Trump administration in 2017, contains more archaeological sites than any other region in the United States. It's also a spectacularly beautiful landscape, a mosaic of sandstone canyons and bold mesas and buttes. This wilderness, now threatened by oil and gas drilling, unrestricted grazing, and invasion by Jeep and ATV, is at the center of the greatest environmental battle in America since the damming of the Colorado River to create Lake Powell in the 1950s.

In The Bears Ears, acclaimed adventure writer David Roberts takes readers on a tour of his favorite place on earth as he unfolds the rich and contradictory human history of the 1.35 million acres of the Bears Ears domain. Weaving personal memoir with archival research, Roberts sings the praises of the outback he's explored for the last twenty-five years.

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BEAUTIFUL, SIMPLE, EXACT, CRAZY: MATHEMATICS IN THE REAL WORLD

By: Lachowska, Anna
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In this vibrant work, which is ideal for both teaching and learning, Apoorva Khare and Anna Lachowska explain the mathematics essential for understanding and appreciating our quantitative world. They show with examples that mathematics is a key tool in the creation and appreciation of art, music, and literature, not just science and technology. The book covers basic mathematical topics from logarithms to statistics, but the authors eschew mundane finance and probability problems. Instead, they explain how modular arithmetic helps keep our online transactions safe, how logarithms justify the twelve-tone scale commonly used in music, and how transmissions by deep space probes are similar to knights serving as messengers for their traveling prince. Ideal for coursework in introductory mathematics and requiring no knowledge of calculus, Khare and Lachowska's enlightening mathematics tour will appeal to a wide audience.
BEAUTY AND THE SOUL

BEAUTY AND THE SOUL

By: Ferrucci, Piero
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The bestselling author of The Power of Kindness shows how the ability to appreciate beauty-far from being a luxury or an afterthought-is vital to leading a happy, balanced, and satisfying life.

Beauty is all around us-in a flower, a song, the sound of water falling, or a dramatic painting. We often think of it as just window dressing. But it's not-it is one of the key elements of a healthy, happy existence, and fully engaging with the everyday beauty that surrounds us can help us combat depression, stress, and malaise, speed recovery, help us make connections with others, and build happier lives.

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BEAUTY OF NUMBERS IN NATURE: MATHEMATICAL PATTERNS AND PRINCIPLES FROM THE NATURAL WORLD

By: Stewart, Ian
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From a zebra's stripes to a spider's web: an engaging examination of patterns in nature and the mathematics that underlie them.

From a zebra's stripes to a spider's web, from sand dunes to snowflakes, nature is full of patterns underlaid by mathematical principles. In The Beauty of Numbers in Nature, Ian Stewart shows how life forms from the principles of mathematics. Each chapter in The Beauty of Numbers in Nature explores a different kind of patterning system and its mathematical underpinnings. In doing do, the book also uncovers some universal patterns--both in nature and made by humans--from the basic geometry of ancient Greece to the complexities of fractals.

Stewart draws on a wide range of sources to examine the mathematics of patterns: the Pythagoreans' obsession with numbers as the philosophical basis of the universe; a great mathematician who wondered about how a violin makes music; a clerk in a patent office who realized that space and time can get mixed together; a maverick mathematician who questioned why nature spurns such regular geometric shapes as spheres and cylinders in favor of jagged lightning bolts, asymmetrically branching trees, and the uneven terrain of mountainsides.

The book begins with a simple and often-asked question about the shape and individual uniqueness of snowflakes. How can such a strange mixture of regularity and irregularity exist in a tiny bit of frozen water? By the end of the book, readers will have learned that mathematical patterns can come in many guises, some of which don't resemble patterns at all.