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Posts Tagged "Books"

Anthropology in Practice

On My Shelf: Blue Jeans–The Art of the Ordinary

bluejeans

Blue Jeans: The Art of the Ordinary | Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward | University of California Press | 184 pages | $24.95 (Paperback) I’m willing to bet you own at least one pair of jeans. Denim clothing—which will be used interchangeably with jeans for this discussion—is popular with people just about everywhere, with the [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Perspectives

IMG_3870

I was charged with moving my library over the weekend, and while I typically enjoy spending time with my books—in particular, feeling their heft in my hands—it was backbreaking labor to lug all of them up the stairs through the house to their new, sunnier home. It dawned on me—having professed to being a reluctant [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Confessions from a Reluctant e-Reader Adopter

How do you read? Photo by KDCosta, 2012.

I’m a bibliophile. And an avid bookworm. I bring books home the way some people do stray animals—I have a soft spot for books that have been thrown away, though I have been forced to learn some restraint in recent years as a result of space considerations. I’m always in need of more shelves. S [...]

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Budding Scientist

“Skull in the Rock” Brings New Paleo Science to Kids [Excerpt]

In 2008, the 9-year-old son of paleoanthropologist Lee Berger discovered a fossil that landed Berger’s team on the covers of the journal Science, of Scientific American, and on the front pages of  newspapers including The New York Times. Berger and his son, Matthew, discovered a clavicle bone in Johannesburg, South Africa that belonged to an entirely [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Explore Magical Dimensions and More with Matt Parker

Visualizing time as a fourth dimension via a tesseract in "Interstellar."

Should you happen to live in the United Kingdom, Matt Parker — a.k.a. @StandUpMaths on Twitter — probably needs no introduction. He’s a former math teacher from Australia, relocated to London, who combines his love of math with stand-up comedy. Parker is regular on the hugely popular BBC Radio4′s Infinite Monkey Cage (hosted by physicist [...]

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Cross-Check

Cool Science Classics for Summer Reading, Part 2

book cover of Coming of Age in Samoa

Last week I recommended 20 great science books, in authorial alphabetical order from A to J, picked from my personal library. Here are 20 more, from K to W. Feel free to tell me if you don’t like my picks as well as offer some of your own. War Before Civilization, Lawrence Keeley (Oxford University [...]

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Cross-Check

Cool Science Classics for Summer Reading, Part 1

cover of Freud

I don’t know about you, but I like nothing more in summer than settling down with a great science book. So here are 20 recommendations, in authorial alphabetical order, from A to J. Next week I’ll give you 20 more. Some are new, some more than a century old, but they’re all classics. And since [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Deadly Snakes, Ugly Critters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Other Links from the Brink

Bothriechis guifarroi

A deadly but critically endangered snake, one of the world’s rarest birds and a heavily guarded flower are among the endangered species in the news this week. A New Snake with a Sad Story: A gorgeous but extremely dangerous new snake species has been discovered in Honduras. The new palm pit viper has been named [...]

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Guest Blog

The Logic and Beauty of Cosmological Natural Selection

Time and Space. (Credit: Brisbane Falling via Flickr)

I have a prediction. There is a scientific hypothesis, formulated over 20 years ago, that we will one day look back on, when the evidence is in, and say “Of course that was right! What a spectacularly powerful idea!” The hypothesis is cosmological natural selection, and its power, beauty and logic provide what may be [...]

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Guest Blog

Book Review: The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman

The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, By Charles Fishman, Published in 2011 by Free Press, New York NY, ISBN 978-1-4391-0207-7 ____________________ Resorting only minimally to the standard statistics of water scarcity in various regions around the world, Mr. Fishman dives in to several specific case studies intended to help the [...]

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Guest Blog

A True Duck Hunt: interview with Donovan Hohn

For the author of Moby-Duck, Donovan Hohn, it all started with a school assignment. In 2008, he challenged his journalism class to find the "archaeology of the ordinary." A student, known to be a bit of an odd one, wrote his assignment on his lucky rubber duck. In passing, the student mentioned a newspaper article [...]

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Guest Blog

Overboard: 28,800 toys and one man lost at sea

Few things inspire wonder like seeing something out of its element: Christmas lights on a cactus, a flag on the moon or a yellow rubber duck floating in the middle of the ocean. This incongruity captivates writer Donovan Hohn, who decides to go looking for 28,800 bath toys 13 years after they were lost at [...]

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Guest Blog

Slabs, Sneakers, Gyres and the Grotesque

Book review: ‘Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How one man’s obsession with runaway sneakers and rubber ducks revolutionized ocean science’ by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano, Collins hardcover edition, 2009: ISBN 978-0-06-155841-2, HarperCollins paperback edition, 2010: ISBN 978-0-06-155842-9 With a touch of whimsy, tales of the grotesque, and the barest hints of essential mathematics, Dr. [...]

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Guest Blog

Cheerleader for science: A chat with Mireya Mayor, author of Pink Boots and the Machete

Today is the publication day of Pink Boots and the Machete, book by Mireya Mayor, physical anthropologist, National Geographic Explorer, and former NFL Cheerleader. For this occasion, we have invited Darlene Cavalier to conduct a brief interview with the author. Darlene: You discovered the world’s smallest primate in existence in Madagascar. Walk me through the [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

How Our Brains Process Books

Reading. (Credit: Paul Bence/Flickr)

We all know how it feels to get lost in a great book. Sometimes the characters and emotions can seem every bit as real as those of our everyday lives. But what’s happening in our brains as we dive into those pages? How is it different from what happens as we experience real life – [...]

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Observations

Vote for the Best Summer Books on Science

Earlier this month, Scientific American editors and contributors published a list of this summer’s best science books, collecting titles from the “Recommended” page in our magazine and the “Books” section of our website. Now we want to bring you closer to the authors of these books. Below is a poll listing our top science books [...]

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Observations

Best Summer Books: SA‘s Picks and Yours

reading in the park

All year long Scientific American editors, bloggers and contributors mull over and write about recently published science books worth reading. These works cover everything from ancient quantum computing to surviving a mass extinction. The “Recommended” page in our magazine offers monthly reviews; we have a “Books” section on our Web site that features our eBooks [...]

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Observations

Book review: Pink Boots and the Machete by Mireya Mayor

As a little boy, I was always drawn to books about wilderness, exotic places, explorers and wild animals. I hungrily read accounts of real events, from Joy Adamson to Gerald Durrell, and works of fiction, from The Jungle Book to The White Fang, from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s In Desert and Wilderness to the entire Doctor Dolittle [...]

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Observations

First-edition works by Galileo, Descartes and Newton to be auctioned December 2 at Christie’s

Isaac Newton

Edward Tufte is a man of many callings—data visualization guru, author of widely praised books, professor emeritus at Yale University, proprietor of the New York City gallery ET Modern. Add to the list collector of rare books—apparently Tufte tends a research library that contains works by some of the greatest thinkers of the past several [...]

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Observations

“First fiction reading off an iPad” kicks off enthusiastic discussion of e-books

ebook reader

If a discussion Monday at a Manhattan bookstore is any indication, book publishers and sellers find e-books threatening, but writers, feeling generally abused for decades by publishers, are gleeful over their newfound digital access to readers—be that via the Web, iPads, e-book readers, podcasts or cell phones. The event at McNally Jackson bookstore started with [...]

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Observations

How Santa Does It: Clones, Wormholes and Memory-Elimination Devices

The truth about Santa

Perhaps you—like me—are disappointed by the amateur calculations done every December that purport to show how Santa couldn’t possibly deliver presents to all the good boys and girls in the world. Okay, fine: if Santa were just a dude in a sleigh (even one powered by some very fast reindeer), his task would be very [...]

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Roots of Unity

Really Big Numbers (Book Review)

Really Big Numbers by Richard Schwartz, will be published by the American Mathematical Society on July 3, 2014.

“Now and then we pluck numbers from the blur…numbers which have no names except the ones we might now give them…souvenirs from alien, unknowable worlds.” -Really Big Numbers by Richard Evan Schwartz Really Big Numbers by Richard Schwartz, a mathematician at Brown University, is the first children’s book published by the American Mathematical Society. (Disclosure: [...]

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Roots of Unity

How Not to Be Wrong (Book Review)

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press.

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press. How Not to Be Wrong, the first popular math book by University of Wisconsin-Madison math professor Jordan Ellenberg, just hit the shelves. In addition to a Ph.D. in math, Ellenberg has an MFA in creative writing and has been writing about math [...]

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Roots of Unity

When Numbers Are Used for a Witch Hunt

One of the original Victorian Courtrooms at the Galleries of Justice Museum. Image: Fayerollinson, via Wikimedia Commons.

I recently finished the excellent book Math on Trial by Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez. In it, the authors collect examples where statistical errors have possibly altered the outcome of trials. This weekend I’ll be on a panel about using statistics in science writing, and while the book looked at numbers in the courtroom, many [...]

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Symbiartic

Original Gifts for Science and Art Geeks

13-048MWM3

Looking for a knock-out gift for the science geek in your life? Look no further. If you like art and you like science, these artists, all featured on Symbiartic at one point, have gifts that will impress even the most jaded gift recipients… Made With Molecules Jewelry by Raven Hanna, PhD. Raven Hanna, PhD. left [...]

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Symbiartic

Illustrated Books Are For Kids, Right? Nah.

Respectable books used to be illustrated. Then someone decided that picture books were for kids and boo hoo hoo, suddenly illustrations vanished from “serious” books. Well, I don’t know about you, but I like a book that’s secure enough in its content that it can throw a couple of illustrations inside and still call itself [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Chet Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps

Front cover of Van Duzer's (2013) Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps.

One of the most spectacular and visually fascinating Tet Zoo-related books of recent-ish months is Chet Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, published in 2013 by the British Library. I said a few words about this book back in June 2013, and here (at last) is the proper review I’ve been promising. Lavishly [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Loxton and Prothero’s Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids; the Tet Zoo review

Abominable Science!, already well more than a year old...

I’m an unashamed fan of cryptozoology – this being (for the two of you that don’t know) the field of study that revolves around those creatures thought to exist by some, but which remain unrecognised by mainstream science in general. These are the cryptids*: entities like Bigfoot, Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, sea-serpents, and so [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Katrina van Grouw’s The Unfeathered Bird, a unique inside look

Katrina, Great bustard skeleton, and her drawing of it. You may recognise that the bustard has been posed in its characteristic display posture. This image comes from Tim Birkhead's site Bird Sense.

If you pay any attention to the world of zoological research (as you will do, given that you’re reading a blog called Tetrapod Zoology), you’ll know that the study of anatomy has very much come to the fore in recent years. Previously bemoaned as a Victorian pursuit that had had its day and was inferior [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Plesiosaur Peril — the lifestyles and behaviours of ancient marine reptiles

The storyline of Plesiosaur Peril is mostly based around the association between a juvenile Cryptoclidus and her mother. Based on what we know, there are good reasons for thinking that parental care of some sort really did occur. In this image, the mother and juvenile surface for breath. Image from Plesiosaur Peril by Daniel Loxton, used with permission.

Between the later part of the Triassic and the very end of the Cretaceous, the seas of the world (and some of its rivers, lakes and estuaries as well) were inhabited by the remarkable group of swimming reptiles known as the plesiosaurs. All plesiosaurs – so far as we know – were predators, the shapes [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs: beautiful, lavish, scholarly and comprehensive

Front cover of Witton (2013): an antlered nyctosaurid at sunset.

I assume you’re here for the Tetrapod Zoology. If so, you’ll have been excited and intrigued by one of 2013’s best tetrapod-themed books: Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs, an enormous, lavishly illustrated encyclopedia of all things pterosaur. Scholarly but highly readable, fully referenced throughout, and featuring hundreds of excellent photos, diagrams and beautiful, colour life restorations, this [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tales from the Cryptozoologicon: BUNYIP

John Conway's cryptic Bunyip, from the soon-to-be-released Cryptozoologicon.

Regular Tet Zoo readers (and listeners of the TetZoo podcast) will know that John Conway, C. M. Kosemen and myself are soon to publish the Cryptozoologicon, a beautifully illustrated work focusing on cryptids, the (sometimes mundane, sometimes bizarre, sometimes nonsense) creatures of the cryptozoological literature. We’re just about done and are looking to launch soon… [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Hunter and Barrett’s A Field Guide to the Carnivores of the World

For all their popularity as the subject of dedicated books, cats, dogs, bears and their relatives have never previously been the focus of a single, field guide-style volume that treats all of them together. Luke Hunter and Priscilla Barrett’s A Field Guide to the Carnivores of the World (published 2011) is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo, the books

For no particular reason whatsoever, here are some montages featuring the covers of books I’ve written and/or edited. Long-time readers might be familiar with the backstory to Tetrapod Zoology Book One (Naish 2010a), Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective (Moody et al. 2010) and The Great Dinosaur Discoveries (Naish 2009), but I’d still [...]

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