Heroes of Science, Botanists, Zoologists, and Geologists: P. Martin Duncan
Every great drink starts with a plant. Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley. Gin was born from a conifer shrub when medieval physicians boiled juniper berries with wine to treat stomach pain. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the surprising botanical history and fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even a few fungi). Some of the most extraordinary and obscure plants have been fermented and distilled, and they each represent a unique cultural contribution to global drinking traditions and our history. Molasses was an essential ingredient of American independence when outrage over a mandate to buy British rather than French molasses for New World rum-making helped kindle the American Revolution. Captain James Cook harvested the young, green tips of spruce trees to make a vitamin C-rich beer that cured his crew of scurvy - a recipe that Jane Austen enjoyed so much that she used it as a plot point in Emma. With over 50 drink recipes, growing tips for gardeners, and advice that carries Stewart´s trademark wit, this is the perfect listen for gardeners and cocktail aficionados alike. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Coleen Marlo. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/high/000739/bk_high_000739_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science and Technology: the surprising, untold story about the poetic and deeply human (cognitive) capacity to name the natural world. Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus set out to order and name the entire living world and ended up founding a science: the field of scientific classification, or taxonomy. Yet, in spite of Linnaeuss pioneering work and the genius of those who followed him, from Darwin to E. O. Wilson, taxonomy went from being revered as one of the most significant of intellectual pursuits to being largely ignored. Today, taxonomy is viewed by many as an outdated field, one nearly irrelevant to the rest of science and of even less interest to the rest of the world. Now, as Carol Kaesuk Yoon, biologist and longtime science writer for the New York Times, reminds us in Naming Nature, taxonomy is critically important, because it turns out to be much more than mere science. It is also the latest incarnation of a long-unrecognized human practice that has gone on across the globe, in every culture, in every language since before time: the deeply human act of ordering and naming the living world. In Naming Nature, Yoon takes us on a guided tour of sciences brilliant, if sometimes misguided, attempts to order and name the overwhelming diversity of earths living things. We follow a trail of scattered clues that reveals taxonomys real origins in humanitys distant past. Yoon´s journey brings us from New Guinea tribesmen who call a giant bird a mammal to the trials and tribulations of patients with a curious form of brain damage that causes them to be unable to distinguish among living things. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Dina Pearlman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/002434/bk_adbl_002434_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In Plant Science: An Introduction to Botany, Dr. Catherine Kleier invites us to open our eyes to the phenomenal world of plant life and to the process she calls ´´Natura Revelata”, the joy of celebrating and learning from the secrets of nature.As Dr. Kleier shares her knowledge with contagious excitement for her subject, she emphasizes the middle ground: Instead of focusing on cell microbiology or the study of ecosystems and habitats, she stresses the basic biology, function, and the amazing adaptations of the plants we see all around us. Dr. Kleier proposes and establishes that there is pleasure to be found in being able to identify and understand the workings of that tree outside the window.With almost 400,000 known species and thousands more identified every year, the variety of plant life is almost overwhelming - from the microscopic to the largest organism on Earth. In this course, you will learn about the fascinating adaptations that have allowed plants to thrive in almost every corner of the world and the unique plants that have evolved as a result.You’ll learn about the latest discoveries regarding plant communication, the myriad ways they manage and shape their own environments, and why botanists are still debating what it really means to be a unique species. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Catherine Kleier. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tcco/001044/bk_tcco_001044_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Kimi Wilson went to Earth as part of a mission to see whether the planet had recovered enough for humans to return. But when she´s kidnapped by the Mongarians who settled Earth in the humans´ absence, she´s terrified. Their leader wants to have her at all costs. But one Mongarian, a doctor, rescues her and reveals the true reason for her kidnapping. The Mongarians have recently started getting sick from the plants of Earth they´ve been eating. They need Kimi, a botanist, to help them figure out the best plants for them to eat and help them survive on Earth. Kimi agrees to help the Mongarians. She learns to appreciate this alien race and their cave home. Most of all, she learns to appreciate the attentions of the doctor, Khan-Min, she´s been working so closely with. After several highly pleasurable erotic encounters, Kimi is confused by her feelings for Khan-Min and wonders if she should go back to her home or stay on Earth with her alien lover. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Audrey Lusk. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/050032/bk_acx0_050032_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Summary of The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee | Includes Analysis The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee describes the history of genetic research, the impact of genetic inheritance on his family, and the potential for future applications of gene science. Mukherjee´s father and uncles struggled with disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, both of which are linked to genetic mutations. After centuries of conjecture about the nature of familial inheritance, naturalist Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859. In 1865, botanist Gregor Mendel proposed that genetic information is passed down from both the paternal and maternal sides of the family in the form of paired genes. Thereafter, eugenics gradually became socially accepted, and programs to sterilize the disabled and deviant were established in the United States. The practice of eugenics became socially abhorrent following World War II and the revelations of genocidal practices in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Between 1908 and 1963, scientists continued studying genetic material. PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and not the original book. Inside this Instaread summary of The Gene: Overview of the book Important people Key takeaways Analysis of key takeaways 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sam Scholl. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/063002/bk_acx0_063002_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A sticky-fingered brewer finds himself in a messy situation after the theft of a mutated water lily and a botched marriage proposal end with him defecating substantial amounts of solid gold. Thrust into the limelight, the young man draws unwanted attention from the world over as people scramble to understand the enigmatic philosopher´s stone. Add in a heroin-addicted best bud, a psychic drug trafficker, a power-lifting girlfriend, a reclusive botanist specializing in psilocybin, and a well-intentioned cop, and boom: The Philosopher´s Load. If Bukowski or Burroughs had been as influenced by bizarro fiction and Dungeons & Dragons as they were booze and dope, this would be the type of fiction they´d have written. Science fiction? Not quite. Urban fantasy? There´s no vampire/werewolf/teenage love triangle. Contemporary fantasy? You´re getting warmer. Supernatural crime thriller? Bingo. Chock full of drugs, violence, awful antiheroes, and villains who are even worse, The Philosopher´s Load is fast-paced genre fiction for listeners tired of the same old same old. 1. Language: English. Narrator: C. Michael Forsyth. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/042783/bk_acx0_042783_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When most Americans think of environmentalism, they think of the political left, of vegans dressed in organic-hemp fabric, lofting protest signs. In reality, writes Jacob Darwin Hamblin, the movement - and its dire predictions - owe more to the Pentagon than the counterculture. In Arming Mother Nature, Hamblin argues that military planning for World War III essentially created ´´catastrophic environmentalism´´: the idea that human activity might cause global natural disasters. This awareness, Hamblin shows, emerged out of dark ambitions, as governments poured funds into environmental science after World War II, searching for ways to harness natural processes - to kill millions of people. Proposals included the use of nuclear weapons to create artificial tsunamis or melt the ice caps to drown coastal cities; setting fire to vast expanses of vegetation; and changing local climates. Oxford botanists advised British generals on how to destroy enemy crops during the war in Malaya; American scientists attempted to alter the weather in Vietnam. This work raised questions that went beyond the goal of weaponizing nature. By the 1980s, the C.I.A. was studying the likely effects of global warming on Soviet harvests. ´´Perhaps one of the surprises of this book is not how little was known about environmental change, but rather how much,´´ Hamblin writes. Driven initially by strategic imperatives, Cold War scientists learned to think globally and to grasp humanity´s power to alter the environment. ´´We know how we can modify the ionosphere,´´ nuclear physicist Edward Teller proudly stated. ´´We have already done it.´´ Teller never repented. But many of the same individuals and institutions that helped the Pentagon later warned of global warming and other potential disasters. Brilliantly argued and deeply researched, Arming Mother Nature changes our understanding of the history of the Cold War and the birth of modern environmental science. / 1. Language: English. Narrator: James Edward Thomas. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/015490/bk_adbl_015490_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.