Napoleon's Buttons

Author: Penny Le Couteur,Jay Burreson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781440650321

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 6934

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Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.
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The Carbon Age

How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat

Author: Eric Roston

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9780802778970

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 5368

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What do bubbles in a soft drink, a bullet-proof vest, a plastic chair, and our DNA have in common? Carbon. It is, and forever has been, the ubiquitous architect of life and civilization, forming the chemical backbone of every living creature. And yet, when we hear the word today, it is more often than not in a crisis situation: carbon dioxide emissions are destroying the ozone layer and warming the planet; the volatile Middle East explodes atop its stores of hydrocarbons; carbohydrates threaten obesity and diabetics. Carbon, thus, sustains us and threatens us in equal measure, Eric Roston illuminates this essential element in all its forms, cleverly recreating the intricate carbon cycle on the page by tracing its journey from the Big Bang to Earth and its extraordinary infiltration of this planet and, in time, influence on humankind and civilization. Evoking its ubiquity-more than 99% of all 31 million known substances contain carbon-Roston chronicles the ways we have used it, often to surprising, and sometimes to catastrophic, effect: having sped up the carbon cycle in the last two centuries, we are now attempting to wrestle Earth's geochemical cycle back from the brink. Blending the latest science with original reporting, Roston makes us aware, as never before, of the seminal impact carbon has, and has had, on our lives.
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The Triumph of Seeds

How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

Author: Thor Hanson

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465048722

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 4774

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"The genius of Hanson's fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves." --Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Book Review We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life: supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and pepper drove the Age of Discovery, coffee beans fueled the Enlightenment and cottonseed sparked the Industrial Revolution. Seeds are fundamental objects of beauty, evolutionary wonders, and simple fascinations. Yet, despite their importance, seeds are often seen as commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more. This is a book of knowledge, adventure, and wonder, spun by an award-winning writer with both the charm of a fireside story-teller and the hard-won expertise of a field biologist. A fascinating scientific adventure, it is essential reading for anyone who loves to see a plant grow.
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What Should I Read Next?

70 University of Virginia Professors Recommend Readings in History, Politics, Literature, Math, Science, Technology, the Arts, and More

Author: Jessica Rosalind Feldman,Robert Stilling

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780813927367

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 282

View: 925

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What Should I Read Next? taps seventy University of Virginia professors in an array of fields for suggestions on how to satisfy this nagging intellectual curiosity. Each contributor recommends five titles that speak to their area of inquiry, providing both a general introduction and commentary on each selection. --from publisher description.
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Crime and Circumstance

Investigating the History of Forensic Science

Author: Suzanne Bell

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 0313353867

Category: Law

Page: 251

View: 3307

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Offers a vivid and entertaining history of the evolution of forensic science and its use in the criminal justice system
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Choice

Publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a Division of the American Library Association

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Academic libraries

Page: N.A

View: 949

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