Rain

A Natural and Cultural History

Author: Cynthia Barnett

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0804137102

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 2997

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Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive. It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain. Cynthia Barnett's Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our "founding forecaster," Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume. Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.
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Gathering Moss

A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780870714993

Category: Nature

Page: 168

View: 1919

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Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.
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Vanilla

The Cultural History of the World's Most Popular Flavor and Fragrance

Author: Patricia Rain

Publisher: Tarcher

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 371

View: 6502

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A history of the world's favorite scent and flavor looks at the diverse impact of vanilla on the worlds of medicine, psychology, politics, and food, tracing the history of vanilla through the centuries and offering a host of intriguing insights, trivia, lore, and recipes. 20,000 first printing.
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Creating Rain Gardens

Capturing the Rain for Your Own Water-Efficient Garden

Author: Apryl Uncapher,Cleo Woelfle-Erskine

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604693975

Category: Gardening

Page: 208

View: 8174

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“A beautifully-written, practical guide to planning and creating your own rain garden.” —Green Upgrader You probably spend hundreds of dollars watering your yard, but there is an easy way to save money and resources—by collecting rain to reuse in front and backyards. In Creating Rain Gardens, water conservation experts Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Apryl Uncapher walk you through the entire process, with step-by-step instructions for designing and building swales, French drains, rain gardens, and ephemeral ponds. From soil preparation, planting, troubleshooting, and maintenance, to selecting palettes of water-loving plants that provide four-season interest and a habitat for wildlife, Creating Rain Gardens covers everything you need to create a beautiful rain garden at home.
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Global environmental change

a natural and cultural environmental history

Author: Antoinette M. Mannion

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: 404

View: 9948

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Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Reading the Skies

A Cultural History of English Weather, 1650-1820

Author: Vladimir Janković

Publisher: Manchester University Press

ISBN: 9780719059896

Category: England

Page: 272

View: 3464

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This is a study of the 18th-century engagements with the climate, showing how people and scientists made their way in an environment of inclement weather and how they worked to make this inclemency an anchor of their local and national identity. The book's approach is based on the analyses of the religious, political and scientific readings of strange weather. In these appropriations the weather was up for grabs as its public accessibility undermined claims to its sole possession by either priests, pamphleteers or philosophers. This study presents meteorological science as part of the English public's emotion, represented by 18th-century spouts, storms and fireballs, and expressed in the language of ordinary men, women and children. As a result, the Georgian weather emerges within the moral landscapes of an outdoor society rather than in the laboratory analyses of atmospheric gases. The book follows the conditions which sustained this perception and shows the ways in which it clashed with - and was eventually displaced by - laboratory analyses and instrumental observations.
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The Seven States of California

A Natural and Human History

Author: Philip L. Fradkin

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520209428

Category: History

Page: 474

View: 2418

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A survey of the distinct ecological areas of California looks at the natural features that typify them, and links them to stories about the people found there, from Native Americans to Chinese laborers.
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Science between Europe and Asia

Historical Studies on the Transmission, Adoption and Adaptation of Knowledge

Author: Feza Günergun,Dhruv Raina

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789048199686

Category: Science

Page: 279

View: 9935

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This book explores the various historical and cultural aspects of scientific, medical and technical exchanges that occurred between central Europe and Asia. A number of papers investigate the printing, gunpowder, guncasting, shipbuilding, metallurgical and drilling technologies while others deal with mapping techniques, the adoption of written calculation and mechanical clocks as well as the use of medical techniques such as pulse taking and electrotherapy. While human mobility played a significant role in the exchange of knowledge, translating European books into local languages helped the introduction of new knowledge in mathematical, physical and natural sciences from central Europe to its periphery and to the Middle East and Asian cultures. The book argues that the process of transmission of knowledge whether theoretical or practical was not a simple and one-way process from the donor to the receiver as it is often admitted, but a multi-dimensional and complex cultural process of selection and transformation where ancient scientific and local traditions and elements. The book explores the issue from a different geopolitical perspective, namely not focusing on a singular recipient and several points of distribution, namely the metropolitan centres of science, medicine, and technology, but on regions that are both recipients and distributors and provides new perspectives based on newly investigated material for historical studies on the cross scientific exchanges between different parts of the world.
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Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures

Author: Helaine Selin

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 140204559X

Category: Science

Page: 2415

View: 5774

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Here, at last, is the massively updated and augmented second edition of this landmark encyclopedia. It contains approximately 1000 entries dealing in depth with the history of the scientific, technological and medical accomplishments of cultures outside of the United States and Europe. The entries consist of fully updated articles together with hundreds of entirely new topics. This unique reference work includes intercultural articles on broad topics such as mathematics and astronomy as well as thoughtful philosophical articles on concepts and ideas related to the study of non-Western Science, such as rationality, objectivity, and method. You’ll also find material on religion and science, East and West, and magic and science.
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Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology

Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands

Author: William L. Balée,Clark L. Erickson

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231509618

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 8709

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This collection of studies by anthropologists, botanists, ecologists, and biologists is an important contribution to the emerging field of historical ecology. The book combines cutting-edge research with new perspectives to emphasize the close relationship between humans and their natural environment. Contributors examine how alterations in the natural world mirror human cultures, societies, and languages. Treating the landscape like a text, these researchers decipher patterns and meaning in the Ecuadorian Andes, Amazonia, the desert coast of Peru, and other regions in the neotropics. They show how local peoples have changed the landscape over time to fit their needs by managing and modifying species diversity, enhancing landscape heterogeneity, and controlling ecological disturbance. In turn, the environment itself becomes a form of architecture rich with historical and archaeological significance. Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology explores thousands of years of ecological history while also addressing important contemporary issues, such as biodiversity and genetic variation and change. Engagingly written and expertly researched, this book introduces and exemplifies a unique method for better understanding the link between humans and the biosphere.
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