Spirals in Time

The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells

Author: Helen Scales

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472911377

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 2653

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Seashells are the sculpted homes of a remarkable group of animals: the molluscs. These are some of the most ancient and successful animals on the planet. But watch out. Some molluscs can kill you if you eat them. Some will kill you if you stand too close. That hasn't stopped people using shells in many ways over thousands of years. They became the first jewelry and oldest currencies; they've been used as potent symbols of sex and death, prestige and war, not to mention a nutritious (and tasty) source of food. Spirals in Time is an exuberant aquatic romp, revealing amazing tales of these undersea marvels. Helen Scales leads us on a journey into their realm, as she goes in search of everything from snails that 'fly' underwater on tiny wings to octopuses accused of stealing shells and giant mussels with golden beards that were supposedly the source of Jason's golden fleece, and learns how shells have been exchanged for human lives, tapped for mind-bending drugs and inspired advances in medical technology. Weaving through these stories are the remarkable animals that build them, creatures with fascinating tales to tell, a myriad of spiralling shells following just a few simple rules of mathematics and evolution. Shells are also bellwethers of our impact on the natural world. Some species have been overfished, others poisoned by polluted seas; perhaps most worryingly of all, molluscs are expected to fall victim to ocean acidification, a side-effect of climate change that may soon cause shells to simply melt away. But rather than dwelling on what we risk losing, Spirals in Time urges you to ponder how seashells can reconnect us with nature, and heal the rift between ourselves and the living world.
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Seashells

More Than a Home

Author: Melissa Stewart

Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing

ISBN: 1632896583

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 32

View: 1245

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Prolific, award-winning nonfiction author Melissa Stewart reveals the surprising ways seashells provide more than shelter to the mollusks that inhabit them. Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. Dual-layered text highlights how shells provide more than a protective home in this expository nonfiction exploration. The informative secondary text underscores characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.
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Lumen Naturae

Visions of the Abstract in Art and Mathematics

Author: Matilde Marcolli

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262358328

Category: Mathematics

Page: 400

View: 4841

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Exploring common themes in modern art, mathematics, and science, including the concept of space, the notion of randomness, and the shape of the cosmos. This is a book about art—and a book about mathematics and physics. In Lumen Naturae (the title refers to a purely immanent, non-supernatural form of enlightenment), mathematical physicist Matilde Marcolli explores common themes in modern art and modern science—the concept of space, the notion of randomness, the shape of the cosmos, and other puzzles of the universe—while mapping convergences with the work of such artists as Paul Cezanne, Mark Rothko, Sol LeWitt, and Lee Krasner. Her account, focusing on questions she has investigated in her own scientific work, is illustrated by more than two hundred color images of artworks by modern and contemporary artists. Thus Marcolli finds in still life paintings broad and deep philosophical reflections on space and time, and connects notions of space in mathematics to works by Paul Klee, Salvador Dalí, and others. She considers the relation of entropy and art and how notions of entropy have been expressed by such artists as Hans Arp and Fernand Léger; and traces the evolution of randomness as a mode of artistic expression. She analyzes the relation between graphical illustration and scientific text, and offers her own watercolor-decorated mathematical notebooks. Throughout, she balances discussions of science with explorations of art, using one to inform the other. (She employs some formal notation, which can easily be skipped by general readers.) Marcolli is not simply explaining art to scientists and science to artists; she charts unexpected interdependencies that illuminate the universe.
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Louise Haselton

Act natural

Author: Gillian Brown,Leigh Robb,Jenna McKenzie

Publisher: Wakefield Press

ISBN: 1743056680

Category: Art

Page: 128

View: 2626

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Louise Haselton offers glimpses of the curious inner lives of everyday and overlooked things. From the domestic to the exotic, the natural to the 'made', she distinctively intuits connections between seemingly disparate material vernaculars. Haselton believes in the invisible forces that bind and repel the world around us. With a witty reverence for the objects and materials she engages with, Haselton explores the communicative possibilities of weight, balance and form within her predominantly sculptural works. Her practice is unexpected, unconventional, and exemplary of an artist especially attuned to the matters which surround us. Louise Haselton: Act natural is a compendium of Haselton's works to date including illustrated essays chronicling the inspirations, influences and ideas behind her extraordinary practice of the last twenty-five years.
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The Perfect Shape

Spiral Stories

Author: Øyvind Hammer

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319473735

Category: Mathematics

Page: 258

View: 881

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This book uses the spiral shape as a key to a multitude of strange and seemingly disparate stories about art, nature, science, mathematics, and the human endeavour. In a way, the book is itself organized as a spiral, with almost disconnected chapters circling around and closing in on the common theme. A particular strength of the book is its extremely cross-disciplinary nature - everything is fun, and everything is connected! At the same time, the author puts great emphasis on mathematical and scientific correctness, in contrast, perhaps, with some earlier books on spirals. Subjects include the mathematical properties of spirals, sea shells, sun flowers, Greek architecture, air ships, the history of mathematics, spiral galaxies, the anatomy of the human hand, the art of prehistoric Europe, Alfred Hitchcock, and spider webs, to name a few.
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