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The Big Questions series is designed to let renowned experts address the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy. Each 3000-word essay simply and concisely examines a question that has eternally perplexed enquiring minds, and provides answers from history's great thinkers. This ambitious project is a unique distillation of humanity's best ideas. In Big Questions: Physics, Michael Brooks answers the 20 key questions: What is the point of physics? Is everything ultimately random? What is time? Why is there no such thing as a free lunch? What happened to Schrödinger's cat? Can I change the universe with a single glance? Are solids really solid? Which is nature's strongest force? Why does an apple fall? Do we live in a computer simulation? What is light? Is Earth's magnetic shield failing? Am I unique in the universe? Does chaos theory spell disaster? Can we travel through time? Is string theory really about strings? Why does E=mc2? What is the God Particle? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate nature of reality?
The Big Questions series is designed to let renowned experts address the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy. Each 3000-word essay simply and concisely examines a question that has eternally perplexed enquiring minds, and provides answers from history's great thinkers. This ambitious project is a unique distillation of humanity's best ideas. In Big Questions: Physics, Michael Brooks answers the 20 key questions: What is the point of physics? Is everything ultimately random? What is time? Why is there no such thing as a free lunch? What happened to Schrodinger's cat? Can I change the universe with a single glance? Are solids really solid? Which is nature's strongest force? Why does an apple fall? Do we live in a computer simulation? What is light? Is Earth's magnetic shield failing? Am I unique in the universe? Does chaos theory spell disaster? Can we travel through time? Is string theory really about strings? Why does E=mc2? What is the God Particle? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate nature of reality?
The Book That Gives the Inside Story on Hundreds of Secrets of American Life --Big Secrets. Are there really secret backward messages in rock music, or is somebody nuts? We tested suspect tunes at a recording studio to find out.What goes on at Freemason initiations? Here's the whole story, including -- yes! -- the electric carpet.Colonel Sanders boasted that Kentucky Fried Chicken's eleven secret herbs and spices "stand on everybody's shelf." We got a sample of the seasoning mix and sent it to a food chemist for analysis.Feverish rumor has it that Walt Disney's body was frozen and now lies in a secret cryonic vault somewhere beneath the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit at Disneyland. Read the certified stranger-than-fiction truth.Don't bother trying to figure out how Doug Henning, David Copperfield, and Harry Blackstone, Jr., perform their illusions. Big Secrets has complete explanations and diagrams, nothing left to the imagination.
Every year on January 1, a quirky crowd of adventurers storms out across North America for a spectacularly competitive event called a Big Year -- a grand, grueling, expensive, and occasionally vicious, "extreme" 365-day marathon of birdwatching. For three men in particular, 1998 would be a whirlwind, a winner-takes-nothing battle for a new North American birding record. In frenetic pilgrimages for once-in-a-lifetime rarities that can make or break their lead, the birders race each other from Del Rio, Texas, in search of the rufous-capped warbler, to Gibsons, British Columbia, on a quest for Xantus's hummingbird, to Cape May, New Jersey, seeking the offshore great skua. Bouncing from coast to coast on their potholed road to glory, they brave broiling deserts, roiling oceans, bug-infested swamps, a charge by a disgruntled mountain lion, and some of the lumpiest motel mattresses known to man. The unprecedented year of beat-the-clock adventures ultimately leads one man to a new record -- one so gigantic that it is unlikely ever to be bested...finding and identifying an extraordinary 745 different species by official year-end count. Prize-winning journalist Mark Obmascik creates a rollicking, dazzling narrative of the 275,000-mile odyssey of these three obsessives as they fight to the finish to claim the title in the greatest -- or maybe the worst -- birding contest of all time. With an engaging, unflappably wry humor, Obmascik memorializes their wild and crazy exploits and, along the way, interweaves an entertaining smattering of science about birds and their own strange behavior with a brief history of other bird-men and -women; turns out even Audubon pushed himself beyond the brink when he was chasing and painting the birds of America. A captivating tour of human and avian nature, passion and paranoia, honor and deceit, fear and loathing, The Big Year shows the lengths to which people will go to pursue their dreams, to conquer and categorize -- no matter how low the stakes. This is a lark of a read for anyone with birds on the brain -- or not.
A remarkable compilation of inside information, confirming the uncensored truth about some of America's top secrets, from the important to the amusing.
From the author of the mega-selling Big Secrets comes the equally entertaining sequel which unveils the truth about all sorts of things you are never supposed to know. The recipe for Mrs. Fields Cookies. . . What backward messages on records are really trying to tell you. . . Frank Sinatra's real age. . . Why you can't counterfeit a lottery ticket. . . Barbra Streisand's blue movie. . . The other Boy Scout rituals. . . Ingmar Bergman's soap commercials. . . The formula for Play-Doh. . . and more.
"As long as I can remember, even as a boy, there were bees kept on our farm," wrote Jacob Biggle in his preface to The Biggle Bee Book. "If for no other reason than to insure the proper fertilization of fruit and other blossoms, every farmer, fruit grower, or gardener should keep a few bees upon his grounds." Biggle's fifty colonies of bees, though requiring just a small part of his time, paid Biggle a larger return than any other animal on his farm. Not only did he take pleasure in caring for these wonderful insects and enjoying the honey they produced, he also recognized that their presence on his farm meant that his orchards and crops would flourish.If there are any so-called secrets to the art of beekeeping, Jacob Biggle does his best to expose them all in this delightful little volume. His hope was that readers could profit from his hard-earned wisdom that included:The benefits of keeping beesHow to care for bees through the winterThe marketing and selling of wax- and honey-based productsWhat bee-friendly plants to raise in the gardenHow to introduce a new queen to the hiveWritten not only for the professional beekeeper, but also for the backyard farmer, and anyone interested in rural life, self-sufficiency, and farming techniques of the past, this book is an essential addition to the home library.
When The Biggle Garden Book was first published in 1908, most people were in the habit of raising their own food and flowers. Jacob Biggle felt that a gardener's success had to do with willpower and passion rather than acreage. "The man, woman or youngster who really wants a garden, will somehow manage to have a good one regardless of soil conditions, bad weather, measles in the family, or whether the area of ground at hand is a square acre or a square rod," he wrote encouragingly at the start of the book.That passion for gardening continues today in fields, backyards, and urban community plots across the United States. According to a poll taken in 2009 by the National Gardening Association, more than forty-three million households in the United States grow some of their own food. Learn how to do things the "old-school" way as Jacob and Harriet Biggle guide you through the fundamentals of:Soil preparation, sowing, and plantingHotbeds and cold framesFertilization, cultivation, and irrigationFlower gardening with old-fashioned favoritesGarden pests and friendsWith a resurgence in organic farming, heirloom varieties, and self-reliant living, The Biggle Garden Book is more valuable than ever because of the time-tested advice it offers.
"People ought to try to make their horses happy," wrote Jacob Biggle's wife Harriet in The Biggle Horse Book in 1894. "A happy, cheerful horse will do more work and live longer, and thus be more profitable to its owner, than one whose temper is kept constantly ruffled, whose disposition is soured by ill-usage, and whose peace of mind is often disturbed by the crack of the whip, the hoarse voice of the driver, the strain of overwork, the discomfort of a hard bed, or the pangs of hunger and thirst." When it comes to the treatment of animals--especially the horse--the Biggles were ahead of their time.Folksy and informative, this manual offers timeless tips on the effective and humane treatment and training of horses and detailed descriptions of all the major breeds. Practical horsemen and veterinarians of the era contributed their wisdom and insight, and their maxims on owning, riding, and working with horses will provide endless hours of entertainment. Here are just a few:"Proper food and lots of sentiment will make with good blood a good horse.""If you must put frosty bits in some mouths, let it be your own. Suffering begets sympathy.""The three greatest enemies of the horse are idleness, fat, and a dumb blacksmith.""Don't try to fit a horse to the collar. It won't work. Fit the collar to the horse."Enhanced with beautiful engravings, illustrations, and snippets of poetry throughout, The Biggle Horse Book remains a loving and fitting tribute to "this noble servitor of man."
When Jacob Biggle first published his book on the management of poultry, there were more than 300 million chickens and 30 million other domesticated fowl in the United States. Today, the trend continues with thousands if not millions of chickens and other fowl being raised in suburban and urban backyards across America. Biggle's aim was to "help farmers and villagers conduct the poultry business with pleasure and profit." To that end, this handy little volume contains all the information the reader needs to know, such as:The various breeds of chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, and pigeonsThe most common diseases and enemies that threaten our feathered friendsRaising hens expressly for eggs rather than meatThe farmer's flock versus the village henneryThe art of hatching eggs and caring for chicksWritten for the practical farmer who raises poultry and eggs for market,The Biggle Poultry Book will also appeal to collectors of farm ephemera and anyone else who is nostalgic for a simpler way of doing things. Illustrated with sixteen color plates by Louis P. Graham, and hundreds of black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout, The Biggle Poultry Book is as beautiful as it is useful and a treasure for the home library.
When Jacob Biggle first published The Biggle Swine Book in 1898, hog husbandry was undergoing major changes. New feeding methods had come into vogue, new breeds of hogs had been developed, and significant progress had been made in curbing swine-borne epidemics. Even the public perception of pigs as filthy creatures wallowing up to their knees in mud had brightened, and pigs were accorded a modicum of respect. But with the onset of railroad development across the United States, the backyard pig farmer started losing ground to slaughterhouses and large processing plants.The Biggle Swine Book captures this moment in American history when home animal husbandry was giving way to more industrialized meat production. Nevertheless, Jacob Biggle continued to offer guidance to the small-scale farmer on all manner of livestock issues, centered around the proper breeding, feeding, and care of pigs. His book includes valuable instructions on: What to do at farrowing timeConstructing the piggery and styKeeping on top of the manure pileButchering and curing meatsProtecting your animals from various pig ailmentsIllustrated with photographs, engravings, and line drawings throughout of all things pig-related, this book is a glimpse into a bygone era when sows and their litters had a place on every farm, and people knew exactly where their bacon came from.
The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 9th Edition: Complete Chart Information about America's Most Popular Songs and Artists, 1955-2009by Joel Whitburn
The Essential Reference Guide to America's Most Popular Songs and Artists Spanning More than Fifty Years of Music Beginning with Bill Haley & His Comets' seminal "Rock Around the Clock" all the way up to Lady Gaga and her glammed-out "Poker face," this updated and unparalleled resource contains the most complete chart information on every artist and song to hit Billboard's Top 40 pop singles chart all the way back to 1955. Inside, you'll find all of the biggest-selling, most-played hits for the past six decades. Each alphabetized artist entry includes biographical info, the date their single reached the Top 40, the song's highest position, and the number of weeks on the charts, as well as the original record label and catalog number. Other sections--such as "Record Holders," "Top Artists by Decade," and "#1 Singles 1955-2009"--make The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits the handiest and most indispensable music reference for record collectors, trivia enthusiasts, industry professionals and pop music fans alike. Did you know? * Beyoncé's 2003 hit "Crazy in Love" spent 24 weeks in the Top 40 and eight of them in the #1 spot. * Billy Idol has had a total of nine Top 40 hits over his career, the last being "Cradle of Love" in 1990. * Of Madonna's twelve #1 hits, her 1994 single "Take a Bow" held the spot the longest, for seven weeks--one week longer than her 1984 smash "Like a Virgin." * Marvin Gaye's song "Sexual Healing" spent 15 weeks at #3 in 1982, while the same song was #1 on the R&B chart for 10 weeks. * Male vocal group Boyz II Men had three of the biggest chart hits of all time during the 1990s. * The Grateful Dead finally enjoyed a Top 10 single in 1987 after 20 years of touring. * Janet Jackson has scored an impressive 39 Top 40 hits--one more than her megastar brother Michael!From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the final book of his astonishing career, Carl Sagan brilliantly examines the burning questions of our lives, our world, and the universe around us. These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan's thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease. Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This comprehensive reference guide to women who have served in Congress provides detailed biographies of each of the 200 women who have held office on Capitol Hill over the past 80 years.
A darkly comic, satirical reference book about writers who never made it into the literary canonA signal event of literary scholarship, The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure compiles the biographies of history's most notable cases of a complete lack of literary success. As such, it is the world's leading authority on the subject.Compiled in one volume by C. D. Rose, a well-educated person universally acknowledged in parts of England as the world's pre-eminent expert on inexpert writers, the book culls its information from lost or otherwise ignored archives scattered around the globe, as well as the occasional dustbin.The dictionary amounts to a monumental accomplishment: the definitive appreciation of history's least accomplished writers. Thus immortalized beyond deserving and rescued from hard-earned obscurity, the authors presented in this historic volume comprise a who's who of the talentless and deluded, their stories timeless litanies of abject psychosis, misapplication, and delinquency.It is, in short, a treasure.
A hefty dictionary of over 1,000 entries featuring brief biographies of the lives and work of influential philosophers during the 20th century. The editors have also included thinkers who perhaps would not be strictly considered "philosopher," but have nonetheless made important intellectual contributions (Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, C.G. Jung, Julia Kristeva, Max Weber). Besides the comprehensive and consistent scope of the dictionary, the volume also features a bibliography for each entry, a glossary containing short accounts of the origins, development and features of the major schools, movements and traditions in philosophy, and cross referenced indices. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
An encyclopedic look at the entire BIONICLE story line, featuring new and updated entries. Want to know more about the Piraka? They're all here. And what about Nidhiki or Makuta? The Toa? The Toa Inika? The city of Metru Nui? And the watery world of Mahri Nui? It's all here: everything you ever wanted to know-and some things you may never have asked. The answers to your questions are inside this book. A must-have for fans of all ages whether they are new to the property or think they know it all.
Lessons that develop a set of guides toward understanding 'new' scientific vocabulary through examination of stems and bases, suffixes etc. A help-yourself guide for 'unlocking' unfamiliar scientific words accompanied by many examples and exercises. -The National Science Teachers Association "This new book is designed to self-teach the budding scientist the basics of the scientific language. " -The Associated Press
Originally published: Consider the birds: who they are and what they do. London: Allen Lane, 2008.
"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"From the Trade Paperback edition.he funniest people alive.If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life."An inspiring book about writing as a way of finding the truth-- San Francisco Chronicle"Surpasses all the other books on writing already out there -- even the wonderful stuff by Natalie Goldberg, John Gardner, and Annie Dillard."-- Seattle Times"Well-written, funny, and useful." -- Denver Post"I ended up reading it twice and expect to dip into it again in times of need. I recommend this book to other writers without reservation....This woman is uncanny."-- Marie Winn, Wall Street Journal"A quirky, personal, mordant, down-to-earth guide to fiction writing by a wonderful novelist essayist. Lamott makes writing seem like something you could actually enjoy."-- The NationFrom the Hardcover edition.
This book introduces scouts to the wonders and joys of bird watching and study.
Until now there has been no single, comprehensive resource on the status of North America's most threatened birds and what people can do to help protect them. Birder's Conservation Handbook is the only book of its kind, written specifically to help birders and researchers understand the threats while providing actions to protect birds and their habitats. Jeffrey Wells has distilled vast amounts of essential information into a single easy-to-use volume-required reading for anyone who loves birds and wants to ensure they are protected. At-a-glance species accounts cover in detail North America's one hundred most at-risk birds; each account is beautifully illustrated by today's top bird artists. The text includes status, distribution, ecology, threats, conservation actions and needs, and references. A distribution map accompanies each entry. Chapters discuss birds as indicators of environmental health, the state of North American bird populations, major conservation issues, and initiatives now underway to improve the health of North America's birds. Birder's Conservation Handbook is an indispensable resource for birdwatchers, researchers, naturalists, and conservationists. Reading it will inspire you to become an active steward of our birds and the habitats we share. A comprehensive guide to North America's one hundred most at-risk birds and how to protect them; Compact and easy to use, with beautiful illustrations and data organized for convenient, at-a-glance reference; Detailed species accounts, including distribution maps; Practical advice on conservation; Information on leading conservation agencies and resources.
The West Indies offer so much more than sun, sand, and shopping. This sweeping arc of islands, which runs from Cuba to Grenada and includes the Virgin Islands, teems with a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Up to 40 percent of the plants in some forests are found nowhere else on earth, while the West Indian flyway is a critical link in the migratory routes of many birds. In A Birder's West Indies, Roland Wauer takes you on an island-by-island journey of discovery. He describes the unique natural features of each island and recounts his often fascinating experiences in seeking out the nearly 400 species of birds known in the West Indies. His accounts give insight into the birds' habitats, status, and ecology and record some of the threats posed by human activities. For readers planning trips to the West Indies, Wauer also includes helpful, up-to-date facts about the best times to travel, the kinds of entry and customs systems to expect, the money exchange services available, and general information about weather, food, and accommodations. Filling a unique niche among current guides, A Birder's West Indies offers both professional ornithologists and avocational bird watchers a chance to compare notes and experiences with an expert observer. And for readers who haven't yet visited the islands, Wauer's fluid prose and lovely color photographs will be the next-best thing to being there-and an irresistible invitation to go.
This reference on word usage contains lists of frequently misused and misspelled words, and new words and phrases, with definitions and examples. It also has chapters explaining usage, describing the parts of speech; rules about items such as who vs. whom, each, and compare to vs. compare with; and a list of common roots, their definitions, and example terms. A freelance editor, Embree is also the author of six books, including the Author's Toolkit: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing and Publishing Your Book. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Australia is home to a spectacular diversity of birdlife, from parrots and penguins to emus and vibrant passerines. Birds of Australia covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrants and features more than 1,100 stunning color photographs, including many photos of subspecies and plumage variations never before seen in a field guide. Detailed facing-page species accounts describe key identification features such as size, plumage, distribution, behavior, and voice. This one-of-a-kind guide also provides extensive habitat descriptions with a large number of accompanying photos. The text relies on the very latest IOC taxonomy and the distribution maps incorporate the most current mapping data, making this the most up-to-date guide to Australian birds.Covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrantsFeatures more than 1,100 stunning color photosIncludes facing-page species accounts, habitat descriptions, and distribution mapsThe ideal photographic guide for beginners and seasoned birders alike
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