Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart - A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You’ll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln's mother). Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.
Running Dry: The Global Water Crisis by Stuart A. Kallen - As the planet's human population explodes, so does the demand for water. About one out of every nine people in the world does not have access to safe drinking water, while one out of every five—almost 1.5 billion humans—lives in a region where water demand is outstripping supply. But as demand grows, supplies do not. Climate change has led to severe drought, flooding, and massive storms in key agricultural areas of the world. Industrial and agricultural water pollution threatens public health around the world. Environmental protection measures are not keeping up with energy-production technologies such as fracking and the corn-for-fuel market, all of which affect water usage rates and safety.
How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction by Beth Shapiro - Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
Hot X: Algebra Exposed by Danica McKellar - Algebra: The word alone has been known to strike fear in the hearts of even the best students, but help is here! With her two earlier books, actress and math genius Danica McKellar shattered the "math nerd" stereotype and empowered girls to conquer middle-school math and pre- algebra. Sizzling with McKellar's trademark sass and style, Hot X: Algebra Exposed now shows high schoolers how to master algebra topics like square roots, polynomials, quadratic equations, word problems, and more. In addition to fun extras like personality quizzes, reader polls, and boy-crazy confessionals, Hot X includes time-saving tips and tricks, sample problems with detailed solutions, and relatable real-world examples
The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry by Larry Gonick and Craig Criddle - If you have ever suspected that "heavy water" is the title of a bootleg Pink Floyd album, believed that surface tension is an anxiety disorder, or imagined that a noble gas is the result of a heavy meal at Buckingham Palace, then you need The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry to set you on the road to chemical literacy. You don't need to be a scientist to grasp these and many other complex ideas, because The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry explains them all: the history and basics of chemistry, atomic theory, combustion, solubility, reaction stoichiometry, the mole, entropy, and much more—all explained in simple, clear, and yes, funny illustrations. Chemistry will never be the same!
The Bee Book by DK and Emma Tennant - The Bee Book shows you step-by-step how to create a bee-friendly garden, get started in beekeeping, and harness the power of honey for well-being. Fully illustrated with full-color photographs throughout, this beautiful guide covers everything you need to know to start your own backyard hive, from setup to harvest. Practical beekeeping techniques are explained with clear step-by-step sequences, photos, and diagrams so you'll be prepared to establish your own colony, deal with diseases, collect a swarm, and much more. A comprehensive gardening chapter features planting plans to fill container and border gardens, bee "hotel" and habitat projects, and an at-a-glance flower gallery of bees' favorite plants. The Bee Bookalso shows you how to harvest honey, beeswax, and propolis from the hive and use these ingredients in 38 recipes for home remedies, beauty treatments, and candle-making.
Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist by William R. Maples - From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thighbone, prominent forensic anthropologist Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and, ultimately, the identity of the killer. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples revisits his strangest, most interesting, and most horrific investigations, from the baffling cases of conquistador Francisco Pizarro and Vietnam MIAs to the mysterious deaths of President Zachary Taylor and the family of Czar Nicholas II.
The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA by Edward Ball - The Genetic Strand is the story of a writer's investigation, using DNA science, into the tale of his family's origins. National Book Award winner Edward Ball has turned his probing gaze on the microcosm of the human genome, and not just any human genome -- that of his slave-holding ancestors. What is the legacy of such a family history, and can DNA say something about it? In 2000, after a decade in New York City, Ball bought a house in Charleston, South Carolina, home to his father's family for generations, and furnished it with heirloom pieces from his relatives. In one old desk he was startled to discover a secret drawer, sealed perhaps since the Civil War, in which someone had hidden a trove of family hair, with each lock of hair labeled and dated. The strange find propelled him to investigate: what might DNA science reveal about the people -- Ball's family members, long dead -- to whom the hair had belonged? Did the hair come from white relatives, as family tradition insisted? How can genetic tests explain personal identity? Part crime-scene investigation, part genealogical romp, The Genetic Strand is a personal odyssey into DNA and family history. The story takes the reader into forensics labs where technicians screen remains, using genetics breakthroughs like DNA fingerprinting, and into rooms where fathers nervously await paternity test results.
The Elegant Universe: Shoestrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene - Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter―from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas―is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.
When to Rob a Bank by Stephen D. Levitt and Steven J. Dubner - In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the landmark book Freakonomics comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the universe. It’s the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made the Freakonomics guys an international sensation, with more than 7 million books sold in 40 languages, and 150 million downloads of their Freakonomics Radio podcast. When Freakonomics was first published, the authors started a blog—and they’ve kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. In When to Rob a Bank, they ask a host of typically off-center questions: Why don’t flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken? Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Many of them, they freely admit, were rubbish. But now they’ve gone through and picked the best of the best. You’ll discover what people lie about, and why; the best way to cut gun deaths; why it might be time for a sex tax; and, yes, when to rob a bank. (Short answer: never; the ROI is terrible.) You’ll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner’s own quirks and passions, from gambling and golf to backgammon and the abolition of the penny.
Nanotechnology by Janet Slingerland - Thrilling new discoveries in science and technology are announced almost daily. Cutting-Edge Science and Technology keeps readers at the forefront of new research. Nanotechnology covers the amazing advances scientists and engineers have made in microscopic technology, including applications in medicine, safety gear, self-cleaning surfaces, and tiny computers. High-impact photos and explanatory graphics and charts bring scientific concepts to life. Features include essential facts, a glossary, selected bibliography, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more. Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work. Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home. Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.
The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray and Nick Mann - An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table. The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on seven years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183°C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid. Also included are fascinating facts, figures, and stories of the elements as well as data on the properties of each, including atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. Several additional photographs show each element in slightly altered forms or as used in various practical ways. The element's position on the periodic table is pinpointed on a mini rendering of the table and an illustrated scale of the element's boiling and/or melting points appears on each page along with a density scale that runs along the bottom. Packed with interesting information, this combination of solid science and stunning artistic photographs is the perfect gift book for every sentient creature in the universe.
Ebola: Fear and Facts by Patricia Newman - Ebola is a deadly contagious disease. From 1975 to 2013, it killed about 1,500 people. But a 2014 epidemic killed more than six times that number. At first the outbreak was contained to one country. But soon it spread to two others―the virus was on the move, and people were scared. When two American healthcare workers became infected and were sent to the United States for treatment, many people feared a pandemic―an outbreak that would spread all over the world. Could it happen? Ebola: Fears and Facts takes you behind the sensational headlines to address questions and concerns about the virus. Learn about the history of the disease, its symptoms, and how it spreads. Find out how the 2014 epidemic compares to past Ebola outbreaks, as well as to outbreaks of other infectious diseases. With a question-and-answer section and reference maps, Ebola: Fears and Factswill help you to better understand this most-feared disease.
Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Major Medical Breakthroughs in the 20th Century by Morton A. Meyers - Happy Accidents is a fascinating, entertaining, and highly accessible look at the surprising role serendipity has played in some of the most important medical discoveries in the twentieth century. What do penicillin, chemotherapy drugs, X-rays, Valium, the Pap smear, and Viagra have in common? They were each discovered accidentally, stumbled upon in the search for something else. In the 1990s, Pfizer had high hopes for a new drug that would boost blood flow to the heart. As they conducted trials on angina sufferers, researchers noted a startling effect: while the drug did not affect blood flow to the heart, it did affect blood flow elsewhere! Now over six million American men have taken Viagra in their lifetime. Winston Churchill once said, “Men occasionally stumble across the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened.” Within the scientific community, a certain stigma is attached to chance discovery because it is wrongly seen as pure luck. Happy accidents certainly happen every day, but it takes intelligence, insight, and creativity to recognize a “Eureka, I found what I wasn't looking for!” moment and know what to do next. In discussing medical breakthroughs, Dr. Morton Meyers makes a cogent, highly engaging argument for a more creative, rather than purely linear, approach to science. And it may just save our lives!
Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow - In March 1900, San Francisco’s health department investigated a strange and horrible death in Chinatown. A man had died of bubonic plague, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. But how could that be possible? Bubonic Panic tells the true story of America’s first plague epidemic—the public health doctors who desperately fought to end it, the political leaders who tried to keep it hidden, and the brave scientists who uncovered the plague’s secrets. Once again, acclaimed author and scientific expert Gail Jarrow brings the history of a medical mystery to life in vivid and exciting detail for young readers. This title includes photographs and drawings, a glossary, a timeline, further resources, an author’s note, and source notes.
Discovering Dark Matter by Philip Wolny - The discoveries in physics that inform current dark matter theory, everything from Newtonian gravity to Einstein's relativity to the Higgs-Bosun, are examined in this authoritative guide. It examines the biggest question facing physicists today: if we are only seeing about four percent of matter in the universe, what is the rest of it made of? The lengths that scientists are going to find what they call dark matter are revealed. Alternative theories to dark matter are also discussed, as are the scientists who don't believe that dark matter exists and are conducting their own experiments to disprove its existence.
Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow - In March 1907, the lives of three remarkable people collided at a New York City brownstone where Mary Mallon worked as a cook. They were brought together by typhoid fever, a dreaded scourge that killed tens of thousands of Americans each year. Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary is the first middle-grade trade book that tells the true story of the woman who unwittingly spread deadly bacteria, the epidemiologist who discovered her trail of infection, and the health department that decided her fate. This gripping story follows this tragic disease as it shatters lives from the early twentieth century to today. It will keep readers on the edges of the seats wondering what happened to Mary and the innocent typhoid victims. With glossary, timeline, list of well-known typhoid sufferers and victims, further resource section, author’s note, and source notes.
The Rain Wizard: The Amazing, Mysterious, True Life of Charles Mallory Hatfield by Larry Dane Brimmer - In December 1915, San Diego’s leaders claimed the town’s reservoirs were nearly dry. Knowing the city would not survive and grow unless it had water, they hired Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary. But when torrents and torrents of rain came, disaster struck. Roads were closed, people drowned, and dams burst. The town elders blamed Hatfield and refused to pay him. Was Hatfield really a rain wizard, or simply a fraud? Renowned author Larry Dane Brimner examines the man and the myth by relying on personal recollections from growing up in California, as well as extensive research. Readers will be captivated by Hatfield—a man once known as the Frankenstein of the air—and his secret rainmaking formulas. Includes author’s note, source notes, and bibliography.
Last of the Giants: The Rise and Fall of Earth's Most Dominant Species by Jeff Campbell - Today, an ancient world is vanishing right before our eyes: the age of giant animals. Over 40,000 years ago, the earth was ruled by megafauna: mammoths and mastodons, saber-toothed tigers and giant sloths. Of course, those creatures no longer exist, due to the evolution and arrival of the wildly adaptive human species, among other factors. Many more of the world’s biggest and baddest creatures—including the black rhino, the dodo, giant tortoises, and the great auk—have vanished since our world became truly global. Last of the Giants chronicles those giant animals and apex predators who have been pushed to extinction in the modern era.
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