the cockroach papers a compendium of history and lore

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The Cockroach Papers

Author : Richard Schweid
ISBN : 9780226260501
Genre : Nature
File Size : 57. 85 MB
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Skittering figures of urban legend—and a ubiquitous reality—cockroaches are nearly as abhorred as they are ancient. Even as our efforts to exterminate them have developed into ever more complex forms of chemical warfare, roaches’ basic design of six legs, two hypersensitive antennae, and one set of voracious mandibles has persisted unchanged for millions of years. But as Richard Schweid shows in The Cockroach Papers, while some species of these evolutionary superstars do indeed plague our kitchens and restaurants, exacerbate our asthma, and carry disease, our belief in their total villainy is ultimately misplaced. Traveling from New York City to Louisiana, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Morocco, Schweid blends stories of his own squirm-inducing roach encounters with meticulous research to spin a tale both humorous and harrowing. As he investigates roaches’ more nefarious interactions with our species—particularly with those of us living at the margins of society—Schweid also explores their astonishing diversity, how they mate, what they’ll eat, and what we’ve written about them (from Kafka and Nelson Algren to archy and mehitabel). Knowledge soon turns into respect, and Schweid looks beyond his own fears to arrive at an uncomfortable truth: We humans are no more peaceful, tidy, or responsible about taking care of the Earth or each other than these tiny creatures that swarm in the dark corners of our minds, homes, and cereal boxes.

Never Home Alone

Author : Rob Dunn
ISBN : 9781541645745
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 10 MB
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A natural history of the wilderness in our homes, from the microbes in our showers to the crickets in our basements Even when the floors are sparkling clean and the house seems silent, our domestic domain is wild beyond imagination. In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn introduces us to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes, from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards and camel crickets in our basements to the lactobacillus lounging on our kitchen counters. You are not alone. Yet, as we obsess over sterilizing our homes and separating our spaces from nature, we are unwittingly cultivating an entirely new playground for evolution. These changes are reshaping the organisms that live with us--prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay. No one who reads this engrossing, revelatory book will look at their homes in the same way again.

Breathing Space

Author : Gregg Mitman
ISBN : 0300138326
Genre : Science
File Size : 83. 51 MB
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Allergy is the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. More than fifty million Americans suffer from allergies, and they spend an estimated $18 billion coping with them. Yet despite advances in biomedicine and enormous investment in research over the past fifty years, the burden of allergic disease continues to grow. Why have we failed to reverse this trend? Breathing Space offers an intimate portrait of how allergic disease has shaped American culture, landscape, and life. Drawing on environmental, medical, and cultural history and the life stories of people, plants, and insects, Mitman traces how America’s changing environment from the late 1800s to the present day has led to the epidemic growth of allergic disease. We have seen a never-ending stream of solutions to combat allergies, from hay fever resorts, herbicides, and air-conditioned homes to numerous potions and pills. But, as Mitman shows, despite the quest for a magic bullet, none of the attempted solutions has succeeded. Until we address how our changing environment—physical, biological, social, and economic—has helped to create America’s allergic landscape, that hoped-for success will continue to elude us.

Pandora S Garden

Author : Clinton Crockett Peters
ISBN : 9780820353203
Genre : Nature
File Size : 76. 4 MB
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Pandora's Garden profiles invasive or unwanted species in the natural world and examines how our treatment of these creatures sometimes parallels in surprising ways how we treat each other. Part essay, part nature writing, part narrative nonfiction, the chapters in Pandora's Garden are like the biospheres of the globe; as the successive chapters unfold, they blend together like ecotones, creating a microcosm of the world in which we sustain nonhuman lives but also contain them. There are many reasons particular flora and fauna may be unwanted, from the physical to the psychological. Sometimes they may possess inherent qualities that when revealed help us to interrogate human perception and our relationship to an unwanted other. Pandora's Garden is primarily about creatures that humans don't get along with, such as rattlesnakes and sharks, but the chapters also take on a range of other subjects, including stolen children in Australia, the treatment of illegal immigrants in Texas, and the disgust function of the human limbic system. Peters interweaves these diverse subjects into a whole that mirrors the evolving and interrelated world whose surprises and oddities he delights in revealing.

Consider The Eel

Author : Richard Schweid
ISBN : 9780807899267
Genre : Nature
File Size : 74. 49 MB
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Journalist Richard Schweid first learned the strange facts of the freshwater eel's life from a fisherman in a small Spanish town just south of Valencia. "The eeler who explained the animal's life cycle to me did so as he served up an eel he had just taken from a trap, killed, cleaned, and cooked in olive oil in an earthenware dish," writes Schweid. "I ate it with a chunk of fresh, crusty bread. It was delicious. I was immediately fascinated." As this engaging culinary and natural history reveals, the humble eel is indeed an amazing creature. Every European and American eel begins its life in the Sargasso Sea--a vast, weedy stretch of deep Atlantic waters between Bermuda and the Azores. Larval eels drift for up to three years until they reach the rivers of North America or Europe, where they mature and live as long as two decades before returning to the Sargasso to mate and die. Eels have never been bred successfully in captivity. Consulting fisherfolk, cooks, and scientists, Schweid takes the reader on a global tour to reveal the economic and gastronomic importance of eel in places such as eastern North Carolina, Spain, Northern Ireland, England, and Japan. (While this rich yet mild-tasting fish has virtually disappeared from U.S. tables, over $2 billion worth of eel is still eagerly consumed in Europe and Asia each year.) The book also includes recipes, both historic and contemporary, for preparing eel.

Hot Peppers

Author : Richard Schweid
ISBN : UCSD:31822035083070
Genre : Gardening
File Size : 54. 68 MB
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Offers information about the culture, processing and use of red peppers, combining facts, humor and history along with authentic recipes

Invisible Nation

Author : Richard Schweid
ISBN : 9780520966093
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 38. 34 MB
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"By the second or third day that you’re homeless, in the car with all your clothes, your pots and pans, everything, having to wash yourself in a public rest room, you logically start to feel dirty. You prefer to use the drive-through [at fast-food restaurants] where no one will see you. You begin to hide your family."—Invisible Nation More than 2.5 million children are homeless in the United States every year. In every state, children are living packed in with relatives, or in cars, or motel rooms, or emergency shelters, the only constant being too many people in too little space. In a vividly-written narrative, experienced journalist Richard Schweid takes us on a spirited journey through this "invisible nation," giving us front-row dispatches. Based on in-depth reporting from five major cities, Invisible Nation looks backward at the historical context of family homelessness, as well as forward at what needs to be done to alleviate this widespread, although often hidden, poverty. Invisible Nation is a riveting must-read for anyone who wants to know what is happening to the millions of families living at the bottom of the economy.

The Real Story

Author : Sarah Statz Cords
ISBN : 1591582830
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 27. 84 MB
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Explores the genres and sub-genres of nonfiction and provides an annotated bibliography of more than five hundred popular nonfiction titles, organized according to genre with a focus on titles published in the last decade.

American Entomologist

Author :
ISBN : MINN:31951P00852945X
Genre : Entomology
File Size : 34. 68 MB
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Catfish And The Delta

Author : Richard Schweid
ISBN : UVA:X002174596
Genre : History
File Size : 63. 90 MB
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Examines the catfish farming industry in the Mississippi Delta as well as the people, music, and customs that make the Delta unique.

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