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A Short History Of Nearly Everything

Author : Bill Bryson
ISBN : 9780385674508
Genre : Science
File Size : 31. 77 MB
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One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining. From the Hardcover edition.

Quicklet On Bill Bryson S A Short History Of Nearly Everything Cliffnotes Like Summary

Author : Nicole Cipri
ISBN : 9781614640615
Genre : Study Aids
File Size : 82. 77 MB
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ABOUT THE BOOK In his introduction to A Short History of Nearly Everything, author Bill Bryson describes a childhood experience common to many of us: a brief infatuation with science, with all its potential and possibility. For Bryson, it was inspired by a textbook’s cut-away illustration of the interior strata of the Earth, with the molten core at the center. For myself, it was a children’s biography of Jacques Cousteau. Excited by the nearly endless prospects of science, the questions that could finally satisfy a child’s curiosity, we both reached for more books, and found our budding passions firmly squashed by an impenetrable wall of unfathomable writing. As Bryson writes in his introduction, “there seemed to be a mystifying universal conspiracy among textbook authors to make certain the material they dealt with never strayed too near the realm of the mildly interesting.” Bryson wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything as an antidote to the dry-as-dust science tomes that weigh down students’ backpacks. It is a layman’s love song to science, to its strange history and stranger characters. Published in 2003, it has been become a popular addition to the popular science genre. MEET THE AUTHOR Nicole Cipri is a restless wanderer and passionate writer. A graduate of the Evergreen State School in Olympia, WA, Nicole has since written about such varied topics as modern urban farming, the role of glitterbombing as political theater, and the economic impacts of natural disasters. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, @nicolecipri. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK Drama abounded in the 19th century. After the discovery of the first dinosaur fossil in 1784, and with subsequent uncovering of massive bones that belonged to other extinct species, there was an uncomfortable public debate concerning extinctions. Why, after all, would an omniscient God create species of animals only to casually wipe them out? Throughout history, the sciences have routinely butted heads with the Church, a trend that continues today. From geology and paleontology, Bryson moves to chemistry. With its origins in the enigmatic studies of alchemy, chemistry evolved along its own strange path. Bryson tells one exemplifying story, in which an amateur alchemist became convinced the he could distill gold from human urine. “The similarity of color,” Bryson explains, “seems to have been a factor in his conclusion.” In an attempt to prove his hypothesis, the man collected fifty buckets of human urine, which he kept in his cellar. After a few months, the man noted, the substance in the buckets began to glow or explode into flames when exposed to air. He had failed in distilling gold from urine, but he had succeeded in creating phosphorous. Buy a copy to keep reading!

The Grand Food Bargain

Author : Kevin D. Walker
ISBN : 9781610919470
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49. 86 MB
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When it comes to food, Americans seem to have a pretty great deal. Our grocery stores are overflowing with countless varieties of convenient products. But like most bargains that are too good to be true, the modern food system relies on an illusion. It depends on endless abundance, but the planet has its limits. So too does a healthcare system that must absorb rising rates of diabetes and obesity. So too do the workers who must labor harder and faster for less pay. Through beautifully-told stories from around the world, Kevin Walker reveals the unintended consequences of our myopic focus on quantity over quality. A trip to a Costa Rica plantation shows how the Cavendish banana became the most common fruit in the world and also one of the most vulnerable to disease. Walker’s early career in agribusiness taught him how pressure to sell more and more fertilizer obscured what that growth did to waterways. His family farm illustrates how an unquestioning belief in “free markets” undercut opportunity in his hometown. By the end of the journey, we not only understand how the drive to produce ever more food became hardwired into the American psyche, but why shifting our mindset is essential. It starts, Walker argues, with remembering that what we eat affects the wider world. If each of us decides that bigger isn’t always better, we can renegotiate the grand food bargain, one individual decision at a time.

Our Secret Powers

Author : TERJE. SIMONSEN
ISBN : 8895604334
Genre :
File Size : 67. 64 MB
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Strategies For Regenerating The Library And Information Profession

Author : Jana Varlejs
ISBN : 9783598441776
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 86. 21 MB
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This volume comprises papers prepared for the 8th World Conference on Continuing Professional Development (Bologna, Italy, 18-20 August 2009). Within the broad theme of creating a positive work environment for a multi-generational workforce in library and information organizations, the conference addresses managing between and across generations, mentoring and coaching, attracting people to the profession and developing a new generation of leaders, re-skilling and transferability of skills, succession planning and passing on knowledge.

Human Chemistry Volume Two

Author : Libb Thims
ISBN : 9781430328407
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 73 MB
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Volume two begins with Goethe's theories of affinities, i.e. the chemical reaction view of human life in 1809. This is followed by the history of how the thermodynamic (1876) and quantum (1905) revolutions modernized chemistry such that affinity (the 'force' of reaction) is now viewed as a function of thermodynamic 'free energy' (reaction spontaneity) and quantum 'valency' (bond stabilities). The composition, energetic state, dynamics, and evolution of the human chemical bond A?B is the centerpiece of this process. The human bond is what gives (yields) and takes (absorbs) energy in life. The coupling of this bond energy, driven by periodic inputs of solar photons, thus triggering activation energies and entropies, connected to the dynamical work of life, is what quantifies the human reaction process. This is followed by topics including mental crystallization, template theory, LGBT chemistry, chemical potential, Le Chatelier's principle, Muller dispersion forces, and human thermodynamics.

Made In America

Author : Bill Bryson
ISBN : 9781409095699
Genre : Travel
File Size : 30. 86 MB
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‘Funny, wise, learned and compulsive’ - GQ Bill Bryson turns away from travelling the highways and byways of middle America, so hilariously depicted in his bestselling The Lost Continent, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and Notes from a Big Country, for a fast, exhilarating ride along the Route 66 of American language and popular culture. In Made in America, Bryson tells the story of how American arose out of the English language, and along the way, de-mythologizes his native land - explaining how a dusty desert hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn’t won, why Americans say ‘lootenant’ and ‘Toosday’, how they were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up - as well as exposing the true origins of the words G-string, blockbuster, poker and snafu. ‘A tremendously sassy work, full of zip, pizzazz and all those other great American qualities’ Will Self, Independent on Sunday

Down Under

Author : Bill Bryson
ISBN : 9781409095637
Genre : Travel
File Size : 37. 99 MB
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It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still Australia teems with life – a large portion of it quite deadly. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else. Ignoring such dangers – and yet curiously obsessed by them – Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging: their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn’t get much better than this...

At Home

Author : Bill Bryson
ISBN : 9780767919395
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 78. 87 MB
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Explores the ways in which homes reflect history, from a bathroom's revelations about medicine and hygiene to a kitchen's exposure of the stories of trade and nutrition.

Bryson S Dictionary Of Troublesome Words

Author : Bill Bryson
ISBN : 0767910478
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 36. 13 MB
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One of the English language’s most skilled and beloved writers guides us all toward precise, mistake-free usage. As usual Bill Bryson says it best: “English is a dazzlingly idiosyncratic tongue, full of quirks and irregularities that often seem willfully at odds with logic and common sense. This is a language where ‘cleave’ can mean to cut in half or to hold two halves together; where the simple word ‘set’ has 126 different meanings as a verb, 58 as a noun, and 10 as a participial adjective; where if you can run fast you are moving swiftly, but if you are stuck fast you are not moving at all; [and] where ‘colonel,’ ‘freight,’ ‘once,’ and ‘ache’ are strikingly at odds with their spellings.” As a copy editor for the London Times in the early 1980s, Bill Bryson felt keenly the lack of an easy-to-consult, authoritative guide to avoiding the traps and snares in English, and so he brashly suggested to a publisher that he should write one. Surprisingly, the proposition was accepted, and for “a sum of money carefully gauged not to cause embarrassment or feelings of overworth,” he proceeded to write that book–his first, inaugurating his stellar career. Now, a decade and a half later, revised, updated, and thoroughly (but not overly) Americanized, it has become Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, more than ever an essential guide to the wonderfully disordered thing that is the English language. With some one thousand entries, from “a, an” to “zoom,” that feature real-world examples of questionable usage from an international array of publications, and with a helpful glossary and guide to pronunciation, this precise, prescriptive, and–because it is written by Bill Bryson–often witty book belongs on the desk of every person who cares enough about the language not to maul or misuse or distort it.

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