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Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive. It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain. Cynthia Barnett's Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our "founding forecaster," Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume. Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.
A history of the world's favorite scent and flavor looks at the diverse impact of vanilla on the worlds of medicine, psychology, politics, and food, tracing the history of vanilla through the centuries and offering a host of intriguing insights, trivia, lore, and recipes. 20,000 first printing.
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.
This is a study of the 18th-century engagements with the climate, showing how people and scientists made their way in an environment of inclement weather and how they worked to make this inclemency an anchor of their local and national identity. The book's approach is based on the analyses of the religious, political and scientific readings of strange weather. In these appropriations the weather was up for grabs as its public accessibility undermined claims to its sole possession by either priests, pamphleteers or philosophers. This study presents meteorological science as part of the English public's emotion, represented by 18th-century spouts, storms and fireballs, and expressed in the language of ordinary men, women and children. As a result, the Georgian weather emerges within the moral landscapes of an outdoor society rather than in the laboratory analyses of atmospheric gases. The book follows the conditions which sustained this perception and shows the ways in which it clashed with - and was eventually displaced by - laboratory analyses and instrumental observations.
This book explores the various historical and cultural aspects of scientific, medical and technical exchanges that occurred between central Europe and Asia. A number of papers investigate the printing, gunpowder, guncasting, shipbuilding, metallurgical and drilling technologies while others deal with mapping techniques, the adoption of written calculation and mechanical clocks as well as the use of medical techniques such as pulse taking and electrotherapy. While human mobility played a significant role in the exchange of knowledge, translating European books into local languages helped the introduction of new knowledge in mathematical, physical and natural sciences from central Europe to its periphery and to the Middle East and Asian cultures. The book argues that the process of transmission of knowledge whether theoretical or practical was not a simple and one-way process from the donor to the receiver as it is often admitted, but a multi-dimensional and complex cultural process of selection and transformation where ancient scientific and local traditions and elements. The book explores the issue from a different geopolitical perspective, namely not focusing on a singular recipient and several points of distribution, namely the metropolitan centres of science, medicine, and technology, but on regions that are both recipients and distributors and provides new perspectives based on newly investigated material for historical studies on the cross scientific exchanges between different parts of the world.
“A beautifully-written, practical guide to planning and creating your own rain garden.” —Green Upgrader You probably spend hundreds of dollars watering your yard, but there is an easy way to save money and resources—by collecting rain to reuse in front and backyards. In Creating Rain Gardens, water conservation experts Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Apryl Uncapher walk you through the entire process, with step-by-step instructions for designing and building swales, French drains, rain gardens, and ephemeral ponds. From soil preparation, planting, troubleshooting, and maintenance, to selecting palettes of water-loving plants that provide four-season interest and a habitat for wildlife, Creating Rain Gardens covers everything you need to create a beautiful rain garden at home.
Here, at last, is the massively updated and augmented second edition of this landmark encyclopedia. It contains approximately 1000 entries dealing in depth with the history of the scientific, technological and medical accomplishments of cultures outside of the United States and Europe. The entries consist of fully updated articles together with hundreds of entirely new topics. This unique reference work includes intercultural articles on broad topics such as mathematics and astronomy as well as thoughtful philosophical articles on concepts and ideas related to the study of non-Western Science, such as rationality, objectivity, and method. You’ll also find material on religion and science, East and West, and magic and science.

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