For the past twenty years, Peter Ward has been at the forefront of popular science writing, with books such as the influential and controversial Rare Earth. In Life as We Do Not Know It, Ward, with his signature blend of eloquence, humor, and learned insight, vividly details the latest scientific findings, cutting-edge research, and intrepid new theories on the subject of alien life and the possible extraterrestrial origins of life on Earth. In lucid, entertaining, and bold prose, Peter Ward once again challenges our notions of life on earth (and beyond).
According to the Medea hypothesis, it does. Ward demonstrates that all but one of the mass extinctions that have struck Earth were caused by life itself. He looks at our planet's history in a new way, revealing an Earth that is witnessing an alarming decline of diversity and biomass--a decline brought on by life's own "biocidal" tendencies. And the Medea hypothesis applies not just to our planet--its dire prognosis extends to all potential life in the universe. Yet life on Earth doesn't have to be lethal. Ward shows why, but warns that our time is running out.
Breathtaking in scope, The Medea Hypothesis is certain to arouse fierce debate and radically transform our worldview. It serves as an urgent challenge to all of us to think in new ways if we hope to save ourselves from ourselves.
There are also two facets of privacy -- privacy from and privacy to. Personal privacy sets the individual apart from the group, creating opportunities for seclusion. Family privacy draws boundaries between the household and the community, defending the solidarity of the home and providing a basis for family relationships. In both ways, privacy is intimately involved with the history of the house.
Over time, the changing size, shape, and location of the home have created widely different opportunities for family and personal privacy. Together with major shifts in household composition, family size, and domestic technology, they have gradually altered the conditions of everyday domestic life.
But the pattern of change has been far from uniform, for the nature, meaning, and experience of privacy in Canadian have varied widely over the past 300 years. This book explores some of those experiences and meanings, reflecting on their impllications for family and social life historically as well as in the recent past.
Rokshan and An-Lushan are drawn into this centuries-old struggle, along with a young girl destined to become the Spellweaver of her nomadic tribe. And as An-Lushan is pulled towards the dark, Rokshan must embark upon a dangerous journey into the lands of the Wild Horsemen - where he is to meet the great stallion Stargazer and, ultimately, must learn the innermost secrets of the dragons . . .
Fuhrer's stories are headed with such titillating titles as "A Just Retribution," the story of a prominent businessman's mistress who, after giving birth to her lover's child, "went from bad to worse, and finally took to smoking opium as a means to relieve her gnawing conscience, ending her days prematurely." Fuhrer was at the service of the high and mighty and desperate, and from her vantage point in the delivery room she offers remarkable insight into the most intimate life of Montreal.
Originally published in 1881, The Mysteries of Montreal is fully reprinted with an introduction by Peter Ward. Ward illuminates the life of Fuhrer and of midwives in Victorian Canada. He traces the role of the midwife through the ages and, placing Mrs. Fuhrer in the context of her times, discusses birth practices in a Canadian setting. As well, he examines the memoirs as a form of Canadian literature, assessing their reflections on 19th century society. As a result the book operates on more than one level. It is not only a midwife's recollections, but also an assemblage of gossip, moral tales, stories of courtship and birth practices, and even mild pornography.
Students of Canadian social history will be interested in the memoirs for their information on 19th century morals and values. The book will also appeal to students of medical history, women's studies, and Canadian literary criticism.