In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Easy to use and lavishly illustrated, this new and completely revised and expanded edition of Collecting Rocks, Gems, and Minerals is designed with beginners in mind, yet filled with valuable technical information for seasoned collectors. This guide takes you from being simply someone who enjoys rocks to a knowledgeable enthusiast in no time and features:
An easy-to-use, quick reference format arranged by category and color of stone800+ beautiful color photographsValues and tips for locating, buying and collectingBoth lapidary and mineral display materialsDecades of rock-collecting know-how of the authorForeword by Johann Zenz, world-renowned agate expert, author and lecturer.
Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order-whoever could master uranium could master the world.
Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts and America would knowingly send more than six hundred uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security.
Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe.
In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it.
* Provides the structure and composition of clay minerals, as well as their phyisical and chemical properties
* Discusses pplications for Kaolin, Bentonite, Palygorskite and Sepiolite
* Contains appendixes of laboratory tests and procedures, as well as a test for common clays
Based on extensive professional, research and teaching experience, this book will provide an authoritative and comprehensive text for final year undergraduates and commencing postgraduate students. For professional practitioners, not only will it be of interest to mining and geological engineers but also to civil engineers, structural and mining geologists and geophysicists as a standard work for professional reference purposes.
B.H.G. Brady is Emeritus Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics at The University of Western Australia, and a consulting rock mechanics engineer.
E.T. Brown is Senior Consultant, Golder Associates Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia and formerly Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Queensland, Australia.
New York Times Bestseller
“Not so different in spirit from the way public intellectuals like John Kenneth Galbraith once shaped discussions of economic policy and public figures like Walter Cronkite helped sway opinion on the Vietnam War…could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade.”
—New York Times Book Review
"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century."
—Rachel Maddow, author of Drift
"A serious treatise about the craft of prediction—without academic mathematics—cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver's coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism."
—New York Review of Books
Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.com.
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
‘Gem Gemstones’ is an indispensable guide for amateurs and enthusiasts alike. This pocket-sized book explores the fascinating history of ornamental stones, discussing their different social and cultural meanings and monetary values through the ages.
Each page features specific details about the crystal system, hardness, composition, lustre and gemstone ‘family’ of each gem.
Full colour photography for each specimen with cut and uncut examples from the Smithsonian Institution’s archives are included throughout, as well as up-to-date information on where to go to view such gems.
Simple illustrations show the crystal structure of each stone for ease of identification and a complete glossary and bibliography show where to go for further information.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
The canopy voyagers are young–just college students when they start their quest–and they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there’s nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air.
The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one’s death.
Preston’s account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists’ passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to tell the story in The Wild Trees–the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself.
From the Hardcover edition.
For those who slept through Stats 101, this book is a lifesaver. Wheelan strips away the arcane and technical details and focuses on the underlying intuition that drives statistical analysis. He clarifies key concepts such as inference, correlation, and regression analysis, reveals how biased or careless parties can manipulate or misrepresent data, and shows us how brilliant and creative researchers are exploiting the valuable data from natural experiments to tackle thorny questions.
And in Wheelan’s trademark style, there’s not a dull page in sight. You’ll encounter clever Schlitz Beer marketers leveraging basic probability, an International Sausage Festival illuminating the tenets of the central limit theorem, and a head-scratching choice from the famous game show Let’s Make a Deal—and you’ll come away with insights each time. With the wit, accessibility, and sheer fun that turned Naked Economics into a bestseller, Wheelan defies the odds yet again by bringing another essential, formerly unglamorous discipline to life.
After Senator Barack Obama delivered his celebrated speech, "A More Perfect Union," on March 18, 2008, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd noted that only Barack Obama "could alchemize a nuanced 40-minute speech on race into must-see YouTube viewing for 20-year-olds." Pundits established the speech's historical eminence with comparisons to Abraham Lincoln's "A House Divided" and Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream." The future president had addressed one of the biggest issues facing his campaign-and our country-with an eloquence and honesty rarely before heard on a national stage.
The Speech brings together a distinguished lineup of writers and thinkers-among them Adam Mansbach, Alice Randall, Connie Schultz, and William Julius Wilson -in a multifaceted exploration of Obama's address. Their original essays examine every aspect of the speech-literary, political, social, and cultural-and are punctuated by Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson's reportage on the issue of race in the now historic 2008 campaign. The Speech memorializes and gives full due to a speech that propelled Obama toward the White House, and prompted a nation to evaluate our imperfect but hopeful union.
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.
Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 editionThe original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.
Interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, this sweeping account tells Earth’s complete story, from the synthesis of chemical elements in stars, to the formation of the Solar System, to the evolution of a habitable climate on Earth, to the origin of life and humankind. The book also addresses the search for other habitable worlds in the Milky Way and contemplates whether Earth will remain habitable as our influence on global climate grows. It concludes by considering the ways in which humankind can sustain Earth’s habitability and perhaps even participate in further planetary evolution.
Like no other book, How to Build a Habitable Planet provides an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its possibly rare ability to sustain life over geologic time.
Leading schools that have ordered, recommended for reading, or adopted this book for course use:Arizona State University Brooklyn College CUNY Columbia University Cornell University ETH Zurich Georgia Institute of Technology Harvard University Johns Hopkins University Luther College Northwestern University Ohio State University Oxford Brookes University Pan American University Rutgers University State University of New York at Binghamton Texas A&M University Trinity College Dublin University of Bristol University of California-Los Angeles University of Cambridge University Of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Glasgow University of Leicester University of Maine, Farmington University of Michigan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Georgia University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Oxford University of Portsmouth University of Southampton University of Ulster University of Victoria University of Wyoming Western Kentucky University Yale University
Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and—borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham—the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a “taxonomy of bunk” that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.
No one—not the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves—is spared Pigliucci’s incisive analysis. In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.
Drawing on her broad travels across the continent, in Antarctica Gabrielle Walker weaves all the significant threads of life on the vast ice sheet into an intricate tapestry, illuminating what it really feels like to be there and why it draws so many different kinds of people. With her we witness cutting-edge science experiments, visit the South Pole, lodge with American, Italian, and French researchers, drive snowdozers, drill ice cores, and listen for the message Antarctica is sending us about our future in an age of global warming.
This is a thrilling trip to the farthest reaches of earth by one of the best science writers working today.
"Volcanism by Hans-Ulrich Schmincke has photos of the best quality I have ever seen in a text on the subject... In addition, the schematic figures in their wide range of styles are clear, colorful, and simplified to emphasize the most important factors while including all significant features...
"I have really enjoyed reading and rereading Schmincke’s book. It fills a great gap in texts available for teaching any basic course in volcanology. No other book I know of has the depth and breadth of Volcanism...
I have shared Volcanism with my colleagues to their significant benefit, and I am more convinced of its value for a broad range of Earth and planetary scientists.
Undoubtedly, I will use Volcanism for my upcoming courses in volcanology. I will never hesitate to recommend it to others. Many geoscientists from very different subdisciplines will benefit from adding the book to their personal libraries. Schmincke has done us all a great service by undertaking the grueling task of writing the book – and it is much better that he alone wrote it." Stanley N. Williams, ASU Tempe, AZ (Physics Today, April 2005)
"Schmincke is a German volcanologist with an international reputation, and he has done us all a great favour because he sensibly channelled his fascination with volcanoes into writing this beautifully illustrated book... [he] tackles the entire geological setting of volcanoes within the earth and the processes that form them... And, with more than 400 colour illustrations, including a huge number of really excellent new diagrams, cutaway models and maps, plus a rich glossary and references, this book is accessible to anyone with an interest in the subject." New Scientist (March 2004)
"The science of volcanology has made tremendous progress over the past 40 years, primarily because of technological advances and because each tragic eruption has led researchers to recognize the processes behind such serious hazards. Yet scientists are still learning a great deal because of photographs that either capture those processes in action or show us the critical factors left behind in the rock record.Volcanism by Hans-Ulrich Schmincke has photos of the best quality I have ever seen in a text on the subject. I found myself wishing that I had had the photo of Nicaragua’s Masaya volcano, which was the subject of my dissertation, but it was Schmincke who was able to include it in his book. In addition, the schematic figures in their wide range of styles are clear, colorful, and simplified to emphasize the most important factors while including all significant features. The book’s paper is of such high quality that at times I felt I had turned two pages rather than one.
I have really enjoyed reading and rereading Schmincke’s book. It fills a great gap in texts available for teaching any basic course in volcanology. No other book I know of has the depth and breadth of Volcanism. I was disappointed that the text did not arrive on my desk until last August, when it was too late for me to choose it for my course in volcanology. I am also disappointed about another fact—the book’s binding is already becoming tattered because of my intense use of it!
Schmincke is a volcanologist who, in 1967, first published papers on sedimentary rocks of volcanic origin, the direction traveled by lava flows millions of years ago, and the structures preserved in explosive ignimbrites, or pumice-flow deposits, that reveal important details of their formation. Since then, his studies in Germany’s Laacher See, the Canary Islands, the Troodos Ophiolite of Cyprus, and many other regions have forged great fundamental advances. Such contributions have been recognized with his receipt of several international awards and clearly give him a strong base for writing the book.
However, as a scientist who has focused on the challenges of monitoring the very diverse activities of volcanoes, I think that the text’s overriding emphasis on the rock record has its cost. The group of scientists who are struggling with their goals to reduce or mitigate the hazards of the eruptions of tomorrow need to learn more about the options of technology, instrumentation, and methodology that are currently available. More than 500 million people live near the more than 1500 known active volcanoes and are constantly facing serious threats of eruptions. An extremely energetic earthquake caused the horrific tsunamis of 2004. However, the tsunamis of 1792, 1815, and 1883, which were caused by the eruptions of Japan’s Unzen volcano and Indonesia’s Tambora and Krakatau volcanoes, each took a similar toll. "
( Stanley N. Williams, PHYSICS TODAY, April 2005)
The objective of the symposium was to present new horizons and developments in the chemistry and application of natural and synthetic crystalline materials having microporous structures. At this meeting the following trends were noted: new possibilities for highly selective oxidation of hydrocarbon and synthesis of fine chemicals using modified zeolites and metallosilicates; sophisticated syntheses of some valuable hydrocarbons such as 2,6-dimethylnaphthalene and styrene which could not be obtained successfully by conventional catalysts; detailed mechanism of decomposition and aromatization of paraffinic hydrocarbons on zeolitic catalysts; methanol conversion on zeolite catalysts; syntheses of novel wide pore aluminophosphates and their isomorphously substituted porous crystals; detailed analysis of the state of cations in zeolites and metallosilicates; application to direct decomposition of nitric oxide; dynamic behavior of molecules in zeolite pores; chemistry and reaction performance of clay minerals.
This proceedings volume contains thorough reviews and original contributions, each of which includes an extensive list of references. The result is a comprehensive overview of the chemistry of zeolite and zeolite-like crystalline materials and clay minerals, including pillared clays.
* Covers an increase of 41 new topologies since the 4th edition in 2001
* Data collected from diverse literature sources
* Represents an extensive compilation of data
They are relatively unknown to the wider public, despite their numerous applications and their critical role in many high-tech applications, such as high-temperature superconductors, phosphors (for energy-saving lamps, flat-screen monitors and flat-screen televisions), rechargeable batteries (household and automotive), very strong permanent magnets (used for instance in wind turbines and hard-disk drives), or even in a medical MRI application.
This book describes the history of their discovery, the major REE ore minerals and the major ore deposits that are presently being exploited (or are planned to be exploited in the very near future), the physical and chemical properties of REEs, the mineral processing of REE concentrates and their extractive metallurgy, the applications of these elements, their economic aspects and the influential economical role of China, and finally the recycling of the REE, which is an emerging field.
This volume offers a thorough, up-to-date introduction to zeolites and such related materials as crystalline aluminium phosphates and clays. Its 16 chapters, each written by specialists, provide detailed treatments of zeolite theory (including a review of major developments), zeolite laboratory and research practice, and zeolite industry applications.
Students and individuals entering the field will find Introduction to Zeolite Science and Practice a thorough guidebook. Experienced researchers will appreciate its in-depth coverage of the zeolite spectrum, including the latest views on zeolite structure, characterization and applications.
Authored by the world’s premier experts on Finnish mineral exploration and mining, Mineral Deposits of Finland offers a thorough summary of the mineral deposits and their petrogenesis, helping readers to map, explore, and identify Finland’s renewed potential for mineral exploration and extraction.Presents a thoroughly inclusive catalogue of Finland’s mineral deposits and their economic potentialFeatures full-color figures, illustrations, working examples and photographs to aid the reader in retaining key concepts to underscore major advances in the exploration of Finland’s mineral resourcesOffers concise chapter summaries authored by leaders in geological research, which provide accessible overviews of deposit classes
In this thesis, Andy Nowacki presents a precise but comprehensive review of the current state of the art in studying flow with anisotropy, mineral physics and geodynamics. New measurements of shear wave anisotropy in the lowermost mantle and at mid-ocean ridges are used to constrain mechanisms of creep and melt extraction in the mantle. A model of global flow is used to predict anisotropy in the deep Earth, and novel methods to forward model shear wave splitting are described. Future studies of mantle flow must incorporate the understanding gained in this thesis.
The thesis contains a substantive introduction to the structure of the Earth, seismic anisotropy in general and in the core-mantle boundary region, and mid-ocean ridge processes. It also describes novel methods for forward modelling and interpreting shear wave splitting data. Three chapters present timely research into dynamics at divergent plate boundaries and at the core-mantle boundary.