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 : 47.43 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.
Category: Nature

God S Equation

Author : Amir D. Aczel
ISBN : 1568581378
Genre : Cosmology
File Size : 43.33 MB
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Category: Cosmology

Invisible Nation

Author : Richard Schweid
ISBN : 9780520292673
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31.94 MB
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"Every year, more than 2.5 million children are left homeless in the United States and the number of such families continues to rise annually. In every state, children are living in small quarters packed in with relatives-- in cars, in motel rooms, or in emergency shelters. In this vividly-written narrative, experienced journalist Richard Schweid takes us on a spirited journey through this "invisible nation,' giving us front-row dispatches of suffering families on the edge. 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 everyone who cares about inequality, poverty and family life"--Provided by publishe
Category: Social Science

Planet Of The Bugs

Author : Scott Richard Shaw
ISBN : 9780226163611
Genre : Nature
File Size : 31.45 MB
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Chronicles the evolution of insects and explains how evolutionary innovations have enabled them to disperse widely, occupy narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes.
Category: Nature

Cockroach

Author : Marion Copeland
ISBN : 9781861894854
Genre : Nature
File Size : 77.53 MB
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The cockroach could not have scuttled along, almost unchanged, for two hundred and fifty million years – some two hundred and forty-nine before man evolved – unless it was doing something right. It would be fascinating as well as instructive to have access to the cockroach’s own record of its life on earth, to know its point of view on evolution and species domination over the millennia. Such chronicles would perhaps radically alter our perceptions of the dinosaur’s span and importance – and that of our own development and significance. We might learn that throughout all these aeons, the dominant life form has been, if not the cockroach itself, then certainly the insect. Attempts to chronicle the cockroach’s intellectual and emotional life have been made only within the last century when a scientist titled his essay on the cockroach "The Intellectual and Emotional World of the Cockroach", and artists as radically different as Franz Kafka and Don Marquis created equally memorable cockroach protagonists. At least since Classical Greece, authors have brought cockroach characters into the foreground to speak for the weak and downtrodden, the outsiders, those forced to survive on the underside of dominant human cultures. Cockroaches have become the subjects of songs (La Cucaracha), have competed in "roachraces" and have even ended up in recipes. In this accessible, sympathetic and often humorous book, Marion Copeland examines the natural history, symbolism and cultural significance of this poorly understood and much-maligned insect.
Category: Nature

Never Home Alone

Author : Rob Dunn
ISBN : 9781541645745
Genre : House & Home
File Size : 41.17 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.
Category: House & Home

Breathing Space

Author : Gregg Mitman
ISBN : 0300138326
Genre : Science
File Size : 34.81 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.
Category: Science

Pandora S Garden

Author : Clinton Crockett Peters
ISBN : 9780820353203
Genre : Nature
File Size : 24.85 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.
Category: Nature

The Book Of Barely Imagined Beings

Author : Caspar Henderson
ISBN : 9780226044705
Genre : Nature
File Size : 60.18 MB
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From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.
Category: Nature

The Courtiers Anatomists

Author : Anita Guerrini
ISBN : 9780226248332
Genre : Science
File Size : 83.50 MB
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The Courtiers' Anatomists is about dead bodies and live animals in Louis XIV's Paris--and the surprising links between them. Examining the practice of seventeenth-century anatomy, Anita Guerrini reveals how anatomy and natural history were connected through animal dissection and vivisection. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, Parisian scientists, with the support of the king, dissected hundreds of animals from the royal menageries and the streets of Paris. Guerrini is the first to tell the story of Joseph-Guichard Duverney, who performed violent, riot-inducing dissections of both animal and human bodies before the king at Versailles and in front of hundreds of spectators at the King's Garden in Paris. At the Paris Academy of Sciences, meanwhile, Claude Perrault, with the help of Duverney’s dissections, edited two folios in the 1670s filled with lavish illustrations by court artists of exotic royal animals. Through the stories of Duverney and Perrault, as well as those of Marin Cureau de la Chambre, Jean Pecquet, and Louis Gayant, The Courtiers' Anatomists explores the relationships between empiricism and theory, human and animal, as well as the origins of the natural history museum and the relationship between science and other cultural activities, including art, music, and literature.
Category: Science