Author: Susan Middleton
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: 2014-10-21
In Spineless, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, patterns, textures, and colors--in nature's fashion show, they are the haute couture of marine life. This collection of more than 250 remarkable images is the result of seven years of painstaking fieldwork across the Pacific Ocean, using photographic techniques that Middleton developed to capture these extremely fragile creatures on camera. She also provides short essays that examine the place these invertebrates occupy on the tree of life, their vast array of forms, and their lives in the ocean. Scientist Bernadette Holthuis contributes profiles describing each species, many of them for the first time. Middleton's book is a stunning new view of nature that harmoniously combines art and science.
A former ocean scientist goes in pursuit of the slippery story of jellyfish, rediscovering her passion for marine science and the sea's imperiled ecosystems. Jellyfish are an enigma. They have no centralized brain, but they see and feel and react to their environment in complex ways. They look simple, yet their propulsion systems are so advanced engineers are just learning how to mimic them. They produce some of the deadliest toxins on the planet and yet are undeniably alluring. Long ignored by science, they may be a key to ecosystem stability. Juli Berwald's journey into the world of jellyfish is a personal one. Over a decade ago she left the sea and her scientific career behind to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas. Increasingly dire headlines drew her back to jellies, as unprecedented jellyfish blooms toppled ecosystems and collapsed the world's most productive fisheries. What was unclear was whether these incidents were symptoms of a changing planet or part of a natural cycle. Berwald's desire to understand jellyfish takes her on a scientific odyssey. She travels the globe to meet the scientists who devote their careers to jellies, hitches rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raises jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marvels at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless reveals that jellyfish are a bellwether for the damage we're inflicting on the climate and the oceans and a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share.
Inert and auto-underutilized, Fintan O'Keefe, bobs on the surface of his own life until an opportunity to use his highly evolved deduction skills falls serendipitously into his lap. Parlaying a not-so-lost dog named Colleen into an actual case, Fintan immerses himself sometimes against his will in the worlds of sexual and international politics discovering as much about himself as who did what to whom and why. In the quiet world of libraries and librarians O'Keefe disturbs their peace, stumbling and catching himself as he goes. Fintan O'Keefe, of the Chelsea Massachusetts O'Keefes, loves puzzles, baseball and books and has no illusions about himself. The question he asks early and often in his first real case is, Why me?
Author: Ann Downer
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Release Date: 2015-09-01
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
When you think of smart animals, what comes to mind? Wise old owls? Problem-solving dolphins? Maybe you have heard of Koko the gorilla, who has mastered one thousand signs in American Sign Language, or Chaser the border collie, who recognizes one thousand names for her stuffed toys. But what about ants building megacolonies or bees reporting to the hive about new nesting sites? What about escape artist octopuses and jellyfish that use their eyes (they have twenty-four!) to navigate? Are insects, spiders, and other animals without backbones considered smart, too? When we think of intelligent creatures, we often think of vertebrates, or animals with spinal columns and relatively large brains. We don't usually think of invertebrates, or animals without a spine. But invertebrates can be astonishingly intelligent. These animals exhibit surprising feats of learning, memory, and problem-solving using their relatively simple, tiny brains—some the size of a sesame seed or even smaller. In fact, some intelligent invertebrates have no brain at all! Scientists around the world are putting invertebrate intelligence to use in mind-boggling ways. Engineers are designing swarmbots based on bees to take part in search-and-rescue efforts. And materials scientists are basing a new, tough ceramic on the structure of a mantis shrimp's claw. In Smart and Spineless, readers will be challenged to think in a whole new way about what it means to be smart!
Author: Bronwen Scott
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 2009
Australian homes and backyards are abuzz with wildlife: possums in the roof, ants in the cupboards, frogs in the pond and spiders hanging from windows and racing across walls. There are ticks on the dog, fleas on the cat and nits in the children's hair. When the bandicoots are digging up the lawn, the cockatoos have peeled the flashing off the roof and a bird is trying to mate with the car window reach for Spineless, a useful little book that will help you identify the pests (and pals) that share your home and will show you how to cultivate the good guys while banishing those pesky or downright alarming house guests.
With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages. Does it hear spooky wails from a ghost story? Can it see a mysterious something peeking around a corner? Is that the dizzy feeling of zero gravity it senses? Might that be the stinky smell of animals in nature it detects? Could it be tasting the saltiness of a story on the high seas? The reader and book navigate the book’s contents together, becoming friends as the book becomes braver with every page turn. This multilayered book incorporates the five senses, multiple literary genres, and various book parts, with the relationship between book and reader bringing everything together.
"Prickly pears may be fed to live stock in a green, succulent condition right from the field as needed. They require no curing, housing, or storage. In this they offer an advantage over most crops. They can be grown at a minimum expense, only the cost of planting and keeping down the weeds being involved, although the yield, like that of most crops is in direct proportion to the care and labor bestowed. Prickly pear will thrive where the rainfall is too irregular for most standard farm crops. Its yields are large and cumulative, increasing from year to year, so that a heavy tonnage may be had from small areas or use at critical periods. Prickly pear is green and succulent and admirably adapted to produce "good condition" in cattle when used with dry feeds. Cattle in brush pastures are known to have subsisted upon it even without water for long periods."--.
This handbook of locally based agricultural practices brings together the best of science and farmer experimentation, vividly illustrating the enormous diversity of shifting cultivation systems as well as the power of human ingenuity. Environmentalists have tended to disparage shifting cultivation (sometimes called 'swidden cultivation' or 'slash-and-burn agriculture') as unsustainable due to its supposed role in deforestation and land degradation. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that such indigenous practices, as they have evolved over time, can be highly adaptive to land and ecology. In contrast, 'scientific' agricultural solutions imposed from outside can be far more damaging to the environment. Moreover, these external solutions often fail to recognize the extent to which an agricultural system supports a way of life along with a society's food needs. They do not recognize the degree to which the sustainability of a culture is intimately associated with the sustainability and continuity of its agricultural system. Unprecedented in ambition and scope, Voices from the Forest focuses on successful agricultural strategies of upland farmers. More than 100 scholars from 19 countries--including agricultural economists, ecologists, and anthropologists--collaborated in the analysis of different fallow management typologies, working in conjunction with hundreds of indigenous farmers of different cultures and a broad range of climates, crops, and soil conditions. By sharing this knowledge--and combining it with new scientific and technical advances--the authors hope to make indigenous practices and experience more widely accessible and better understood, not only by researchers and development practitioners, but by other communities of farmers around the world.
Author: Geoff Stebbings
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2010-11-18
Save money and eat fresh with this hands-on guide to home-growing Growing you own produce is the only way to enjoy delicious, garden-fresh fruit and veg all year round. This practical manual gives you the lowdown on everything from finding the right tools and choosing which plants to grow, to nurturing your crops and bringing in your first harvest. The easy-to-follow advice will help you get started straight away and become a confident and successful kitchen gardener. • Get going with growing – discover which plants are best for you and how to make the most of your outdoor space • Prepare your plot – learn how to set up and maintain healthy beds for your fruit and vegetables • Grow tasty veg – choose your favourite veggies from asparagus and broccoli to courgettes, sweet corn and many more • Grow your own fruit salad – get quick results from fast-growing berries and learn to nurture slow-growing tree fruit and exotic greenhouse produce