An Orchard Invisible

A Natural History of Seeds

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Author: Jonathan Silvertown

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226757803

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 5372

The story of seeds, in a nutshell, is a tale of evolution. From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty-five-pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and diversity of life on earth. With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown presents the oft-ignored seed with the natural history it deserves, one nearly as varied and surprising as the earth’s flora itself. Beginning with the evolution of the first seed plant from fernlike ancestors more than 360 million years ago, Silvertown carries his tale through epochs and around the globe. In a clear and engaging style, he delves into the science of seeds: How and why do some lie dormant for years on end? How did seeds evolve? The wide variety of uses that humans have developed for seeds of all sorts also receives a fascinating look, studded with examples, including foods, oils, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. An able guide with an eye for the unusual, Silvertown is happy to take readers on unexpected—but always interesting—tangents, from Lyme disease to human color vision to the Salem witch trials. But he never lets us forget that the driving force behind the story of seeds—its theme, even—is evolution, with its irrepressible habit of stumbling upon new solutions to the challenges of life. "I have great faith in a seed," Thoreau wrote. "Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." Written with a scientist’s knowledge and a gardener’s delight, An Orchard Invisible offers those wonders in a package that will be irresistible to science buffs and green thumbs alike.

Dinner with Darwin

Food, Drink, and Evolution

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Author: Jonathan Silvertown

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022648923X

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 3825

What do eggs, flour, and milk have in common? They form the basis of waffles, of course, but these staples of breakfast bounty also share an evolutionary function: eggs, seeds (from which we derive flour by grinding), and milk have each evolved to nourish offspring. Indeed, ponder the genesis of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and you’ll soon realize that everything we eat and drink has an evolutionary history. In Dinner with Darwin, join Jonathan Silvertown for a multicourse meal of evolutionary gastronomy, a tantalizing tour of human taste that helps us to understand the origins of our diets and the foods that have been central to them for millennia—from spices to spirits. A delectable concoction of coevolution and cookery, gut microbiomes and microherbs, and both the chicken and its egg, Dinner with Darwin reveals that our shopping lists, recipe cards, and restaurant menus don’t just contain the ingredients for culinary delight. They also tell a fascinating story about natural selection and its influence on our plates—and palates. Digging deeper, Silvertown’s repast includes entrées into GMOs and hybrids, and looks at the science of our sensory interactions with foods and cooking—the sights, aromas, and tastes we experience in our kitchens and dining rooms. As is the wont of any true chef, Silvertown packs his menu with eclectic components, dishing on everything from Charles Darwin’s intestinal maladies to taste bud anatomy and turducken. Our evolutionary relationship with food and drink stretches from the days of cooking cave dwellers to contemporary crêperies and beyond, and Dinner with Darwin serves up scintillating insight into the entire, awesome span. This feast of soup, science, and human society is one to savor. With a wit as dry as a fine pinot noir and a cache of evolutionary knowledge as vast as the most discerning connoisseur’s wine cellar, Silvertown whets our appetites—and leaves us hungry for more.

A Table in the Wilderness

Forty Days of Forgiveness

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Author: Thom Rock

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1498218261

Category: Religion

Page: 190

View: 8242

The joyful premise at the heart of this book is that there is a table lavishly spread for all who hunger for forgiveness--the believer, the doubter, and the famished. The book's journey begins and ends with this assertion: not only is there a table of forgiveness set for us in the many wildernesses of life, there is a seat waiting for each and every one of us at that table. What matters is whether we take that seat and, if so, how we behave at the feast. Rooted in the notion of journeying, of setting out each day to discover some new vista along the many paths to the banquet hall of forgiveness, A Table in the Wilderness draws upon the wisdom of multiple religious traditions, as well as non-religious sources, in order to gain perspective on this long misunderstood subject. Readers are just as likely to encounter Dr. Seuss as they are to read the words of Sri Ramakrishna or Saint Augustine along the way. Anyone who has ever been hurt or has hurt another will find this book a helpful guide.

News from the Invisible World

Or, Interesting Anecdotes of the Dead. Containing a Particular Survey of the Most Remarkable and Well-authenticated Accounts of Apparitions, Ghosts, Spectres, Dreams and Visions

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Author: John Tregortha

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: 451

View: 1608

Business Ecology

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Author: Joseph M Abe,David A. Bassett,Patricia E. Dempsey

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136013296

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 3283

Business ecology is a new field that synthesizes centuries of cultural wisdom, a close observation of natural systems, and proven business success strategies, such as strategic planning and total quality management. It emulates nature's systems design to provide a harmonious, relationship-oriented approach that reveals how your organization really works. This book applies these principles to help you integrate profitability, stakeholder relations, and environmental performance ¦ giving your organization the natural edge in emerging ecological economy. Business ecology measures not just financial but overall viability by revealing vital flows and relationships that sustain your business. It is a lens for seeing those intangible elements of your organization's design -- such as core values, value-creation cycles, and innovative thinking ¦ that are essential factors shaping its success. The Business Ecology Network (BEN), founded in 1995, is a catalyst for life-sustaining enterprise. BEN is a learning community for leaders and managers who want to apply a new way of thinking ¦ business ecology ¦ to create new, sustainable opportunities for their businesses and non profit organizations. Visit the BEN web page at http://naturaledge.org.

Monday Morning Musings

Java for the Soul

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Author: Cindy Vance

Publisher: Author House

ISBN: 1468573667

Category: Religion

Page: 158

View: 3819

Monday Morning Musings, Java for the Soul serves up a cup of inspiration and encourages the reader to look beyond the bump and grind of working from 8-5 and shift the focus of making a living to making a life. This collection of reflections shares with the reader the scriptural truths that are nestled in our day-to-day routines and points out the relevance of God’s unchanging word in a fast paced and ever changing 21st century. Each morning begins with renewed mercies and an opportunity to discover those gifts that are woven into our routines while guiding the reader to look for the lesson. This side of heaven we need to understand that contentment is a peaceful place to be and the world that surrounds us is constant affirmation that there is a God and he cares about us. Each morning, arise, live abundantly, live well and live balanced.

The Invisible Line

A Secret History of Race in America

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Author: Daniel J. Sharfstein

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101475803

Category: Social Science

Page: 416

View: 4570

"The Invisible Line" shines light on one of the most important, but too often hidden, aspects of American history and culture. Sharfstein's narrative of three families negotiating America's punishing racial terrain is a must read for all who are interested in the construction of race in the United States." --Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello In America, race is a riddle. The stories we tell about our past have calcified into the fiction that we are neatly divided into black or white. It is only with the widespread availability of DNA testing and the boom in genealogical research that the frequency with which individuals and entire families crossed the color line has become clear. In this sweeping history, Daniel J. Sharfstein unravels the stories of three families who represent the complexity of race in America and force us to rethink our basic assumptions about who we are. The Gibsons were wealthy landowners in the South Carolina backcountry who became white in the 1760s, ascending to the heights of the Southern elite and ultimately to the U.S. Senate. The Spencers were hardscrabble farmers in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, joining an isolated Appalachian community in the 1840s and for the better part of a century hovering on the line between white and black. The Walls were fixtures of the rising black middle class in post-Civil War Washington, D.C., only to give up everything they had fought for to become white at the dawn of the twentieth century. Together, their interwoven and intersecting stories uncover a forgotten America in which the rules of race were something to be believed but not necessarily obeyed. Defining their identities first as people of color and later as whites, these families provide a lens for understanding how people thought about and experienced race and how these ideas and experiences evolved-how the very meaning of black and white changed-over time. Cutting through centuries of myth, amnesia, and poisonous racial politics, The Invisible Line will change the way we talk about race, racism, and civil rights.

The Long and the Short of It

The Science of Life Span and Aging

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Author: Jonathan Silvertown

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022607210X

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 7278

Everything that lives will die. That’s the fundamental fact of life. But not everyone dies at the same age: people vary wildly in their patterns of aging and their life spans—and that variation is nothing compared to what’s found in other animal and plant species. A giant fungus found in Michigan has been alive since the Ice Age, while a dragonfly lives but four months, a mayfly half an hour. What accounts for these variations—and what can we learn from them that might help us understand, or better manage, our own aging? With The Long and the Short of It, biologist and writer Jonathan Silvertown offers readers a witty and fascinating tour through the scientific study of longevity and aging. Dividing his daunting subject by theme—death, life span, aging, heredity, evolution, and more—Silvertown draws on the latest scientific developments to paint a picture of what we know about how life span, senescence, and death vary within and across species. At every turn, he addresses fascinating questions that have far-reaching implications: What causes aging, and what determines the length of an individual life? What changes have caused the average human life span to increase so dramatically—fifteen minutes per hour—in the past two centuries? If evolution favors those who leave the most descendants, why haven’t we evolved to be immortal? The answers to these puzzles and more emerge from close examination of the whole natural history of life span and aging, from fruit flies, nematodes, redwoods, and much more. The Long and the Short of It pairs a perpetually fascinating topic with a wholly engaging writer, and the result is a supremely accessible book that will reward curious readers of all ages.