Science

The Map That Changed the World

William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061978272

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 9696

In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell—clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world—making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more. The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.
History

Krakatoa

The Day the World Exploded

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141926236

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 8931

Simon Winchester's brilliant chronicle of the destruction of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa in 1883 charts the birth of our modern world. He tells the story of the unrecognized genius who beat Darwin to the discovery of evolution; of Samuel Morse, his code and how rubber allowed the world to talk; of Alfred Wegener, the crack-pot German explorer and father of geology. In breathtaking detail he describes how one island and its inhabitants were blasted out of existence and how colonial society was turned upside-down in a cataclysm whose echoes are still felt to this day.
History

A Crack in the Edge of the World

America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062277456

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 626

Unleashed by ancient geologic forces, a magnitude 8.25 earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April 18, 1906. Less than a minute later, the city lay in ruins. Bestselling author Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities to this extraordinary event, exploring the legendary earthquake and fires that spread horror across San Francisco and northern California in 1906 as well as its startling impact on American history and, just as important, what science has recently revealed about the fascinating subterranean processes that produced it—and almost certainly will cause it to strike again.
History

Outposts

Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780061978326

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 8933

Simon Winchester, struck by a sudden need to discover exactly what was left of the British Empire, set out across the globe to visit the far-flung islands that are all that remain of what once made Britain great. He traveled 100,000 miles back and forth, from Antarctica to the Caribbean, from the Mediterranean to the Far East, to capture a last glint of imperial glory. His adventures in these distant and forgotten ends of the earth make compelling, often funny reading and tell a story most of us had thought was over: a tale of the last outposts in Britain's imperial career and those who keep the flag flying. With a new introduction, this updated edition tells us what has happened to these extraordinary places while the author's been away.
Biography & Autobiography

Soundings

The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor

Author: Hali Felt

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1466847468

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 2779

Her maps of the ocean floor have been called "one of the most remarkable achievements in modern cartography", yet no one knows her name. Soundings is the story of the enigmatic, unknown woman behind one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. Before Marie Tharp, geologist and gifted draftsperson, the whole world, including most of the scientific community, thought the ocean floor was a vast expanse of nothingness. In 1948, at age 28, Marie walked into the newly formed geophysical lab at Columbia University and practically demanded a job. The scientists at the lab were all male; the women who worked there were relegated to secretary or assistant. Through sheer willpower and obstinacy, Marie was given the job of interpreting the soundings (records of sonar pings measuring the ocean's depths) brought back from the ocean-going expeditions of her male colleagues. The marriage of artistry and science behind her analysis of this dry data gave birth to a major work: the first comprehensive map of the ocean floor, which laid the groundwork for proving the then-controversial theory of continental drift. When combined, Marie's scientific knowledge, her eye for detail and her skill as an artist revealed not a vast empty plane, but an entire world of mountains and volcanoes, ridges and rifts, and a gateway to the past that allowed scientists the means to imagine how the continents and the oceans had been created over time. Just as Marie dedicated more than twenty years of her professional life to what became the Lamont Geological Observatory, engaged in the task of mapping every ocean on Earth, she dedicated her personal life to her great friendship with her co-worker, Bruce Heezen. Partners in work and in many ways, partners in life, Marie and Bruce were devoted to one another as they rose to greater and greater prominence in the scientific community, only to be envied and finally dismissed by their beloved institute. They went on together, refining and perfecting their work and contributing not only to humanity's vision of the ocean floor, but to the way subsequent generations would view the Earth as a whole. With an imagination as intuitive as Marie's, brilliant young writer Hali Felt brings to vivid life the story of the pioneering scientist whose work became the basis for the work of others scientists for generations to come.
English language

The Meaning of Everything

The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192805768

Category: English language

Page: 260

View: 7083

Now available in paperback, The Meaning of Everything is the absorbing story behind the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Originally mooted in 1857, it would be another 71 years before the British prime minister could celebrate the completion of 'the greatest enterprise of its kind in history'. In this delightful account of the OED's creation, Winchester introduces us to a host of extraordinary characters: the murderer who contributed from his prison cell, the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge (grandson of the poet), the boisterous Frederick Furnivall (who left the project in shambles) and James Murray, the self-taught draper's son who spent a half-century bringing the project to triumphant fruition. The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating and engaging account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language.
Travel

The River at the Center of the World

A Journey Up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1466867493

Category: Travel

Page: 432

View: 7472

Rising in the mountains of the Tibetan border, the Yangtze River, the symbolic heart of China, pierces 3,900 miles of rugged country before debouching into the oily swells of the East China Sea. Connecting China's heartland cities with the volatile coastal giant, Shanghai, it has also historically connected China to the outside world through its nearly one thousand miles of navigable waters. To travel those waters is to travel back in history, to sense the soul of China, and Simon Winchester takes us along with him as he encounters the essence of China--its history and politics, its geography and climate as well as engage in its culture, and its people in remote and almost inaccessible places. The River at the Center of the World is travel writing at its best: lively, informative, and thoroughly enchanting. A stunning tour of China, its people, and its history. Chosen as one of the best travel books of 1996 by the New York Times Book Review.
Science

Reading the Rocks

How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life

Author: Brenda Maddox

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1632869136

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 5430

A rich and exuberant group biography of the early geologists, the people who were first to excavate from the layers of the world its buried history. The birth of geology was fostered initially by gentlemen whose wealth supported their interests, but in the nineteenth century, it was advanced by clergymen, academics, and women whose findings expanded the field. Reading the Rocks brings to life this eclectic cast of characters who brought passion, eccentricity, and towering intellect to the discovery of how Earth was formed. Geology opened a window on the planet's ancient past. Contrary to the Book of Genesis, the rocks and fossils dug up showed that Earth was immeasurably old. Moreover, fossil evidence revealed progressive changes in life forms. It is no coincidence that Charles Darwin was a keen geologist. Acclaimed biographer and science writer Brenda Maddox's story goes beyond William Smith, the father of English geology; Charles Lyell, the father of modern geology; and James Hutton, whose analysis of rock layers unveiled what is now called "deep time.†? She also explores the livesof fossil hunter Mary Anning, the Reverend William Buckland, Darwin, and many others--their triumphs and disappointments, and the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates their findings provoked. Reading the Rocks illustrates in absorbing and revelatory details how this group of early geologists changed irrevocably our understanding of the world.
History

The Men Who United the States

America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Harper Perennial

ISBN: 9780062079619

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 7181

New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester follows the footsteps of America's most crucial innovators, thinkers, and explorers, from Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys of the West to the builders of the transcontinental railroad and the great highway systems to show how these daring men from three centuries left their mark on America's natural landscapes through courage, ingenuity, and hard work. Winchester brings together the breathtaking achievements of those American pioneers who helped to forge and unify the new nation, and who toiled fearlessly to bond the citizens and the geography of the United States from its very beginnings. This sweeping narrative is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope across time and open spaces, providing a new lens through which to view American history, led by one of our most gifted writers.
History

Maps That Changed The World

Author: John O. E. Clark

Publisher: Batsford

ISBN: 9781849942973

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 4736

An ancient Chinese proverb suggests, “They are wise parents who give their children roots and wings – and a map.” Maps That Changed the World features some of the world's most famous maps, stretching back to a time when cartography was in its infancy and the 'edge of the world' was a barrier to exploration. The book includes details of how the Lewis and Clark Expedition helped map the American West, and how the British mapped India and Australia. Included are the beautifully engraved Dutch maps of the 16th century; the sinister Utopian maps of the Nazis; the maps that presaged brilliant military campaigns; charted the geology of a nation; and the ones that divided a continent up between its European conquerors. Organised by theme, the book shows the evolution of map-making from all corners of the globe, from ancient clay maps, to cartographic breakthroughs such as Harry Beck’s map of the London underground. There are also famous fictional maps, including the maps of the lost continent of Atlantis and Tolkien’s Middle Earth. With an introduction written by acclaimed cartographic historian Jeremy Black.
History

Pacific

Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062315439

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 1613

One of Library Journal’s 10 Best Books of 2015 Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature. As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley. Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made. In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor. Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives.
History

The Perfectionists

How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062652575

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 6145

The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future. The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider. Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia. As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?
History

Atlantic

Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780062020109

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 8625

"Variably genial, cautionary, lyrical, admonitory, terrifying, horrifying and inspiring…A lifetime of thought, travel, reading, imagination and memory inform this affecting account." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A gifted storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester sets the great blue sea's epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind's intellectual evolution, telling not only the story of an ocean, but the story of civilization. Fans of Winchester's Krakatoa, The Man Who Loved China, and The Professor and the Madman will love this masterful, penetrating, and resonant tale of humanity finding its way across the ocean of history.
Science

The Ghost Map

The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101158531

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 4515

A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
History

The Mapmakers

Author: John Noble Wilford

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0375708502

Category: History

Page: 507

View: 5716

Examines the technology and significant figures of cartography, including the accuracy of ancient Chinese maps, contributions by such navigators as Ferdinand Magellan and James Cook, and the development of a current Global Positioning System.
Technology & Engineering

Map Worlds

A History of Women in Cartography

Author: Will C. van den Hoonaard

Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press

ISBN: 1554589347

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 394

View: 3847

Map Worlds plots a journey of discovery through the world of women map-makers from the golden age of cartography in the sixteenth-century Low Countries to tactile maps in contemporary Brazil. Author Will C. van den Hoonaard examines the history of women in the profession, sets out the situation of women in technical fields and cartography-related organizations, and outlines the challenges they face in their careers. Map Worlds explores women as colourists in early times, describes the major houses of cartographic production, and delves into the economic function of intermarriages among cartographic houses and families. It relates how in later centuries, working from the margins, women produced maps to record painful tribal memories or sought to remedy social injustices. Much later, one woman so changed the way we think about continents that the shift has been likened to the Copernican revolution. Other women created order and wonder about the lunar landscape, and still others turned the art and science of making maps inside out, exposing the hidden, unconscious, and subliminal “text” of maps. Shared by all these map-makers are themes of social justice and making maps work for the betterment of humanity.
Science

Aerial Geology

A High-Altitude Tour of North America's Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks

Author: Mary Caperton Morton

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604698357

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 4554

“Get your head into the clouds with Aerial Geology.” —The New York Times Book Review Aerial Geology is an up-in-the-sky exploration of North America’s 100 most spectacular geological formations. Crisscrossing the continent from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to the Great Salt Lake in Utah and to the Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, Mary Caperton Morton brings you on a fantastic tour, sharing aerial and satellite photography, explanations on how each site was formed, and details on what makes each landform noteworthy. Maps and diagrams help illustrate the geological processes and clarify scientific concepts. Fact-filled, curious, and way more fun than the geology you remember from grade school, Aerial Geology is a must-have for the insatiably curious, armchair geologists, million-mile travelers, and anyone who has stared out the window of a plane and wondered what was below.
Biography & Autobiography

The Professor and the Madman

A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary

Author: Simon Winchester

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780060175962

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 1961

Mysterious (mistîe · ries), a. [f. L. mystérium Mysteryi + ous. Cf. F. mystérieux.] 1. Full of or fraught with mystery; wrapt in mystery; hidden from human knowledge or understanding; impossible or difficult to explain, solve, or discover; of obscure origin, nature, or purpose. It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters. The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story--a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking. Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly--and mysteriously--refused. Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor--that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane--and locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics. The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness and genius, and the incredible obsessions of two men at the heart of the Oxford English Dictionary and literary history. With riveting insight and detail, Simon Winchester crafts a fascinating glimpse into one man's tortured mind and his contribution to another man's magnificent dictionary.
Science

Basin and Range

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708568

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 7845

The first of John McPhee's works in his series on geology and geologists, Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world—a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light. The title refers to the physiographic province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California, a silent world of austere beauty, of hundreds of discrete high mountain ranges that are green with junipers and often white with snow. The terrain becomes the setting for a lyrical evocation of the science of geology, with important digressions into the plate-tectonics revolution and the history of the geologic time scale.
History

The Seashell on the Mountaintop

A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius who Discovered a New History of the Earth

Author: Alan Cutler

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780525947080

Category: History

Page: 228

View: 8957

Documents the work of a seventeenth-century scientist and priest who was the first to conduct geological studies of the earth's layers, revealing in the process the planet's significant age as compared to biblical beliefs. 22,500 first printing.