Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Good Old Books: The Living Sea

"This is the book we have hoped for, from the author of The Silent World, bringing us up to date with his intimate and important role in the latest developments in sea exploration.

"Captain Cousteau has an understanding of the ways of marine scientists and a rare sensitivity for the sea and its creatures.

"He continues to open new and exciting paths for marine scientists. How fortunate that he has found time for this book so that we can all follow his adventures in his team's search to learn more about the sea."
- Eugenie Clark, Director, Cape Haze Laboratory

by Capt. J.Y. Cousteau with James Dugan
Pocket Books, 1964

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Nature Pages Review: Canyon Crossing

A narrative about the author's exploration of the corridor trails of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, this book introduces the inner recesses of the national park with a mixture of storytelling, interviews and descriptive prose.

The National Park Service defines "corridor trails" as those receiving regular maintenance and patrols by park rangers. At the Grand Canyon, there are three such trails. On the South Rim, there are the Bright Angel Trail, the River Trail and the South Kaibab Trail; on the North Rim, visitors hike the North Kaibab Trail.

"People travel from all over the country and the world for the chance to walk or run from one side of the canyon to the other - or from either rim to the very bottom on foot or mule," Seth Muller explains. "The journey etches itself into the memory of its travelers, to radiate for years. Grand Canyon guides speak of clients contacting them five, ten, and fifteen years after a trip to reconnect with their fond memories of the grandest of chasms."

Continued in ...

Experiencing Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim
by Seth Muller
Grand Canyon Association, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good Old Books: Common Wild Animals and Their Young

This beautiful picture book tells the life stories of sixteen common American wild animals. In enchanting, original photographs you will

... the flight of a deer
... what happens inside a beaver house
... baby 'possum in the marsupial pouch,
... the difference between male and female skunks,
... tiny deermice in their nest,
... the sharp-quilled defense of the porcupine,
... mother mink feeding her young,
... black bear cubs in rollicking play,
... and many more intimate glimpses of animal life.

by Rita Vandivert with photographs by William Vandivert
Dell, 1957

Friday, November 25, 2011

Good Old Books: The Compact Book of Upland Game Birds

Whether you are a shooting sportsman who thrills to the sudden flurry and rise of an upland game bird twisting through cover or a bird watcher, the study and practical knowledge of the various species of game birds is challenging.

The species covered in this book are the most popular of the game birds
found in the 48 states and Canada.

This book is primarily a book of basic facts and identification for ready
edited by Ray Ovington
J. Lowell Pratt, 1965

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How-To Book List Addition: Caricatures in Motion

Whether running, jumping, or walking, subtle twists or turns of the body can ultimately give a carving a sense of motion. That concept is proven true in this book.

Caricature Carvers of America members offer up a variety of carvings of
figures in motion. All of them are humorous and several carvings share a
similar "theme."

by Caricature Carvers of America
Schiffer Publishing, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book List Addition: Louisiana Haunted Forts

Although there are numerous books about Louisiana, little information about the forts are included and none combines the forts with ghost

This book is filled with historical adventures and intriguing tales of supernatural happenings. The author relates eerie stories of soldiers who still patrol the ruins of fortifications they built, defended, and died for, and others whose lives ended tragically.

by Elaine Coleman
Taylor Trade Publishing, 2005

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Kentucky's Natural Heritage

A confluence of both science and history, this book describes natural areas in Kentucky that have vanished and inventories a long list of threatened and endangered animals, plants and unique habitats in the state that need protection.

Once 90 percent forested, Kentucky is now made up of roughly 46 percent "Large Forest Tracts" and most of it is fragmented and less able to sustain complex communities of animals and plants.

Consequently, more than 50 species of animals and plants that once made Kentucky their home can no longer be found. Of the species that remain, 25 percent of the fish, 26 percent of the reptiles and amphibians, 13 percent of the birds and 20 percent of the mammals are endangered, threatened or close to leaving for good.

Continued in ... The Nature Pages

Kentucky's Natural Heritage
An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity
by Greg Abernathy, Deborah White, Ellis L. Laudermilk, and Marc Evans
The University Press of Kentucky, 2010

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cookbook List Addition: Backcountry Cooking

Goodbye to mundane, expensive, freeze-dried camping food and welcome to tasty, environmentally conscious, inexpensive dishes. Seasoned outdoor cook Sierra Adare spices her creative and easy-to-follow recipes with Western culinary history and first accounts that are informed by the traditions of the trail.

Inside the book are lists of grocery items you can buy beforehand at your local store, along with instructions to dehydrate your own food to avoid the high prices of outdoor markets.

Backcountry Cooking
The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Cooking
by Sierra Adare
Skyhorse Publishing, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good Old Books: The Practical Handbook of Patio and Outdoor Projects

"In recent years,the concept of outdoor living has been adopted by more and more families. Basically, all it means is that the family gets as much
enjoyment from activities conducted outside as inside.

"To do this, the outdoor living environment - the patio and its environs - must be properly equipped; stocked, as it were, with all the things an individual family needs to get the maximum enjoyment with the least inconvenience.

"The thrust of this book is helping you, the handyman, equip it yourself. I've striven to include plans and ideas for the things anyone would need. Most basic, of course, is the patio itself -- your outdoor floor.

"I have included other projects as well, because homeowners have a crying need for more information on them. For example, there are instructions on how to build a driveway. Not just any driveway, but one that will last for years without cracking. Elsewhere, you'll find information on making simple edgings and retaining walls, an information on how to make a variety of carports."
-- from the Introduction, Tom Philbin

by Tom Philbin
Fawcett Publications, 1975

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Old Books: New Archaeological Finds in China

During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, China's archaeological workers, aided by Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and supported by the broad worker, peasant and soldier masses, have done a great deal of work in preserving and excavating cultural objects.

Their discoveries date from 2,000 years B.C. to the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century.

Among the finds are many new or rare items important in the study of the political, economic, cultural, and military aspects of different dynasties in Chinese history, and the friendly intercourse between China and other lands.
New Archaeological Finds in China
Discoveries During the Cultural Revolution
by Foreign Languages Press
Foreign Languages Press, 1974

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good Old Books: The U.S. Government Family Fitness Book

Here is a scientifically developed and tested program from the renowned President's Council on Physical Fitness. Here is a complete exercise program for everyone -- pre-teen boys and girls, teenagers of both sexes, adult men and women, senior citizens.

Each plan contains detailed illustrations, instructions and progress records so that you will...
  • Know exactly how and where to begin - and what to do every step of the way.
  • Begin easily - without strain or upset - no matter how long you've stayed away from physical activity.
  • Make steady progress troward a level of fitness that is most suitable for you - and that you will be easily able to maintain.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book List Addition: The Organic Farming Manual

The Organic Farming Manual
A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Running a Certified Organic Farm
by Anne Larkin Hansen
Storey Publishing, 2010

As the organic food market continues to expand, so too do the opportunities for small farmers. For the farmer, the benefits of running an organic operation are great.

This book is a comprehensive guide to growing, certifying, and marketing organic produce, grains, meat, and dairy.

Beginning farmers committed to launching an organic operation and experienced farmers hoping to transition from traditional farming techniques will find all the information they need. The organic certification process is lengthy and demanding, but author Ann Larkin Hansen clarifies every USDA requirement and offers complete advice on selecting equipment, tending the land, caring for animals, and marketing farm products.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review: Lessons in Lightness

Lessons in Lightness
The Art of Educating the Horse
by Mark Russell with Andrea W. Steele
The Lyons Press, 2007

Lightness is not an alternative approach," writes horse trainer Mark Russell in the opening chapter of Lessons in Lightness. "Nor is it a 'style' or a clinician's way to deliver fast results. This book describes methods that have stood the test of time, albeit different from what is considered mainstream by today's competition-based performance trainers."

Russell traces his horse training lineage to the late riding master Nuno Oliveira, who in turn was a student of the 18th century theories of Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere and Francois Baucher in the 19th century.

They share a common belief in the importance of relaxation and suppleness in training to achieve lightness as opposed to the more precision-based style common to most competitive riding.

Continued in ... The Book Stall

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book List Addition: The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton

In The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton, author Monica Weis suggests that Merton's interest in nature, which developed significantly during his years at the Abbey of Gethsemani, laid the foundation for his growing environmental consciousness.

The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton
by Monica Weis
The University Press of Kentucky, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book List Addition: Field Man

Field Man
Life as a Desert Archaeologist
by Julian D. Hayden
University of Arizona Press, 2011

The product of years of interviews conducted by colleagues and friends, this is a memoir of renowned southwestern archaeologist Julian Dodge Hayden, a man who held no professional degree or faculty position but who camped and argued with a who’s who of archaeology, including Emil Haury, Malcolm Rogers, Paul Ezell, and Norman Tindale.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Good Old Books: Freshwater Fishing in North America

This publication features top rated fishing and guide services for freshwater fishing as rated by the most qualified people -- their past customers. These listings have been earned by obtaining an A- to A+ rating from unbiased extensive client surveys and polls.

This Top Rated Series Reference Book & Guide to Freshwater Fishing Adventures, Outfitters, Guides and Lodges for Freshwater Fishing in North America, includes: Arctic Grayling, Arctic Char, and Bass Fish (Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and White Bass), Dolly Varden, Catfish, Bluegill, Crappie, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, and Perch(es).

Salmon Fishing, including; Atlantic, Chinook (King), Chum (Dog), Coho (Silver), Pink (Humpback) and Sockeye (Red) Salmon's. Trout Fishing, including; Brook, Brown, Cutthroat, Lake, Rainbow, & Steelhead Trout. Also included are American Shad, Sturgeon, and Walleye, for: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Canada (British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec & Saskatchewan).

Freshwater Fishing in North America
by Maurice Valerio
Picked by You Guides, 1999

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Living with Sheep

Here's a welcome beginner's guide to raising sheep -- a friendly, unpretentious and down-home guide to breeds, feeds, fences and fleeces.

Unlike other texts that deal with specific aspects of ovines, this one goes for the big picture: what sheep are like, why you should want to raise them, where they live, what they eat, and what accommodations you'll have to make to husband them effectively.

"Buying lambs in the spring, raising them on grass for the summer, and slaughtering them in the fall is by far the best place to start if you're getting into shepherding for the first time," author Chuck Wooster advises. But to really get to know sheep, or to be "fully fleeced" as he puts it, requires a full-time, year-round commitment.

Living with Sheep
Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Flock
by Chuck Wooster
Lyons Press, 2007

Continued in ... The Book Stall

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Good Old Books: Bob Smith's Complete Guide to Harbors, Anchorages and Marinas

From the Preface:

This publication is compiled in an easy-to-locate, easy-to-read format. It is designed to make your boating experience pleasurable.

As a mariner myself, I have recognized the need to have more information concerning Southern California:

1. Harbor locations,
2. Anchorage areas,
3. Marinas,
4. Marine supply stores,
5. Fuel docks, and
6. Repair facilities.

Bob Smith's Complete Guide to Harbors, Anchorages and Marinas
Southern California Edition
by Robert H. Smith
C Books, 1988

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Small Barn Plans for Owner-Builders

Practical advice and instruction for building a barn, including plans and schematics for a dozen different designs, are offered in this reference for owner-builders with little or no construction experience.

Organized in step-by-step sequence, the guide begins with pre-construction planning and decision-making, including cost estmates, scheduling contractors and understanding building codes. Complete construction plans for 12 small barns are laid out in the book -- six gable-roofed bar

Continued in ... The Book Stall

Small Barn Plans for Owner-Builders
by Craig Wallin
Homestead Design, 2002.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: Cape Cod Wampanoag Cookbook

Earl Mills, or Chief Flying Eagle, is a gourmet chef at his popular Cape Cod restaurant, The Flume, where he prepares native Wampanoag recipes from local foodstuffs like hard-shell clams, Atlantic salmon, cranberries, corn and, of course, eels.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Indians, Mills' ancestors, were the native peoples who celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Plymouth colonists in 1621.

With a similar sense of sharing and openness, he offers this collection of ancestral dishes paired with personal recollections, stories and photographs of a people closely attuned to the land.

Cape Cod Wampanoag Cookbook:
Wampanoag Indian Recipes, Images & Lore
by Earl Mills Sr. and Betty Breen
Clear Light Publishers, 2001

Continued in ... The Book Stall

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers

Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers
Using Ed's Amazing Pots System
by Edward C. Smith
Storey Publishing, 2005

Vegetable gardener Ed Smith explains how to persuade vegetables to grow as well or better in containers as they do in an open bed.

Based on his own experimentation with self-watering containers, this book includes advice on choosing a container, how to provide nutrients, and what plants can be paired together.

He picks the following vegetables as best for container growing and explains which varieties work best and how to grow them: artichokes, arugula, carrots, celery, chinese cabbage, cress, cucumber, endive, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, pak choi, peppers, radicchio, summer squash, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips.

Continued in... The Book Stall

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden

The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden
Creative Gardening For The Adventurous Cook
by David P. Hirsch
Ten Speed Press, 2005

Organic grower David Hirsch is a senior member of the famous Moosewood Resaurant Collective in Ithaca, New York, which he joined in the 1970s after bartering his garden-fresh basil for meals.

In this revised and updated guide to Moosewood-style gardening, Hirsch profiles 75 vegetables, herbs and edible flowers and explains how to plan and maintain a kitchen garden.

The profiles include growing requirements for each plant, harvest information, and some culinary tips. Seventy recipes complete the spread.

"Superior quality and flavor results from harvesting foods as close to ripeness and the kitchen as possible," Hirsch proclaims. "Home growing can expand your cooking repertoire to include interesting veggies and herbs."

Continued in ... The Book Stall

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Sweater Renewal

Sweater Renewal
Felting Knits into New Sweaters and Accessories
by Sharon Franco Rothschild
Potter Craft, 2008

Sweaters that are old, damaged or simply out of style can be recycled into new fashions using the felting, appliqué, sewing, knitting and embroidery techniques described in this book.

"You can recapture old memories and help save the planet by using old blankers, men's sweaters, women's sweaters, children's sweaters, and even hand-knitted sweater pieces," says author Sharon Franco Rothschild. "The only requirement is that they be made out of wool."

Continued at...
Here's How To... Felt

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Good Old Books: Landscaping Your Vacation Place

Landscaping Your Vacation Place
by Jack Kramer
Scribners, 1975

"In Landscaping Your Vacation Place I tell you just what plants will grow where, whether you are at the seaside, in the forest, in the desert or in a temperate all year climate.

"For each locale there are specific plans and plantings to make your
vacation home appealing and to save you needless garden work.

"I include extensive lists of plants for each location and also lists of special time-saving plants, such as ground covers, vines, and bulbs and
plants for container gardening -- over 550 plants in all.

"So whether you want to garden on weekends only, or just a day a week (and relax the rest of the time) you will find your guide to better vacation gardening in this book." -- Jack Kramer

Landscaping Your Vacation Place
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good Old Books: The Great Chain Of Life

The Great Chain Of Life
by Joseph Wood Crutch
Pyramid Books, 1966

How did it begin? What has gone before? Where will it lead?

These are questions which have fascinated man for thousands of years. Even after Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution men have continued to question their origins.

Joseph Wood Krutch, America's renowned naturalist, looks at evolution with a fresh eye.

Applying the eloquence of a poet to the dispassionate eye of a scientist, he reveals many surprises and wonders in the natural world around us.

The Great Chain Of Life is an important, delightful addition to man's understanding of ecology -- the interrelation of living things -- and the biological world in which we live. It is a book that also restores joy to the contemplation of nature.

The Great Chain Of Life
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Book List Addition: A Student's Guide to the Seashore

A Student's Guide to the Seashore
by J. D. Fish and S. Fish
Cambridge University Press, 2011

This unique, concise and beautifully illustrated guide allows students to identify over 650 of the common, widespread animals and seaweeds of the shore. User-friendly dichotomous keys are supported by details of diagnostic features and biology of each species.

Now enhanced with 32 pages of colour, this much acclaimed guide is invaluable to students of marine biology at any level.

Questions such as how does the species reproduce? What is its life-cycle? How does it feed? are answered in the notes accompanying each species to give a fascinating insight into the diversity and complexity of life on the shore. The text is supported by an extensive glossary of scientific terms and a comprehensive bibliography is included to aid further study. The third edition builds on the excellent reviews of earlier editions and will continue to appeal to a wide readership, including students, teachers and naturalists.

A Student's Guide to the Seashore
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Good Old Books: The World of the Dolphin

The World of the Dolphin
by Chester Krone
Tower, 1972

What swims in the sea and looks like a fish - but isn't?

The dolphin - a mammal that has babies and nurses them with milk.

Dolphins are delightful friends to man. They plunge and play in the water and swim so fast they can easily chase after ships.

This important book tells you everything there is to know about dolphins.

It discusses the dolphin in history and legend, the origins of dolphins,
who the dolphins' relatives are, physical characteristics of dolphins, the sex and reproductive lives of dolphins.

The World of the Dolphin
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Book List Addition: Wild Horses of the West

Wild Horses of the West
History and Politics of America's Mustangs
by J. Edward de Steiguer
University of Arizona Press, 2011

J. Edward de Steiguer provides an entertaining and well-researched look at one of the most controversial animal welfare issues of our time -- the protection of free-roaming horses on the West's public lands.

This is the first book in decades to include the entire story of these magnificent animals, from their evolution and biology to their historical integration into conquistador, Native American, and cowboy cultures. And the story isn't over. De Steiguer goes on to address the modern issues -- ecology, conservation, and land management -- surrounding wild horses in the West today.

Wild Horses of the West
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: The Slow Down Diet

The Slow Down Diet
Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss
by Marc David
Healing Arts Press, 2005

If you were told to take your time at the dinner table over the next eight weeks, eating fine foods with good friends, imbibing in quality beverages and truly enjoying yourself as if you were on an extended vacation, would you accept the challenge?

Would you do it if you knew you'd lose weight and become healthier in the process?

Based on the belief (with plenty of research to back it up) that fast foods, hurried eating, stressful lifestyles and cheap artificial flavors are contributing to America's obesity epidemic, this book prescribes a radical alternative: slow and easy enjoyment of good foods in pleasant environments.

Continued at... The Slow Down Diet

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Poker Wizards

Poker Wizards
Wisdom from the World's Top No-Limit Hold'em Poker Players
by Warwick Dunnett
Cardoza, 2008

Poker Wizards is a compilation of interviews with several of the world's most accomplished poker players:

* Chris Ferguson, aka "Jesus," talking about game theory and "intellectualizing gut feeling."
* Dan Harrington, author of Harrington on Hold 'em
* T.J. Cloutier, author of How To Win The Championship: Hold'em Strategies for The Final Table
* Daniel Negreanu, author of Power Hold'em Strategy, discussing the psychological traits important to successful players.
* Mike Sexton, author of One of a Kind, advocates aggressive play.
* Marcel Luske emphasizing the importance of hand selection
* Kathy Liebert, the #1 female money winner in tournament poker.
* Mel Judah, a World Poker Tour titlist with career earning over $3 million.
* Marc Salem, author of Marc Salem's Mind Games: A Practical Step-by-step Guide to Developing Your Mental Powers, revealing some physical tells to look for in your opponents.

Warwick Dunnet organized the interviews, each about 20 to 30 pages, around key subjects like psychology and tournament strategy and "the makings of a poker wizard. He provides a summary chapter at the end of the book,

Continued at... Poker Wizards

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Wild Sea

Wild Sea
Eco-Wars and Surf Stories from the Coast of the Californias
by Serge Dedina
University of Arizona Press, 2011

Much like a military veteran's book of war stories, this collection of reports describes eco-justice fights waged against poachers, politicians, private companies and government agencies from the tip of the Baja Peninsula up the coast to Southern California.

Serge Dedina is a dedicated surfer turned activist who has successfully stopped a salt-processing plant that would have destroyed the world’s last undeveloped gray whale lagoon and helped put together a coalition helping to construct the unlikely coalition that defeated a proposed toll road that would have decimated a legendary California surf spot.

"Many of these stories were written in the midst of campaigning to provide a sense of urgency to the public about the fate of our coast," he explains. "Few people realize how close we came to losing important pieces of the coastline of the Californias to badly planned and doomed to fail development."

Wild Sea
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Good Old Books: A Guide to Geyser Gazing

A Guide to Geyser Gazing
by Dr. John S. Rinehart
Hyper Dynamics, 1976

Dr. John S. Rinehart was educated as a physicist and teacher. When he started studying geysers in 1965, he was Director of Research and Development of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. In 1966, he became Senior Research Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where he remained until his retirement in 1973.

His extensive studies of geysers during this period form the basis of this book.

A Guide to Geyser Gazing
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Old Books: Archaeology by Walter Shepherd

by Walter Shepherd
Signet, 1966

Science students and laymen both will find this "detective story" about mankind's past as fascinating as it is informative. Clearly and without technical jargon, the author reveals what the archaeologist has learned about Stone Age man, his metal-working descendants, and the mighty civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Far East and the Mediterranean.

Tools and weapons, pottery, art, homes, inscriptions, vast monuments -- all are examined in words and pictures.

Of special interest is a whole section on "Archaeology in America."

Throughout, the emphasis is on how the archaeologist works, complete with
guidelines on how the interested reader can participate in "digs."

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Now in Review: Scarcity and Frontiers

Scarcity and Frontiers
How Economies Have Developed Through Natural Resource Exploitation
by Edward B. Barbier
Cambridge University Press, 2011

Throughout much of history, a critical driving force behind global
economic development has been the response of society to the scarcity of key natural resources. Increasing scarcity raises the cost of exploiting existing natural resources and creates incentives in all economies to innovate and conserve more of these resources. However, economies have also responded to increasing scarcity by obtaining and developing more of these resources. Since the agricultural transition over 12,000 years ago, this exploitation of new 'frontiers' has often proved to be a pivotal human response to natural resource scarcity.

This book provides a fascinating account of the contribution that natural resource exploitation has made to economic development in key eras of world history. This not only fills an important gap in the literature on economic history but also shows how we can draw lessons from these past epochs for attaining sustainable economic development in the world today.

Scarcity and Frontiers
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Old Books: The Road to Man

The Road to Man
by Herbert Wendt
Pyramic Publications, 1959

The Road to Man is a fascinating and informative trip through the animal kingdom, conducted by the author of the widely hailed In Search of Adam.

This revealing history of evolution deals with the ocean and its
inhabitants; it goes on to reptiles, insects, birds, and flying mammals.

It explains migration and the spread of species; and finally traces the decisive step from instinctual life to the beginnings of intellect.

Familiar and fantastic animals are portrayed and described in a broadly
conceived narrative which gives a unified picture of the mutual dependence
of all living creatures.

The Road to Man
In Search of Adam
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Good Old Books: Sport Fishing USA

Sport Fishing USA edited by E.C. Wilson
Ventura Associates, 1979

It is an unusual person who has not set aside his daily worries and at least once gone to a distant shore to wet a line. Indeed, doctors regularly prescribe this type of experience as a tonic for the weary.

"Escape from reality; it'll do you good," they say.

I wonder, is it such an escape?

Sport Fishing USA brings reflective thoughts about the frustrations, mysteries and rewards of sport fishing.

Sport Fishing USA
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Review: The View from Lazy Point

The View from Lazy Point
A Natural Year in an Unnatural World
by Carl Safina
Henry Holt and Co., 2011

Following the course of four seasons and the four directions of the compass, this philosophical memoir chronicles a year of the author's life as he travels from his coastal home on Long Island to Antarctica and the Arctic, and from islands in the Caribbean to the western edges of the Pacific Ocean trying to understand, as a scientist, how the natural world
is faring in the face of serious environmental challenges and what role humans have in its fate.

As he follows scientists studying troubled parrotfish in the coral reefs off the coast of Venezuela, managing salmon populations in Alaska, maintaining the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard (an archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole) and documenting the decline of penguin populations in Antarctica he concludes that old notions and beliefs of humans are compromising the survival of species and the ecosystems that support them.

"Science has marched forward. But civilization's values remain rooted in philosophies, religious traditions, and ethical frameworks devised many centuries ago," he writes, making the same observation in different words at several points in the book.

What is needed, he concludes, is greater development of the uniquely human trait known as compassion.

"Compassion doesn't simply mean caring for poor people or putting band-aids on need. It seeks to remedy sources of suffering," he explains. "It means we require a clear, peaceful way of providing what the world can bear - and knowing when enough is too much. In part, it means realizing that far fewer people would mean far less suffering."

The View from Lazy Point
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Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in any home, anywhere

Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in any home, anywhere
by Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
Storey Publishing, 2010

For those of us living in cool, northern climates, the idea of growing tropical fruit at home for consumption has been a dream that few have dared pursue... until now.

Laurelynn and Byron Martin, third-generation greenhouse growers in Connecticut, have recently started supplying tropical plants to home gardeners who are growing them on decks, patios and in containers indoors all across North America.

"Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in any home, anywhere" documents their conviction that almost everyone can enjoy the taste of the tropics without leaving home, provided they have the proper cultivars.

"One of the keys to success with tropical container fruits is providing the right environment for the plants as they grow and mature," they explain. "Some types need a winter cool period, while others do best in warm conditions year-round. Some tropicals do well in partial sun, but many of them will produce fruit only when the grow in very bright conditions, such as a sunny windowsill, sunroom, or conservatory during the winter. If you don't have a sunroom or some large south-facing windows, then you'll need to explore using supplemental lighting for these plants."

The Martins profile 47 fruiting tropical plants in their text, from the well-known citrus fruits to the exotics like acerola, dwarf pomegranate and papaya and even chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla and sugarcane plants. An artist’s sketch and close up photograph of foliage, fruit and flower is included with each featured plant along with detailed instructions on cultivation, care and harvest.

"If you're brand new to container gardening, it's a good idea to start with plants that grow quickly and can tolerate a range ot temperatures," the Martins advise. These include coffee, fig, ‘Meyer’ lemon, naranjilla, orangeberry, tree tomato, and yerba mate plants.

This book invites readers to a gardening adventure rich with sunny flavors and exotic fragrances, growing fruits once forbidden beyond the tropics.

Growing Tasty Tropical Plants
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: The Startup Game

The Startup Game
Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs
by William H. Draper and Eric Schmidt
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Co-authored by one of the best known and most respected venture
capitalists, William Draper, this book is an autobiographical account of
40 years of investing in entrepreneurs and their ideas.

Draper uses stories of risky investments, cagey CEOs and rancorous board
meetings to illustrate how he evaluates innovations and their innovators.
Object lessons drawn from his involvement with Skype, OpenTable, Hotmail,
Prolacta BioScience, Baidu, Selectica and dozens of other high-tech firms
make for fascinating reading.

Draper sums up much of his message in "The Top Ten Avoidable Mistakes of
Entrepreneurs" where he elaborates on the following preventable blunders:

* Creating overly optimistic projections about market size and
customer acquisitions.
* Underestimating timelines.
* Trying to do everything yourself.
* Failing to master the elevator pitch.
* Not downsizing when necessary.
* Being inflexible.
* Not developing a clear marketing plan.
* Building a board that consists only of friends.
* Not taking action in a recession.
* Not knowing the right way to approach venture capitalists.

Anyone expecting to meet with venture capitalists now or in the future
would be well advised to read this text carefully and take its lessons to

The Startup Game
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Monday, January 24, 2011

The View from Lazy Point

A Compassionate Mind
"In the panic among the fishes and in the frenzying terns, it’s also evident that nature has neither sentiment nor mercy. What it does have is life, truth, and logic. And it strives for what it cannot have: an end to danger, an assurance of longevity, a moment’s peace, and a comfortable death. It’s like us all, because we are natural.

"What anyone needs to know about mercy, one can learn by watching nature strive, seeing people struggle, and realizing what a compassionate mind could add to the picture. So I’m also struck that we who have named ourselves “wise humans” — Homo sapiens — haven’t quite realized that nature, civilization, peace, and human dignity are all facets of the same gemstone, and that abrasion of one tarnishes the whole."
The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World by Carl Safina
Review: The View from Lazy Point

Friday, January 14, 2011

Classic Cookbooks: Selections From Betty Crocker's Dinner For Two Cookbook

Selections From Betty Crocker's Dinner For Two Cookbook
by Betty Crocker
General Mills, 1973

Every recipe in this cookbook has beenm tested and retested in the Betty Crocker Kitchens and in homes all across the country.

Cooking for two?

Here are hundreds of new dining ideas for every taste and occasion.

Every menu is complete - main courses, vegetables, breads, desserts - all especially for two.

Selections From Betty Crocker's Dinner For Two Cookbook
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Now in Review: Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares

Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares
The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms
by Greg A. Marley
Chelsea Green, 2010

Throughout history, people have had a complex and confusing relationship with mushrooms. Are fungi food or medicine, beneficial decomposers or deadly "toadstools" ready to kill anyone foolhardy enough to eat them? In fact, there is truth in all these statements.

In Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares, author Greg Marley reveals some of the wonders and mysteries of mushrooms, and our conflicting human reactions to them.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now in Review: Fire in the Forest

Fire in the Forest
by Peter Thomas and Robert McApline
Cambridge University Press, 2010

How destructive or beneficial are forest fires to wildlife? Should we be trying to reduce or increase the amount of fire in forests? How are forest fires controlled, and why does this sometimes fail? What effect will climate change have?

These and many other questions are answered in this richly illustrated book, written in non-technical language.

Fire in the Forest
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Nature Writing and Natural Histories