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The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393245845
Pages: 352
Year: 2014-09-10
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Winner of the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature and the 2015 PEN New England Henry David Thoreau Prize. A dazzling, inspiring tour through the ways that humans are working with nature to try to save the planet. Ackerman is justly celebrated for her unique insight into the natural world and our place in it. In this landmark book, she confronts the unprecedented reality that one prodigiously intelligent and meddlesome creature, Homo sapiens, is now the dominant force shaping the future of planet Earth. Humans have "subdued 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness." We tinker with nature at every opportunity; we garden the planet with our preferred species of plants and animals, many of them invasive; and we have even altered the climate, threatening our own extinction. Yet we reckon with our own destructive capabilities in extraordinary acts of hope-filled creativity: we collect the DNA of vanishing species in a "frozen ark," equip orangutans with iPads, and create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. With her distinctive gift for making scientific discovery intelligible to the layperson, Ackerman takes us on an exhilarating journey through our new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating—perhaps saving—our future and that of our fellow creatures. A beguiling, optimistic engagement with the changes affecting every part of our lives, The Human Age is a wise and beautiful book that will astound, delight, and inform intelligent life for a long time to come.
The Human Age
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 1443423017
Pages: 352
Year: 2014-09-09
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A New York Times Bestseller Diane Ackerman is justly celebrated for her unique insight into the natural world and our place in it. In this landmark book, she confronts the unprecedented reality that one prodigiously intelligent and meddlesome creature, Homo sapiens, is now the dominant force shaping the future of planet Earth. Humans have “subdued 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness.” We tinker with nature at every opportunity; we garden the planet with our preferred species of plants and animals, many of them invasive; and we have even altered the climate, threatening our own extinction. Yet we reckon with our own destructive capabilities in extraordinary acts of hope-filled creativity: we collect the DNA of vanishing species in a “frozen ark,” equip orangutans with iPads and create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. With her distinctive gift for making scientific discovery intelligible to the layperson, Ackerman takes us on an exhilarating journey through our new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating—perhaps saving—our future and that of our fellow creatures. A beguiling, optimistic engagement with the changes affecting every part of our lives, The Human Age is a wise and beautiful book that will astound, delight and inform intelligent life for a long time to come. “The Human Age is a dazzling achievement: immensely readable, lively, polymathic, audacious.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
The Human Age
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0755365003
Pages: 352
Year: 2014-09-11
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'Our relationship with nature has changed . . . radically, irreversibly, but by no means all for the bad. Our new epoch is laced with invention. Our mistakes are legion, but our talent is immeasurable.' In The Human Age award-winning nature writer Diane Ackerman confronts the fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet. Humans have 'subdued 75 per cent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness'. We now collect the DNA of vanishing species in a 'frozen ark', equip orang-utans with iPads, create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. Ackerman takes us on an exciting journey to understand this bewildering new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating - perhaps saving - the future. The Human Age is a surprising, optimistic engagement with the dramatic transformations that have shaped, and continue to alter, our world, our relationship with nature and our prospects for the future. Diane Ackerman is one of our most lyrical, insightful and compelling writers on the natural world and The Human Age is a landmark book.
Deep Play
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307763331
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-06-01
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With A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman let her free-ranging intellect loose on the natural world. Now in Deep Play she tackles the realm of creativity, by exploring one of the most essential aspects of our characters: the abitlity to play. "Deep play" is that more intensified form of play that puts us in a rapturous mood and awakens the most creative, sentient, and joyful aspects of our inner selves. As Ackerman ranges over a panoply of artistic, spiritual, and athletic activities, from spiritual rapture through extreme sports, we gain a greater sense of what it means to be "in the moment" and totally, transcendentally human. Keenly perceived and written with poetic exuberance, Deep Play enlightens us by revealing the manifold ways we can enhance our lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Natural History of the Senses
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307763315
Pages: 352
Year: 2011-12-07
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Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. “Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.” —The New York Times
One Hundred Names for Love: A Memoir
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393341747
Pages: 336
Year: 2012-04-02
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The author of The Zookeepers Wife describes her husband's terrible stroke which resulted in aphasia, or loss of language, and how she used their love and scientific understanding of language to help him regain his use of words. Reprint.
Cultivating Delight
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060505362
Pages: 272
Year: 2002-10-01
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In the mode of her bestseller A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman celebrates the sensory pleasures of her garden through the seasons. Whether she is deadheading flowers or glorying in the profusion of roses, offering sugar water to a hummingbird or studying the slug, she welcomes the unexpected drama and extravagance as well as the sanctuary her garden offers. Written in sensuous, lyrical prose, Cultivating Delight is a hymn to nature and to the pleasure we take in it.
An Alchemy of Mind
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439125082
Pages: 320
Year: 2012-10-30
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Zookeeper's Wife, an ambitious and enlightening work that combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate, as never before, the magic and mysteries of the human mind. Long treasured by literary readers for her uncommon ability to bridge the gap between art and science, celebrated scholar-artist Diane Ackerman returns with the book she was born to write. Her dazzling new work, An Alchemy of Mind, offers an unprecedented exploration and celebration of the mental fantasia in which we spend our days—and does for the human mind what the bestselling A Natural History of the Senses did for the physical senses. Bringing a valuable female perspective to the topic, Diane Ackerman discusses the science of the brain as only she can: with gorgeous, immediate language and imagery that paint an unusually lucid and vibrant picture for the reader. And in addition to explaining memory, thought, emotion, dreams, and language acquisition, she reports on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and addresses controversial subjects like the effects of trauma and male versus female brains. In prose that is not simply accessible but also beautiful and electric, Ackerman distills the hard, objective truths of science in order to yield vivid, heavily anecdotal explanations about a range of existential questions regarding consciousness, human thought, memory, and the nature of identity.
Origami Bridges
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060555297
Pages: 160
Year: 2003-10-07
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At the heart of Origami Bridges is the delicate relationship of trust between analyst and patient, a relationship that grows out of the emotional give-and-take of the psychoanalytic process. In this collection, Diane Ackerman, with astonishing candor, lays bare her desires, anger, jealousy, fears, and anxiety, as she probes not only her present emotional landscape but also her past. And what gradually rises to the surface is an understanding of how the poet uses verse to purge her demons, express her delight, or confess secret longing, and through this process come to a better understanding of the self.
Dawn Light
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393338754
Pages: 240
Year: 2010-08-24
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Draws on a diverse range of sources from meteorology and religion to history and organic farming to introduce readers to bird music and other signs of avian intelligence, in a series of meditations that describe the author's migration-copying travels between New York and Florida.
Moon By Whale Light
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030776334X
Pages: 272
Year: 2011-05-18
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In a rare blend of scientific fact and poetic truth, the acclaimed author of A Natural History of the Senses explores the activities of whales, penguins, bats, and crocodilians, plunging headlong into nature and coming up with highly entertaining treasures. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Rocket Dreams
Author: Marina Benjamin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743254171
Pages: 256
Year: 2003-05-25
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In 1958, mankind's centuries-long flirtation with space flight became a torrid love affair. For a decade, tens of millions of people were enraptured -- first, by the U.S.-Soviet race to the moon, and finally, as America outstripped its rival, by Project Apollo alone. It is now more than three decades since the last man walked on the moon...more time than between the first moonwalk and the beginning of World War II. Apollo did not, as had been promised by a generation of visionaries, herald the beginning of the Space Age, but its end. Or did it? Project Apollo, like a cannonball, reached its apogee and returned to earth, but the trajectory of that return was complex. America's atmosphere -- its economic, scientific, and cultural atmosphere -- made for a very complicated reentry that produced many solutions to the trajectory problem. Rocket Dreams is about those solutions...about the places where the space program landed. In Rocket Dreams, an extraordinarily talented young writer named Marina Benjamin will take you on a journey to those landing sites. A visit with retired astronauts at a celebrity autograph show is a starting point down the divergent paths taken by the pioneers, including Edgar Mitchell, founder of the "church" of Noëtic Sciences. Roswell, New Mexico is a landing site of a different order, the "magnetic north" of UFO belief in the United States -- a belief that began its most dramatic growth precisely at the time that the path of the space program began its descent. In the vernacular, the third law of motion states that what goes up, must come down. Thus the tremendous motive force that energized the space program didn't just vanish; it was conserved and transformed, making bestsellers out of fantasy literature, spawning Gaia, and giving symbolism to the environmental movement. Everything from the pop cultural boom in ufology to the worldwide Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) feeds on the energy given off by America's leap toward space. Rocket Dreams is an eloquent tour of this Apollo-scarred landscape. It is also an introduction to some of the most fascinating characters imaginable: Some long dead, like the crackpot visionary Alfred Lawson, who saw in space flight a new stage of human evolution ("Alti-Man"), or Robert Goddard, the father of rocketry, whose workshop in Roswell stands only half a mile from shops selling posters of alien visitors. Others are very much alive -- like Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog and partner with Gerard O'Neill in the drive to build free-floating space colonies, and SETI astronomer Seth Shostak, who has spent decades listening to the skies, hoping for the first contact with another intelligent species. Perceptive, original, and wonderfully written, informed by history, science, and an acute knowledge of popular culture, Rocket Dreams is a brilliant book by a remarkable talent.
Earth in Human Hands
Author: David Grinspoon
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 1455589136
Pages: 544
Year: 2016-12-06
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For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made--up until this point, inadvertently--to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth's story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence. Without minimizing the challenges of the next century, Grinspoon suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. Our species has surmounted the threat of extinction before, thanks to our innate ingenuity and ability to adapt, and there's every reason to believe we can do so again. Our challenge now is to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change, and to grow into this task. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth's biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst thing or the best thing to ever happen to our planet? Today we stand at a pivotal juncture, and the answer will depend on the choices we make.
The Written World
Author: Martin Puchner
Publisher:
ISBN: 0812998936
Pages: 412
Year: 2017
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"The story of literature in sixteen acts, from Alexander the Great and the Iliad to ebooks and Harry Potter, this engaging book brings together remarkable people and surprising events to show how writing shaped cultures, religions, and the history of the world"--
A Natural History of Love
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307763323
Pages: 384
Year: 2011-06-01
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The bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses now explores the allure of adultery, the appeal of aphrodisiacs, and the cult of the kiss. Enchantingly written and stunningly informed, this "audaciously brilliant romp through the world of romantic love" (Washington Post Book World) is the next best thing to love itself. From the Trade Paperback edition.