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Innovation Inspired by Nature
By Janine M. Benyus

Biomimicry is a revolutionary new science that analyzes nature's best ideas -- spider silk and prairie grass, seashells and brain cells -- and adapts them for human use. Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus takes us into the lab and out in the field with the maverick researchers who are applying nature's ingenious solutions to the problem of human survival: stirring vats of proteins to unleash their signaling power in computers; analyzing how spiders manufacture a waterproof fiber five times stronger than steel; studying how electrons in a leaf cell convert sunlight to fuel in trillionths of a second; discovering miracle drugs by observing what animals eat -- and much more.

The products of biomimicry are things we can all use -- medicines, "smart" computers, super-strong materials, profitable and earth-friendly business. Biomimicry eloquently shows that the answers are all around us.

Links to interview with Janine M. Benyus:

Link to information on award winning video based on book:


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Earth Light
Spiritual Wisdom for an Ecological Age
Edited by Cindy Spring and Anthony Manousos


During its fifteen years of publication, EarthLight Magazine celebrated the living Earth and our thirteen billion year story of the Universe. Founded and inspired by Quakers, EarthLight featured articles by many of the world's seminal figures in secular and religious thought about the place and participation of humankind in creation. This anthology embodies what we feel is the best of EarthLight and of Quaker writers on spirituality and ecology during the past twenty years, a period that some see as the beginning of a new era, an "Ecological Age."


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nding Beauty in a Broken World
by Terry Tempest Williams (Author

From Publishers Weekly
Williams (The Open Space of Democracy) travels to Ravenna, Italy, a town famous for its ancient mosaics, to learn a new language with my hands. Back home in Utah, Williams views the lives of a clan of endangered prairie dogs—a species essential to the ecological mosaic of the grasslands and the creators of the most sophisticated animal language decoded so far—through the rules of Italian mosaics. After intimate study of a prairie dog town at Bryce Canyon, her visit to 19th-century prairie dog specimens at the American Museum of Natural History segues, dreamlike, to a glass case of bones from the genocide in Rwanda, where Williams, overwhelmed by the death of her brother but knowing that her own spiritual evolution depended upon it, travels with artist Lily Yeh, who understands mosaic as taking that which is broken and creating something whole, to build a memorial with genocide survivors. The book, itself a skillful, nuanced mosaic (a conversation between what is broken... a conversation with light, with color, with form) uses this way of thinking about the world to convincingly make the connection between racism and specism and sensitively argues for respect for life in all its myriad forms. (Oct.) 
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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Peak Experiences

Walking Meditations on Literature, Nature, and Need (Under the Sign of Nature)
by Ian Marshall (Author)

Nature’s ability to satisfy deep human needs is familiar to anyone who has hiked up a mountain, canoed a river, or hung a bird feeder outside the kitchen window. In Story Line, his groundbreaking work of narrative ecocriticism, Ian Marshall explores how natural surroundings inspired works of literature set along the Appalachian Trail. In his new work, Peak Experiences, Marshall sets out on a far more personal and at the same time far-reaching journey, to discover how our modern estrangement from the natural world has affected our mental well-being.

Taking as his starting point the psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of human needs”—a pyramid familiar to anyone who ever cracked a textbook for Psych 101—Marshall asks how his own experience of deep satisfaction in nature may or may not fit Maslow’s theory. In chapters focused on the needs identified by Maslow, Marshall finds evidence for the healing power of nature in literature and in his own experiences in the wild.

“I offer myself as test subject,” Marshall writes: “recently divorced, a father sharing custody of two children, someone with a high regard for the written word, . . . a little too stressed-out these days, no more self-actualized than the next person but just as curious about it—and what I have going for me are a lot of well-read books, a good pair of broken-in hiking boots, and a thing for mountains.”

Embracing the exciting new field of ecopsychology, Marshall leads us on a personal and intellectual odyssey, from the dream mountain of Henry David Thoreau to the high slopes of John Muir’s beloved Mount Shasta. Always, Marshall returns to his own challenges as father and reader, and to his own humble but rewarding mountain, Bald Eagle Ridge, in the Pennsylvania countryside outside his back door.


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Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime

by Ellen Prager

When viewed from a quiet beach, the ocean, with its rolling waves and vast expanse, can seem calm, even serene. But hidden beneath the sea’s waves are a staggering abundance and variety of active creatures, engaged in the never-ending struggles of life—to reproduce, to eat, and to avoid being eaten.

With Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime, marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce an astonishing cast of fascinating and bizarre creatures that make the salty depths their home. From the tiny but voracious arrow worms whose rapacious ways may lead to death by overeating, to the lobsters that battle rivals or seduce mates with their urine, to the sea’s masters of disguise, the octopuses, Prager not only brings to life the ocean’s strange creatures, but also reveals the ways they interact as predators, prey, or potential mates. And while these animals make for some jaw-dropping stories—witness the sea cucumber, which ejects its own intestines to confuse predators, or the hagfish that ties itself into a knot to keep from suffocating in its own slime—there’s far more to Prager’s account than her ever-entertaining anecdotes: again and again, she illustrates the crucial connections between life in the ocean and humankind, in everything from our food supply to our economy, and in drug discovery, biomedical research, and popular culture.

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Why Birds Sing
A Journey Through the Mystery of Bird Song
by David Rothenberg (Author)

From Booklist
The question of why birds sing has kept humans entranced for millennia. Most scientists would answer that birds sing to claim territories and to attract mates. But why is so much of birdsong beautiful? In a unique approach to the study of birdsong, jazz musician and philosopher Rothenberg attacks this question through the medium of music. When a musician friend invited him to come and play music with the birds at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Rothenberg's music attracted a white-crested laughing thrush. The bird began to sing along with the author's clarinet and to actually improvise as he improvised. This interaction led to a journey, both intellectual and physical, as Rothenberg investigated birdsong. Mixed throughout the narrative is the author's sheer joy at the musicality of birds' songs, illustrated with musical notations made by both the author and previous researchers. This lovely amalgam of science and music will appeal to both left- and right-brained readers. Nancy Bent
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 Chandra links pulsar to historic supernova 


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