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The Secret Language of Color
In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world. Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to human culture and psychology. Organized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, The Secret Language of Color travels from outer space to Earth, from plants to animals to humans. In these chapters we learn about how and why we see color, the nature of rainbows, animals with color vision far superior and far inferior to our own, how our language influences the colors we see, and much more. Between these chapters, authors Joann Eckstut and Ariele Eckstut turn their attention to the individual hues of the visible spectrum--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet--presenting each in fascinating, in-depth detail. Including hundreds of stunning photographs and dozens of informative, often entertaining graphics, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. Whether you see red, are a shrinking violet, or talk a blue streak, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in the history, science, culture, and beatuty of color in the natural and man-made world.
Explorers' Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery & Adventure
The sketchbook has been the one constant in explorers' kits for centuries of adventure. Often private, they are records of immediate experiences and discoveries, and in their pages we can see what the explorers themselves encountered. This remarkable book showcases 70 such sketchbooks, kept by intrepid men and women as they journeyed perilous and unknown environments - frozen wastelands, high mountains, barren deserts, and dense rainforests - with their senses wide open. Figures such as Charles Darwin and Sir Edmund Hillary are joined here by lesser-known explorers such as Adela Breton, who braved the jungles of Mexico to make a record of Mayan monuments. Here are profiles, expedition details, and the artwork of pioneering explorers and mapmakers, botanists and artists, ecologists and anthropologists, eccentrics and visionaries. Here is the art of discovery.
Witches and demons, ghosts and vampires, aliens and voodoo spirits...from spooky to chilling to downright weird, signs of the supernatural have terrified - and fascinated - people for centuries. Dare to discover some of the world’s most puzzling enigmas in this remarkable book, which reveals a dazzling array of haunted castles, forbidden hideaways and otherwise eerie landmarks. Packed with rich illustrations, National Geographic’s first-ever guide to the world’s supernatural places showcases more than 250 spooky destinations around the globe. Uncover the origins of the vampire, found not only in Romania, but also in Madagascar and the Philippines. Encounter the array of ghosts said to haunt deserted battlefields, abandoned mental asylums, cemeteries and other spine-tingling sites. Consider the possibility of extraterrestrials spotted everywhere from Sedona, Arizona to Flatwoods, West Virginia. And experience the mystical origins of such extraordinary places as Ayers Rock, Australia and Chichén Itzá, Mexico. Vivid, dramatic, and chock full of inside information on when to visit, this spooky book will convince you that there might be more out there than meets the eye.
Sweeney, Monica (Edited)
Enjoy four of Shakespeare's tragedies told with LEGO bricks. Here are Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar enacted scene by scene, captioned by excerpts from the plays. Flip through one thousand color photographs as you enjoy Shakespeare's iconic poetry and marvel at what can be done with the world's most popular children's toy. Watch the brick Hamlet give his famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy, and feel brick Ophelia's grief as she meets her watery end. Lady Macbeth in brick form brings new terror to "Out, out, damn spot" and brick Romeo and Juliet are no less star-crossed for being rectangular and plastic. The warm familiarity of bricks lends levity to Shakespeare's tragedies while remaining true to his original language.The ideal book for Shakespeare enthusiasts, as well as a fun way to introduce children to Shakespeare's masterpieces, this book employs Shakespeare's original, characteristic language in abridged form. Though the language stays true to its origins, the unique format of these well-known tragedies will give readers a new way to enjoy one of the most popular playwrights in history.
The Believing Brain
Bestselling author Shermer presents a comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.
Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Shades of Death Park. Witness those eerie glowing spots known as Moody's Light. Slap another layer of color onto the world's biggest ball of paint, and yes, that really is a pink-spectacled elephant drinking a martini on the side of the road! From a town called Santa Claus to Indiana's most upright citizen - buried that way for almost 200 years - Weird Indiana proves that the Crossroads of America is also the Crossroads of the Weird!
An Uncommon History of Common Things (Volume 2)
Petroski, Henri (Foreword by)
This vivid, engrossing book reveals the fascinating stories behind the objects in your world, what you wear, what you eat, what entertains you, and more. Discover the history behind the world's tallest skyscrapers, find out when people first started drinking caffeine and why it wakes us up, and learn how GPS came to be. For those who loved the first installment of An Uncommon History of Common Things come even more short entries illustrated by full color photos. These incorporate quirky anecdotes about the history of everyday objects, including the personalities and pitfalls along the path to innovation and unusual facts behind things we frequently see and use. Smart, surprising, and informative, this book is the ultimate resource for history and trivia buffs alike. Dive into these entertaining pages and let your curiosity to run wild!
Do Penguins Have Knees? (Imponderables)
Ponder, if you will . . . What happens to your Social Security number when you die? Why are peanuts listed as an ingredient in plain M&Ms? Why is Barbie's hair made out of nylon, but Ken's hair is plastic? What makes up the ever-mysterious "new car smell"? Pop-culture guru David Feldman demystifies these topics and so much more in Do Penguins Have Knees? - the unchallenged source of answers to civilization's most perplexing questions. The book arms readers with the knowledge about everyday life that encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs just don't have. And think about it, where else are you going to get to the bottom of how beer was kept cold in the Old West?
Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes
A curious guide to the hidden histories of classic nursery rhymes. Who was Mary Quite Contrary, or Georgie Porgie? How could Hey Diddle Diddle offer an essential astronomy lesson? Do Jack and Jill actually represent the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? And if Ring Around the Rosie isn't about the plague, then what is it really about? This book is a quirky, curious, and sometimes sordid look at the truth behind popular nursery rhymes that uncovers the strange tales that inspired them - from Viking raids to political insurrection to smuggling slaves to freedom.
Weird Carolinas: Your Travel Guide to North and South Carolina's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
Spanish moss reaches out from dark trees on lonely roads, the Great Dismal Swamp shelters unknown beasts and near-beasts, the coastline is marked with thousands of hidden inlets where pirate ships buried treasures and German U-boats prowled. With all this and so much more, is it any wonder that the Carolinas, North and South, are filled with places and people that can only be called weird? And in our book, that’s a compliment.
America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World
All made in America: The skyscraper and subway car. The telephone and telegraph. The safety elevator and safety pin. Plus the microprocessor, amusement park, MRI, supermarket, Pennsylvania rifle, and Tennessee Valley Authority. Not to mention the city of Chicago or jazz or that magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.What is it about America that makes it a nation of inventors, tinkerers, researchers, and adventurers - obsessive pursuers of the never-before-created? And, equally, what is it that makes America such a fertile place to explore, discover, and launch the next big thing?In America the Ingenious, bestselling author Kevin Baker brings his gift of storytelling and eye for historical detail to the grand, and grandly entertaining, tale of American innovation. Here are the Edisons and Bells and Carnegies, and the stories of how they followed their passions and changed our world. And also the less celebrated, like Jacob Youphes and Loeb Strauss, two Jewish immigrants from Germany who transformed the way at least half the world now dresses (hint: Levi Strauss). And Leo Fender, who couldn’t play a note of music, midwifing rock ’n’ roll through his solid-body electric guitar and amplifier. And the many women who weren’t legally recognized as inventors, but who created things to make their lives easier that we use every day - like Josephine Cochran, inventor of the dishwasher, or Marion O’Brien Donovan, who invented a waterproof diaper cover. Or a guy with the improbable name of Philo Farnsworth, who, with his invention of television, upended communication as significantly as Gutenberg did.At a time when America struggles with different visions of what it wants to be, America the Ingenious shows the extraordinary power of what works: how immigration leads to innovation, what a strong government and strong public education mean to a climate of positive practical change, and why taking the long view instead of looking for short-term gain pays off many times over, not only for investors and inventors, but for the rest of us whose lives are made better by the new.America and its nation of immigrants have excelled at taking ideas from anywhere and transforming them into the startling, often unexpectedly beautiful creations that have shaped our world. This is that story.
Follow This Thread: A Maze Book to Get Lost In
Beautifully designed and gorgeously illustrated, this immersive, puzzle-like exploration of the history and psychology of mazes and labyrinths evokes the spirit of Choose Your Own Adventure, the textual inventiveness of Tom Stoppard, and the philosophical spirit of Jorge Luis Borges.Labyrinths are as old as humanity, the proving grounds of heroes, the paths of pilgrims, symbols of spiritual rebirth and pleasure gardens for pure entertainment. Henry Eliot leads us on a twisting journey through the world of mazes, real and imagined, unraveling our ancient, abiding relationship with them and exploring why they continue to fascinate us, from Kafka to Kubrick to the myth of the Minotaur and a quest to solve the disappearance of the legendary Maze King.Are you ready to step inside?
Now I Know: The Soviets Invaded Wisconsin?!
A brand-new collection of fascinating facts spanning history and sports to science and pop culture that will have you proudly stating, “Now I know!”Did you know that a measles outbreak led to the assigning of phone numbers? How about the fact that pirates are the reason we don’t use the metric system in the United States? Or that there’s actually a reason why stepping on a LEGO hurts so damn much?Now I Know: Soviets Invaded Wisconsin?! is the ultimate challenge for even the biggest trivia buff. From the time a tomato plant stood up to a volcano to Portland’s great garbage battle of 2002, this book will put your general knowledge to the test and explain the most fascinating stories behind the world’s greatest facts.Based on the very popular newsletter, you are guaranteed to learn something new despite how much you already think you know. Covering 100 topics, Now I Know: Soviets Invaded Wisconsin?! will surprise any know-it-all who thinks they have nothing new to learn.
The Book of Extraordinary Deaths: True Accounts of Ill-Fated Lives
The Book of Extraordinary Deaths introduces readers to the bizarre demises of thinkers, writers, monarchs, artists, and notable nobodies throughout history. Beginning in the seventh century BC with the unusual death of Draco and journeying chronologically to the present day, Ruiz’s playfully sinister giftbook illustrates and describes the infamous deaths of these unfortunate souls. From stories of the hot-air balloon duel that claimed a Frenchman’s life to the fatal wardrobe malfunction of famed dancer Isadora Duncan, The Book of Extraordinary Deaths is a uniquely clever and gorgeously rendered meditation on life’s ironies and mysteries. With Ruiz’s witty descriptions and rich, captivating illustrations, her characters come to life on the page even as they shuffle off this mortal coil.
This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All (P.S.)
Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that, in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us - expert and hopelessly baffled alike - can get along without human help. And not just any help: we need librarians, the only ones who can save us from being buried by the digital age. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals - from the blunt and obscenely funny bloggers to the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI. These are the pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.
Why are recessions not all bad? Which Major League Baseball team keeps its baseballs in a humidor - and why? Why is 300 cents more than 3 dollars? Mark Di Vincenzo, author of the New York Times bestseller Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon, returns with more fascinating facts! Do you know: What percentage of doctors in China smoke? Which is the most dangerous day of the year to drive a car? Whether a heart can literally break? How much investors paid for a Canadian cow named Missy? Within these pages you'll find tips and facts that will save you money, help you live healthier, and make you the most interesting person to talk to at any party.
Bizarre World: A Collection of the World's Creepiest, Strangest, and Sometimes Most Hilarious Traditions
Ross, E. Reid
Every culture handles life differently. From the “blackening of the bride” in Scotland and the custom of not looking babies in the eyes in Kenya, to enlisting geese as part of the police squad in China and the tradition of children eating bread with chocolate sprinkles for breakfast in Amsterdam, there are so many unique behaviors all across the world.In Bizarre World, journey across the globe to understand how various cultures approach everything from grief, beauty standards, food, parenting, death, stress management, happiness, and more. Many customs may seem perfectly sane, while others, not so much. Some are just downright strange, funny, or weird.There’s so much to discover about the people around us and the beliefs they hold. Let Bizarre World be your armchair guide to a different way of life with quick facts and “did you knows?” that will leave you saying, “huh, that’s strange.”
Dr. Bizarro's Eclectic Collection of Strange and Obscure Facts
From the odd to the outrageous, Dr. Bizarro's newly-discovered and recently completed collection of arcana includes secrets and hidden info about everything from fringe myths and plagued places to rejected literary classics and even horrific ways to die on a farm.Weirdness abounds in this unprecedented compilation of peculiar facts, including forms of divination, bizarre tortures, invasive medical tests, celebrity UFO sightings, crucified saviors other than Jesus, banned books, elements of a near-death experience, curious tourist attractions, ridiculous sex laws, and much more.
How Things Are Made
For anyone, young or old, who has ever wondered, "how do they make those?" - here is an entertaining, illustrated exploration of the process behind the manufacture of everyday items. What are bulletproof vests made of? How do they get lipstick into the tube? How much brass does it take to make a trumpet? The answers - and much fascinating information - can be found in How Things Are Made, a behind-the-machine look at everyday objects of all kinds, from guitars, helicopters, and compact discs to lawn mowers, running shoes, and chocolate.
Discover's 20 Things You Didn't Know About Everything
How much do you know about . . . obesity, sleep, meteors, aliens, bees, sperm banks, sex in space, duct tape, germs, airport security, death, ancient weapons, rats, the Internet, birth, weather, milk, mosquitoes, your body, space disasters. Discover's 20 Things You Didn't Know About Everything is the first book written by the editors of the award-winning DISCOVER magazine. This original book looks at many popular - and sometimes unexpected - topics in science and technology, and reveals quirky, intriguing, and little-known facts. Whether you're just curious or think you already know everything, this book is guaranteed to expand your mind.
Bubble Gum and Hula Hoops: The Origins of Objects in Our Everyday Lives
The fascinating and funny origins of everyday objects - bliss for history hounds, language lovers and trivia buffs. In this delightful volume, Harry Oliver reveals the most unusual and unexpected stories behind the household necessities, toys, common objects, technological advances, and everyday items we all take for granted. Who hasn't wondered: Whether Thomas Crapper really invented the toilet. What accident led to the invention of the microwave. Why it took nearly twenty years for someone to finally decide to slice bread. How laziness resulted in the invention of the dishwasher. Which discovery made the milkshake possible. Which king's fancy for his mistress inspired the first elevator.
Bizarre London: Discover the Capital's Secrets & Surprises
A book of the strangest and most intriguing stories of London.A fascinating tour of London's most bizarre locations. Ranging from architectural evidence of past incidents and stories of life beneath the city to anecdotes of magic, mystery, and murder, this is a perfect companion for anyone curious about the captivating capital.Learn why London buses are red, and discover the city's cabbie slang, its weirdest wills and the maddest buildings never built. Discover the bizarre history of its pubs, graveyards, tube stations, parks, and palaces - it's London as you've never seen it before.
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Myths and Misconceptions
Have you always thought that a goldfish has a 3-second memory span?Do you think your morning coffee comes from a bean?Do you believe that those accused at the Salem Witch Trials were burned at the stake?If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’ve been lied to. But don’t worry, this book will set the record straight on all the common myths that most people take for fact, making you the most well-informed smart-alec in town.So next time someone proclaims that Napoleon Bonaparte was short, or that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker, you can correct them, and tell them smugly that everything they think they know is wrong.
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