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Geology

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  1. 7.1 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive-a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah. In this first book of a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, the author crosses the spectacular Basin and Range with geology professor Kenneth Deffeyes in tow. McPhee draws on Deffeyes’ expertise to dazzle you with the vast perspective of geologic time and the fascinating history of vanished landscapes. The effect is guaranteed to expand your mind. McPhee’s enthusiasm is infectious, as he provides one of the best introductions to plate tectonics and the New Geology. His elegant style is more pleasing than ever with narrator Nelson Runger’s smooth, enthusiastic delivery. Runger mines the book’s rich veins of poetic prose and subtle humor-and the result is pure gold.

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  2. 12.5 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, renowned particle physicist and bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Lisa Randall uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the solar system passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the universe, our galaxy, our solar system, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the history of the cosmos and our own history, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.

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    Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

    12.5 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 4.8 hrs • 10/2/2013

    Geology is often thought of as simply the study of rocks. In reality, geology is the study of our planet on all scales, from microscopic to planet-wide, and ranging in time from almost instantaneous events, like earthquakes, to the glacially slow motion of the tectonic plates. Everything we know about our world from a geologic perspective is based on information locked into the rock record and the job of a geologist is to tease out that story through a wide variety of observations. This insightful course explores a range of topics that help to tell the story of Earth, and to explain the discipline of geology and the role of the geologist. Individual lectures explore subjects such as minerals, the three different rock types and how they relate through the rock cycle, as well as how the interior of the earth is divided and the processes that occur there. Further lectures explore geologic time and how we sort out the history of any given sequence of rocks, how rocks deform and how plate tectonics works, and many processes related to surface water and groundwater. Geology has grown to become a very broad field with numerous areas of specialization, but this course provides a substantial overview of some of the most important features and processes that affect us as we interact with our planet and as it interacts with us.

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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    6.6 hrs • 1/8/2013 • Unabridged

    From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us? In The Universe Within, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, Shubin takes an expansive approach to the question of why we look the way we do. Starting with fossils, he turns his gaze skyward, showing us how the entirety of the universe’s fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. As he moves from our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system) through the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes clear how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our own bodies.

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    The Universe Within

    6.6 hrs • 1/8/13 • Unabridged
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  5. 2.9 hrs • 3/5/2004 • Unabridged

    “Let’s get lost together…” Lost in My Own Backyard brings acclaimed author Tim Cahill together with one of his—and America’s—favorite destinations: Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. Cahill has been “puttering around in the park” for a quarter of a century, slowly covering its vast scope and exploring its remote backwoods. So does this mean that he knows what he’s doing? Hardly. “I live fifty miles from the park,” says Cahill, “but proximity does not guarantee competence. I’ve spent entire afternoons not knowing exactly where I was, which is to say, I was lost in my own backyard.” Cahill stumbles from glacier to geyser, encounters wildlife (some of it, like bisons, weighing in the neighborhood of a ton), muses on the microbiology of thermal pools, gets spooked in the mysterious Hoodoos, sees moonbows arcing across waterfalls at midnight, and generally has a fine old time walking several hundred miles while contemplating the concept and value of wilderness. Mostly, Cahill says, “I have resisted the urge to commit philosophy. This is difficult to do when you’re alone, twenty miles from the nearest road, and you’ve just found a grizzly bear track the size of a pizza.” Divided into three parts—“The Trails,” which offers a variety of favorite day hikes; “In the Backcountry,” which explores three great backcountry trails very much off the beaten track; and “A Selected Yellowstone Bookshelf,” an annotated bibliography of his favorite books on the park—this is a hilarious, informative, and perfect guide for Yellowstone veterans and first-timers alike. Lost in My Own Backyard is adventure writing at its very best.

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    Lost in My Own Backyard

    2.9 hrs • 3/5/04 • Unabridged
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  6. 12.0 hrs • 1/13/2004 • Unabridged

    Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, DC, went haywire. Bodies washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island’s destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all—in view of today’s new political climate—the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

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    Krakatoa

    12.0 hrs • 1/13/04 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.5 hrs • 6/1/2003 • Unabridged

    Prized as “the best stone in Britain” by Roman invaders who carved jewelry out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies, and expanded frontiers. It made China a twelfth-century superpower, inspired the writing of the Communist Manifesto, and helped the northern states win the American Civil War. Yet the mundane mineral that built our global economy—and even today powers our electrical plants—has also caused death, disease, and environmental destruction. As early as 1306, King Edward I tried to ban coal (unsuccessfully) because its smoke became so obnoxious. Its recent identification as a primary cause of global warming has made it a cause célèbre of a new kind. In this remarkable book, Barbara Freese takes us on a rich historical journey that begins three hundred million years ago and spans the globe. From the “great stinking fogs” of London to the rat-infested coal mines of Pennsylvania, from the impoverished slums of Manchester to the toxic city streets of Beijing, Coal is a captivating narrative about an ordinary substance that has done extraordinary things—a simple black rock that could well determine our fate as a species.

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    Coal

    7.5 hrs • 6/1/03 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.7 hrs • 4/28/2003 • Unabridged

    The story of enigmatic scientist-turned-priest, Nicholas Steno, who first proposed that the shell-shaped rocks commonly found on Italian mountaintops actually were fossils—a notion completely antithetical to the seventeenth century theological and scientific world view, which maintained that the earth was only 6000 years old. Placing Steno’s story in the context of such characters as Darwin, Newton, Thomas Jefferson, and Saint Augustine, Alan Cutler illuminates the subject of “deep time” by combining authoritative science with stories of extraordinary people to bring home the philosophical and personal significance of Steno’s ideas, offering a fresh, new perspective on the very old planet on which we live.

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    The Seashell on the Mountaintop

    5.7 hrs • 4/28/03 • Unabridged
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