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$2,309.25 $1,961.30
1. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia
$2,495.00 $899.99
2. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science
$147.90 $119.70 list($170.00)
3. Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary
$9.71 $6.03 list($12.95)
4. Pocket Ref
$149.00 $139.92
5. Manipulating the Mouse Embryo:
$8.96 $3.25 list($11.95)
6. Longitude: The True Story of a
$320.00 $241.36
7. Encyclopedia of the Elements :
$118.50 $81.95 list($150.00)
8. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific
$99.95 $89.40
9. Encyclopedia of Insects
list($60.00)
10. Scientific Style and Format: The
$110.95 $53.90 list($114.95)
11. Probability: The Science of Uncertainty
$12.89 $12.38 list($18.95)
12. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
$315.00
13. Concise Encyclopedia of Polymer
$177.45 $147.43 list($195.00)
14. Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference
$23.10 $16.58 list($35.00)
15. The New How Things Work : From
$122.95 $95.99
16. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
$12.21 $11.06 list($17.95)
17. The Casebook of Forensic Detection:
$13.57 $12.70 list($19.95)
18. The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection
$94.95 $91.15
19. Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes
$138.00 $104.59
20. Analytical Chemistry in a GMP

1. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopeida)
by Bernhard Grzimek, Neil Schlager, Donna Olendorf, Melissa C. McDade
list price: $2,309.25
our price: $2,309.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787653624
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Gale Group
Sales Rank: 953967
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best zoology reference available!
This book is clearly the best zoological compilation that is available at the moment. Grzimek is one of the most renowned zoologists in the world, and his works were edited and supplied with material by today's highest-ranking zoologists. This 9000 page encyclopedia includes the following volumes:

v1 Lower Metazoans and Lesser Deuterostomes
v2 Insects
v3 Protostomes
v4-5 Fishes
v6 Amphibians
v7 Reptiles
v8-11 Birds
v12-16 Mammals
(v17) - Cumulative Index

All this text is generously supplied with coloured illustrations. The only drawback to all this goodness is that this piece is pricey. ... Read more


2. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology
by Staff of McGraw-Hill
list price: $2,495.00
our price: $2,495.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0079136656
Catlog: Book (2002-04-16)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Sales Rank: 385673
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No other single resource provides such comprehensive and authoritative yet readily-accessible coverage of all the major disciplines of science and technology. This time-honored encyclopedia, now in its fifth decade of publication, has been thoroughly revised and updated to bring well-illustrated, detailed coverage of the discoveries, developments, and milestones that have and continue to shape our lives. The new Ninth Edition features 7100 articles covering 97 fields of science; hundreds of new contributors from around the world, more than 5000 in all, including 30 Nobel Prize winners; more than 12000 digitally prepared illustrations (including 90 full-color plates); study guides; many thousands of bibliographic entries and 61,000 cross-references for background material and in-depth study; a topical index; and a 500+ page Analytical Index for fast access to information.

The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology is also available online as AccessScience (http://www.AccessScience.com), and accessible through school and library subscriptions. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Encylopedia is one for the angels
There is something almost comical about the thought of reviewing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. It is an amazing work, such a stunning compendium of erudition in such a wide array of difficult and rigorous subjects that the ordinary rules and reasons of writing a review don't really apply to it.

Reviewing any other work would function with the assumption that you *had* actually read it; that you were familiar with it; and also that you were implicitly prepared to face intelligent rebuttal with regard to the opinion you offered and the comments you made. However, when it comes to The Encyclopedia, it would require more than ordinary intellectual stamina and range of interests to *read* it for review and the same notion applies to the possibility of rebuttal: if you are enough of an intellectual giant that you can talk intelligently about the sum of what is in The Encyclopedia, then who is there to rebutt you? Who is going to come out of the woodwork and dissaggree with what you have to say about it? No real 'revue' is possible or meaningful when talking about it, but some things can be said about it and nearly all those things are golden.

My experience with The Encyclopedia goes back to my days in highschool, more than twenty years ago, when I regularly went to the library between classes and used the encyclopedia to answer the questions that occured to me at random. Back then, The Encyclopedia was a godsend for me, something that had answers to questions to that my teachers didn't have the time to answer. It was a browser's book for me; the kind of text that offered the cross-referenced characteristics of intertwined questions leading to other questions leading to yet other questions that exactly foreshadow the hypertext concepts that run the web today. Article after article pointed toward things that I would later find out more about only in adulthood, long years after I left the library.

I can still clearly see the photo illustrating The Monroe Effect__where the forces generated by the shape of an explosive charge concentrate the force and direction of the explosive force. The illustration was a small gray photo showing the words 'Monroe Effect' stamped in reverse into a light-colored block of plastic explosive which lay next to a metal ingot which had had the words the same words imprinted into it by explosive force.

I remember this and many other things from other articles that awakened my curiosity with regard to things and that remain with me and enrich my life to this day. However, I think that There is one clear flaw in The Encyclopedia: I can find no electronic edition of it. I have never seen a CD- or DVD-ROM edition of it and, the commercial considerations of McGraw-Hill aside, that seems like a great failing. When the Oxford Dictionary exists both on CD-ROM and on paper, and when all of National Geographic back to 1888 can be found in a DVD-ROM collection, it seems silly to have this great repository of scientific and technical erudition limited to non-computer readable forms. I could be wrong, an electronic edition mightt actually exist for all I know, but if I am right, I think that the world would profit by having a portable edition of the work available for scientists, technicians, doctors, teachers and any of the other groups who might want the information it has to offer at their fingertips in a portable form. Aside from this single flaw, I can honestly say that I my experience with The Encyclopedia is something that glows in my memory and I frankly admit that I covet the high-quality electronic edition that I wish were available.

I suppose that this is less a review than it is a homage to the people and the will that worked to put The Encyclopedia together. All in all, I would like to say, 'Thank you' and that I can heartily recommend the encyclopedia not just to scientists and students in scientific fields but to anyone who is fascinated by things of the mind. ... Read more


3. Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary (14th Edition)
by Richard J.Lewis, Richard J. Lewis
list price: $170.00
our price: $147.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471387355
Catlog: Book (2001-09-10)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 67238
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For eighty-two years, this authoritative reference has been the bedrock volume for professionals worldwide involved with chemicals – from scientific and technical staff, to sales and marketing personnel, to managers and administrators. This resource remains unrivaled in totality, easy accessibility, and conciseness of data for common chemical substances and phenomena.
In its fourteenth edition, Hawley’s Condensed Chemical Dictionary once again establishes itself as the world’s principal lexicon of industrial chemicals, nomenclature, processes, reactions, products, and related terminology. Scrutinized and extensively revised by internationally renowned chemist and reference author, Richard J. Lewis Sr., this newest edition features updated information on production, usage, and regulatory trends. In addition, the dictionary contains:

- Up-to-date chemical entries, definitions, and cross references
- Web links to new, as well as established, manufacturers and associations
- To-the-point information on natural products, manufacturing processes, and equipment

This latest edition of the Condensed Chemical Dictionary has retained all the essential characteristics that have made it a bestseller by providing identification of chemical substances by name, physical properties, source of occurrence, CAS number, chemical formula, potential hazards, derivations, synonyms, and applications. It continues to be an essential tool for chemists and chemical engineers, environmental professionals, industrial hygienists, toxicologists, police and firefighters, EMTs, emergency clean-up technicians, and managers of toxicological and chemical information systems. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING REFERENCE TOOL
Also available in CD-ROM, this all-in-one resource is an authoritative reference which many scientists and learners can count on. Since its first appearance some eighty years ago, this dictionary has established itself as the ultimate tool of choice for researchers.
Its extensive coverage of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is hard to rival. Users of this dictionary appreciate its concise definition of both terms and phenomena. Anybody who seeks a solid all-encompassing chemical lexicon will get the ultimate satisfaction here. Its 1300 pages are filled with the most up-to-date definitions.
The only sour point, though, is that its price is on the high side. Still, it is not a bad investment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellant book for practical chemists, researches, students.
This book provides condensed and prompt information not only on chemistry related subjects, but biology, biochemistry, and many more. It has very good cross referances. I think anybody who decided to buy Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary would not regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars WANT TO REVIEW LATEST EDITION.
I HAVE THE NINTH EDITION OF THE CONDENSED CHEMICAL DICTIONARY REVISED BY GESSNER G. HAWLEY AND I WANT THE LATEST EDITION OF THIS BOOK. PLEASE SEND ME THE BEST RATES YOU CAN OFFER AND THE MODE OF DESPATCH. COMPLETE DETAILS SO AS TO ENABLE US TO PRCURE THIS BOOK. ALONG WITH IT PLEASE SEND ME THE COMPLETE DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS TOO.

AWAITING FOR YOUR PROMPT AND FAVOURABLE RESPONSE.

VIRAT LALANI. ... Read more


4. Pocket Ref
by Thomas J. Glover
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885071337
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Sequoia Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 2363
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Swiss Army Knife" of reference books
How did I live without this book? This book has everything I ever wanted X10. R values? Temperature and wind chill conversions? World wide area codes and airport codes? Wood screw specs? Friction loss in pipe? Mohr's hardness scales? Credit card 800 #s? I mean it's ALL here! I buy these to give them away!

5-0 out of 5 stars My other Lil' Black book.
First there was sliced bread, then there was "The Pocket Ref". I found it such a great reference book that I ordered 6 of them for my associates. It is 100 pounds of information in a 13 oz. package. There has not been a day since I have received it that I have not used it for something (conversions of all types, geometric formulas long forgotten, constants, material information from glues to the mass of Neptune...yeh Neptune!, and yes...bolt torque specifications). One draw back is that everyone that does not have "The Ref" comes to you for the answers. It is a cornucopia of information that every engineer will surely benefit from having.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let us see more of this kind
At the time when most publishers go racing on how fat a book can they make (someone ought to start suing for strain injuries :-), this gem brings the light back to our hands. It shows that is is possible to pack enormous ammount of information, and even use quite a lot of pages, and still retain all qualities of the small and light format.

Imagine the wonder of O'Reilly redesigning and publishing a few Nurshell books in this format, or CRC converting a few math and science references, or the ex-Wrox XSLT Programmer's Reference seeing the new printing ... I'm sure everyone who bought this book would have at least one more to add to this list.

1-0 out of 5 stars Only lacking one thing....
I love this book and it would have gotten a perfect review, however it failed to tell me the meaning of life. Such an oversight shoulld not be forgiven...

5-0 out of 5 stars Every man should have one
If you are a man, you must order one or we will take your man licence away! If you are a lady and have no idea what to get your man, this is it!

This book has everything you could possibly imagine and some things you didn't know existed. ... Read more


5. Manipulating the Mouse Embryo: A Laboratory Manual
by Andras Nagy, Marina Gertsenstein, Kristina Vintersten, Richard Behringer
list price: $149.00
our price: $149.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879695919
Catlog: Book (2002-12-15)
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Sales Rank: 192923
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Regarded as the "Bible" of mammalian embryo manipulation techniques since the 1986 publication of the first edition of Manipulating the Mouse Embryo: A Laboratory Manual, the third edition of this essential laboratory resource has now been completely reorganized, rewritten, and updated by a new cast of authors. The result is a compilation of new, cutting–edge protocols that include embryonic stem cell production and genetic manipulation, mouse chimeras, mouse cloning, assisted reproduction strategies (including intracytoplasmic sperm injection and in vitro fertilization), whole embryo culture systems, electroporation, embryo and gamete cryopreservation and rederivation, and gene expression, as well as more extensive background information on the use of these techniques. The "gold standard" techniques for applying recombinant DNA technology to investigations of mammalian embryonic development included in the first two editions of this book are also updated and recast, as is the summary of the current state of understanding of mouse development at the molecular level. This book is the premier authoritative and comprehensive source of technical and theoretical guidance for mouse developmental biologists and geneticists and is an essential resource for newcomers to these fields. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Testament?
A definitive summary of mouse development and simple, concise proven protocols. This is the best publication there is for this kind of work. It's much better than the 2nd, ed. I wish it had more of a troubleshooting focus, but I guess if you are in this line of work, you should be able to figure out problems yourself, or query the tg list.... I like how there are alternative strategies mentioned depending on how your lab is equiped (or not). ... Read more


6. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
by Dava Sobel
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140258795
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 5257
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

During the great ages of exploration, "the longitude problem" was the gravest of all scientific challenges. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores; those traveling well-known routes were easy prey to pirates.

In 1714, England's Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment--from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton--had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution--a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do on land. And the race was on....
... Read more

Reviews (209)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing subject, fascinating story
With "Longitude" Dava Sobel has written a very interesting book about the greatest scientific problem of the 18th century.

As a result of the 1707-shipwreck story (with a loss of 4 out of the 5 ships), the English Parliament offered in 1714 a 20.000 pounds reward to the person that could provide a practicable and useful way of determining longitude. (If you have forgot, longitude is the "lines" that runs from pole to pole). Not being able to determining longitude was a great problem. Ships spent excessive time trying to find its way back to port, or worse men, ship and cargo were lost at sea.

John Harrison (1693-1776) spent his lifetime trying to solve the longitude mystery. Harrison was a son of a countryman, with minimal schooling, and was self-educated in watch making. He made several timepieces, which all qualified for the reward, but the reward was delayed several times by the Longitude committee whom believed that other ways of measuring longitude were the preferred ones. Ultimately after a lot of harassment and trouble, Harrison was given the reward money.

Dava Sobel has done a wonderful job in this book, capturing Harrison's fascinating character, his brilliance, preserving and hard working nature. The author has also managed to strike a perfect balance between technical jargon and personal anecdotes, and she does it in such a way permitting the lay readers of the book to admire the elegance of Harrison's discoveries. I believe it is a sign of excellent quality when an author makes learning so interesting.

I was hooked from the first page of this book and I read it in 50-page gulps at a time.

Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars John Harrison--an extraordinary person
John Harrison (1693-1776) spent his lifetime inventing and perfecting a series of timepieces to measure longitude. As Dava Sobel relates in her engaging narrative, "Longitude," until the 18th century sailors navigated by following parallels of latitude and roughly estimating distance traveled east or west. Ships routinely missed their destinations, often taking excessive time to arrive or succumbing to reefs off fogbound shores. Thousands of sailors and tons of cargo were lost.

In 1714, England's Parliament offered £20,000 (the equivalent of about $12 million today) to anyone who provided a "practicable and useful" means of determining longitude. Countless solutions were suggested, some bizarre, some impractical, some workable only on land and others far too complex.

Most astronomers believed the answer lay in the sky, but Harrison, a clockmaker, imagined a mechanical solution--a clock that would keep precise time at sea. By knowing the exact times at the Greenwich meridian and at a ship's position, one could find longitude by calculating the time difference. However, most scientists, including Isaac Newton, discounted a clock because there were too many variables at sea. Changes in temperature, air pressure, humidity and gravity would surely render a watch inaccurate.

Harrison persisted. As Dava Sobel writes, he worked on his timepiece for decades, though he suffered skepticism and ridicule. Even after completing his timepiece, an instrument we now call a chronometer, in 1759, he underwent a long series of unfair trials and demonstrations. Ultimately he triumphed.

Sobel, a science writer who contributes to Audubon, Life, Omni and other magazines, captures John Harrison's extraordinary character: brilliant, persevering and heroic in the face of adversity. He is a man you won't forget.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brief but enjoyable
This slim volume tells the story of John Harrison who, although untrained, built four revolutionary clocks that changed how ships navigate at sea. It also tells about the political fight Harrison was forced to fight to win recognition for his work.

Written in a easy-to-read, "magazine" tone the tale goes quickly, whole years pass in a couple sentences. I wanted more details and this is where the book disappoints but it may not be the authors fault The book hints that many events weren't recorded and more details just aren't available.

One technical note: I think the font used in this tiny, five by eight inch book is a little small and the page numbers, even smaller, aren't readable at a glance. Or maybe I'm getting old.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great story, but BEWARE of inaccuracies in this book.
John Harrison completes his first pendulum clock in 1713 before the age of 20. He made the gears for this out of wood which was radical for such a use, but as a carpenter, perhaps not to him---which is a mark of genius, I'd say; to reach beyond accepted norms in this manner. This he did after borrowing a book on math and the laws of motion; which he copied word for word, making his own copy. He incorporated different varieties of wood into his clock for strenth and later invented a bi-metal pendulum to counteract the expansion and compression of various individual metals. He also employed friction-free movements so as to do away with problematic lubricants. When intrigued by the puzzle of time at sea and the issue of longitude he contemplated substituting something not prone to gravity, as a pendulum of course is, to track times passing. In 1737 he creates a cantilevered clock 4 foot square. This the longitude board (which had offered a cash bonus to anyone who could devise a method in which time at sea could be kept) admired. Four years later he returns with an improved model; then starts on a 3rd model, like the previous two, also a fairly large sized clock.But there exists a problem within this book: An artisan freemason by the name of John Jefferys at the Worshipful Company of clockmakers befriends Harrison and then later presents to him a pocket watch in 1753. Then in 1755, while still working on his 3rd model, Harrison says this to the Longitude board: I have..."good reason to think" on the basis of a watch "already executed that such small machines[he's referring to pocketwatches] may be of great service with respect to longitude." He then completes version 3 in 1759. His fourth version appears just a year later, however, and is a 5 inch wide pocketwatch! The obvious inference made by the author is that after he received the pocketwatch from Jeffreys he seemingly put his version #3 on the backburner and soon started on the pocketwatch 4th version. The author does not claim Harrison copied anything from the Jeffreys model, but she certainly phrases this section so as to lend one to believe that this may have been the case; that Jefferys had a hand in the masterstroke invention Harrison eventually produced in version #4. This is not true. Harrison commissioned the watch he received from Jeffreys and was based on Harrison's specifications. It seems that Harrison simply asked Jeffreys to test an idea which he himself hadn't the time to attack just then; as he was still working on his 3rd version of a table-top prototype clock. Hence Harrison's above statement to the board in 1755 whence his ideas were validated by Jeffreys. In addition, the author plays up the part of the Astronomer Royal's part in attempting to impede Harrison from convincing the longitiude board of the efficacy of a time-piece solution to this problem over a celestial answer to this conundrum. The author also jazzes up the issue of whether Harrison received the prize the board promised to pay for a successful solution herein; even though the board supported him for upwards of 20 years as he pursued this quest. It's as if the author intentionally omitted some facts (that the Jefferys was a Harrison commission), and pumped up others (of a rival/foil on the board trying to impede Harrison and the compensation issue; implying that Harrison was jipped) just to make the story more compelling. John Harrison's story, however, is extremely compelling as it is and didn't need this extra spice served up by the author.Do read this (very short) book on how this Mr. Harrison solved the problem of knowing where one is when at sea; and if you're in London, visit the Old Royal Observatory and the Clockmakers museum (in the Guildhall) where you can see Harrison's wonderful creations in person. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Man who Captured Time so Ships could Navigate Accurately
=====>

Note: This review has been written from a city with the following position on Earth:

LATITUDE: (43 degrees 2 minutes North)
LONGITUDE: (81 degrees 9 minutes West).

In order to understand the significance of this remarkable book by Dava Sobel, the reader has to understand some words and phrases in the book's title and subtitle.

"Longitude" along with Latitude are two numbers along with compass directions that are used to fix the position of anything on the planet Earth (as in the note above). Lines of Latitude are the imaginary, parallel, horizontal lines circling the Earth with the equator (fixed by nature) being the "zero-degree parallel of latitude." Lines of Longitude or "meridians" are the imaginary lines that run top to bottom (north and south), from the Earth's North Pole to its South Pole with the "prime meridian" (established by political means) being the "zero-degree meridian of longitude." (Since the mid-1880s, the prime merdian has passed through Greenwich, England. Before this time, the imaginary line that passed through a ship's home port was usually used as the zero-degree meridian.)

Finding the latitude on land or at sea was easy and eventually a device was invented to make it even easier. But finding longitude, especially at sea on a swaying ship was difficult, a difficulty "that stumped the wisest minds of the world for the better part of human history" and was "the greatest scientific problem" of the 1700s. Ways of determining longitude astronomically were devised, but these proved to be impractical when used at sea.

England's parliament recognized that "the longitude problem" had to be solved practically since many people and valuable cargo were lost at sea when the ship's navigators lost sight of land. Thus, this parliament offered a top monetary prize that's equivalent to many millions of dollars today to anybody who could solve the problem.

Enter "a lone genius" named John Harrison (1693 to 1776). While most thought the solution to the problem was astronomical, Harrison saw time as the solution.

To calculate the longitude using time on a ship at sea, you have to realize these two facts found in this book:

(i) The Earth takes 24 hours of time to spin 360 degrees on its axis from east to west.
(ii) Noon (12:00 PM) is the highest point the sun seems to "travel" in a day.

To learn one's longitude at sea using time, as this book explains, it's necessary to do the following:

(1) Know the time it is aboard ship (local noon was normally used because of fact (ii) above).
(2) At the very same moment, know the time at a known longitude (such as at Greenwich, England).
(3) The difference in time between (1) and (2) is coverted to a longitude reading in degrees and direction (using fact (i) above).

Harrison's solution was the accurate determination of time of (2) above by inventing a reliable timepiece. This timepiece, in this case, would be set to Greenwich time. (Note that, as stated, (1) could be determined using the noon-day sun but this was not always practical. Eventually another timepiece was used to determine the ship's local noon for a particular day.) It has to be realized that this was the "era of pendulum clocks" where, on a deck of a rocking ship, "such clocks would slow down or speed up, or stop running altogether." Harrison was to capture time by building a marine clock or "timekeeper" (eventually called a "chronometer") that could be used on a ship at sea.

This book tells the "true story" of Harrison and his chronometers. (There were five built over a forty-year period. Harrison's first timekeeping device was known as H-1, his second was H-2, and so on.) Sobel uses accuracy (as evidenced by her thirty references), extensive interviews, and an engaging, mostly non-technical narrative (only essential technical detail is included) to convey a story that's filled with suspense, heroism, perfectionism, and villiany. All this in less than 200 pages!!

The only problem I had with this book is that it has hardly any pictures (photographs and illustrations). I would have liked to have seen pictures of the various people involved in this saga, maps showing where ships traveled, more photos of Harrison's amazing timepieces (both interior and exterior), and diagrams that explained important concepts. A diagram that actually showed how longitude, using a simple example, is calculated (using the steps above) would also have been helpful.

Finally, there is a good 1999 movie entitled "Longitude" based on this book. Be aware that even though this book is short, the movie is long (over three hours).

In conclusion, this book documents the exciting "true story" of how "a lone genius" solved "the longitude problem." Sobel states this more eloquently: "With his marine clocks, John Harrison tested the waters of space-time. He succeeded, against all odds, in using the fourth...dimension to link points on a three-dimensional globe. He [took] the world's whereabouts from the stars, and locked [or captured] the secret in a...watch."

<=====> ... Read more


7. Encyclopedia of the Elements : Technical Data - History - Processing - Applications
by PerEnghag
list price: $320.00
our price: $320.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3527306668
Catlog: Book (2004-09-24)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
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Book Description

Famous for its history of numerous element discoverers, Sweden is the origin of this comprehensive encyclopedia of the elements.

It provides both an important database for professionals as well as detailed reading ranging from historical facts, discoverers' portraits, color plates of mineral types, natural occurrences, and industrial figures right up to winning and refining processes, biological roles and applications in modern chemistry, engineering and industry.

Elemental data is presented in fact tables that include numerous physical and thermodynamic properties, isotope lists, radiation absorption characteristics, NMR parameters, and others. Further pertinent data is supplied in additional tables throughout the text.

Originally published in Swedish in three volumes from 1998 to 2000, the contents have been revised and expanded by the author for this English edition. ... Read more


8. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
by McGraw-Hill Staff, Sybil P. Parker
list price: $150.00
our price: $118.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 007042313X
Catlog: Book (2002-09-26)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Sales Rank: 63076
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For more than a quarter of a century, this amazingly comprehensive dictionary has been a standard international reference.Containing more than 115,000 terms and 125,000 definitions--from 100 areas of science and technology--this trusted resource provides definitions written in clear, simple language, understandable to the general reader, yet is consistent with the specialized use of the term.

THE NEW SIXTH EDITION:
* Thoroughly revised with 5,000 NEW TERMS
* Each term includes a helpful pronunciation guide
* Entries are complemented by 3,000 illustrations; appendices containing biographic listings, converison tables, taxonomic classification charts, and more
* The only dictionary of scientific and technical terms to be thumb-indexed

Invaluable to scientists, researchers, teachers, students, as well as interested lay persons, the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms is truly the single best way for anyone to gain fluency in the language of science. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
The more I use this dictionary, the more I come to like it. It's handy to have a specific dictionary for scientific and technical terms, and I feel more complete with this by my side. The coverage is comprehensive, the layout is clean and easy to read, and the added illustrations are a nice touch.

I would also recommend the McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology as a nice supplement.

5-0 out of 5 stars FAMOUS FOR ITS BROAD-SPECTRUM COVERAGE
The "McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms" is famous for its broad-spectrum coverage. Its soul is general science; and its audience is anybody who has any business with any science: biological, chemical, or physical. Whether you are a student, a teacher, or even a consultant, this unabridged lexicon lets you discover scientific terms, methods and applications in a very simple way. It is overflowing with references and definitions.
And, for the mobile professional, who may find it heavy to lug around, it is available on CD-ROM. The prices of both the text and its CD version are not out-of-reach. Either of the two is dependable.

5-0 out of 5 stars McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms 6th
The dictionary, as I expected, is excellent. I can easily and directly grasp the clear concept of meanings without imaging in my mother tongue, Japanese. Each explanation with the technical field is very concise and accurate. I believe that the dictionary helps me to perfectly understand the target words, for translating from English to Japanese, equivalent to those of an educated English speaker. Then, this will automatically make my task much easier.
Hopefully, I will also be able to obtain CD-ROM, which can be installed in my computer, Windows ME/MS-Word, for accelerating my job.

5-0 out of 5 stars McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
The dictionary, as I expected, is excellent. I can easily and directly grasp the clear concept of meanings without imaging in my mother tongue, Japanese. Each explanation with the technical field is very concise and accurate. I believe that the dictionary helps me to perfectly understand the target words, during translating from English to Japanese, equivalent to that of an educated English speaker. Then, this will automatically make my task much easier. Hopefully, I also will be able to obtain CD-ROM, which can be installed in my computer, Windows ME/MS-Word, for accelerating my job.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book
I bought this book because it was on sale! What a deal. Itnever occur to my mind that this book will become the first one I needwhen I encounter some difficulty understanding technical or scientificmaterials. Almost any definition related to science and technology inthis book. This excellent reference must have for any one working inthe field of science or engineering. It is very helpful especiallywhen you have to study new subjects in yours field of knowledgerequired by your job or for general studying. This book has the keysto unlock your mind for knowledge and understanding. I would pay fullprice for this book if I knew how useful and great is as I do now. ... Read more


9. Encyclopedia of Insects
by Ring Carde, Vincent H. Resh
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
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Asin: 0125869908
Catlog: Book (2003-02-21)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 82460
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Book Description

The Encyclopedia of Insects is a comprehensive work devoted to all aspects of insects, including their anatomy, physiology, evolution, behavior, reproduction, ecology, and disease, as well as issues of exploitation, conservation, and management. Articles provide definitive facts about all insects from aphids, beetles and butterflies to weevils and yellowjackets.

Insects are beautiful and dreadful, ravenous pests and devastating disease vectors, resilient and resistant to eradication, and the source of great benefit and great loss for civilization.Important for ecosystem health, they have influenced the evolution of other life forms on our planet including humans.Anyone interested in insects, from university professors and researchers to high school students preparing a report, will find The Encyclopedia of Insects an indispensable volume for insect information.

*An unprecedented collection in 1,276 pages covering every important aspect of insects
*Presents 270 original articles, thoroughly peer reviewed and edited for consistency
*Features 1,000 figures and tables, including 500 full-color photographs
*Includes the latest information contributed by 250 experts in 17 countries
*Designed to save research time with a full glossary, 1,700 cross-references, and 3,000 bibliographic entries
... Read more


10. Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers
by Edward J. Huth
list price: $60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521471540
Catlog: Book (1994-01-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 367208
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Book Description

Scientific Style and Format: the CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, Sixth Edition, is a detailed and authoritative manual recommending both general and scientific publication styles and formats for journals, books, and other forms of publication. It covers all sciences, not just biology and the medical sciences, and both American and British preferences are recognised. Every author of a scientific paper or book will profit from this essential resource. Editors and publishers engaged in the sciences, students in the sciences, and translators of scientific papers destined for English-language publication will also find this manual an invaluable resource. It is far more up-to-date, more specific, more authoritative, and easier to use than any other reference to scientific style and format. ... Read more


11. Probability: The Science of Uncertainty with Applications to Investments, Insurance, and Engineering
by Michael A. Bean
list price: $114.95
our price: $110.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0534366031
Catlog: Book (2000-12-20)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 86942
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bean's PROBABILITY: THE SCIENCE OF UNCERTAINTY WITH APPLICATIONS TO INVESTMENTS, INSURANCE, AND ENGINEERING is an 'applied' book that will be of interest to instructors teaching probability in mathematics departments of operations research, statistics, actuarial science, management science, and decision science.Comprehensive, easy to read and comprehend, and current, the book uses investment, insurance, and engineering applications throughout as a unifying theme. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good learning book
Some gaffes in this book, I don't think the author has any real understanding. He even messes up the definition of expectation, and it doesn't get more elementary than that. There are many better probability books out there, don't choose this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book is on the course of reading for the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society jointly sponsored Course 1/Exam 1. Although all the probability books listed on the course of reading are good, this text is probably the one to choose. The book seems to be designed with an actuarial student in mind, and an actuarial student would find it very useful for self study. A solution manual is also available.

The quality and level of the writing are excellent. It covers all the required probability topics, and emphasizes certain topics that are not usually emphasized in other texts. Some of these topics are conditional probability; distributional form of Law of Total Probability and Bayes Theorem; conditional expectation; limited moments; mixed probability distributions; survival distributions; hazard or mortality functions; special continuous distributions used in survival analysis (Weibull, Pareto, etc.); compound Poisson and other compound distributions. All but the last chapter on option pricing would be required reading for Exam 1, and the last chapter useful for Exam 2.

A very useful feature of this textbook is that in Chapters 5 (Special Discrete Distributions) and 6 (Special Continuous Distributions) the distribution theory is very clearly outlined. For example, relationship to other distributions, distribution of iid sums, limiting distributions, etc. are clearly stated and summarized. In addition to Exam 1, this text will also be valuable as a reference to study for Exam 4.

Students who would have difficulty with the level of this presentation will also have difficulty with SOA Exam 1. ... Read more


12. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry (Complete Idiot's Guide to...)
by Ian Guch
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592571018
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Alpha Books
Sales Rank: 11598
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For high school and college students who must meet at least one chemistry requirement, this book offers a non-intimidating, easy-to-understand companion to their textbooks. Following a standard math-based chemistry curriculum, it covers:

€ Elements
€ The Periodic Table
€ Ionic and Covalent Compounds
€ Chemical Reactions
€ Acids and Bases
€ Electrochemistry, Organic and Nuclear Chemistry, Stoichiometry, and Thermodynamics
... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars FINALLY a great Chemistry book!
I'm on my knees thanking God for this book every night. I recently needed to brush up on my Chemistry. (I had Chem I in college.) I tried two other books before this one and they both sucked. The first one was Barron's Chemistry the Easy Way. HA! It was extremely confusing and poorly edited (wrong answers in the chapter tests). The second one was Chemistry Demystified and while it was much easier to follow, it also was poorly edited (lots of typos, mistakes, etc.)

After buying two really crappy books, I was ready to pull my hair out. But that's when I found The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry.

While I did have a Chemistry class in college, I struggled through most of it. And I am really bad at math. So words like factor-label conversion and significant figures sent me into a complete panic. But the way Mr. Guch writes is so easy to follow and so non-threatening! Not to mention funny! He tells you exactly what you need to know and exactly how to do the calculations you need to do.

I cannot tell you how much I absolutely love this book. I am THISCLOSE to randomly spreading these books around anywhere struggling chemistry students live. If you or your child is having trouble with Chemistry, PLEASE get this book. You will not be sorry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy the book!
This book was more helpful than the TA's, professor, and textbook. I love this book and I am glad that I bought it. I now know what I am doing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks for helping my daughter
I bought this book for my daughter Tiffany who has just started chemistry in highschool. At first getting her to do her homework was like pulling teeth, but since purchasing this book her chemistry home work is a breeze. Great explanations, and easy to follow. I would definitly reccomend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Helped me Ace my exam
Thank you for this book! I was struggling in chemistry until I picked up this book. It was fun and easy to follow. ... Read more


13. Concise Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Engineering
by Jacqueline I.Kroschwitz
list price: $315.00
our price: $315.00
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Asin: 0471512532
Catlog: Book (1990-06-29)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 1386835
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Book Description

This compact desk reference includes all of the subjects contained in the 17 alphabetical volumes and the Supplement and Index volumes of the Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Engineering. The articles have been condensed by professional science writers, reviewed for accuracy by the original authors or their colleagues, and updated where necessary. Like the ten-million word edition, this one-million word edition provides both SI and common units, carefully selected key references for each article, and hundreds of tables, charts, figures, and graphs. This distillation, skillfully prepared to retain the factual material of the original, is a complete and self-contained encyclopedia. It is designed to serve as a ready-reference guide for anyone seeking answers to questions on any aspect of polymer science and engineering. ... Read more


14. Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference
by Richard J.Lewis
list price: $195.00
our price: $177.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471441651
Catlog: Book (2002-01-07)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 269313
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Book Description

The Fifth Edition of Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference contains Safety Profiles, synonyms, physical properties, standards, and recommendations of government agencies for approximately 5,000 chemicals deemed both important and potentially hazardous by the international scientific community. Substances were chosen on the basis of meeting a variety of criteria, including:

  • Having an OSHA standard
  • Having an ACGIH TLV
  • Listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer Groups
1 through 4 assessments

  • Listed on the NTP Ninth Report on Carcinogens
  • Having a German Research Society’s Mak or Bat listing
  • Having especially dangerous toxic, reactive, or fire properties
The data for each entry is taken from the master file of DPIM. The Fifth Edition distinguishes itself from its predecessors by including the very latest information from a variety of international databases and organizations, while deleting entries that have proven to be the least pertinent to practitioners. As with previous incarnations, the organization of contents places a premium on providing a quick reference for individuals seeking a concise summary of a chemical’s hazards. The Desk Reference remains the premier resource on hazardous chemicals for students, professors, scientists, engineers, and all professionals whose work involves managing these materials. ... Read more

15. The New How Things Work : From Flatscreen TV's to Surgical Robots and Everthing in Between
by John Langone
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 079226956X
Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
Publisher: National Geographic
Sales Rank: 4752
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Book Description

The New How Things Work updates the original with informative coverage of the objects and ideas that are changing our everyday lives, from DVDs and MP3 music files to plasma screen televisions and wireless internet technology.While most of us are curious about the inner workings of gadgets and machines, we often feel intimidated in our efforts to really understand them. The New How Things Work, a fascinating and clearly written and illustrated volume, uses anecdotal information to help readers understand the mechanisms and principalsbehind technological wonders, painlessly folding in the basic scientific principles that make each of them work.With chapters including Home, Buildings and Building, Power and Energy, Transportation, Entertainment, Manufacturing, and Tools of Medicine, the book covers every important technological category, focusing on familiar items such as clocks and locks, planes and trains, elevators and escalators, and the not-so-familiar-"smart" clothes and buildings, laser surgery, and DNA manipulation.Like David Macaulay's classic The Way Things Work and Bill Bryson's recent bestseller, A Short History of Nearly Everything, this eminently browsable book presents ideas and concepts in clear, concise language. The text, which is organized into stand-alone spreads, is lavishly illustrated with more than 400 photographs, technical drawings, diagrams, and sidebar concepts that visually reinforce the science explained in the text.National Geographic's The New How Things Work is a comprehensive reference that will satisfy the curious and educate the perplexed. If you are curious about everyday gadgets, machines, tools, even industrial and medical processes, you'll find the answers you've always wanted in The New How Things Work. ... Read more


16. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
by Kevin Padian, Philip J. Currie
list price: $122.95
our price: $122.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0122268105
Catlog: Book (1997-09-17)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 274149
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book is the most authoritative encyclopedia ever prepared on dinosaurs and dinosaur science. In addition to entries on specific animals such as Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and Velociraptor, the Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs covers reproduction, behavior, physiology, and extinction. The book is generously illustrated with many detailed drawings and photographs, and includes color pictures and illustrations that feature interpretations of the best known and most important animals. All alphabetical entries are cross-referenced internally, as well as at the end of each entry. The Encyclopedia includes up-to-date references that encourage the reader to investigate personal interests.

Key Features
*The most authoritative encyclopedia ever prepared on dinosaurs
*Includes many detailed drawings, photographs and illustrations in both color and black-and-white
*Contains comprehensively cross-referenced alphabetical entries with internal references, as well as references at the conclusion of each entry
*Provides in-depth references, allowing readers to pursue independent interests
*Includes sixteen plates and 35 color illustrations
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a great book, considering how huge it is. Being written in 1998, this book has all the current knowledge. There's more info on the actual era and the technical asspects of dinosaurs than the actual dinosaurs. Despite the price, this book is worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Questions about dinosaurs that go deeper than the surface?
If so, then this is the book for you! The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is a wonderful, up-to-date book that covers most, if not all, topics concerned with dinosaurs. Well put-together, beautifully illustrated, and written by today's top paleontologists, the Encyclopedia is well worth the price. Although it doesn't get too technical, this book is not for the uninformed. A must have for any serious dino-enthusiast - believe me, it will answer your questions, and lead you to ask more! 5 stars may not be enough for this one! (Plus it's massive enough to knock some sense into the not-so-dino-loving loved one or associate in your life!)

5-0 out of 5 stars This definitely belongs on the shelf of any dino-lover.
When I first received this book for Christmas, I was shocked! The book was the size and weight of a telephone book! It's packed with skeletal drawings, cladograms, paintings... You name it, it's in the text.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice work!
This is really a good book, with much nice information and artwork (although more art plates may have been a good idea). The numerous articles are written by specialists and that makes the book more up-to-date and interesting than many others. However, articles are very short, so that people will quickly become interested to get more informations. This is possible with references given at the end of each entry.

However, I think this book is a bit too technical for the basal concepts it describes; the style *The Complete Dinosaur* is, I think, more approprite.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, up to date information on dinosaurs!
We've all read the bylines: the public loves dinosaurs. And it's true. But we're also not all that discriminating. As a result, many dinosaur books are very out of date. The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is a notable exception to this. Each topic is written not only by a paleontologist, but by a dinosaur paleontologist who specializes in that particular subject. The result? A compendium of information that could otherwise be obtained only by attending perfessional meetings for years. And of course, at professional meetings technical laguage is the norm. Anyone want to decipher "the relevance of the arctometatarsilian pes to the phylogenetic analysis of coelurosaurian theropods"..? The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is written plainly and clearly. Any interested adult or teenager could master the knowledge within much easier than, say, highschool algerbra. As a student of paleontology, and someone who has attended numerous professional meetings, I can say with confidence that this book will equip any aspiring paleontologist with the knowledge needed to reach the "next leve" of understanding of the dinosaurs. ... Read more


17. The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 of the World's Most Baffling Crimes
by ColinEvans
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047128369X
Catlog: Book (1998-10-16)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 5114
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Discover the surprising answers in The Casebook of Forensic Detection, a true-crime treasury of 100 of the most fascinating cases of all time. More than two centuries in the development of modern forensic procedures come to vivid life as everything from handwriting analyses and voiceprints to ballistics, DNA testing, and psychological profiles reveal whodunit (and, in some startling cases, who didn't do it).

"Pithy, concise, and remarkably accurate." &mdash;Science Books & Films

"Contains ample material to hold the attention and foster interest in science." &mdash;Science Teacher ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding general history of forensics and reference book
This is the perfect starter book for anyone interested in forensics. It is organized by forensic discipline, then chronologically within each section. The author covers a number of famous cases, but has also included many more that are obscure, but equally fascinating. Each case is described ecomonically, but there is enough detail given to fully describe the case and the forensic techniques used to solve it. The writing is plain, precise, and jargon-free.

This book is also an excellent reference volume. The index and table of contents make it easy to find a specific case and I refer to this book often while reading other true crime or forensics book for names, dates, etc.

Anyone looking for a well-written, informative forensic science book need go no further than this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand yet very interesting to the knowledgable.
This a great book if you don't know a lot about forensics. It really explains everything that you may not understand. Yet it is very interesting to read how forensic different crimes. I think that this book would be suitable for anybody interested in forensic no matter how much they know on subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Casebook for Forensic Science & Law
This is an ideal book for a student of forensic science or law, who may need help to find out various cases for their studies. It gives a guide to many different cases throughout the last century, with enough detail for the student to be able to do further research.

Each new section has a brief review of what the subject matter is eg Ballistics. Colin tells a little of what ballistics is about, including some history, then he writes a little about the subject of firearms and then what can happen when firearms are fired. Other subjects covered are Cause of Death, Disputed Documents, DNA Typing, Explosives and Fire, Fingerprinting, Forensic Anthropology, Odontology, Psychological Profiling, Identification of Remains, Serology, Time of Death, Toxicology, Trace Evidence and Voiceprints.

The appendix in the book is on Forensic Pioneers and Their Cases and here Colin lists 9 forensic scientists giving their year of birth and if dead, their year of death, also a brief outline of their career or some other pertinent detail, with a list of the significant cases which they worked on.

This book is well written and with enough detail to give those who are not involved in this field a very enjoyable read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good, but Slightly Disappointing
The book was somewhat well-written, and parts were certainly enjoyable, but there is nothing that you can find here that you cannot find in greater detail and with more useful information somewhere else. The case notes were frequently short enough that you would have no real interest in the case, and it read more like a How-To book for someone interested in writing a medico-legal thriller, as long as the person writing that just wanted a lot of really general information without actually knowing enough of what they are talking about. If you really want a good general interest forensics book, check out What The Corpse Revealed by Hugh Miller. In short, the book had a lot of information in it, but none of it was unavailable or more useful here than other sources.

1-0 out of 5 stars I detect that much is lacking...
The "case studies" in this book read like a Jr. High essay - they lack substance and information and have nothing to keep the attention of the reader.

Each case is laid out in the same format - where the guilty are indicated immediately (often with negative adjectives describing them), it is stated that (fill in the blank) technology was used (without any real scientific explanation of the technology), and then it is stated that the guilty was caught due to the science (which was never described).

If all you want to know about forensic science is case names and dates, you might like this book. If you would actually like to learn about the processes used and how the technology works, you may be more than a little disappointed. ... Read more


18. The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions
by Robert ToddCarroll, Robert T. Carroll
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471272426
Catlog: Book (2003-08-15)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 9312
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A wealth of evidence for doubters and disbelievers

"Whether it’s the latest shark cartilage scam, or some new ‘repressed memory’ idiocy that besets you, I suggest you carry a copy of this dictionary at all times, or at least have it within reach as first aid for psychic attacks. We need all the help we can get."
–James Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, randi.org

"From alternative medicine, aliens, and psychics to the farthest shores of science and beyond, Robert Carroll presents a fascinating look at some of humanity’s most strange and wonderful ideas. Refreshing and witty, both believers and unbelievers will find this compendium complete and captivating. Buy this book and feed your head!"
–Clifford Pickover, author of The Stars of Heaven and Dreaming the Future

"A refreshing compendium of clear thinking, a welcome and potent antidote to the reams of books on the supernatural and pseudoscientific."
–John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

"This book covers an amazing range of topics and can protect many people from being scammed."
–Stephen Barrett, M.D., quackwatch.org

Featuring close to 400 definitions, arguments, and essays on topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, The Skeptic’s Dictionary is a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on all things supernatural, occult, paranormal, and pseudoscientific. It covers such categories as alternative medicine; cryptozoology; extraterrestrials and UFOs; frauds and hoaxes; junk science; logic and perception; New Age energy; and the psychic. For the open-minded seeker, the soft or hardened skeptic, and the believing doubter, this book offers a remarkable range of information that puts to the test the best arguments of true believers. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid overview, easy to read, not too much depth
Bob Carroll has put together a solid overview of mystical, paranormal, and magical beliefs, deceptions, and hoaxes. He takes a simple point of view in asking simple questions -- what is the truth? What can be proven? Where might the "believers" be deceiving themselves? -- AND, he clearly also is not so biased to think that all beliefs are wrong. What can't be explained away, debunked, or proven wrong is an area of faith, either beyond the realm of science or remaining for science to figure out in the future.

I've yet to come up with a topic that Carroll has omitted, though other reviewers have, apparently. His entries are generally enough information for me, though he maintains plenty of references should anyone actually want to read that much more about anthroposophic medicine (or any other topic). Certainly topics like Argument from Design and Creationism are covered ad infinitum, ad nauseum, from various viewpoints elsewhere; thus, the Skeptics Dictionary provides a simply solid overview, definition, and description of these, with plenty of references.

All in all, this is an excellent book. I think it's not only for "skeptics", but also for those who want to know if they are being scammed. Scan this book before sending cash to Miss Cleo, Sylvia Browne, John Edward, or any other fortune tellers or psychics.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informed, measured, and warranted skepticism
Robert Carroll has compiled an impressive collection of short articles defining and explaining ideas that warrant careful critical examination; that is, ideas deserving a thorough going over by a thoroughgoing skeptic. Carroll pulls no punches in his criticism of whacky cultish ideas, yet he does not brazenly skewer all sacred cows. Rather, he sets out to expose a wide range of ideas to the light of healthy skepticism, exposing blatant charades for what they are, explicating ideas that are often misconstrued or irrationally rejected, and casting doubt where doubt is due. I believe he largely succeeds in these endeavors.

The book is organized like a dictionary with an alphabetical listing of various words that Carroll sets out to explore in depth. I think the book is better described as an encyclopedia, however, because of the length and style of the articles, which are not terse definitions, but mini-essays. Here is a sampling of the "A" words to give you an idea of the range of topics that Carroll addresses: acupuncture, agnosticism, alien abductions, ancient astronauts, angel therapy, anthroposophy, argument from design, argument to ignorance, aromatherapy, astral projection, astrology, atheism, automatic writing, and avatar. (This is roughly one third of the entries under "A"). Even within this short list there are some whacky ideas (angel therapy and alien abductions), some borderline ideas (acupuncture and anthroposophy), and some words that are simply in want of a careful definition (agnosticism, atheism, and avatar). Carroll deals with them all rather even-handedly, at least from the perspective of a naturalistic worldview. Other topics covered in the book include Bible codes, Bigfoot, chiropractic, confirmation bias, crystal power, ESP, holistic medicine, karma, levitation, magnet therapy, miracles, Noah's Ark, etc. I think Carroll did a rather good job in selecting his topics as they cover such a panoply of beliefs; he is just as likely to find fault with one cult as any other.

With respect to Carroll's intentions, as he states in the introduction, "this book is a Davidian counterbalance to the Goliath of occult literature. I hope that an occasional missile hits its mark." Thus, Carroll apparently intends to instill a bit of healthy skepticism into those minds willing to accept it. And who might that be? Carroll identifies his intended audience as those uncommitted to occult claims (open-minded seekers), those who believe in them but have doubts (believing doubters), those who are more prone toward doubt than belief (soft-skeptics), and those who strongly disbelieve in occult ideas (hardened-skeptics). But, "The one group this book is not aimed at is the 'true believer' in the occult. If you have no skepticism in you, this book is not for you." I suspect that Carroll is quite right in his assessment; if you are an ardent believer in any of the cultish ideas that Carroll debunks, then you are unlikely to find his arguments compelling; The reason for that, of course, remains open to debate.

Here are a few short snippets from Carroll's entries. Under "acupuncture," Carroll first describes the history of the technique, its variants, and the types of claims made for it. His brief analysis suggests that there is little reason to believe that the anecdotal successes of the technique amount to anything more than regression toward the mean. In Carroll's words, "An alternative treatment such as acupuncture is sought only when the pain is near its most severe level. Natural regression will lead to the pain becoming less once it has reached its maximum level of severity." Under "agnostic," Carroll carefully defines the often-misunderstood word, explaining that "The agnostic holds that human knowledge is limited to the natural world, that the mind is incapable of knowledge of the supernatural. Understood this way, an agnostic could be either a theist or an atheist." Under "numerology," Carroll explores the idea of ascertaining a person's characteristics from numerical data based on name and birth date, and exposes it as a total sham. He links the perceived success of numerology to the "Forer effect", which he defines in another entry as "The tendency to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to oneself without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone."

This is a fun book to read, both because of its wide range of topics, and because of Carroll's no-nonsense pragmatic approach. I hope that the book will cajole at least a small minority of readers into critically examining some of the outlandish beliefs that surround us, and to wisely insist on something more than anecdotal evidence, wishful thinking, or arguments from ignorance before accepting them.

1-0 out of 5 stars Study Weston's "A Rulebook for Arguments" instead.
The book is intended to be a critical examination of "strange beliefs, amusing deceptions & dangerous delusions." Thus it is bad that the book contains several factual errors. In addition, the author examines many topics superficially and criticizes them mechanically.

Regarding Rolfing, for example, the author tells us on pages 340-341 that "Dr. Rolf claimed she found a correlation between muscular tension and pent-up emotions." and "Has this claim of the muscular/emotional connection been demonstrated by any controlled studies? No, but there are many anecdotes and testimonials verifying Rolfing." But this is not correct. It took me less than two minutes of search in research databases to find a controlled study that confirmed the benefits of Rolfing and the correlation between muscular tension and blocked emotions. See: Physical Therapy 1988 Sep; 68(9):1364-70. "Shifts in pelvic inclination angle and parasympathetic tone produced by Rolfing soft tissue manipulation." by Cottingham JT, Porges SW & Richmond K.

Further, the book should have had a more detailed table of contents, the topics should have been structured under different themes, and some of the topics should not have been included in the book since they have scientific support, such as Rolfing.

I suggest you study Anthony Weston's "A Rulebook for Arguments" instead of this book and learn how to think critically for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars THINK FOR YOURSELF!
In this world of enormous information, vast data-clusters, metadata and junk everywhere one needs an organised technology of how to separate fact from fiction. This is what this great book offers you.

Having been a Scientologist for many years had fried my brain. When I was out this cult I wasn't able to think like a normal, reason-intended person anymore. All this bizarre psycho/spiritual counselling had fried the logical part of my brain. One good day I bumped into the Skeptic's Dictionary website....

I was illuminated like the horizon at sunset! Finally a digestable approach on how to really THINK FOR YOURSELF!

The chapters on "Logic and Perception" I found the most valuable, the rest of the articles are applications of them directed toward various practices like Scientology. The review of Oct 28,2003 is clearly written by a Scientologist, all defense of Scientology with regards to critical thought is that one must study the works of L. Ron Hubbard for himself and then judge. But this is just a cheap way to capture you. If you still have a critical view they'll just say you didn't understand it and let you study even more UNTIL YOU ACCEPT. This is one of the mechanisms of deception wich is explained in the Skeptic's Dictionary.

Safeguard yourself for various practices like Rorhsach tests, Scientology, Dianetics, Iridology, pschycic healing, telepathy and other junk and "BUY, READ AND APPLY" the Skeptic's Dictionary!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
Here's something you won't read everyday (actually, you may never read anything like it again!). I'm a psychic healer who thinks Bob Carroll's Skeptic's Dictionary is an absolutely indispensable resource. Indispensable.

I first found the Skeptic's Dictionary online as I was searching for responsible information on some of the truly questionable things I see in my New Age/metaphysical culture. Unless you're a part of the culture - or unless you're a skeptic keeping an eye on the New Age culture - you really wouldn't believe the amount of untested theories, urban legends, wild ideas, and just plain irresponsible stuff that's going around. I've often likened the New Age to the Wild West - I mean, it often feels like open season on consumers here.

I struggled for years to find responsible dissent literature in my New Age culture, but the fact is that responsible skeptical questioning simply doesn't exist in the New Age. If I want to get a non-sales-pitch or non-dreamy-eyed version of the latest channeler, spiritual leader, divination protocol, personality typing modality, magic herb, megavitamin, healing gadget, or sacred destination, I can only get that information on the q.t. If I want to research things, I have to call friends who might know a friend who knows a guy who went to the healer or took the vitamin or whatever. That's how New Age skepticism works - it's a person to person process of trial and error.

If you are in the New Age, but don't know enough people, you won't have access to this underground consumer protection agency, and you'll probably end up wasting time and money chasing after stuff that just doesn't work (or is dangerous).

True consumer protection is not a part of my New Age culture. Everything offered is generally agreed to be healing and harmless, because God or Spirit or Faeries or good Atlanteans are involved - so why should anyone question any of it? Questioning in the New Age is only allowed at the level of gossip - anything more open than that is treated as a sign of rudeness, near-paranoia, or betrayal. Real questioning can actually get you expelled from the culture.

So when I needed to question the heck out of the things I saw in the New Age, I had no culturally approved way to proceed. Luckily, I have access to the Internet, so instead of making a fuss or shutting off my mind in response to all the pressure I experienced, I just became quiet and navigated around the Web on my own. Thankfully, I ended up on skepdic.com - the site from which the Skeptic's Dictionary was created.

I've read stacks of books by skeptical authors, but I haven't respected too many of them. However, I respect Bob Carroll because his debunking and skepticism aren't bad-tempered attempts to denigrate believers or take the magic out of life (real life is magical enough without any mystical crutches, thanks). Instead, his skepticism is a natural function of his intelligence, his concern for people, and his interest in discovering what's true and what isn't. Sure, Carroll's writing sometimes leans toward sarcasm, but honestly, if you had reseached as much strange material as he has, you'd probably get a bit arch yourself. For me, this isn't just a book - it's a clear example of compassionate information gathering and dissemination. It's cool.

Here's my suggestion for New Age people or very devout people who need to be able to question what they have been taught. Flip to a topic in the Skeptic's Dictionary that you already KNOW is a hoax (all New Age people and all religious people can identify hoaxes - however, I've noticed that their training generally keeps their hoax-detection behaviors to a minimum). Don't flip to topics that cover your most cherished beliefs. Instead, stay in the safe areas.

Take a look at how Bob Carroll handles the things you've already debunked on your own, and see if you agree with his approach and his research (and his humor). Then you'll know if this book is for you - and if it is, perhaps you can then tread into touchier, sacred cow areas with the sense that you'll be treated with respect.

As a full-fledged member of the New Age culture for over thirty years, I've seen so many instances of chicanery, half-truths, and exploitation that I'm just heart-sick. If my culture can't be skeptical of itself (and it can't), then someone else has to be. I'm really grateful that a person of Bob Carroll's integrity, scholarship, and humor stepped up to the plate. The Skeptic's Dictionary is an indispensable resource. Bravo, Dr. Carroll. ... Read more


19. Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes (3rd Edition)
by Bertil Hille
list price: $94.95
our price: $94.95
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Asin: 0878933212
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Sinauer Associates
Sales Rank: 66421
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ion channels underlie a broad range of the most basic biological processes, from excitation and signaling to secretion and absorption. Like enzymes, they are diverse and ubiquitous macromolecular catalysts with high substrate specificity and subject to strong regulation. This fully revised and expanded Third Edition of Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes describes the known channels and their physiological functions, then develops the conceptual background needed to understand their architecture and molecular mechanisms of operation. It includes new chapters on calcium signaling, structural biology, and molecular biology and genomics. Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes begins with the classical biophysical work of Hodgkin and Huxley, continues with the roles of channels in cellular signaling, then develops the physical and molecular principles needed for explaining permeation, gating, pharmacological modification, and molecular diversity, and ends with a discussion of channel evolution. Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes is written to be accessible and interesting to life scientists and physical scientists of all kinds. It introduces all the concepts that a graduate student should be aware of but is also effective in advanced undergraduate courses. It has long been the recognized authoritative overview of this field used by all neuroscientists. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better with each Edition
This book is a must-have for anyone working with excitable cells, be they experimentalists or modelers. It's a great reference book; everything is clearly indexed and almost compulsively cited. I've been using this book since its first edition, and it just keeps getting better each time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rara avis
This classic deserves all the praise it gets. It is an excellent introduction to the molecular biology of channels, told with an eye to history as well as science.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic. Still authoritative.
This is an authoritative textbook on ion channels that is often quoted in numerous textbooks in neurophysiology. Hille himself has contributed a lot in this field. The Hogkin-Huxley model is the de facto standard model in neurophysiology but certain things about neurons cannot be explained only with voltage-controlled sodium and potassium channels. With the patch-clamp technique, we have found a way to explore other interesting channles. To remind you, there are a world of ion channels! Hille's textbook show there are indeed a variety of channels most of which are poorly understood. As a reviewer below has commented, it also gives a unique insight into the history of neural membrane research. Concepts are explained with clearity. Details measurement techniques.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why we visualize ion channels as distinct entities
There are new books on this subject, but they are not as strong on fundamentals as this classic.

One of the surprises in this splendid, fascinating book arises from Hille's thumbnail history of the very idea of individual ion channels.

It is a much more recent idea than I realized. Not until the mid-1960s did neurophysiologists finally arrive at the now commonplace image of an ion channel as an individual structure - an ion-specific porthole or passageway through the cell membrane.

Hille emphatically characterizes the individual channel as "a discrete entity," and as "a distinct molecule." By 1965 this concept had been in the air for a while, but it did not prevail or become the dominant picture until binding studies were conducted with tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin. Largely thanks to this work, by the late 1960s, the author recounts, the names "Na Channel" and "K Channel" began to be used consistently.

The familiar picture of individual channels embedded in the cell membrane was brought to us by the magic of long division. For example, "Dividing specific binding by membrane area yields an average saxitoxin receptor density of 110 sites per square micrometer on the axon membranes of the vagus. We now know that the tetrodotoxin-saxitoxin receptor is a single site on the Na channel, so this experiment tells us how many Na channels there are in the membrane. Surface densities of 100 to 400 channels per square micron are typical ..."

The picture you get is one of barrel like protein ports floating like buoys in the membrane, nicely regimented into rows and columns, neatly anchored at the intersection points of an imaginary grid. It is, of course, an image made ideal by the arithmetic which originally produced it.

Hille concludes: "Now that we can record from single channels - and even purify the chemically, and sequence and modify their genes - there remains no question of their molecular individuality.

Well, it is in some sense just a semantic matter, but a few observers, of whom I am one, think there remains after all a colossal, towering, staggeringly important question about the molecular "individuality" of these passages. This is because they can be structurally and functionally linked.

Linked receptors are a commonplace of biochemistry. Extensive linkage between ion channels in nerves would open up some very nice possibilities, explain many mysteries, etc.

Is there any evidence for linked or complex ion receptors? At the end of Chapter 5, in a literature summary, the author remarks on the then newly discovered double barreled anionic channels, and notes some Cl channel electrophysiological data that seem to make it look "as though the channel were a cluster of pores - like a sieve or an aggregate of straws. An alternative would be that the pore fluctuates through frequent rearrangements of many constituent parts."

This is precisely the type of liberated thinking that could get us somewhere fast. If you put two pulls on an ordinary zipper, you can create a pore that travels. It is easier, not harder, to come up with this kind of mechanism by assembling protein subunits. You can also make starbursts, "cootie catchers", "Jacob's ladders" sliding anagram toys, and many other plaything analogs using protein repetitive units, links, foldings and conformational changes.

To what end? Why should linked or continuous pore structures be more interesting that discrete and isolated pores?

Imagine a nerve in which finely graded input information can be conveyed, by all-or-nothing impulses, all the way from input to output using, let's say, 100 distinct information channels that extend longitudinally from one end of the nerve to the other. The longitudinal channels are created by linking transverse channels. A corduroy membrane. Possibly linear, possibly helical.

In a nerve of this type, an increment of graded information is inherent in the longitudinal channel number: 1, 2, 3, etc. An impulse traveling down the axon would appear, to conventional instruments used to study nerves, as the blank, familiar, all-or-nothing impulse so confidently presented to us on page 1 of every neurophysiology text. But such an impulse would not be blank. It would be freighted with meaning. With this single impulse, the intensity of the original input stimulus could be conserved and communicated all the way to the brain.

The idea is reasonable because it points to a type of neuron that would enable us to think as fast as we do.

It is also reasonable in light of evidence accumulated since 1993 (See Spikes, Rieke et al) that a single impulse does in fact convey information to the brain. Adrian was wrong. The long familiar rate code isn't one. Somehow, a single nerve impulse carries information. How? The secret seems inherent in the neuron - and the neuron is a mechanism built up using ion gates.

Ion channel research is becoming one the most fruitful and fashionable fields in biological science. There are more recent books on the subject, (Frances Ashcroft's for example) but perhaps because they must cover more ground, they seem a lot less careful about pointing out the assumptions and reiterating the history of the ideas on which the field is grounded.

This book is bedrock. Bertil Hille identifies in precise language each significant underlying assumption, and details the experimental tools that were used to develop the (still pretty fuzzy) picture we hold in our minds' eyes of the nerve membrane. As the field evolves, some of the basic assumptions are going to have to be re-examined. This book will help you understand exactly what they were and, thus, where to push for fresh possibilities.

The author has received the Lasker award, and this one quite often foreshadows the Nobel. You can sense, in reading this book, the extreme quality of his science and of his intelligence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise text from the first expert in the field
Excellent collection of essays about biophysics of ion channels. Concise, easy to understood, the same time not oversymplified, text from the first rank scientist. The book is suitable for biophysicist and molecular and cellular neuroscientists, although for the last, the book which cover a genetic and cellular components of channel signalling is needed also. The book is also suitable for reader whose knowledge in physics and chemistry is far from beeing the best - the author will remind you the basics in physics and thermodynamics in user friendly and "understoodable" manner. ... Read more


20. Analytical Chemistry in a GMP Environment: A Practical Guide
by Jim Miller
list price: $138.00
our price: $138.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471314315
Catlog: Book (2000-04-17)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 160614
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How to hone your analytical skills and obtain high-quality data in the era of GMP requirements
With increased regulatory pressures on the pharmaceutical industry, there is a growing need for capable analysts who can ensure appropriate scientific practices in laboratories and manufacturing sites worldwide. Based on Johnson & Johnson's acclaimed in-house training program, this practical guide provides guidance for laboratory analysts who must juggle the Food and Drug Administration's good manufacturing practices (GMP) rules with rapidly changing analytical technologies. Highly qualified industry experts walk readers step-by-step through the concepts, techniques, and tools necessary to perform analyses in an FDA-regulated environment, including clear instructions on all major analytical chemical methods-from spectroscopy to chromatography to dissolution. An ideal manual for formal training as well as an excellent self-study guide, Analytical Chemistry in a GMP Environment features:
* The drug development process in the pharmaceutical industry
* Uniform and consistent interpretation of GMP compliance issues
* A review of the role of statistics and basic topics in analytical chemistry
* An emphasis on high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) methods
* Chapters on detectors and quantitative analysis as well as data systems
* Methods for ensuring that instruments meet standard operating procedures (SOP) requirements
* Extensive appendixes for unifying terms, symbols, and procedural information
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "real" practical book
This is the book if you work in the analytical lab of pharmaceutical industry. The book covers a lot of practical and day to day problems faced by persons working in the analytical lab especially from a regulatory point of view. Different chapters have been written by area experts making it very useful and comprehensive. I strongly recommend this book. ... Read more


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