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    $16.50 $16.30 list($25.00)
    1. The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing
    $16.50 $15.65 list($25.00)
    2. The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail
    $105.23 $72.00 list($120.95)
    3. Living in the Environment : Principles,
    $18.48 $17.89 list($28.00)
    4. The Singing Life of Birds : The
    $16.50 list($25.00)
    5. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the
    $105.00 $53.95
    6. EnvironmentalScience : Toward
    $17.16 $15.06 list($26.00)
    7. The Bottomless Well: The Twilight
    $230.00 $49.44
    8. Birds in Brazil
    $100.00 $92.33 list($125.00)
    9. Land Development Calculations:
    $199.95 $197.07
    10. Energy Efficiency Manual: for
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    11. The Sibley Guide to Birds
    $103.95 $68.00
    12. Environmental Science : Working
    $17.16 $16.50 list($26.00)
    13. Why Birds Sing: A Journey Through
    $16.50 $14.90 list($25.00)
    14. The Devil's Teeth : A True Story
    $105.95 $29.90
    15. Environmental Science: Earth as
    $17.16 $15.78 list($26.00)
    16. Big Weather: Chasing Tornadoes
    $60.00 list($75.00)
    17. A Vision of a Living World: The
    $13.60 $12.95 list($20.00)
    18. The Race to Save the Lord God
    $95.00 $69.97
    19. Life on Earth (3rd Edition)
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    20. Robbing the Bees : A Biography

    1. The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter And Miracles
    by Bruce H. Lipton
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0975991477
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-18)
    Publisher: Mountain of Love
    Sales Rank: 263
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of New Biology. Author Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor and research scientist. His experiments, and those of other leading-edge scientists, have examined in great detail the processes by which cells receive information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts. Dr.Lipton92s profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking. ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly lacking in any real details to be much help
    (...)
    As someone who has read this book and just having heard the author on the radio, I can tell you that the book is more ambiguous than the above quoted description.No where in the entire book does the author describe *how* cellular functionings are related to our spiritual natures, nor does the author detail any helpful or systematic way in which to achieve the kinds of potential he keeps repeating that we are able to attain.

    Instead the author has written a book that redunantly keeps stating the premise that our biology is not controlled by genes but but how external events and stimuli get interpreted by our "subconscious programming," which develops from how we've been reared during our first formative years.For a man that is arguing against determinism of the genes, he sure does seem to be advancing a cultural determinism.

    The author says until we rewrite or overrun these subconscious programs, we cannot free ourselves to attain the life we want.But no where in the entire book does he tell us *how* to do just that.Lipton bashes the scientific community for supposedly advancing the notion of being "victims" of a "dogma of DNA" mentality, but he offer no less a victimhood in saying we are effectively held hostages to this ysterious "subconscious programming" underpinning of human nature--when the author provides no means to break free from that supposed subconscious bondage.

    Why did he write the book then if he is not offering a "cure," as it were?

    Moreover, one has to question the validity of the original premise that Lipton is presenting.Does the human mind really work this way?The "evidence," although titilating seems too controversial and suspect and is far from being unquestionably accepted.In particular the bringing in of supposed quantum-mechanical concepts seems rather new-age in tone and given other author's use of them, like Deepak Chopra, a bit contrived and trite.Aside from the good-feel message, where's eithe the unequivocal evidence of these statements--and more important the supposed methods of healing ourselves of these underlying mechanism that the author claims is possible?

    (...) The book did not deliver in what it advertised.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Captivating ideas and speaker
    I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Lipton on the radio and am now just ordering the book. A friend told me about seeing him lecture, and now I'm glad that his research and ideas are provoking people to think. Obviously, after looking at a few of these reviews, it is interesting that none of them really write about the book and I would like to know if his book is as fascinating as his talk.Some of these comments do prove that he has raised the hackles of defensive scientists and it looks like others are using this review section as a Blog.

    From his radio presentations and lectures, I think he has touched on something big from his work - the power of the mind - fear, hope, love, anger, chemistry, and spirituality - are all connected to our basic functioning cellular components. The trick is to learn how to be present and work with your thoughts. From his talkshow, he was clear that he isn't providing a manual on how to do this - it is up to each and every one of us to master it - rather he is giving us the insight about how our bodies work, and that our cells that keep us all alive ought to be kept in a nurturing environment, and he gives us reasons why that is important - and however we want to nurture our personal environment is up to us. Why would anyone want to argue or disagree with that thought? Thank you Lipton for helping to make this world and life that I live a good place.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It's all in the bible already child!
    I been going now for some fifty-two years to the St, James Revivalist Church between William Potter and St. Mark Street.I love my Lord and do believe in the power of belief, but let me tell you a little about one Ms. Ethel-Ruth Solloways, the woman who stole my man George some forty-eight years ago come this July the eighth.Georgie was a good Christian man, but he was a mighty weak man. God rest his poor sinful soul.Ms. Solloways knew this, the floozy, and she come around all sultry and tarted up, wearing her big hat with the flowers and all her perfume, bringing her special apple-marmalade combination pie.Why Georgie went the way of the devil soon after that, the wicked good-for-nothing man, God rest his soul.Georgie now home with the Lord, I think.But now Ms. Solloways, who did never comes to the church much after her stealing of my man, is coming just about every Sundays now plus the church functions no less.Oh, she be floozying around yet again, with her same perfume no less and up to her scheming home-made cooking ways again.I do think she has her eye on poor Mr. Philips, whose dear wife Mary I did know well and whose now passed over to be with the Lord.Would you believe child that she even went so far to bake Mr. Philips the very same devil lure food she used to trap my Georgie?That's right: her apple-marmalade combination pie!Now she been lately pushing this book on usparishioners, telling us all that the book proves all she's been saying for years.She even tells us while feigning a at all convincing modesty: "Look at me 98 and don't I look younger.It's the power of belief!"Well, let me tell you child, she don't look a day younger than 90 at best.And I know for a fact that her choppers are fake.Seen them I did fall straight out of her mouth once at month's picnic when she was stepping off the bus.Oh, she quickly put them back in her mouth and acted all pretty, like nothing happened.But I saw it I did!Plus, I have it on very good authority that she been wearing a weave for quite some time now.So you ain't fooling anyone Ms. Solloways, you husband robbing, false-tooth, weave-wearing floozy phony!I am on to you girl.Sure, I would look 90 too with fake teeth and a weave and if I don me a pretty floozy hat with flowers and put on that sinful perfume, I could do all that too.Oh, I fear she be having a very bad influence on the current young reverend child.He seems mighty smitten with her many philosophical ruminations and the like.I read this Biology of Belief book I did.I too was saying these very same things, way before Ms. Solloways or Lipton was saying it too, I will tell you that.Why just read your bible child!Its all in there already.Belief is the foundation of faith child, and mighty things happen when belief comes to play.Why the Lord Himself says that if ye have but a mustard seed size of faith ye shall move mountains.Mountains now!Now that there is the power of belief.I don't know so much about all that biology stuff though.But the belief part, well I can tell you is real, for I've seen some mighty things that the power of belief can do.May the Lord bless you child.But beware of Ms. Salloways and her aplle-marmalade combo pie ways!

    5-0 out of 5 stars There is power in the Biology of Belief!
    This is an amazing book that is sure to become a classic, ushering a paradigmatic change in long overdue thinking, which is holistic and spiritual-based.

    Holding back little in terms of passion, Dr. Lipton reveals that the real illness of society is modern medicine and science.

    Instead of such silly notions as genes having influence on illness, Dr. Lipton reveals that beliefs are more important.

    Such breakthrough thinking will surely be resisted by the status quo, who want to maintained their dominance.

    Instead of being hostages to their tyrannical, dogmatic hold, we have the new hope from the salvation of belief!

    Surely in the years to come, the public will hail Dr, Lipton as a pioneer and history will have his name alongside Einstein's name.

    At last, we as a species can now embrace the full potential we are destined to attain.

    Jostling us into a new awakened state of mind, Dr. Lipton is our modern Buddha and physician of good health.

    Only in the years to come will we really see the full fruits of this glorious new dawn of human understanding.

    Knowledgeable and witty, Dr. Lipton leads us into this new age of humanity.

    Ethel-Ruth Solloways, who I've met is 98 years old and looks only 80.The power of belief is incredible-literally.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mind and Body Meet as One!
    I don't understand why so many are bashing this book.Why is it so hard to believe that wishes or belief can affect external reality?Why?Alright, so many its counter-intuitive for the intuitive-challenged.But you can do it if you just put your mind to it!

    Dr. Lipton makes us see that extra hidden layer of reality that we all know is really really there beneath all that boring scientific-speak sort of geek-talk that the scientist wants us to believe just to sell us a pill.Let's face it, what has science done other than make our lives so horribly backwards?There's all this talk about physics people and the like.I mean didn't physicists make the atomic bomb?And isn't it doctors that like cut people open every year.Hmm, humanitarians or sociopaths?I mean they lock you for cutting people, but you get a little two-letter abbreviation at the end of you name like M.D., and suddenly you can charge people to cut them!Now that's my definition of insane.

    Thankfully, Dr. Lipton has come to the rescue.We are not victims of this silly notion of genes.Let's face it people, have you seen a gene?These scientist people though want us to believe this crazy stuff.Why?Because it keeps them in business and makes them money.

    Dr. Lipton shows us how we can slow if not stop the aging process, not fall into the internalized expectation of becoming ill or sick.He argues that our biology responds to environmental cues, in which our subconscious programs of expectation and beliefs then interpret these environmental stimuli and react accordingly.

    For instance, many have been lead to believe that aging and accompanying disease is inevitable.This is not so!We can probably live, as Dr. Lipton argues, to live much longer, if only we begin to bring about that reality by believing it and not succumbing to the negative beliefs that genes will fail and age will lead to death.

    I am a believer!And I plan to put that belief to work right away.I now understand that the reason why I gained weight when I ate that super-sized double decker beefy hamburger with extra bacon and cheese wasn't because it was fattening and how my internal biochemistry reacted to that hamburger, but rather I gained weight because of my subconscious psychological program or believing that fat makes me fat.

    The reason why so many overweight people eating badly and never exercising die young and have high blood-pressure is because overweight people eating poorly who never exercise believe this is bad for them and have bought into the medical community's ideology of the dogma of genes and that such lifestyles are detrimental to health.

    The pharmaceutical companies are in on this too with the medical people, who write the prescriptions of the drugs that the legalized drug pushers are trying to get us to buy to keep them in business.Big science people like the National Institutes of Health are really a scam organization.It's really just the opposite, just like in George Orwell's 1984, where organizations have names opposite of what they really do.It should really be called the National Institute of Illness.And it's not just the pharmaceutical companies and government organizations; its also these universities too that do research and constantly need and supply the new armies of scientists to keep perpetuating this viscous cycle!

    Thankfully Dr. Lipton is showing us we don't need these guys-if like we ever did!No, we can believe and don't have to do all this deep thinking stuff like science.We are now entering the new age of the science of connection with real reality and nature, in which mind and body become one!
    ... Read more


    2. The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
    by Tim Gallagher
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618456937
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-18)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 803
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    What is it about the ivory-billed woodpecker? Why does this ghost of the southern swamps arouse such an obsessive level of passion in its devotees, who range from respected researchers to the flakiest Loch Ness monster fanatics and Elvis chasers?
    Since the early twentieth century, scientists have been trying their best to prove that the ivory-bill is extinct. But every time they think they've finally closed the door, the bird makes an unexpected appearance. It happened in the 1920s, and it's happened in almost every subsequent decade.
    For more than 60 years, each sighting has been met with ridicule and scorn. Respected researchers and naturalists have been branded as quacks just for having the temerity to say that the ivory-bill still exists. Yet the reports still trickle in. Is there any truth to these sightings, or are they just a case of wishful thinking, misidentification, or outright fabrication?
    To unravel the mystery, author Tim Gallagher heads south, deep into the eerie swamps and bayous of the vast Mississippi Delta, searching for people who claim to have seen this rarest of birds and following up—sometimes more than 30 years after the fact—on their sightings. He meets a colorful array of characters: a cigar-chomping ex-boxer who took two controversial pictures of an alleged ivory-bill in 1971; a former corporate lawyer who abandoned her career to search for ivory-bills full time; two men who grew up in the ivory-bill's last known stronghold in a final remnant of primeval forest in Louisiana.
    With his buddy Bobby Harrison, a true son of the South from Alabama, Gallagher hits the swamps, wading through hip-deep, boot-sucking mud and canoeing through turgid, mud brown bayous where deadly cottonmouth water moccasins abound. In most cases, they are clearly decades too late. But when the two speak to an Arkansas backwoods kayaker who saw a mystery woodpecker the week before and has a description of the bird that is too good to be a fantasy, the hunt is on.
    Their Eureka moment comes a few days later as a huge woodpecker flies in front of their canoe, and they both cry out, "Ivory-bill!" This sighting—the first time since 1944 that two qualified observers positively identify an ivory-billed woodpecker in the United States—quickly leads to the largest search ever launched to find a rare bird, as researchers fan out across the bayou, hoping to document the existence of this most iconic of birds.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The "Qualified Observer" speaks.
    "there are no ivory billed woodpeckers..." that was the response to an email from Cornell University several years ago I had sent, reporting a unusual sighting of another bird species. The joke was "maybe my next sighting will be an Ivory Billed Woodpecker..." Of course, I'll cut them some slack, but I have always hoped that I would see one. Who wouldn't?

    I can't think of another bird that us birders would like to see more than an IBW. How exciting that it is sighted in my homestate! However, I still couldn't help but email Cornell again and say "I told you so".

    A lot of research and precious time has gone into the production of this book and I am sure that all birders, fanatics and enthusiasts alike will enjoy Mr. Gallagher's book. Following every possible lead, he researched and interviewed people from many different walks of life to confirm their existence. You will feel an incredible sense of loss when reading about the demise of the Singer tract. Even though it will be depressing at times, you will also keep that sense of hope that maybe more will be done in the future, that maybe we have learned from our mistakes. And possibly, maybe we too will encounter this beautiful, distinctive, evasive bird in the shadows of (our minds) an old growth cypress forest.

    Maybe hope is what makes this book so special. For the Grail itself is a symbol of hope and faith. I hope that more can be done to save our precious habitats. I believe with rediscoveries more will be done.

    So keep the faith, your binoculars handy, read the book and enjoy the story, study the images and maybe the "Grail Bird" will make an appearance in a 'big woods' near you.


    A great read! A book you won't want to put down until it's finished.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the inside story of the 2004 ivory-bill sighting!
    This is a well-written insider's tale of the confirmed sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas in 2004, which amazed all of us who are even remotely interested in birds and wildlife.The last previous confirmed sighting was in 1944, in the NE corner of Louisiana, an area that was logged and destroyed later that year.Interesting, then, that the rare bird, long thought extinct, shows up just upriver in Arkansas.

    One of the things that makes Gallagher's book so good is his tracking down various unconfirmed sightings over the years.In light of what we now know, that the ivory-bill lives!, these sightings become much more plausible in retrospect.And there is a pattern that emerges -- sightings across southern Louisiana from west (Sabine River) to central (Atchafalaya Basin) to east (Pearl River).A long-lost tape has been unearthed confirming a 1966 "sighting" (hearing) in the Sabine River area of east Texas.The 850,000 acre Atchafalaya Basin was the location of several sightings in the 1970s and 1980s.A highly credible 1999 sighting in the Pearl River area led to an intensive search that found nothing.It is quite possible therefore, based on the evidence presented in this book, that the ivory-bill survives not only in the Cache and White River area of east-central Arkansas, but in the swamps of southern Lousiana as well!

    What's the moral of the story?Habitat preservation!The area in Arkansas is protected land, which was expanded by Nature Conservancy purchases between the February 2004 sightings and the recent public announcement, and protecting critical habitat in the three river basins mentioned above might well secure more elusive ivory-bill populations.Designation and protection of critical habitat is in fact mandated by the Endangered Species Act.

    The two top websites for more on the amazing ivory-bill story are The Nature Conservancy (http://www.tnc.org) and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (http://www.birds.cornell.edu).

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have book RE: the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed!
    This book is an amazing tale of the expeditions to rediscover the elusive (and formerly thought-to-be-extinct) Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Finding this bird (for non-birders reading this review) is the equivalent of finding Elvis Presley alive and well for music fans! And really, Tim Gallagher is the best person to have written it, having been a part of the process from day one. The storyline is good, and the humor that Tim interjects into it really made this book an easy and interesting read. I purchased this book and read it cover to cover all in the same day.

    I should also note that before this book was released, I had read "The Race To Save The Lord God Bird" by Phil Hoose, and it was also a good read, but this book pretty much picks up where the Hoose book left off in terms of current efforts and info about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

    This book is a MUST HAVE for those interested in the species, or in conservation issues in general, because the message within the story of the amazing rediscovery of this magnificent bird is that perhaps we should ALL be more mindful of conservation issues in general. On that note -- I highly recommend that you buy/read the book!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Next Best Thing to Being There
    I assumed we would have to wait a few months, or even a year, for the inside story of the rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait at all, as Tim Gallagher was simultaneously searching for the bird and working on this most excellent book. Another reviewer used the word "perfect" to describe The Grail Bird, and I think that's about right, as Gallagher has somehow arrived at the perfect mix of natural history, detective story, and memoir. It's a delicate balance, and he found it. This book won't be a best-seller, but deserves to be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ivory-billed Woodpecker: The TRUTH behind the rediscovery
    Tim Gallagher's newest book, The Grail Bird, is indeed the truth behind the rediscovery. I've been a follower of Ivory-billed Woodpecker history and sightings for several years. I've tried to read any book that has any noteworthy mention of the species within. This is the best book I have ever come across. It contains a great wealth of information on the history of the species right up to Tim's own personal sighting a little more than a year ago.

    Do you know who took the mystery photos of the 1971 Ivory-billed Woodpecker? Tim does. And, thanks to his sleuthing, now I do too. It's all in his book.

    Tim is a great writer and a great detective. He tracked down every possible lead he could find and interviewed anyone he thought may have seen an Ivory-billed Woodpecker or who knew of someone who had. His interviews and stories are very interesting with great personal lines from Tim that will make you laugh and maybe even cry. After reading his book you will come away feeling as if you were there, right alongside Tim and his friend, Bobby, on their journeys for the truth.

    I know you will thoroughly enjoy this.

    Good reading!



    ... Read more


    3. Living in the Environment : Principles, Connections, and Solutions (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
    by Jr., G. Tyler Miller
    list price: $120.95
    our price: $105.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534397980
    Catlog: Book (2003-01-02)
    Publisher: Brooks Cole
    Sales Rank: 94901
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    Book Description

    Miller's LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT, 13th Edition is a science-based book designed for introductory courses in environmental science. Tyler Miller is the most successful author in environmental science instruction because of his attention to currency, trend-setting presentation, outstanding student and instructor supplements, and his ability to retain and refine the pedagological hallmarks on which instructors have come to depend. In this edition Miller has added an on-line Web- based resource, entitled the Resource Integration Guide, which is updated quarterly with CNN® Today video clips, animations, and articles from InfoTrac® College Edition.Instructors can seamlessly incorporate current news articles and research findings to support classroom instruction. And, for the first time ever, students will receive a complementary CD-ROM entitled Interactive Concepts in Environmental Science. This groundbreaking addition integrates nearly 100 engaging animations and interactions with chapter summaries, flashcards, and Web-based quizzes. Organized by chapter, students will find links to relevant resources, narrated animations, interactive figures and prompts to review material and test themselves. The content in the Thirteenth Edition of LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT is everything you have come to expect and more. There is more information on ecology and basic science than ever before. Instructors can continue to expect high quality end-of-chapter questions, an orientation toward solutions and prevention rather than clean-up,the integration of Web resources, and balanced presentation of controversial ideas that are supported through Pro/Con diagrams and discussions. ... Read more


    4. The Singing Life of Birds : The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong
    by Donald Kroodsma
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618405682
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 951
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Listen to birds sing as you've never listened before, as the world-renowned birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma takes you on personal journeys of discovery and intrigue.
    Read stories of wrens and robins, thrushes and thrashers, warblers and whip-poor-wills, bluebirds and cardinals, and many more bird. Learn how each acquires its songs, how songs vary from bird to bird and place to place, how some birds' singing is especially beautiful or ceaseless or complex, how some do not sing at all, how the often quiet female has the last word, and why.
    Hear a baby wren and the author's own daughter babble as each learns its local dialect. Listen to the mockingbird by night and by day and count how many different songs he can sing. Marvel at the exquisite harmony in the duet of a wood thrush as he uses his two voice boxes to accompany himself.
    Feel the extraordinary energy in the songs just before sunrise as dawn's first light sweeps across this singing planet. Hear firsthand the unmistakable evidence that there are not one but two species of marsh wrens and two species of winter wrens in North America. Learn not only to hear but to see birds sing in the form of sonagrams, as these visual images dance across the pages while you listen to the accompanying CD.
    Using your trained ears and eyes, you can begin your own journeys of discovery. Listen anew to birds in your backyard and beyond, exploring the singing minds of birds as they tell all that they know. Join Kroodsma not only in identifying but in identifying with singing birds, connecting with nature's musicians in a whole new way.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Suberb--a lovely merging of science and poetry
    I was predisposed to like this book, since I love birdsong and have long been drawn to research about it.But this book far exceeded my high expectations.Don Kroodsma takes us through the entire process of listening to a song, thinking up questions about how the species acquired it, and step by step through the process of learning the answer, setting up the sections like little mysteries.He's recognized by the American Ornithologists' Union as an authority on acquisition of birdsong, and although the book is authoritative and scientific, he somehow manages to infuse every paragraph with his own sense of wonder and joy in his subject.This book may look like a textbook, but it reads like a cross between a mystery novel and lovely poetry.I can't recommend it highly enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of Avian Bioacoustics.
    A masterpiece of avian bioacoustics (Sorry, I just had to use those words).

    I have a bird outside my window just now singing a song of some kind. I've long thought it was pretty, but thought no more acout it. Now this book has come along and my casual listening has become much more interesting. I found the bird outside my window in the book and sure enough here is a sonogram, a voice print if you will of what the bird sounds like. Further, there is a track on the CD that comes with the book that has this bird's song recorded. It's not exactly like the bird outside the window, but birds (I've learned) are individuals too.

    Birding is one of the more popular pastimes in this country, and growing quire rapidly. This book would be a supurb gift to any birder, even if you have to give it to yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The CD alone is worth the money!
    Just listened to an interview with the author on NPR which included a number of selections from the accompanying CD, all I can think of is 'how awesome!'The author has spent many years studying and documenting birdsong and makes me realize that what I thought I knew from growing up in the country surrounded by birdsong is a tiny fragment of what I actually was hearing.The CD includes birdsongs at normal speeds and slowed to 1/2 and 1/4 speed, which allows the listener to hear the discreet sounds.The accompanying text includes graphic description of the sounds for a clearer understanding.If you love birds, you will love this! ... Read more


    5. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
    by William McDonough, Michael Braungart
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0865475873
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-22)
    Publisher: North Point Press
    Sales Rank: 1161
    Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The proof is in your hands
    Proof that our technologically advanced, high-consumption industrial system can make environmentally sound and sustainable products. We can manufacture a whole range of goods that are ecologically efficient in that they reduce waste and yet are less expensive to make than traditionally manufactured items. Pick up CRADLE TO CRADLE and the proof is right there in your hands. "This book is not a tree" the authors tell us. Its slightly heavier than your average paperback, the pages are whiter and they're also waterproof (I took the authors word on that one and am happy to say I was able to read on). The pages are made from plastic resins and fillers and in keeping with the message of "eliminating waste", the book is 100% recyclable.

    McDonough and Braungart's vision of "Remaking the Way We Make Things" goes way beyond books. Why not buildings that produce more energy than they consume? Or "green" roofs that give off oxygen while cooling the occupants? How about factories that produce drinkable effluent? or products that when their useful life is over can be used as nutrients for soil? What sounds like science fiction is convincingly shown to be quite feasible by the authors. They offer numerous examples to prove it.

    "We see a world of abundance, not limits" they say. As an architect (McDonough) and chemist (Braungart) they don't have any special qualifications for this re-thinking and re-doing. What they simply have done is re-imagine the whole manufacturing process beginning with the design elements. Sometimes it's simply a matter of asking the right questions and looking at things differently. They are not talking about smaller-scale industry or limiting themselves to the "four R's" of traditional environmentalism - reuse, recycle, reduce, and regulate. With their intelligent designs, "bigger and better" is possible "in a way that replenishes, restores, and nourishes the rest of the world."

    McDonough and Braungart cover topics such as the history of the industrial revolution, new business strategies that emphasize eco-efficiency, the relationship between man, nature, and science, and the importance of design and planning. Hopeful, well written, thoroughly researched, and packed with practical examples, this refreshing book offers an alternative to our current industrial system that "takes, makes and wastes". We have the talent, technology, and with the enthusiasm of these authors, we have the capability to achieve economic and ecological sustainability.

    4-0 out of 5 stars People and their stuff CAN co-exist
    At 1-1/4 lbs, "Cradle to Cradle" is more than twice as heavy as a same-size paperback edition of John Steinbeck's "The Winter of Our Discontent" and the fact is more than incidental.

    "Remaking the Way We Make Things", the book's subtitle, is the social agenda of its authors, architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. They take issue with the three R's of environmentalism, "reduce, reuse and recycle." The process by which plastic bottles are recycled into carpet, for example, also produces considerable waste and the carpet itself "is still on its way to a landfill; it's just stopping off in your house en route."

    The authors advocate designing products so that after their useful lives, either the product components provide biological nutrients for new products or circulate in a closed industrial loop.

    The Yanomamo of Brazil whose banana soup dish may contain the ashes of their dearly departed was one source of inspiration for Braungart and McDonough was moved by the simple, natural and effective technology of the Bedouin whose goat hair tents ventilate hot air up and out and, when it rains, swell with absorbed moisture and provide protection.

    The authors are walking the talk with the physical design of this new book. It is made of a waterproof polymer developed by Melcher Media so it can be read in the bath or at the beach, provided you have sufficient wrist strength to hoist it to viewing level. And the book can be "upcycled", made into a high quality polymer, at least theoretically. Until such time, place this book on the shelf above your hot tub next to Aqua Erotica, a collection of stories dealing with water and sex, another book of "Durabook" construction.

    Undoubtedly, an electronic edition of the book would be most eco-effective. Also, a digital version would be searchable and might compensate for lack of an index. Despite its flaws as a model, it offers a vision of the future in which people and their stuff can co-exist.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
    This is an extraordinary and unlikely book. It is not printed on paper, but on a waterproof polymer with the heft of good paper and more strength, a substance that reflects the right amount of light, yet holds the ink fast. It seems like an impossible fantasy, but so does much of what the authors propose about design and ecology. They speak with the calm certainty of the ecstatic visionary. Could buildings generate oxygen like trees? Could running shoes release nutrients into the earth? It seems like science fiction. Yet, here is this book, on this paper. The authors make a strong case for change, and just when you're about to say, "if only," they cite a corporation that is implementing their ideas. However, it's hard to believe their concepts would work on a large scale, in the face of powerful economic disincentives. We believe authors do aim some of their criticism at obsolete marketing and manufacturing philosophies, but the overall critique is well worth reading.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas
    This book is a sometimes interesting, often meandering treatise on design. The authors, and American architect and a German chemist, have a very sincere desire to realign the world of design of objects and buildings so that they contribute to the betterment of the environment rather than destroy it. The title of the book "Cradle to Cradle" encapsulates their goal of designing objects that when they are no longer needed, naturally become useful inputs for the production of other objects rather than getting sent to the grave (or buried in a landfill). For example, they would like to see the creation of food packaging that could be thrown on the ground when the contents are consumed and would become fertilizer rather than non-biodegradable litter. (By this measure, the women concessionaires selling steamed rice treats in Indonesian trains are masters of design. The rice is both steamed and packaged in banana leafs, which are simply thrown out the train windows once the rice is consumed. But this practice also creates enormous problems- -since Indonesians have been accustomed to using such environmentally beneficial packaging for generations, they assume that "modern" packaging can be discarded in the same manner, much to the detriment of the Indonesian countryside. If you are living in a world of mixed packaging, some of which can be thrown out the window, and some of which must be discarded by other means, it's hard to keep straight which stuff goes where. That's a vital cultural issue that the authors don't explore here.)

    McDounough and Braungart list the goals for their design program. They challenge inventors and industry leaders to design factories that "produce more energy than they consume, and purify their own waste water," and products that "can be tossed on the ground to decompose" or become "high-quality raw materials for new products" rather than simply "down-cycled". At the outset, these goals can sound a bit far-fetched. After, all, a factory that produces more energy than it consumes would seem to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But what the authors really mean here is not that the factory would miraculously produce something from nothing, but that the design of the factory would include such things as solar collectors on the roof and devices to capture heat that could then send energy back out to the power grid, perhaps even in excess of electrical energy coming in. They illustrate their lofty dreams with concrete designs that they have helped develop and implement, such as a cosmetics plant in Germany whose wastewater is actually cleaner than the water coming in to the plant, thanks to the new chemical formulations they recommended. What's more, they point out that such design efforts can be even be good for business, since in this particular example, the company was able to cut costs on hazardous materials handling and storage enough to more than offset slightly increased production costs with the new formulas. Such design efforts are fabulous examples of the potential benefits of thinking "out of the box".

    The book contains quite a few additional examples of brilliant design ideas that can save resources as well as money. The book is also filled with surprising tidbits that haven't become general knowledge yet, like the potential hazards of wearing fabric made of recycled plastic bottles, and the fact that PET bottles were found to leach antimony when used as soap containers. The authors point out that the decision to use either recycled paper or virgin paper is not as clear cut as it seems- -while the production of virgin paper necessitates the cutting down of trees, recycling paper requires enormous amounts of bleaching, which produces PCBs. To demonstrate an alternative, the book itself is printed on a paper-free composite of plastics, which could be easily recycled into more book-grade plastics. The informative details and design goals of the book are quite interesting. However, the text often meanders around and through topics that are at best tangential or described better in other volumes. At times, some details or issues are also rehashed repetitively. In these places, it would have been better to focus on explicating McDonough and Braungart's own design program more fully. They've got some neat ideas that are well worth exploring, and it would have been great to be able to read even more about them and less about the general problems of environmental destruction that are described better in other books.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Every student of design should read this book
    I am a graduate student in a school of architecture that talks alot about doing 'sustainable design' and the 'green' architecture that has become a fad of late. This book makes the designer think not about efficiently designing buildings, but efficiently designing MATERIALS to eliminate the dangers that are inherent to the chemistry of almost every modern building product. It was an eye-opening read for me and has changed the way i think about 'sustainable design' and what the true goal of 'green' architecture should be. ... Read more


    6. EnvironmentalScience : Toward A Sustainable Future (9th Edition)
    by Richard T. Wright
    list price: $105.00
    our price: $105.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131442007
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-19)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 123523
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    Book Description

    This classic book explores the interactions of humans within the natural environment and probes issues thoroughly, examining their scientific basis, history, and society's response. Strong science, sustainability, and stewardship of Earth remain the underlying themes.Accompanies each copy of the book with the new Global City CD, built around the concepts of a large city that shows many of the environmental problems presented in the book. Includes an extensively revised layout and design. Keeps readers abreast of the latest developments or most pressing issues in the field, such as Global Climate Change. Offers "Environment on the Web" exercises that help readers access additional information on the Internet; important Web references are keyed to each chapter.An interesting reference for anyone interested in learning more about today's crucial environmental issues. ... Read more


    7. The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy
    by Peter W. Huber, Mark P. Mills
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0465031161
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-18)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 6972
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A myth-shattering book that explains why energy is not scarce, why the price of energy doesn't matter very much, and why "waste" of energy is both necessary and desirable.

    The sheer volume of talk about energy, energy prices, and energy policy on both sides of the political aisle suggests that we must know something about these subjects.But according to Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills, the things we think we know are mostly myths.In The Bottomless Well, Huber and Mills show how a better understanding of energy will radically change our views and policies on a number of very controversial issues.

    Writing in take-no-prisoners, urgently compelling prose, Huber and Mills explain why demand for energy will never go down, why most of what we think of as "energy waste" actually benefits us; why more efficient cars, engines, and bulbs will never lower demand, and why energy supply is infinite.In the automotive sector, gas prices matter less and less, and hybrid engines will most likely lead us to cars propelled by the coal-fired grid.As for the much-maligned power grid itself, it's the worst system we could have except for all the proposed alternatives.Expanding energy supplies mean higher productivity, more jobs, and a growing GDP.Across the board, energy isn't the problem, energy is the solution. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Just do the math(s)!
    The fact that anyone could be taken in by the delirious pseudo-science presented in this book is a sad reflection on the level of mathematical innumeracy in our culture. For a free summary of much of the real arithmetic of energy: see http://dieoff.org/synopsis.htm. I can only imagine that the authors of this book have cynically concluded that telling people what they want to hear can be very profitable, even though all the actual evidence fails to support such false optimism. The authors' thesis is about as plausible as "Intelligent Design", and falls apart just as quickly when subjected to rational analysis. If you find yourself being lulled into a dangerous belief in this book's claims, then I've got an idea for a perpetual motion machine, to which I'd love to sell you the rights!
    Dave Hodgson [Graduate Electronic Engineer, US & Japan Patent Holder, for inventions that actually work!]

    3-0 out of 5 stars a mix of well-supported argument and optimistic speculation
    I found this to be an entertaining, exciting, optimism-generating book, but after reading it I'm afraid I can't be as optimistic as the authors are. On the one hand, a large component of the book is essentially just spelling out the laws of thermodynamics, and it can't be argued with. Of the myths they debunk, in several cases they make their case quite well--there is always going to be energy waste (that's part of the laws of thermodynamics), increases in efficiency do not result in reduced consumption of energy, and overall demand for energy is continually increasing. I think their suggested path of oil-independence not by continuing to expand the burning of coal (as the U.S. has been doing for the last few decades) but by building new nuclear capacity is sensible. They suggest some other technologies that may also turn out positively (including nuclear fusion). Their comments on the alternative energy production methods already in place (diesel generators and delivery trucks) are fascinating.

    Where I part ways with the authors is on their assumption that continued success in finding new sources of energy (or better ways at getting at current sources of energy) is inevitable. Yes, we've been successful so far, but this is one area where we can be certain that in a long enough run, the past will not predict the future. (Or, alternatively, they make the mistake of not looking at other relevant past records, like the records of both species extinctions and civilizations that collapse.) I was almost expecting the authors to cite Frank Tipler's The Physics of Immortality, as part of an argument for an infinite human future. They don't go quite as far as Tipler, arguing that we could upload ourselves into a computer simulation which would produce infinite computation and allow all possibilities to berealized in a finite future--they limit the future to "as long as the sun continues to shine, and the planet rotates, and the depths of the cosmos stay cold" (p. 188).

    There is much of value in this book. Like a recent issue of The Economist (April 23-29, 2005), they present arguments for a rational environmentalism that accounts for costs and benefits, and show that steps to preserve a clean environment are a good and effective use of some of the increased energy consumption (at the cost of reduced efficiency).

    I recommend the book, with reservations. The parts that are founded on implications of the laws of thermodynamics and solid research support are sound, but there are also claims which run far beyond the support provided (like "we will never run out of energy").

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be "Required Reading" for ALL politicians!
    A brilliant shift in thinking, truly "out of the box."Politicians and other policy/lawmakers should be required to not only read this book, but take an intense test on it.Those failing would be sent back to reread it.

    This is certainly one of the most positive books on the entire subject of "energy," that little known and less understood subject.Though obviously from an open market perspective, there is no political ranting or even excoriating one side or the other of the political spectrum."Just the facts, ma'am" seems to be their credo.In laying out those facts, we are treated to a new understanding of what "energy does and does not mean.Along with that is a highly hopeful prediction for the world's energy/power supplies, along with an introduction to the world of quantum physics, heretofore little known or understood by the lay reader.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
    Most books on energy proceed with all the plodding predictability of an oil station pumping up and down in the middle of Nowhere, Texas: There's only so much oil, it's being consumed faster and faster, so someday the spigot must squeak dry. Authors and contrarians Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills stand up in the court of global opinion to pound loudly on the oil drum of iconoclasm. The question before the world jury: Is this a work of genius, or a perfect illustration of the fact that some energy is indeed wasted? This book reflects diligent-if-tendentious research and unapologetically advances highly unpopular, and potentially inaccurate, theories. These include the notion that making industrial processes more energy efficient results in increased consumption. It asserts that energy development is a perpetual motion machine that rewards increased consumption with ever-expanding supplies, and that wasting energy is both inevitable and virtuous, as it leads ultimately to greater supply and production. This last notion is not so far-fetched in light of nuclear fusion and the ongoing convergence of digital and genetic technologies. Werecommend this unique perspective to those interested in a different take on the world's sustainability dilemma. If nothing else, it will give you something extremely controversial to read while the jury is still out.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Could have been condensed into a long magazine article.
    Mankind keeps progressing technologically to the use of ever more efficient and refined forms of energy.Demand for high-grade power will keep rising, requiring new sources of fuel -- which are available in almost unlimited supply. A fossil-fuel based economy is less damaging to the environment than a carbohydrate-fueled (agricultural) economy, contrary to popular belief.As the transportation and manufacturing sectors of the economy shift to using more electrical power, we should turn to nuclear power to generate it.Solar and wind power will remain insignificant in meeting demand.These are the main points of the book, in the opinion of this technology-dummy reviewer.The book seems unfocused and rambling -- maybe it would have been better if it had been condensed into a long magazine article.Update:there is an article by Huber and Mills in the Winter 2005 issue of City Journal (available online) advocating nuclear power that repeats the arguments of the book in less detailed form. ... Read more


    8. Birds in Brazil
    by Helmut Sick
    list price: $230.00
    our price: $230.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691085692
    Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Here is a substantially revised and updated English-language version of the only comprehensive, scientific treatment of Brazil's 1635 bird species. Written by the then dean of Brazilian ornithologists and published in Brazil in 1985, it not only lists every individual Brazilian species and provides detailed accounts for most of them but also gives an extensive treatment of the characteristics of each bird family found in the country. In addition, it analyzes the composition of Brazil's avifauna and relates it to the country's geography. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Birds in Brazil
    Birds in Brazil is a big book, beautifully produced on quality paper. It is exhaustive but never exhausting on the topic of Brazilian birds . The color illustrations are beautiful, but unfortunately they are separate from the text about the birds. That is the book's only fault. The text is in smooth and enticing English, and where the same birds are to be found migrating to the United States, the information is quite comparable in completion and interest to the American field guides of Roger T. Peterson. That leads me to believe that the information about birds that we don't experience will be equally accurate. This book is captivating and well worth the price. It is a coffee-table style book that we will be proud to use and to display. ... Read more


    9. Land Development Calculations: Interactive Tools and Techniques for Site Planning, Analysis and Design
    by Walter Martin Hosack
    list price: $125.00
    our price: $100.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 007136255X
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-26)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
    Sales Rank: 25456
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "It is the kind of simplified tool that many of us in practice sorely need" - Jamie Greene, AICP, AIA, Principal, American Communities Partnership


    *The first computational tool for land development and site planning analysis and design
    *Real-world case studies, with photographs and plans, illustrate how alternative development options would affect the project results
    *Includes a CD-ROM containing 30 interactive spreadsheets that can be used for every type of land development scenario ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely valuable tool
    "Land Development Calculations" provides an excellent and innovative strategy for working towards sustainable land use and development. The models for varying land development strategies can assist local government land use decision makers and planners as well as developers determine the carrying capacity of land within realistic thresholds. The accompanying spreadsheets for the development scenarios on the CD-ROM are extremely user friendly and do not place an undue burden on the user by requiring what may be hard to find or to collect data. All of the data required just is typical of what is necessary to make appropriate land development decisions. As a local government planner, I am working towards incorporating the information received from the models in to the zoning and development code as part of the approval process by using it to further assess suitability of the property for the purposes proposed (a zoning consideration required in accordance with the State of Georgia Zoning Procedures Act). I strongly encourage other land planners and developers to read "Land Development Calculations," because of its highly practical and very timely material.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Author Delivers Valuable Techniques and Tools
    This is a terrificaly valuable technical reference for practitioners who need an efficient method of performing land development calulations. The book and its companion set of spreadsheets enable users to answer two key questions: 1) how much can be built on a given piece of land; or 2) how much land is needed to accommodate a given use? The material is clearly written and well illustrated, especially a series of worksheets leading through the method. Another strength is its comprehensiveness and detail, including all major land-use and micro site conditions. ... Read more


    10. Energy Efficiency Manual: for everyone who uses energy, pays for utilities, designs and builds, is interested in energy conservation and the environment
    by Donald R. Wulfinghoff
    list price: $199.95
    our price: $199.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0965792676
    Catlog: Book (2000-03)
    Publisher: Energy Institute Press
    Sales Rank: 127769
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This is the primary reference, how-to guide, and sourcebook for energy conservation.It lets you improve efficiency and save money in all types of buildings and plants, ranging from individual houses to commercial buildings to large institutions and industrial plants.It is organized around 400 logically grouped energy conservation actions, presented in language that everyone understands.

    It's for everyone who uses energy, pays for utilities, manages property, operates energy systems, designs, builds, and values conservation and the environment.It's loaded with features that help you quickly find the right information for each application. "Ratings" and "Selection Scorecards" identify your best conservation opportunities."Traps & Tricks" ensure success."Economics" estimate savings and costs.It has been acclaimed by professional and non-technical users.Publishers Weekly says it "answers just about any question [from] homeowner, plant manager, energy policy guru ... as practically useful as it is informative."830 photographs and drawings illustrate the methods.Hundreds of examples give you a feel for real applications.A complete index makes it easy to find every topic and term. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superlative! A must have!
    Superlative!  The ENERGY EFFICIENCY MANUAL by Donald Wulfinghoff is a "must have" for professionals, libraries, facility managers, policy makers, homeowners, and anyone else who is serious about saving energy and cashing in on lower energy bills. It is the ultimate energy saving resource for businesses, industry, and government. PLUS, it will save money and reduce pollution, satisfying corporate bottom lines, policy makers, and environmentalists all at the same time. This book is unique. Highly informative, illustration-rich, and user-friendly, it is treasure trove of everything you need to know about energy efficiency from A to Z. Don't bother looking elsewhere -- the ENERGY EFFICIENCY MANUAL simply has it all. This book will pay for itself almost as fast as you can spot a hot air leak or install an energy-efficient light bulb!

    -- Amy Vickers

    5-0 out of 5 stars A secret weapon for the energy auditor
    As an energy auditor I'd almost call the Energy Efficiency Manual a secret weapon, except it has so many good ideas that I can't help but show it to many of the customers and prospective customers I meet. The diagrams are very useful, as is the self contained but well cross-referenced way in which each improvement measure has been written. For example, talking to the maintenance manager of a hospital, we looked at the diagrams of hot/cold deck multi-zone systems while discussing the pros and cons of upgrading a constant volume air conditioning system to a variable volume system. It is by far the most useful book on energy management that I have ever read (well, in the case of the Energy Efficiency Manual, that I have partially read - its an enormously large book!), and the ratings of each of the measures are particularly useful, along with the practical, no-nonsense approach. The book is extremely well cross referenced and Wulfinghoff has covered an enormous body of knowledge in writing the book. As someone fairly new to the field I'm grateful that he went to the effort of documenting and making available his knowledge and 30 odd years experience in the Energy Efficiency Manual.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you always wanted to know, in plain English
    I nodded my head in agreement while reading Wulfinghoff's philosophy about energy savings in commercial and light industrial facilities. He distills 20+ years of experience in this field with practical, no-nonsense how-tos to gain energy and dollar savings in a wide variety of facilities and end-uses: lighting, water use, steam systems, space heating, water heating, air conditioning, scheduling, pumps, energy management controls: its all here in a well-written, well-illustrated book.

    Perhaps best of all, the author goes beyond theoretical considerations of high-tech efficiency products, with precautions of what works and what might fall short. He also reminds facility managers to be mindful of the human factors that can foil our best efforts. He offers suggestions on how to plan and manage efficiency upgrades complete with information for building operators and occupants, so that the savings persist.

    Highly recommended for anyone managing energy use in facilities, ranging from individual buildings to college campuses to government facilities. [I am a local government energy manager myself.]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Provides practical advice for avoiding pitfalls
    Donald Wulfinghoff's Energy Efficiency Manual is a massive, 1,536-page reference work that is organized to guide the reader quickly to the right information for their particular energy project, problem, or inquiry. The first part of this "user friend" manual has 400 logically grouped activities for improving energy efficiency. each activity begins with Ratings and a Selection Scorecard to help the reader judge the merits and difficulties of that particular activity. "Economics" sidebars estimates the savings, cost, and payback period. The "Traps & Tricks" sidebars provides practical advice for avoiding pitfalls plaguing energy conservation efforts. Energy Efficiency Manual will earn back its cover price over and over again and is an essential, core reference for personal, professional, and community library energy conservation and energy efficiency reference book collections.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Efficiency in technical publications.
    I have been in the Architect/Engineering business for over 20 years. There were several cases in the past where this book would have been of great value. The Energy Efficiency Manual is now my standard resource in saving money and energy for my clients. Mr. Wulfinghoff has invested over 20 years in compiling this manual and this is reflected in the quality of the content. I am particularly impressed with the format, which is extremely accessible to anyone. The book gets right to the point in a highly straightforward manner. I would recommend that authors of other technical books take note and attempt the same. It would certainly make my life easier. In other words I honestly feel that I got my money's worth this time and recommend it to anyone who wants to save energy. ... Read more


    11. The Sibley Guide to Birds
    by David Allen Sibley
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679451226
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-03)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1195
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    More than 10 years in the making, David Sibley's Guide to Birds is a monumental achievement. The beautiful watercolor illustrations (6,600, covering 810 species in North America) and clear, descriptive text place Sibley and his work squarely in the tradition of John James Audubon and Roger Tory Peterson; more than a birdwatcher and evangelizer, he is one of the foremost bird painters and authorities in the U.S. Still, his field guide will no doubt spark debate. Unlike Kenn Kaufman's Focus Guide, Sibley's is unapologetically aimed at the converted. Beginning birders may want to keep a copy of Sibley at home as a reference, but the wealth of information will have the same effect on novices as trying to pick out a single sandpiper in a wheeling flock of thousands. The familiar yellow warbler, for instance, gets no less than nine individual illustrations documenting its geographic, seasonal, and sex variations--plus another eight smaller illustrations showing it in flight. Of course, more experienced birders will appreciate this sort of detail, along with Sibley's improvements on both Peterson and the National Geographic guide:

    • As in Peterson, Sibley employs a pointer system for key field markings--but additional text blurbs are included alongside the illustrations to facilitate identification.
    • Descriptive passages on identification are more detailed than those in most other field guides. For example, Sibley includes extensive information on the famously hard-to-distinguish hawks in the genus Accipiter (sharp-shinned, Cooper's, and northern goshawk), noting differences in leg thickness and wing beat that will be of use to more advanced birders. A section on the identification of "peeps" (small sandpipers) includes tips about seasonal molting and bill length. Confusing fall warblers, Empidonax flycatchers, and Alcids receive similar treatment.
    • As previously mentioned, ample space is given to illustrations that show plumage variations by age, sex, and geography within a single species. Thus, an entire page is devoted to the red-shouldered hawk and its differing appearances in the eastern U.S., Florida, and California; similarly, gulls are distinguished by age and warblers by sex.
    • Range maps are detailed and accurate, with breeding, wintering, and migration routes clearly depicted; rare but regular geographic occurrences are denoted by green dots.
    • The binding and paper stock are of exceptional quality. Despite its 544 pages, a reinforced paperback cover and sewn-in binding allow the book to be spread out flat without fear of breaking the binding.

    Some birders will be put off by the book's size. Slightly larger than the National Geographic guide, it's less portable than most field guides and will likely spend more time in cars and desks than on a birder's person while in the field. For some it will be a strictly stay-at-home companion guide to consult after a field trip; others may want to have it handy in a fannypack or backpack. But regardless of how it is used, Sibley's Guide to Birds is a significant addition to any birding library. "Birds are beautiful," the author writes in the preface, "their colors, shapes, actions, and sounds are among the most aesthetically pleasing in nature." Pleasing, too, is this comprehensive guide to their identification. --Langdon Cook ... Read more

    Reviews (79)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful complement for my bird book library.....
    I've owned the SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRD LIFE AND BEHAVIOR for a while, and finally ordered the SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRDS to complete the set. Both books are published by Audubon, the leading name in all things involving birds--at least that is what my 87-year old Aunt Marge says, and she's been to Audubon camp on many occasions.

    The SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRDS is too heavy to take into the field--it's really a reference book. Roger Tory Petersen's guide books are the best for field work--especially when children are involved. Sibley's guides are great reference books.

    Unlike THE SMITHSONIAN HANDBOOK, Sibley's guide does not include a bird profile per page, but like the Smithsonian book and the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA the Sibley guide covers birds in the Northern Hemisphere (U.S. Canada, and Mexico). The National Geographic field guide is lighter than the Sibley guide and thus more likely to end up in the field as the title suggests, however, it is larger and more cumbersome than the Petersen guide and will probably travel in the camper trailer or glove compartment, not in your hand or back pack.

    So--use Petersen for field work, get the Smithsonian guide for extra individual detail, and buy the Sibley guide for making comparisons across species types. If you are really a bird nut, get the Sibley guide to Bird Behavior and the National Geographic bird book. The pictures in the NG book are beautiful with lots of contextual detail--i.e. the Kingfisher eating, flying etc, however, although the NG includes the range maps, it does not include the little arrows that help you identify bird idiosyncracies. The Smithsonian and Petersen guides include the arrows and maps, and the Sibley includes maps and selected arrows (not in most cases).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Every bird watcher will want this book in his or her library
    From the moment I first opened David Sibley's new field guide, I was mesmerized. It offers a compact presentation on every species of bird north of the Mexican border and is undoubtedly one of the most user-friendly guides ever developed. In many ways, Sibley takes Roger Torey Peterson's method to its logical end--a guide that capsulizes all the essential information about similar species, arraying them close to each other for comparison. But unlike Peterson, Sibley presents ample information on the many plumages of individual species which are apt to confuse even some of the most experienced birders. Sibley's art work is very appealing to the eye, and his bird potraits are all very naturally posed. He also points out distinguishing field marks with text arrayed alongside his portraits, facilitating rapid identification. His approach also offers flight views together with perched views where that is helpful.

    There are a few negatives--only a few. The book would be unwieldy to carry in the field. (Best to bring it along and leave it in the car, perhaps.) The range maps are for the most part too small to easily distinguish, especially where birds appear in only limited areas. And the description of songs and calls strike me as inferior to Peterson's, from which I've learned most of the songs and calls I know over the past 40 years.

    In comparison to the other new bird guide just published, Kenn Kaufman's "Focus Guide," I much prefer David Sibley's. While Kaufman has crammed an incredible amount of information into a small, very quickly accessible volume, Sibley's is far more useful in distinguishing between species. Kaufman's is far handier to carry along in the field, but it offers far less data on individual species than Sibley. (Although I cannot feature using this information, Sibley even gives the average weight of each species--a fascinating bit of information not readily available in most other guides.)

    In any event, if you are a person interested in birds at any level of expertise, you are bound to enjoy David Sibley's excellent new guide. Buy a copy as soon as you can!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific identification guide!
    I've been a birder for many years and began a life list around five years ago. I own many of the standard field guides. Only recently did I obtain the Sibley Guide, but it's become my favorite. I generally use Sibley and Stokes in tandem.

    Advantages:
    1. Logical layout
    2. "Species accounts" pages offer an excellent comparative view within the group, as well as a good all-up overview of the families/genus/species, and general behavior.
    3. Individual species pages show comprehensive plumage reference art; more detailed than any I've seen. For this feature alone, the guide is worthwhile!
    4. Species pages show variants (e.g., Great Blue/Great White Heron), fledgling and/or juvenile patterns. In some cases art of eclipse plumage is a very nice bonus.
    5. Flight/wing patterns where relevant
    6. Comparison of hummingbird mating display paths
    7. Diurnal raptors section shows perched vs. in-flight underside plumage for each species. It also offers silhouette guides to help teach wing shape if plumage is light-obscured.
    8. Good geographical reference map (though smaller than ideal*)
    9. Good vocal descriptions
    10. Nice (what they refer to as) "bird topography" section
    11. Where applicable, good information on regional variations and species clines.

    Disadvantages:
    1. This is not a pocket guide; it's cumbersome. I use Stokes in the field, and use Sibley at home for reference afterward.
    2. The binding on my copy isn't sturdy, particularly for something that's supposedly a field guide. I feel like I must treat the glue binding gingerly or the pages might start to fall out.
    3. Not enough text re: birding ethics & conservation (but that might just be my inner tree-hugger appearing) :)
    4. *Geographical range map is small. I imagine it'd be difficult for some people to see clearly.
    5. Migratory geographical information only covers North America. I'd like reference for migratory species (even just within text) of migration route start/finish and total annual distance. (Aside: the artic tern has the longest distance migration [Arctic to Antarctic] and can cover 22k - 30k mpy.)

    Overall, this a great reference, and I recommend it highly.

    However, to Knopf publishers/Chanticleer Press: Please ask Dai Nippon Printing Co to use better binding glue in the next edition!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Sibley classic
    A truly magnificent book, which, coupled with its companion volume, the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, provides the definitive text on American birdlife.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best of the Best!
    Mr. Sibley has created a bird guide for the 21st century. Practical, logical and incredibly informative, The Sibley Guide to Birds is the bird watchers bible. I have used this guide everyday since I purchased it and the incredible paintings make indentifying birds a joy. Concise and informative, this is the definitive guide for my favorite hobby!! I highly recommend this guide to both novice and expert alike. ... Read more


    12. Environmental Science : Working with the Earth (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
    by Jr., G. Tyler Miller
    list price: $103.95
    our price: $103.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534424082
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-23)
    Publisher: Brooks Cole
    Sales Rank: 241158
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this edition of Miller's ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, a new Student CD-ROM, INTERACTIVE CONCEPTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, has been added! This groundbreaking addition integrates nearly 100 engaging animations and interactions with chapter summaries, flashcards, and Web-based quizzes. Organized by chapter, students will find links to relevant resources, narrated animations, interactive figures, and prompts to review material and test themselves. The animations show complex processes and relationships unfolding on screen, such as the effects of acid rain, smog formation, and the phosphorus cycle. Narration allows students to focus on what is changing on screen while interactions allow students to explore figures in more depth.This Tenth Edition is a significant, all-encompassing revision providing continuing focus on the basic scientific content necessary to understand environmental issues in clear, straightforward language. It provides the latest developments and reflects several major shifts in environmental science education this century. Designed as a foundational text for environmental science courses, Miller's flexible book is adaptable to almost any approach, and is the most widely embraced approach to environmental science in print. With fair and balanced coverage and Internet tools integrated throughout, the book features an extensively developed art program, writing that communicates scientific information clearly and effectively, and the most current coverage of the subject. The book's flexible organization means that it can be adapted to fit almost any syllabus. Miller's more than 30 years of research and teaching expertise make this the definitive book on the subject.ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: WORKING WITH THE EARTH, Tenth Edition is a concise alternative to G. Tyler Millers best-selling text LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT, which redefines the environmental science course and sets the standard by which every other book for this course is judged. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Biased indoctrination thinly disguised as a college text.
    Be wary of any economics book that tries to teach you science. And avoid any science book that tries to teach you economics. I can only describe myself as speechless as I read chapter two, 'Environmental Economics, Politics, and Worldviews'. I would expect some coverage of the political and economic issues that surround environmental science, but Mr. Miller goes out of his way to present his political views as the One True Path and all other views as evil. There are no opposing points, no mention that other opinions might also have merit. His description of capitalism would be laughable if I and thousands of other college students around the world weren't being taught them in class.

    On top of this, some web searches turn up other problems with this text. The book does not meet the 'Fairness and Accuracy' guidelines of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). Mr. Miller was criticized by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) for citing only references that supported his viewpoints (and even then, he didn't provide proper references). Another comment from 'The Textbook Letter' magazine describes this book as well as I could ever hope to "The [Miller] book is so insistent in promoting its worldview that it could serve as a model for education-with-indoctrination."

    No matter your viewpoint, I think everyone can agree that purposeful bias is not something that is conducive to good learning. I would recommend avoiding this book and finding another less-biased text. ... Read more


    13. Why Birds Sing: A Journey Through the Mystery of Bird Song
    by David Rothenberg
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 046507135X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 3536
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A beautiful and surprising exploration of a phenomenon that's at once familiar and baffling: the mystery of why birds sing

    The astonishing variety and richness of bird song is both an aesthetic and a scientific mystery. Biologists have never been able to understand why bird song displays are often so inventive and why so many species devote so many hours to singing. The standard explanations, which generally have to do with territoriality and sexual display, don't begin to account for the astonishing variety and energy that the commonest birds exhibit. Is it possible that birds sing because they like to? This seemingly na•ve explanation is starting to look more and more like the truth.

    In the tradition of classic works by Bernd Heinrich, Edward Abbey, and Terry Tempest Williams, Why Birds Sing is a lyric exploration of bird song that blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical beauty and form. Based on conversations with neuroscientists, ecologists, and composers, it is the first book to investigate why birds sing and how, and what effect their music has on other animals-particularly humans. Whether playing the clarinet with the white-crested laughing thrush in Pittsburgh, or jamming in the Australian winter breeding grounds of the Albert's lyrebird, Rothenberg journeys to the heart and soul of bird song. Why Birds Sing offers an intimate look at the most lovely of natural phenomena-with surprising insights about the origin of music. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Duetting with the Birds
    Rothenberg writes with an easy intimacy, but if one takes him at his word, the intimacy that means most to him comes not by means of words but of music, and less by means of music as such than by an improvisatory exchange between, usually, himself on his clarinet, and someone else on whatever instrument the other person is using.

    Given this driving urge, it seems inevitable that Rothenberg should want to cross the barrier between those most musical of creatures, the birds, and those with the most productive curiosity, the humans. His own curiosity leads him first to the birds and then to the human experts in birdsong. He gives vivid descriptions of these researchers' extraordinary devotion to their work. I especially enjoyed his description of the ability of the composer Olivier Messiaen to hear, transcribe, and whistle the complex songs of a bird he had never heard before.

    Although, like a few of the researchers - Donald Kroodsma, for example - Rothenberg believes in the innate pleasure birds take in their song, he checks his intuitive sense of their muisicality by carefully summarizing what is scientifically known about their abilities and ways of life. Yet even though he takes to heart the criticism that the romantics "listened to birds and heard only themselves," he recalls that science, too, is fallible, and he plays on the ornithologists' conclusion that not only is each species of birds unique, but so is every individual bird.

    "Why Birds Sing" ends in the climactic scene in which Rothenberg and a friend go to Australia to hear, see the dance of, and try to enter into a musical dialogue with the lyrebird named George, the only member, he says, of his elusive, musically gifted species who can stomach the sight and sound of human beings. The bird lights to sing just a few meters from Rothenberg's tape recorder. He hears that the lyrebird's song is composed but alien, in a human sens crazy, music. After he hears a full cycle of the lyrebird's music, he joins in, dancing, not to copy the bird's song, but to play music, in and around the song, that is worthy of the bird's acceptance. The bird seems to respond to the clarinet, dances, and disappears. Rothenberg develops this last, climactic chapter, which he calls "Becoming a Bird," with thoughtful eloquence. He feels he has given his gift and made his human offering to an animal of another singing species. But his gift is also to all of us who read him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Bird Book
    This book is a hoot, a tweet, and a cheerup!

    David Rothenberg has interwoven a personl journey of playing music with birds with a comprehensive history of bird song studies - from their poetic beginnings to their present scientific analysis.Because of his diverse talents, he is the perfect guide through these intellectual and musical forays.

    Why do birds sing?There are many answers, but none are as satisfying as the relentless questioning in this book.I enjoyed it immensely and found it impossible to put down.I am sure you will enjoy it too. ... Read more


    14. The Devil's Teeth : A True Story of Survival and Obsession Among America's Great White Sharks
    by Susan Casey
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 080507581X
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-07)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 570
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A journalist's obsession brings her to a remote island off the California coast, home to the world's most mysterious and fearsome predators-and the strange band of surfer-scientists who follow them

    Susan Casey was in her living room when she first saw the great white sharks of the Farallon Islands, their dark fins swirling around a small motorboat in a documentary. These sharks were the alphas among alphas, some longer than twenty feet, and there were too many to count; even more incredible, this congregation was taking place just twenty-seven miles off the coast of San Francisco.

    In a matter of months, Casey was being hoisted out of the early-winter swells on a crane, up a cliff face to the barren surface of Southeast Farallon Island-dubbed by sailors in the 1850s the "devil's teeth." There she joined Scot Anderson and Peter Pyle, the two biologists who bunk down during shark season each fall in the island's one habitable building, a haunted, 135-year-old house spackled with lichen and gull guano. Two days later, she got her first glimpse of the famous, terrifying jaws up close and she was instantly hooked; her fascination soon yielded to obsession-and an invitation to return for a full season. But as Casey readied herself for the eight-week stint, she had no way of preparing for what she would find among the dangerous, forgotten islands that have banished every campaign for civilization in the past two hundred years.

    The Devil's Teeth is a vivid dispatch from an otherworldly outpost, a story of crossing the boundary between society and an untamed place where humans are neither wanted nor needed.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good story, perhaps, but author is not the best narrator
    I suspect that reading this book would be better than the audio version.The author reads her own work and, while I have certainly heard worse narrators, I have also heard much better.The author uses some inflection but her voice is general dull and heavy.Still, for listeners with an interest in sharks, it may be worth the time, even though nothing really spectacular happens nor does the author give a lot of details about the sharks.It is mainly about what happens to her when she visits shark researchers on a remote island.A much better book about sharks and the sea would be Peter Benchley's "Shark Trouble".

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Book About A Fascinating Subject
    I read an excerpt from this book in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, and knew I'd have to read the entire thing. Ms. Casey writes beautifully, and has you hooked (no pun intended) from page one! You feel a little sorry for the seals who end up as entrees for the sharks who inhabit the Farallon Islands a few months a year, but that's nature. The strong survive and this is a book about the ultimate survivors and their peculiar pilgrimage to this unusual playground.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An incredibly absorbing read !
    Have just finished reading an advance reader's copy of Susan Casey's "The Devil's Teeth".I can tell you with much assuredness, you're in for a treat if firsthand accounts of nature in it's rawest form touches you as it does me.

    Having lived in the hills of Marin in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais above Bolinas for the last 25 years, I've been aware of the research done by Peter and Scot on great whites but never had such an in depth look into their activites as that which Ms. Casey puts to words so well. A true spellbinding page turner !!

    "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
    -Aristotle

    ... Read more


    15. Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet
    by Daniel B.Botkin, Edward A.Keller
    list price: $105.95
    our price: $105.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471389145
    Catlog: Book (2002-06-15)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 50893
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Offers a modern and different perspective.
    * Includes updated content to reflect latest research findings.
    * Each chapter ending has references to related material on the web.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and thorough
    Comprehensive and thorough, clear and understanable even for youth. Ilustrations contribute a lot to the overall picture.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good overview of environmental science
    I took a class which used this textbook at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which was co-taught by one of the authors, Ed Keller. This is an introductory book that provides a decent overview of the problems we are currently facing in regard to the environment, what we can do to solve those problems, and other opportunities that our environment can give us. ... Read more


    16. Big Weather: Chasing Tornadoes in the Heart of America
    by Mark Svenvold
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805076468
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 13319
    Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Following an eccentric band of storm chasers during tornado season, a writer delves deep into our fascination with catastrophic weather

    Why do some people chase the kind of storms that would send most people running for their lives? Why is it that devastating weather-and tornadoes in particular-maintain a primal hold on our collective imagination? How to account for the spectacular success of a company like the Weather Channel-not just a show, but an entire cable network with 86 million regular viewers, hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, and one abiding subject, the passing clouds?
    With his guide Matt Biddle, an Ahab-like veteran storm chaser, Mark Svenvold draws a portrait of a culture enamored by extremes during a 6,000-mile journey through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Along the way, the author encounters an assortment of characters out of a Fellini film: A duo named The Twister Sisters, from St. Cloud, Minnesota; a crowd-pleasing trio from CUPP (California University of Pennsylvania-at Pittsburgh); a team of chaser-scientists who have partnered with an IMAX film-maker from Los Angeles with an armor-plated truck; and a stock car racer from North Carolina whose goal is to drive through a tornado.
    At the heart of the excitement are the awe-inspiring events themselves-a tornado that levels a small Nebraska town and the look back at the central Oklahoma tornado outbreak that included the single-most destructive tornado in US history. Similar weather disasters occur each spring in a kind of reverse lottery that has spawned a subculture of catastrophilia. Want to know what a tornado actually sounds like as it blows over or through your house? Big Weather answers this while also tracing the ways the sublime, in the classic sense, still has a profound claim upon our imagination.
    Big Weather is a wryly observed meditation upon the weather as block-buster event that explores, with an ironic touch, our paradoxical relationship to the biggest story of our age-global warming-and the fate of the earth.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Bad Weather - Bad Writer
    It's very difficult for me to give this book any form of praise.In a wordy attack, the author makes several inaccurate and otherwise misleading statements about me and my background -- which has always been of the highest regard. For example, the author says I never worked as a technical consultant for the motion picture "Twister." This is inaccurate and false. I was one of the initial consultants in 1995 after I received a call from Ian Bryce the producer of the film. I assisted the art department. One of my images was used on the movie poster and music CD. I have a letter from Warner's posted on my web site. The other accusations are equally false and can easily be debunked. The author and editors were well aware of these issues before the book was published but decided to leave the damaging and incorrect text in place. (The reader might notice last minute endnotes placed next to the text -- illustrating the author may have known there were issues before the book was printed -- but he decided to leave everything in place instead of re-writing the body of the text.)Judging by my own case, the reader could question other elements in the book. Although I'm sure some uninformed reviewers and readers will find this book interesting - I can say, -- as one of the "best-known" storm chasers in the world -- the overall theme of the book missed the mark. This is not an "Into Thin Air" level of literature. The author overlooked the true story of chasing. In my opinion, he made the mistake of making close friendships with only one side of the chasing world and his text was unbalanced.Ironically, of all the chasers mentioned in the book, I am the only individual mentioned in such a venomous manner -- even though volumes could be written about the truly negative, irresponsible and dangerous elements of chasing. One could surmise why the author decided to attack me only -- we both have published storm chasing-themed books and will now compete for speaking engagements, press, etc. I should note other reviewers have added their own comments concerning the book including: "Inaccuracies and inadequate research." As for the rest of the book, in my opinion, it's not the classic or gripping type of literature that I enjoy.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Half about chasing and the other half should have been cut
    If you buy this book based on the cover or subtitle, you will have been misled. While perhaps half of this book is based on a few week's chasing that Svenvold did in May of 2004, much of the rest of the book is not about chasing at all. Svenvold's background is literary, and much of the book reads like literary criticism rather than a work on storm chasing.Like much literary criticism it suffers from a lack of focus, and the feeling that the author is trying to show off his vocabulary.An editor that cared about the book structure would have cut out much off the irrelevant verbiage and asked that the author replace it with text salient to the topic. Like Larry McMurtry, Svenvold brings the ghost of social critic Walter Benjamin into Tornado Alley, although to even less purpose.It's unfortunate that Svenvold drifts off into various political and literary diatribes, because when he is writing about chasing it's actually quite well-written and compelling, although perhaps too judgmental considering his lack of real knowledge of the cast of players. His comments about some coeds from the California University of Pennsylvania he meets along the way are hurtful and are obviously based on bias and not evidence. He makes similar value judgments about other people, corporations and countries, all from a very one-dimensional perspective. There are various other errors and inaccuracies scattered throughout the book, which can at least partly be ascribed to his unfocused approach. Parts of this book are very good, but unfortunately you will have to wade through the rest of it to find those parts.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading and dissapointing
    As a ten-year storm chasing veteran I am appalled to think this book represents any reality of what real storm chasing is about. The author is not a storm chaser. He may fool those who may not know better, but not me. This book was not what I expected.The dangerous driving habits of chasers and their lack of respect for the horrors of bad weather are never addressed. The guy he chased with is a well known big mouth in the world of chasing. I would not give him much credit. His writing is not accurate. For example: the part about the "tornado intercept car is a joke."Is the author so blind he does not understand the car is only a publicity ploy for a TV production? No one is going to drive into a tornado. And what if the car is hurled into a school bus? The author's lack of research and his lack of desire to write about the real issues is odd. If the author plans to write in the future, he would do much better to do a little more research and not mislead the reader.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tornado Chasers Need To Get A Life
    As one with a meteorology degree (B.S. University of Oklahoma 1977) and former severe weather geek, I am not surprised that this book is being slagged by the chaser community. People who spend their lives in a worthless endeavor are prone to bouts of self-justification.

    Now that I have that out of the way I can safely tell you this is the best book ever written about Tornado Alley. Mark Svenvold brought a keen outsider's eye to the pathology of tornado chasing and ornamented his story with trenchant observations about what it's like to live on the Great Plains. His very relevant point about these people burning gallon upon gallon of gasoline in order to satisfy their obsession was right on, actually it probably encourages them to keep on chasin' because contributing to the speed-up of global warming might just spin up a few more F5's for them to drool over before they die. As for you poor people that happen to have your lives destroyed by one of those F5's, well, maybe they will make a video of your home being torn apart and sell you a copy as a souvenir. Just try to ignore their cheering when they watch it being replayed ad nauseam on the local news.

    The only people that have any real business chasing are those in the position to give "ground truth" observations to radio and television outlets with the ability to warn people of the impending danger. Storms like the F5 that hit the Oklahoma City metro in 1999 are long-track and will probably be broadcast live for several minutes, maybe even over an hour, so people in harm's way should receive plenty of warning before the power is knocked out.

    The researchers that chase are only kidding themselves, chaos theory guarantees that unless you have simultaneous observations for every piece of the atmosphere to load into your computer program, the results can't be trusted, and we are NEVER going to have that fine a level of observational detail.

    To the rest: you are wasting gas and polluting the air in order to gratify your selfish quest.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Mark
    Mark Svenvold fails at his attempt to write an entertaining or informative book because of his misguided derision toward his subjects. It is more important for Mr. Svenvold to ramble at length about long dead and obscure authors, The Weather Channel, and global warming than to explain anything about storms or storm chasing. The whole book smells of the insecurities of an out of place liberal loud mouth who lives in the grip of fear that someone, somewhere might be receiving more attention than he is and might, God forbid, actually be doing something they love with their lives. Maybe if he is so concerned with the environment, he should have saved several pounds of paper and just stayed home. ... Read more


    17. A Vision of a Living World: The Nature of Order, Book 3
    by Christopher Alexander
    list price: $75.00
    our price: $60.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0972652930
    Catlog: Book (2004-09)
    Publisher: Center for Environmental Structure
    Sales Rank: 21684
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    Book Description

    In Book 3 of this four-volume work, Alexander presents hundreds of his own buildings and those of other contemporaries who have used methods consistent with the theory of living process.

    Nearly seven hundred pages of projects, built and planned in many countries over a thirty-year period, illustrate the impact of living process on the world. The book provides the reader with an intuitive feel for the kind of world, its style and geometry, which is needed to generate living structure in the world and its communities, together with its ecological and natural character.

    The projects include public buildings, neighborhoods, housing built by people for themselves, public urban space, rooms, gardens, ornament, colors, details of construction and construction innovation. The many buildings shown, and the methods needed to design and build these buildings, define living structure in a practical way that can be understood and copied.

    ". . . Alexander's approach presents a fundamental challenge to us and our style-obsessed age. It suggests that a beautiful form can come about only through a process that is meaningful to people. It also implies that certain types of processes, regardless of when they occur or who does them, can lead to certain types of forms."-Thomas Fisher, former editor of Progressive Architecture.

    Christopher Alexander is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, architect, builder, and author of many books and technical papers. He is the winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, and Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught for 40 years.

    ... Read more

    18. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird
    by Phillip Hoose
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0374361738
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-11)
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Sales Rank: 4962
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    Book Description

    The tragedy of extinction is explained through the dramatic story of a legendary bird, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and of those who tried to possess it, paint it, shoot it, sell it, and, in a last-ditch effort, save it.A powerful saga that sweeps through two hundred years of history, it introduces artists like John James Audubon, bird collectors like William Brewster, and finally a new breed of scientist in Cornell's Arthur A. "Doc" Allen and his young ornithology student, James Tanner, whose quest to save the Ivory-bill culminates in one of the first great conservation showdowns in U.S. history, an early round in what is now a worldwide effort to save species.As hope for the Ivory-bill fades in the United States, the bird is last spotted in Cuba in 1987, and Cuban scientists join in the race to save it.

    All this, plus Mr. Hoose's wonderful story-telling skills, comes together to give us what David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds calls "the most thorough and readable account to date of the personalities, fashions, economics, and politics that combined to bring about the demise of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker."
    ... Read more

    19. Life on Earth (3rd Edition)
    by Teresa Audesirk, Gerald Audesirk, Bruce E. Byers
    list price: $95.00
    our price: $95.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130653098
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-22)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 28452
    Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This book is built on a steadfast tradition of accurate science, engaging presentation and media innovation. The readers' experience is enhanced with the new MediaTutor CD-ROM that is integrated into each chapter through the use of MediaTutor Tabs. The result is a program that helps you draw readers into biology through an engaging text and interactive media.This book focuses on the key concepts of cell biology, genetics, evolution, plant and animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology.For anyone interested in introductory biology. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Woe to the Non-Biology Major
    This textbook is not what its authors, nor those who assisted the authors, purport; a book meant for undergraduates who are NOT Biology majors. Indeed, it is the exact opposite-a Biology major's dream.

    That dream is the textbook Life on Earth by Audesirk, Audesirk, and Byers, along with their Panel of Biology educators "[...] who worked closely with the authors to ensure Life on Earth's continuing tradition of readability, accuracy, and relevance" (p vii). READABILITY? That is rich considering the book throws incomprehensible term after term at the reader, rather than breaking terms up into small, easy to read segments. Confounding the issue additionally is the tendency of the authors to stray off into concepts that, while related to the section, only serve to perplex the non-biology inclined. These tangents would be better suited later in the chapter as sections of their own, rather than built into already discombobulating subjects. Furthermore, the charts and diagrams contain information overload and are not terribly useful.

    For instance, take the chapters dealing with cells, DNA, & RNA. They are choked full of information and diagrams for those who can decipher the regurgitated jargon, however, the rest must intrepidly explore this wilderness of technical verbiage constantly backtracking and retracing steps through a bewildering jungle of Biology Geek-Speak and in-depth tangents to glean any knowledge from this textbook. It does not help when the odd bit of historical data is thrown in haphazardly, generally in the most inconvenient of places; such as middle of a complicated idea, where one has to side track around an event in history in order to keep the flow of consistency of the frustrating concept. While biology majors may achieve overly excited levels of joy from such asides, those of us struggling with the convoluted nature of the subject, and the less that user friendly book, find it not only distracting, but poor editing.

    The exact opposite of their statement in the preface:

    As teachers, we recognize how easily a student can become
    mired in a overwhelming number of new facts and terms while
    losing sight of the underlying concepts of biology. [...] Our
    goal is to deliver an accessible text that clears away some
    of the trees so that students may more easily visualize the
    forest. We have carefully revised Life on Earth to reduce
    unnecessary detail and excess terminology while retaining
    core concepts and a sense of biology's richness and breadth.
    (p ix)

    The book reads like a technical manual, and while it is rare for this reviewer to deliberately indulge in schadenfreund, an inner sense of justice would be sated were this reviewer to teach an introductory class on diesel engines to the main authors and their Panel of Biology Educators. Rather than the standard, user friendly beginner texts, great pleasure would be taken in giving Audesirk, Audesirk, and Byers, along with their cronies, the most convoluted and driest advanced technical guide with the expectation they keep up in the class.

    Yet, tis not enough for the authors to swamp the reader with overloaded jargonised sentences, run amok on overly technical tangents, and include eye-numbing diagrams and pointless charts, but they preach as well! From the About the Authors section, Audesirk & Audesirk "[...] are members of several conservation organizations." (p vi) and it shows in the writing. Though they ask for "open mindedness" (pg 9) as scientists in the opening chapter, yet, they refuse to practice it-unless it is their own "approved" open-mindedness. If sceptical and unconvinced by the man-made Global-Warming/sky-is-falling doomsayers, be prepared for a special dose of theory as unassailable truth in this text.

    This reviewer does not understand why a biology textbook should be allowed as a platform for an agenda of any sort, yet, here is one doing just that.

    In the entire Unit on Ecology, the constant positive reinforcement of the Kyoto Protocol is so repetitive, it is like a brainwashing mantra. This, despite Dr. Frederick Seitz's reporting on the bogus science involved in the drafting of the Protocol. Throughout the book, whenever possible, the insidious phrasing regarding the evils of fossil fuels and why taking public transportation is important because automobile owners are polluting the Earth is inserted. Never mind air quality in the US is cleaner now than the early 60s. Driving (pardon the pun) home further why scientists should never dabble in politics, are the statements regarding why harvesting wood from the forests is so detrimental, despite the fact wildfires and forest fires are on the rise, due to the increase in trees, because of the efforts of people like the Audesirks to stem logging. Apparently this irony is lost on them.

    To conclude, my instructor for Introduction to Life Sciences (Biology 160), felt the book was "fairly good as far as introductory biology texts go.", which is easy for a man w/a PHD in Biology to say. However, for those of us who will never major in biology, though might have had an interest in learning about it before reading this book, do not expect to get much from this textbook other than a headache and the agenda of a couple of eco-hippies. My final grade has yet to post, I think it will be an A, certainly no less than a B, but I do not know how I achieved that score; everything from the textbook went in one eye as a bunch of gibberish and out the other eye as garbled babble.

    I would say, rather than letting this awful textbook deter you from understanding and enjoying biology, find a simpler text, say Biology for Dummies from the IDG folks. Better still, if this is the required textbook for your class, DEFINITLY get Biology for Dummies. You will need it if only for the levity.

    Fellow non-biology majors, I have felt your woe.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-read book that still avoids over-simplification
    Although Life on Earth is meant to be a textbook, I find it to be an excellent reference book. The design does not force the reader to begin at the first chapter and read sequentially. Terms are explained in clear english, and the glossary is very thorough. Illustrations are well-drawn and fitting, and the layout is easy on the eyes. Also, the chapter summary after each section is invaulable to students. I cannot recommend this book more to anyone who is interested in Biology or needs a reference book about the workings of life on Earth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars easy to understand
    This book was easy to follow. Unlike a a lot of other books, it does not throw a bunch of terms you dont understand at you. ... Read more


    20. Robbing the Bees : A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World
    by Holley Bishop
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $16.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743250214
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
    Publisher: Free Press
    Sales Rank: 855780
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