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Old 04-30-2010, 11:22 AM   #121
WT Sharpe
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Tom, it that the one that was "panned" by the theaters/critics here in the U.S.?

I watched a multipart dramatized biography on PBS .... sorry my alzheimers is preventing me remembering the name, but I thought it was well done. (I don't usually like dramatizations)

AH, I think it was this one I saw:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/ev...kest-hour.html
The one I saw last night was not "Darwin's Darkest Hour" (the NOVA presentation). Creation is the film that had such a hard time finding a distributor in the U.S. because it deals with evolution. Like the NOVA show, it depicts events leading up to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. I haven't seen that NOVA episode, but I'd like to rectify that. I imagine NOVA did a much better and more historically accurate job.

The movie wasn't advertised in our local paper. It played in a wonderful local theater that specializes in art films, foreign films, classics, and silent movies. If I hadn't subscribed to their mailing list years ago, I would have missed it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #122
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Thanks for that link, Kenny. The transcript of that show is now in my Kindle for later reading.

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... sorry my alzheimers is preventing me remembering the name ...
I hope that's a joke! We're at that age, you know!
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:35 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
...

Two questions:

(1) Can anyone recommend a good non-fanciful biography of the man?

(2) Has anyone read his autobiography?

Thanks!
Janet Browne has a two volume (both large) biography that is said to be very well written. They are, in order, Charles Darwin: Voyaging and Charles Darwin: The Power Of Place. I have the first volume, but have yet to read it. Most reviews I've seen are very positive.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:42 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
The one I saw last night was not "Darwin's Darkest Hour" (the NOVA presentation). Creation is the film that had such a hard time finding a distributor in the U.S. because it deals with evolution. Like the NOVA show, it depicts events leading up to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. I haven't seen that NOVA episode, but I'd like to rectify that. I imagine NOVA did a much better and more historically accurate job.

The movie wasn't advertised in our local paper. It played in a wonderful local theater that specializes in art films, foreign films, classics, and silent movies. If I hadn't subscribed to their mailing list years ago, I would have missed it.
Yep, that's the one I thought you were talking about...
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:43 AM   #125
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...


I hope that's a joke! We're at that age, you know!
Sometimes I wonder, other times I can't remember what I'm supposed to be wondering about...so I just wander about...
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:23 PM   #126
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Janet Browne has a two volume (both large) biography that is said to be very well written. They are, in order, Charles Darwin: Voyaging and Charles Darwin: The Power Of Place. I have the first volume, but have yet to read it. Most reviews I've seen are very positive.

Cheers,
Marc
Thanks, Marc. I'll give those a look-see.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:02 PM   #127
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Here's one I just ran across. Sounds great and by a great science writer Carl Zimmer - Parasite Rex : Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures

http://www.amazon.com/dp/074320011X?...XHMCC7Y5KZ6GZ5


from Amazon: One of the year's most fascinating works of popular science is also its most disgusting. From tapeworms to isopods to ichneumon wasps, "parasites are complex, highly adapted creatures that are at the heart of the story of life." Zimmer (At the Water's Edge) devotes his second book to the enormous variety of one- and many-celled organisms that live on and inside other animals and plants. The gruesome trypanosomes that cause sleeping sickness had nearly been routed from Sudan when the country's civil war began: now they're back. Costa Rican researcher Daniel Brooks has discovered dozens of parasites, including flies that lay eggs in deer noses: "snot bots." And those are only the creatures from the prologue. Zimmer discusses how the study of parasites began, with 19th-century discoveries about their odd life cycles. (Many take on several forms in several generations, so that a mother worm may resemble her granddaughter, but not her daughter.) He looks at how parasites pass from host to host, and how they defeat immune systems and vice versa. Many parasites alter their hosts' behavior: Toxoplasma makes infected rats fearless, thus more likely to be eaten by cats, who will then pick up the microbe. Quantifiable "laws of virulence" lead parasites to become nasty enough to spread, yet not so nasty as to wipe out all their hosts. And eons of coevolution can affect both partners: howler monkeys may avoid violent fights because screwworms can render the least scratch fatal. Two final chapters address parasites in human medicine and agriculture. Not only are parasites not all bad, Zimmer concludes in this exemplary work of popular science, but we may be parasites, tooDand we have a lot to learn from them about how to manage earth, the host we share. Illus. (Sept.)
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:21 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Here's one I just ran across. Sounds great and by a great science writer Carl Zimmer - Parasite Rex : Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures

http://www.amazon.com/dp/074320011X?...XHMCC7Y5KZ6GZ5


from Amazon: One of the year's most fascinating works of popular science is also its most disgusting. From tapeworms to isopods to ichneumon wasps, "parasites are complex, highly adapted creatures that are at the heart of the story of life." Zimmer (At the Water's Edge) devotes his second book to the enormous variety of one- and many-celled organisms that live on and inside other animals and plants. The gruesome trypanosomes that cause sleeping sickness had nearly been routed from Sudan when the country's civil war began: now they're back. Costa Rican researcher Daniel Brooks has discovered dozens of parasites, including flies that lay eggs in deer noses: "snot bots." And those are only the creatures from the prologue. Zimmer discusses how the study of parasites began, with 19th-century discoveries about their odd life cycles. (Many take on several forms in several generations, so that a mother worm may resemble her granddaughter, but not her daughter.) He looks at how parasites pass from host to host, and how they defeat immune systems and vice versa. Many parasites alter their hosts' behavior: Toxoplasma makes infected rats fearless, thus more likely to be eaten by cats, who will then pick up the microbe. Quantifiable "laws of virulence" lead parasites to become nasty enough to spread, yet not so nasty as to wipe out all their hosts. And eons of coevolution can affect both partners: howler monkeys may avoid violent fights because screwworms can render the least scratch fatal. Two final chapters address parasites in human medicine and agriculture. Not only are parasites not all bad, Zimmer concludes in this exemplary work of popular science, but we may be parasites, tooDand we have a lot to learn from them about how to manage earth, the host we share. Illus. (Sept.)
Sounds very interesting. In view of the fact that humans contain ten times as many bacteria cells as human cells, it would be not altogether inaccurate to consider each of us as being mobile bacteria colonies with a person inside. This book sounds like a fascinating look at the parasitic/symbiotic relationships that are at the heart of our existence. Thanks for posting!

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Old 05-01-2010, 11:47 AM   #129
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Parasite rex is one that you should avoid in ebook form. Not only does it cost more than the deadtree edition at Amazon, but the photos in the print copy are not included in the ebook.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:08 PM   #130
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About Science:

Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction – Susan Hough
The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe? – Paul Davies
How to Find a Habitable Planet: Science Essentials – James Kasting
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:28 PM   #131
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Got a new one-- I haven't started it yet, but it looks interesting. Nonsense on Stilts.

$13.60 for paperback, fifty-six freaking dollars for hardback at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Nonsense-Stilt...dp/0226667863/

Ebook available at $5 for a 30-day "rental", $10 for a 180-day "rental" and $20 for purchase here:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presss...9780226667874#

And, uh, I wouldn't suggest that anyone just type in Nonsense on Stilts ebook into Google, but who am I to stop you?
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:56 PM   #132
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Time to pop this one back to the top.

Just ran across this interesting interview:
How Did Life Begin?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evoluti...ife-begin.html

and the book from the interviewee:
Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth by Andrew H. Knoll

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Young-Pla.../dp/0691009783

unfortunately doesn't appear to be available as an ebook.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:50 AM   #133
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I just finished Darwin's Island by Steve Jones. It's a fascinating book and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in biology.

The Origin of Species is Darwin's best known book but he wrote 18 others on subjects as diverse as insectivorous plants, barnacles, vegetable mould and earthworms, orchids, the expression of emotion, domestic animals and others. Jones' book is a look at these books and the current state of research.

The island referred to in the title is Great Britain where Darwin did most of his studies and never left after returning from the voyage of the Beagle.

http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Island.../dp/1408700018

Edit: I thought this was available for the Kindle but I was looking at the wrong website and it's only available as an ebook from Amazon.uk.

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Old 10-22-2010, 11:09 AM   #134
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Thanks for the review and info Ben!
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:37 PM   #135
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Scanned this whole thread. Maybe I missed it but just in case.....

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.

Everyone has to read this. It will put you in exactly the right frame of mind to read any of the other "popular science" titles. This book will open your eyes big time. I have paper copy of this and I tout it around everyone. If we all took the contents of this on board it might not change the world but it would put a lot of lying charlatan's back in the gutter they came from.......
I live in hope:-)
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