What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'earth')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: earth, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 24 of 24
1. Ice time

vsi banner

By Jamie Woodward


On 23 September 1840 the wonderfully eccentric Oxford geologist William Buckland (1784–1856) and the Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz (1809–1873) left Glasgow by stagecoach on a tour of the Scottish Highlands. The old postcard below provides a charming hint of what their horse-drawn jaunt through a tranquil Scottish landscape might have been like in the autumn of 1840. It shows the narrow highway snaking through a rock-strewn Hell’s Glen not far from Loch Fyne. This was the first glacial fieldtrip in Britain. These geological giants were searching for signs of glacial action in the mountains of Scotland and they were not disappointed.

iceage

Image from edinphoto.org.uk. Used with permission.

This tour was an especially important milestone in the history of geology because, for the first time, the work of ancient glaciers was reported in a country where glaciers were absent. Agassiz wasted no time in communicating these findings to the geological establishment. The following is an extract from his famous letter that was published in The Scotsman on 7 October 1840 and in The Manchester Guardian a week later:

“… at the foot of Ben Nevis, and in the principal valleys, I discovered the most distinct morains and polished rocky surfaces, just as in the valleys of the Swiss Alps, in the region of existing glaciers ; so that the existence of glaciers in Scotland at earlier periods can no longer be doubted.”

These discoveries initiated new debates about climate change and the extent to which the actions of glaciers had been important in shaping the British landscape. These arguments continued for the rest of the century. In 1840 Buckland and Agassiz had no means of establishing the age of the glaciation because the scientific dating of landscapes and geological deposits only became possible in the next century. They could only state that glaciers had existed at “earlier periods”.

At the end of the previous century, in his Theory of the Earth (1795), Scotsman James Hutton became the first British geologist to suggest that the glaciers of the Alps had once been much more extensive. He set out his ideas on the power of glaciers and proposed that the great granite blocks strewn across the foothills of the Jura had been dumped there by glaciers. This was several decades before Agassiz put forward his own grand glacial theory. Hutton did not speculate about the possibility of glaciers having once been present in the mountains of his homeland.

Following the widespread use of radiocarbon dating in the decades after the Second World War, it was established that the last Scottish glaciers disappeared about 11,000 years ago at the close of the last glacial period. Many of the cirques of upland Britain are now occupied by lakes and peat bogs which began to form soon after the ice disappeared. By radiocarbon dating the oldest organic deposits in these basins, it was possible to establish a minimum age for the last phase of glaciation. A good deal of this work was carried out by Brian Sissons at the University of Edinburgh who published The Evolution of Scotland’s Scenery in 1967.

Geologists now have an array of scientific dating methods to construct timescales for the growth and decay of glaciers. The most recent work in some of the high cirques of the Cairngorms led by Martin Kirkbride of Dundee University has argued that small glaciers may have been present in the Highlands of Scotland during the Little Ice Age – perhaps even as recently as the 18th century. These findings are hot off the press — published in January 2014. Kirkbride’s team employed a relatively new geological dating technique that makes use of the build-up of cosmogenic isotopes in boulders and bedrock exposed at the Earth’s surface.

Photograph from Tarmachan Mountaineering

Photograph from Tarmachan Mountaineering. Used with permission.

So in 2014 we have a new interpretation of parts of the glacial landscape and a debate about the climate of the Scottish mountains during The Little Ice Age. This latest chapter in the study of Scottish glaciation puts glacial ice in some of the highest mountains about 11,000 years later than previously thought. The Scottish uplands receive very heavy snowfalls – the superb photograph of the Cairngorms shows this very clearly – and many snow patches survive until late summer. But could small glaciers have formed in these mountains as recently as The Little Ice Age? Some climate models with cooler summers suggest that they could.

This latest work is controversial and, like the findings of Agassiz and Buckland in 1840, it will be contested in the academic literature. Whatever the outcome of this new glacial debate, it is undoubtedly a delightful notion that only a century or so before Buckland and Agassiz made their famous tour, and when a young James Hutton, the father of modern geology, was beginning to form his ideas about the history of the Earth, a few tiny glaciers may well have been present in his own backyard.

Jamie Woodward is Professor Physical Geography at The University of Manchester. He has published extensively on landscape change and ice age environments. He is especially interested in the mountain landscapes of the Mediterranean and published The Physical Geography of the Mediterranean for OUP in 2009. He is the author of The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction. He tweets @Jamie_Woodward_ providing a colourful digital companion to The Ice Age VSI.

Jamie Woodward will be appearing at the Oxford Literary Festival on Saturday 29 March 2014 at 1:15 p.m. in the Blackwell’s Marquee to provide a very short introduction to The Ice Age. The event is free to attend.

The Very Short Introductions (VSI) series combines a small format with authoritative analysis and big ideas for hundreds of topic areas. Written by our expert authors, these books can change the way you think about the things that interest you and are the perfect introduction to subjects you previously knew nothing about. Grow your knowledge with OUPblog and the VSI series every Friday, subscribe to Very Short Introductions articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS, and like Very Short Introductions on Facebook.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only earth and life sciences articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Image credits: (1) With permission from edinphoto.org.uk (2) With permission from Tarmachan Mountaineering

The post Ice time appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Ice time as of 3/21/2014 5:45:00 AM
Add a Comment
2.

Satire for the Nu.nl news site, about the criticized new Maps application in Apple's iOS 6.

More: sevensheaven.nl

0 Comments on as of 9/21/2012 8:22:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Precious In God's Sight

"Under his watchful eye, a tiny sprout grows to a lovely, fragrant flower, the drab cocoon brings forth the beautiful butterfly, and the Babe in the manger becomes the Prince of Peace! These miracles bring wonderment and awe to our hearts, warming our souls like rays of sun on a spring morning, reminding us of an eternal truth--that all things are precious in his sight."  (from 

4 Comments on Precious In God's Sight, last added: 7/7/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
4. Nothing is Too Hard for God

Jeremiah 32:17 (HCSB) Ah, Lord God! You Yourself made the heavens and earth by Your great power and with Your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You!” If draping the heavens over the earth isn’t too hard for God, why do I continue to think that providing for me, protecting me, and filling me is?

4 Comments on Nothing is Too Hard for God, last added: 6/18/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
5. Whether to Finish or Not

I was sorting through my TBF (to be finished) files this morning and came across a little ditty that I’d like to share. I have many files like this one; bits of story ideas, entire chapters that sounded good at the time but fell by the wayside when a more exciting project came along, or things that I never finished researching for one reason or another. 

This is only the first page or so of a story’s first draft. There is much more at home that follows this. What I’ve decided to do is ask you if you think I should spend valuable time to finish it. Do you think it could spark enough interest to encourage a reader to turn pages? Can you easily envision possible scenarios for the events hinted at by the writer? Would you be curious enough to turn pages?

I’m taking this step because I have so little invested in this wee sample. I could easily finish it, or, I could ignore it and let it fade into the distance of the past. You tell me how I should treat this prospective story.

As I’ve said, I have little invested in it. I’d much rather have honest opinions than sugar-coated rhetoric that means nothing.

 SAGA OF THE FLYING YEEJ

          Ever wonder if other people’s lives were punctuated by oddities like yours? Let me tell you; you’re not alone. Take it from the Queen of Weirdness, everyone’s had their lives polka-dotted by those little quirks that have little or no explanation.

          During my life I’ve experienced so many oddities that flamed across my reality that many times I felt like I was living an episode of the Twilight Zone. I suppose that’s why I knew I just had to write this small, focused catalog of incidents. I wanted to assure others that just because they’d never seen anything like what had suddenly flipped through their lives didn’t mean it wasn’t possible.

          After all, just because someone’s paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out to get them, and that’s my motto about weirdness. The Creator put a lot of stuff out there in the heavens and on Earth. You or I could be a little slow on the uptake and missed something along the way. And occasionally that something drops by to introduce itself.

          I doubt there’s much in the way of weirdness that I have seen. Take ball lightning, for instance. I was twelve the first time I saw it. Goosebumps coursed down my spine, leaving entire meadows of their offspring on my arms. The thing that caused me the most fright was that it moved when it was observed, took a fancy to certain people in the room, and then gradually faded from sight without emitting a sound.

Now that you’ve had a chance to go through the beginning, what do you think? Please let me know. Is there enough here to create a worthy story or not. Give me your comments with opinions. Don’t be shy.


2 Comments on Whether to Finish or Not, last added: 3/26/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. Illustration Friday :: Subterranean

What goes underneath our floors? who knows. Ever wonder why socks go missing? Maybe there´s a subterranean gang of criminals at work.

Que pasa por debajo de nuestro piso? quién sabe. Haz pensado porque se pierden las medias? Tal vez hay una pandilla de criminales subterráneos trabajando.

add to del.icio.us Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy post to facebook


Filed under: Illustration Friday, ilustracion illustration 14 Comments on Illustration Friday :: Subterranean, last added: 3/15/2010
Display Comments Add a Comment
7. Friday Procrastination: Link Love

This has been such a fun week with the launch of our new blog design that it is hard to believe Friday is already here.  Nevertheless, with the weekend just around the corner I am ready to do some serious relaxing and hopefully finish the book I’m reading.  Below are some links to get you just a little bit closer to the weekend.  Enjoy!

Every painting in MoMA in two minutes.

The Baby-Sitters Club is back.

When should rent and when should you buy?

In honor of Earth Day, nature photos!

The best and the worst news for planet Earth.

J. K. Rowling on being a single mom.

A life in zippers.

Some cat humor. (No cats were harmed in the making of this cartoon.)

Are college students addicted to social media?

On the books Presidents read.

0 Comments on Friday Procrastination: Link Love as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. “The Earth” – by Cece, age 9

The Earth
 
What is Earth, really?
It is something sweet,
Some parts you can eat
Earth is full of life
Some life is furry,
Some hop, others scurry
None are boring or lame
We should all be treated the same
(Dogs and cats can’t
get all the attention)
I mean, what if me and you
owned a baby kangaroo?
(I’d name mine Darryl)
But now the Earth is in peril
The ice is melting,
More animals dieing
So, down with global warming
And up with recycling

For the Earth is something sweet
And something worth saving.


Tagged: children, Earth, education, environment, green, mompreneur, poetry for kids, recycling, saving the Earth, writing

1 Comments on “The Earth” – by Cece, age 9, last added: 11/8/2010
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. George W. Bush Memoir Tops College Bestseller List

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, eight out of the top ten titles on college campuses are nonfiction books. Decision Points by George W. Bush topped the list.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson were the only fiction books on the list. Life by Keith Richards and The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 by Mark Twain joined Bush’s memoir on the list. Humor titles by Jon Stewart and Tucker Max also made the cut.

What titles did you read while you were in college? The magazine surveyed university bookstores across the country for the list. Follow this link for the complete list of participating bookstores.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
10. Jon Stewart & Julie Andrews Win Audiobook Grammy Awards

Last night, Jon Stewart & The Daily Show writers won the Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Award for Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. Julie Andrews and her daughter (Emma Walton Hamilton) won the Best Spoken Word Album for Children award for the poetry collection, Julie Andrews’ Collection Of Poems, Songs, And Lullabies.

In the video embedded above, Andrews reads a poem. Andrews also won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In her acceptance speech earlier this month, the actress talked about her work as a children’s author.

When Stewart read at a New York City Barnes & Noble, he explained the book’s premise: “This is the entirety of the human experience. How we got here, what we did while we were here, and obviously, how we’re leaving. We’ll tell you, it’s really quite funny.”

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
11. Major Announcement

Trestle Press announced today its newest ongoing series, Mark Miller’s One. The series will feature a variety of authors telling true-life stories of faith and inspiration. We expect this groundbreaking series to be emotionally charged as it is sure to cross the boundaries of many beliefs. One will be an spiritual anthology of real stories about how faith works on this one planet we all share.



 “It is a privilege to take the lead on a totally new concept for Trestle,” series frontrunner Mark Miller said. “I want to thank Trestle for giving me this opportunity. As One develops, I don’t want to be beating anybody over the head. We’re not trying to change beliefs. I only hope we can open some eyes. Maybe we’ll help people realize that no matter what we believe, we are all part of this one Earth.”

Mark Miller is the author of The Empyrical Tales, available in paperback from Comfort Publishing 0 Comments on Major Announcement as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. Debut of Mark Miller's One

The premiere story of my new series releases today. You can read Meant To Be for ONLY 99 Cents!

Meant To Be (Mark Miller's One)

Mark Miller's One, exclusively from Trestle Press, is an exciting e-book series that will feature a variety of authors sharing their personal experiences with their faith. The series will focus on many different beliefs. The authors want to share true stories of inspiration and emotion. Hopefully, the stories will be eye-opening and remind us that we all have to share this One World.

In Meant To Be, the debut installment, I lay the groundwork for the series and share a personal story. I tell the unbelievable tale of how I met someone special and very important to me.

For ONLY 99 Cents, read a touching story and put some inspiration on your Kindle!

0 Comments on Debut of Mark Miller's One as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Take a Moment to Silently Reflect

I have, in my writing career, come to be associated with some truly amazing people. The list is too long to name them all and I wouldn't want to forget anybody. Let me say these are not only talented people in the world of books (authors, publishers, promoters), but also some terrifically kind and generous folks. These are people that work hard and always have a positive word.

There is one person I would like to single out and call my friend, although we have never met face to face. Giovanni Gelati is a blogger, book reviewer, author, publisher, promoter and graphic artist. He is affirming, generous and supportive, but also aggressive in helping his friends/authors with their promotions.

You may find his reviews of my work to be a little bias based on what I said above, but I am humbled by his kind words of my two most recent releases.

Daniel's Lot is my adaptation of the faith-based motion picture about a man tested in his personal and professional life. He turns to his faith and finds an amazing answer. The movie is available on DVD and soon to be on syndicated cable TV.

Meant To Be is the debut story for Mark Miller's One, a spiritual anthology of true stories. The series, which I am honored to headline for Trestle Press, will explore beliefs from around the world and how we all must live on this one planet.

You can read the review for Daniel's Lot at this link:

Gelati's Scoop Reviews Daniel's Lot

You can read the review

0 Comments on Take a Moment to Silently Reflect as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. Illustration Friday: Yield



To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival."

~Wendell Berry~


Some of you may recognize this piece from a few years back.
It's encore time while I nurse a cold .

acrylic paint and colored pencil (man tending the rice paddy)

16 Comments on Illustration Friday: Yield, last added: 3/13/2012
Display Comments Add a Comment
15. Whether to Finish or Not

I was sorting through my TBF (to be finished) files this morning and came across a little ditty that I’d like to share. I have many files like this one; bits of story ideas, entire chapters that sounded good at the time but fell by the wayside when a more exciting project came along, or things that I never finished researching for one reason or another. 

This is only the first page or so of a story’s first draft. There is much more at home that follows this. What I’ve decided to do is ask you if you think I should spend valuable time to finish it. Do you think it could spark enough interest to encourage a reader to turn pages? Can you easily envision possible scenarios for the events hinted at by the writer? Would you be curious enough to turn pages?

I’m taking this step because I have so little invested in this wee sample. I could easily finish it, or, I could ignore it and let it fade into the distance of the past. You tell me how I should treat this prospective story.

As I’ve said, I have little invested in it. I’d much rather have honest opinions than sugar-coated rhetoric that means nothing.

 SAGA OF THE FLYING YEEJ

          Ever wonder if other people’s lives were punctuated by oddities like yours? Let me tell you; you’re not alone. Take it from the Queen of Weirdness, everyone’s had their lives polka-dotted by those little quirks that have little or no explanation.

          During my life I’ve experienced so many oddities that flamed across my reality that many times I felt like I was living an episode of the Twilight Zone. I suppose that’s why I knew I just had to write this small, focused catalog of incidents. I wanted to assure others that just because they’d never seen anything like what had suddenly flipped through their lives didn’t mean it wasn’t possible.

          After all, just because someone’s paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out to get them, and that’s my motto about weirdness. The Creator put a lot of stuff out there in the heavens and on Earth. You or I could be a little slow on the uptake and missed something along the way. And occasionally that something drops by to introduce itself.

          I doubt there’s much in the way of weirdness that I have seen. Take ball lightning, for instance. I was twelve the first time I saw it. Goosebumps coursed down my spine, leaving entire meadows of their offspring on my arms. The thing that caused me the most fright was that it moved when it was observed, took a fancy to certain people in the room, and then gradually faded from sight without emitting a sound.

Now that you’ve had a chance to go through the beginning, what do you think? Please let me know. Is there enough here to create a worthy story or not. Give me your comments with opinions. Don’t be shy.


0 Comments on Whether to Finish or Not as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Unpacking Stereotypes _ CLIP 6

Unpacking Stereotypes Continued… In this show: Clip is on the Educational podcasting for teaching and learning Directory of the UK , Problematizing the Wild Indian Stereotype, Jesse James : Diga and the Earth is Crying Music: Earth is Crying by Jesse James and Diga Special Thanks to : Kelly Winney, from Windsor, ON, for the Station [...]

0 Comments on Unpacking Stereotypes _ CLIP 6 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. Now Everyone Take One More Baby Step Towards the Center

Over on El Blogo Longstocko (not actual name) Coe Booth recently posted a piece of interesting note. It's about a little site called Revish and, according to those who know and love it, it's sweeping the nation. Here's how Coe describes it:

Even though it sounds kind of similar to LibraryThing, Revish claims to be different. For one thing, it isn't a book cataloging site. Also, reviews on Revish have to be OVER a certain length. According to their FAQ page, they're not looking for one-line reviews!

In addition to reading and writing book reviews, with Revish you can also keep a reading list and reading journal (which can be shared with others, of course), and you can create and participate in discussion groups.
I couldn't help but note that when I tried to bring Revish up on PCs, the computers would look at me as if I were mad. They'd scratch their heads, take a second look at the address, then give me a sad smile, as if you say, "Silly girl. Don't be ridiculous." The Macs I looked it up on, however, had no problem accessing it in the least.

Other than that, the site is sweeter than its Amazonian equivalent (though Coe suspects, and she may be right, that there's a link between the two). We will watch with interest to see if it catches on.

1 Comments on Now Everyone Take One More Baby Step Towards the Center, last added: 4/13/2007
Display Comments Add a Comment
18. Increased oil production


Cartoon for the Dutch Nu.nl news website, about the return of Shell to Iraq to establish an increased oil production.

More at Sevensheaven.nl

2 Comments on Increased oil production, last added: 6/30/2008
Display Comments Add a Comment
19. Of Pliosaurs and Kings

early-bird-banner.JPG

If aliens came to Earth millions of years in the future, what traces would they find of long-extinct humanity? In the post below Jan Zalasiewicz, a geologist from the University of Leicester and author of the forthcoming book The World After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?, ponders what the potential symbols of our world might be for whomever, or whatever, is after us.

Harald V, King of Norway, seems a serious man, and he can certainly make a thoughtful speech. Hence to see him subsequently, with due ceremony, push the button to inflate a life-size model of the biggest pliosaur ever found – 15 metres long, for the record - makes for one of life’s more singular pleasures. It’s an event to be cherished and honed in the memory and passed on down to one’s grandchildren, imagined detail being added with each retelling. The occasion: the official opening of the Thirty-Third International Geological Congress a few weeks ago, when several thousand geologists descended upon the small town of Lillestrøm outside Oslo, to debate the Earth and its eventful past and uncertain future. The royal inflation of the pseudo-pliosaur was one of the organisers’ more fantastical touches, and for all I know the air-filled reptile is still there, lashed to the lawn in front of the conference centre, jaws agape, and painted so vividly as to look more roguish than terrifying.

The return of dinosaurs in some distant future was something that Charles Lyell imagined, nearly two centuries ago, when he contemplated the slow cycles of oceans and mountain chains and of life itself evolving through the immensity of deep time. Henry De La Beche chided him for this fancy, penning a satirical cartoon showing a Professor Ichthyosaurus, flipper pointing to a fossil human skull, teaching infant neo-dinosaurians about the curious life of the humanoid past.

Of course life and the Earth don’t work that way. What’s gone is gone. What will arise, moreover, can’t be predicted from contemplation of the gathering wreckage of a biological empire under siege. To suggest, an hour before the Yucatan meteorite tore into the Earth, that the small scurrying mammals would one day grow to fill the giant shoes of the dinosaurs, would have seemed, then, like the most outrageous of science fiction. Yet this happened. To predict, a few hundred million years ago, that the mighty sea scorpions would not go on forever, would have seemed unthinkable. Yet these armoured crustacean-like hoodlums vanished too, and so today we can venture safely to the beach for a stroll or a swim.

The future is uncertain, and the present is remarkable, not just historically and politically, but geologically too. When thousands of geologists get together to discuss their latest discoveries, then what is happening today seems ever more extraordinary, when viewed through the prism of the deep past. There was one throwaway remark, for instance, noting evidence that the Arctic Ocean has been ice-covered for 13 million years. Well, this is a state of affairs that looks set to end this century, perhaps within decades. And then there is the gathering evidence that the world’s climate, given a sufficient push, can turn on a sixpence, to suddenly refashion itself. How close are we to another such revolution, one wonders?

To have a Professor Ichthyosaurus of the far future musing on the fossilized evidence of our current predicament is, alas, an impossibility. But there may eventually arise a learned hyper-rodent, say, or arrive an inquisitive traveller from Betelgeuse 9. Perhaps these beings might organise scientific congresses too, at which inflatable models of creatures of the long-gone Human Era would be ceremonially inflated. What creature would they choose, then, for maximum dramatic impact? A blue whale, perhaps, for sheer size - or a narwhal, or a swordfish, or a giraffe?

Maybe the alien committee would go for the curiouser, rather than the merely large. They might select, say, that strange sabre-toothed beast, the walrus, gracing an artificial shoreline with an accompanying plastic humanoid for company (as replica of a carpenter, naturally). That might be a fitting symbol for a world – our world – that will still seem a cosmic Wonderland when viewed through that looking-glass of the far future. The shade of the Cheshire Cat might venture, then, one last rueful smile.

ShareThis

1 Comments on Of Pliosaurs and Kings, last added: 9/25/2008
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. Book Review: Earthquake!

EARTHQUAKE!

Written by Susan J. Berger
Illustrated by Eugene Ruble
Nonfiction
Published by Guardian Angel Publishing
Ages 6 to 9
Release: April 2009

This nonfiction book will fascinate children young and old. It offers something to every reader. Susan Berger’s facts and descriptions are informative and easy to understand. Eugene Ruble’s illustrations are clever and humorous.

This book is filled with fun factoids. It has charts and graphs, plus illustrations of the inside of the earth. What is an earthquake? Can scientists predict when an earthquake will occur? What do the terms used to describe earthquakes mean? That and more will be found in this book. This book would be a terrific resource for homeschooled children or the school library.

Experiments are included for children to try that will help them understand what happens in an earthquake. Tsunamis are explained. Some famous past earthquakes and tsunamis are described in detail.

This book offers an earthquake craft for kids to make to help with earthquake preparedness. Children and parents learn to put together a plan and a survival kit. There is extensive information on what to have on hand and how to keep supplies fresh.

Susan Berger takes what could be a frightening subject and uses it to inform and empower children. The book is full of useful tips for preparing for the possibility of an earthquake. She tells the reader what to do during and after a quake. Earthquake is a book that gives the reader tips on ways to help others instead of curling up in fear, ending the book on a positive note. I highly recommend this book for children everywhere.

Reviewed by Shari Lyle-Soffe

5 Comments on Book Review: Earthquake!, last added: 4/5/2009
Display Comments Add a Comment
21. Writing the Elements

I write the elements, I said. Earth. Air. Fire. Water. I imagine myself gone, within them. The river as a woman. The fire as a man. The earth cracked open, so many mouths through which to speak.

And air?

And air is wind. And air is weather. A character—changeable, present.

7 Comments on Writing the Elements, last added: 5/11/2009
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. Weighing The World: Christopher Columbus

Edwin Danson is a Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.  His new book, Weighing the World: The Quest To Measure the Earth, he chronicles the stories of the scientists and scholars who cut their way through the jungles, crossed the arctic tundra, and braved the world’s highest mountains to discover the truth about our Earth.  In the excerpt below we learn how Christopher Columbus discovered the Earth was much, much larger than previously believed.

As the sun rose at the dawn of the sixteenth century, it shone upon a world mostly uncharted, warming newly discovered lands as yet unexplored… In the Old World of the West, the paucity of geographic knowledge had not deterred men from making maps and atlases, many of which were wildly inaccurate and frequently farcical, showing beautifully engraved continents that did not exist and vague, vast landscapes populated with monsters and cannibalistic savages.

Serene seaways promised wide passages through what were impassable icy wastes that, the cosmographers insisted, led to the riches and spices of the Indies. No one knew from where precisely the spices came, nor did they particularly care. In fact, the strange berries and nuts were grown in the glades of remote East Indian islands and shipped by sea to the coasts of India, from where Moghul traders carried them to Arabia. Arab traders then hauled the baggage overland by camel train through burning desserts to the coasts of Levant, where Genoese, Italian, French, and English sea traders imported the expensive and shriveled goods into the greedy markets of Europe.

The rich had been satisfied to purchase their spices and exotic goods from the last man in a long chain of traders, that is, until the Ottoman Turks expanded their empire from the east in the fifteenth century, capturing a swath of land stretching from Athens to the Crimea. With Sultan Bayezid II’s horde of warriors and warlords controlling access to the Danube, Europe’s great trade river, and dominating all of eastern Europe, exacting high tolls on goods and traffic, the flow of spices from Asia dwindled. At this juncture, an ancient, much copied map of the world suddenly became very important.

The map was from Geographia of Claudius Ptolemy (fl. 150 A.D.) made at the library of Alexandria during the second century. Much “improved” by Italian cartographers, the map suggested to a young Italian navigator by the name of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) that there might be a sea route to Cathay and its exotic spices. Columbus reasoned that, the earth being round, he could bypass the Turkish obstruction simply by sailing west until he reached the exotic east.

When Columbus first spied the New World from his flagship, Santa Maria he knew exactly where he was because he had a sea chart. He had discovered, he was certain, the eastern outliers of fabled Japan, gateway to the spice lands. Unfortunately, his chart was hopelessly wrong…But Columbus did not know this, and there is no reason why he should have. As far as he was concerned, he had been proved right and had found Japan at the very eastern limits of the spice-rich East.

Paolo Toscanelli, a Florentine cosmographer, is supposed to have provided both inspiration and the chart Columbus took with him on his very first voyage of discovery. It was based, for the most part, on Ptolemy’s ancient map of the world, embellished by the salty tales of coastal traders, fishermen, and an “unknown pilot” who had supposedly seen the fabled lands. Ptolemy’s world was the Greek world and was a perfectly round, spherical world. Toscanelli, Columbus, and the natural philosophers of the day accepted this fact almost without question.

From this certain knowledge of a round world, and equipped with the great map, Columbus calculated that his sailing distance west to Japan would be a mere 2,760 miles (4,440 km). In 1492, as his little fleet sailed further and further westward, with no sight of the promised land, Columbus grew increasingly worried, yet he kept his thoughts to himself, confident in his own abilities and having faith in his Florentine map. The crew was frightened and the men were becoming mutinous when, on 12 October (after 36 days at sea), young Juan Rodriguez Ber Mejo saw land from the prow of the Pinta.

When Columbus toted up his sailing distance, he realized that they had gone about 4,500 sea miles (8,230 km), considerably further than his original 2,760 miles; the only conclusion the navigator could infer was that the earth appeared to be a lot larger than everyone thought. A few years later, on his third voyage to the Indies (1498-1500), Columbus made an even stranger discovery.

He was observing the latitude by sighting the Pole Star with his quadrant when something very odd occurred. He was certain he knew where he was from his previous voyages, but the latitude observations appeared to be all wrong.

I found that there between these two straits [the seas between Trinidad and Venezuela], which I have said face each other in a line from north to south, it is twenty six leagues from the one to the other, and I cannot be wrong in this because the calculation was made with a quadrant. In that on the south, which I named la Boca de la Sierpe, I found that at nightfall I had the pole star at nearly five degrees elevation, and in the other on the north, which I named la Boca del Drago, it was almost at seven.

The difference of nearly 2 degrees of latitude for two locations fewer than 70 miles apart could only be explained if the earth, instead of being a perfectly round sphere, had somehow or other manifested some sort of bump near the equator: it was, according to Columbus, deformed.

We might now suggest that the strange anomaly was probably in part the result of his dubious navigational skills and in part to what we would call “atmospheric aberration.” But, in 1498, neither Columbus nor any philosopher of the day was aware that the atmosphere behaves like a giant lens, bending light rays…

Whatever the cause for Columbus’s disconcerting discovery, his thoughts that the earth could be anything other than perfectly round flew in the face of divine perfection; it flaunted the Aristotelian dogma of the church of Rome and challenged the received wisdom of a thousand years. On that starry night in the Caribbean Sea were sown the first heretical seeds of doubt.

0 Comments on Weighing The World: Christopher Columbus as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. He watches


There are many rocks but old man rock is the wisest of them all.

He watches with a steady gaze through sun and storms.

You may not notice him at first  because he is very stealthy and it might seem he could never know anything .

But he is wise ! Old man rock is son of old man mountain and mother earth so he knows the importance of patience.

While he sits there watching and you think he can only know what his eyes tell him, you are wrong.

The wind brings him smells, he knows of the fire before your news person does and he has survived many of those himself so he knows how hot they can be.

He feels and tastes the rain to see if it is good enough for his brothers and sisters like racoon who he lets live in him and deer, fox and even old trickster coyote.

I myself have seen Coyote go many times and howl in old man rocks ear at night to tell him of a fine meal he has brought to share.

When men lay on him and block the sun his friend Ant chases them off then Mosquito makes sure man remembers his lesson near old man rocks drinking water.

He whistles in the wind and knows the world much deeper than you or I.

He feels the world around him and knows heavy weights on his soul.

He watches.

0 Comments on He watches as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. Old world, new world


Realistic 3D cover illustration about the transition of an old world to a new world.

You're invited to Sevensheaven.nl for more imagery.

1 Comments on Old world, new world, last added: 1/14/2010
Display Comments Add a Comment