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Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science – Robert Kunzig

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Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science

Robert Kunzig

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: October 17, 2000

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


A vivid, up-to-date tour of the Earth's last frontier, a remote and mysterious realm that nonetheless lies close to the heart of even the most land-locked reader. The sea covers seven-tenths of the Earth, but we have mapped only a small percentage of it. The sea contains millions of species of animals and plants, but we have identified only a few thousand of them. The sea controls our planet's climate, but we do not really understand how. The sea is still the frontier, and yet it seems so familiar that we sometimes forget how little we know about it. Just as we are poised on the verge of exploiting the sea on an unprecedented scale—mining it, fertilizing it, fishing it out—this book reminds us of how much we have yet to learn. More than that, it chronicles the knowledge explosion that has transformed our view of the sea in just the past few decades, and made it a far more interesting and accessible place. From the Big Bang to that far-off future time, two billion years from now, when our planet will be a waterless rock; from the lush crowds of life at seafloor hot springs to the invisible, jewel-like plants that float at the sea surface; from the restless shifting of the tectonic plates to the majestic sweep of the ocean currents, Kunzig's clear and lyrical prose transports us to the ends of the Earth. Originally published in hardcover as The Restless Sea. "Robert Kunzig is a creator of what oceanographer Harry Hess once referred to as 'geopoetry.' He covers vast tracts of time and space and makes his subjects electrifying."—Richard Ellis, The Times [London] "The Restless Sea immediately surfaces at the top of the list of journalistic treatments of oceanography. . . .The book opened my eyes to numerous wonders."—Richard Strickland, American Scientist  "When you head for the coast this summer, leave that trashy beach novel at home. Instead, pack Robert Kunzig's book. Because just beyond your rental cottage lies the restless sea, where three-mile-tall mountain ranges criss-cross the ocean floor, and deep trenches harbor mysterious creatures. . . . The book is easy to read, and will bring you up to date on the startling discoveries oceanographers have made during the past few decades."—Phillip Manning, The News and Observer [Raleigh, North Carolina] ] "Anyone who loves the sea should read this book."—Sebastian Junger

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Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science – Robert Kunzig

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Challenger: An American Tragedy – Hugh Harris

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Challenger: An American Tragedy

The Inside Story from Launch Control

Hugh Harris

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $3.99

Publish Date: January 28, 2014

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Seventy-three seconds after launch, the fiery breach of a solid motor joint caused a rupture of the propellant tanks, and a stunned nation watched as flames engulfed the craft, killing all seven crew members on board. It was Hugh Harris, “the voice of launch control,” whom audiences across the country heard counting down to lift-off on that fateful day. With over fifty years of experience with NASA’s missions, Harris presents the story of the Challenger tragedy as only an insider can. With by-the-second accounts of the spacecraft’s launch and a comprehensive overview of the ensuing investigation, Harris gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the devastating accident that grounded the shuttle fleet for over two years. This book tells the whole story of the Challenger ’s tragic legacy. “This book has all the facts, but more importantly, offers insight into the people. The people are what the space program is all about.” —From the introduction by Robert L. Crippen, pilot of the first space shuttle mission “Finally, the accurate story has been written by one from Challenger ’s Launch Control. Hugh Harris’  Challenger: An American Tragedy  is a masterpiece.” —Jay Barbree, author of Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon “Harris offers a personal—and sometimes painful—look back at one of the darkest chapters in U.S. human spaceflight, as well as its impact on NASA over time.” —Space.com “More than just a personal account of the disaster, Harris punctuates his book with conversations and interactions between himself and some of [NASA’s] key players, bringing the story to life. Throughout, Harris’ love for NASA and the shuttle program is obvious.” —Discovery.com Called “the Voice of NASA” for many years by the world’s television networks, Hugh Harris devoted thirty-five years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to telling the story of the United States space program. Although he is best known to the public for his calm, professional commentary on the progress of launch preparations and launch of the space shuttle, his primary accomplishments were in directing an outreach program to the general public, news media, students, and educators, as well as to business and government leaders. He also oversaw the largest major expansion (up to that time) in the history of the Kennedy Space Center’s visitor complex and tours. Harris began his career as a member of the news media. He worked as a reporter and broadcaster for WMTR in Morristown, New Jersey, and as a reporter and photographer for two newspapers. After his retirement in 1998, he shared his experience in NASA public relations with nuclear industry leaders at conferences held by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Europe and Japan and in this country through the Nuclear Energy Institute. He continues to work as a volunteer at the KSC Press Site, as well as for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

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Challenger: An American Tragedy – Hugh Harris

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X-15 Diary – Richard Tregaskis

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X-15 Diary
The Story of America’s First Space Ship
Richard Tregaskis

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $10.99

Publish Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


The riveting true story of the world’s fastest plane and the first manned flights into outer space. First tested in 1959, the X-15 rocket plane was at the forefront of the space race. Developed by the US Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in collaboration with North American Aviation, the X-15 was sleek, black, and powerful—a missile with stubby wings and a cockpit on the nose. By 1961 it could reach speeds over three thousand miles per hour and fly at an altitude of thirty-one miles above the earth’s surface—the lower reaches of outer space.   Acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Richard Tregaskis tells the story of the X-15’s development through the eyes of the brave pilots and brilliant engineers who made it possible. From technological breakthroughs to disastrous onboard explosions to the bone-crushing effects of intense g-force levels, Tregaskis captures all the drama and excitement of this crucial proving ground for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions.   X-15 Diary recounts a thrilling chapter in the history of the American space program and serves as a fitting tribute to the courageous scientists and adventurers who dared to go where no man had gone before.   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Richard Tregaskis including rare images from the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming. “Arresting glimpses of man’s most daring venture with the machine.” — The New York Times Book Review   “Fascinating, detailed.” — Kirkus Reviews   Praise for Guadalcanal Diary “The book’s secret is the simple secret of all good reporting—fidelity and detail.” — Time   “A great new chapter in American history. One of the best books of the war.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer   “Tregaskis shaped America’s understanding of the war, and influenced every account that came after. . . . A superb example of war reporting at its best.” —Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down Richard Tregaskis (1916–1973) was a journalist and award-winning author best known for Guadalcanal Diary (1943), his bestselling chronicle of the US Marine Corps invasion of the Solomon Islands during World War II. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tregaskis graduated from Harvard University and reported for the Boston American before joining the International News Service. Assigned to cover the Pacific Fleet operations after Pearl Harbor, he was one of only two reporters to land with the Marines on Guadalcanal Island. His dramatic account of the campaign was adapted into a popular film and became required reading for all Marine Corps officer candidates. Invasion Diary (1944) vividly recounts the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy and Tregaskis’s brush with death when a chunk of German shrapnel pierced his skull. Vietnam Diary (1963) documents the increased involvement of U.S. troops in the conflict between North and South Vietnam and was awarded the Overseas Press Club’s George Polk Award. Tregaskis’s other honors include the Purple Heart and the International News Service Medal of Honor for Heroic Devotion to Duty. He traveled the world many times over, and wrote about subjects as varied as the first space ship ( X-15 Diary , 1961), John F. Kennedy’s heroism during World War II ( John F. Kennedy and PT-109 , 1962), and the great Hawaiian king Kamehameha I ( Warrior King , 1973). On August 15, 1973, Tregaskis suffered a fatal heart attack while swimming near his home in Hawaii. After a traditional Hawaiian funeral, his ashes were scattered in the waters off Waikiki Beach.  

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X-15 Diary – Richard Tregaskis

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Despite Trump, states keep getting more energy-efficient.

On Thursday, President Trump announced — after much feeble deliberation — that he would waive the Jones Act, a century-old law that requires all shipping to U.S. territories to be made through American ships and companies. This massively expensive policy, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello noted, created an unnecessary obstacle to getting crucial supplies to a devastated island.

Good! One obstacle down, a billion and three to go — including the fact that trucks, drivers, and gasoline to distribute supplies around the island are currently few and far between.

CNN reports that only 4 percent of 3,000 containers of supplies that recently arrived at the Port of San Juan have made it to communities in need. There are currently upwards of 10,000 containers of supplies waiting to be circulated. Only 20 percent of truck drivers have returned to work, and many are hard to contact due to downed cell towers.

Remember that Puerto Rico’s current financial insecurity and infrastructure failings are largely a product of predatory hedge fund lending and lack of access to states’ resources — like, for example, a congressional representative.

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Despite Trump, states keep getting more energy-efficient.

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A leaked memo sketches out the Trump team’s PR plan for Puerto Rico.

On Thursday, President Trump announced — after much feeble deliberation — that he would waive the Jones Act, a century-old law that requires all shipping to U.S. territories to be made through American ships and companies. This massively expensive policy, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello noted, created an unnecessary obstacle to getting crucial supplies to a devastated island.

Good! One obstacle down, a billion and three to go — including the fact that trucks, drivers, and gasoline to distribute supplies around the island are currently few and far between.

CNN reports that only 4 percent of 3,000 containers of supplies that recently arrived at the Port of San Juan have made it to communities in need. There are currently upwards of 10,000 containers of supplies waiting to be circulated. Only 20 percent of truck drivers have returned to work, and many are hard to contact due to downed cell towers.

Remember that Puerto Rico’s current financial insecurity and infrastructure failings are largely a product of predatory hedge fund lending and lack of access to states’ resources — like, for example, a congressional representative.

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A leaked memo sketches out the Trump team’s PR plan for Puerto Rico.

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This is Trump’s chance to tank the solar industry

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

If President Trump were honest about which industries are the biggest job-creation powerhouses, it wouldn’t be the sluggish coal industry. It’s solar. More than twice the size of the wind industry and roughly five times bigger than the coal industry, solar accounted for one in every 50 jobs created in 2016, according to an annual census by the Solar Foundation. But Trump will soon have the chance to cut off U.S. solar from the cheap foreign panels that have led to the industry’s booming success the past few years.

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday decided 4-0 that foreign imports of solar panels and cells have damaged the business of two domestic solar manufactures, Suniva and SolarWorld. Now that the ITC has found injury, it will likely suggest a price floor or tariffs. The decision on whether to regulate these imports will ultimately fall to Trump, and evidence suggests he’s likely to do it. “I would place the odds of the president agreeing to some type of remedy at 90 percent,” an anonymous Trump administration official told the news site Axios.

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Suniva has already proposed a price floor of 78 cents per watt and a tariff that would more than double the current panel costs. Solar Energy Industries Association President Abigail Ross Hopper’s statement Friday warned that such a proposal could hobble the industry.

“Analysts say Suniva’s remedy proposal will double the price of solar, destroy two-thirds of demand, erode billions of dollars in investment and unnecessarily force 88,000 Americans to lose their jobs in 2018,” Hopper said. “An improper remedy will devastate the burgeoning American solar economy and ultimately harm America’s manufacturers and 36,000 people currently engaged in solar manufacturing that don’t make cells and panels.”

And according to Greentech Media, a tariff on imported panels wouldn’t necessarily lead to more domestic manufacturing:

If President Trump approves a new trade remedy for “injury” from imported solar products, it will likely take effect in January 2018. The solar industry is then expected to file a complaint with the WTO — which is what opponents did when the American steel industry brought a Section 201 nearly 17 years ago. The WTO could take another two years to rule on the case. And if the Suniva/SolarWorld 201 petition is found to be in conflict with the WTO — like in the steel case — the WTO will reject it.

The problem is, this two-and-a-half-year period probably doesn’t provide enough runway to make a U.S. facility feasible. A company that invests considerable capital in a U.S. factory, only to find the country reopened to imports by the time it’s finished, would be at a disadvantage compared to others that don’t bother.

It’s not just environmentalists and advocacy groups that oppose stemming the flow of cheap imported panels. Most of the U.S. solar industry lined up against Suniva and SolarWorld, after seeing the costs of installed solar per watt decline dramatically the past 10 years. About 98 percent of the industry now relies on these imports, “with more than a third of them from China,” where production costs are cheaper, reports InsideClimate News. These cheaper costs have made solar competitive with fossil fuels, in some cases even outcompeting conventional sources. That’s what solar installers say is responsible for the boom in utility-scale solar plants and rooftop solar.

A number of conservative and industry-aligned groups like Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council also came out against tariffs on solar imports.

“The tariffs requested by Suniva and SolarWorld will make solar products and services in America more expensive and less competitive by removing inexpensive, often imported choices from other solar companies and their customers,” writes Heritage trade policy analyst Katie Tubb. If Trump does decide to crack down on the imported panels, it would be a rare instance of him flouting Heritage’s recommendations.

“This decision gives President Trump and his fossil fuel allies a blank check to crush the solar revolution that we are experiencing in the United States,” said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, in a statement. “President Trump should not use this decision as an excuse to kill the solar industry under the guise of domestic manufacturing.”

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This is Trump’s chance to tank the solar industry

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The Tribe of Tiger – Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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The Tribe of Tiger
Cats and Their Culture
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: July 14, 2015

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


From the majestic Bengal tiger to the domesticated Siamese comes a meditation on cats from the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Social Lives of Dogs From as far back in time as the disappearance of the dinosaurs, cats have occupied an important place in our evolutionary, social, and cultural history. The family of the cat is as diverse as it is widespread, ranging from the lions, tigers, and pumas of the African and Asian wilds to the domesticated cats of our homes, zoos, and circuses.   When she witnesses her housecat, Rajah, effortlessly scare off two fully-grown deer, acclaimed anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas starts studying the links that bind the feline family together. Immersing herself in the subtle differences of their social orders, feeding behaviors, and means of communication, Thomas explores the nature of the cat, both wild and domestic, and the resilient streak that has ensured its survival over thousands of years. “The latest animal book from the author of The Hidden Life of Dogs will have ailurophiles purring.” — Publishers Weekly , starred review   “Thomas enjoys the complexity and subtlety of feline society and rejects many of the oversimplifications that have become ‘popular knowledge’ concerning cats.” — The New York Review of Books   “Insightful.” — Booklist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is an acclaimed American anthropologist and author who has published a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including the international bestsellers  The Hidden Life of Dogs  and  The Tribe of Tiger . After spending her early life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Thomas studied at both Smith and Radcliffe Colleges, and in 1962 won a Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences. She currently lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

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The Tribe of Tiger – Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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This Hill, This Valley – Hal Borland

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This Hill, This Valley

Hal Borland

Genre: Nature

Price: $9.99

Publish Date: January 14, 2014

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


A classic country memoir—Hal Borland’s masterful story of one year spent immersed in nature on his New England farm After a nearly fatal bout of appendicitis, Hal Borland decided to leave the city behind and move with his wife to a farmhouse in rural Connecticut. Their new home on one hundred acres inspired Borland to return to nature. In this masterpiece of American nature writing, he describes such wonders as the peace of a sky full of stars, the breathless beauty of blossoming plants, the way rain swishes as it hits a river, and the invigorating renewal brought by the changing seasons. The delights of nature as Borland observes them seem boundless, and his sense of awe is contagious. “[Hal Borland is the] beloved spokesman for all of us who love the earth and who find sustenance in nature.” —Loren Eiseley Hal Borland (1900–1978) was a nature writer and novelist who produced numerous bestselling books including memoirs and young adult classics, as well as decades of nature writing for the  New York Times . Borland considered himself a “natural philosopher,” and he was interested in exploring the way human life was bound to the greater world of plants, animals, and natural processes. 

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This Hill, This Valley – Hal Borland

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Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe – J. Richard Gott

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Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe

The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time

J. Richard Gott

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Mariner Books

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


A Princeton astrophysicist explores whether journeying to the past or future is scientifically possible in this “intriguing” volume (Neil deGrasse Tyson).   It was H. G. Wells who coined the term “time machine”—but the concept of time travel, both forward and backward, has always provoked fascination and yearning. It has mostly been dismissed as an impossibility in the world of physics; yet theories posited by Einstein, and advanced by scientists including Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne, suggest that the phenomenon could actually occur.   Building on these ideas, J. Richard Gott, a professor who has written on the subject for Scientific American , Time , and other publications, describes how travel to the future is not only possible but has already happened—and contemplates whether travel to the past is also conceivable. This look at the surprising facts behind the science fiction of time travel “deserves the attention of anyone wanting wider intellectual horizons” ( Booklist ).   “Impressively clear language. Practical tips for chrononauts on their options for travel and the contingencies to prepare for make everything sound bizarrely plausible. Gott clearly enjoys his subject and his excitement and humor are contagious; this book is a delight to read.” — Publishers Weekly J. RICHARD GOTT III is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. For fourteen years he served as the chairman of the judges of the National Westinghouse and Intel Science Talent Search, the premier science competition for high school students. The recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Gott has written on time travel for Time and on other topics for Scientific American , New Scientist , and American Scientist .

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Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe – J. Richard Gott

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How to watch the eclipse without trashing the Earth

The moon will pass in front of the sun on Aug. 21, cutting a swath of shadow across the country and blocking our nearest star for about two minutes in the middle of the day. Millions of Americans are traveling just to stand in the passing darkness.

The problem is, all those humans (as many as 7 million by one estimate) could do a lot of damage. The official eclipse website compares the event to “20 Woodstock festivals occurring simultaneously across the nation,” which sounds rambunctious indeed. Max Yasger’s farm took more than a month to clean up.

So here are some tips for making your Great American Eclipse as low-impact and environmentally friendly as possible.

Watch out for cars

As small towns prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime level of crowding, the potential for real emergency is high. Traffic jams are predicted for Charleston, South Carolina, and Salem, Oregon, which could make it harder for emergency services to respond to accidents in the hours surrounding the solar eclipse. Plus, hours of inhaling all those exhaust fumes take a toll on your health.

Taking a plane, train, or automobile? Looks like it’s time to research some carbon offset plans. If not, consider giving yourself and the planet a break by taking a bike or bus to your viewing site.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

It’s wildfire season in the West, which means popular eclipse viewing sites in Oregon — where as many as a million visitors are headed — could be near an active blaze. Multiple wildfires are burning in the state.

Officials expect small fires from eclipse enthusiasts, whether from careless campers or from cars pulling over into tall, dry grass at the edge of the road. The long, wet winter has given way to a hot, dry summer, which means conditions are prime for wildfire. Even a few small fires could get out of control quickly, and evacuation routes will be clogged with tourist traffic.

All of this means officials have placed the risk of a major wildfire emergency at “moderate to high.” One fire scientist wrote: “In short, I fear a disaster; an eclipse apocalypse. I really hope I’m wrong.”

Yikes. You should check wildfire conditions near you before you head to your viewing site. And if you’re camping out for the eclipse, abide by any fire bans and make sure to put out all fires completely. For more information, the Oregon Department of Transportation has a complete guide on how to avoid starting a fire here.

Don’t be trashy

With so many eclipse chasers flocking to small towns and campgrounds along the eclipse route, a lot of garbage will be left behind. Residents of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are already calling for volunteers to help tidy up. Some towns are putting trash cans and port-a-potties near major access routes, but even these emergency facilities are sure to be overwhelmed. Pro tip: Take your trash with you; bonus points for separating out the recyclables. Basically, don’t make a mess wherever you are. You know, just like any other day.

Be remote

Of course, the lowest-impact way to watch the solar eclipse is from afar. Even though only 14 states will experience the total eclipse of the sun, all of the lower 48 will see some degree of partial eclipse. So pick up some eclipse glasses (even more important if you’re not in the path of totality) and go stand outside on Monday.

NASA will also live-stream the entire event from multiple space crafts and weather balloons, ensuring you get a prime view, minus the traffic jams and carbon emissions. Just pretend you planned it this way all along.

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How to watch the eclipse without trashing the Earth

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