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Say 'algae' and most people think of pond scum. What they don't know is that without algae, none of us would exist.; There are as many algae on earth as stars in the universe, and they have been essential to life on our planet for aeons. Algae created our oxygen-rich atmosphere, abundant oceans and coral reefs. Crude oil is made of dead algae, and algae are the ancestors of all plants.; Today, seaweed production is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with algae hard at work to make your sushi, beer, paint, toothpaste, shampoo and so much more. Delving into science and history, in this revelatory book Ruth Kassinger takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes, and into-the-kitchen tour. We'll meet the algae innovators working towards a sustainable future: from seaweed farmers in South Korea, to scientists using it to clean the dead zones in our waterways, to the entrepreneurs fighting to bring algae fuel and plastics to market.; Bloom will overturn everything you thought you knew about algae and the immense power that they hold. This could be the future of our rapidly changing world.
Discover the secrets behind some amazing inventions!
Through observation, experimentation, and perseverance, humans through the ages have managed to solve a whole array of perplexing problems. These solutions have included such incredible inventions as the parachute, the periscope, the solar water heater, the suspension bridge, the stethoscope, and many more. Now, with Build a Better Mousetrap in hand, you too can experience your own Eureka! moments of inspiration and sharpen your problem-solving skills as well, while you explore the history and science behind some of the world’s most exciting inventions.
With this collection of fascinating, hands-on projects you’ll discover the answers to such intriguing questions as: Who invented the hovercraft? Why is there a hole in the top of a parachute? What is an Aerobie and why does it fly so well? And you’ll be encouraged to come up with your own awesome inventions. With easy-to-follow instructions on how to make everything from a rocket, to a kaleidoscope, to a bottle organ, Build a Better Mousetrap is filled with enough exciting projects and challenges to get you started on a lifetime of invention.
Ruth Kassinger was at an emotional crossroads. Confronted with the death of a beloved sister, her children's departure for college, and her own recent battle with breast cancer, she was searching for a way forward. Then one cold, gray evening, she wandered into the U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory--and a dream was born.
Dazzled by the vast and dense tangle of greenery, Kassinger decided to create a verdant sanctuary in her own home, even though the sum total of her previous indoor gardening experience was one neglected houseplant at the top of her basement stairs. In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth chronicles her journey from brown thumb to green, while sharing the knowledge and insights that creating and sustaining her fabulous garden has bestowed--lessons of loss and letting go, nurturing and rebirth, challenge and change, love and serenity.
A witty and engaging history of the first botanists, interwoven with stories of today's extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab
In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger recounts with grace and humor her journey from brown thumb to green, sharing the lessons that she learned from building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis.
In A Garden of Marvels, she extends the story. "This book was born of a murder, a murder I committed," she begins. The victim was a kumquat tree. Though she diligently did her best--watering, fertilizing, repotting, and pruning--the plant turned brown and brittle. Why did the kumquat die when other plants in the garden that received the same attention thrived? she wondered. It was an experience that offered invaluable insight.
While she knew the basic rules of caring for indoor plants, Kassinger realized that she understood very little about plant physiology--how roots, stems, leaves, and flowers actually function. Determined not to repeat her failure, she set out to learn the fundamentals of botany in order to become a better gardener. A Garden of Marvels is the story of her wise and enchanting odyssey to discover the secret life of plants.
Kassinger retraces the progress of the first botanists--including a melancholy Italian anatomist, a renegade French surgeon, a stuttering English minister, an obsessive German schoolteacher, and Charles Darwin--who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She goes out into the world as well, visiting modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, truly black petunias, ferns that eat the arsenic in contaminated soil, biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world's only photosynthesizing animal. Kassinger also introduces us to modern scientific research that offers hope for combatting climate change and alleviating world hunger.
She then transfers her insights to her own garden, where she nurtures a "cocktail" tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures an ailing Buddha's Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it's thirsty. Intertwining personal anecdotes, accessible science, and little-known history, A Garden of Marvels takes us on an eye-opening journey into Kassinger's garden--and yours--offering us a new appreciation of this exquisite gift of nature: "Our garden is more than a marvel. It's as close to a miracle as there is on Earth."
Combing the curiosity of The Botany of Desire and the playful spirit of Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of botany and gardening memoir from the author of Paradise Under Glass-an easy-to-follow, anecdotal tutorial on the fascinating science of plants. In Paradise Under Glass, Ruth Kassinger- a self-described "wanton killer of plants"-recounted with grace, humor, and poignancy her moving journey from brown thumb to green, sharing the lessons she learned building a home conservatory in the wake of a devastating personal crisis. In A Garden of Marvels, she enhances and extends her story. While Kassinger successfully created her dream conservatory and rectified her initial gardening mistakes-the over-watering and under-fertilizing that often kill plants-she realized she had no idea what to do to help them thrive. Until she completely understood how plants actually worked, she couldn't know exactly what they needed. In her friendly and reassuring voice Kassinger introduces the basic botany of plants-flowers, roots, stems, and leaves-and explains how they function together. Combining science and botanical knowledge with reflections on her personal quest to become a better gardener, and illustrated with more than two-dozen black and white drawings, Garden of Marvels is a journey of discovery that offers fresh and unexpected insights into the natural.
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