May 12, 2008

Books I'd like to read

The first highlighted book is one I'm definitely going to read, because I already bought my copy this past Saturday. It's Canada's Fifty Years in Space by Gordon Shepherd and Agnes Kruchio. This one has a York connection as Gordon Shepherd is a long-time York faculty member and director of York's Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science. It was launched as part of the York activities for Science Rendezvous.

Canada's Fifty Years in Space by Gordon Shepherd and Agnes Kruchio

International space science began suddenly with the creation of COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) in October, 1958, and its first plenary meeting was held in London, in November the same year. Canada was at the table for both the creation and the first plenary meeting. Canada's Fifty Years in Space describes the parallel growth of the Canadian space science program from that date up to the 50th Anniversary of COSPAR, to be celebrated in Montreal in July, 2008...

The final achievement of the fifty years is a Canadian-built lidar that is part of the NASA Phoenix mission and is on its way to Mars, destined to land there in May, 2008. This work is about these missions over the fifty years, but also about the people who built them, launched them, captured the data and published the scientific results.

Hackerteen Volume 1: Internet Blackout By Marcelo Marques
This engaging graphic novel probes the modern online world where an increasing number of middle school- and high school-aged kids spend their time. Hackerteen teaches young readers about basic computing and Internet topics, including the potential for victimization. The book is also ideal for parents and teachers who want their children and students to understand the risks of using the Internet and the proper ways to behave online.

Note: My sons will love this one! (Ok, I'll love it too)

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture
by Robert Bruce Thompson
For students, DIY hobbyists, and science buffs, who can no longer get real chemistry sets, this one-of-a-kind guide explains how to set up and use a home chemistry lab, with step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments in basic chemistry. Learn how to smelt copper, purify alcohol, synthesize rayon, test for drugs and poisons, and much more. The book includes lessons on how to equip your home chemistry lab, master laboratory skills, and work safely in your lab, along with 17 hands-on chapters that include multiple laboratory sessions.

Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life by Carl Zimmer
What is life? Can we make it from scratch? Are there rules that all living things must obey? Can there be life without death? Biologists today are seeking answers to these fundamental questions about life. Few people know that many of those answers may reside in a species of bacteria that live in our guts: E. coli.

In this startlingly original biography of a germ, Carl Zimmer traces E. coli's pivotal role in the history of biology, from the discovery of DNA to the latest advances in biotechnology. Zimmer describes the remarkably sophisticated strategies E. coli uses to stay alive, from practicing chemical warfare to building microbial cities. He reveals the many surprising and alarming parallels between E. coli's life and our own. Zimmer describes the profound insights E. coli has offered about evolution, by changing in real time and by revealing billions of years of history encoded in its genome. E. coli is also the most engineered species on Earth, and as scientists retool this microbe to produce life-saving drugs and clean fuel, they are discovering just how far the definition of life can be stretched.

Microcosm is the first full story of the one species on Earth scientists know best. It is also the story of life itself, of its rules, its mysteries, and its future.

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