The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World [EPUB]
20 October 2018, 02:09
2018 | EPUB | 2.98MB
In The Edge of Memory, Patrick Nunn explores the science in folk history. He looks at ancient tales and traditions that may be rooted in scientifically verifiable fact, and can be explored via geological evidence, such as the Biblical Flood.
We all know those stories that have been told in our families for generations. The ones that start "Have I ever told you about your great, great Uncle …?" In some cultures these stories have been passed down for thousands of years, and often reveal significant information about how the surrounding environment has changed and the effect it has had on societies--from stories referring to coastal drowning to the devastation caused by meteorite falls.
Take Australian folklore, for instance. People arrived in Australia more than 60,000 years ago, and the need to survive led to the development of knowledge that was captured orally in stories passed down through the generations. These stories conveyed both practical information and recorded history, and they frequently made reference to a coastline that was very different to the one we recognize today. In at least 21 different communities along the fringe of Australia, flood stories were recorded by European anthropologists, missionaries, and others. They described a lost landscape that is now under as much as 100 feet of ocean. And these folk traditions are backed up by hard science. Geologists are now starting to corroborate the tales through study of climatic data, sediments and land forms; the evidence was there in the stories, but until recently, nobody was listening.
The Edge of Memory is an important book that explores the wider implications for our knowledge of how human society has developed through the millennia.
The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century [EPUB]
19 October 2018, 14:48
2018 | EPUB | 28.63MB
From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change
By the end of nineteenth century, food was dangerous. Lethal, even. "Milk" might contain formaldehyde, most often used to embalm corpses. Decaying meat was preserved with both salicylic acid, a pharmaceutical chemical, and borax, a compound first identified as a cleaning product. This was not by accident; food manufacturers had rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry, and were knowingly selling harmful products. Unchecked by government regulation, basic safety, or even labelling requirements, they put profit before the health of their customers. By some estimates, in New York City alone, thousands of children were killed by "embalmed milk" every year. Citizens--activists, journalists, scientists, and women's groups--began agitating for change. But even as protective measures were enacted in Europe, American corporations blocked even modest regulations. Then, in 1883, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, a chemistry professor from Purdue University, was named chief chemist of the agriculture department, and the agency began methodically investigating food and drink fraud, even conducting shocking human tests on groups of young men who came to be known as, "The Poison Squad."
Over the next thirty years, a titanic struggle took place, with the courageous and fascinating Dr. Wiley campaigning indefatigably for food safety and consumer protection. Together with a gallant cast, including the muckraking reporter Upton Sinclair, whose fiction revealed the horrific truth about the Chicago stockyards; Fannie Farmer, then the most famous cookbook author in the country; and Henry J. Heinz, one of the few food producers who actively advocated for pure food, Dr. Wiley changed history. When the landmark 1906 Food and Drug Act was finally passed, it was known across the land, as "Dr. Wiley's Law."
Blum brings to life this timeless and hugely satisfying "David and Goliath" tale with righteous verve and style, driving home the moral imperative of confronting corporate greed and government corruption with a bracing clarity, which speaks resoundingly to the enormous social and political challenges we face today.
The Golden Atlas: The Greatest Explorations, Quests and Discoveries on Maps [EPUB]
18 October 2018, 09:47
2018 | EPUB | 203.19MB
The Golden Atlas is a spectacular visual history of exploration and cartography, a treasure chest of adventures from the chronicles of global discovery, illustrated with a selection of the most beautiful maps ever created.
The book reveals how the world came to be known, featuring a magnificent gallery of exceptionally rare hand-coloured antique maps, paintings and engravings, many of which can only be found in the author's collection. Arranged chronologically, the reader is taken on a breathtaking expedition through Ancient Babylonian geography and Marco Polo's journey to the Mongol Khan on to buccaneers ransacking the Caribbean and the voyages of seafarers such as Captain Cook and fearless African pathfinders.
Their stories are told in an engaging and compelling style, bringing vividly to life a motley collection of heroic explorers, treasure-hunters and death-dealing villains - all of them accompanied by eye-grabbing illustrations from rare maps, charts and manuscripts.
The Golden Atlas takes you back to a world of darkness and peril, placing you on storm-lashed ships, frozen wastelands and the shores of hostile territories to see how the lines were drawn to form the shape of the modern world. The author's previous book, The Phantom Atlas, was a critically acclaimed international bestseller, described by Jonathan Ross as 'a spectacular, enjoyable and eye-opening read' and this new book is sure to follow suit.