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The Many Joys of Gardening Books

By Matt Reimann. Nov 29, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Science

“If you have a garden and a library,” said the Roman philosopher Cicero, “you have everything you need.” These are wise conditions under which to live a life: With books to connect you to humanity, and plants to connect you to nature. And as reading is a lifetime joyone at which we get better with agegardening is the same. To cultivate a garden for food or for beauty is a skill one can employ into the farthest reaches of old age. And, it is our luck that we may turn to our library, and peer through the pages of a gardening book, to bolster this passion.

     
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Rachel Carson: Mother of the Environmental Movement

By Brian Hoey. May 27, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science

For those of you who believe that climate change is the most significant threat facing the world right now, Rachel Carson should be your patron saint. A noted nature writer and a marine biologist by trade, Carson helped to usher in the modern environmentalist movement with her 1962 book Silent Spring, an indictment of pesticide overuse that is at once scathing and deeply unsettling to read. More than 50 years after her death, the deeply-held concern over the fate of the planet that she so scorchingly exemplified is a more powerful (and arguably much more urgent) force than ever.

     
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The Birth of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species

By Stephen Pappas. Nov 24, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science

Today, we celebrate the 156th birthday of Charles Darwin's most famous work: On the Origin of Species. Darwin's depiction of evolution and natural selection was groundbreaking. And it remains one of the most important books of scientific thought in all of history. We'd like to use the anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species to dig deeper into its author and the work itself.

     
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The Noble, Doomed Search for the Philosopher's Stone

By Matt Reimann. Oct 27, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: History, Science

For something that never existed, the philosopher’s stone has shaped a great deal of history. To people like us — we rational and practical folk of the 21st century — its influence can be hard to comprehend. It was, after all, bad science. Part of its appeal was that it promised so much. Not only did it solve the alchemist’s problem of transmuting base metals into gold, it also provided the elixir of life, even immortality. Numerous civilizations, through a variety of centuries, set out on a quest for the imaginary stone. Was the pursuit a failure? Absolutely. But was it worthless? Far from it.

     
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Real Life Examples of Successful Women in Science

By Leah Dobrinska. May 26, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science

History is packed with examples of powerful women who've made names for themselves in the fields of science and technology. Think Jane Goodall. Mae Jemison. Barbara McClintock. Rachel Carson. Each of these ladies has had a significant and lasting impact. So, we wondered, is there something these women in science had in common? What led to their success?

     
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JAWS Author Peter Benchley as Ocean Advocate

By Katie Behrens. May 7, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Science

Author Peter Benchley may have stumbled into fame as an expert on all things shark, but he quickly took up the mantle as their advocate. Benchley’s smash hit novel, Jaws, came out in 1974, spent 44 weeks on the bestseller list, and became the first summer blockbuster film (ever) the following year. Although Benchley cast a great white shark as his villain, he would spend the rest of his career debunking the stereotype he created.

     
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Carl Friedrich Gauss and The Method of Least Squares

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 30, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking coined the phrase: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” While he probably didn't have 19th century German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss in mind when developing the sentiment, he may well have. Actually, in Gauss’ case, it would be more fitting to say “shoot for the comet,” the Ceres comet at that, and as it turns out, the math genius didn’t have to be too concerned with missing.

     
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Jane Goodall, Children's Books, and the Unburdening of Knowledge

By Brian Hoey. Apr 1, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Science

When it comes to knowledge, for better or worse, the trickle-down-effect seems to be the norm. History is littered with examples — from Socrates to Galileo — of those whose ideas weren’t accepted or understood by the masses at the time but later became indispensable to society as a whole. The trend continues. Modern academics and scientists argue and theorize among themselves, and answers to the questions with which they grapple will remain obscure to the general public for years to come. However, with this, as with so many things, Jane Goodall bucks the trend.

     
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Karel Čapek: Sci-fi Genius, Nazi Nemesis & Creator of the Word "Robot"

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 7, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science, Science Fiction

When recollecting writers who utilized the science fiction genre as a means for political and social commentary, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, and Isaac Asimov often come to mind. But in the early part of the 20th century, a young writer named Karel Čapek also used sci-fi to expertly grapple with topics like totalitarianism and control, challenging the harsh Nazi rule in his native Eastern European homeland.

Credited with inventing the term “robot,” Čapek’s life and work provide an interesting study for many reasons. Not only did he greatly influence the science fiction genre, but he also played an integral part in the continued revival of the Czech written language.

     
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Making Science Personal with Jane Goodall

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 10, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science

Dr. Jane Goodall, widely known for her contributions to the scientific study of chimpanzees in Tanzania, has also contributed tremendously to the breadth of non-fiction literature surrounding her topic of study. Goodall has published numerous accounts of her time in Gombe Stream National Park interacting with and observing the chimpanzees there, and each work is more riveting than the next.

Goodall's writing style is compelling. Her works are true, scientific accounts, and yet they read like finely crafted pieces of fiction. In short, they draw you in and give an intimate look at the human-side of chimpanzee life.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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