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Martin Jordan (Shropshire England)

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Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species
Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species
by Ken Thompson
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening Read, 11 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thought I knew what the word 'indigenous' meant. I've now redefined it in broader context, thanks to this excellent book.


Connemara Mollie: An Irish Journey on Horseback (Bradt Travel Guides (Travel Literature))
Connemara Mollie: An Irish Journey on Horseback (Bradt Travel Guides (Travel Literature))
by Hilary Bradt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connemara Mollie, 10 Nov. 2012
Connemara Mollie is a truly lovely story - makes me even more determined to visit Ireland where my father came from one of these days. Anyone who doesn't know the story couldn't fail to be shocked by the last chapter, and moved by the way Hilary has written about it. Such a sad ending but countered by the next book which is, I guess, a continuation of the same story.


In Search Of Time
In Search Of Time
by Dan Falk
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Search of Time: Dan Falk, 22 Aug. 2009
This review is from: In Search Of Time (Hardcover)
A truly fascinating overview of our understanding of that far from obvious phenomenon, time: All past, present and future of it (unless, of course, as Dan Falk suggests, past, present and future might actually be an illusion created by the way our brains are wired!) But before revelations of possibilities like this the author sets out on a more mundane path with an historical examination of our attempts to comprehend, measure and record time describing the complexity of a subject I, and possibly many others, take so much for granted.
From this Falk moves on to Isaac Newton's great inspiration, then to Albert Einstein's great inspiration (the latter dependent upon the former) and from there we're whisked away into the mysterious and surreal realms of quantum theory, relativity theory, (where two and two no longer add up to four) gravity, black holes, string theory, dark energy and numerous other phenomena in our 'stranger-than-it's-possible-to-imagine' universe. Did you know that the time dilation effect predicted by Einstein's theory of Special Relativity has been proven? Time travel is established science then? (At least, into the future: It's trickier into the past). It's like this: If you could travel through space fast enough and for long enough then return to Earth,more time will have passed on Earth than has passed for you and this time could (theoretically) be substantial: Decades, centuries, millenia even. It happens to astronauts, though the time mis-match amounts to only the tiniest fraction of one second.
But this gives rise to a question that probably demonstrates the weakness of my grasp on science: The author tells us that when two objects move relative to one another, either one can be thought of as the one that's moving because there's no 'fixed' place in the universe from which to measure movement (spacecraft orbiting the Earth, Earth itself around Sun, Sun around Galaxy and so on) in which case, who will experience the time-dilation effect, me at my desk or the astronaut in orbit round the Earth?
I'm going back to this excellent book to check it out.


The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning
The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning
by James Lovelock
Edition: Hardcover

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And So St Will Be, 20 Mar. 2009
We're in serious trouble according to Professor James Lovelock, in fact, a dire emergency. Global heating (he no longer calls it 'warming') is upon us, leading inevitably to catastrophic climate change. Commitments by our leaders to 'tackle climate change' or 'to create green economic growth' merely demonstrate their lack of understanding. Biofuels, windfarms, carbon trading and the rest are not just wasted effort, they make matters worse. One brief example: The felling of pristine forest to grow biofuel crops is not only not green, it's criminally insane. The underlying cause of our dilemma, the disasterous thing that we can do nothing about, is seven billion people increasing by a hundred and fifty every minute, plus an equally bloated biomass of livestock and pets. Soon, possibly in decades rather than centuries, there will be a huge cull of humankind brought about by sea-level rise, flood, storm, drought and desertification triggering various humanitarian crises: societal collapse, crop failure, famine, mass migration, war for exisiting resources and so on. No longer should we be talking senselessly about saving the planet, says Lovelock. The planet doesn't need our help to survive, it's had far worse things than us happen to it in its long history. Life on planet Earth is pretty well guaranteed to continue, it's we who are in danger. We need to be planning our own survival.
When apocalyptic forecasts are being made by great scientists we should all be taking notice, but is he right? And that brings us to the scariest thing of all, because Lovelock is far from alone, many thousands of leading scientists around the world, to a greater or lesser extent, agree with him about the seriousness of the situation, if not the detail. Despite the grimness it's an entertaining read, with offered solutions for local survival, a glimmer of optimism and surprises, not least that Lovelock is a famous advocate of nuclear power.


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