Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
Author: Mark Miodownik
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A world-leading materials scientist presents an engrossing collection of stories that explain the science and history of materials, from the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, revealing the miracles of engineering that seep into our everyday lives. 25,000 first printing.
The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
Author: Vince Beiser
A finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award The gripping story of the most important overlooked commodity in the world--sand--and the crucial role it plays in our lives. After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other--even more than oil. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip, is made from sand. From Egypt's pyramids to the Hubble telescope, from the world's tallest skyscraper to the sidewalk below it, from Chartres' stained-glass windows to your iPhone, sand shelters us, empowers us, engages us, and inspires us. It's the ingredient that makes possible our cities, our science, our lives--and our future. And, incredibly, we're running out of it. The World in a Grain is the compelling true story of the hugely important and diminishing natural resource that grows more essential every day, and of the people who mine it, sell it, build with it--and sometimes, even kill for it. It's also a provocative examination of the serious human and environmental costs incurred by our dependence on sand, which has received little public attention. Not all sand is created equal: Some of the easiest sand to get to is the least useful. Award-winning journalist Vince Beiser delves deep into this world, taking readers on a journey across the globe, from the United States to remote corners of India, China, and Dubai to explain why sand is so crucial to modern life. Along the way, readers encounter world-changing innovators, island-building entrepreneurs, desert fighters, and murderous sand pirates. The result is an entertaining and eye-opening work, one that is both unexpected and involving, rippling with fascinating detail and filled with surprising characters.
This book presents biographies of 100 innovators of technology who have affected nearly every facet of life, from transportation and communication to science and entertainment. Their names range from the familiar, such as Thomas Edison, to the more obscure, such as Henrietta Swan Leavitt, but their contributions to today's world are all vital.
Through activities, approaches, and examples, this resource highlights concrete strategies for incorporating material culture into K–16 art classrooms, as well as museum and community settings. Chapters are written by luminaries in the field and organized around various aspects of material culture, including object study, the role of technology, and multisensory art. “Learning Things is a resource abounding in lucid insights into how everyday objects impact teaching and learning in art. I am certain this book will quickly become a foundational text in our field.” —Juan Carlos Castro, chair, NAEA Research Commission “Filled with excellent examples and teaching strategies, this book brings to life the interdisciplinary stories objects hold and the ways we can use them in research and teaching.” —Deborah L. Smith-Shank, The Ohio State University “In this intimate and educative book, Doug Blandy and Paul Bolin invite us to consider how things come into appearance and take form in the uses to which they are put. If you have ever wondered how we find and lose ourselves in the things that we create, collect, or carry with us, then, this book is for you.” —Dónal O’Donoghue, The University of British Columbia