The Government Bridge – Have you ever wondered…?

Me too!

If you want to learn more about this incredible structure join us for this presentation.

Gov Bridge

Dirt Is Good!

Want to know the benefits of playing in dirt, having pets and spending time on a farm? We’ve got just the poster presentation (and book) for you.

Dirt is Good Poster

The Best Science Books of Spring 2018

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

It’s spring, and the East Coast is finally emerging from the deep freeze that was this extended winter. But spring also means a new quarter and a new batch of science books that are waiting to be read. It was hard to narrow it down for April, May, and June because there are a lot of great books coming out. This quarter’s picks range from memoir to investigations to a hunt across the world to save rare plants from the hands of humans.

The cover of the book Does It Fart? The Definitive Field Guide to Animal FlatulenceDoes It Fart? The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence

DANI RABAIOTTI AND NICK CARUSO

Arrived April 3

If you’ve ever looked at an animal and thought to yourself, “I wonder whether those fart,” then this is a book you need. This is a fully illustrated guide to which animals fart (and which don’t) that is sure to delight readers of all ages. You’ll be pleased to know that sea cucumbers do not, in fact, fart, but the Lomamyia latipennis species of beaded lacewing do. And theirs are a doozy: Not only do they fart, but they actually use their flatulence to stun and kill prey.

 

The cover of the book Rocket MenRocket Men

ROBERT KURSON

Arrived April 3

The story of Apollo 11, the mission in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon, is certainly an exciting tale. But it was neither our first crewed mission to our natural satellite, nor was it the riskiest mission of the Apollo program. Both of those honors go to Apollo 8, the daring flight that took three astronauts — Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders — around the Moon on the just the second Apollo mission to lift off. It’s an incredible story, and it’s nice that it’s coming back into public consciousness for a younger generation, as this year is the 50th anniversary of the incredible feat.

 

The cover of the book The Plant MessiahThe Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species

CARLOS MAGDALENA

Arrived April 10

This isn’t just a book about a man’s search for the most unique plants; it’s a tale of saving them. Carlos Magdalena travels the world to find the rarest species of plants and protects them. He works against the interests of wealthy collectors who hire people to track down rare plants for their private collections and works to save these plants from ecological destruction. It’s as much a memoir of traveling to fantastical places to do daring work as it is a science book, and it sounds incredibly exciting.

 

The cover of the book The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free WillThe Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will

KENNETH R. MILLER

Arrived April 17

Where did our reason and free will come from? What about our human consciousness? That’s what Kenneth R. Miller, a biology professor at Brown University, seeks to tackle in this book. Some theories of evolution make it seem as though these incredibly special traits are mere byproducts of evolution. But that’s not Miller’s take; he thinks we are special beings, not like any other in the universe. It’s certainly an interesting, optimistic view, but one that’s welcome in the difficult times that we live in.

 

The cover of the book Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting NorthBrave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North

MARK C. SERREZE

Arrived April 17

We know the Arctic is melting and that it will have consequences that scientists are just now beginning to understand (and others that we can’t even predict). But how did we make this shocking discovery? That’s what Mark Serreze, the Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, recounts in this book. Framed as a science adventure story, it tells the story of this new era of Arctic exploration, one in which the landscape is disappearing altogether.

 

The cover of the book The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost WorldThe Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

STEVE BRUSATTE

Arrived April 24

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Given the success of the Jurassic Park franchise, it’s clear that our fascination with these weird feathered reptile birds of old hasn’t diminished. Now, paleontologist Stephen Brusatte presents a narrative history of these giant creatures that spans over 200 million years, telling the full story of how dinosaurs lived — and how they died. He traces their full evolution, starting at these creatures came to be, and takes the reader on a fascinating journey through scientific history.

 

The cover of the book Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to PlutoChasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto

ALAN STERN AND DAVID GRINSPOON

Arrived May 1

Pluto, our friendly neighborhood dwarf planet, may have been discovered back in 1930, but it’s only in the last few years we’ve sent a spacecraft to this distant, icy world. New Horizons arrived at the dwarf planet on July 14, 2015. It was just a quick flyby, but it taught us amazing things about Pluto in the short time it was there. Now, New Horizons is continuing its journey beyond Pluto, and this new book tells the story of how this amazing mission came to be.

 

The cover of the book Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From, and WhyHappy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From, and Why

DEAN BURNETT

Arrived May 29

It seems like a simple question: Where does happiness come from? The answer, though, is infinitely complex. What does happiness even mean? And how might a neuroscientist approach it from a science perspective? In this book, Dean Burnett explores the origins of happiness and how they affect the brain. It’s certainly an interesting exploration of something so intangible, that can seem so easy yet so elusive at the same time.

 

The cover of the book She Has Her Mother's LaughShe Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

CARL ZIMMER

Arrived May 29

What do we pass on to our children? What did we inherit from our parents? This book tries to answer those questions and look at heredity in an entirely new way. What we take from our genes is certainly important, but New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer argues there are other things we should consider as well. He proposes a larger view of the concept of heredity, discussing the latest scientific research but also his own experiences with his two daughters.

 

The cover of the book What the Eyes Don't SeeWhat the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

MONA HANNA-ATTISHA

Arriving June 19

It may seem strange that a book about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, would make a list of science books, but if you think about it, it makes sense. So much of science can seem abstract (even when it’s not), but this is a case where the science of the matter directly affects human lives. It’s the story of how one doctor and her dedicated team uncovered the crisis, proving that the water in Flint had lead in it, and detailing how the government failed the people of this Michigan city.

 

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The Cosmic Perspective: 10 Stirring Quotes By Carl Sagan

Image © Shutterstock

In trying times, it helps to step several feet back — or several light years — and remember the relative size of this stage our entire lives play out on. Carl Sagan was a huge help in this regard, relating 20th century scientific discoveries in a tone both poetic and humorous, unlocking the public’s understanding of the vastness of our cosmos.

Image result for carl saganThough he departed our world back in ’96, Sagan left behind an impressive canon of works exploring science, spirituality, and the mysteries of human existence. If you’re looking for answers, he may have them, and if you’re looking for even bigger questions… well, you’re about to hit the mother lode. The following quotes represent just a tiny slice of Sagan’s wit and wisdom, but still enough to help turn down the volume on all the lamenting and sabre-rattling from fellow Earthlings that constantly threatens to overwhelm us.

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1994

“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Cosmos, 1980

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.”

Contact, 1985

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, 1997

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.”

Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science, 1979

“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search For Who We Are, 1992

“Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.”

The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, 2006

“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

“Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate–with the best teachers–the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.”

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1994

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.”

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Treat your water as you would like to be treated…

By adding chlorine to kill bacteria, aluminum sulfate to coagulate organic particles which are then filtered through sand and lime to adjust the pH levels.

water treatment plant