Almost Chimpanzee

Author: Jon Cohen
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781429958011
Format: PDF, Docs
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The captivating story of how a band of scientists has redrawn the genetic and behavioral lines that separate humans from our nearest cousins In the fall of 2005, a band of researchers cracked the code of the chimpanzee genome and provided a startling new window into the differences between humans and our closest primate cousins. For the past several years, acclaimed Science reporter Jon Cohen has been following the DNA hunt, as well as eye-opening new studies in ape communication, human evolution, disease, diet, and more. In Almost Chimpanzee, Cohen invites us on a captivating scientific journey, taking us behind the scenes in cutting-edge genetics labs, rain forests in Uganda, sanctuaries in Iowa, experimental enclaves in Japan, even the Detroit Zoo. Along the way, he ferries fresh chimp sperm for a time-sensitive analysis, gets greeted by pant-hoots and chimp feces, and investigates an audacious attempt to breed a humanzee. Cohen offers a fresh and often frankly humorous insider's tour of the latest research, which promises to lead to everything from insights about the unique ways our bodies work to shedding light on stubborn human-only problems, ranging from infertility and asthma to speech disorders. And in the end, Cohen explains why it's time to move on from Jane Goodall's plea that we focus on how the two species are alike and turns to examining why our differences matter in vital ways—for understanding humans and for increasing the chances to save the endangered chimpanzee.

The Truth About Animals

Author: Lucy Cooke
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465094651
Format: PDF, ePub
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Mary Roach meets Bill Bryson in this "surefire summer winner" (Janet Maslin, New York Times), an uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we've still got a long way to go. Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands," it's hard for us not to project our own values--innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work--onto animals. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do--and that's just for starters. In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret--and often hilarious--habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.

Bad Days in History

Author: Michael Farquhar
Publisher: National Geographic Books
ISBN: 1426212682
Format: PDF, Mobi
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National Geographic and a best-selling author team up to uncover an instance of bad luck, epic misfortune and deadly disaster tied to every day of the year, from Caligula's blood-soaked end to hotelier Steve Wynn's unfortunate run-in with a priceless Picasso to the Great Molasses Flood of 1919.

The Song of the Ape

Author: Andrew R. Halloran
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1429933275
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An absorbing investigation of chimpanzee language and communication by a young primatologist While working as a zookeeper with a group of semi-wild chimpanzees living on an island, primatologist Andrew Halloran witnessed an event that would cause him to become fascinated with how chimpanzees communicate complex information and ideas to one another. The group he was working with was in the middle of a yearlong power battle in which the older chimpanzees were being ousted in favor of a younger group. One day Andrew carelessly forgot to secure his rowboat at the mainland and looked up to see it floating over to the chimp island. In an orchestrated fashion, five ousted members of the chimp group quietly came from different parts of the island and boarded the boat. Without confusion, they sat in two perfect rows of two, with Higgy, the deposed alpha male, at the back, propelling and steering the boat to shore. The incident occurred without screams or disorder and appeared to have been preplanned and communicated. Since this event, Andrew has extensively studied primate communication and, in particular, how this group of chimpanzees naturally communicated. What he found is that chimpanzees use a set of vocalizations every bit as complex as human language. The Song of the Ape traces the individual histories of each of the five chimpanzees on the boat, some of whom came to the zoo after being wild-caught chimps raised as pets, circus performers, and lab chimps, and examines how these histories led to the common lexicon of the group. Interspersed with these histories, the book details the long history of scientists attempting (and failing) to train apes to use human grammar and language, using the well-known and controversial examples of Koko the gorilla, Kanzi the bonobo, and Nim Chimsky the chimpanzee, all of whom supposedly were able to communicate with their human caretakers using sign language. Ultimately, the book shows that while laboratories try in vain to teach human grammar to a chimpanzee, there is a living lexicon being passed down through the generations of each chimpanzee group in the wild. Halloran demonstrates what that lexicon looks like with twenty-five phrases he recorded, isolated, and interpreted while working with the chimps, and concludes that what is occurring in nature is far more fascinating and miraculous than anything that can be created in a laboratory. The Song of the Ape is a lively, engaging, and personal account, with many moments of humor as well as the occasional heartbreak, and it will appeal to anyone who wants to listen in as our closest relatives converse.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465093566
Format: PDF, Docs
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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Sapiens

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062316109
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Max Lakeman and the Beautiful Stranger

Author: Jon Cohen
Publisher: Grand Central Pub
ISBN: 9780446515337
Format: PDF
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Max Lakeman, an ordinary family man living a tidy, average suburban life, pursues a mysterious seductress conjured up out of his own powerful imagination and secret fantasies

Coming to Term

Author: Jon Cohen
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547343877
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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After his wife lost four pregnancies, Jon Cohen set out to gather the most comprehensive and accurate information on miscarriage – a topic shrouded in myth, hype, and uncertainty. The result of his mission is a uniquely revealing and inspirational book for every woman who has lost at least one pregnancy – and for her partner, family, and close friends. Approaching the topic from a reporter's perspective, Cohen takes us on a surprising journey into the laboratories and clinics of researchers at the front, weaving together their cutting-edge findings with intimate portraits of a dozen families who have had difficulty bringing a baby to term. Couples who seek medical help for miscarriage often encounter conflicting information about the causes of pregnancy loss and ways to prevent it. Cohen's investigation synthesizes the latest scientific findings and unearths some surprising facts. We learn, for example, that nearly seven out of ten women who have had three or more miscarriages can still carry a child to term without medical intervention. Cohen also scrutinizes the full array of treatments, showing readers how to distinguish promising new options from the useless or even dangerous ones. Coming to Term is the first book to turn a journalistic spotlight on a subject that has remained largely in the shadows. With an unrelenting eye and the compassion that comes from personal experience, Jon Cohen offers a message that is both enlightening and surprisingly hopeful.

Shots in the Dark

Author: Jon Cohen
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393322255
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A journalist for Science and Talk magazines probes the ongoing elusive search for an AIDS vaccine, confronting the often conflicting interests that have stymied the effort. Reprint.

A Glimpse of the Kingdom in Academia

Author: Irene Alexander
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1621895394
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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University is a major way that our society prepares professionals and leaders in education, health, government, business, arts, church--all components of our communal lives. Although the beginnings of the first universities were Christian, academia has become more and more adrift from these foundations. We have lost not only the union, the interwovenness of theological and academic understandings, but also the relational and communal process of learning which teaches students to be other-centered in their practice. A Glimpse of the Kingdom in Academia tells the story of the social sciences department of a small Christian university that took seriously the mandate to prepare their students to be salt and light in a secular society. Here are stories of the transformation in students' lives, as well as description of classroom practices, and the epistemological theory behind those practices. The book explores academic knowing, Christian worldview, relational epistemology, inner knowing, and wisdom--all ways of knowing that a Christian university should teach. The process of transformation, the context of community, and the bigger picture of life's journey and changing images of God are identified as important aspects of kingdom life in academia. The institutional setting is also critiqued with the recognition that power practices need to align with the kingdom of the Christ who emptied himself.