It s Alive

Author: Michael LaBarbera
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022609488X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The B-movie monster—be it gap-toothed gorilla, ripped-from-time dinosaur, overstretched arachnid, or another outrageous anthropomorphic fantasy—has thrilled moviegoers for decades, and firmly sunk its claws into popular culture. In It’s Alive!, Michael LaBarbera delves into the science behind these characters’ construction, from the biology surrounding tyrannosaurid postures in Jurassic Park and King Kong to the questionable physics employed by The Incredible Shrinking Man. Accompanied by a treasure trove of images from old movie posters and stills, and ranging from the 1930s to such recent films as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the latest installments of the Alien franchise, It’s Alive! cleverly uses science to remind us that the best parts of moviemaking might indeed be magic–for all creatures, great and small.

Shambling Towards Hiroshima

Author: James Morrow
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
ISBN: 1616960469
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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2010 Sturgeon Award winner Nebula and Hugo Award nominee It is the early summer of 1945, and war reigns in the Pacific Rim with no end in sight. Back in the States, Hollywood B-movie star Syms Thorley lives in a very different world, starring as the Frankenstein-like Corpuscula and Kha-Ton-Ra, the living mummy. But the U.S. Navy has a new role waiting for Thorley, the role of a lifetime that he could never have imagined. The top secret Knickerbocker Project is putting the finishing touches on the ultimate biological weapon: a breed of gigantic, fire-breathing, mutant iguanas engineered to stomp and burn cities on the Japanese mainland. The Navy calls upon Thorley to don a rubber suit and become the merciless Gorgantis and to star in a live drama that simulates the destruction of a miniature Japanese metropolis. If the demonstration succeeds, the Japanese will surrender, and many thousands of lives will be spared; if it fails, the horrible mutant lizards will be unleashed. One thing is certain: Syms Thorley must now give the most terrifyingly convincing performance of his life. In the dual traditions of Godzilla as a playful monster and a symbol of the dawn of the nuclear era, Shambling Towards Hiroshima unexpectedly blends the destruction of World War II with the halcyon pleasure of monster movies.

Night of the Living Dead

Author: John A. Russo
Publisher: Commonwealth Publications Incorporated
ISBN: 9781551975061
Format: PDF, ePub
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The dearly departed have risen and are thirsty for human flesh and blood, and when night falls they embark on a murderous and bloody rampage to satisfy their decaying bodies and quench their evil souls. Reprint.

I Am Legend

Author: Richard Matheson
Publisher: NY Books
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub
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Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The entire population has been obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of everything that has happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him constantly. He must, because perhaps there is nothing else human left. I Am Legend was a major influence in horror and brought a whole new thematic concept to apocalyptic literature. Several humanistic and emotional themes in this book blend the horror genre with traditional fiction: we see Neville as an emotional person, and observe as he suffers bouts of depression, dips into alcoholism and picks up his strength again to fight the vampiric bacteria that has infected (and killed off) most of humankind. Neville soon meets a woman, Ruth, (after three years alone), who seems to be uninfected and a lone survivor. The two become close and he learns from Ruth that the infected have learned to fight the disease...

All Creatures Great and Small

Author: James Herriot
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780312965785
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A country veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire describes the joys and trials of his profession and recalls his early career and experiences with his unique clientele

Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet

Author: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452954496
Format: PDF
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Living on a damaged planet challenges who we are and where we live. This timely anthology calls on twenty eminent humanists and scientists to revitalize curiosity, observation, and transdisciplinary conversation about life on earth. As human-induced environmental change threatens multispecies livability, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet puts forward a bold proposal: entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions offer urgent “arts of living.” Included are essays by scholars in anthropology, ecology, science studies, art, literature, and bioinformatics who posit critical and creative tools for collaborative survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene. The essays are organized around two key figures that also serve as the publication’s two openings: Ghosts, or landscapes haunted by the violences of modernity; and Monsters, or interspecies and intraspecies sociality. Ghosts and Monsters are tentacular, windy, and arboreal arts that invite readers to encounter ants, lichen, rocks, electrons, flying foxes, salmon, chestnut trees, mud volcanoes, border zones, graves, radioactive waste—in short, the wonders and terrors of an unintended epoch. Contributors: Karen Barad, U of California, Santa Cruz; Kate Brown, U of Maryland, Baltimore; Carla Freccero, U of California, Santa Cruz; Peter Funch, Aarhus U; Scott F. Gilbert, Swarthmore College; Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford U; Donna J. Haraway, U of California, Santa Cruz; Andreas Hejnol, U of Bergen, Norway; Ursula K. Le Guin; Marianne Elisabeth Lien, U of Oslo; Andrew Mathews, U of California, Santa Cruz; Margaret McFall-Ngai, U of Hawaii, Manoa; Ingrid M. Parker, U of California, Santa Cruz; Mary Louise Pratt, NYU; Anne Pringle, U of Wisconsin, Madison; Deborah Bird Rose, U of New South Wales, Sydney; Dorion Sagan; Lesley Stern, U of California, San Diego; Jens-Christian Svenning, Aarhus U.

City Creatures

Author: Dave Aftandilian
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022619289X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In any given year, in the spring and fall, some 7 million birds representing 300 different species migrate through the city of Chicago. They come for great architecture, cuisine, song, views, and flyways—creating their own urban nature. They alight our forest preserves, our lakefront paths, and the minds and hearts of citizens and students through the urban region. Chicago has gone to extensive lengths as a city to aid its finned, feathered, scaled, and furry animals enjoy the city as much as its bipedal inhabitants. Chicago is “Nature's Metropolis. Nature lovers, amateur naturalists, community organizers, urban agriculturalists, social workers, and concerned citizens have always been part of the fabric of the city. Chicago Creatures aims to animate this natural world of the Chicago region, using stories, poems, and art to show how the vibrancy of nature in Chicago runs like a rhizome throughout our collective experience as urban naturalists. Recognizing the stories have often the best means of reaching readers, the essays in this volume tell stories about urban nature, and so too do the poems, and paintings, and photos. We see in these various creative forms how nature inspires, and holds meaning, even in an urban wilderness, and perhaps because of the urbanity of it all in some cases. The pieces are organized thematically, around the types of places and encounters readers would have with urban nature. The ultimate hope is that in learning about the animals of the city readers will think more about their conservation and longevity. And while the experiences might be local, the messages in this book are born to fly.

The Oldest Living Things in the World

Author: Rachel Sussman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022605764X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way. Her work is both timeless and timely, and spans disciplines, continents, and millennia. It is underscored by an innate environmentalism and driven by Sussman’s relentless curiosity. She begins at “year zero,” and looks back from there, photographing the past in the present. These ancient individuals live on every continent and range from Greenlandic lichens that grow only one centimeter a century, to unique desert shrubs in Africa and South America, a predatory fungus in Oregon, Caribbean brain coral, to an 80,000-year-old colony of aspen in Utah. Sussman journeyed to Antarctica to photograph 5,500-year-old moss; Australia for stromatolites, primeval organisms tied to the oxygenation of the planet and the beginnings of life on Earth; and to Tasmania to capture a 43,600-year-old self-propagating shrub that’s the last individual of its kind. Her portraits reveal the living history of our planet—and what we stand to lose in the future. These ancient survivors have weathered millennia in some of the world’s most extreme environments, yet climate change and human encroachment have put many of them in danger. Two of her subjects have already met with untimely deaths by human hands. Alongside the photographs, Sussman relays fascinating – and sometimes harrowing – tales of her global adventures tracking down her subjects and shares insights from the scientists who research them. The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.

Life in the Soil

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226568539
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.