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The Planet in a Pebble: A Journey into…
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The Planet in a Pebble: A Journey into Earth's Deep History (original 2010; edição 2010)

por Jan Zalasiewicz (Autor)

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914231,791 (3.96)20
This is the story of a single pebble. It is just a normal pebble, as you might pick up on holiday - on a beach in Wales, say. Its history, though, carries us into abyssal depths of time, and across the farthest reaches of space. This is a narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, as gleaned from a single pebble. It begins as the pebble-particles form amid unimaginable violence in distal realms of the Universe, in the Big Bang and in supernova explosions and continues amid the construction of the Solar System. JanZalasiewicz shows the almost incredible complexity present in such a small and apparently mundane object. Many events in the Earth's ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; andtransformations deep underground, including the creations of fool's gold and of oil.Zalasiewicz demonstrates how geologists reach deep into the Earth's past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter. Many stories are crammed into each and every pebble around us. It may be small, and ordinary, this pebble - but it is also an eloquent part of our Earth'sextraordinary, never-ending story.… (mais)
Membro:tdrome
Título:The Planet in a Pebble: A Journey into Earth's Deep History
Autores:Jan Zalasiewicz (Autor)
Informação:Oxford University Press (2010), Edition: First Printing, 234 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The planet in a pebble: a journey into Earth's deep history por Jan Zalasiewicz (2010)

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, marektamm, catherinestead, tdrome, VickyJacobs, deblemrc, Steve_Walker
Geology (13)
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Mostrando 4 de 4
“Take a pebble. A slate pebble, say, from a beach in Wales. Look at its rich grey, cut by veins of white quartz. Look closely. There are other markings too…”

The Planet in a Pebble is the story of the Earth as determined from a single pebble, from the depth of time and across the far reaches of space to its current existence. The many events in the Earth’s past that can be deciphered from the subject pebble include: the Big-Bang; solar system creation; planet creation; volcanic eruptions; magnetic fields, the lives and deaths of extinct organic species; the nature of long-vanished oceans; transformations in the depth of the earth; the creation of fool’s gold and of oil; and tectonics.

Jan Zalasiewicz demonstrates, in an accessible and lyrical manner, how geologists reach deep into the Earth's past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter to discover aspects of Earth’s history. However, while the writing style is entertaining and accessible, there is some technical vocabulary that may be confusing for non-geologists, but this can’t be helped in a book like this. None of this technical vocabulary is incomprehensible with a bit of application of grey matter.

The author shows how many stories are crammed into each and every pebble around us, no matter how ordinary the pebble. But this pebble is also a part of the Earth’s amazing journey through time.
( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
In this book intended for armchair geologists, Zalasiewicz traces the journey of one Welsh pebble from the creation of the earth through the earth's demise in 13 vignettes. He discusses topics such as plate tectonics, the specific minerals that make up layers of the pebble, life on the ocean floor, creation of mountains, fossilization of various creatures that could be found in the pebble, etc. I think it was clever to limit the book to the experience of creating one pebble from the very beginnings of our planet, but sometimes I lost the thread of the pebble's experience in the midst of the science discussed.

Overall, Zalasiewicz's writing is very accessible to the layperson. I've been interested in geology since I started doing a lot of hiking, but don't know much about it except what I learned in a college gen ed lovingly termed "rocks for jocks" by the students because it was known for being easy to pass. I found that, though the words were all understandable, the concepts presented in this book are very difficult. Trying to wrap my head around the creation of our planet and the vast amounts of time that are discussed here was somewhat overwhelming. Both the extremely tiny and the largest movements on our planet are discussed - it's crazy to think about.

As I think about what I learned from this book, I have a feeling that it is one of those books that taught me more than I could actually put into words. I think it's a good piece of the puzzle when taken together with other books I've read, like Richard Fortey's Earth, or books I intend to read, like John McPhee's Annals of a Former World.

I'd definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in the topic. ( )
3 vote japaul22 | Jun 3, 2014 |
Zalasiewicz provides a constantly astonishing account of the development of our planet from the Big Bang to the present and beyond to Earth's final (or final perhaps) dissolution. Told from the retrospect of a Welsh slate pebble, which evolves in parallel with Earth, and indeed with Wales, as we know it. Not the least of the virtues of Zalasiewicz' text is his account of climate change on a cosmological time scale. Planet in a Pebble is a wonderful companion to Zalasiewicz The Earth After Us and probably best read before that book. Both require a basic high school knowledge of chemistry, geology and physics. Zalasiewicz writes with engaging eloquence and clarity. ( )
  Pauntley | Sep 22, 2012 |
Geologist Zalasiewicz tells the story of how a pebble is created. It could be any pebble, but for purposes of illustration, this one is from a beach in Wales. In telling that story, he tells the geology story of the entire earth. He starts with the stardust from which the planet was created and goes through to the pebble tossed along the Welsh shore, and then into the future and the eventual destruction of the planet.

What was great about this book is that it was not written in an academic tone, but instead is very readable and at times even funny. However, it still covers a scientific topic, and at times I did get lost in all the geological terms (I know it sounds like I may have contradicted myself there, but really, I didn't. As an English lit-history-art type person, I do get overwhelmed by science talk more quickly than I care to admit.) The book read like a script for an episode of Nova, and to tell you the truth, I would have benefited from some Nova graphics and illustrations.

Recommended for: geology geeks, armchair geologists. ( )
1 vote Nickelini | Sep 21, 2012 |
Mostrando 4 de 4
For geologist Zalasiewicz, each and every pebble you find in your garden or on a shoreline is a "capsule of stories" which tell the dramatic history of the Earth.
adicionada por Nickelini | editarThe Guardian, PD Smith (Jun 12, 2012)
 
Far from being a laborious science textbook, “The Planet in a Pebble” is a brief, refreshing and unintimidating labor of love from a field-experienced scientist - a work that could even capture the imaginations of some uninitiated students. For educators, the book would serve nicely as a supplemental text to a course in introductory geology or earth and space science. Instructors will also find this book to be a valuable tool to sharpen their own understanding of the grand process that produces a single, ordinary stone from multiple elements over an extraordinary amount of time.

adicionada por Nickelini | editarWashington Times, Anthony Sadar (Dec 3, 2010)
 
The very stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare." So laments Mr Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, whose author, Virginia Woolf, had originally plumped for Plato in the novel's manuscript. With his fascinating brief study of the aeons encapsulated in a slate pebble washed by the waves on a Welsh beach, the geologist Jan Zalasiewicz finds so much more than books in babbling brooks or sermons in stones.
 

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It is just an ordinary pebble.
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This is the story of a single pebble. It is just a normal pebble, as you might pick up on holiday - on a beach in Wales, say. Its history, though, carries us into abyssal depths of time, and across the farthest reaches of space. This is a narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, as gleaned from a single pebble. It begins as the pebble-particles form amid unimaginable violence in distal realms of the Universe, in the Big Bang and in supernova explosions and continues amid the construction of the Solar System. JanZalasiewicz shows the almost incredible complexity present in such a small and apparently mundane object. Many events in the Earth's ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; andtransformations deep underground, including the creations of fool's gold and of oil.Zalasiewicz demonstrates how geologists reach deep into the Earth's past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter. Many stories are crammed into each and every pebble around us. It may be small, and ordinary, this pebble - but it is also an eloquent part of our Earth'sextraordinary, never-ending story.

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