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The Best American Science and Nature Writing…
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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003 (The Best American… (original 2003; edição 2003)

por Richard Dawkins (Editor)

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218297,578 (3.6)2
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundred of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to the twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003, edited by Richard Dawkins, is another "eloquent, accessible, and even illuminating" collection (Publishers Weekly). Here are the best and brightest writers on science and nature, writing on such wide-ranging subjects as astronomy's new stars, archaeology, the Bible, "terminal" ice, and memory faults. Natalie Angier Timothy Ferris Ian Frazier Elizabeth F. Loftus Steven Pinker Oliver Sacks Steven Weinberg Edward O. Wilson… (mais)
Membro:akuchling
Título:The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003 (The Best American Series)
Autores:Richard Dawkins (Editor)
Informação:Mariner Books (2003), Edition: 2003 ed., 352 pages
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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003 por Richard Dawkins (Editor) (2003)

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2003 was a good year for BASNW guest editor Richard Dawkins. Of the 29 articles my favorite 11 are:

Natalie Angier in "Weighing the Grandma Factor" explains how the presence of a maternal grandmother in a family leads to children with more advantages than those without, grandmother keeps the wolf from the door. Timothy Ferris in "Astronomy's New Stars" gives a brief history of amateur astronomy - sort of like Open Source software, it can fill in and even replace the professionals. Ian Frazier in "Terminal Ice" has a lengthy but fascinating article about icebergs, it really could expanded into a book. Elizabeth Kolbert in "Ice Memory" travels to Greenland and spends time with ice core drillers - she in fact did later write a book about it, but this article is a good introduction.

Daniel Lazare in "False Testament" blows the lid off the Old Testament, convincingly showing much of it to be simply made-up, part of a propaganda campaign in the early first millennium. Charles Mann in "Homeland Insecurity" makes a case against ridged and brittle security systems in the wake of 9/11. For example, one can't stop determined thieves from entering your home, but layers of deterrents make it hard enough they might not try, or fail if they did. Most security fails badly, like Unix - crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle.

Steven Olson in "Royal We" has a fascinating look at genealogy, as he noticed many people could trace their lineage back to a royal person given enough generations. In fact due to the nature of math, all people of European descent alive today are directly related to 80% of the people who were alive in the 10th century.. that is, we are all probably directly descended from Charlemagne .. and his cook and hair dresser and everyone else! Steven Pinker in "The Blank Slate" furthers his work in tearing down the resilient but wrong idea that we are born blank slates, a cherished ideal in Democratic and Totalitarian societies alike that leads to some horrific ideologies.

Steven Silberman in "The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks" is a condensed biography of Sacks and his work placing him and his work in historical context. Gary Taubes in "What If It's All Been A Big Fat Lie?" says Robert Atkins's low-carb diet was right all along - it was this article in 2002 and a few others like it that spawned the huge low-carb diet craze of the 2003-2004 era, but Atkins death in 2005 and the companies bankruptcy sort of ended it. Finally my favorite article is the last one, by Edward O. Wilson called "The Bottleneck", Wilson looks at all the reasons the earth is running up against resource limitations and the physical impossibility of things continuing as they have been. It's nothing new but worth repeating and eloquently and convincingly said.

--Review by Stephen Balbach, via CoolReading (c) 2010 cc-by-nd ( )
  Stbalbach | Feb 12, 2010 |
This was a pretty good anthology. The collection of essays is varied, including environment, space and astronomy, September 11, diet and nutrition, and killing cayotes in Maine. Overall, the collection of essays is thought provoking, which isn't all that surprising since Dawkins edited this selection. ( )
  GoofyOcean110 | May 4, 2009 |
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Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundred of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to the twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003, edited by Richard Dawkins, is another "eloquent, accessible, and even illuminating" collection (Publishers Weekly). Here are the best and brightest writers on science and nature, writing on such wide-ranging subjects as astronomy's new stars, archaeology, the Bible, "terminal" ice, and memory faults. Natalie Angier Timothy Ferris Ian Frazier Elizabeth F. Loftus Steven Pinker Oliver Sacks Steven Weinberg Edward O. Wilson

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