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Joe Zika "Khemprof" (Cincinnati, Ohio)

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Baudolino
Baudolino
by Umberto Eco
Edition: Hardcover
62 used & new from CDN$ 2.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Baudolino: A Novel, Dec 22 2002
This review is from: Baudolino (Hardcover)
Baudolino : A Novel written by Umberto Eco is a novel, from which Eco does his best writting, that of historical fiction. Set in April of 1204 in the bustling capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. Eco is known for the "Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum" both of these novels have an all engrossing narrative... well "Baudolino" has that plus is superbly entertaining.
Mixing historical fact with writing a good historical fiction is Eco's main forte. The Middle Ages written with a flair wonder and a dash of provocativity, spicing a beguiling tale Eco works his mastery of the storytelling art in this book. There is even a sprinkling of humor in this twelfth century tale making for an engaging story that keeps the readers interest.
This is a tale about the Fourth Crusade and a simple peasant boy made good (Baudolino), though he has the gift of speaking and learning different languages and a skill for telling tales to deceive. Baudolino is befriended by a commanding officer of an invading force, little did Baudolino know that this was Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
Barbarossa was smitten with the boy and sends him to the university in Paris. There Baudolino makes friends, not just ordinary friends, but those of a fearless and adventurous kind. This rather merry band of lads getting all high on their own reveries decides to set out and search for none other than Prester John. Prester John is a legendary priest-king and is known to rule a vast empire to the East. This empire is not just your ordinary empire, no, this empire through all of the legend has some really strange creatures and lovely maidens
Trust me on this one, Eco has worked the storytelling art to its very best, you will not want to put the book down until the end. Myths, fables, ingenious humor,and romance are all present along with history making for an entertaining book. This book ranks right up along his "Name of the Rose and Foucalt's Pendulum" for intricate and absorbing reading.
So, get the book and enjoy a novel that is in every instance equal to the author's hallmark, this is an intellectual adventure story seeking the truth.

The Dawn of Human Culture
The Dawn of Human Culture
by Richard G. Klein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.87
23 used & new from CDN$ 16.45

5.0 out of 5 stars The Dawn of Human Culture, Dec 22 2002
The Dawn of Human Culture written by Richard G. Klein and Blake Edgar is a upon which human evolution relates.
This book says with reasonable certainty that humans, defined by their habit of walking bipedally, evolved about 6 million years ago from an African ape; that multiple bipedal species appeared between 6 million and 2.5 million years ago; that all these early biped remained remarkably ape-like in brain size and upper body form; that some human species, perhaps the first whose brain exceeded that of an ape in size, invented stone flaking about 2.5 million years ago; that the earliest stone tools makers used their tools to add animal flesh and marrow to a mainly vegetarian diet.
Recent advances in our understanding of human evolution owe as much to methods of dating as they do to new fossil and archeological discoveries. This book describes the principal dating methods in the text, since the descriptions are scattered, fossils and artifacts provide the hard evidence for human evolution and culture.
This book explores the evolution of man into the being and culture that exists today from the fossil record. From the earliest beginings in Africa to the rest of the world man has made his impression felt throughout the world. There is comparative anatomy throughout the book as it is easily readable and the prose well-wriiten and understandable.
For a book on early human existance, this is a good book to start with as it all of the known species variations of man are in this book. Brain case volume and bone structures are very much in evidence while reading this book are explored.

In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs: Early Mesozoic Tetrapods
In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs: Early Mesozoic Tetrapods
by Nicholas C. Fraser
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 219.95
11 used & new from CDN$ 86.40

5.0 out of 5 stars In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs: Early Mesozoic Tetrapods, Dec 22 2002
In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs: Early Mesozoic Tetrapods is edited by Nicholas C. Fraser and Hans-Dieter Sues is a collection of abstracts written by thirty-five authors all prominent in their respective fields as a result of a workshop held in Front Royal, Virginia.
These feature contributions by experts with international reputations in thier fields has chapters on Taxonomy and phylogeny, Faunal assemblages and Faunal change. This book is divided into three parts housing their respective chapters.
Phylogeny entails the taxonomy and phylogeny of the principle vertebrate groups ( amphibians, lepidosaurs, crocodylomorphs, and mammals). A persistent problem in the identification of basal taxa of well-known groups is their recognitions in practice. This volumes focuses on several groups of tetrapods that have become much better known in recent years; there have been considerable advances in our understanding of their relationships as a result of both more rigorous phylogenetic analyses and the discovery and examination of new fossil material.
Faunal assemblages dealing with the most significant early Mesozoic tetrapods assemblages woldwide. These chapters examing the different Triassic and Jurassic assemblages are not intended as exhaustive reviews of all early Mesozoic tetrapod-bearing localities. Rather, they reflect areas where the greatest advances have been made in recent years.
Faunal change is the final section, looks at how faunal turnover at that time is measured and examines the possibility of mass extinctions. The considerable abundance of bones of small tetrapods at many localities gives them a great potential advantage as biostrtigraphic indicators over larger forms. It is therefore of interest that the abundance and widespread distribution of sphenodontian lepidosaur in strata of Late Triassic and Jurassic age have been recognized in the past few years.
The early Mesozoic era was a critical period in the evolution of life on land, when most of today's major groups of terrestrial vertebrats (mammals, turtles, lizards, frogs, salamanders), arose and the dinosaurs and pterosaurs rose to prominence. This is NOT a children's book. This book is written for the serious study of comparative anatomy between these species.
If you are looking for a book on current thought and distribution of post dinosauria then this is your book as it explains with fascination at how todays clues bring yesterdays fauna to life.

Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs
Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs
by Luis M. Chiappe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 112.00
12 used & new from CDN$ 51.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs, Dec 20 2002
Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs edited by Luis M. Chiappe and Lawrence M. Witmer is an astounding book on the evolution of birds. In the 1980's and 1990's there have been fossil discoveries that can link the development of birds for eighty-five million years.
This book is written by thirty-one authors as they have written abstracts on some very interesting finds and connections. This book is NOT a childrens book as the authors are writing for students and professionals in the field of paleontology. There is a lot of comparative anatomy and phylogenesis, morphology and systematics in this book. If your looking for the current information on the link with birds and the dinosaurs, this is the book that will convince you that they did exist together.
The contents of this book is divided into four parts, each with abstracts for chapters. These parts are as follows:
Part I: The Archosaurian Heritage of Birds
Part II: Taxa of Contriversial Status
Part III: The Mesozic Aviary: Anatomy and Systmatics
Part IV: Functional Morphology and Evolutions
The greatest percentage of the book is in part three where with all of the recent discoveries locks in the theory that birds were flying in the time of the dinosaurs. If your are into learning some interesting information on the origin of birds than this book is for you. If you were wondering about the connection between the dinosaurs and birds, again this is the book for you. This is a very techical book and is written for older readers looks for current theory along with knowledgeable erudition.
The writing is very technical, but it is easily readable and the information is priceless.

Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale: Contemporary Theories in Quantum Gravity
Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale: Contemporary Theories in Quantum Gravity
by Craig Callender
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 79.96
21 used & new from CDN$ 55.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale, Dec 20 2002
Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale: Contemporary theories in quantum gravity edited by Craig Callender and Nick Huggett is a book the gives the reader accessible introductions to the main and sometimes lesser known insight to quantum gravity.
This book was a challenge to read, yes, I must admit. But, that being said, I must say that it helped explain one of the greatest challenges in fundamental physics. How to come up with a plausible theory of quantum gravity out of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Yes, that all encompassing theory of everything aka quantum gravity. Space, time and matter all rolled into one grand theory. The so called problem of time in canonical quantum gravity, black hole thermodynamics and the relationship between the intrepretation of quantum theory and quantum gravity.
This book is divided into five parts, each of these parts has abstracts written to coorespond to the question at hand in these parts as chapters. These parts are as follows:
Part I: Theories of Quantum Garavity and their Philosophical Dimensions
Part II: Strings
Part III: Topological Quantum Field Theory
Part IV: Quantum Gravity and the Interpretation of General Relativity
Part V: Quantum Gravity and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
This book not only looks at the physics to these, but also, looks at the philosophy that is concerned with fundamental questions regarding the nature of space, time, and matter. Seventeen authors give this book its body and soul for explaination as to how these fit together. What I particularly liked was the three chapters in "Strings" with "Reflections of the fate of spacetime by Edward Witten, A philosopher looks at string theory by Robert Weingard, and Black holes, dumb holes, and entropy by william G.Unruh.
This book isn't for everyone, but should be essential reading for anyone interested in the profound implications of trying to marry the two most important theories in physics. And that's the large and the small of it in a nutshell. But there is also a more positive reason for the connection between quantum gravity and the philosophy: many of these issues arising in quantum gravity are genuinely philosophical in nature.
How should we understand general relativity's general covariance... is it a significant physical principle,or is it merely a question about language with which one writes an equation? What is the nature of time and change? Canthere be a theory of the universe's boundry conditions? These are but a few of the questions asked and the explainations of the answers are trying to be resolved.
All, in all, this is a very good read and it will definately tax your brain.

The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future
The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future
by Richard B. Alley
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 18.66

5.0 out of 5 stars The Two Mile Times Machine, Dec 16 2002
The Two Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future written by Richard B. Alley is an engrossing book about how do we get to take a look at our past. What this book is about, global climate changes as revealed by reading the annual rings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland.
Now, this sounds like a way to our past via the ice cores. We can measure the oxygen content of the atmosphere when the snow was laid down, we can get a sample of the dust in the snow. We can tell that the last ice age ended very abruptly, only three years, all from core samples in Greenland.
But what they found that intrigues me moreover is that the earth goes into deep freezes alternating briefly with mild conditions. Man has been keeping records of the weather for approximately 200 years and we've expierenced unusually temperate climates... what happens if we go into the deep freezer. Drilling down two miles into the ice, they found atmospheric chemiand dust the enabled then to construct a record of such phenomena as wind patterns and precipitation over the past 110,000 years.
This is a well-written book with a pleasing narrative keeping the read interested in the subject matter. It provides an excellent survey for the general reader and those interested in the history of scientific exploration.
The explaination of the discovery process in terms the general reader can understand is one of the benefits of this book. The author does this to really open up the flow of knowledge about a subject that could put readers to sleep. We need to know and understand what happened in the past to face the challenges of the future.

The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
by Simon Winchester
Edition: Hardcover
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.97

4.0 out of 5 stars The Map that Changed the World, Dec 16 2002
The Map that Changed the World: William Smith the Birth of Modern Geology written by Simon Winchester is an engaging narrative about the discovery of the science we call geology.
The author takes us on a journey with William Smith an orphan and later a canal digger as he notices sometine of a pattern in the rock formations, tracing the layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell again all throughout England. Later he would travel the whole of England to map outcrops and what type of geology was under foot.
This book came with a beautiful map of the geology of England a map quite a bit smaller than eight by six foot map that was published in 1815. All in all, this was an educational as well as entertaining read about the earth and what people take for granted. What do we build our homes upon, what are our bridges anchored in, where do you find coal or other minerals.
This is a story of a man and his life problems, a man deeply overlooked until a sympathetic nobleman brought him back into contact with the Geological Society of London. This is the story of William Smith a man of dedication.

National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World
National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World
by NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 28.00
13 used & new from CDN$ 22.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Guide to Marine Mammals of the World, Dec 16 2002
Guide to Marine Mammals of the World illustrated by Pieter Folkens et al is a National Audubon Society book organized into four major groups of marine mammals; marine fissipeds, pinnipeds, cetaceans, and sirenians.
There is fascinating detail as the book goes on to describe the world's whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions, manatees, marine and sea otters, and polar bears. Not only is there detailed descriptions, but there are maps to show where these animals live throughout the world. There is a general introduction that outlines the evolution and tanonomy of marine mammals, distribution, migration, watching guidelines, identification techniques, organizations and laws that protect marine mammals.
There are 120 species represented in this book. Also, there are facts about social organization, surface behaviors, swimming and diving, details about food items and foraging techniques, and estimates of population in the wild, plus current and historic threats.
If you are taking a trip to the coastlines or live near the oceans then don't be caught without this fine field guide. You will be amazed by the wildlife near the and in the ocean. This is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated work.
Don't leave home without it, as your trip will be richer and more fulfilling as you spot the animals listed.

Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives
Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives
by Kenneth Carpenter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 107.95
14 used & new from CDN$ 42.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives, Dec 15 2002
Dinosaur Systematics: Aproaches and Perspectives edited by Kenneth Carpenter and Philip J. Currie is a book that serves as a handbook for further research into dinosaur systematics and be a valubable addition to the bookshelves of vertebrate paleontologists. This is NOT a childrens book as it is written as abstract form from twenty-three different authors.
The purpose of this volume is to unravel some of the problems surrounding dinosaur systematics and increase our understanding of dinosaurs as a biological species. There is excellent morphological description and taxonomic classifications within the pages of this book.
How scientists look at dinosaur fossils has changed, now, including the flora , climatic and other ecological changes affecting the dinosaurs makes for a better overall picture. But this book has excellent comparative anatomy. There are nine sections within this book and each of those section is further divided into chapters making for a very educational read.
The sections of the book are as follows: Methods, Sauropodomorpha, Theropoda, Ornithopoda, Pachycephalosauria, Ceratopsia, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, and Footprints. There is a excellent taxonomic idex at the rear of the book.
"Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives gives the reader a very good overview of dinosaur systematics using various examples to explore what species a dinosaur is, hat separates genders in dinosaurs, what morphological changes occur with maturation of a species, and what morophological variations occur within species,
This is a very concise yet conprehensive volume which is appointed heavely with excellent illustrations and is intended for students and professionals in the areas of palenotology, evolutionary biology, geology, and vertebrate zoology.

John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court
John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court
by R. Kent Newmyer
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 17.02

5.0 out of 5 stars John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court, Dec 14 2002
John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court written by R. Kent Newmyer is a biography about the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Marshall. This is not just an ordinary biography, but a biography with feeling, deep understanding andcomprehensive knowledge of Marshall.
This book is, by far, the most extraordinary biography, and paints a portrait of Chief Justice Marshall, the man, with perception and details , at the same time the author does an exhaustive biography of the jurisprudence of the Marshall Court.
John Marshall, (1801-1835) was appointed to the Supreme Court by John Adams as he was leaving office. A last minute appointment and second cousin to Thomas Jefferson, Marshall served in some of the most formative years that the has ever seen. Marshall wanted to bring the court into the central picture of the government and reigned in the court from the fringes of government, Consolidating the authority of the court making the Supreme Court the final arbitor when it came to constitutional.
John Marshall was a man equal to Jefferson when it came to the challenges of office and was equally skilled at the crafting law that supported the emerging American market economy. It was Jefferson and Marshall, however who symbolized and personalized the competing constitutional persuasions of the age and brought them into explosive focus. Each had taken a stand on the great foreign and domestic issues of the 1790's; each had conflated those issues into a dispute over the meaning of the Constitution. When fate and ambition made Jefferson president and Marshall chief justice, the institutional stage was set for what is one of the most creative confrontations in American constitutional history. At stake was not just the position of the Supreme Court in American government but the place of law in republican culture.
Can you imagine being there when Marshall was giving the oath of office to Jefferson... when the new chief justice administered the oath of office to the new president on March 4, 1801. With his hand on the Bible held by Marshall, Jefferson swore to uphold the Constitution, Marshall was sure sure he was about to destroy.
This book has an engaging narrative and you seem to read the information quickly and with ease, the author's prose is extremely well-written. As for the historical information it is spot-on even the court cases are found on a listing in the back of the book. Marshall was more than a chief justice, he was priciple in the forming a United States. Marshall's institutional accomplishments are found in this impressive study. For a one volume book... this is the most comprehensive... Marshall was the most representative figure in American law. This book is well worth the money ans should be in the library of all who study American History.

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