Ok, so in our library we have a shelving roster, and this month I am gracing the 500’s with my presence 🙂
Have you made your way into this section lately? Well I tell you it’s like a treasure trove in here, gems all over the place. So what might you find in this section? Here is a basic Dewey Decimal rundown of the area:
500 – Sciences
510 – Mathematics
520 – Astronomy & allied sciences
530 – Physics
540 – Chemistry & allied sciences
550 – Earth sciences
560 – Paleontology; Paleozoology
570 – Life sciences
580 – Plants
590 – Zoological sciences/Animals
A few examples of the treasure you may find here in the 500’s are”
This is a fascinating compendium of the metals, rocks, organic materials, and gems that have had the greatest impact on the development of human civilisation, from prehistory to the present day. Fifty minerals that changed the course of history features the metals, alloys, rocks, organic minerals, and gemstones that humans have used as the building blocks of their material cultures. From flint and obsidian to bronze and iron, it explores the roots of industry and trade from the earliest recorded history, and marvels at the extraordinary works of art produced in gold, silver, ivory and jade by the great classical civilisations of the Old and New Worlds. Moving to modern times, it charts the industrialisation of societies through the use of fossil fuels, the production of steel and aluminium and the harnessing of nuclear energy from uranium and plutonium. Fifty minerals that changed the course of history is a beautifully presented guide to the minerals that have shaped and defined our lives. Weaving together strands of economic, cultural, political and industrial history, each entry gives a fascinating perspective on the scope and pace of human development, and the dangers posed by our exploitation of Earth’s resources.
The epic, beautifully told story of a great nineteenth-century voyage of exploration, and of the ambitions and fears that propelled the pioneers during their four years on board.
Australia’s spectacular Great Barrier Reef was a graveyard for shipping. HMS Rattlesnake, an ageing British warship, was commissioned in 1846 to survey this magnificent ‘Coral Sea’ and to produce the first detailed chart of the New Guinea coast. Every reef, every shoal, every rock hazard had to be located and mapped with extreme accuracy. At stake was the pre-eminence of British sea power – and the ambitions of those on board.
If all went well Stanley, the ship’s brilliant captain, could expect a top job in the Admiralty; MacGillivray, the gifted naturalist, would be the world’s expert on the fauna of Australia and the unknown New Guinea; and Huxley, the ambitious young surgeon, could abandon the dreary routine of the naval service for the excitement of the new world of science. But a series of highly dramatic events and encounters ensures that by the time the Rattlesnake finally returns to England, the glorious dreams of at least some of her crew have met with tragedy . . .
In the summer of 1623, 10 cardinals and hundreds of their attendants, engaged in electing a new Pope, died from the ′mal′aria′ or ′bad air′ of the Roman marshes. Their choice, Pope Urban VIII, determined that a cure should be found for the fever that was the scourge of the Mediterranean, northern Europe and America, and in 1631 a young Jesuit apothecarist in Peru sent to the Old World a cure that had been found in the New World – where the disease was unknown.
The cure was quinine, an alkaloid made of the bitter red bark of the cinchona tree, which grows in the Andes. Both disease and cure have an extraordinary history. Malaria badly weakened the Roman Empire. It killed thousands of British troops fighting Napoleon during the Walcheren raid on Holland in 1809 and many soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. It turned back many of the travellers who explored West Africa and brought the building of the Panama Canal to a standstill. When, after a thousand years, a cure was finally found, Europe′s Protestants, among them Oliver Cromwell, who suffered badly from malaria, feared it was nothing more than a Popish poison. More than any previous medicine, though, quinine forced physicians to change their ideas about treating illness. Before long, it would change the face of Western medicine.
On 27 August 1883 the most terrifying volcanic eruption occurred on the island of Krakatoa, five miles off the western tip of Java. The island was destroyed and almost 40,000 people were killed. The impact was truly global: ships sailing in the Red Sea were covered in ash; barometers went haywire in Washington; the seas were disturbed in Devon; stunning sunsets burned over London; immense rafts of pumice floated to Africa. In his wonderfully engaging and inimitable style, Simon Winchester brings to life the drama, the people and the science behind this iconic event. He explains how Krakatoa is the key to answering our questions about why mountains explode, how life begins and what happens beneath the earth’s surface; and hence why the word ‘Krakatoa’ has become embedded in the consciousness of the modern world. Simon Winchester’s book is the first to truly explain the eruption of Krakatoa.