Body Art Science



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Doomsday: Your End Of The World In Art, Science And Mythology

I’d better start by defining exactly what I have in mind with the phrase ‘the end of the world’ as ‘the end’ can take several forms.

 

Firstly though to the time it takes for an the end of the world event: A real end of the world scenario will be a short term event, lasting from mere seconds (say a gamma ray burster) to several months (say a pandemic, all out nuclear war, a super-volcano). I’m not talking multi-decades to centuries here as per global warming and rising sea levels or the coming of the next Ice Age.

 

The End of the World = the Destruction of Planet Earth (“When Worlds Collide” scenarios). That is, Planet Earth and obviously all and sundry on same go down the gurgler.

 

The End of the World = the Destruction of All Life on Planet Earth – a sterile Earth. Planet Earth survives, to a greater or lesser extent, but nothing biological survives.

 

The End of the World = the Elimination of All Human Beings on Planet Earth (“On the Beach” related scenarios). Planet Earth and most life forms, excluding humans, survive. Now the survivors might amount to only bacteria, cockroaches and rats, but all that matters here is that 100% of all members of the human species are no more. Welcome to Planet Earth: Human Population Zero.

 

The End of the World = Drastic Alterations to the Status Quo of Human Beings on Planet Earth. There’s drastic chance of ending humanity, but ultimately not enough to wipe us all off the floor. 

 

I think for most of the populace, the ‘end of the world’ means the demise of the majority of the human population, excluding them of course. In other words, it’s akin to the “drastic alterations of the status quo of human beings on Planet Earth”. It’s ‘Armageddon’, ‘the apocalypse’, the ‘end of days’, the ‘second coming’, ‘the rapture’, or, stripped of any religious connotation, some sort of nuclear war, global pandemic, a combination of nasties caused by global warming, an asteroid strike that cataclysmic but not too cataclysmic, say it only wipes out 99.9% of humanity – that still leaves some six million odd bods and sods inhabiting the globe. Heck, with that number of survivors coupled with a ‘be fruitful and multiply’ scenario, Planet Earth will again be overpopulated with human beings pretty quick-smart. I mean we lost millions in WWII, but still the population expanded. 

 

The End of the World in the Arts: A whole book could be written (and probably has been) on the end of the world theme in the movies and in literature, especially the science-fiction of the last 150 years or so. If someone can envision doomsday by one means or another, it’s been turned into a film or a TV series or a novel or short story, sometimes with, sometimes without, a happy ending. The end of the world theme in the arts might not be as popular as romantic fiction or crime fiction or even westerns, but it forms a pretty solid subgenre block of the overall disaster film or novel nevertheless.

 

The End of the World in Mythology/Religion: In mythology (or religion) there is no permanent end of the world. There’s always a rebirth, be it the Christian Armageddon or the Norse Ragnarok or within the Hindu mythology in India or even the various cyclic Mesoamerican cosmologies.

 

Take the Christian version: Well there’s no disputing the Biblical (tall) tales that ‘document’ some sort of domestic disagreement between ‘God’ and some sort of entity we call today ‘Satan’. If you believe those Biblical tall tales, the end result of that domestic dispute, Armageddon, isn’t in fact in dispute. There’s a decided element here of “This ain’t over till it’s over; this ain’t finished yet; I’ll be back”! However, if you believe the Bible and the Book of Revelation, then you realise that Armageddon should have taken place over 1900 plus years ago, at least according to Jesus Christ. He said that the final battle between good (‘God’) and evil (‘Satan’) – I bet he was biased in deciding who was what – would take place within a generation or two of his utterances. So, if it took place way back then it took place off planet and out of human sight – a real life ‘Star Wars’. But if it hasn’t happened yet, assuming ‘God’ and ‘Satan’ are really real extraterrestrials instead of mythological entities, then it probably isn’t ever likely to. I mean you can only hold off a grudge match so long. Maybe they’ve kissed and made up, or…   

 

If God or His scribes wished to make crystal clear the ideas and events and chronology central to ‘the end of the world’, Revelations, Armageddon, the Rapture, the Second Coming, etc., He or they failed – miserably. Any dozen Biblical scholars will give a dozen different interpretations of the ‘end of days’, from the literal to the metamorphic. The Book of Revelations, apparently that is, was intended for those of that era; that it was intended for generations far removed from those times is apparently not the case according to Biblical scholars. If you’re not going to make your point clear, well, what’s the point? How many hundreds upon hundreds of times have Biblical scholars prophesied the end of the world, or the end of days, or Armageddon, or the Second Coming, or Final Judgment (take your pick of relevant phrases) based on the Biblical verse? Well, we’re still here! We are indeed still here, so, so much for the reliability of The Bible, or God’s word, and/or the competence of so called Biblical experts. So, the next time some Bible-thumping Fundamentalist tells you that the ‘end is nigh’, take said message with a proverbial grain of salt and don’t lose any sleep over it!

 

Now the Biblical tale of the global flood is in fact global! Cultures from around the world tell similar tales to the Biblical flood. The argument is that therefore the story must be true as these diverse cultures had no contact with each other. My answer to that is related to bovine fertilizer! End of the world tales, or myths, the concept of Armageddon, punishing the wicked with total catastrophe was as common and popular then as now. We all love a good ‘end of the world’ story that has a moral attached. Alas, the choices or mechanisms available for said end of the world stories to myth makers’ way back then were rather limited. They had no knowledge of supernovae or gamma-ray bursts or massive solar flares or nuclear war and resulting holocausts or killer asteroids smacking into Planet Earth, etc. All they had to work with was the day-to-day sorts of routine natural events part and parcel of their daily lives. In fact, many tale-spinners might not have been familiar with, say, volcanoes, and while most relatively violent weather phenomena, like tornadoes, may be destructive, they aren’t destructive enough to wipe out the wicked that populate a wide area.  However, everyone would have experienced rain, heavy rain, even torrential rain say from hurricanes, etc. that resulted in minor flooding, or say witnessed storm surges from the sea that inundated the land, and/or witnessed rivers, ponds and lakes overflowing. It doesn’t take that much imagination to notch up minor real events, in the guise of story telling, to mega disaster proportions. If it rains heavily for one day and there’s some local flooding, up the ante to 40 days. It’s difficult to imagine any story teller from 5000 years ago coming up with any other sort of end of the world scenario!

 

The one point to the end of the world, mega disaster stories is that there must be at least one survivor to tell the tale! I gather in this case that includes survivors such as Noah and kin.

I have read of one other explanation for universal flood stories. If I recall correctly, a student of Freud came up with the idea that the tellers/inventors of flood tales got the idea from dreams in their sleep. And they dreamed the dream all because they were asleep with relatively full bladders. Personally, I think that’s a piss-weak explanation!

 

Then there’s the Norse Ragnarok. The gods and the giants battle it out and the gods come out second best. But, there are survivors who start things up all over again. It’s reflected in the Richard Wagner conclusion to his epic four linked opera series “Der Ring Des Nibelungen”. The final opera, “Gotterdammerung” (“Twilight of the Gods”) ends with the destruction of the gods, but a rebirth and a new beginning. The very characters who started off the whole Ring Cycle are the very same and only survivors at the end. Will history repeat itself?

 

The End of the World in Science: How can I destroy thee? Let me count the ways! Well, when counting up the possibilities, it could be a ‘bang’, a ‘whimper’, or anything in-between.

 

The End of the World in Science: Astronomy: There’s the obvious cosmic connection. I mean the greater Universe out there isn’t all that peaceful and tranquil. A great big rouge asteroid/comet could slam into us. A ‘nearby’ star could explode showering us with intense and deadly radiation. Even from quite a distance, a gamma ray burster could fry us. Perhaps a near invisible Black Hole could wander past just a wee bit too close and down the gravitational hatch we go. Closer to home, super-ultra one-in-a-billion-year solar storms could microwave us to oblivion. After that, things calm down a bit.

 

The End of the World in Science: Geology:  Planet Earth can be pretty violent too, but nothing geology throws at us can cause out 100% extermination – probably. Earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, tornados, floods, droughts, tsunamis, can all create total destructive chaos, but each is too local to be of global concern – except, maybe a super-volcano. Super-volcanoes, which have erupted and will erupt again, might only affect several hundreds-of-thousands to maybe millions of square miles directly vis-à-vis lava, etc. but the ash ejecta can quickly enter and traverse the entire atmosphere, blocking solar radiation causing global cooling and total disruption to the food chain. Then too there are the natural swings and roundabouts that now and again cause the Ice Ages. The saving grace there is that the transition from global normalcy to global Ice Age takes thousands of years – time enough for humans to adapt, even if not loving it.   

 

The End of the World in Science: Biology: Lots of things can kill us – tigers and crocodiles and sharks, and related beasties, even invertebrates like certain species of spiders and shellfish and octopuses and jellyfish and wasps/bee stings and swarming army ants, etc. Still, we’re more threat to them than they are to us. But, it’s not the macro life forms that are going to do us in, it’s the micro forms. We all get sick now and again. Bacteria and viruses have their wicked way with us or our bodies. Ultimately, we win every battle against them, except the last battle. They always win the war. In the end, they kill us, and to add insult to injury, feast off our remains! History is not without case studies of humans on mass (pandemics and epidemics) being slaughtered by these micro-beasties. There’s nothing in the cards to guarantee that history won’t repeat yet again. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that bacteria and/or viruses, caring not one jot for our high IQ’s and medical technology, won’t exterminate us.

 

The End of the World in Science: Astrobiology: Then there’s the old chestnut of alien invasion! That an alien (from space) might wipe us out might depend on whether the alien was or was not intelligent. If non-intelligent spores from space (panspermia) landed on Earth, well, it’s alien invasion never-the-less. If said spores took a liking to our biochemistry, well, the ‘alien’ diseases of smallpox etc. had quite an effect on the native Mesoamericans post European contact. Of course those European invaders weren’t exactly friendly as macro-beings either. In the similar, but extraterrestrial context, Planet Earth has attracted the attention of alien invaders near a zillion times in films, TV shows, novels and short stories. Most guys and gals would love to be as popular as Planet Earth is to the extraterrestrials! Still, invasion by extraterrestrial intelligences is highly unlikely. It’s going to a heck of a lot of expenditure of time and effort for relatively little gain. I mean if you’re a resident of the Big Apple, why would you, invade Paris for a loaf of bread when the necessary bakery ingredients are available in your local corner store. What could we have that the aliens couldn’t find a lot closer to home, be it gold or water? No, the least likely end-of-the-world scenario is alien invasion – at least by intelligent aliens. And if aliens did want Planet Earth, they wouldn’t have to fire a laser shot or even show up close and personal. All they need do is chuck a few large asteroids our way. There’s nothing we could do about it and when the dust settles, Planet Earth is theirs.

 

The End of the World in Science: Nanotechnology: There’s also been some worry about nanotechnology, both in fact (for example Prince Charles and his concerns over grey goo) and in fiction (for example, ‘Stargate: SG-1′ and ‘Stargate: Atlantis’ with the nanotechnology themed Replicators), that run amuck and cause human extinction if not worse. The basic scenario is that nanotechnology ‘robots’, a sort of artificial intelligence that can be programmed to do useful things like travel through a human’s circulatory system clearing out clogs and gunk and obstructions in the veins and arteries, end up, in order to recreate or reproduce themselves, start assimilating anything and everything they come across. In short, everything is gobbled up and turned into more and more of those nanotechnology ‘robots’. Like bacteria that exponentially reproduce and expand to meet the available food supply, so too will these ever hungry nanotechnology ‘robots’ gobble up the entire Planet Earth, turning all organic life forms, plus all the air, water and rock into a uniform grey goo. If that comes to pass, it’s clearly going to be a case of bend over and kiss your own ass goodbye. 

 

The End of the World in Science Fiction: Apart from the above, there have been various proposals put forth about potential ways and means that Earth could meet doomsday that have very little scientific credibility. Some would argue that alien invasion is one such implausibility. What I have in mind here are somewhat ‘mad scientist’ schemes, say the creation in particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider of mini Black Holes that would eat us up from the inside out. Or somehow scientists could accidentally via weather modification experiments set off global storms that last for months, or trigger geological faults that would crack the world in two or more pieces. Then there are nuclear bombs that could send the planet careening out of orbit heading either into the Sun or out into the depths of interstellar space. Then there’s the creation of artificial intelligences (robots and related) who eventually take over as the Top Dog life form. Then there are all those exotic super-weapons like neutron bombs or weapons with invented techno-babble names that sound impressive but mean absolutely nothing. Then there are those weird scenarios where one wakes up to find oneself as the last man on Earth for no apparent reason (albeit there are a very few others otherwise you’re plot’s pretty thin on the ground), though sometimes a plague turns 99.99% of humans into zombies and you’re the near lone normal human fighting off the mob.

 

The End of the World in Social Fiction: Then there’s the total worldwide breakdown of society, of government, of financial institutions, of law and order for no real logical reason (unlike say society in a post nuclear WWIII scenario). But, perhaps a super Global Financial Crisis, a GREAT DEPRESSION that makes the Great Depression look like the good times, or we finally exhaust our oil and gas supplies, might be a potential trigger. However, even in a society of total chaos, as witnessed by many such societies that have undergone such upheavals, there would be many survivors. 

 

The End of the World via Terrorism: As opposed to military actions by entire countries and associated governments, terrorists and terrorism are small scale events, hardly global in nature. But it would be wrong to dismiss terrorists as having no end of the world potential.

 

There’s only one plausible way IMHO that terrorists could bring about the end of the world. See the section ‘End of the World: John’s Best Guess Scenario’ for the details.

 

*Terrorist suicide bombings – too local; no end of the world way.

*Terrorist chemical attacks – too local; no end of the world scenario.

*Terrorist nuclear weapons & related – nasty, but overall no way that would be an ultimate end of the world event.

*Terrorist biological warfare – where there’s a will there’s a way.

 

The End of the World: John’s Best Guess Scenario: Okay, here’s my best guess prophecy for our demise. Firstly, it’s going to be at the hands of our fellow nutters. Now you’d have to admit there are all sorts of evil genus types out there. Fortunately, most lack the actual guts and finances to do any actual dirt on us. However, there are a number of highly motivated, highly educated, well financed ‘mad scientist’ terrorist types out there. As noted above, there’s not much they can accomplish with bombs, even nuclear bombs, or explosives or chemicals at least in terms of eliminating humans from the face of the Earth. But, there’s the ultimate in terrorist weaponry – the humble bacteria or virus that’s been genetically or bio-engineered to cause a global pandemic can be a nasty threat indeed. It’s not a Manhattan Project sized operation to bioengineer viruses and bacteria. A well equipped sophisticated lab, perhaps the size of a normal house would do. Several people well acquainted with genetic engineering techniques of micro-organisms, coupled with such information already readily available in the scientific literature, easily available via the Internet who have some sort of super-ultra hatred for humanity and who don’t care a fig about themselves (as per suicide bombers) might be tempted to induce a global pandemic, wiping humanity once and for all from existence. I mean their motto might be: “Kill them all; God will sort out the mess”. If people are willing to die in order to kill a relatively few others, like say the plane hijackers of 9/11 or your run-of-the-mill suicide bombers, then I can easily imagine some people would be willing to along for the doomsday ride if it meant taking the rest of the world with them – what a legacy, even if there’s nobody left to read the obituary. Now a variation would be to destroy via an agricultural plague all food crops, but it’s really easier to target just one species (i.e. – humans) than many dozens.

 

The possible perpetrators of such a scenario might not even be religious or political terrorists so much as devoted and determined eco-terrorists who figure the best way to save the whales, etc. is to kill off the humans – all of them.

 

An ideal bio-weapon might be some bacteria or virus that had an incubation period of say 60 hours which gives it plenty of time in this age of jet travel to spread around the globe before anyone’s the wiser that there’s trouble brewing; The microbe would have an easy transmission means from human to human, probably airborne so actual human-to-human contact wouldn’t be necessary; and most important it would be as close to 100% lethal as could be conceived. I imagine that no matter what a few will always have some sort of natural immunity, so wishing for total annihilation might be a stretch. Maybe, maybe not. 

 

The End of the World for Absolute Certain: Now, to end on a downbeat note, let’s return to scientific prophecy. Our world will end! That’s 100% certain! At the very least it will end when the lifespan of our parent star, the Sun, ends. Just like your car has a limited supply of fuel in its gas tank, so too our Sun has a limited supply of fuel that keeps it burning forever. When the Sun exhausts its fuel, well you can kiss life on Planet Earth goodbye. However, least I scare you into losing a good night’s sleep, that’s still some roughly five billion years in the future, or so modern astronomical prophecy dictates. Even if that’s off by 10%, well that still gives you plenty of time to enjoy the good life, including a good night’s sleep. 

About the Author

Science librarian; retired.

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Biology


$2.99


How do you make a great text even better? By creating new art and photographs and enhancing the multimedia and supplements package. The new seventh edition of Biology by best-selling author/expert Sylvia Mader, has integrated outstanding new elements giving it a quality unmatched by any other biology text. With its complete, comprehensive coverage of core biology concepts, students at all levels will benefit from its use. For more than 20 years Dr. Mader has successfully helped students learn the structure and function of the human body. A brilliant and prolific writer, Dr. Mader was a respected and well-loved biology instructor before she began her writing career. Her descriptive writing style, carefully constructed pedagogy, and accent on key terms and concepts provides students with a firm grasp on how their bodies function. In her twenty-year career with McGraw-Hill, she has written an impressive collection of textbooks including Inquiry into Life, ninth edition, Human Biology, sixth edition, and Understanding Human Anatomy and Physiology, third edition. Throughout the years, her goal remains the same-“to give students what they need to best understand biology”.This text is color customizable so you can create a text that fits your course perfectly.

Biology


Biology


$80


How do you make a great text even better? By creating new art and photographs and enhancing the multimedia and supplements package. The new seventh edition of Biology by best-selling author/expert Sylvia Mader, has integrated outstanding new elements giving it a quality unmatched by any other biology text. With its complete, comprehensive coverage of core biology concepts, students at all levels will benefit from its use. For more than 20 years Dr. Mader has successfully helped students learn the structure and function of the human body. A brilliant and prolific writer, Dr. Mader was a respected and well-loved biology instructor before she began her writing career. Her descriptive writing style, carefully constructed pedagogy, and accent on key terms and concepts provides students with a firm grasp on how their bodies function. In her twenty-year career with McGraw-Hill, she has written an impressive collection of textbooks including Inquiry into Life, ninth edition, Human Biology, sixth edition, and Understanding Human Anatomy and Physiology, third edition. Throughout the years, her goal remains the same-“to give students what they need to best understand biology”.This text is color customizable so you can create a text that fits your course perfectly.

Biology


Biology


$268.67


THE MADER/WINDELSPECHT STORY…The twelfth edition of Biology is a traditional, comprehensive introductory biology textbook, with coverage from Cell Structure and Function to the Conservation of Biodiversity. The book, which centers on the evolution and diversity of organisms, is appropriate for any one- or two-semester biology course. Biology, 12th Edition is the epitome of Sylvia Mader’s expertise. Its concise, precise writing-style employs lucid language to present the material as succinctly as possible, enabling students-even non-majors-to master the foundational concepts before coming to class. “Before You Begin”, “Following the Themes”, and “Thematic Feature Readings” piece together the three major themes of the text-evolution, nature of science, and biological systems. Students are consistently engaged in these themes, revealing the interconnectedness of the major topics in biology. Sylvia Mader typifies an icon of science education. Her dedication to her students, coupled with her clear, concise writing-style has benefited the education of thousands of students over the past three decades. The integration of the text and digital world has been achieved with the addition of Dr. Michael Windelspecht’s facility for the development of digital learning assets. For over ten years, Michael served as the Introductory Biology Coordinator at Appalachian State University-a program that enrolls over 4,500 non-science majors annually. Michael is the lead architect in the design of McGraw-Hill’s Connect Plus and LearnSmart media content for the Mader series. These assets allow instructors to easily design interactive tutorial materials, enhance presentations in both online and traditional environments, and assess the learning objectives and outcomes of the course.

1928 Books


1928 Books


$14.14


Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher’s book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Book of Common Prayer, Lord Peter Views the Body, Coming of Age in Samoa, Heroes of the Fiery Cross, 1928 in Literature, the Open Conspiracy, the Outermost House, the Way the World Is Going, the House at Pooh Corner, the President’s Daughter, Propaganda, Poems, My Autobiography, Peter Rabbit’s Almanac for 1929, Principles of Mathematical Logic, 20 Hrs, 40 Min, Oxford Book of Carols, Skin O’ My Tooth, the Eternal Moment, Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories, the Tower, the Organization and Administration of the Union Army, 1861-1865, Ol’ Man Adam An’ His Chillun, Imperialismo Pagano, the Woman Who Rode Away, Chinese Ghouls and Goblins, the Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, the Gangs of New York. Source: Wikipedia. Free updates online. Not illustrated. Excerpt: 19th century 20th century 21st century item Art Archaeology Architecture Literature Music Science +. end{sloppypar The year 1928 in literature involved some significant events and new books. Events New books begin{sloppypar item Mário de Andrade – Munacaima item Leslie Barringer – Joris of the Rock item Charles William Beebe – Beneath Tropic Seas item Henry Bellamann – Crescendo item Edgar Rice Burroughs – Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle item Morley Callaghan – Strange Fugitive item Agatha Christie – The Mystery of the Blue Train item Frank Parker Day – Rockbound item Franklin W. Dixon – Hunting for Hidden Gold item W.E.B. Du Bois – Dark Princess item Rudolph Fisher – The Walls of Jericho item Esther Forbes – A Mirror for Witches item Ford Madox Ford – Last Post item E.M. Forster – The Eternal Moment and Other Stories item Radclyffe Hall – The Well of Loneliness item Hermann Hesse – Steppenwolf item Georgette Heyer – The Masqueraders item Aldous Huxley – Point Counter Point item Ilf and Petrov – The Twelve Chairs item Joseph Kessel

American Conceptual Artists


American Conceptual Artists


$20.86


Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher’s book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Bruce Nauman, Michael Asher, Richard Prince, Barbara Rosenthal, Joseph Nechvatal, Robert C. Morgan, David Schafer, Josh Greene, Dario Robleto, Joseph Kosuth, Stephen Shanabrook, Mickey Smith, Mungo Thomson, Sharon Grace, Eleanor Antin, Sam Gould. Excerpt: Barbara Rosenthal Barbara Rosenthal (b. 1948, The Bronx, New York ) is an American avant-garde artist and writer. Her existential themes have contributed to contemporary art and philosophy. Her pseudonyms include “Homo Futurus,” taken from the title of one of her books, and “Cassandra-on-the-Hudson” , which alludes to her studio and residence since 1998 on the Hudson River in Greenwich Village, NYC. Barbara Rosenthal standing in her top-floor loft at 727 Avenue of the Americas, NYC, in 1990. These framed photo-text artworks show how she incorporates existential philosophy into art, and the avant-garde way she utilizes framing and edges, particularly in “Dead Astronaut/Live Artist” above, and in the diamond-shaped work to her left, “Swimmer in the Universe/Scientists Are The Priests And Prophets”. This work is composed of nine 20″ x 20″ separately framed segments of a swimmer in the distance, repeated exactly in all frames; the view into the water is horizontal, but the frame is tipped, and within each frame white text, printed as photograms, asserts various, non-repeated original ideas such as “God is the Idol of Science.” As an artist, Rosenthal works across all media including photography, video, performance, projection, installation, interactive and New Media (digital media) , text, collage, prints, artists’ books and objects. Almost all are produced in editions. Most combine camera, text and performative aspects. Elements of Rosenthal’s body of work, “Surreal Photography” are often present. Rosenthal is

Constructive anatomy


Constructive anatomy


$2.99


Reference shows important parts of the human body, both in motion and in repose: hand, wrist, fingers, forearm, neck, thigh, leg, and more. “Best book on artist’s anatomy.” – Art Students League News.

Cardano's Cosmos


Cardano’s Cosmos


$23.66


GIROLAMO CARDANO was an Italian doctor, natural philosopher, and mathematician who became a best-selling author in Renaissance Europe. He was also a leading astrologer of his day, whose predictions won him access to some of the most powerful people in sixteenth-century Europe. In Cardano’s Cosmos, Anthony Grafton invites readers to follow this astrologer’s extraordinary career and explore the art and discipline of astrology in the hands of a brilliant practitioner. Renaissance astrologers predicted everything from the course of the future of humankind to the risks of a single investment, or even the weather. They analyzed the bodies and characters of countless clients, from rulers to criminals, and enjoyed widespread respect and patronage. This book traces Cardano’s contentious career from his first astrological pamphlet through his rise to high-level consulting and his remarkable autobiographical works. Delving into astrological principles and practices, Grafton shows how Cardano and his contemporaries adapted the ancient art for publication and marketing in a new era of print media and changing science. He maps the context of market and human forces that shaped Cardano’s practices – and the maneuvering that kept him at the top of a world rife with patronage, politics, and vengeful rivals. Cardano’s astrology, argues Grafton, was a profoundly empirical and highly influential art, one that was integral to the attempts of sixteenth-century scholars to understand their universe and themselves.

Curvology


Curvology


$22.05


Woman’s bodies are more womanly than they have to be. Specifically: no other female mammal develops curves the women do. Human women have evolved a unique body shape that appears to be wholly unrelated to the biological mechanics of conception, childbearing, and childrearing. Why? And what do these curvy bodies mean for women now and in the future?Cambridge Professor of Veterinary Anatomy David Bainbridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to women’s bodies in our ancestral past, our self-image-obsessed present, and our surgically enhanced future. He offers insight into why the human female is the only female animal to have curves and illustrates strikingly how these curves rule our lives, by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image. Written in lucid and engaging prose and packed full of fascinating research findings, Bainbridge’s unique brand of popular science also draws on illuminating references from art history, contemporary media culture, and a range of first-person interviews. Offering a level-headed and fresh perspective on a contentious issue, Curvology is a fascinating, controversial, and highly newsworthy read.

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