A fervent warning about environmental dangers accompanied by a thorough list of resources.

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Where Have All the Plastics Gone? Menage a Trois in the Sea Surface Microlayer

NANOPARTICLES AS VECTORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS

From the Phenomenology of Biocatastrophe series

A comprehensive collection of information about nanoparticles and their impact on the environment.

In this environmental science book, the fifth installment of the Phenomenology of Biocatastrophe series, Brack (Handbook for Ironmongers, 2013, etc.) presents a short narrative of the environmental damage done by tiny plastic nanoparticles, followed by a substantial annotated bibliography on the topic. The “Ménage à Trois” of the title refers to the complex, harmful relationship between nanoparticles, chemicals, and microorganisms, which the author blames for environmental problems. The main narrative takes up less than a quarter of the book; most of the pages are devoted to an extensive list of relevant sources, taken from peer-reviewed publications, environmental think tanks, activist organizations, and government publications from around the world. Instead of summaries, which traditionally accompany annotated bibliography listings, the author offers quotations from many of the works. Throughout the narrative, Brack applies a variety of names to the current era (including the “Age of Plastics,” the “Age of Income Inequality,” and the “Age of Information Technology”), and he does not shy away from eloquent indictments of the modern world, as when he references “the ever increasing growth of pyrotechnic petrochemical nuclear society…in the context of a vulnerable biosphere in crisis.” He also doesn’t hesitate to provide descriptions of chemical processes (“Autotrophic photosynthetic cyanobacterium may dance with our xenobiotic visitors, but marriage is unlikely”) or indulge in hyperbole, as when he compares climate change to the Holocaust and tea party groups to the Taliban. The book relies on specialized terminology—a list of acronyms used in the text runs to five pages—and assumes that readers have a high level of scientific literacy. As such, this book is not intended for a general audience and would be ineffective as an introduction to the problems of nanoparticle pollution. However, it does provide a wealth of information and a thorough, detailed compilation of current research for readers who have an existing knowledge base on the subject and seek impassioned analysis.

A fervent warning about environmental dangers accompanied by a thorough list of resources.

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9892678-4-7

Page Count: 440

Publisher: Pennywheel Press

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2016

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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