A fascinating, fact-based report for aquaphiles and those at one with the tides.

BLUE MIND

THE SURPRISING SCIENCE THAT SHOWS HOW BEING NEAR, IN, ON, OR UNDER WATER CAN MAKE YOU HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, MORE CONNECTED, AND BETTER AT WHAT YOU DO

A lifelong ocean advocate and aquatic educator examines the biocentric and neurochemical wonderments of water.

Passionately dedicated to oceanic sciences, marine biologist and California Academy of Sciences research associate Nichols presents fieldwork largely focused on scientific experiments measuring the human brain’s electrical response to water. He astutely examines how the ocean, the color blue and regular human interaction with water significantly affect mood, attitude and energetic productivity, and he explores our evolutionary connection to water and the ways it inspires creative flow. On a personal note, Nichols admits to his own attraction to the water’s edge initiated when he brought his 18-month-old daughter along on an oceanside coastal trek from Oregon to Mexico. Factors such as DNA, biology and physical well-being can predispose one to an attraction to water, he writes, and as his numerous studies suggest, we tend to be at our happiest when surrounded by a natural environment, whether swimming, surfing or simply bathing, and “riverbanks, beaches, and lakefronts” play a large part in this accumulated state of blissfulness. This postulate is further proved by the consistent demand for premium-priced oceanfront property across the globe. But as seductively pristine as these waters are, Nichols warns, they also carry risk and a downside, as evidenced by the devastation of Superstorm Sandy and the environmentally devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A true voice for environmental advocacy, Nichols promotes the “Blue Mind” approach to conscious ecological conservation and fosters the Earth-friendly, interconnectedness expressed through his Blue Marble Project. In the book’s thought-provoking introduction, Celine Cousteau admits to being as irresistibly drawn to water as her grandfather Jacques was, yet she previously resisted the need to “explain the magic.” She now realizes that Nichols’ unique fieldwork and scientific scrutiny is necessary “to restore the health of the world’s water systems.”

A fascinating, fact-based report for aquaphiles and those at one with the tides.

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-25208-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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