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Reading the rocks : the autobiography of the Earth

Author: Marcia Bjornerud
Publisher: New York : BasicBooks ; London : Perseus Running [distributor], 2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"To many of us, the earth's crust is a relic of ancient, unknowable history. But to a geologist, stones are richly-illustrated narratives, telling gothic tales of cataclysm and reincarnation. Both scientist and storyteller, Marcia Bjornerud reminds us that our home is a living thing with timeless lessons to teach." "The story of Earth is a sprawling epic, with enough tragedy, irony, and beauty to eclipse all other  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Marcia Bjornerud
ISBN: 0465006841 9780465006847
OCLC Number: 71347398
Notes: Originally published: 2005.
Description: pages cm
Contents: Currently Accepted Geologic Timescale --
Prologue: Stone Crazy --
No place with no past --
The accidental diarist --
1. The Tao of Earth --
The Department of Redundancy Department: Inertia and spare parts --
Equals and opposites --
Going home to Mother Earth --
Everything old is new again --
The Earth fugue --
2. Reading Rocks: A Primer --
Meeting rocks on common ground --
A rock by any other name --
Grammar and syntax of the three rock languages --
Mind the gap: What rocks don't tell us --
Putting everything in order --
Getting a date --
Peering into the primordial mists --
3. The Great and the Small --
Geo-metry: Sizing up the Earth --
A sense of scale --
The importance of being erroneous --
Making retroactive measurements --
Tiny bubbles --
Stretchy coastlines and imperial microbes --
Lawmakers or outlaws? --
Measure for measure --
4. Mixing and Sorting --
Stars of rock and heavy metal --
Density is destiny --
Whither the water --
Mixed drinks and metaphors --
The mantle of power --
Waste management --
Mal de mer --
Only connect --
5. Innovation and Conservation --
You say you want a revolution --
The paradox of oxygen --
Coming out of the cold --
Swimming with the (not-yet-evolved) sharks --
An arthropod-eat-arthropod world --
The many legs of the arms race --
Communes and junkyards --
Something old, something new, everything borrowed --
6. Strength and Weakness --
Earth before geology --
Naming names and making maps --
A mechanical Earth --
The incredible shrinking Earth --
Earth unbound --
Epilogue: The Once and Future Earth.
Responsibility: Marcia Bjornerud.

Abstract:

For readers of John McPhee and Stephen Jay Gould, this engaging armchair guide to the making of the rock record shows how to understand messages written in stone  Read more...

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"Bjornerud has a rare talent for explaining scientific ideas clearly with intriguing and helpful analogies, similes and metaphors." Nature"

 
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