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Friday, October 1, 2010

Packing for Mars and Designing on Earth

Living and Working in Space

I am excited to let you know of Mary Roach's very funny and informative new book, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void For now the video of my review is at the top of the page, or you can view it on youtube! Mary Roach thinks my top model doll (featured in all of my book reviews) is very funny for having said "Astronauts are Outfit Repeaters!" What else would a snarky top model say?

Included in this video are suggestions for two other books about how humans propel themselves into outer space. I will most likely continue to add bonus book suggestions to my videos. There are a great number of books that I think the science reading public should know about. I am only one person and cannot review every science book published, but I will try to feature more as I am able. 

The other two books I feature in this video are:

How To Build Your Own Spaceship:The Science of Personal Space Travel by Piers Bizony 

and

It's Only Rocket Science: An Introduction in Plain English by Dr. Lucy Rogers 

There are many more books about space and space travel to choose from. All you have to do is stand at your library around the Dewey decimal number 629.4, and you'll find even more! Of course, my favorite place to hang out in is the Science and Nature section of the bookstore!

Bioinspiration 

The following Prezi presentation would be more appropriate to my previous post about insects, and would have posted with that, but I just received it myself. Here at the University of Illinois, in the School of Integrative Biology, we have a team, which includes myself, that is setting up a fully onlline Masters of Science Teaching Biology program. One of the team members has come up with a great presentation about How Butterflies Get Their Colors: It is a combination of pigments and nanostructure (chemistry and physics!). This information is part of a course on Bio-inspiration/Biomimickry. Click on the image to view the presentation in another window. It is very informative and  I learned some new things, too!

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Curious about what Bio-inspiration or Biomimickry is? I very much enjoyed this video produced by KQED. I was somewhat amused by how the scientists and engineers study cockroaches so intently to attempt to create machines that mimic roaches move over rough terrain and get into tiny spaces!

 This video featured UC Berkeley Bioinspiration expert Robert Full.

If you'd like a book to read on the topic, I'd recommend: 

The Gecko's Foot: Bio- Inspiration: Engineering New Materials from Nature
 
Or any book by Steven Vogel, like this one:  
Cats' Paws and Catapults: Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People
 
And finally, I share with you yet another video, by another leader in Biomimicry, Janine Benyus, who wrote Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature Also be sure to visit AskNature.org where they ask "How can we ask "How would nature solve green building challenges?" among other important questions.
 
 
I hope you find all of this informative and interesting!
 
Kindly, Joanne
 
Fri, October 1, 2010 | link 


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