Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Second Nature of Evolving Insight

Coming 30 years after publication of Richard Byrne's seminal book, "The Thinking Ape," "Evolving Insight" develops a new theory of the evolutionary origins of human abilities to understand the world of objects and other people. Defining mental representation and computation as 'insight', it reviews the evidence for insight in the cognition of animals.

The book proposes that the understanding of causality and intentionality evolved twice in human ancestry: the "pretty good" understanding given by behaviour parsing, shared with other apes and related to cerebellar expansion; and the deeper understanding which requires language to model and is unique to humans. However, Ape-type insight may underlie non-verbal tests of intentionality and causal understanding, and much everyday human action.

by Richard W. Byrne
Oxford University Press, 2016
Second Nature
The Book Stall
Outrider Reading Group

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Guidance: Kentucky Bourbon Country

Like wine lovers who dream of traveling to Bordeaux or beer enthusiasts with visions of the breweries of Belgium, bourbon lovers plan their pilgrimages to Kentucky's bourbon country. And what a country it is!

Some of the most famous distilleries are tucked away in the scenic countryside of the Bluegrass region, stretching between Louisville, Bardstown, and Lexington. Locals and tourists alike seek out the finest flavors of Kentucky as interest in America's only native spirit continues to grow.

In Kentucky Bourbon Country, Susan Reigler offers essential information and practical advice to anyone considering a trip to the state's distilleries or to the restaurants and bars on the Urban Bourbon Trail.

The Essential Travel Guide
by Susan Reigler 
The University Press of Kentucky, 2013
Guidebooks and How-to Titles
good spirits and fine liqueurs
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Friday, September 13, 2013

History Book Review: A President in Yellowstone

For three weeks in August of 1883 the first sitting president to visit Yellowstone National Park, Chester Arthur, made an ambitious 330-mile overland trip from Green River, Wyoming, north to Mammoth Hot Springs with a 75-man military escort led by General Philip Sheridan.

It was the longest and most unusual vacation ever taken by a sitting President. The traveling party included Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln, the only surviving son of Abraham Lincoln, who commemorate the trip with a leather-bound album of photographs taken on the journey by a young photographer, F. Jay Haynes, along with the dispatches describing the President’s activities which were sent to the Associated Press.

This volume reprints much of that album, of which only six copies were ever made, and publishes more of Haynes' 130-year-old photographs of Yellowstone National Park and the President's party.

A President in Yellowstone
The F. Jay Haynes Photographic Album of Chester Arthur's 1883 Expedition
by Frank H. Goodyear III

Continued in Out of the Past

1872: Yellowstone National Park Established
History and American West Titles
Artwork: Great Falls of the Yellowstone by F. Jay Haynes

Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: Organic Meat Production and Processing

As organic farming continues to emerge as a growth industry for both crops and meat, there is increasing demand for accurate and up-to-date information on producing, processing, marketing, and maintaining food
safety in organic foods.

This textbook compiled by a team of editors and an international collection of authors focuses on the management issues facing producers of organic beef, swine, poultry and other meat species. It also includes background articles on the history of organic operations, current market and regulatory issues, the differences between organic and conventional meats, and the future of the organic movement worldwide.

edited by Steven C. Ricke, et al.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
Cover Art: Organic Meat Production and Processing
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z

The toys and games described in this watercolor-illustrated children's picture book are authentic 19th century pastimes enjoyed by youngsters growing up in America's Appalachia Mountains.

Ranging from "A is for apple dolls" (a wrinkled toy molded from Rome apples) to "W is for whimmydiddles" (a toy carved by young boys on a stick with a spinner), author Linda Hager Pack provides an alphabetical sampling of traditional games, toys, and songs depicting playtime in 19th century Appalachia. The book describes familiar toys like marbles, slingshots and pick-up-sticks along with lesser-known toys such as limberjacks, Tom Walkers, and buzz buttons.

The letter "C" stands for corn shuck doll, "D" is for drop the handkerchief, "F" is for fox and hound, "G" is for game of graces, and "H" is for hoop and stick. The alphabet continues...

Continued in ... The Book Stall
by Linda Hager Pack
The University Press of Kentucky, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lousy Sex: The Purpose of the Past

"For millenia, evolution has been shaping human genes for a single purpose - reproduction. Those who didn't measure up didn't reproduce. Evolution is a harsh mistress. Genes that helped animals make more of themselves survived. 
"At the moment of conception each of us is given that legacy - helices full of genes as old as life itself. Genes that brought fish from the dark into the light, genes that made lizards strong, genes that allowed apes to stand up, genes that crushed others and forged a living from their remains, genes that will write poetry and explore constellations, genes that will stare and the stars and wonder, and genes to make us care about all of it. A genomeful of genes."

excerpted from:
Lousy Sex: Creating Self in an Infectious World
by Gerald N. Callahan
University Press of Colorado, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What's Out There: Lousy Sex

In Lousy Sex Gerald Callahan explores the science of self, illustrating the immune system’s role in forming individual identity. Blending the scientific essay with deeply personal narratives, these poignant and enlightening stories use microbiology and immunology to explore a new way to answer the question, "who am I?"

“Self” has many definitions. Science has demonstrated that 90 percent of the cells in our bodies are bacteria—we are in many respects more non-self than self. In Lousy Sex, Callahan considers this microbio-neuro perspective on human identity together with the soulful, social perception of self, drawing on both art and science to fully illuminate this relationship.

In his stories about where we came from and who we are, Callahan uses autobiographical episodes to illustrate his scientific points.

Through stories about the sex lives of wood lice, the biological advantages of eating dirt, the question of immortality, the relationship between syphilis and the musical genius of Beethoven, and more, this book creates another way, a chimeric way, of seeing ourselves.

by Gerald N. Callahan
University Press of Colorado, 2013