The Evolution of Useful Things

Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0679740392
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A look at the origin of everyday household items examines the Phillips-head screwdriver, paper clips, Post-its, fast-food "clamshell" containers, and other items. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

Wood

Author: Harvey Green
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143112693
Format: PDF, Docs
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A cultural history of the ubiquitous material profiles its numerous varieties and uses throughout the ages, discussing the role of wood in the shaping and establishment of numerous civilizations that has also served to delineate class, status, and authenticity in the modern world. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

Invention by Design

Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674463684
Format: PDF, ePub
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Presents case studies of inventions by engineers, explaining how they resolve technical difficulties, and how they make their inventions socially acceptable and economically feasible

The Perfection of the Paper Clip

Author: James Ward
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476799865
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The co-founder of the Stationery Club and the Boring Conference presents an entertaining history of the office supplies that everyone takes for granted, shining a light on the invention of pencils, highlighters and paperclips and the fascinating people behind the objects.

Attack of the Difficult Poems

Author: Charles Bernstein
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226044777
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Charles Bernstein is our postmodern jester of American poesy, equal part surveyor of democratic vistas and scholar of avant-garde sensibilities. In a career spanning thirty-five years and forty books, he has challenged and provoked us with writing that is decidedly unafraid of the tensions between ordinary and poetic language, and between everyday life and its adversaries. Attack of the Difficult Poems, his latest collection of essays, gathers some of his most memorably irreverent work while addressing seriously and comprehensively the state of contemporary humanities, the teaching of unconventional forms, fresh approaches to translation, the history of language media, and the connections between poetry and visual art. Applying an array of essayistic styles, Attack of the Difficult Poems ardently engages with the promise of its title. Bernstein introduces his key theme of the difficulty of poems and defends, often in comedic ways, not just difficult poetry but poetry itself. Bernstein never loses his ingenious ability to argue or his consummate attention to detail. Along the way, he offers a wide-ranging critique of literature’s place in the academy, taking on the vexed role of innovation and approaching it from the perspective of both teacher and practitioner. From blues artists to Tin Pan Alley song lyricists to Second Wave modernist poets, The Attack of the Difficult Poems sounds both a battle cry and a lament for the task of the language maker and the fate of invention.

Everyday Engineering

Author: Richard Moyer
Publisher: NSTA Press
ISBN: 1936137194
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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What makes a Bic click? Why do squirt guns squirt? And how do pop-up thermometers know it’s time to pop? Using this compilation of “Everyday Engineering” columns from NSTA’s award-winning journal Science Scope, engage middle-schoolers in hands-on investigations of the science and engineering behind objects they probably take for granted. The collection consists of 14 activities. Each includes a clear explanation of the science and history behind an item’s development plus a materials list, student data sheets, and safety suggestions. The collection is intended to be useful to classroom teachers as well as scout leaders, engineers leading outreach activities, after-school and summer enrichment program staff s, and parents. In addition to exposing young people to the marvels of design behind seemingly simple objects, Everyday Engineering may just spark a lifelong interest in engineering.


Pushing the Limits

Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307427366
Format: PDF
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Here are two dozen tales in the grand adventure of engineering from the Henry Petroski, who has been called America’s poet laureate of technology. Pushing the Limits celebrates some of the largest things we have created–bridges, dams, buildings--and provides a startling new vision of engineering’s past, its present, and its future. Along the way it highlights our greatest successes, like London’s Tower Bridge; our most ambitious projects, like China’s Three Gorges Dam; our most embarrassing moments, like the wobbly Millennium Bridge in London; and our greatest failures, like the collapse of the twin towers on September 11. Throughout, Petroski provides fascinating and provocative insights into the world of technology with his trademark erudition and enthusiasm for the subject. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Essential Engineer

Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307593207
Format: PDF, Kindle
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From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, The Essential Engineer is an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources. While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental, and other factors that science often does not consider, that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns. Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy—among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol—explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a “sunshade” in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What’s needed is not so much invention as engineering. Just as the great achievements of centuries past—the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing—once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems—and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action. From the Trade Paperback edition.

A Better Pencil

Author: Dennis Baron
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199914001
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A Better Pencil puts our complex, still-evolving hate-love relationship with computers and the internet into perspective, describing how the digital revolution influences our reading and writing practices, and how the latest technologies differ from what came before.

Paperboy

Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030742720X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Anyone wondering what sort of experience prepares one for a future as an engineer may be surprised to learn that it includes delivering newspapers. But as Henry Petroski recounts his youth in 1950s Queens, New York–a borough of handball games and inexplicably numbered streets–he winningly shows how his after-school job amounted to a prep course in practical engineering. Petroksi’s paper was The Long Island Press, whose headlines ran to COP SAVES OLD WOMAN FROM THUG and DiMAG SAYS BUMS CAN’T WIN SERIES. Folding it into a tube suitable for throwing was an exercise in post-Euclidean geometry. Maintaining a Schwinn revealed volumes about mechanics. Reading Paperboy, we also learn about the hazing rituals of its namesakes, the aesthetics of kitchen appliances, and the delicate art of penny-pitching. With gratifying reflections on these and other lessons of a bygone era–lessons about diligence, labor, and community-mindedness–Paperboy is a piece of Americana to cherish and reread. From the Trade Paperback edition.