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PBS series: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery the second biggest export business in the U.S. and visits the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment. He also travels to Dubai to see how mastery of cold has led to penguins in the desert. From IVF to food, politics and Hollywood to human migration, the unsung heroes of cold have led the way.
Refrigerator by "From a late-night snack to a cold beer, there's nothing that whets the appetite quite like the suctioning sound of a refrigerator being opened. In the early 1930s fewer than ten percent of US households had a mechanical refrigerator, but today they are nearly universal, the primary means by which we keep our food and drink fresh. Yet, for as ubiquitous as refrigerators are, most of us take them for granted, letting them blend into the background of our kitchens, basements, garages, and all the other places where they seem so perfectly convenient. In this book, Helen Peavitt amplifies the hum of the refrigerator in technological history, showing us just how it became such an essential appliance. Peavitt takes us to the early closets, cabinets, and boxes into which we first started packing ice and the various things we were trying to keep cool. From there she charts the development of mechanical and chemical technologies that have led to modern-day refrigeration on both industrial and domestic scales, showing how these technologies have created a completely new method of preserving and transporting perishable goods, having a profound impact on society from the nineteenth century and on. She explores the ways the marketing of refrigerators have expressed and influenced our notions of domestic life, and she looks at how refrigeration has altered the agriculture and food industries as well as our own appetites." --Publisher description.
Call Number: TP496 .P43 2017
Publication Date: 2017-11-15
Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy by "In [this book], author and economist Tim Harford paints an epic yet intimate picture of economic change by telling the stories of the ideas, people, and tools that have had far-reaching and unexpected consequences for all of us. Drawing on his hugely popular BBC radio program and podcast ..., Harford expands on them with fascinating glimpses into the inventions that have transformed the ways, we work, play, and live. From the plow to artificial intelligence, from Gillette's disposable razor to IKEA's Billy bookcase, Harford recounts the memorable story of each invention and introduces us to the characters who developed them, profited from them, and were in some cases ruined by them."--Jacket.
Call Number: T15 .H343 2017
Publication Date: 2017-08-29
When Movies Were Theater by There was a time when seeing a movie meant more than seeing a film. The theater itself shaped the very perception of events onscreen. This multilayered history tells the story of American film through the evolution of theater architecture and the surprisingly varied ways movies were shown, ranging from Edison's 1896 projections to the 1968 Cinerama premiere of Stanley Kubrick's '2001'. The study matches distinct architectural forms to movie styles, showing how cinema's roots in theater influenced business practices, exhibition strategies, and film technologies.
Call Number: PN1995.9.S668 P38 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-24
Grocery by Michael Ruhlman offers commentary on America's relationship with its food and investigates the overlooked source of so much of it -- the grocery store. In a culture obsessed with food -- how it looks, what it tastes like, where it comes from, what is good for us -- there are often more questions than answers. Ruhlman proposes that the best practices for consuming wisely could be hiding in plain sight -- in the aisles of your local supermarket. Using the human story of the family-run Midwestern chain Heinen's as an anchor to this journalistic narrative, he dives into the mysterious world of supermarkets and the ways in which we produce, consume, and distribute food. Grocery examines how rapidly supermarkets -- and our food and culture -- have changed since the days of your friendly neighborhood grocer. But rather than waxing nostalgic for the age of mom-and-pop shops, Ruhlman seeks to understand how our food needs have shifted since the mid-twentieth century, and how these needs mirror our cultural ones.
Call Number: HD9321.5 .R83 2017b
Publication Date: 2017-05-16
Pandora's Baby by On a September morning in 1973, a hospital administrator in New York City learned of a rogue experiment in progress at his institution, and he ordered the removal from an incubator of a test tube containing a frothy mixture of human eggs and sperm. Had the experiment been allowed to continue, it might have resulted in the first human fetus created through in vitro fertilization. In Pandora's Baby, the award-winning journalist Robin Marantz Henig tells the story of that confrontation, which ushered in a new era in reproductive technology. She takes us back to the early days of IVF, when the procedure was viewed as crackpot science and its pioneers as outsiders in the medical world. Henig lays out the ethical and political battlefield of the 1970s -- a battlefield that is recreated with each new technology -- and traces the sea change that has occurred in the public perception of "test tube babies." It is a human story, of men and women grappling with the moral implications of a scientific discovery: researchers, couples yearning for babies, hospital administrators, and bioethicists. Through these people Henig brings to life the argument made most forcefully against IVF in the early days: that it was the first step down the slippery slope toward genetic engineering, designer babies, and human clones. Even though this argument is worrisome and antiprogressive, Henig says, many of its most scary prophecies seem to be coming true.
Pandora's Baby is a compelling story from the not-so-distant past that brilliantly presents the scientific and ethical dilemmas we confront ever more starkly as germ-line engineering and human cloning become possible.
Call Number: RG135 .H46 2004
Publication Date: 2004-02-06