Darwin Comes to Town
By Menno Schilthuizen
See your city through fresh eyesWe are marching towards a future in which three-quarters of humans live in cities, and a large portion of the planet's landmass is urbanized. With much of the rest covered by human-shaped farms, pasture, and plantations, where can nature still go? To the cities -- is Menno Schilthuizen's answer in this remarkable book. And with more and more wildlife carving out new niches among humans, evolution takes a surprising turn. Urban animals evolve to become more cheeky and resourceful, city pigeons develop detox-plumage, and weeds growing from cracks in the pavement get a new type of seeds. City blackbirds are even on their way of becoming an entirely new species, which we could name Turdus urbanicus.Thanks to evolutionary adaptation taking place at unprecedented speeds, plants and animals are coming up with new ways of living in the seemingly hostile environments of asphalt and steel that we humans have created. We are on the verge of a new chapter in the history of life, Schilthuizen says -- a chapter in which much old biodiversity is, sadly, disappearing, but also one in which a new and exciting set of life forms is being born.Menno Schilthuizen shows us that evolution in cities can happen far more rapidly, and strangely, than Darwin had dared dream.
The Digital Photography Handbook
By Doug Harman
Need to know which digital camera to buy? Want to take better photographs and retouch images? Ready to achieve professional results? This updated edition of The Digital Photography Handbook will allow you to make the most of all the advantages your camera has to offer - as well as guiding you through the latest software to enhance your images, and get professional results with every shot. This book includes expert advice on the art of photography (composition, depth of field and how to photograph a variety of subjects), editing and image manipulation software, how to print your images for the best results, developing a portfolio and mastering the rules of copyright. Doug Harman includes the very latest developments in digital technology, equipping you with everything you need to become a photographer. Contents include: Types of camera, Computers and software, Memory, Pixels and magnification, Saving images, Exposure, Composition, Light, Camera modes, Special effects, Manipulating images, Photo apps, Retouching old photos, Printing digital images, Selecting printers and paper, Archiving and the cloud, Making money from your images, Copyright rules and more.
The Dragon Throne
By Jonathan Fenby
They were the most powerful rulers on earth. The mighty Qin Shi Huangdu (r. 221-210 BC), who began the construction of the Great Wall. The long-lived Han emperor Wudi (r. 141-87 BC), who developed China as a centralized Confucian state. The soldier-scholar Yongle (r. 1402-24 AD), who raised the Ming dynasty to its military peak. The dowager empress Cixi (r. 1861-1908 AD), who rose from humble Manchu origins to rule over all China. In The Dragon Throne, Jonathan Fenby tells the extraordinary story of imperial China through its 157 emperors, from Qin Shi Huangdu, who crushed his rivals to take supreme power as the first emperor in 221BC, until the final collapse of the faltering Manchu dynasty amidst the revolutionary chaos of the early twentieth century. The final emperor, the infant Puyi (r. 1908-12) ended his days as an assistant gardener in the very palace where he had been enthroned.