Archive for September, 2006

Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

Saturday, September 30, 2006

11202701.gifby Michael Shermer

General Collection QH366.2 .S494 2006

Michael Shermer has seen the evolution vs. intelligent design argument from both sides. Formerly a fundamentalist and creationist, the Scientific American columnist now regards arguments for I.D. as faulty both scientifically and theologically. In Why Darwin Matters, he cuts through the rancor of this raging debate to examine the reasoning behind each position. He explains why evolution is not “just a theory” but, indeed, the cornerstone of modern science. A spirited defense of 21st-century evolution theory. (

Every Contact Leaves a Trace

Friday, September 29, 2006

11112200.gifby Connie Fletcher

General Collection HV8073 .F54 2006

Real crime scene investigation is vastly more complicated, arduous, bizarre, and fascinating than TV’s streamlined versions. Most people who work actual investigations will tell you that the science never lies — but people can. They may also contaminate evidence, or not know what to look for in crime scenes that typically are far more chaotic and confusing, whether inside or outside, than on TV.

Forensic experts will tell you that the most important person entering a scene is the very first responding officer – the chain of evidence starts with this officer and holds or breaks according to what gets stepped on, or over, collected or contaminated, looked past, or looked over, from every person who enters or interprets the scene, all the way through the crime lab and trial. And forensic experts will tell you the success of a case can depend on any one expert’s knowledge of quirky things, such as:

“The Rule of the First Victim”: (the first victim of a criminal usually lives near the criminal’s home) Criminals’ snacking habits at the scene,”Nature’s Evidence Technicians,” the birds and rodents that hide bits of bone, jewelry, and fabric in their nests, the botanical evidence found in criminals’ pants cuffs, baseball caps as prime DNA repositories. The tales told by the application of physics to falling blood drops. Forensic experts talk about their expertise and their cases here. They also talk about themselves, their reactions to the horrors they witness, and their love of the work. For example, a DNA analyst talks about how she drives her family crazy by buccal-swabbing them all at Thanksgiving dinner. A latent print examiner talks about how he examines cubes of Jell-O at any buffet hegoes to for tell-tale prints. A crime scene investigator gives his tips on clearing a scene of cops: he slaps “Bio-hazard” and “Cancer Causing Agent” stickers on his equipment. And an evidence technician talks about how hard it is to go to sleep after processing a scene, re-living what you’ve just witnessed, your mind going a hundred miles an hour.

This is a world that TV crime shows can’t touch. Here are eighty experts – including beat cops, evidence technicians, detectives, forensic anthropologists, blood spatter experts, DNA analysts, latent print examiners, firearms experts, trace analysts, crime lab directors, and prosecution and defense attorneys – speaking in their own words about what they’ve seen and what they’ve learned to journalist Connie Fletcher, who has gotten cops to talk freely in her bestsellers What Cops Know, Pure Cop, and Breaking and Entering. Every Contact Leaves A Trace presents the science, the human drama, and even the black comedy of crime scene investigation.

Let the experts take you into their world. This is their book – their words, their knowledge, their stories. Through it all, one Sherlock Holmesian premise unites what they do and what it does to them: Every contact leaves a trace. (, from the publisher)

Food and Fitness Matter: Raising Healthy, Active Kids

Thursday, September 28, 2006

hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus

General Collection RJ145 .P3 2006

In the video, nutritution experts and others explain: the causes of the dramatic increase in overweight kids, and the health problems posed by the childhood obesity epidemic. (from the cover)

Blog Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policy, Public Relations, and Legal Issues

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

10797273.gifby Nancy Flynn

General Collection HD30.37 .F59 2006

Blog Rules is a best-practices guide to setting the blog policies and procedures you need. Learn how to: Legally and ethically regulate employees’ personal blogs that mention the company, protect trade secrets and other proprietary information, manage the legal and business exposure associated with corporate blogs, respond swiftly and effectively to blog assaults against the company – and much more. (from the book cover)

Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

11218964.gifJames Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, editors

Browsing Collection Browsing Kelly

Intending to establish a canon for the controversial slipstream science-fiction subgenre, the editors of this anthology have brought together a group of convention-defying tales set in vivid and disorienting dreamscapes that offer no distinction between reality and hallucination. A cross between the literary surrealism of Franz Kafka and escapist-popular-fiction, this ambitious new species—sometimes also called interstitial fiction—is exemplified here in stories by Carol Emshwiller, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, and George Saunders. (, from the publishers)

How to Lie with Maps

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

8064170.gifby Mark Monmonier

General Collection G108.7 .M66 1996

This book examines the ways maps can mislead us through distortions born of ignorance, greed, ideological blindness, or deliberate malice. “…an artful and funny book, which like any good map, packs plenty in little space.”– Scientific American (

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

11017584.gifby Lee Andrew Hilyer

Reserve Collection Z713 .H447 2006

Hilyer’s book will serve as AN EXCELLENT PRIMER for those just beginning their ILL careers, and a refresher for those who have been at it for awhile. (Randy Tibbits, MA, MLS, Document Delivery Team Leader, Rice University)

Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue: Iwo Jima and the Photograph That Captured America

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

105174021.gifby Hal Buell

General Collection D767.99 .I9 B84 2006

Following the 60th anniversary in 2005 of the battle of Iwo Jima comes this elaborately illustrated book. The iconic photograph of the second flag raising on Mount Suribachi by five marines and a navy corpsman and its Associated Press photographer, Joe Rosenthal, come into focus. This Pulitzer Prize-winning image has become a symbol of the valor and determination of not only the U.S. Marine Corps but of all Americans. Photo editor Buell (Associated Press) does an admirable job describing Rosenthal’s ten days on Iwo Jima against the backdrop of the 36-day battle there and describing the roles of the six flag raisers and the other combat photographers present. More than 100 combat photos-along with other shots of the flag raising-lend great perspective to this story that has never been so thoroughly recounted before. The book’s focus on Rosenthal dispels any further arguments about the flag raising and the resulting photo (although Rosenthal took a staged photo of the marines waving, the famous one was not staged). It is a relatively quick read, which doesn’t detract from its value as a straightforward study of the battle of Iwo Jima. Included is a 20-minute DVD with film and interviews. Highly recommended.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.