By Nature's Design: An Exploratorium Book (Exploratorium Book Series)

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9780811803298: By Nature's Design: An Exploratorium Book (Exploratorium Book Series)

The beauty and symmetry of the natural world come alive in this inspired collaboration between acclaimed nature photographer William Neill and San Francisco's famous hands-on science museum, the Exploratorium. Exquisite, full-color photographs unveil the secret blueprints of nature often overlooked by the casual observer: the spiral forms that appear in seashells, spiderwebs, and the heart of a daisy; the hexagons found in honeycombs and cracking mud. Through its captivating photographic content and accessible scientific examination. By Nature's Design reaveals the order, economy, and elegance of nature's diverse forms in an engaging volume that will fascinate and inform art and nature lovers alike.

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Review:

Chaos theory may be all the rage in the mathematical world, but most people like at least some measure of order in their lives, whether through daily routines or tested methods of getting something done. Writer Pat Murphy and photographer William Neill appeal to our quest for patterns with this book, based on a major exhibit at San Francisco's Exploratorium. Together they puzzle out how pebbles form clusters on the beach, how an ear of corn grows, how mountains and clouds form and how spiders make their webs: how, in short, nature sees to it that things happen in much the same way again and again. The science is simple ("the sleeping cat curls into a ball because this shape offers the least surface area"), and the photographs are both splendid and informative, making this a fine gift for budding young naturalists.

About the Author:

Wiliam Neill -- whose photographs have illustrated numerous publications including Sierra, Conde Nast Traveler, and Outside -- is a longtime resident of Yosemite National Park and has his own Web Site at www.williamneill.com.

Pat Murphy -- senior writer and editor of the Exploratorium Quarterly for over a decade -- is also an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. She lives in San Francisco.

Diane Ackerman is the author of A Natural History of the Senses and A Natural History of Love as well as a host of her own televsions series.

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Murphy, Pat; Ackerman, Diane [Foreword]; Neill, William [Photographer];
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