Death & Sex [NOOK Book]


On DEATH . . .
What is shared by spawning Pacific salmon, towering trees, and suicidal bacteria? In his lucid and concise exploration of how and why things die, Tyler Volk explains the intriguing ways creatures-including ourselves-use death to actually enhance life. Death is not simply the end of the living, though even in that aspect the Grim Reaper has long been essential to natural selection. Indeed, the exquisite schemes and styles of death that have emerged from evolution ...

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Death & Sex

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On DEATH . . .
What is shared by spawning Pacific salmon, towering trees, and suicidal bacteria? In his lucid and concise exploration of how and why things die, Tyler Volk explains the intriguing ways creatures-including ourselves-use death to actually enhance life. Death is not simply the end of the living, though even in that aspect the Grim Reaper has long been essential to natural selection. Indeed, the exquisite schemes and styles of death that have emerged from evolution have been essential to the great story from life's beginnings in tiny bacteria nearly four thousand million years ago to ancient human rituals surrounding death and continuing to the existential concerns of human culture and consciousness today. Volk weaves together autobiography, biology, Earth history, and results of fascinating studies that show how thoughts of our own mortality affect our everyday lives, to prove how an understanding of what some have called the ultimate taboo can enrich the celebration of life.

. . . and SEX
In Sex, Dorion Sagan takes a delightful, irreverent, and informative romp through the science, philosophy, and literature of humanity's most obsessive subject. Have you ever wondered what the anatomy and promiscuous behaviors of chimpanzees and the sexual bullying of gorillas tell us about ourselves? Why we lost our hair? What amoebas have to do with desire? Linking evolutionary biology to salacious readings of the lives and thoughts of such notables as the Marquis de Sade and Simone de Beauvoir, and discussing works as varied as The Story of O and Silence of the Lambs, Sex touches on a potpourri of interrelated topics ranging from animal genitalia to sperm competition, the difference between nakedness and nudity, jealousy's status as an aphrodisiac and the origins of language, Casanova and music, ovulation and clothes, mother-in-law jokes and alpha females, love and loneliness. A brief, wonderfully entertaining, highly literate foray into the origins and evolution of sex.

Two books in one cover, Death & Sex unravel and answer some of life's most fundamental questions.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this back-to-back double essay (flip it one way, it's Death by Volk, flip it the other way, it's Sex by Sagan), two curious scientist-philosophers ponder the relationship between mortality and the chain of being. Sagan (Notes from the Holocene), the co-director of Chelsea Green's science imprint, takes a romp through evolution beginning with a neatly detached definition of sexual reproduction: "the formation of new individuals from the genes of at least two different sources." Taking a playful run with a serious theory, Sagan doesn't skimp on trivia ("an estrous chimp may mate with sixty males in a day"; "the oldest ejaculation in the fossil record" is between 363 and 409 million years old, etc.) while pursuing vital ideas on the relationship between gene mixing and evolution. On the other end, biologist Volk (head of NYU's environmental studies track) presents a luminous essay on the way death is integral to life, the importance of each person's "cultural knot," and how "biogeochemical cycles" create "a personal form of immortality": "my chemicals will circulate in the biosphere and become clouds and oceans and many wondrous creatures." Though dissimilar, the essays share an off-center view of evolution that should be of special interest to those who enjoy pondering the alpha and omega of life.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603582469
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,192,617
  • File size: 688 KB

Meet the Author

Tyler Volk is Science Director for Environmental Studies and Professor of Biology at New York University. Recipient of the NYU All-University Distinguished Teaching Award, Volk lectures and travels widely, communicates his ideas in a variety of media, plays lead guitar for the all-scientist rock band The Amygdaloids, and is an avid outdoorsman. Volk's previous books include CO2 Rising: The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge; Metapatterns Across Space, Time, and Mind; and Gaia's Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth.

Dorion Sagan is author of numerous articles and twenty-three books translated into eleven languages, including Notes from the Holocene: A Brief History of the Future and Into the Cool, coauthored with Eric D. Schneider. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Wired, The Skeptical Inquirer, Pabular, Smithsonian, The Ecologist, Co-Evolution Quarterly, The Times Higher Education, Omni, Natural History, The Sciences, Cabinet, and Tricycle. He edited Lynn Margulis: The Life and Legacy of a Scientific Rebel, a 2012 collection of writings addressing Margulis's life and work.

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Table of Contents

Epicurean dance of friends
Evolving life, evolving death
Origin of life as origin of death
Recycling of the dead
Suicidal bacteria
Little deaths in big bodies
Built from death
Extreme senescence
Tuning longevity
The awareness of mortality
Death's cultural blooming
Death-denying defenses
Death and self-esteem
Ripples upon flowing water

Forbidden fruit
The naked truth
Monkey traits
Affair of the hair
Secret races
Blue light my baby
The last pornographer
Cosmic love machine
Seduced by Sade
Laugh of the Hyena
DNA dance
Silence of the Amebas

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2015

    Part 4

    Twillight blinked and groaned in pain. The last thing she remembered was being hit in the head with something hard and Flash trying to fly away to get help... <p>'Flash! Oh no, Flash!' She looked around in the darkness and tried to light her horn. Nothing happened exept more pain. "My horn..." she whimpered quietly. Defense wasn't on her side this time.<p> A familer pink mare trotted to her, turning on a light. "Surprise, Twilly!" Pinkie giggled happily. "Sorry i had to break your horn. I didnt want you trying to escape." Twillight gulped and looked around. "W-where's Flash? What's going on?!" <p> Pinkie laughed and grabed a kn<_>ife from a near by table. "Flash is fine. He's asleep right now, so i'm gonna have fun with you first!" She quickly stapped the Alicorn's wings down so they were spred wide. "Hmm...i know! Insted of taking them off, i'll just pluck them bare! Because you're a princess, i'll keep the feathers for my next dress." Twillight struggled. "Pinkie, don't do this! I'm your friend!" <p> Pinkie sighed and began ripping the feathers away, spots of bl<_>ood welling here and there. Twillight tried not to cry out from the stinging pain. When Pinkie finished, she set them aside for later use. "You know, your cutie mark looks lovely. I think ill use it for my next dress as well." Pinkie giggled as she grabed the kn<_>ife once more. <p> Twillight shook her head and squirmed. "No! Stay away from me! No!" As Pinkie peirced her fur with the we<_>pon, she closed her eyes and braced herself.<p> But the pain never came. Insted, Pinkie gasped.<br>"Twillight Sparkle! You never told me you were expecting! Congrats! Does Flash know? Is it a foal or filly? Oohh, are there twins?!" Twillight couldn't believe her ears. Expecting? How? "Pinkie, that's impossible!" <p> But Pinkie wasn't listening. She grabed a needle and injected something in Twillight that made her numb and dizxy. "Why didn't you say so? I would've changed plans!" She mumbled on as she unstrapped Twillight and led her to a cage, locking her inside. Twillight blinked slowly and layed down "P-Pinkie? What's...going on..." She didnt hear the answer and fell into a deep sleep.<p> to be continued.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013


    13 girl. Takes of all my clothes too.

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