Category: Environmental Solutions

Book Review | “Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye projects for your home & wardrobe” by Sasha Duerr #BloggingForBooks

Posted Thursday, 27 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Fiber Art Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “Natural Color” direct from the publisher Watson-Guptill (an imprint of Crown Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to review a book about Natural Dyes:

As I have intermittently tweeted on Twitter and mentioned off-handedly on my blog, I am a knitty girl at heart who loves creating projects out of the stitches she casts onto her bamboo needles! The afterglow of feeling the Zen of creativity by knitting is wondrous, too! I feel renewed somehow by the method of focusing on stitches and the throwing of yarn one inch at a time whilst creating this wholly new ‘something’ out of what as once a simple hank or skein of yarn!

I took up knitting alongside my Mum, as we were seeking a new Mum & daughter hobby we could pursue together that was a bit easier on the budget than rubberstamp art & mixed media collage; inasmuch as saving on long distance commute times, as the former only had shoppes which were so far afield from our local region, you had to nearly take a TARDIS just to arrive home in time! Laughs. No seriously! We felt it was time to re-direct our time and creative hearts – so whilst I was saying ‘good-bye’ to my twenties we discovered we both were itching to take up knitting!

Mum was returning to the craft after *forty!* plus years absent from it’s yarny blissitude and I, was the dyslexic whose previously failed attempt to learn how to properly cast-on was not going to blind her to the prospect of finding a teacher *somewhere!* who could get her to master the long lost art by combining two styles of knitting to formulate her own hybrid style! The way I approach knitting is AmeriBritish inasmuch as my personal writing voice reflects the unique combination of bi-continental influences!

When we first started to notice we were ‘catching-on’ to knitting together with a fierce passion, we started to dream a bit about what we could do in the future with our ‘newfound’ love and skill set! Mum was re-encouraging herself to contemplate picking up crochet on the side; whereas I decided that would muddle knitting for me if I attempted it. (too confusing to keep it all separate!) Whilst I started leaning towards natural dyes, more complicated patterns (ie. my heart is set on learning Fair Isle!) and potentially learning how to spin roving.We started to contemplate how to move forward in our journey with fiber arts, each finding our own pathways to walk! Some of what we want to do is together and a few times we’ll divert and take separate paths!

The beauty for us both, is finding a green and natural way to craft! I developed several allergies in childhood and as an adult, I live as green as I can by using alternative household products and by seeking out arts and craft projects which do not upset my allergy triggers by the toxicity of products which tend to flood the market. This is one reason why we love using Natural Yarns (except for the synthetics we sometimes receive as Charity Knitters; such as Acrylic); and by extension, a natural way to dye our own yarn would be quite ideal! Hence why I was so wicked excitement when I first saw this book come up for review! Imagining how we could take our love of this craft one step further and find ways to ‘create our own fiber colour palette’ naturally would be incredible!

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Posted Thursday, 27 April, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Eco-Friendly, Education & Learning, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Solutions, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Horticulture, Knitting, Non-Fiction, Old World Arts & Crafts, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upcycle & Recycle Practices

Blog Book Tour | “Reef Libre: An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism” by Robert Wintner

Posted Tuesday, 17 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Reef Libre” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book and DVD (accompaniment to the book) direct from the publisher Taylor Trade Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why the oceans have fascinated my mind:

I grew up surrounded by the oceans as my state is one of the Gulf States hugged so close to shoreline we’re perpetually below sea level; a fact that never shied me away from wondering which hurricane season might cause catastrophic destruction; not only to the humans who live within my state but to the ecological habitats who call this area home. There have been many disasters within the Gulf region since I was bourne and unfortunately they were not limited to mother nature. Each time something has happened to cause a disruption in the harmony of the natural world of my state and the surrounding ones, a part of my heart has been full of remorse and grief.

Mankind has not found kindness nor humility in understanding there are limits to what we can effectively do and what we can not undo due to our greed and our progression forward through industry. Too often the progress of mankind is placed first rather than taking into consideration the benefit of living in conjunction with the natural world; in this case, the oceans. The oceans were studied quite widely throughout my school years, but it wasn’t until 7th grade where I truly caught on to the specifics of weather patterns, wave formations, tidal histories and the incredible density of how large our oceans are whilst cross-compared to how much of the oceans have been mapped, researched and understood on even a basic level of insight. It’s truly our greatest ‘unknown’ frontier outside of Space.

I grew up going to the beach as oft as time would allow and part of my appeal of visiting those sandy shores were to feel the connection from the sand under my feet to the humming clarity of the waves. There is something altogether spiritual about walking the beach, acknowledging the shells and connecting to the lifeblood of what the oceans give us per annum. I originally felt I would grow up to be professionally connected to the oceans, as I explored different options from interspecies communications (i.e. dolphins or whales; similar scope to Zeus and Roxanne); dolphin research; Nautical Archaeology; Marine Biology or one of the many sub-fields therein that stimulated a personal curiosity to know more. I even yearned to get my PADI license until I realised that I appreciated being a bit more disconnected from this enveloping world of dark and light; of where the underwater ecology is as reverent as the one on the surface and mimics certain attributes therein.

I found that my greater passion was to become a writer whose stories would be soulfully connected to the ocean and allow me the chance through research to develop more knowledge than what I could have gained if I had selected only one field to pursue. I appreciate the freedom being a writer and photographer can yield, but also, it’s finding a way to give credence to an ecological living system that so many of this world take for granted. If non-fiction releases like Reef Libre and my own personal wanderings within fiction can shed a light on the beauty and the case for conservation with preservation forward thinking solutions, I think we have a chance to reset the balance we’ve destroyed.

Blog Book Tour | “Reef Libre: An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism” by Robert WintnerReef Libre
Subtitle: Cuba: The Last, Best Reefs in the World. An in-depth look at Cuban Exceptionalism
by Robert Wintner
Source: Publisher via iRead Book Tours

Cuba reefs host apex predators and coral cover at optimal levels. While Cuban reef vitality may be linked to economic default and no shoreline development, no agricultural pesticides or fertilizers and limited human population growth, the Castro regime is aggressively developing its reef potential.

Seas to the south are now 100% shark protected.

Most Cuba travelogues advise “getting off the beaten path,” but Reef Libre examines that path, to see where it might lead as things change. Will Cuba reefs remain protected? Or is this perilous age of natural decline a last chance to see a healthy reef system?

Robert Wintner and the Snorkel Bob Jardines de la Reina Expedition herein provide narrative insight with photos and video. First stop is the baseline: Havana urban density. Down south at Cayo Largo, reef collapse seems imminent with 600 guests changing daily, and the phosphate-laden laundry water flowing directly to the deep blue sea. Will Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism step up with the Jardines de la Reina paradigm? Rising from the Golfo de Ana María, Jardines is a thousand square miles of mangrove estuary, for ages compromised by constant extraction of its biggest predators, taken as food. Protected, it now rises on the world reef stage.

A DVD comes with the book in a paper sleeve glued to the inside cover. Reef Libre, the movie, runs about an hour.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781630760731

Genres: Current Events, Digital Photography, Ecology, Marine Biology, Non-Fiction, Oceanography, Science, Travelogue, Wildife & Nature Photography


Published by Taylor Trade Publishing

on 1st February, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 272

Available Formats: Hardback with the DVD

Published by: Taylor Trade Publishing

An imprint of Rowan & Littlefield (@RLPGBooks) known for their academic publications within the Humanities and Social Sciences. They also focus on Educational publications.

Converse via: #ReefLibre

About Robert Wintner

Robert Wintner

Best known as Snorkel Bob in Hawaii and around the world, Robert Wintner captures Cuba above and below the surface with urgency and hope. As a pioneer in fish portraiture, Wintner demonstrated social structure and etiquette in reef society. Reef Libre goes to political context, in which human folly will squander Cuba’s reefs as well—unless natural values can at last transcend political greed. As pundits joust over who did what to whom and why, Wintner ponders reef prospects in view of political changes.

Robert Wintner has authored many novels and story collections. Reef Libre is his fourth reef commentary with photos and his first overview of survival potential in a political maelstrom. He lives and works in Hawaii, still on the front lines of the campaign to stop the aquarium trade around the world.

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Posted Tuesday, 17 November, 2015 by jorielov in Aquaculture, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Charity & Philanthropy, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Education & Learning, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Indie Author, Life in Another Country, Marine Biology, Nature & Wildlife, Non-Fiction, Oceanography, Preservation, Science, Social Change, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Travel Writing, Travelogue

+Book Review+ Sandra Leesmith’s “Love’s Promises” #sweetromance, #Romance

Posted Monday, 28 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Loves Promises by Sandra Leesmith
Artwork Credit: Lena Goldfinch

 Love’s Promises by Sandra Leesmith

Published By: Amber Press Publishing, March 2014
Official Author Websites: Site | Twitter | Facebook
  Cover Designer Pages: Site | Twitter | Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Page Count: 310

[Previous Releases]

  • “Loves Refuge”+
  • “Loves Miracles”+
  • {note} +part of the same series as Love’s Promises!

Converse via Twitter: #LovesPromises, #ChrisFic,

#cleanromance, & #inspirationalfiction

Genres: Fiction | Inspirational Fiction

Romance | Contemporary

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Acquired Book By: I had originally intended to read “Love’s Promises” for review on the blog tour earlier in the Spring, however, at that point in time the novel was only going to be released in Ebook format rather than print edition. Through my participation on the tour, I received the good news that a print edition was viable and would be put into action. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Sandra Leesmith, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I am always keen on reading the books I highlight and spotlight on Jorie Loves A Story, and this novel in particular caught my attention when I was first offered to participate on the original blog tour hosted by Amber Stokes and her Editing Through the Seasons publicity company. I appreciate being what I consider a ‘hybrid reader’ as one who reads both mainstream and inspirational markets for fiction and non-fiction. I talk about this a bit under “My Bookish Life” and hinted about it on the note that proceeded this book review when I explained why posting this took a bit longer than originally expected due health and life reasons occurring at a pace that simply exhausted me. I always aim to feature novels through Guest Author & Book Features that will key into the diverse variety of books I appreciate reading overall.

I was originally going to only focus on books in print, but then I re-considered when I noted that many ebooks I would dearly love to read eventually end up in print editions. This can take anywhere from a few months to a full year or longer depending on the publisher, author, and body of work. I decided to stand firm in being a traditional reader but to yield as a book blogger to highlight books first released into an electronic version that I would one day hope would go into a print run as well. In this way, I am opening my mind to a wider net of authors and stories but remaining true to who I am as a reader and as a blogger at the same time. I am thankful that my path crossed with Ms. Leesmith and with Ms. Stokes, as I might not have stumbled across this particular novel nor the lovely series it is a part of.

My original showcases on Leesmith’s behalf was a heap of joy for me, as it encouraged me to re-examine where the publishing world is currently with a green-minded focus on publishing and printing practices (a bit of an on-going personal research topic of interest) as much as it gave a strong impression on having an open discussion on where writers and readers alike stand on the position of being green-minded and being voracious readers. For me, it confirmed that you can be environmentally conscience and read print books without having to concede to ebooks and ereaders. Notwithstanding of the fact that not all of us can use ereaders nor read ebooks in any format due to our vision and the way in which we process information.

My participation led to a healthy itch to read “Love’s Promises” and I felt blessed that I had the opportunity to tuck inside the story of how a novel went into print format when it was originally only scheduled for one type of release. The further blessing was discovering the other two books in the Love Promises series are already released in print, and are on my ‘next reads’ list of books to acquire!

Book Synopsis:

For Monica Scott, building her late father’s house at Lake Tahoe isn’t an option—it’s a necessary distraction from confusing memories and an uncertain future. But a handsome planner working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is keeping Monica from moving forward with the project. Never mind that he’s young and charming with a great sense of humor. No one is going to stop Monica from making her father’s dream—and her own—a reality.

All Greg Linsey wants is for his work to mean something. His job at TRPA gives him the opportunity to fight for the environment he loves and make a difference in his small corner of the world. But with the sophisticated Monica Scott’s arrival, his dedication is tested as never before, especially when Monica turns to his unscrupulous nemesis for assistance. As Greg and Monica’s animosity turns into something far sweeter, can they learn to accept each other’s promises and avoid the growing danger to their lives and hearts?

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Sandra LeesmithAuthor Biography:  SANDRA LEESMITH loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books at sandraleesmith.com.

Book Cover Designer Biography: LENA GOLDFINCH writes fantasy and Lena Goldfinchromance for teens and adults. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she’s writing something light and contemporary like her latest releases, Haunting Joy and Take a Picture. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Learn more about Lena and her books at lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.

 

Romance, Thirty-somethings, & the Environment:

I shall never discredit the timing of a book in hand nor of the story at the heart of the novel’s message to be consumed at a particular moment in time as this particular one has reached my eyes and mind! I cannot deny that I am a thirty-something myself nor a singleton who oft thinks about her own life, her chosen path, and where the pebbles of her path shall lead her next. Each of us is living a life of worth and it is not always measured in events and incidents that the masses experience but in smaller steps and graces which take us to where we are being led to traverse. I love stories of the heart as much as the human condition, to knit inside the small fragments of time wherein we cross-examine our own hearts, spirits, and desires of will — to understand where we have been as much as where we are going next. I had to nearly chuckle to myself whilst realising a bit of the cheeky humour Leesmith placed inside her two lead characters, as both Monica and Greg are within a farthing of a distance in age from each other, and experiencing the same self-exploration and questions of the heart that neither wants to admit possible.

I think thirty-somethings have a lot of ground to cover in today’s fiction, especially in the Romance side of the ledger. To oft writers focus on someone either in college or thereafter or even settle inside the years of the twenties, but few root out the early years of being twentyten and thirty-something; the decisive age for most singletons either in want of finding someone to walk through life with or to walk alone. It is a unique perspective to give in fiction, as the veins of narrative can go in so many unique and different directions. Whilst in the opening bits of Love’s Promises, what I especially liked is how the path Leesmith chooses to take is not quite predictable nor is it contrite. She breathes a bit of life into the characters and gives them enough realism and free will to keep you in suspense of what their choices will be the further you walk inside their story.

The environment is nearly a third character in the story, as the natural environment is beautifully highlighted as the backdrop and setting for Love’s Promises. I appreciated the care and attention the advocacy and conservation on the Lake Tahoe Basin were given throughout the story, as it illuminates one small fraction of how over building and overusing our natural resources is becoming a larger problem as a whole. There are too many loosely controlled environmental protections on building permits and on maintaining natural habitats. I’ve even witnessed where previously protected land was sold to the highest bidder and commericalised for consumer use; at the determent of the wildlife and ecosystem. There needs to be a better balance between sustaining the ecological habitats already thriving where developers and residents want to intercede on their right to build. I celebrate the small successes such as non-chemical pest control by water sources, walkways and green paths in urban developments that do not deter from the natural ecosystems, and a recognition of local bird and wildlife habitats being protected by watchful observations by local groups working for preservation and conservation of their lands. I commend the research Leesmith knitted into her novel, as she is tackling a very difficult issue and a controversial topic laced with politics on all levels.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Monday, 28 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Domestic Violence, Eco-Friendly, Ecology, Editing Through The Seasons, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Solutions, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lake Tahoe, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Nature & Wildlife, Pacific Crest Trail, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Preservation, Romance Fiction, Seekerville, Singletons & Commitment, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Walking & Hiking Trails, Women's Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C Bangs, & Les Johnson #nonfiction #science

Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 5 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsHarvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs, & Les Johnson

Published By: Springer Science-Business Media (),
(second edition) August, 2014
Official Author WebsitesMatloff: Site | YouTube Bangs: Site Johnson: Site
Available Formats: Softcover & Ebook Page Count: 277 & 120 illustrations

Converse on Twitter: #HarvestingSpace & #Springer

Facebook Page dedicated to getting “Harvesting Space” into the public eye

Fields & Topics of Study:

Alternative Energy, Space Science, Sustainability from Space & Climate Change

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from one of the authors C Bangs, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Keen Interest in Premise:

Ever since I was a fifth grader whose path crossed with an Environmentalist (part of the bring your Dad to work programme) who was the father of a classmate, I have firmly always had a keen eye on the environment. Seeing “Medicine Man” that same year left an impression on my young mind and heart as well, as nothing else could have had a greater impact than seeing the necessity of natural resources and the preservation of those resources for the greater good of mankind. I always felt a connection to the outside world, and as I grew I kept a pulse on where the ecological heart of the Earth was heading as much as what nature and the environs therein were attempting to tell us; warn us. We are very much the caregivers and caretakers of Earth – a belief of the Native Americans, of whom I was honoured to hear some of their stories and legacies of knowledge as I grew up with a Native American Art Gallery and bookstore; the owner of whom took a kindness of teaching me the stories he was given himself as a boy. I believe as they do, that it is our mission to not only protect each other from harm, but to protect the home by which we inherited. For these reasons and more, the very essence of this non-fiction release held my attention at ‘hallo’.

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Book Synopsis:

What was our planet like in years past? How has our civilization affected Earth and its ecology? Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the Second Edition of Paradise Regained: The Regreening of the Earth, begins by discussing these questions, and then generates a scenario for the restoration of Earth. It introduces new and innovative ideas on how we could use Solar System and its resources for terrestrial benefit.

The environmental challenges that face us today cannot be resolved by conservation and current technologies alone. Harvesting Space highlights the risk of humankind’s future extinction from environmental degradation. Population growth, global climate change, and maintaining sustainability of habitats for wildlife are all considered, among other issues.

Rather than losing heart, we need to realize that the solutions to these problems lie in being good stewards of the planet and in the development of space. Not only will the solutions offered here avert a crisis, they will also provide the basis for continued technological and societal progress. Tapping the resources of near-Earth asteroids will lead to methods of diverting those asteroids that threaten Earth. Space-based terrestrial power generation systems will work synergistically with Earth-based conservation.

This book needs to be read urgently and widely, if we are to save ourselves from environmental disaster, reduce the risk of catastrophic cosmic impacts, and build a prosperous and sustainable future for all the creatures of Earth.

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Author Biographies:

Dr. Greg Matloff, is a leading expert in possibilities for interstellar propulsion , especially near-Sun solar-sail trajectories that might ultimately enable interstellar travel. and is an emeritus and adjunct associate astronomy professor with the physics department of New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a consultant with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a Hayden Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He co-authored with Les Johnson of NASA and C Bangs Paradise Regained (2009), Living Off the Land in Space (2007) and has authored Deep-Space Probes (edition 1: 2000 and edition 2: 2005). As well as authoring More Telescope Power (2002), Telescope Power (1993), The Urban Astronomer (1991), he co-authored with Eugene Mallove The Starflight Handbook. (1989). His papers on interstellar travel, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, and methods of protecting Earth from asteroid impacts have been published in JBIS, Acta Astronautica, Spaceflight, Space Technology, Journal of Astronautical Sciences, and Mercury. His popular articles have appeared in many publications, including Analog. In 1998, he won a $5000 prize in the international essay contest on ETI sponsored by the National Institute for Discovery Science. . He served on a November 2007 panel organized by Seed magazine to brief Congressional staff on the possibilities of a sustainable, meaningful space program. In 2011, he co-authored with C Bangs an artist’s book entitled Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth.

Professor Matloff is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has chaired many technical sessions and is listed in numerous volumes of Who’s Who. In 2008, he was honored as Scholar on Campus at New York City College of Technology. His most recent astronautics book, co-authored with Italian researcher Dr. Giovanni Vulpetti and Les Johnson, is Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Springer (2008). In addition to his interstellar-travel research, he has contributed to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), modeling studies of human effects on Earth’s atmosphere, interplanetary exploration concept analysis, alternative energy, in-space navigation, and the search for extrasolar planets.

C Bangs’ art investigates frontier science combined with symbolist figuration from an ecological feminist point of view. Her work is included in public and private collections as well as in books and journals. Public Collections include the Library of Congress, NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center, The British Interplanetary Society, New York City College of Technology, Pratt Institute, Cornell University and Pace University. I Am the Cosmos exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton included her work, Raw Materials from Space and the Orbital Steam Locomotive. Her art has been included in eight books and two peer- reviewed journal articles, several magazine articles and art catalogs. Merging art and science, she worked for three summers as a NASA Faculty Fellow, and under a NASA grant she investigated holographic interstellar probe message plaques. Her recent artist’s book collaboration with Greg Matloff, Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth, was recently collected by the Brooklyn Museum for their artist-book collection.

“The artist C Bangs and astronomer Greg Matloff are long time partners and collaborators whose mutual interests and complementary talents serve them well. For many years, Bangs has been the artist who provides the graphic interpretation of their scientific books, they have achieved another level; their work has never been so well integrated, as they have found a method where text and image become one, rather than one illustrating the other. The more esoteric points of Matloff’s research find an accessibility, while Bangs more than ever seamlessly offers us, through imagery, a lyrical telling of their story for the quest to access solar system resources for the Earth.” – Maddy Rosenberg, Central Booking Gallery, NYC

Les Johnson is a physicist, and the author of several popular science books about space exploration, Living Off the Land in Space, Solar Sailing: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth, Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail, and Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, as well as three science fiction books, Back to the Moon, Going Interstellar, and Rescue Mode.

He is also the Senior Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Les is the NASA Co-Investigator (Co-I) for the European Union’s Deploytech Solar Sail demonstration mission planned for launch in 2015. He was the NASA Co-I for the JAXA T-Rex Space Tether Experiment and PI of NASA’s ProSEDS Experiment. During his career at NASA, he served as the Manager for the Space Science Programs and Projects Office, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and the Interstellar Propulsion Research Project. He thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and has 3 patents.

Les is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, the World Future Society, and MENSA. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the British Interplanetary Society and is Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Les was the featured “interstellar explorer” in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine and a technical consultant for the movie Europa Report.

Les earned his Master’s degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1986 and his Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in 1984.

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Foreward by Jack McDevitt: Site | on behalf of the first edition (2010)

I appreciated the cadence of McDevitt’s approach to introducing the work at hand to the everyday reader, starting off by presenting all the ill begotten newsbits that we’re all too familiar with having heard at one point or another startling our nerves as we tune into radio or televised news. The truth in the pudding is the fact that we tend to hear more negative news than positive, and less so even on the technologic changes to our economy and environmental ecosystem that is in most need of attention. I found his cheeky humour well placed and his ability to surmise the necessity of the work contained in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth well executed.

McDevitt is actually an author in science fiction I have acknowledged in name only, and have not yet taken the chance to explore his collective works. Science fiction and fantasy combined is a branch of literature that once you start to consume the canons of the grandmothers and grandmothers, or even prior to that even, you will soon come across the writers, like McDevitt who draw your eye into their stories. I admit, I have not always had the time to give to exploring the worlds that I discover, but I am always one who celebrates the ready amount of choice being offered for the science fiction and fantasy reader. Most of us generally speaking are into reading hard-core science as much as we are the fiction counterparts. For it is a semi well-known fact, that bits and bobbles of our science and technologic shifts in discoveries have sometimes been purported out of the fictional tales of the writers who give our minds something to chew on outside our realm of possibility. Imagination truly has always been the key to unlocking what is not yet known or understood to be plausible.

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Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI always set out to approach how I review non-fiction titles and anthologies in a different manner than I would a novel, because in all honesty, they have their own rhythm to how their stories unfold. Non-fiction titles are generally broken into different sections (especially if the subject is of a Science related field) which is vindictive of anthologies, whose collective stories make up the whole of the book. Therefore, you will find this book review set to a different tone and pace than my regular faire.

I have known about the plan to extract part of what we create on Earth and to jettison that bit of production out to space as much as I have been aware of the theory that Space can handle more excess than what we can keep here on Earth. However, I do have a keen issue with this part of the theory, of being able to use Space without fear of consequence as Space appears to be a place where no harm can come to it. I oft wondered about all the left behind space debris and the accumulated bits we’ve already left to the pure nothingness that is Space. I am not sure why it is the one place we always approach outside our mindset of ‘leave no trace’ because it appears that if we were to conquer the ability to shift our industrial productivity to the Cosmos, would we then not want to ensure that whatever we ‘bring to Space’ is brought with the belief that we would be leaving less of an impression on the cosmos than we had on Earth!? OR are we simply going to continue to repeat a pattern of doing what works well for us in the short-term and not think of any long-term effects at all!? I would imagine, despite how seemingly different Space is to Earth, even in that realm there are perimeters of order outside the chaos.

I am not sure if I can go with a clear conscience to say that I fully support shifting our industries to Space if we do not have a clearly defined code of ethics and safety in place to ensure that whatever we ‘add’ to Space is not going to ‘subtract’ from what is already naturally occurring and viable. If we have not yet mastered the ability to be stewards of Earth, how then, can we become stewards of Space? We cannot take a direct step backwards and wreck havoc in a new environment simply because it ‘makes sense’ to re-distribute our problems to a place that has a higher yield of improbable elements of consequence.

To fully substantiate the proposition in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the authors lay down the foundation of how Earth and Space originated in their uniqueness and how the history of their origins helps them better understand the future of both on equal grounds. This is the building block beginning to the book, as they shift and alternative between designated sections to help present the case, the argument, and the resolution for our dire need in living greener and in a way that is more efficient for our rate of consumption and expansion of living practices.

I was thankful to see a mentioning of the garbage and plastic waste ‘lingering in the Pacific Ocean’ as that is one credible example of how I would not appreciate seeing our efforts to fix our problems lead to a further issue out in Space. We tend to want quick answers to complicated problems, but the best answer will always be the one that does not yield to more problems but rather a better livable example of how to live well, produce energy without consequences we cannot ethical live with, and become better protectors of what we inherit to preserve.

I recognise that Space is a frontier we have not yet tapped, but why would we want to risk its own health for our own gain? I am uncertain I fully understood nor accept, that simply because we can harvest resources out of Space that we should take that course of action. We seem to eradicate the cause and effect from this dialogue for change. Not all change is positive and there are always limitations of what we do not yet understand. How can we honestly know the precise measure of what effect new technology and polluted waste will have on the stability of Space? Anytime you start to shift the status que there will be consequences, whether seen, unseen, or cast aside from view.

Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth provides a key view into the insight of where technology and progress is leading us forward towards healing the Earth of our mistakes of the past wherein we had limited Earth’s recovery from the processes of our own industrial age of expansion. Where I find myself on the fence of commitment lies within the heart of change discussed within the book itself. Perhaps it’s because I saw Medicine Man as a ten-year-old whose heart was already tethered to her connection to the natural world, or perhaps it’s because I always believed in the Hippocratic Oath. Either way, for me personally, I can attest the direction we choose to head into the future as a resolution towards our present circumstances, I can only hope that we weigh and consider our next effect on an environment that was fully functional and self-reliant before we ever altered its natural and evolving state of existence.

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Jorie, the girl with a scientific heart

One of the branches of literature I love exploring the most is non-fiction scientific research topics, subjects, and explorations where modern cutting-edge discoveries are impacting our lives whether we know about them or not. I have been wanting to dip back into my science-focused past, picking up where I left off reading and continue to venture into the areas of research and scientific discovery that enlightens my own mind to gain knowledge of. I have had the long-term goals to bring the books that I find which illuminate a particular topic to a level of degree of clarity and depth of knowledge in that working field to my regular readers and visitors of Jorie Loves A Story, as even within the non-fiction realms, I have oft found a ‘story’ behind the element of surprise discovery! Science might be grounded in fact and in the logistical side of proof (unless your examining the theoretical side of physics, which is my own personal preference!) but within the height of new and emerging paragrams of successful progress, we find a story is stitched together behind-the-scenes! And, that in of itself makes me giddy about researching science on a whole!

I have previously reviewed a handful of non-fiction titles on my blog, and it will continue to grow momentum as I find myself attracted to books on a case-by-case basis! Sometimes its the topic or subject contained within the book itself and sometimes it’s merely the approach of those who pen the research! I like keeping my mind open to the possibilities and remaining truthful to my own desire of gaining knowledge in the respective fields I draw an interest.

Science for me was always a big, big draw in my childhood as I practically lived at the Science Center in the city of my birth! The hours I spent over the Summers inside workshoppes, classes, and field trips are too numerous to even relay to you, but simply know that if it was an adventure within an out-of-the-box class for children and examined a curiosity I had under the general umbrella of  ‘science’, I was surely front row center! The best bit is that as I grew, I never outgrew my zest for science or for science theories and discoveries. One of my favourite subjects in high school was the quest behind the pursuit of understanding DNA, which involved Watson, Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. My twenties fused together my passion for the quantum realms, and as an undercurrent of interest oceanography, geophysics, cosmology, and astrophysics were always in close pursuit of each other. Having a careful eye for newsbits on an involving scale of interest from the fields of meteorology, solar optics, volcanology & plate tectonics, and environmental science (with includes every off-branch therein!) I have come to realise that my pursuit for understanding is now interconnected, threaded, and fused together!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostVirtual Road Map of “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” Blog Tour:

Monday, June 23rd: Ms. Nose in a Book

Tuesday, June 24th: A Curious Gal

Thursday, June 26th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Monday, June 30th: Green Tech Gazette

Wednesday, July 2nd: Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, July 3rd: guiltless reading

TBD: Grist

Monday: 7 July: Jorie Loves a Story

TBD: GreenMoxie

Please visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth”, Author Biographies and Book Synopsis  were provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge & I Blog Books Non-Fiction badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. }

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, 21st Century, Alternative Energy, Asteroid Science, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Climate Change, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Extraterrestrial Physics, GeoPhysical History, Green-Minded Social Awareness, History, Indie Author, Mechanical Engineering, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Popular Astronomy, Science, Science Fiction, Social Change, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sustainability from Space, TLC Book Tours