November 9, 2021

Subject: Discoveries and Inventions


Ancient Inventions by Peter James and Nick Thorpe

This is a doozy of a book.  You can open anywhere and start reading. There is a table of contents if you want to look up something special from brain surgery on down. The ancient Chinese made a compass, Babylon started banks.  Remember the phrase if you want to check for pregnancy you see if the rabbit died?  It is all in here. An excellent read if you are curious.

The Rise And Fall Of The Dinosaurs: A New History Of A Lost World by Steve Brusatte

Our reader is trying to find out when scales and leathery skin disappeared and feathers began.  When the asteroid hit and killed out the dinosaurs, birds were what were left. Feathers gave more insulation. Some dinosaurs grew feathers on their heads, to attract the females, of course. The search goes on.

The Remarkable Plans For Captain Travis O.Evans by Louise Carroll George

This is a local author who began her writing career at age 60. Much of the story takes place around Pismo Beach and Los Osos. A quotation was used from the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future.”  It was an interesting bit of local history.

Collapse, How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed by Jared Diamond

From Easter Island to the Anasazi to the Maya to the Vikings, what happened? How can the world best avoid committing ecological suicide?

This book can be found in the Non-Fiction Room at the Grover Beach Community Library section 304.

Guns, Germs And Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

What geographical and ecological factors have shaped the modern world?

This book can be found in the Non-Fiction Room at the Grover Beach Community Library, section 300.

The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future Of The Human Animal by Jared Diamond

We share 98% of genes with chimpanzees. Why did humans find civilizations while chimpanzees remained animals mostly concerned with survival? The trashing of Bali, we won’t succeed if we continue this way. Humans cause climate change

In The Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

Mr. Sides is well known for his histories of various subjects, all well researched and with a good reading style. This concerns an exploratory voyage to find the North Pole and perhaps a Northwest Passage.  It was sponsored by the US Navy and funded by a very rich man. It began July 8, 1879 and in September was locked in the ice for 21 months. Maps show the movement of the ice and ship during that time.  It sank June 11th or 12th of 1881, and people on board began walking out via foot, dog sled and three small boats. They became separated during a gale while on the boats. Not all made it, the last journal entry was Oct. 30, 1881, and the body of Captain DeLong was found in May of 1882.  A ‘can’t put it down’ tale.

This book will be donated to the Grover Beach Community Library and will be in the Non Fiction room soon.

Our discussions ranged from book to book as most dealt with how treatment of indigenous peoples and animals dictated the outcomes at that time in history. Its effects on the present day were also discussed.  Can we change anything, the burning of the Amazon Forest for instance? 

Next Meeting: December 14 2021 at the Grover Beach Community Library, 240 North 9th Street, Grover Beach. Time: 10:30 AM. We will have coffee or tea again.

Subject:  We decided to repeat Discovery and Inventions: We had more good books that we read and wanted to share so we will continue this episode in December.